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The 15 Best High School Romance Anime

Updated June 23, 2019 14.4k votes 3.4k voters 77.8k views15 items

High school is well-known for being the most common setting for anime romance - to the point where older fans lament the lack of romance in any other context. It's popular for a reason - high school is the time when many people have their first experience with romance. In high school romance anime, emotions are heightened and stakes are high, which is great from a storytelling perspective. 

But just because something is super popular doesn't mean that every example of the genre is good. Even if you love high school romance, you still might not like everything the genre has to offer. This list describes some of the best romance anime about high school life.

Which one will appeal to you depends on your personal preferences. If you like a little humor with your romance, Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun is a great choice. Prefer something super dramatic where everyone is miserable all the time? Try Scum's Wish. Want an LGBTQ+ romance? Watch Bloom Into YouEach of these shows has its own take on youth and love, so try out whichever one interests you.

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  • Say "I Love You"
    Photo: Zexcs

    The great thing about Say "I Love You" is that Yamato and Mei, the high school couple in question, are both genuinely kind people who care about each other and show it. That doesn't mean there's no drama - the majority of the tension is caused by Mei's introversion and social anxiety butting heads with Yamato's extroversion and comfort with others - but they respect each other's differences and work hard to understand each other. That's what makes their love worth rooting for and makes the show worth watching - even when they're having misunderstandings that can be frustrating.

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  • Toradora!
    Photo: J.C.Staff

    Ryuuji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka are two completely different people with two important things in common - they both have personalities that don't even remotely match their appearances, and they both have unrequited crushes on their classmates. The two strike up an agreement to help the other earn the affection of their respective crush, but they end up falling in love with each other in the process. This is a bare-bones description of a complex plot with some serious character development - and some serious laughs. Toradora! is one of the cornerstones of high school romance anime, so if you love the genre, you need to see this show.

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  • 7

    Orange

    Naho Takamiya lives an idyllic high school life with a close-knit group of friends - but that peace is broken when she receives a letter from her future self, urging her to prevent her newest friend and crush Kakeru from taking his own life. Her teenage self doesn't always understand her adult self's missives, so it's hard to follow them precisely, but as the future that was revealed begins to unfold, she realizes that she has to do her best to save her friend. Will Naho and her friends be able to protect Kakeru from his own misery? You'll have to watch Orange to find out. 

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  • 8

    Tsurezure Children

    One potential drawback of high school romance is that if you don't like the main characters, the rest of the story is pretty much shot. The plotlines can be fun, but the shows are primarily driven by their characters. Tsurezure Children neatly skirts this particular issue by focusing on a wide range of different characters instead. The show quickly flits from one potential couple to the next, moving their story forward a little bit with every check-in. Some stories focus on high school students who are too nervous to confess their love for someone else, or someone who doesn't understand when they're being confessed to. Each set of characters is a little different, but each focuses on early experiences with love. 

     

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