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15 Times An Anime Character's Love Went Unrequited

Updated March 29, 2021 12.9k votes 3.5k voters 84.7k views15 items

List RulesVote up the failed love story that stuck with you the most.

Whether it's real life or anime, not all romantic feelings can be reciprocated. Sometimes no matter how much one person loves another, those feelings just don't reach the other person. 

Anime characters whose love went unrequited can appear in any genre. Though common in the romance and slice of life genre, they also appear in more action-oriented series like Parasyte and Naruto. In some cases, these hopeless lovebirds never get over their feelings and never find anyone who does return their feelings - but in other cases, they do move on to better things, be that an actual relationship or personal growth outside the arena of romance. 

While one-sided love can add tension to a storyline or deepen a character, it can still be pretty sad. Let's take a moment to appreciate the characters who just couldn't get the other person to love them in the same way.

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  • Photo: Madhouse

    Though Misa Amane does manage to finagle a relationship with the love of her life, Light Yagami, it's quite clear that he doesn't feel anything resembling love for her. Light sees Misa as a combination of annoying and convenient. He doesn't exactly relish her gushy affection, but her willingness to do literally anything for him causes him to see her as a tool to help him fulfill his murderous ambitions. This isn't exactly what Misa wants from Light, but when you're a desperate stalker who is trying to use your pseudo-relationship to cope with your parents' brutal murder, you'll take anything. 

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  • 6

    Ahiru Helps Mytho Out Of Love In 'Princess Tutu' 

    Ahiru falls in love with Prince Mytho despite his total inability to feel anything for anyone. The reason he lacks emotions is that his heart has been shattered into pieces, which have been scattered throughout the world. Each shard contains a different emotion, and it's up to Ahiru and Fakir to restore them to their rightful place. While Ahiru hopes that Mytho will see her as a viable romantic partner once she's finished restoring her heart, he ultimately ends up falling for someone else. Ahiru ends up living out the rest of her days in her true form - a duck - with Fakir by her side. 

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  • 7

    Yūta Takemoto Finds Value In His Unrequited Love In 'Honey & Clover' 

    Photo: J.C.Staff

    When Yūta Takemoto first meets Hagumi Hanamoto in art school, he's immediately smitten with her. Unfortunately, he isn't the only one - Shinobu Morita falls in love with her too. In part Takemoto decides to simply be her friend and hope she'll get the hint instead of actually expressing his feelings, while Morita is emotionally honest with Hagu, she winds up falling for Morita instead. Takemoto is saddened by her choice, but ultimately decides that meeting her and experiencing love, whether it was requited or not, was a worthwhile experience in of itself. 

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  • 8

    Hanabi Yasuraoka Can't Tell Her Teacher How She Feels In 'Scum's Wish' 

    Photo: Lerche

    Hanabi Yasuraoka is the protagonist of Scum's Wish, an anime where literally nobody gets what they want in the romance department. She falls in love with Narumi Nagai, an older family friend who winds up becoming her high school teacher. Knowing that there's no way her love can possibly be reciprocated, she attempts to drown her feelings in a relationship with a classmate named Mugi - who has the similar problem of being in love with another teacher at the school Akane Minegawa. Oh, and meanwhile, Hanabi's best friend Sanae is in love with Hanabi - and that doesn't even cover half of the one-sided romances that this show has to offer. 

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