15 Anime Relationships We Wish Worked Out

List Rules

Vote up the anime couples who you wish stayed together.

Few things are sadder than thwarted love. While many anime feature successful relationships, others feature romances that fizzle out before they have a chance to get started.

Often, these tragic anime couples don't end up together because one person's life ends. That's what happens to Ash and Eiji in Banana Fish - just when it seems like they're finally going to leave their troubles behind and pursue a happy life together, tragedy strikes. But it's not always a demise that keeps these couples apart - sometimes they choose not to be together. But just because it's their choice doesn't mean it isn't sad - it's not like Kana and Hatori from Fruits Basket broke up because they wanted to.

Did you want these anime characters to stay together?


  • 1
    665 VOTES

    Sasha & Niccolo - 'Attack on Titan'

    Sasha & Niccolo - 'Attack on Titan'
    Photo: Attack On Titan / MAPPA

    Sasha and Niccolo never definitively declared their love for one another, but for a lot of fans, it was a romance waiting to happen. At first, Niccolo hated Sasha because he'd been trained from birth to see Eldians as monsters. But when Sasha praised his cooking to the heavens, he realized they shared something important - a love for food. He soon came to the conclusion that Eldians aren't much different from Marleyans like himself, and realized that his true purpose was to make people of all races happy through food. If not for meeting Sasha, he might never have changed so radically.

    When Sasha was eliminated in battle, Niccolo was devastated. While her demise is a tragedy either way, part of what was lost was their potential future together. 

  • 2
    623 VOTES

    Kousei Arima & Kaori Miyazono - 'Your Lie in April'

    Kousei Arima & Kaori Miyazono - 'Your Lie in April'
    Photo: Your Lie In April / A-1 Pictures

    Meeting Kaori turns Kousei's life upside-down in the best way possible. No longer able to hear or play piano after losing his abusive mother to illness, he spends his days wallowing in sorrow. When he meets Kaori, a violinist whose passion for music is infectious, he starts to find pleasure in his life and in his art. The two are clearly on the verge of falling in love.

    Unfortunately, none of this can last. That's because Kaori is suffering from a potentially fatal illness, and ends up passing away during a surgery intended to treat it. It's hard to get sadder than that.

  • 3
    502 VOTES

    Hotaru & Gin - 'Hotarubi no Mori e'

    Hotaru & Gin - 'Hotarubi no Mori e'
    Photo: Hotarubi no Mori e / Brain's Base

    If you don't want to cry, don't watch Hotarubi no Mori e. The film focuses on a girl named Hotaru who meets and falls in love with a forest spirit named Gin. The problem is that if Gin touches a human being, he will disappear forever. For this reson, the two try to deny their growing feelings for one another, but this eventually proves impossible.

    At the end of the movie, Gin finally confesses his love for Hotaru and kisses the mask she's wearing. But later on as they're walking together, a human child nearly falls. Gin reaches out to help the child, not realizing he was human. He begins to disappear. While this allows Hotaru and Gin to embrace for the last time before Gin is gone forever, it also deprives them of a potential lifetime together. 

  • 4
    726 VOTES

    Jiraiya & Tsunade - 'Naruto'

    Jiraiya & Tsunade - 'Naruto'
    Photo: Naruto: Shippuden / Studio Pierrot

    Jiraiya and Tsunade started off as teammates. The two of them built a strong friendship through years of relying on each other in battle. After their teammate Orochimaru turned evil, the two of them were left feeling betrayed and confused, with only each other to rely on. 

    Over time, their paths diverged. Though they felt some romantic inklings toward each other, they never got together. Maybe it was because both of them were too busy doing their own thing, maybe it was because being together brought up too many painful memories, or maybe it was because Tsunade found Jiraiya's lecherous behavior too annoying.

    Despite all that, they still cared about each other, and it's possible that they could have given romance a shot if not for Jiraiya's untimely demise. 

  • 5
    427 VOTES

    Haruki Shiga & Sakura Yamauchi - 'I Want to Eat Your Pancreas'

    Haruki Shiga & Sakura Yamauchi - 'I Want to Eat Your Pancreas'
    Photo: I Want To Eat Your Pancreas / Studio VOLN

    When Haruki Shiga and Sakura Yamauchi first meet in the waiting room of a hospital, Haruki doesn't want anything to do with Sakura. In fact, he doesn't see the value of human connection of any kind. He soon learns Sakura has a terminal pancreatic illness. For this reason, he lets himself be dragged into doing some of the things she wants to do before she passes. Through this process, he starts to see the value of human connection, and she's able to have experiences she never would have had on her own.

    Things end abruptly, not because of Sakura's illness but because of a random stabbing attack. While it was clear that their time together was going to be brief, it didn't have to end like that. 

  • 6
    388 VOTES

    Casca & Guts - 'Berserk'

    Casca & Guts - 'Berserk'
    Photo: Berserk / OLM

    Casca and Guts have been through a lot. Originally, they were lovers, but that came to a halt after Griffith betrayed their mercenary band, assaulted Casca and forced Guts to watch, and destroyed nearly everyone else in the Band of the Hawk. Casca was so traumatized that she could barely speak, let alone be in a relationship. Though Casca does return to her original self in the manga, the two of them never fully reconcile their relationship. 

    But the saddest thing is actually not the thwarted relationship itself, though that is devastating. It's the fact that we will never really know how things might have turned out for them. Their creator, Kentaro Miura, tragically passed in 2021. While Studio Gaga, the manga production studio founded by Miura himself, and Kouji Mori are continuing the story, we will never know for sure how Miura would have written it.