Romance is a theme that is often beautifully explored in anime. Even when you’re feeling alone, romance anime ends up giving you hope and dreams. While there is no shortage of amazing romance anime out there, some love stories end up being not talked about, even though they are so heartwarming.
However, these underrated romance anime anime will make you feel warm inside and surprise you with their cute romantic moments.
So, get comfy and grab a cup of coffee as we dive into these hidden romance stories in anime, where each feeling has its special place.
Best Underrated Romance Anime:
25. Wolf Girl & Black Prince:
Studio: TYO Animation
Release Date: 5 October 2014
The story of Wolf Girl & Black Prince revolves around our so-called wolf girl, Erika Shinohara, who starts her first day of high school with a lie, of course, to impress her new friends by showing off a picture of a handsome blonde guy named Kyouya Sata as her boyfriend.
But pretty faces always hide something really hideous in reality, and the same goes for our main protagonist, Kyouya, who we soon discover isn’t as nice as he looks; he’s actually pretty rude and a sadist.But still, he offers to help our silly heroine, but only if she becomes like his “dog.” If she agrees to act like his personal dog, yes, you read that right!
Well, the synopsis of the anime sounds a bit cruel rather than being romantic for our list, but it still has our main protagonist getting attached to Erika.
He soon develops feelings for her, and later on, we see romance brewing between them.
Overall, the story is good, and while watching it, I enjoyed it. If you see it as an anime, it’s really good, and for the best romance title, this show lacks something that could really spice things up.
24. The Dangers In My Heart
Episodes: 12 Episodes
Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
Release Date: 2 April 2023
The story is about Ichikawa Kyoutarou, a boy who feels like he’s at the very bottom of his school’s social group (basically, he is an introvert). He always fantasizes about himself as the main character in a dark and cruel world and often tries to disturb his classmates.
He also has a crush on Yamada Anna, who is like an idol for his class. At first glance, our main protagonist seems psycho but as the story progresses between Ichikawa Kyoutarou and Yamada Anna there are some cute moments and romantic development between them that’s makes it a worth watch.
Surprisingly, it is also getting a second season in the year 2024.
23. Spice and Wolf
Episodes: 24 + 2 OVAs
Release Date: 10 February 2006
Spice & Wolf has quite a mature premise, with commerce, economics and adventuring forming the pillars on which this fantasy anime is built on. However, there is also a developing romance between the main characters, which in itself has a cult following.
The story is about Kraft Lawrence, a 25-year-old traveler, who travels town to town selling and buying things to make his living.
One fine night, Lawrence stops in the town of Pasroe where he encounters Holo, a 250-year-old wolf girl, a pagan deity hiding in her wagon. Maybe she was scared of him.
The anime is a must-watch because it really has everything you need: a sweet romantic story, cute waifu, and amazing adventures.
It is set in a period very familiar to Europe in the Middle Ages, and it’s art style feels really cozy while watching.
It’s not just about romance but also how they overcome different situations together while traveling. The anime itself is super fun, and you will enjoy it once you watch it.
As a bonus, the anime is returning with a remake version, and its official trailer has also been released.
22. Sasaki & Miyano
Episodes: 12 + OVA
Studio: Studio Deen
Release Date: 17 February 2023
This underrated romance anime focuses on Sasaki and Miyano, who repeatedly cross paths in their life. They soon become close friends, with Sasaki being the senior to Miyano. He tries to protect him and loves to hang out with him, which later turns into a cute romance.
If you are a BL fan, I would definitely recommend it to you. After watching the whole series, I bet you will have a smile on your face for sure, and a plus point of the anime is that even though it’s a BL anime, it never goes overboard like other BL genre anime that makes it really pleasing to watch.
The show is pretty much underrated even though it’s a very good option to watch purely for its romance.
21. To Love Ru
Release Date: 3 April 2008
To Love Ru is an underrated romance anime about Rito Yuki, a high-school student who has feelings for a girl named Haruna Sairenji but he is scared to confess his feelings to her.
One fine day, when he was feeling down and was in his bathtub at his home, a strange naked girl named Lala appeared in front of him from nowhere. Basically, Lala is an alien and lives on a planet called Deviluke. And out of nowhere, Rito’s life is turned upside down!
If you are looking for an exciting ecchi-comedy genre anime with a mix of romance, this anime is just for you. The anime will keep you excited throughout the journey because of its bubbly characters and funny moments.
The anime has a second season as well, so if you enjoy the first, you can bing watch the next season as well.
