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.
Misaki Ayuzawa is the student council president, and she takes her job seriously. That's because the loud and obnoxious boys at her school make life practically unbearable for the few girls, and she's dedicated to making sure that they get a fair shake at a decent education. But despite her insistence that everyone else follow the rules, Misaki is secretly breaking one of them by taking a job outside of school at a maid cafe.
When her sarcastic classmate Usui gets wind of her secret, he begins by just teasing her about it - but as the series progresses, the two start getting to know each other on a deeper level. This anime expertly combines humor with a unique relationship that progresses the way a real one might.
Ouran High School Host Club is probably the most well-known anime romantic-comedy out there. When Haruhi Fujioka breaks a vase by mistake, she ends up conscripted into the Host Club in order to pay off her debts. There, she must dress up as a boy and try to appeal to the tastes of their female clients.
Whether it's their overzealous, self-appointed manager Renge making ridiculous plans that don't work, Tamaki's obliviousness, or the twins' scheming, there's always something going on that will make you laugh - but the romantic tension between Haruhi and Tamaki is too real.
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.
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.
Not all of the humor has aged well, but some of it will still make you laugh - and the 2019 reboot may do an even better job.