Best Romance Anime Movies
Anime is some kind of another culture. And the fan-base for anime is growing rapidly around the world. There are many special things about anime that would take a long time to explain about. However, among a lot of genres, Romance is one of the most popular and interesting genres in anime. Most of the time it may feel like a fantasy, and also a nice way to escape from reality for a moment. But it has a very attractive flow.
Sometimes it is a great life lesson, sometimes it makes the audience full of sadness or depressive feelings, and also sometimes it is some kind of a relief for a messy life schedule. It cannot be ignored that the moments in those shows help to encourage the audience to move forward through many different challenges in life.
The Romantic category is literally interesting in anime. There is a massive collection of romance anime movies and TV series. Here only focused on some all-time favorite top anime movies for those who are looking for heart-touching and mixed feeling romance anime. Check out this amazing anime movie collection which includes 15 Best Romance Anime Movies with Emotional, Beautiful, and Lovely Stories, to find out if you have missed something you shouldn’t miss, as an anime lover.
Be advised that some of these anime may contain sad ending stories while others contain happy endings or mixed situations. The list below has been ordered by the year of its release because it is hard to rank considering what is the best.
Must Watch Top Romantic / Sad / Emotional Anime Movies of All Time – Ranked in Order of Release.
Table of Contents
Best Romance Anime Movies with Emotional Stories – Top Recommendations Collection Listed.
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (2020) | Joze to Tora to Sakanatachi
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish has released on December 25, 2020, directed by Kotaro Tamura. Tsuneo and Josee are the main characters in this romantic drama animation. The boy is a university student (studying marine biology), and the girl is a paraplegic, who lives with her grandmother. This is an adaptation of a Japanese short story from 1984 written by Seiko Tanabe. The anime has used original character designs from Seiko Tanabe’s story. Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (2020) has a 100% score on Tomatometer, and it has many positive ratings in other places as well.
Tsuneo Suzukawa works at a diving shop as a part-timer. Coworkers Mai and Hayato are his best friends there. One day while he was on his way home after a lecture, Tsuneo could save that young girl Josee who was moving in a wheelchair, and that was their first met. After that incident, Tsuneo was invited over for dinner at her place, and then receives a job offer from her grandmother to become a caretaker for Josee.
In the beginning, Josse is hostile toward Tsuneo Suzukawa. Their relationship gets complicated gradually. The overall story is very interesting and leaves us with a lot to think about. Life is not so simple and not the same for everyone. People have their own challenges, problems, and dreams. There are times when we have to take hard decisions. Sometimes people tell bad things by being emotional, then regretting it.
A Whisker Away (2020) | Nakitai watashi wa neko wo kaburu
Nakitai Watashi Wa Neko Wo Kaburu (Wanting to Cry, I Pretend to Be a Cat), also known as A Whisker Away, is a romantic story between a girl named Miyo and a boy named Kento, mixed with some fantasy. It was released on June 18, 2020, on Netflix. Miyo Sasaki and Kento Hinode are classmates. The girl Miyo is secretly in love with Kento.
Miyo tries to get Kento’s attention, and for that, she repeatedly transforms into a cat with the help of a mysterious mask. In that way, she could get closer to him. But in the beginning, Kento had no idea that the cat is his classmate Miyo, who turned into a cat. However, things got complicated when she begins to lose herself and the boundary between herself and the cat becomes ambiguous.
Weathering with You (2019) | Tenki no ko
A famous Japanese director Makoto Shinkai is the creator of Weathering with You (Also, Suzume no Tojimari (2022) is directed by Shinkai). This is another great fantasy romance with cool animation and an interesting story, which is set in Tokyo city. Hodaka Morishima, a high-school boy runs away from his troubled home area to Tokyo, expecting to make his life better. He struggles to find work and later he meets Hina Amano in a restaurant. She lives alone with her brother Nagi. By having no adult guardian, they are in a financial trouble. Hodaka and Hina become friends and they build a relationship between themselves. Hodaka finds out that Hina has an ability to clear the sky by praying.
They start a business to clear the weather and get famous. Hina is called “sunshine girl”, according to a legend. They decide to close their business because of getting unbearable requests after Hina is shown on television.
As a result of some of their previous mistakes which show at some points in the movie, both Hodaka and Hina get into some serious troubles later. In this anime, you can see a cameo of Your Name’s main characters Taki and Mitsuha.
Hello World (2019)
As a science fiction romantic drama film, Hello World (2019) comes up with a little bit complex storyline. A man travels in time to save a girl, by correcting a bad decision. He comes from the year 2027 to his school years. The film is set in a futuristic Kyoto. Naomi Katagaki, who traveled through time encounters his younger version and makes himself to help by explaining the situation. Sometimes you may get confused about what is real and what is not. And there are some plot twists too. Also, a quantum computer which is known as Alltale is a big part of this anime.
