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The Best Romance Anime on Crunchyroll

*blushing intensifies*

Hold on to your heartstring folks, because it’s about to get real mushy-gushy ’round these parts.

I know your type. You’re wide-eyed, young at heart, and yearning. You’ve comprehensively studied every anime love triangle known to science and you’ve just finished wiping off that cried-off mascara on your face because you just found out that there won’t be a Toradora! season 2. Well, I’m here to both feed your hungry intellect and comfort your sad, sweet little heart. I’ve compiled a list of five totally swoon-worthy, crushable anime series on Crunchyroll for you to fall head-over-heels in love with. These are the best romance anime on Crunchyroll.

Your Lie In April

(image credit: A-1 pictures)

Your Lie In April is an a beautiful anime series for all of you viewers whose hearts are melted by music. The series focuses on a piano prodigy named Kosei Arima who is quickly becoming one of the finest piano players in all of Japan. Just as he is about to reach a new level of fame, his mother dies, causing him to suffer a mental breakdown during one of his performances. It causes him to develop a peculiar form of deafness: he is able to hear every sound in the world except for his piano. Two years later, he meets a violin prodigy named Kaori Miyazono, whose eccentric personality matches her equally eccentric playing style. Kosei quickly falls in love with Kaori, though he believes her to be in love with his friend Ryota. The series itself is gorgeous, accompanied by an equally breathtaking score. It is a tragically beautiful tale of a traumatized young boy learning to feel again. After his mother’s death, Kosei sees the world in monochrome, but his love for Kaori helps him to slowly see the world in color once more. Fair warning: this is an absolute tearjerker of an anime so please do not reapply your cried-off mascara any time soon. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Sweet Blue Flowers

(image credit: JC Staff)

For all the queer readers here starving for some tastefully gay romance, have I got an anime for you. Sweet Blue Flowers is a story focused on a high schooler named Akira Okudaira, who runs into her childhood friend Fumi Manjome after losing touch ten years ago. The two begin to work together on a dramatic adaptation of Wuthering Heights for a drama festival, and as one might expect, the two girls realize that they might be more than just “gal pals.” The series is a slow-burn coming-of-age drama that beautifully handles all the tender and confusing feelings that arise when growing up as a queer person. If you’re a person who would rather watch a romance anime that deals less with comic relief nosebleeds and more with the sweet, subtle movements of the human heart, then I think you’re really gonna like this one. Your nose might bleed a little bit anyway though. But mostly from the overwhelming sweetness and angst, and not from some horny animator’s idea of what the female body should be.

Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun

(image credit: Doga Kobo)

Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun is a lighthearted romantic comedy series about a high school girl named Chiyo Sakura who has a crush on her classmate, the manga artist Umetarou Nozaki. However, when she musters up the courage to confess her love to him, he mistakes her as a fan of his work and gives her an autograph. After even more misunderstandings, he hires her to be his assistant to help him further develop his popular shojo manga Let’s Fall In Love. Despite being a romance manga author, Nozaki has no real experience with romance in real life. As such, he is completely oblivious to Sakura’s feelings, and she continues to work and pine for him. She eventually begins to collaborate with him on story arcs for his manga, and the pair draw inspiration from their love-struck classmates, whose romantic exploits serve as plot points for their story. This series is a hilarious and heartwarming tale, and perfect for anyone in the mood for something cute and light. The series is simultaneously both a celebration and a parody of shoju anime, and will no doubt be a rewarding watch for fans of the genre.

Spice and Wolf

(image credit: Imagin)

This series departs from the traditional high school setting to tell the tale of a romance set in a Medieval fantasy world. The story is unique in that it does not focus on fantasy anime staples such as swordplay and magic, but focuses instead on economics and trade. The story centers on a 25-year-old traveling merchant named Kraft Lawrence, who sells a wide assortment of goods in various towns. One night after stopping in a town to spend the evening, he finds a wolf goddess in human form in the back of his wagon. She introduces herself as Holo, the god of the town’s harvest. However, she laments to Kraft that in recent years the townsfolk have lost faith in her, and tells him that she wishes to see the world before returning north to her homeland. Kraft is reluctant, but after bargaining (which is basically dirty talk to a merchant) with him, he agrees. The two travel the world and Kraft is able to increase his profits with Holo’s extensive knowledge. This story is not so much the heart-fluttering romance between two teens but rather an intellectual, almost Oscar Wilde-like courtship between too canny (and sometimes a little cynical) adults. If words and intelligence are the things that get your wagon rolling, this anime is one you’ll want to look out for.

Wandering Son

AIC Classic

This anime is the first and only anime of its kind to represent transgender struggles with grace, accuracy, and aplomb. The tale centers itself on a pair of middle schoolers who wish to transition, and the sporadic romantic feelings that they develop for each other and their classmates, some of whom are struggling with their own sense of gender identity. This series is beautiful, but like most accurate portrayals of transgender people coming of age, it is not without painful representations of gender dysphoria. The show is an especially rare gem because it deals with both trans-masculine and trans-feminine identities simultaneously, and takes place over a period of several years where characters grow, transition, and de-transition as time passes. While it is a shame that anime is sorely lacking in affirming portrayals of transgender characters, one can take comfort in the fact that this anime is an overflowing love letter to the trans identity.

Featured image credit: Imagin

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Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.