We all love a good romance story, whether it be a rom-com or romance tragedy, we can all agree that romance is the best in terms of warming our hearts.
You probably have watched many anime series that are based on romance but have you ever anime films? 2 of the biggest animators are involved with making films and have really honed their crafts over the years. Makoto Shinkai and Hayao Miyazaki both are legends in the film industry and have been involved in making many films which use the romance genre.
Other animators have created similar works as well, which brings us to the article. Here are 15 romance animes you have to watch!
- QWhat is it that makes Japanese romance anime films so appealing?
When it comes to romantic relationships, Japanese romance anime films are unique because Japanese culture differs from Western culture.
Also, Japanese romance anime movies can provide a form of escapism for viewers, allowing them to immerse themselves in a fictional world and forget about their real-life problems for a while.
- QWhich romance anime movie is recommended for anime beginners?
One of the most well-known and highly regarded romance anime movies is likely “Your Name” (Kimi no Na wa), directed by Makoto Shinkai. The film was released in 2016 and quickly gained international recognition for its stunning animation, emotionally resonant storytelling, and complex themes of fate, memory, and love.
It has become one of the highest-grossing anime films of all time and has been praised by both critics and audiences for its beauty, artistry, and universal appeal.
- 1. Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light
- 2. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
- 3. Whisper of The Heart
- 4. Josee, the Tiger and the Fish
- 5. Howl’s Moving Castle
- 6. Your Name
- 7. Violet Evergarden the Movie
- 8. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
- 9. The Night is Short, Walk on Girl
- 10. Doukyusei
- 11. Tamako Love Story
- 12. Ocean Waves
- 13. I’ve Always Liked You
- 14. The Quintessential Quintuplets Movie
- 15. Her Blue Sky
1. Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light
Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light is a coming-of-age anime movie that tells the story of a young girl named Hotaru, who becomes lost in a forest and meets a mysterious young man named Gin. Gin is revealed to be a spirit that cannot touch humans, and if he does, he will disappear forever.
Despite this, Hotaru and Gin become friends and spend their summer together, with Hotaru returning to the forest year after year to see Gin. However, as they both grow older, their relationship becomes more complicated and they must confront the limitations of their connection. The movie explores themes of love, loss, and the transient nature of life.
This movie is a classic romance anime film that many fans revere as one of the greats. This film is great for those who are getting into watching the romance genre for the first time.
2. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is an amazing romance movie because it portrays a complex and relatable love story that develops over time. The film follows the main character Makoto as she navigates the ups and downs of high school life and her growing feelings for her close friend Chiaki. Throughout the movie, the two characters share a series of moments that are romantic, funny, and heartfelt, and the audience is able to see their relationship evolve and grow as they come to understand each other better.
Time travel is a power a lot of us would like to have and through Makoto, we can live our wildest time travel dreams through her. What makes the romance in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time particularly compelling is that it is not just about the excitement of falling in love, but also about the challenges and sacrifices that come with pursuing a meaningful relationship.
The film shows the characters struggling to communicate their feelings, facing unexpected obstacles, and learning to accept each other’s flaws and imperfections. By the end of the movie, the audience is left with a powerful sense of the depth and authenticity of the connection between Makoto and Chiaki, making it a satisfying and memorable romance story.
3. Whisper of The Heart
Whisper of the Heart is a film that tells the story of a teenage girl named Shizuku, who dreams of becoming a writer. One day, she discovers that all the books she has checked out from the library have previously been borrowed by a mysterious boy named Seiji. Intrigued, Shizuku sets out to find Seiji and soon discovers that they share a passion for creativity and artistic expression.
Whisper of the Heart is a great romance movie because it explores the nuances of young love and the challenges of balancing personal aspirations with the desire for human connection. The film captures the excitement, uncertainty, and emotional intensity of falling in love for the first time, while also addressing the difficulties of maintaining a relationship in the face of outside pressures and conflicting priorities.
What makes Whisper of the Heart particularly special is the way it portrays Shizuku and Seiji’s relationship as a source of mutual support and inspiration. Through their interactions, they learn to understand and appreciate each other’s talents and interests, and their love is ultimately strengthened by the ways they help each other grow as individuals.
4. Josee, the Tiger and the Fish
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish is a Japanese animated film that tells the story of Tsuneo, a college student who takes a summer job as a caretaker for a wheelchair-bound girl named Josee. Despite her prickly personality, Tsuneo is drawn to Josee’s sharp wit and intelligence, and the two begin to spend time together, eventually falling in love.