I Want To Eat Your Pancreas (2018) | Kimi no Suizō wo Tabetai
The name of this anime may sounds weird to some of you. Don’t get the wrong idea, this is one of the most emotional romance anime, which has a very sad ending, unfortunately. I Want To Eat Your Pancreas (2018) is a very famous anime movie in the world. A boy finds a diary in a hospital waiting room, and soon he discovers that it belongs to his classmate Sakura. She reveals to Haruki that she is suffering from a fatal pancreatic illness for a while. Sakura always intends to remain as a normal school girl. After seeing Haruki’s calm reaction to her condition, Sakura wants to spend time with him. And then they become friends.
Sakura tries to spend her final moments happily by experiencing many things. They begin doing activities from Sakura’s bucket list. And their relationship gets interesting. In the end, some things will happen in an unexpected way, and it will be very distressing for some of you. No wonder if someone even gets tearful eyes at the end. This is one of the best romance anime movies with emotional stories, without a doubt.
Flavours Of Youth (2018)
This romance drama is special in a way because there is no fantasy, no magic, no supernatural stuff and phenomenal happenings. Flavours Of Youth (2018) shows three different (parallel) stories of youth set in different cities. But all those three somehow deliver similar kinds of messages, to the audience. It is more likely some kind of a life lesson. A very touching and deep anime. The story is very realistic and has a great plot. It will be important to understand the realistic world too. Loss, regrets, redemption, love, and hope are part of life. But sometimes everything gets better at a certain point of time. This is an anime you shouldn’t miss.
This movie is a Japanese-Chinese co-production. Hidamari no Choshoku (The Rice Noodles), Chiisana Fashion Show (A Little Fashion Show), and Shanghai Koi (Love in Shanghai) are the three storylines the film is divided into. Unlike the 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007), in a post-credits scene, the main characters in each story show up at the same time, in an airport, giving us a hopeful foreshadowing of their lives and future. Maybe it will feel like a relief or a happy ending to some of you.
Fireworks (2017) is a Japanese animated romance film that has received mixed reviews. This one will give you a different experience. This one will give you a different experience. The anime is based on a live-action television film of the same name, created by Shunji Iwai. This story includes young love and a teenage turmoil environment. Norimichi, Yusuke, and Nazuna are classmates. The students make a bet regarding fireworks whether they are round or flat when seen from the side in the sky.
Both boys are infatuated with Nazuna. When Nazuna decides to run away from home, she asks a boy to join her, and it’s Norimichi. But their plans don’t go so well. Norimichi discovers a magical ball, and it has the power to manipulate time. Using that mysterious glowing ball, Norimichi gets a second chance. But each reset brings new complications and the story gets more complicated causing a chaotic ending that is somewhat difficult to understand for many people.
A Silent Voice (2016) | Koe no Katachi
A Silent Voice (2016) is one of the best romance anime with a touching story. It has many positive reviews and higher ratings. Also, it has been nominated for many awards and won several awards. A girl named Nishimiya transfers to a new school. Shôko Nishimiya, a grade school student with a hearing impairment, and Shoya Ishida who has a reputation as a bully in the school are the protagonists of the movie.
Nishimiya is bullied by her classmates, particularly Ishida. She always tries to become friends with him, but he keeps denying her and hurting her. So it gets to the point where she transfers to another school. As a result, Shoya Ishida is vilified and bullied himself with no friends to speak to and no plans for the future. His personality changes and lives with anxiety.
Years later, he continues on an epic quest for redemption. He has changed and still trying to correct his past mistakes. Nishimiya and Ishida meet again and make a new relationship with each other. The growth of the characters was amazing. The story flows beautifully and it is not just another random romance tale. Pretty sure anyone who watches this movie will have an amazing emotional impact.
Your Name (2016) | Kimi no Na wa
Your Name (2016) is the most popular anime by the director Makoto Shinkai at the moment. The movie has won numerous awards and became a huge commercial success. It is a very beautiful fantasy/romance movie with an amazing story. Two strangers share a magical connection upon discovering they are swapping bodies. Mitsuha is a gorgeous high school girl who lives with her sister and her grandmother in a small mountain town. Her father is a mayor of a small mountain town. Taki is a high school boy in Tokyo, Japan. They begin to switch bodies strangely and were not sure if it is a dream or real.
When waking up in the morning, Mitsuha is in Taki’s body in his place, and Taki is in Mitsuha’s body, in her place. A lot of things can happen in such kind of a situation. The story is very interesting and the animations are great. To find an answer to that situation, they begin to search for one another, but things seem to be more complicated. You may have a lot of emotional feelings after watching this. The plot is amazing and perhaps a little bit complex. This anime is considered a top-tier anime.
The Anthem of the Heart (2015) | Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda
This is another fantasy drama with an interesting story. Many people have liked its songs and music too. Jun Naruse is an excitable and talkative young girl. Also, she loves fairy tales. She gets to carry the guilt of breaking up her parents with carelessly uttered words. When her parents divorced, she imagines a fairy egg that curses her so she can never hurt anybody with her words again. Her words are sealed now, and also Jun suffers stomach aches whenever she tries to speak. However, Music and Friendship change the circumstance in her life. And another thing is you might not meet your expected shipping in the end but probably you will like it.
