Top 20 best romance anime movies of all time (with pictures)

Top 20 best romance anime movies of all time (with pictures)

The top 20 best anime romance movies of all time are irrefutably popular. These films explore diverse topics from love, heartbreaks, and conflicts, to vengeance. The romantic anime movies discussed below are recommended if you want to watch a story that will linger on your mind for the longest time.

best romance anime movies
The best anime movies about romance. Photo: @CLANNAD.Movie, @celebrationcinema, @Castleintheskymovie, @Thecatreturnsmovie (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Anime romance movies get more mysterious when producers combine them with musical, action, psychological thrillers, science fiction, and other film genres. As a result, romance anime movies' fanbase keeps skyrocketing.

The top 20 best romantic anime movies of all time

Anime movies about romance have age ratings. Therefore, ensure the film is suitable for general family viewing (rated G) before watching it around kids. Only teens and adults are allowed to watch rated PG films. Below are popular romance anime movies to watch:

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20. Voices of A Distant Star (2002)

romance anime movie
Posters from "Voices of A Distant Star" movie. Photo: @BDFornies, @HeitorOliveiraJ (modified by author)
Source: UGC

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  • Rating: PG
  • Director: Makoto Shinkai
  • Release date: 2nd February 2002
  • Runtime: 25 minutes
  • Writer: Makoto Shinkai
  • Studio: CoMix Wave Inc.

Voices of A Distant Star is a unique science fiction romantic film. The movie is set in the year 2046. People select Mikako Nagamine and other soldiers to fight aliens invading the earth.

She promises Noboru Terao that they will keep in touch through emails. However, it becomes extremely difficult for them to communicate. The distance between the spacecraft and earth slows down the time mail take to reach the other person.

19. Tamako Love Story (2014)

romance best anime movies
Images from "Tamako Love Story" film. Photo: @Animeblue00, @Kuroonumaaa (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: PG
  • Director: Naoko Yamada
  • Release date: 26th April 2014
  • Runtime: 83 minutes
  • Writer: Reiko Yoshida
  • Studio: Kyoto Animation

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Tamako Love Story is an interesting romantic comedy anime. Mochizo Oji confesses his feelings to his rival, Tamako, before leaving for college. Will love help them overcome their misunderstandings and awkwardness?

18. Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light (2011)

anime movies romance
"Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light" movie posters. Photo: @_Asiancinema_, @ShingekiNoMeong (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: NR
  • Director: Takahiro Omori
  • Release date: 17th September 2011
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Writer: Yuki Midorikawa
  • Studio: LaLa DX

Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light is one of a kind supernatural romantic anime movie. Hotaru falls in love with a masked forest spirit called Gin. The problem is that Gin would vanish if a human touched him. The film has the worst and most beautiful long-distance relationship story you will ever watch.

17. Howl’s Moving Castle (2005)

best romantic anime movies
"Howl’s Moving Castle" movie images. Photo: @screenqueenz, @screenqueenz (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: PG
  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Release date: 10th June 2005
  • Runtime: 119 minutes
  • Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Studio: SDDS

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Howl’s Moving Castle is one of the most romantic anime movies ever. The film is an example of a perfect romance anime movie created by brilliant minds.

The unusual love story between Sophia and Howl the wizard is fascinating. Howl is determined to break a curse that makes Sophia age prematurely. The curse was cast upon her by an evil witch.

16. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (2018)

anime films
Posters from "I Want to Eat Your Pancreas" film. Photo: @DiscoDeezy, @TeamTakasugi (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: PG
  • Director: Shin'ichirô Ushijima
  • Release date: 1st September 2018
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Writer: Shin'ichirô Ushijima
  • Studio: Studio VOLN

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas sounds creepy, but the film is quite the opposite. An aloof high school boy visits his classmate, Sakura Yamauchi, at the hospital. He finds her secret diary while sitting in the waiting room.

The diary reveals Sakura is suffering from a fatal pancreatic disease and a list of things she wants to experience before she dies. Haruki Shiga helps her fulfil her death wishes and learns the importance of friendship.

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15. Whisper of the Heart (1995)

shoujo anime
Images from "Whisper of the Heart" film. Photo: @ghibliotheque, @Whisperoftheheart (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: PG
  • Director: Yoshifumi Kondo
  • Release date: 7th March 2006
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Studio: Optimum Releasing

Whisper of the Heart is a story of a young girl falling in love and learning how to believe in herself. Shizuku Tsukishima is about to complete her junior high school studies and dreams of becoming a writer because she loves books.

She meets a young, ambitious guy named Senji. Shizuku finds him charming and irritating. When Senji takes her to his grandfather's antique shop, one of the statues in the store inspires Shizuku to write a story about a cat-shaped sculpture coming to life.

14. Your Name (2017)

romantic anime
"Your Name" movie posters. Photo: @changminbr, @TrendTakers (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: PG
  • Director: Makoto Shinkai
  • Writer: Makoto Shinkai
  • Release date: 7th April 2017
  • Runtime: 106 minutes
  • Studio: CoMix Wave Films

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Your Name's director, Makoto Shinkai, is the creative mind behind successful films like 5 Centimeters per Second and Voices of a Distant Star. The movie tells the story of two young souls exploring the themes of fate and time.

