Romance anime doesn't have to be sappy and sentimental to be enjoyable - actually, sometimes romance is all the more poignant when it also makes you laugh. That wonderful combination of emotions can be found in comedy-romance anime.
Which are the best anime rom-coms? That depends on your personal preferences. If you're tired of every romance anime being set in high school, you should check out Wotakoi and Recovery of an MMO Junkie, two stories about adults falling in love with hilarious results. Want something that's just plain bizarre? Try Arakawa Under the Bridge, an anime that's about a strange society of misfits living under the titular bridge. Want to watch something awesomely old school? Try Ouran High School Host Club - it's hard to find a better example of funny romance anime than that.
No matter what you're looking for, there's something on this list that will grab you by the feels while making you snort with laughter.
- Photo: TMS Entertainment
Fruits Basket can get kind of disturbing at times, but for the most part, it sticks to romantic-comedy territory. It follows Tohru Honda, a homeless teenage orphan girl who is taken in by the Sohma family. The Sohmas harbor a bizarre secret - they're cursed to transform into the animals that represent the Chinese zodiac. Because this happens when they're hugged by members of the opposite sex, this results in some ridiculous situations that are both funny and full of romantic intrigue.Is this funny and heartwarming?
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFUPhoto: Brain's Base
Hachiman Hikigaya is a deeply pessimistic young man who firmly believes that all social relationships are doomed to failure and that the world is designed to make everyone as miserable as possible. When he writes an essay mocking the concept of friendship, his teacher assigns him to join the Volunteer Service Club, a club that forces him to actually help people - often with the social problems he so reviles. Through the club, he has to do everything from help his oblivious friend edit his terrible novel to try and stop a little girl from being bullied - and through it all, he's deepening his bonds with his fellow club mates, Yui and Yukino.
Hikigaya never actually gets into a relationship - he isn't ready for something like that. But his bonds with Yukino and Yui, as well as his obvious attraction to Totsuka, put this story firmly in the romance category. There are also plenty of moments that are devastatingly sad - like when Hikigaya's rock bottom self-esteem is revealed - but the funny moments overpower the pathos. It's one of the best anime to combine romance and comedy, and it's well worth a watch.Is this funny and heartwarming?
- Photo: Doga Kobo
Chiyo Sakura finally gets up the nerve to ask out her crush Umetarou Nozaki. He doesn't turn her down exactly - but he also completely misinterprets her, believing instead that she's a fan of his shojo manga and wants to be his art assistant. As more of their classmates get roped into being manga assistants, more and more silly interactions and misunderstandings pile up. Some characters are spoofs on shojo tropes - the "prince" character is an attractive girl, whereas the "tough-guy" character cries at sad movies and really wants everyone to think he's cool.
Despite the focus on parodying shojo tropes and making jokes, the romantic tension between Chiyo and Nozaki is one of the key elements of the show - even if Nozaki is probably never going to catch on to Chiyo's feelings.Is this funny and heartwarming?
- Photo: J.C. Staff
Toradora! might not have invented the concept of tsundere, but it definitely perfected it. Taiga Aisaka has what one might call a spirited personality, and she absolutely refuses to acknowledge her positive feelings toward Ryuuji Takasu. The two start their relationship trying to help the other hook up with their respective crushes, but by the midpoint of the series, it's clear that they have it bad for each other.
Taiga's journey toward accepting and expressing her own feelings is both touching and hilarious, as is basically everything else about the show, from Taiga insisting that their friend Ami has six breasts to Ryuuji's hideously adorable pet bird.Is this funny and heartwarming?