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish is a great romance movie because it portrays a realistic and heartfelt love story that addresses the complexities of disability and the power of human connection. The film does not shy away from the challenges of Josee’s situation but instead presents her as a complex and fully realized character with hopes, dreams, and fears that are relatable and moving.
The film does an excellent job of balancing the emotional intensity of the romance with moments of humour, tenderness, and introspection, creating a fully fleshed-out and compelling story that will resonate with audiences. I really enjoyed watching this movie with my friends, we all we’re cheering Tsuneo and Josee on. It’s a really heartwarming film and you should give it a watch when you can.
5. Howl’s Moving Castle
Howl’s Moving Castle tells the story of Sophie, a young woman who is transformed into an elderly lady by a spiteful witch. Seeking a cure for her condition, she sets out to find the wizard Howl, who is known to be able to break curses.
What makes Howl’s Moving Castle a great romance movie is the way it weaves together a rich and imaginative fantasy world with a powerful and emotional love story. The film creates a fully realized and captivating universe filled with magic, whimsy, and danger, and the characters’ romance is a key part of that world-building.
Sophie and Howl’s relationship is not without its challenges, and they both struggle with personal demons and external pressures that threaten to tear them apart. However, through their trials and tribulations, they learn to rely on each other and draw strength from their connection, creating a powerful and memorable love story that will resonate with viewers.
6. Your Name
Your Name tells the story of Taki and Mitsuha, two high school students who find themselves inexplicably swapping bodies at random intervals. As they navigate each other’s lives and learn about their respective challenges, they begin to form a bond and develop feelings for each other.
Your Name is a great movie due to its ability to combine elements of fantasy, drama, and comedy to create a compelling and emotionally resonant story of love and connection. The film’s central premise of body-swapping creates a unique and interesting context for exploring the complexities of relationships, as Taki and Mitsuha learn to understand and appreciate each other in a way that transcends traditional gender roles and societal expectations.
As with Makoto Shinkai‘s works, It’s a visual treat for you to enjoy! Not only was the soundtrack an international hit, but, the beautifully crafted and deeply moving romance that captures the excitement, joy, and pain of falling in love for the first time helped elevate it to new levels!
7. Violet Evergarden the Movie
Violet Evergarden the Movie continues the story of Violet Evergarden, a former soldier who now works as a “Auto Memory Doll” – a ghostwriter who helps people express their feelings and emotions through letters.
At its core, the film is a beautiful and moving love story, with Violet’s relationship with Major Gilbert serving as a central driving force of the plot. The film delves into the complexities of their connection, exploring the ways in which love can be both empowering and painful, and showing how even the most broken of hearts can find a path to healing and redemption.
This movie is really great if you need to shed a tear, the premise and emotions of the characters really get to you as the viewer. Having watched this movie once is not enough, it is pretty compelling and makes you want to watch it over and over again.
8. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is about a high school boy named Haruki, who finds a diary belonging to his classmate Sakura. In the diary, Sakura reveals that she has a terminal pancreatic illness and only a few months left to live. Despite this devastating news, Sakura maintains a positive outlook on life and encourages Haruki to make the most of their time together.
What makes this a great romance film is its ability to explore the power of love in the face of loss and grief. The film portrays the characters’ emotions with raw honesty, and the tenderness and vulnerability of their relationship are both poignant and heart-wrenching.
Additionally, the film’s beautiful animation and music help to create a sense of intimacy and connection that draws the viewer into the characters’ experiences. The film’s use of imagery and symbolism, such as the title’s reference to an old Japanese superstition, adds depth and resonance to the story, making it a memorable and thought-provoking film.
9. The Night is Short, Walk on Girl
This movie follows the whimsical and surreal journey of a young woman known only as “The Girl with Black Hair.” Throughout a single, wild night in Kyoto, she sets out to experience all the city has to offer, encountering a colourful cast of characters and stumbling into unexpected adventures along the way.
What makes it a great romance film is its ability to capture the whimsy, unpredictability, and magic of falling in love. The film’s surreal and dreamlike narrative, combined with its dazzling animation and offbeat sense of humour, creates a world that is both charming and captivating.
Additionally, the film’s two central characters – the confident and independent Girl with Black Hair and the nervous and awkward Senpai – make for a charming and relatable pair. Their dynamic is both sweet and quirky, and their interactions are a delight to watch.
Hikaru is a popular and outgoing student who is passionate about music, while Rihito is a reserved and studious individual who dreams of becoming an author. Despite their differences, the two begin to spend time together and find themselves drawn to each other, even as they struggle with the challenges and uncertainties of their feelings.