High school students Taki and Mitsuha are strangers living different lives. Their lives take a different turn when they switch bodies. The peculiar occurrence becomes a norm they must learn how to cope with.

With time, Taki and Mitsuha bond through messages, notes, and imprints. They look for each other but always seem torn apart by distance and a supernatural force beyond them. Will their fate bring them together or keep them apart forever?

13. The Garden of Words (2013)

anime movies
"The Garden of Words" images. Photo: @hufflemione, @hufflemione (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: NR
  • Director: Makoto Shinkai
  • Writer: Makoto Shinkai
  • Release date: 6th August 2013
  • Runtime: 45 minutes
  • Studio: CoMix Wave Films

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The Garden of Words tells the story of a teenager Takao Azuki who dreams of becoming a shoemaker. However, nobody seems to understand his ambition until he meets a girl who believes in him. The twist in the story is that the girl wants to help Takao achieve his dream, but she must overcome internal predicaments that keep her from getting close to anyone.

12. 5 Centimeters per Second (2007)

good romance anime
Posters from "The Garden of Words" movie. Photo: @mish3al_3adel, @LunaticCultistk (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: NR
  • Director: Makoto Shinkai
  • Writer: Makoto Shinkai
  • Release date: 3rd March 2007
  • Runtime: 63 minutes
  • Studio: CoMix Wave

5 Centimeters per Second is one of the most incredible romance anime movies of all time. The film is about two friends who are determined to reunite after fate separates them.

Akari and Takaki's families move to different locations after completing elementary studies. The two never thought they would ever meet again. One day, Takaki embarks on a journey to visit his old friend.

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11. A Silent Voice (2017)

romance animes
Ishida watches Shoko explain something with his hand as their schoolmates walk past them. Photo: @4x4evah, @KoeNoKatachiASilentVoice (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: NR
  • Director: Naoko Yamada
  • Writer: Naoko Yamada
  • Release date: 20th October 2017
  • Runtime: 129 minutes
  • Studio: Eleven Arts

A Silent Voice is one of the most poignant shoujo anime movies of all time. The film tells an emotional story about Shoya Ishida (a school bully) and Shoko Nishimiya (a beautiful young girl with a hearing disability).

Ishida bullies Ishida when her parents transfer her to his school. Ishida mistreats her because of her hearing problem. Years later, tables turn, and Ishida becomes the victim. The film shows adolescents' challenges in a different style compared to conventional coming-of-age films.

10. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2007)

best romance anime
Pictures of "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" movie. Photo: @unicornflly, @love.anime.music.box (modified by the author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: NR
  • Director: Mamoru Hosoda
  • Writer: Satoko Okudera
  • Release date: 3rd March 2007
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Studio: Tokikake Film Partners

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The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is an excellent romance anime movie for those starting to watch films in this genre. It explores the continually changing nature of personal relationships.

A young school girl named Makoto Konno discovers that she has an exceptional ability to traverse time and space. She, therefore, uses her power to preserve the friendships she shares with those closest to her.

9. From Up on Poppy Hill (2013)

shoujo anime
Images from "From Up on Poppy Hill" movie. Photo: @EstherHawdon, @Sortiwa (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: PG
  • Director: Goro Miyazaki
  • Writers: Keiko Niwa and Hayao Miyazaki,
  • Release date: 15th March 2013
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • Studio: Independent Pictures

From Up on Poppy Hill is set in Yokohama in 1963. The film is about a budding romance between Shun and Umi. These high school students are caught up in changing times after World War II.

Japan prepares to host the Olympics at a time when the country’s young generation struggles to find optimism and shake off the country’s troubled history.

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As Umi and Shun work to save a decrepit clubhouse from getting demolished, their romance begins to blossom. However, in an unexpected twist, a secret from their past threatens to pull them apart forever.

8. The Anthem of the Heart (2015)

top romance anime
"he Anthem of the Heart" posters. Photo: @heycharlees, @theanthemoftheheart (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: NR
  • Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai
  • Writer: Mari Okada
  • Release date: 2015
  • Runtime: 119 minutes

The Anthem of the Heart was initially titled The Heart Wants to Shout. The film is set in Chichibu, and the story revolves around a young conflicted girl named Jun Naruse.

Jun wishes to express her feelings, but her words always hurt others. One day she encounters a fairy who offers to help her overcome the problem by sealing Jun's words. The story jumps several years ahead when Jun meets a friend who is passionate about music.

7. The Wind Rises (2014)

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good romance anime
Posters of "The Wind Rises" movie. Photo: @InSessionFilm, @Thewindrisesmovie (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Release date: 21st February 2014
  • Runtime: 126 minutes
  • Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

However, since he is not easily discouraged, the boy joins an engineering firm and becomes one of the world's most accomplished aeroplane designers.

The Wind Rises chronicles Jiro’s life and historical events that shape it, e.g. the tuberculosis epidemic, the Great Depression, and the Great Kanto Earthquake. With time, Jiro falls in love with a girl named Nahoko.

