Winter 2020 Anime: Official Info, Airdates & Trailers
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It is no surprise that with the darkness the world offers, light romantic comedies are a very popular genre, not only when it comes to Hollywood movies but also in anime and manga where the titles are so many and the history of this genre is long. For this article, we want to give you some suggestions for good old rom-coms. Each series in this list is at least 10 years old and are sorted from oldest to newest. Simply enjoy the suggestions and let us know in the comments if you are going back to watch some of them or which ones are your favorites. We haven’t included any older, more retro series in here, but if there are any rom-coms you love from the 70s and 80s, then let us know in the comments!
Miki couldn’t have had a worse day than the one when her parents told her they would be getting a divorce. Well, it does get worse as the following news astonish her even more. They are going to re-marry! Somehow, her parents ended up meeting friends from university and fell in love again with their old boyfriend/girlfriend. So they decided to switch partners. Since Miki and the other couple’s son Yuu are around the same age and currently going through puberty, the couples have decided to simply start living together. Like this, each of the children can live with both of their parents, gain a sibling, and the parents can live with their lovers! Miki is completely against it until she meets their handsome son and decides that living with a cute boy might not be the worst of things…
This is one of the best romantic stories out there, an absolute classic, and if you haven’t read the manga yet, you definitely have to. Miki is not the usual annoying heroine, even if she has her weaker times. Aside from Yuu and Miki, there are many other characters who are very loveable, and on top of that, they have their own story, which is why 76 episodes might seem like a lot but they actually make sense. While the romance aspect is a major part of this series, there is also a lot of comedy, and let me warn you, also a little drama. You can immerse yourself in this story and just enjoy watching all the cute characters, laugh about their stupid mistakes and situations, and swoon over the romance.
Mikako is dreaming of becoming a fashion designer and creating her own brand. Her life basically rotates around that dream and she works toward it. Her childhood friend and next-door neighbor Tsutomu has watched over her since they were children, but nothing more than friendship has ever developed between them. Aside from that, Tsutomu has recently been really popular with girls, since he looks an awful lot like a certain famous vocalist of a band. With all his popularity, Mikako might at some point realize what she really feels for her friend and how much he means to her.
This is the Cinderella among Ai Yazawa-based series. Many people know Paradise Kiss and many love Nana, but here is one of the funniest stories, Gokinjo Monogatari, and it only gets to sleep in the ashes. Even though it is funnier than Paradise Kiss and Nana and is a good romance story, it never got much recognition. Here is the chance to watch another amazing Ai Yazawa series! If you don’t know the manga, I suggest you read it either before or after watching the series. It doesn’t matter which way round. Cute Mikako and the usual Yazawa charm are probably doing all there needs to be done to drag you into this cute romantic comedy. I would only tell you to not watch this series if you have watched Paradise Kiss and didn’t like it. The Mikako from there is exactly the same Mikako as the one here.
Sana Kurata is one of the strangest children one could meet just as her mother is one of the strangest women. Sana is a famous child actress and the star of the children’s TV show Kodomo no Omocha. Her manager is a homeless person she picked up from the street, who has very beautiful eyes (which is the reason she ordered him to always under all circumstances wear sunglasses) and she has great friends at school… if it only weren’t for Akito. He is a bully, annoys her, and in general always disturbs everyone. Somehow, the boys made him their leader and they are now causing havoc and disturbing the class. All the teacher is doing is crying in a corner instead of teaching them new things, which is why Sana decides to do something about it and tries to fight Akito. What she finds out about him actually surprises her.
It is a long series, but when we talk about comedy, this one might be the number one. There is so much fun in the series, Sana is so strange and with her funny ideas, she often drags other characters with her, making them as strange as she is. One can’t even be angry with her because she got it all from her mother, who is as strange as she is. If you think this would be an endless and pointless comedy, then let me warn you. There are some more serious parts mixed into the comedy and the romance, but instead of taking away from the series, they only add to it.