The film’s ability to capture the complex emotions and delicate nuances of first love. The film’s artful use of light and colour, combined with its gentle and understated storytelling, creates a sense of intimacy and tenderness that is both captivating and moving.
Moreover, the film’s focus on the characters’ inner lives and personal struggles adds depth and complexity to their relationship, making it feel more genuine and relatable. Hikaru and Rihito’s journey is both sweet and poignant, and their story is a powerful reminder of the power of love to inspire and transform us.
11. Tamako Love Story
Tamako is a high school girl who is passionate about mochi (a traditional Japanese rice cake). As she navigates her way through her final year of school, she finds herself torn between her love for her hometown and her growing feelings for her childhood friend, Mochizou.
The film’s strong sense of place and community also adds to its charm, creating a rich and vibrant world that is both immersive and inviting. Tamako’s passion for mochi, as well as the colourful cast of characters that populate her world, lend a sense of warmth and familiarity to the story, making it feel both personal and universal.
Tamako and Mochizou’s story is a powerful reminder of the transformative power of love, and a celebration of the joys and sorrows that come with growing up and discovering oneself. The heartfelt storytelling is sure to touch your heart and make you emotional.
12. Ocean Waves
Ocean Waves is about the story of Taku Morisaki, a high school student who revisits his memories of a past love triangle involving himself, his best friend Yutaka Matsuno, and a new transfer student named Rikako Muto.
The film’s focus on the characters’ inner lives and personal struggles adds depth and complexity to their relationships, making them feel more genuine and true to life. The film’s exploration of the dynamics of friendship, jealousy, and unrequited love is both poignant and heart-wrenching.
Personally, I have watched a lot of media with the love triangle trope, but I feel like this movie really does the trope service.
13. I’ve Always Liked You
I’ve Always Liked You follows the story of Natsuki, a high school girl who has a crush on her childhood friend, Yuu. As she struggles with her feelings and the fear of rejection, she navigates the ups and downs of first love and discovers the power of communication and honesty.
What makes I’ve Always Liked You a great anime film is its ability to capture the bittersweet and relatable experiences of young love. The film’s nuanced portrayal of Natsuki’s emotions and her interactions with Yuu and her friends creates a sense of authenticity and depth that is both heartwarming and emotionally resonant.
The film’s artful use of music and colour also adds to its charm, creating a sense of nostalgia and wistfulness that perfectly captures the feeling of first love. The film’s focus on the importance of communication and being true to oneself is a powerful message that is likely to resonate with viewers of all ages.
14. The Quintessential Quintuplets Movie
The movie follows the events of the second season after Futaro and the Nakano sisters end their school trip and prepare for their last days of high school. As with many harem genres, the MC picks one girl out of the group to be his partner at the end. In the movie, the girl Futaro met in childhood is finally revealed.
This film is pretty good if you’re a fan of the series, I probably would only recommend it if you have a background in the series or the harem genre. If not you’ll just sit there losing your mind over the MC.
The movie’s great as you get to see the MC have a wedding with the girl he chooses, but aside from that it’s pretty standard in terms of romance.
15. Her Blue Sky
Her Blue Sky is a Japanese animated film that tells the story of the Aioi sisters. They have lived together for 13 years and one day when Akane’s ex-boyfriend Shinnosuke Kanemuro comes to town, an 18-year-old version of him also appears. Aoi then starts falling in love with Shinnosuke’s 18-year-old version while the present-day Shinnosuke and Akane rekindle after soo long.
The film’s exploration of themes of time travel, sacrifice, and the power of art and creativity to transcend boundaries is both poignant and inspiring, and its portrayal of the struggles and joys of young adulthood is both authentic and relatable. Even though this film is associated with romance, it also touches upon the bonds between siblings, so there’s more to relate to when you watch.
Her Blue Sky is a beautifully crafted and emotionally powerful film that captures the magic and wonder of youth and the beauty and complexity of human relationships. Its stunning animation, richly drawn characters, and heartfelt storytelling make it a standout film that is sure to touch the hearts of viewers who appreciate imaginative character-driven stories.
L’amour~~, what a wonderful thing to experience, being wanted and appreciated by someone, man. A lot of the anime films we listed use the romance genre in many ways and it leads to amazing creativity being portrayed for the masses to enjoy. Some romance themes may seem cliche while others are rooted in realism making it a space for us to relate to.
We hope you found a romance anime movie that you like!
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