6. Summer Wars (2010)

best romance anime
Images from "Summer Wars" film. Photo: @AmelEUROZOOM (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: PG
  • Director: Mamoru Hosoda
  • Writers: Satoko Okudera and Satoko Ohudera
  • Release date: 24th December 2010
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Studio: GKIDS

Summer Wars is about a young math prodigy named Kanji. His crush, Natsuki, hires him to act as her boyfriend. Kanji later receives a riddle on his phone that sets off a chain of events threatening a massive virtual world called Oz.

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5. Only Yesterday (2016)

anime romance
Images of "Only Yesterday" movie. Photo: @PUCCAHandmadeShop, @ipanapritadin (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: PG
  • Director: Isao Takahata
  • Writer: Isao Takahata
  • Release date: 26th February 2016
  • Runtime: 118 minutes
  • Studio: GKIDS

Only Yesterday is one of the best anime romance movies of all time because it has rich humour and evokes a string of emotions in the viewer. The original Japanese version was released in 1991, while the English version came out in 2016.

Takeo is a single lady living in Tokyo. She visits her relatives in the countryside to relive the memories of her younger years. The lady remembers the frustrations of mathematics and boys, the onset of puberty, and her first stirrings of romance.

She meets a young and handsome farmer named Toshio. Her encounter with him makes Takeo question whether she has accomplished her childhood dreams. It also brings back some of her forgotten longings.

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4. The Cat Returns (2002)

romantic anime
Posters from "The Cat Returns" film. Photo: @GhibliUSA, @cyndachoo (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: G
  • Director: Hiroyuki Morita
  • Writers: Reiko Yoshida, Donald H. Hewitt, and Cindy Davis
  • Release date: 19th July 2002
  • Runtime: 75 minutes
  • Studio: Toho Company Ltd

The Cat Returns tells the story of Haru, a young schoolgirl who saves a cat on her way to school. She later learns that the cat is extraordinary when it introduces her to a kingdom of cats.

Haru explores the fascinating world of cats she never knew existed. The English version of this top romance anime included voices from Andy Richter, Anne Hathaway, and Elliott Gould.

3. Castle in the Sky (1989)

good romance anime
Images from "Castle in the Sky" movie. Photo: @Castleintheskymovie, @OasissMan (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: PG
  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Writers: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Release date: 1st April 1989
  • Runtime: 124 minutes
  • Studio: Tokuma Shoten

Castle in the Sky is about a boy and a girl who flew down from the sky. The girl, known as Sheeta, was chased by government agents, army soldiers, and pirates. The boy accompanies her on a quest to establish her identity in a mysterious floating castle.

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The anime romance in this film is not as pronounced as in some of the best romance anime movies but still provides a fantastic viewing experience.

2. Weathering with You (2020)

romance animes
Posters from "Weathering with You" movie. Photo: @JPZone97, @celebrationcinema (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: NR
  • Director: Makoto Shinkai
  • Writers: Makoto Shinkai
  • Release date: 15th January 2020
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Studio: CoMix Wave

Weathering with You is also among top-notch fiction plus romance best anime movies. Hodaka runs away to Tokyo during the summer of his first year in college and goes broke.

He spends several lonely days before landing a job as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. The city falls under the spell of non-stop rain. Hodaka meets Hina, a girl with the unique ability to stop rain and clear gloomy skies.

1. Clannad (2007)

romance anime movies
Posters from "Clannad" films. Photo: @AriaEbenfalls, @kur1gohan (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • Rating: NR
  • Director: Osamu Dezaki
  • Writer: Makoto Nakamura
  • Release date: 15th September 2007
  • Runtime: 94 minutes
  • Studio: Key

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Clannad tells the story of a young boy who only attends school as a habit and is continually haunted by nightmares of an empty world. One of the dreams makes him half-conscious.

Okazaki Tomoya meets Furukawa Nagisa on his way to school. They become close friends because she follows him to school daily. As a result, Tomoya feels happy about his life and assumes his nightmares are mere dreams.

What is the best anime love story movie?

Here are the top ten best anime romance movies:

  • Voices of A Distant Star (2002)
  • Tamako Love Story (2014)
  • Into the Forest of Fireflies' Light (2011)
  • Howl's Moving Castle (2005)
  • I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (2018)
  • Whisper of the Heart (1995)
  • Your Name (2017)
  • The Garden of Words (2013)
  • 5 Centimeters per Second (2007)
  • A Silent Voice (2017)

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What is the top 1 romance anime?

Clannad (2007) is the best anime movie about romance. The film also has some mystery and fiction.

The top 20 best anime romance movies unveiled above will pull every string of your heart. They present various shades of love in the best way possible and change the viewers' perception of love for the better.

READ ALSO: Top 15 best action anime movies of all time

Legit.ng also shared a detailed list of the top 15 best action anime movies. They are the coolest films for binge-watching over the weekend.

Action anime films are entertaining because computers make cartoons do unique and mysterious stunts at a lower cost and in less time.

Source: Legit.ng

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