Tohru is an unfortunate child who lost her mother very young and moved in with her grandfather. How, ver she can’t stay with him for some time, since his house is being renovated. When she fabricates the lie that she will stay with friends but realizes she won’t be able to actually do it, she starts living in a tent in the woods to not bother anybody. One night, she is found by Yuki and Shigure Soma, who think that her situation is too unfortunate and allow her to stay with her. Soon after, she moves in with her rescuers and discovers a deeply buried family secret. Whenever a member of this family is hugged by somebody of the opposite sex, they will turn into an animal of the Chinese zodiac! Yuki, the prince of the school for example will turn into a rat, and Shigure, a famous author, turns into a dog. After some time, they would automatically turn back into humans (butt naked!) and even though it seems like this would be a fun secret, there is more to it than meets the eye. Tohru with her kind heart might not be able to stomach what lies behind the secret of the Soma family.
Fruits Basket is so much fun, and of course, there are all these possible romances, since most of the Chinese zodiac members are male. With the fantasy element of this story, there are many situations that turn fun really quickly, and in addition, there is a bunch of cute animals involved as well. With the mysterious background story, there is enough potential to make it a great story. This is one of my all-time favorite series. Check it out!
Mitsuki has promised her childhood crush that she would make her dream of becoming a professional singer come true while he is in America and works on becoming an astronomer. Sadly, it turns out that she has throat cancer, but she doesn’t get the tumor taken out since there is a risk she might lose her voice. One day, two grim reapers appear and tell her that she only has one year left on this earth. They are called Meroko and Takuto and this sudden revelation lets Mitsuki try harder to become a singer. With the help of her new magical friends, she turns into a 16-year-old girl and goes to auditions.
The comedy here is hidden well at the beginning of this story. It’s the moments where Takuto and Meroko are present, the clumsy things Mitsuki does, and sometimes a whole arc of the story. In general, the story is a bit less funny than romantic, but I would still consider the fun to be big enough to make it a splendid rom-com. While the beginning of the story seems very dark, there is a reason our heroine is the heroine, so you can look forward to a cute story with lots of love and laughter, garnished with some great music!
Yukari is working so hard to get into a university that might get her out of her town. She just wants a bit more excitement in her life, because with her life right now, she is not very happy. When she meets the strange George and his friends, she finally gets a bit of the action she so badly wanted – just a bit too early. They want her to model for them, since they are part of an arts school and do work for fashion. To graduate, they have to produce a final project and while Yukari is intrigued, she would rather concentrate on her studies. While she tries to get away from them, the unique characters of her new friends are luring her back time and again until she has to make a decision to help her newfound friends or concentrate on her future…
Another classic of Ai Yazawa. The story is not the epitome of comedy like Kodomo no Omocha, but with fun characters like George, Isabella, Miwako, and Arashi you can hardly do anything but laugh at their actions and behaviour. Aside from this, the story has beautiful artwork and since it is all about fashion, you can prepare yourself for some awesome Ai Yazawa-styled clothes and many details when it comes the accessories. And the colors! If you liked Nana, you will like this one as well. It’s a bit less dramatic and more fun which makes it perfect for this list!
Haruhi is very smart, which is why she got a scholarship to attend the prestigious Ouran High School, where all the students are filthy rich. One day she gets lost in the (very big, beautiful, and European-styled) school and ends up in the club room of the host club where she accidentally smashes an expensive vase. To pay off her debt, she starts to work in the very same host club – which was only possible because the leader mistook her for a guy. Just like that, she is thrown into the strange adventures of the club with their female customers, who soon start to like Haruhi thanks to her unique charms. With six beautiful boys surrounding her, who are experts in flirting with girls, who knows if their charms don’t reach Haruhi?
This series is probably the most well-known series in this whole list and one with more comedy than romance. Haruhi is a very dry character and so much fun to watch. There are also many other characters to pick your favorite from, and since they are all so different, there is somebody for every taste. The whole host club setting makes the romance aspect shift a bit from Haruhi as the main character to the viewer. You can pretend you are at the host club and watching your darling or just enjoy the series by shipping Haruhi with one or more guys, the guys with each other, or the guys with yourself. In any case, it is a lot of fun to watch and the romance is decent but enjoyable!
