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 You. Each of these shows has its own take on youth and love, so try out whichever one interests you.
- Photo: Kyoto Animation
One thing that makes CLANNAD unique is that it takes its romance beyond the boundary of high school life in its second season. While the first season focuses on Tomoya's school life and his friendships with various girls, as well as his increasingly serious relationship with Nagisa, the next season takes the newly minted high school beyond their graduation. The couple must contend with starting their careers, living together, and an accidental pregnancy that culminates in a major tragedy. If you want a high school romance that looks ahead to the next phase - and you're willing to sob uncontrollably for at least an hour - give CLANNAD a try. One thing is certain - you won't forget it.723206Is this a good high school romance?
- Photo: Doga Kobo
Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun is a parody of the high school romance genre, so it's best enjoyed after you've made your way through some of the other series in the genre. Once you have a passing familiarity with how high school romance anime works, this show is a hilarious experience. Chiyo Sakura is head-over-heels for her classmate Umetarou Nozaki, but he's completely oblivious to her feelings, even though he's a shojo manga author who is supposed to be clued into this sort of thing. When Chiyo asks him out, he thinks she's asking to be his art assistant. She reluctantly accepts - and through that job, she gets involved in all sorts of ridiculous shenanigans involving her classmates, her crush, and the world of manga creation.585178Is this a good high school romance?
Scum's WishPhoto: Lerche
Some people avoid high school romance because it's too fluffy and sweet. If you're one of those people, you might want to try Scum's Wish. Scum's Wish follows Hanabi, a teenage girl who is in love with an older childhood friend who became her teacher. Because she knows that he'll never reciprocate her feelings, she attempts to drown them in a fake relationship with a classmate named Mugi who is in love with his music teacher.
If they could just fall in love with each other, things would be simple - but neither can get rid of their feelings for their teachers. What's more, one of the teachers is not the good person they appear to be, and both Mugi and Hanabi have close friends suffering from unrequited crushes on them. If you want an anime with the complexity and emotional pain of a soap opera, Scum's Wish should be next on your list.423278Is this a good high school romance?
Bloom Into YouPhoto: TROYCA
Real love seems out of reach for Yuu, a high school girl who has never felt the butterflies and hearts that she expects to feel when someone asks her out. When she joins the student council at the behest of student council president Nanami, she thinks she's met a kindred spirit - Nanami is able to turn down advances from boys with ease, and also appears to feel nothing when she's asked out. But as it turns out, Nanami only feels nothing for those boys - Yuu is a different story. Will a romance develop between the two of them? It might - but not without some fascinating complications.199125Is this a good high school romance?