The 15 Most Underrated Romance Anime You Should Check Out

If you're a romance anime fan, there are some shows that you've definitely seen - or at least had recommended to you more times than you can count. There's only so many times that a person can watch My Love Story! or Yuri on Ice before they need something a little bit different. 

For those who are getting suggestions for romance anime you've already seen or know you're not interested in, you need some underrated romance anime recommendations. One great option is Natsuyuki Rendesvouz, an anime about a man vying with a ghost for the affections of his widow. Another is The Great Passage, which combines romance with an unusual subject - dictionary making.

Underwatched romance anime appears in all genres and ranges from lighthearted romcoms to deep explorations of the human psyche. Whatever you're looking for, if you're a romance fan then there's something on this list for you. Vote up the shows you know you like, or plan to watch next.

Photo: Madhouse

  • Snow White with the Red Hair is one of the most popular anime on this list, but it still doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves and is virtually unknown to many anime fans.

    It follows a young woman who works at an apothecary who must escape the prince of her nation, who wants to force her to serve as his concubine. She's rescued by Zen Wistalia, the prince of a nearby nation, and finds a new life as an herbalist in his country - as well as a new chance at true love. 

    1,851 votes
  • Natsuyuki Rendezvous
    Photo: Doga Kobo

    If you're looking for a unique plot, look no further than Natsuyuki Rendezvous. When Ryousuke Hazuki falls in love with widow and flower shop owner Rokka Shimao, he expects to have to win her heart - not to be blocked by the ghost of her former husband. In order to even get close to Rokka, he has to get past all the obstacles that the ghost puts in place.

    While the two duke it out over whether or not Rokka should move on, the three protagonists begin to form strange but powerful bonds with one another. 

    336 votes
  • 3
    631 VOTES
    Paradise Kiss
    Photo: Madhouse

    Though not nearly as well known as NANA, an anime based on a manga by the same author, Paradise Kiss is still a must-watch. Yukari Hayasaka is a strait-laced student who focuses all of her energy into getting into college with the aim of escaping her dull hometown and overbearing parents. That aside, she doesn't have any real goals of her own.

    One day, she's asked to model for an eccentric group of fashion students going to art school. At first, she doesn't want to get distracted from her studies, but she finds herself impressed by their dedication to a singular goal. What's more, she might be falling for George Koizumi, the leader of the group.

    631 votes
  • 4
    655 VOTES


    Romance can blossom in any environment, including a post-apocalyptic one. Shion and Nezumi come from vastly different worlds. Shion lives a privileged life in a protected enclave where he has no idea about the horrible things that people outside of his environment go through - meanwhile, Nezumi is a fugitive from the outside world.

    When Shion takes in Nezumi for the night, he and his mother are stripped of their "elite" status and forced to reckon with the same environment Nezumi fled. The two meet again - and as they deal with complex political issues, they start to fall in love with each other. 

    655 votes
  • 5
    417 VOTES

    You've probably at least heard of Fushigi Yugi, but if you haven't actually watched it, you should give it a chance - especially if you're a fan of more popular shows like Inuyasha and Fruits Basket. While there are aspects of it that haven't aged well, it still offers a wonderful combination of action and romance that's hard to find.

    It tells the story of Miaka, who is transported into a world resembling ancient China. There, she becomes the Priestess of Suzaku, a person whose destiny is to summon a god and save the nation of Konan from destruction. While there, Miaka falls in love with Tamahome, one of the Suzaku Seven.

    Their love story is a complicated one that's repeatedly challenged by everything from others vying for their affection to the fact that they're from different worlds. By turns frustrating and beautiful, it definitely leaves an impression.  

    417 votes
  • 6
    532 VOTES

    Bokura ga Ita

    Bokura ga Ita
    Photo: Artland

    Nanami Takahashi and Motoharu Yano start out their relationship cautiously but quickly end up deeply entangled with one another's lives. Unfortunately, their relationship is complicated by Yano's past, which involves a girlfriend who passed away in an accident, as well as a tryst with his former girlfriend's younger sister.

    If you love anime that digs deep into relationship drama to the point of resembling a soap opera, Bokura ga Ita is the show for you. 

    532 votes