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The 11 Worst Romance Anime Of All Time

Updated June 8, 2020 20.0k votes 6.5k voters 161.9k views11 items

List RulesVote up the romance anime that makes your stomach drop when it should be making your heart soar.

Whether it's dramatic, heartwarming, or a combination of the two, few things are better than a good love story. The best romance anime push viewers to root for the central couple while keeping them engrossed with a compelling narrative. Unfortunately, not all romantic anime are captivating. Some are just plain terrible.

The worst romance anime series leave viewers hoping the main couple never speak to each other again. These shows are just poorly done, with ugly animation and boring, underdeveloped characters. The storytelling might be subpar, or contain objectionable themes and then fail to treat them with any degree of nuance. Eromanga Sensei, for instance, features a 12-year-old girl who writes adult material for a living, and Diabolik Lovers shows a teenage girl repeatedly assaulted by vampires.

It would be smart to avoid watching these awful "romantic" programs with a partner, unless the goal is to get them to question your idea of romance. In fact, anime fans are probably better off not watching them at all.

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  • Photo: Diomedea

    Kodomo no Jikan follows a relationship between a teacher in his early 20s and his 7-year-old student. For many anime fans, this type of relationship is an automatic deal breaker. For others, it depends on the execution; a story that realistically deals with the ramifications of this kind of situation is different from one that glorifies it. Kodomo no Jikan does the latter.

    It begins with Rin Kokonoe, an abused child, acting out by attempting to entice her third-grade teacher, Daisuke Aoki. Instead of getting the little girl the help she needs, Aoki eventually comes to reciprocate Rin's feelings for him. The series should end with Aoki in handcuffs and Rin in therapy, but the two officially announce their relationship when Rin turns 16.

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  • Photo: TNK

    The characters in School Days have zero emotional intelligence and love to sabotage each other's lives. As soon as Makoto Itou realizes he's the slightest bit attractive to girls, he starts a series of pseudo-romantic relationships with anyone who will have him. Rather than honestly explaining how he isn't looking for a commitment, he promises exclusive romantic relationships and then cheats like crazy.

    Even worse, he tries to pressure one of his exes into aborting his child, and he seals the argument by making out with another girl in front of her. She gets so frustrated by his behavior that she stabs him to death. Along with the poor handling of darker content, it's also impossible to like any of the characters.

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  • Photo: J.C.Staff

    Eiken's claim to fame has less to do with its romantic storyline and more so that many of its female characters have enormous breasts. There's a sixth-grader in the program with EE cups. If that alone isn't enough to dissuade viewers, there's also a bare-bones storyline involving a nerdy, dull male protagonist named Densuke Mifune who is inexplicably surrounded by girls who are supposed to be attractive but aren't, because of the terrible art.

    All Densuke wants is to get closer to his crush, Chiharu, but a series of random misunderstandings stops him from making progress. Chiharu is basically a knockoff, depthless version of Hinata Hyuuga - her only traits are being shy and having boobs.

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  • This Boy Suffers From Crystallization is the weirdest anime nobody's heard of, and it's truly dreadful. Ayumu Tamari suffers from a mysterious illness that causes his body to transform into crystal when he's stressed-out. To control his condition, Ayumu tries to relax and enjoy his lot in life, but that's difficult with his geology teacher, Kouya Onihara, around. Onihara loves crystals, which attracts him to Ayumu in a way that no teacher should be attracted to their teenage student. That said, there are points where it seems like Onihara would rather Ayumu become a crystal than live a normal life.

    To make matters worse, they tried to cram this whole questionable premise into a single-episode OVA. Properly explored, this concept could be fascinating. Instead, the romance is just confusing and underdeveloped, and Onihara comes across as a total creep.

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