Tamako Love Story (2014)
Sometimes you just need a simple, but profound love to find the perfect beauty of romance. Tamako Love Story (2014) is a Comedy, Romance, and Slice of Life anime about two teenagers. A very cute love story about two childhood friends falling in love afterward. Their struggle to convey each other’s feelings is nicely shown in the film. Mochizou Oji aims to study at a university in Tokyo but at the cost of leaving behind his loved ones including his childhood crush, Tamako. When Tamako Kitashirakawa’s best childhood friend, Mochizou suddenly confessed his love for her, Tamako’s life changes. This doesn’t only show romance but also the difficulties faced in real life.
The Garden of Words (2013) | Koto no ha no niwa
Koto no ha no Niwa, also known as The Garden of Words is another amazing anime film by Makoto Shinkai. The visuals are stunning and much of the story is told through its gorgeous visuals. With a thoughtful and touching plot, it is so beautiful and realistic.
Takao Akizuki is a 15-year-old lonely teenager who also works as a shoemaker. He loves designing shoes and prefers to sit in a lovely garden (somewhere in Tokyo) sketching shoes after deciding to miss his morning lessons. There he meets a mysterious 27-year-old pretty woman. Her name is Yukari Yukino and seems to be avoiding work due to personal problems in her professional life. Those are rainy days. They keep meeting at that National Garden on rainy mornings, without arranging the times, and find an unlikely friendship.
The boy doesn’t know much about her but he opens up to her. He offers to make a pair of shoes for her after sharing his passion for shoes. Unconsciously they both get feelings for each other. Later, Takao discovers Yukari is a literature teacher in his school. What kind of way will their relationship and lives move forward?
This is a very amazing emotionally charged movie with a very deep concept about life and love, in a way. Definitely one of the best romance anime movies with an emotional story.
The story takes place in a technologically advanced period. There, robots can be programmed to behave like real humans. A person named Hal was killed in a tragic plane accident. So, a humanoid robot who resembles Hal is asked to replace him to help his beautiful girlfriend Kurumi to move on in life. While he struggling to help, the past of the couple is unearthed. A major plot twist will be revealed at a moment, and it will leave you amazed and shocked, perhaps. Also, it will be heartbreaking from start to end. There is so much that can be taken from this one-hour sci-fi romance anime.
To The Forest Of Firefly Lights (2011) | Hotarubi no Mori e
Even though a 45 minutes long supernatural romance drama, this is really a heart-touching story. It will let you in on an extraordinary love. Nothing lasts forever in this world. And cannot expect a happy ending always.
It is a story of a young girl named Hotaru, and a strange young man wearing a mask. The little girl meets him at the age of six when she gets lost in a mountain forest. Hotaru is rescued by Gin and learns that he is a spirit in that forest. Gin informs Hotaru that he will disappear forever if a human touched him. So, they can’t have physical contact. They become friends and Hotaru visits the forest to meet Gin every possible time.
Gin hardly ages because he is supernatural while Hotaru is growing as a normal human. After years, the girl matures and grows. Then they both look like the same age. They both have a budding romance for each other in their minds but their future is uncertain together. Sometimes there are not many other choices besides accepting the pain and moving on with life. Some say what Gin did at the end is done by him purposefully. There are some explanations about that, but cannot be exposed here because those may spoil the story. This beautiful sweet love story will not be a waste of time.
5 Centimeters Per Second (2007) | Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru
There are three segments in this beautiful slice-of-life romance drama. Those are “Cherry Blossom”, “Cosmonaut”, and “5 Centimeters per Second”. Each of them is interconnected and follows the story of a young man named Takaki through his life events and relationships with the girls. Takaki and Akari are in love since their school times. However, Takaki has to move to another area. What happens when they aren’t meant to be together, even though they love each other? That is heartbreaking.
The movie focuses on the harsh reality of long-distance relationships. There are no fantasy elements in this, just a painful truth of another side of life. Complete happiness or perfect romance is not a possibility always. Sometimes life is a mess that is full of stress. Some of you may get deep thoughts and may have some feelings about the reality after watching 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007).
This anime is directed by Makoto Shinkai, the creator of ‘Your Name’. Even the title of this anime has a deep meaning and explains a lot about the story. And be cautious if you are not ready for a mood of feeling empty inside, then it may be better not to watch this for some of you.
Whisper of the Heart (1995) | Mimi Wo Sumaseba
Shizuku Tsukishima enjoys reading and writing poetry in her free time. She is an energetic 14-year-old girl. She finds out that all the books she chooses in the library were checked out previously by a boy named Seiji Amasawa. There is a violin sales and service shop which belongs to that boy’s grandfather. Seiji wants to be a violin maker like his grandfather, and Shizuku has yet to recognize her talents. In the end, they get determined to work simultaneously. They have their independent goals to achieve. Also, their love for each other is exposed at the end and it is totally a different approach compared to the above-mentioned anime movies.