Forbidden love is a painful thing and hard to endure. It’s hard to love a person when you know you’ll end up in pain and tears. There’s no magical thing about it. Even if you take the risk, your effort will just end in vain. There’s one thing you need to keep in mind: Love is limitless. While you’re still young, there’s a lot more to experience in the world of romance. Don’t rush. Don’t chase the best love story. No one is perfect when it comes to love. Let those mistakes become your life lessons, and let those weaknesses become your strengths. Anime are no stranger to such stories.
Domestic Girlfriend (read our review here) explores the complexity of romance, the painful experience of unrequited love, and the struggles of youth to make the best out of their lives. Natsuo Fujii is deeply in love with his teacher, Hina Tachibana. However, in order to get over his feelings for her, he loses his virginity to a girl he met for the first time at a mixer party. As Natsuo’s father will soon arrange a remarriage, it is surprisingly revealed that the daughters of his father’s soon-to-be wife are Hina and the girl he had sex with, Rui Tachibana. They end up living in the same roof while things get awkward among themselves while treating each other like real siblings.
The anime involves a complicated love triangle that goes beyond the typical romantic story. If you like the bittersweet blend of its romance and drama, then the following anime will let you experience the same feelings as you dive deeper into their best emotional core of their conflicting yet passionate stories.
Scum’s Wish (Kuzu no Honkai)
Winter 2017 12 Episodes
There’s nothing more complicated than the love polygon in Scum’s Wish. As there’s more than one romantic relationship involved in the anime, you will expect intense passionate scenes and heavy dramatic moments. Mugi Awaya and Hanabi Yasuraoka seem to be a perfect couple. They’re being idolized by people around them. However, they’re just having a fake relationship in order to soothe their loneliness from their hopeless experience with unrequited love.
While Domestic Girlfriend focuses on a love triangle that is far different from the one in Scum’s Wish, what really stands out true to both series is how the characters try to flesh their roles out. Their development is realistic. Both the romances are very relatable, mostly to young adults. If you like the complex story of Domestic Girlfriend in terms of mature issues, forbidden love, and teacher-student relationship, then Scum’s Wish will let you experience the same thrill of deep romance.
Golden Time is a romantic comedy anime with a focus on the romance aspect. It starts with Banri Tada who has lost all of his memories after an accident following his high school graduation. As he enters college, he meets a fellow freshman named Mitsuo Yanagisawa, and they become friends. Then there’s a beautiful girl named Koko Kaga who has obsessively liked Mitsuo since childhood. However, Mitsuo likes another girl named Chinami. Koko has nothing but Banri, and they later on like each other. However, there’s Linda who is responsible for Banri’s memories.
Golden Time starts off as a light-hearted romance until it becomes more intense, and it will literally make you shiver as you go on. Though the characters are already in college and are expected to think responsibly as young adults, Golden Time is less mature than Domestic Girlfriend. However, when it comes to the transition of ambiance from light to dark and the complexity of its storytelling, both anime share the same kind of feel.
Please Twins (Onegai☆Twins )
2003 12 Episodes
Maiku Kamishiro’s life has remained a mystery. One day, two adorable girls named Miina Miyafuji and Karen Onodera show up in front of his door, and they claim that one of them is his sibling as they hold a photograph with a boy and a girl in it. It’s even harder to trace because the three of them have the same unusual blue eyes. The story is simply about the daily bonding of these young individuals and how their feelings to one another grow fonder and more intense than those between siblings.
Like Domestic Girlfriend, the three main characters in this anime end up with their sibling-like relationship, but Please Twins! is rather less mature and has a brighter setting. What makes Please Twins! closer to the vibes of Domestic Girlfriend is the engaging interaction among the characters which will draw you into the refreshing moments of their mysterious yet delightful bonding. There are some light hilarity, ecchi stuff, and drama which are also present in Domestic Girlfriend.
Love and Lies is another romantic anime series with a notable complexity in terms of plot development. In Japan’s near future, government will assign a compatible marriage partner to everyone reaching the age of sixteen. With this system, people won’t go through the trouble of finding the right one. While Yukari Nejima and Misaki Takasaki have confessed their feelings to one another, there’s Ririna Sanada whom Yukari was assigned to.
The anime is unique and has a mature content. The story is full of drama yet it doesn’t follow the typical formula of romance as how you would expect it to have a cheesy couple. Like Domestic Girlfriend, it tackles some issues of forbidden love. Its target viewers are adolescents, but there are some scenes that are equally intimate as the kissing scenes in Domestic Girlfriend. If you like the complicated romance in Domestic Girlfriend, then Love and Lies is the perfect choice for you.
The anime is based on a dating simulation game for PlayStation 2. Mao Mizusawa has finally returned home after living in France for a couple of years. She reunites with Kouichi Sanada, her childhood friend. As Kouichi’s mom lets Mao live with them while her parents have remained overseas, Kouchi and Mao’s relationship becomes deeper and goes beyond that between childhood friends. They go to school together while dealing with a lot issues involving young romance. It doesn’t just end here. There’s a love polygon in the story that will definitely make you thrilled.