20. His and Her Circumstances
Studio: Gainax, J.C.Staff
Release Date: 2 October 1998
His and Her Circumstances is an underrated romance anime that is often overlooked by modern day anime fans. Shortened as KareKano, the anime follows Yukino Miyazawa, a high school girl, who tries her best to be perfect in everything to make people admire her.
One fine day, she encounters Souichiro Arima, who is also a perfectionist like her. At first, she sees him as a threat to herself because her popularity can decline because of him. But as the story progresses, he confesses his love to her, and from there their love story begins.
This is the first romance anime that shows the hardships faced by couples after they enter into a relationship. It is an overall unique concept, and the best part of the series is that it does justice to every character involved by showing their hardship, and whatever emotional crises they encounter.
So if you are okay with old animation and are searching for a good romance anime with a mature theme, then KareKano is just for you.
19. Kimagure Orange Road
Release Date: 6 April 1987
The story is about Kasuga Kyousuke and his family moving to a new town to hide their psychic powers.
One fine day, Kyousuke encounters a beautiful girl but doesn’t get her name. He later meets her in high school, and gets to know her name that is Ayukawa Madoka.
To his surprise, she is a delinquent, and everyone in the school is afraid of her. This makes Kyousuke take more interest in her personality.
The story is not as simple as it sounds because the main protagonist faces many problems to confess his feelings to Ayukawa. He even doubts his own feelings, and that’s where a love triangle set up takes place between Ayukawa’s best friend Hikaru, the main protagonist, and Ayukawa herself.
18. Nodame Cantabile
Episodes: 23 + 1
Release Date: 11 January 2007
Next up in our list of underrated romance anime is Nodame Cantabile. Once again, this is a title often overlooked by fans. The plot follows Shinichi Chiaki, a talented musician from Japan who has dreams of playing music in Europe but is scared of doing so because of under confidence.
One fine day, he meets Nodame, a crazy yet gifted pianist who loves him. Together they learn and grow in the musical world called “Nodame Cantabile.”
The story is simple yet sweet. It’s rare to see a girl falling in love with a boy and trying to support him to overcome his fear and make his dream come true.
As a bonus, the anime is filled with some good music that will make your journey more enjoyable.
17. Snow White with Red Hair
Episodes: 24 + OVA
Release Date: 6 July 2015
Snow White with the Red Hair, also known as Akagami no Shirayukihime, is an anime which follows a girl named Shirayuki with apple-red hair. She is often known for her bright red hair color and seems to be very popular.
One fine day, a prince named Raji meets and falls in love with her beauty and proposes to her to be his concubine, but she turned him down.
He tries to force her, but she cuts her hairs and runs away from the town. While traveling to the forest, she encounters a boy who is injured, and she fixes his wounds. While he introduces himself as Zen.
But later on, he gets poisoned from the apple given by Shirayuki. Meanwhile, Prince Raji orders his henchmen to search for Shirayuki and bring her back.
The story is full of adventure and twists and turns. Even though they met as strangers, their bond is unbreakable, and that is what makes the anime a worth watch!
16. Yesterday wo Utatte
Episodes: 12 + 6 shorts
Studio: Doga Kobo
Release Date: 4 April 2020
Yesterday wo Utatte, popularly known as “Sing Yesterday for Me”, is an anime that had divided the fandom at the time of its release. While many complained about the pacing, there were a lot who took to heart the romance that was portrayed in the series.
The story is of Rikuo, who works at a convenience store after graduating from college. He has no aim or goal for his life.
One fine day, he meets Haru, a super energetic girl, and reconnects with his former crush, Shinako, who is now a teacher. Haru and Shinako’s past creates a lot of chaos in their present relationships.
But as story progresses, they started to appreciate true friendships rather than remembering their past incidents to move on in their life.
The story seems pretty simple, but facing and accepting your past in a true sense is not a easy task, which is beautifully portrayed in the anime.
Even though the anime is pretty much underrated, it’s worth a watch if you are looking for a wholesome show to watch.
Studio: Group TAC
Release Date: 1985
Next up on our list is a romance anime that was once a classic. So, undoubtedly, it will become one of your favorites! However, this title is often overlooked by the romance lovers today.
Now, let’s talk about the story. It follows three characters: Tatsuya, a super-talented but a bit lazy talent show-off; Kazuya, an upcoming baseball superstar, and also, he has a twin brother named Minami.
They are all neighbors and childhood friends. But their friendship starts to change as their relationships get complicated as they grow up, forming a love triangle.