Poor Koizumi is much taller than any average high school girl and her classmate Ootani is much shorter than any average high school boy. As if their sorrow weren’t big enough, their crushes fall in love with each other and their homeroom teacher sees them as some kind of comedy duo, because they like to argue loudly. Very loudly. All those things make them become closer as friends, because at least they understand each other. And then they find out they are more similar in other ways at well.
While this series is called Lovely Complex, fans like to use the short name ‘LoveCom’ which would literally mean love comedy (i.e. romantic comedy). So if anything, this series 100% meets the requirements to be in this list. It is one of the younger series on the list, only ~10 years old, but it is such a fun story and shouldn’t be missed! What makes it so unique is that it is set in Osaka for once, instead of Tokyo, and both characters talk in the Kansai dialect. It also makes them being taken as a comedy duo that much more hilarious, because Osaka people are said to be funny. It is a fun story and talks about complexes and insecurities, which some people might find helpful at some level. But even if not, the love and comedy in this series are enough to win your hearts!
Hikari is a powerful whirlwind who can do anything and everything, always excelling at the things she tries. Until she met Kei, she thought nobody could ever beat her. One defeat wasn’t enough, so she challenged him time and again to prove she could win, but kept losing instead. That’s how she swore to be better at anything than him and went to the same school he does, which is a prestigious high school that has a special class for the top 7 students of the academy called Special A. For Hikari, Kei is just her archenemy and her rival. She never stops fighting him, but within the heat of the battles, she is completely oblivious to his feelings for her.
In all honesty, what makes this series so good is Kei, the male lead. Since he is so good and seems to be doing it all without effort, he looks really attractive. Then again, there is Hikari who works so hard and is a real inspiration to the viewer as well, so the basic story is really fun to watch. How much effort she puts into the tiniest of things just to one-up Kei guarantees laughs. The romance comes slow but strong and let’s not forget the other students of their class, who add a lot to the story!
Kotoko just moved to a new house with her father when an earthquake hits the region and destroys…not much. Since her house was the only one in all of Japan to collapse, it ends up being the main sensation in the news, which makes her father’s friends realize he needs help and invite him to live with them. In the meantime, Kotoko made her own life more miserable by attempting to give a love letter to Naoki Irie, the smartest guy in school, who simply ignores her and doesn’t appreciate her feelings, since she is one of the dumbest girls in school. While Kotoko is suffering in silence, they arrive at their temporary home and the person who has to help with her luggage is nobody else but Naoki. The worst has happened, she has to live with the person who doesn’t return her feelings and whom she swore she would forget…
This precious story will never get old. Kotoko may be stupid, naive, and way too innocent for her own good, have no sense of self-worth, be overly clumsy and find motivation for all the wrong reasons, but it is what makes the series so good. She is fun to watch and her stupid actions are just shy from being second hand embarrassing. Naoki on the other hand is so cool and sometimes cold, that one starts to wonder what Kotoko would want with a guy like him, until he starts to show how much he cares. It is then that his reasoning and way of thinking is explained. If you end up falling in love with this series as much as I did, there are good and bad news. Good news is, there are many adaptations of this story. The original manga, a live action series from Taiwan with two seasons, a live action series from Japan with two seasons, a very old live action series from Japan which thankfully only has one season, a musical, and a movie. The bad news is, the manga was never finished because the author sadly died suddenly. But that doesn’t mean we can’t imagine how things go with the two of them. Just watch it and see for yourself if you like Kotoko, Naoki, and their strange dynamics.
At times it feels like there are as many romantic comedy series out there as there are stars in the sky, so there will always be some series that you haven’t seen yet and I haven’t seen yet. What is your favorite romance comedy from more than 10 years ago? Did you know most of the series on the list already? Let us know in the comments!
And if romance comedy series aren’t quite your cup of tea, why don’t you try and read some of our other recommendation articles?
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!