Trying out different TV shows has been a popular activity as quarantine stretches even longer. Many have taken the time to delve into watching anime for the first time, but it’s often hard to know where to start. Here is a small list of short, lighthearted romance animes that you can try out and see if you enjoy during your free time.
Ouran Highschool Host Club:
Ouran Highschool Host Club is about a girl named Haruhi who accidentally finds herself in debt to her new prestigious school’s host club while attempting to find a place to study. Their “host club” is essentially a place where girls can enjoy the faux romantic company of handsome high school boys. In order to pay off her debt, Haruhi must work as a host disguised as a guy. Once everyone in the host club discovers that she is a girl, many comical shenanigans take place in order to conceal that fact, despite Haruhi’s indifference towards her own gender. This is one of my absolute favorite animes, as the comedy makes the show really entertaining to watch even though there isn’t really a set plot. Each character has a well developed background as well, which makes the show feel less cliche. Ouran Highschool Host Club has 1 season with 26 episodes, and can be found on Netflix, Hulu, Funimation, and Tubi.
Maid Sama is about a class president, Misaki Ayuzawa, with a strange hate towards all men. Despite that, Misaki finds herself working a job at a maid cafe in order to make more money for her family. She carries an intense reputation at her school, with the nickname “Demon President,” which is why she hides her job. However, when the most popular guy at school, Takumi Usui, finds out about her job, things get complicated. However, Usui promises to keep her job a secret, and the two gradually become closer to each other. Maid Sama was the very first anime that I watched, and I think it’s the perfect beginner’s anime. When I first began watching it, I was so invested that I was able to finish it in 2 days. Maid Sama has 1 season with 26 episodes, and can be found on Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.
Kamisama Kiss is a fantastical anime about a newly homeless girl, Nanami Momozono, who runs into a stranger after being evicted and becomes an Earth God. At her new temple, she finds an initially irritable and stubborn yokai familiar (a servant to a god), Tomoe, who rejects her godliness and undoes his bonding to the Earth God. Determined that she needed his help in order to learn about her new powers and responsibilities, Nanami finds him and rebounds him to herself with a kiss. The story revolves around her attempting to become a proper god with Tomoe’s help and protection, and her attempt to keep her feelings for Tomoe under wraps. I liked how this show actively has development for Nanami so she isn’t always helpless, which is a common trope in many romance animes that I personally don’t like. This show has a lot of romantic tension and a very gradual relationship development, and will have you screaming at the smallest romantic gestures. Kamisama Kiss has 2 seasons with 25 total episodes, and can be found on Hulu and Funimation.
Say I Love You:
Say I Love You is an easygoing anime that deals with realistic relationships and an emphasis on building trust. It starts with Tachibana Mei, a loner who is bullied frequently for little reason, roundhouse kicking the most popular guy in school, Kurosawa Yamato. Intrigued, he tries to get closer to her, and eventually convinces her to exchange numbers. Mei begins to have feelings for him after he comes and saves her from a stalker, and learns to let people in as she figures out her relationship with him. I know that some people think that this anime was too boring and simple, but I really enjoyed how it explored communication and trust without anything too fancy going on at the same time. If you like “slice of life” shows or shows that aren’t action packed, I think you’ll like this. Say I Love You has 1 season with 13 episodes, and can be found on Hulu and Crunchyroll.
Romance is one of my favorite anime genres, and these are the shows that initially got me into watching romance anime. There are many other great romance anime out there, but these are good examples of shows that will easily coax you into watching more. Hopefully these intrigue you enough to continue watching, but if not, these are good for figuring out exactly your cup of tea is.