Well, the story seems quite simple and sweet, and that’s the highlight of the show as there’s no unnecessary drama. Even though the show is all about characters struggling to be the best baseball players, it still doesn’t lose its romantic part.
14. Bokura ga ita
Release Date: 3 July 2006
Bokura ga Ita, also known as “We Were There” is a story about Nanami Takahashi, who starts her high school with a hope to make new friends. She meets a shy girl named Yuri, who dislikes popular boys like Yano due to his past incident with her sister Nana and also the fact that he was dating her older sister.
Nanami also prefers not to talk with Yano, but later on, as the story progresses they started talking and hanging out together, and eventually started dating each other.
The story is simple and shows the after-relationship problems, and how Nanami and Yano deal with it together and sometimes even fall back into their past.
The only drawback is that the story paces may seem a little slow, but if you are ok with it and want to watch some good old-style shoujo anime, then you should definitely check out this one.
13. Say I love You
Episodes: 13 + 1 OVA
Release Date: 6 October 2012
Say I Love You is an underrated romance anime which follows the story of Mei Tachibana, who is a quiet girl and always tries to avoid people around her. She mostly lives in her past as she was severely bullied in her middle school. One fine day, she encounters Yamato Kurosawa, a popular boy, a boy who always tries his best to support her, which creates a lot of sweet moments between them.
The story doesn’t seem romantic at the start. But as the story progresses, we see a cute bonding between our main characters and how they overcome their difficulties together by understanding the situation.
There are also a lot of side characters in the show with unique personalities and problems, and how they overcome them is nicely portrayed in the show.
12. Itazura na kiss
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Release Date: 4 April 2008
The story is about Kotoko Aihara, who confesses her love to her crush named Naoki, who is her senior and super smart but eventually she got rejected. Not limiting to that, the misfortune continues as her house collapses due to which she was forced to live in the house of her crush. Yes, you read that right.
The first episode starts with a full rollercoaster of emotions and funny moments that will definitely make you laugh. But as the story progresses, it takes a turn towards a serious tone. It’s a first romantic anime that has shown every shade of life.
After falling in love, they got happily married, and also have a baby girl in the coming episode as series comes to it’s conclusion.
Many people ignore this series because of its old animation, but if you are someone who looks for fun while watching a romantic show, this anime is just for you.
Episodes: 27 + OVA
Release Date: 2 April 2002
Chobits is a romance anime that has a decent following in some circles, however it is criminally overlooked by majority of the fans out there. The plot follows Hideki, who encounters a thrown-away and broken Persocom called Chi, which is a computer that looks like a girl.
Upon seeing her broken, he tries to repair and take care of her. He soon realizes that she is a somewhat special robot called a chobit and has a mysterious past.
Chobits is a cute yet romantic anime. As for the romance part, you can see certain development between Hideki and Chi in the form of care and support. It’s a lovely story that will make you fall in love with the characters. The show ends with an absurd twist, so make sure to keep an eye out.
The show is very underrated and deserves more appraisal for its unique storyline and for showing the cute bond between robots and humans.
10. Tamako Market
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Release Date: 10 January 2013
The story is about Tamako, who is a clumsy and adorable, cute-looking girl from a family of mochi bakers.
One fine day, she encounters a talking bird named Dera. Dera becomes super addicted to mochi and doesn’t want to leave Tamako’s bakery, so he stays with Tamako’s family as their mascot. On the other hand, Tamako’s friend Mochizou likes her, but their fathers’ past rivalry is causing issues in their relationship.
The cute moments between Tamako and Mochizou from start to end and the smooth animation make it super adorable to watch. So, if you haven’t watched it, go for it now. You will love it!
9. Pet Girl of Sakurasou
Release Date: 9 October 2012
The story is about Sorata Kanda, a second-year high school student who lives in a place known for troublesome students called Sakurasou. Now Sorata’s only goal is to escape this dorm that is full of crazy people at any cost.
The story is pretty simple yet unique. It did a great job of balancing the romance and funny moments in the series. The character development shown in the series should not be missed because it is full of amazing characters that are worth your attention.
8. Bokura wa Minna
Studio: Brain’s Base
Release Date: 3 April 2014
Bokura wa Minna, popularly known as The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior is yet another underrated romance anime and it narrates the story of Kazunari Usa, a first-year high school student who wanted to live on his own because his parents got jobs and shifted to another place.
He was so excited about his new independent life and was dreaming to have a normal teenage experience without dealing with any weirdos around him like his past life. However, his happiness doesn’t last for long after meeting few crazy people on the boarding apartment.