As it revolves around the critical stage of high school romance, KimiKiss: Pure Rouge is lighthearted (unlike Domestic Girlfriend) but what makes them deliver the same kind of feel is how the main leads end up living under the same roof, spending the most exciting school life, finding romance, and experiencing change. Typical as it seems for a story of young romance, the complexity of the plot will let you feel the same vibes as when watching Domestic Girlfriend.
A Town Where You Live (Kimi no Iru Machi)
Summer 2013 12 Episodes
A Town Where You Live has a serious ambiance, and it might not be your cup of tea if you are into in-depth storytelling. However, the anime has a realistic approach when it comes to the challenges of romance such as dealing with a long-distance relationship. It’s about Haruto Kirishima and Yuzuki Eba’s struggles in romance as they also find happiness and comfort in other people who are dear to their hearts.
This anime isn’t close to the storyline of Domestic Girlfriend, but the calm setting and the intensity of its conflict offer the same feel as when watching Domestic Girlfriend. It has heartbreaking moments and typical scenarios of love affairs that will keep you intrigued.
Spring 2010: 12 Episodes (TV Series) 2008-2015: 12 Episodes (OVA)
An ecchi-filled romantic comedy that is full of fun and craziness, Kiss×sis is all about the complicated life of Keita Suminoe as he ends up living with his two adorable stepsisters after his father got remarried. Their relationship seems to be more than just a brotherly love as these two girls eventually develop romantic feelings for Keita. They are very clingy, and they make fun of Keita.
While this anime is more on its comical angle that is a lot more different from the genre of Domestic Girlfriend, the sweet bonding among the siblings offers the same moments as how Natsuo treats her stepsisters in Domestic Girlfriend. There is no serious love affection involved in the story, but the ecchi is a total delight for someone who’s into extreme fan service.
1994-1995 76 Episodes
Marmalade Boy was a hit romantic comedy series that brought a lot of joy to many fans during the 90s. As her parents get divorced, Miki Koishikawa meets a handsome boy named Yuu Matsura who ends up being his step brother. While friendship grows with their family bonding, romance starts to blossom but it turns out to be complicated.
While this is a high school romantic comedy, it isn’t very similar to the story of mature individuals in Domestic Girlfriend. However, when it comes to how the main leads with close blood relation develop romantic feelings for one another, it exactly captures the concept of complicated romance in Domestic Girlfriend.
Nisekoi,literally meaning ‘False Love’, is a romantic comedy anime that is blended with fun and twists. The story starts with Raku Ichijo who is the son of the leader of Yakuza faction Shuei-Gumi, and Chitoge Kirisaki who accidentally knees Raku on his face after she hops a wall, and in that moment, Raku lost his locket which was given to him by his childhood love. In order to maintain peace between Shuei-Gumi and the rival gang, they agreed to settle the feud by pairing their children. Shockingly, Chitoge turns out to be the daughter of the rival gang. Without a choice, as they hate each other, Raku and Chitoge pretend to have a relationship. The struggle of Raku becomes more complicated because he has a big crush on someone called Kosaki Onodera. Raku is on his journey to search for the key to his locket, and to his surprise, both girls have their own keys.
The series has a perfect blend of romance and comedy. It will absolutely give you the best thrill of young romance. The love triangle is fun to watch, and it won’t get you bored. Though this is a lighthearted anime, unlike Domestic Girlfriend, the complexity of the relationships among the characters has some similarity to the development of romance in Domestic Girlfriend. Both anime will make you intrigued and will keep your nerves wrack.
Winter 2008 13 Episodes
True Tears is a school romance that revolves around Shinichiro Nakagami who lives with his parents and a fellow high school student named Hiromi Yuasa who ended up living with Shinichiro’s family after her father died. As they enjoy their teenage life and sibling-like bonding, Shinichiro develops a romantic feeling for Hiromi. However, everything changes when he meets a strange girl named Noe Isurugi who later on develops feelings for Shinichiro and even tries to go out with him. However, there’s another girl named Aiko Ando who has an eye for Shinichiro, but she later on agrees to go out with Miyokichi Nobuse.
It’s another love polygon that explores the life challenges of people in their stage of adolescence. Most of the scenes are dramatic and are rather on the serious angle unlike a typical lighthearted young romance. Though there are no intimate scenes, it has a calm setting that will let you feel the same ambiance as when watching the complex romantic development in Domestic Girlfriend.
Love is a playful thing.
There’s a lot more to explore in romance. Love is a tricky game. Your own fate is determined by how you react to every challenging situation. The anime series on the list will let you feel the struggles of love in various situations. Be sure to check them out.
Do you know other anime series like Domestic Girlfriend? Let MANGA.TOKYO know your thoughts.