10 best rom-com anime everyone must watch

10 best rom-com anime everyone must watch
Marin Kitagawa, Kaguya Shinomiya, and Chitoge Kirisaki (Images via CloverWorks, A-1 Pictures, and Shaft)

Romantic comedy anime, or rom-com anime, have become a favorite among fans everywhere. These rom-com anime blend humor, romance, and engaging characters into stories that are both entertaining and heartwarming. Watching rom-com anime allows viewers to see personalities clash, bicker, and ultimately grow closer, producing nonstop laughs and a universal appeal.

Thanks to anime's visual flair, which exaggerates comedic moments and depicts dreamy romances, rom-com anime has found its niche among fans. Evergreen rom-com anime tropes such as love triangles, fake dating turned real, and mismatched pair dynamics are classic. Despite the influx of new shows each season, the consistent appeal of rom-com anime endures.


The ultimate rom-com anime: Top 10 must-watch picks

1) Lovely Complex

Lovely Complex (Image Via Toei Animation)
Lovely Complex (Image Via Toei Animation)

Lovely Complex focuses on the unexpected romance between Risa Koizumi and Atsushi Otani, the tallest girl and shortest boy in their high school class. Initially self-conscious about their height gap, Risa and Otani bond as friends sharing a love for pop culture. But after more interactions, they begin subtly developing stronger feelings while denying their growing mutual attraction.

Lovely Complex stands out through its upbeat female lead, Risa, and her hilarious antics in trying to get closer to her crush. Her vibrant personality drives the show’s energy and humor. What makes this anime memorable is its realistically portrayed insecurities and gradual romantic development between Risa and Otani. Their humorous but heartfelt interactions strike the perfect balance between laughter and emotion.


2) The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou (Image Via J.C.Staff)
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou (Image Via J.C.Staff)

At an eccentric dorm called Sakura Hall, Sorata Kanda’s life is turned upside down when he meets Mashiro Shiina, a brilliant artist who lacks basic self-care skills. Sorata becomes Mashiro’s caretaker and friend, getting closer as they support each other's creative passions. This anime balances touching emotional moments with absurdist dorm hijinks, thanks to the quirky residents.

While romance isn’t the main focus, seeing Sorata and Mashiro’s bond strengthen into affinity is heartwarming. The blend of wacky comedy and down-to-earth emotion hits the perfect notes. Even when exploring trauma, the show maintains its whimsical charm through the endearing dormmates. Their unwavering support for each other sends a quietly profound message about friendship.


3) Maid Sama!

Maid Sama! (Image via J.C.Staff)
Maid Sama! (Image via J.C.Staff)

Focused on popular student council president Misaki Ayuzawa, Maid Sama! shows her secret double life as a café maid to support her family. When arrogant heartthrob Takumi Usui discovers her part-time job, their relationship transforms from disdain to romance. With a career-driven heroine and enemies-to-lovers plot, Maid Sama! is a modern shoujo gem.

Maid Sama! executes the odd couple dynamic flawlessly through Misaki and Usui’s humorous spats and clashing worldviews. Their gradual romantic development from mutual hostility to affection is immensely satisfying. The show strikes an ideal balance between dramatic storylines and feel-good situational comedy. Watching Misaki try to conceal her maid job from classmates while letting her guard down around Usui makes for endless entertaining scenarios.


4) Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun

Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun (Image via Doga Kobo)
Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun (Image via Doga Kobo)

In the Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun anime, Sakura Chiyo confesses her feelings to aloof classmate Umetarou Nozaki, not realizing he is secretly a famous shoujo manga artist. As Chiyo becomes Nozaki’s assistant, hilarity ensues from him incorporating their friends' real-life drama into his manga’s fictional stories.

This parody of shoujo tropes features an endearing cast of offbeat students supporting the oddball duo of Chiyo and Nozaki. The quirky premise generates constant laughs, while Chiyo’s persistence in pursuing the oblivious Nozaki creates an unconventional, budding high school romance. Metahumor, eccentric personalities, and funny misunderstandings give this show widespread appeal.


5) Nisekoi

Nisekoi (Image via Studio Shaft)
Nisekoi (Image via Studio Shaft)

Forced into a fake relationship under gang orders, Raku Ichijou and Chitoge Kirisaki soon develop genuine feelings, but Raku still harbors a crush on his childhood friend, Kosaki Onodera. With a love triangle plot and endearing characters, Nisekoi is a hit modern romance-comedy full of comedic misunderstandings.