The anime did a really good job in presenting the characters in a very unique way, and the funny moments overall work as a cherry on the cake for the show.
7. Senryuu Shoujo
Release Date: 6 April 2019
The story is about Yukishiro Nanako, who seems to be a regular high school girl, but her unique way of communicating makes her unforgettable. She only uses written senryu poetry for interacting with people, which has a specific format of 5-7-5 syllables.
While some might find it hard to understand, Nanako and her former delinquent’s best friend named Busujima Eiji find it special and forms a literature club.
The anime is cute and adorable for the romantic, and slice of life genre. The character design is adorable, and the story mainly focuses on the youthful life of high school girls.
6. Golden Time
Release Date: 3 October 2013
The story is about Banri Tada, who is a new student at a law school in Tokyo. In the past, he had an accident and lost all of his memories. During the accident, his soul, which had his memories, left his body, and that’s what called “Spirit of Banri Tada”.
The story consists of some kind of supernatural mystery, where our main character struggles to get his memories of his past life.
As the story progresses, there is romantic development between Banri Tada and our heroine Kōko. She is pretty beautiful but was really hard to approach at the start. But as the story unfolds, we see a lot of character development and sweet moments between Banri and Koko.
5. Kokoro Connect
Studio: Silver Link
Release Date: 8 July 2012
Kokoro Connect, popularly known as “Hearts Connect,” is a story about five high school students named Taichi, Iori, Himeko, Yoshifumi, and Yui, who are part of the Student Cultural Research Club.
One fine day, they experience strange and supernatural events occurring in their daily lives caused by a mysterious substance called “Heartseed” This entity wanted to test their powers for some mysterious purpose. Through these experiences, their bond of friendship is put to a test by these mysterious entities.
The plot is very unique and allow audiences to see something new beyond what is expected from the show.
As this anime totally focuses on a group of characters, you will get to see unique personality and their stories. Throughout the journey of exploration, the characters get to know their true feelings.
4. Amagami SS
Episodes: 26 + 2 OVAs
Release Date: 2 July 2010
The story is about Tachibana Junichi, a second-year high school student. He had no hope left because his heart was broken when a girl didn’t show up for a date on Christmas Eve.
Amagami is one of the best series to watch if you are looking for some good romance anime because it avoids the common problems found in Harem series. Instead, it provides each girl with her own 4-episode story arc and shows episodes from a girl’s point of view, and later on resets everything by shifting to other girl in the show.
Studio: Telecom Animation Film, TMS Entertainment
Release Date: 3 July 2016
Orange is a great romance anime with heavy hitting emotional moments. However, like most of the anime in this list, it is very underrated and overlooked.
The plot is about Naho Takamiya, who gets a letter from her older self warning her to avoid meeting, a new transfer student named Kakeru Naruse. Kakeru seems to be a troubled boy, even though she know about the future, she falls in love with him. Since the anime was first introduced in 2016, the anime remain quiet underrated.
The plot mainly focuses on themes of loss, regret, and understanding one’s emotions. The story is a nice blend of romance and drama.
2. After The Rain
Studio: Wit Studio
Release Date: 12 January 2018
The story is about Akira Tachibana, a high school student who work as a part-timer at a family restaurant.
She develops feelings for the restaurant’s manager, a middle-aged divorced father with a young son. She struggles to understand what attracted her to him and how to deal with her own emotions.
This anime is a good choice for those who like a mix of drama and comedy in a story, and who are interested in seeing the challenges faced by couples with a large age gap. This is also one of the most underrated short anime out there!
1.Tsuki Ga Kirei
Release Date: 6 April 2017
Tsuki Ga Kirei is without a doubt one of the most underrated romance anime that is out there today. Despite providing an amazing viewing experience, it has sadly not reached the fame of Toradora or Kimi ni Todoke.
The plot of this anime follows Kotarou Azumi and Akane Mizuno, who are in their final year of middle school and share the same class for the first time.
They become friends with their classmates Chinatsu Nishio and Takumi Hira, as they are enjoying their youthful days together. This anime is at the top of the list because it is so underrated that many people may not even know its name. But the anime has a great story and music that make it very realistic to watch.
The characters act and behave according to their age, and the show does not have any unnecessary filler episodes that would bore you. You can even binge-watch series in a day.
Romance anime is a genre that can cheer you up even if you are not in a relationship or have never been in one. It can make you empathize with the characters and their stories.
The underrated romance shows that we have listed in our article are like rare treasures that deserve to be discovered by fans like you. So don’t hesitate to pick any of the anime from the list and start enjoying the show.