A theme that is difficult not to identify with, “school romance” is a recurring theme in anime of varied genres. With styles ranging from comedy to drama, these productions leave fans sighing with the characters’ stories and reach different audiences, between Shōjo, Shōnen and even Seinen.
1. Kaichō wa Maid-sama!
This anime follows the daily life of Seika College, a renowned school that was once attended only by boys. Although this has recently changed, the number of girls who now attend school is still much lower than the number of boys. This is because of the bad reputation the school has gained for its students being reckless and disrespectful to girls.
The plot then introduces us to Misaki Ayuzawa, one of the students at the school and the first woman to become president of the student council. Misaki will do everything to transform the place and make it a safe and inviting environment for the students, having support from the teachers, but confronting other students.
Also popular for his good grades and his talent in sports, Misaki hides the fact that he works at a Maid Café. In this type of establishment, employees dress like more traditional maids. The young woman works there to help her family financially after her father abandons them. When the popular Usui Takumi discovers this, he becomes a loyal customer of the cafe and starts hitting on Misaki. But she doesn’t care for him, unlike most of the girls at school.
2. Haru Ride
When she was in elementary school, Futaba Yoshioka didn’t have any friends because of the amount of boys who liked her. Still, she only had eyes for Kou Tanaka, a friend who ended up walking away before she could confess her feelings.
Upon entering high school, Futaba tries to follow a different path and starts to be rude to the boys, pushing them away and thus managing to make friends with other girls. Everything was going well, until Kou returned to school. To top it off, he reveals that he also had feelings for Futaba in Elementary School, but that has now passed.
Episodes: 13 Genre
: Shōjo / Seinen
Young Takamiya Naho receives a mysterious letter whose sender claims to be herself 10 years in the future. At first, the student believes that it’s all just a dull joke. For this reason, she ignores the letter’s instructions not to take certain actions.
On the same day, something terrible happens to the school’s newest student, Kakeru, and this could have been prevented through the letter’s instructions. From there, Takamiya follows everything that his other version advised in the message coming from the future, where Kakeru no longer exists.
4. Seishun Buta Yarō (Bunny Girl)
Student Sakuta Azusagawa was quietly walking through the library, when he saw teenage actress Mai Sakurajima dressed as an erotic bunny. The shock of the moment only increased when Sakuta realized that he was the only one in the room who could see her.
Intrigued by the phenomenon, the two begin to work together to help other girls who are experiencing the same problem of the mysterious disappearance and also to discover why Sakuta is the only one who can see them.
The protagonist’s funny jokes, the fun romance that emerges between Sakuta and Mai and the suspense of the plot made this one of the most beloved anime among fans of the genre.
5. Kaguya-Sama – Love is War
The story of this anime follows the student council president and vice president of a prestigious school. He, Miyuki Shirogane, is considered a genius for having achieved the best grades in the country. She, Kaguya Shinomiya, is rich, beautiful and successful in almost everything she does.
Although the other students at the school consider them the perfect couple, the truth is that the two are not in a relationship. But that can change! With the coexistence in the guild, the two end up developing feelings for each other. There’s just one problem: neither of them wants to be the first to admit it. Proud, Miyuki and Kaguya end up getting into a lot of trouble with their strategies to get the other to confess their love first.
6. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
Episodes: 22 + 1 OVA
This anime follows young Kousei Arima, a pianist prodigy who rose to fame by winning a children’s musician competition. As a child, Kousei had rigorous training with his mother. When she died, the 11-year-old boy had a kind of mental breakdown that prevented him from hearing his own instrument again, even though his hearing was fine.
Two years after the trauma, Kousei meets a young violinist who, like he did in childhood, has a unique and eccentric style that reflects his personality. The new friendship and possible romance will change Kousei’s life and lead him back through the music world on a path very different from the rigorous training he had in his childhood.
7. Kimi ni Todoke
Year: 2009 to 2011
Episodes: Season 1 – 25 / Season 2 – 13
Sawako Kuronuma was a teenager with poor social skills, which made it difficult for her to make friends, as she ends up scaring her schoolmates with her attempts at kindness. When the popular Kazehaya starts to approach her, her life changes.
Other students try to get to know her better, she forms great friendships and begins to fall in love with Kazehaya. An unexpected but intense romance and with all the doubts and fears of youth, makes the viewer sigh along with the roller coaster of emotions of the episodes – which make us laugh and cry – and hope that the couple finally gets together.
8. High Score Girl
Episódios: 12 + 3 OVAs
Haruo Yaguchi was a young man without many achievements in the academic, sports or social field. The only time he shined was when he was playing video games, being known for being one of the best gamers in the arcade.
Young Akira Ono is the complete opposite of him: rich, popular, with excellent grades and with varied talents. However, like Haruo, she finds in the arcade a kind of refuge, in her case to escape the strict educational regime imposed on her at home.
When the two meet, they realize that they share a love for games and that they are similar because they have exceptional talents for the activity. Soon they begin to grow closer, and the new friendship may not take long to develop into romance.
9. Golden Time
Banri Tada suffered an amnesiac accident shortly after his high school graduation. Upon entering law school, with no memory of his life before the accident, he feels lost, but ends up quickly befriending another student who also seemed confused and a little shaken on this first day of class. His name is Mitsuo Yanagisawa.
That same day, they meet Koko Kaga, Mitsuo’s obsessive childhood friend. The girl pursued him and enrolled in the same college, intending to make their promise to marry one day come true. She insists on the idea even as Mitsuo tries to escape her.
Banri also ends up meeting a second-year student named Linda. What he didn’t know was that she had been his best friend in high school and that he felt guilty about his former schoolmate’s memory loss. Gradually, Banri’s memories return, but he also has to deal with the unexpected relationship that is being born between him and Koko Baga.
10. Tsuki Ga Kirei
Tsuki Ga Kirei brings us a romance so real that it is almost impossible for the viewer not to identify and not want to live something like this. The anime introduces us to Kotaro Azumi and Akane Mizuno, two third-year students at a school in Japan.
After working together at the high school sports festival, they begin to grow closer and an unexpected romance is born between the two friends. From there, the episodes show the innocence, fears and joys of a relationship in youth.
11. Lovely Complex
One of those animes to fall in love with, but also to laugh a lot! Lovely Complex follows the friendship and unlikely romance between students Atsushi Otani and Risa Koizumi. With a tantrum that appears as soon as they meet, the two make a bet to see who can get a boyfriend/girlfriend first. In the process, they decide to help each other out, as they both have a crush on other students at the school.
But this approach full of graces and teasing jokes with each other ends up becoming something bigger. The problem: Otani is 1.56m tall, while Koizumi is 1.72m. Now the two need to overcome the prejudice they have with their height difference and create the courage to admit their feelings.
this anime won the affection of fans by bringing an honest romance, dealing with themes such as differences and stereotypes between girls and boys, and making jokes with the aesthetics of anime in general.