Nisekoi flawlessly executes its fake dating plot through the growing affinity between Raku and Chitoge, even as both deny it. Their amusing back-and-forth banter and frustrating near-miss confessions make for an addictive viewing experience. The rival gang premise allows for hilarious antics, but the show shines brightest in moments conveying the characters’ hidden romantic pangs.


6) Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions (Image via Kyoto Animation)
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions (Image via Kyoto Animation)

In high school, former “chunibyo” sufferer Yuta Togashi meets Rikka Takanashi, a girl still lost in her fantasy world of delusions. As they grow closer, Yuta helps Rikka find balance between imagination and reality. This coming-of-age story features outlandish humor and quietly profound romantic development.

Rikka’s eccentricity and active imagination generate constant laughs, punctuated by moving dramatic moments as Yuta helps her cope with past trauma. The seamless blend of both comedy and drama makes Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions remarkably entertaining. Underneath the silly surface is a thoughtful depiction of connecting with someone emotionally to see beyond their quirks.


7) Toradora!

Toradora! (Image via J.C.Staff)
Toradora! (Image via J.C.Staff)

After an awkward first encounter, the diminutive firecracker Taiga Aisaka and gentle giant Ryuuji Takasu agree to help each other pursue their respective crushes. But the more time Ryuuji and Taiga spend together, the more they realize their true romantic feelings lie with each other and not with the people they are chasing.

Beloved for its endearing odd couple leads, potent drama, and raucous situational comedy, Toradora! tugs at your heartstrings one moment and slays you with laughter the next. Everything from Taiga and Ryuuji’s spitfire banter to their blossoming romance is masterfully delivered. The stellar voice acting captures their personalities perfectly. Toradora! nails both comedic and emotional beats to perfection.


8) Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Kaguya-sama: Love is War (Image via A-1 Pictures)
Kaguya-sama: Love is War (Image via A-1 Pictures)

At the show’s core are the mind games between Shuchiin Academy student council members Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya. They secretly like each other but are too proud to confess first. Their scheming leads to escalating hijinks as they try to force the other's hand.

Clever romantic comedy at its finest, this popular Kaguya-sama: Love is War series delivers endless laughs through the eccentric student council’s over-the-top antics. Watching Kaguya and Shirogane’s back-and-forth battle of wits provides endless fun as both try to outmaneuver the other while clearly pining badly. The razor-sharp writing and quirky narrator add to the hilarity.


9) My Dress-Up Darling

My Dress-Up Darling (Image via CloverWorks)
My Dress-Up Darling (Image via CloverWorks)

Gojo Wakana, a high school boy with a passion for traditional Hina dolls, finds his life changed when the popular and vivacious Marin Kitagawa discovers his crafting skills. Requesting his help in creating a cosplay costume, the duo embarks on a journey that delves into the intricate world of cosplay. Through their shared experiences, the two form an unlikely bond, bringing heartwarming rom-com anime moments to the forefront.

In My Dress-Up Darling, the rom-com anime genre shines with its portrayal of an unexpected connection formed through shared hobbies. The show offers a fresh perspective on youth, ambition, and the charm of finding common ground in unexpected places. Gojo's reserved nature combined with Marin's enthusiasm creates a dynamic filled with genuine emotion and comedic moments, making it a standout in modern rom-com anime.


10) My Little Monster

My Little Monster (Image via Brain's Base)
My Little Monster (Image via Brain's Base)

This rom-com anime chronicles the unexpected romance between Shizuku Mizutani, a studious girl, and Haru Yoshida, a boy known for his aggressive demeanor. As the two opposites attract, the series delves deep into themes of young love, personal growth, and emotional connections.

My Little Monster is a rom-com anime that effortlessly weaves humor, emotion, and character development. Its lead characters, with their stark contrasts and evolving feelings for each other, are the heart of this series. Their quirky and unpredictable relationship guarantees that every episode of this rom-com anime is filled with both laughter and touching moments.


Conclusion

From youthful high school encounters to mature relationship developments, the rom-com anime genre encompasses a wide range of emotional and comedic experiences. Each series listed offers a unique blend of humor, heart, and artistry, reminding us of the joys, pains, and unpredictabilities of love.

Whether you're revisiting a favorite or discovering a new title, these anime are bound to provide a delightful mix of laughter and poignant moments. Dive into these stories, and let them remind you of love's universal appeal and the shared human experiences that make these narratives resonate so deeply.

Edited by Somava
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