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Anime Like Horimiya

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10 Best Romances From Battle Shonen Anime

Highlights

  • Horimiya set the bar high for rom-coms with its sweet love story and relatable characters in 2021.
  • The female gaze in Horimiya made it emotionally impactful, similar anime also give quickened heartbeats.
  • Shows like The Dangers in My Heart focus on character development and romantic connections, much like Horimiya.

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Ever since the release of Horimiya, the show that took the world by storm in 2021, many new and old fans of the series have been looking for other rom-coms. The series checked off all the boxes that make a great romance/slice-of-life show. It had the sweetest love story, realistic and relatable characters, powerful side characters, and an array of different friendship dynamics.

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It features the female gaze and highlights love through innocent affection, making it so much more heart-wrenching and emotional than much other anime in the same genre. However, there are plenty of incredible anime similar to Horimiya that make hearts speed up just like this one did.

Updated March 10, 2024 by Mark Sammut: Horimiya is, more than likely, done. Brilliant as it was, the first season felt incomplete, an issue that was resolved by 2023’s The Missing Pieces. While a follow-up would be welcome, the anime does not need a continuation at this point. Consequently, fans craving something similar should check out some romance anime like Horimiya.

19 More Than A Married Couple, But Not Lovers

An Unorthodox Assignment

More Than a Married Couple, But Not Lovers

Japanese Title
Fuufu Ijou, Koibito Miman

Release Date
October 9, 2022

Studio
Studio Mother

Number of Episodes
12

Based On
Manga

Creator
Yūki Kanamaru

MyAnimeList Score
7.59

Much like Izumi Miyamura and Kyoko Hori, this unlikely (involuntary) pair of “lovebirds” enjoy the perks of a fake relationship as they learn to live under one roof while attempting to cultivate an imaginary romance (for a bizarre class assignment). Stemming from two different worlds, Jiro Yakuin and Akari Watanabe have very little in common; besides the fact that they are both hopelessly in love with someone else.

Initially relatively repulsed by each other, their constant proximity eventually starts rubbing off, and once they share a kiss (for the sake of their grades, obviously!), things get quite complicated from thereon out. Will they risk their deep-rooted desires for a new, fresh flirtation, or will they end up getting separated once their marks reach the required level?

18 The Dangers In My Heart

Slow-Build Opposites Attract Love Story

The Dangers In My Heart

Japanese Title
Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu

Release Date
April 2, 2023

Studio
Shin-Ei Animation

Number of Episodes
25

Based On
Manga

Creator
Norio Sakurai

Streaming Service(s)
HIDIVE

MyAnimeList Score
8.81 (Season 2)

Starting as a fairly typical comedy before blossoming into one of the best romances in a long time, The Dangers in My Heart is something special. Kyotaro Ichikawa is an awkward teenager who keeps to himself and occasionally daydreams about killing his classmates, specifically a model named Anna. Just normal adolescent stuff. Wisely, the anime spends very little time on Kyotaro’s fantasies, instead opting to focus solely on his growing friendship with Anna. And, their dynamic is irresistibly endearing, with both characters playing their part in selling the prospect of a romance.

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Unlike Horimiya, The Dangers in My Heart focuses on setting the stage for a romantic connection, at least during its opening season; however, the series does a brilliant job exploring the students’ relationship growth. Kyotaro, especially, goes through a fair amount of development, while Anna comes across as a three-dimensional character from the very first episode. The sequel season is particularly fantastic and firmly establishes Kyotaro and Anna as an all-time great anime couple. An argument could be made that The Dangers in My Heart is the most consistent romance anime of all time.

17 My Dress-Up Darling

Made For Each Other

My Dress-Up Darling

Japanese Title
Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru

Release Date
January 9, 2022

Studio
CloverWorks

Number of Episodes
12

Based On
Manga

Creator
Shinichi Fukuda

MyAnimeList Score
8.22

The familiar tale of angst high school romance gets a unique upgrade as fashion design and cosplaying are highlighted throughout this narrative. Marin Kitagawa is a stunning Otaku with limited sewing skills who happens to bump into a socially anxious introvert who has spent years tirelessly honing his Hina Doll craftsmanship (garments included).

Wakana Gojo slowly learns to come out of his shell with Marin’s excitable and enthusiastic influence and discovers the wonders of the cosplaying industry, accompanied by a crash course in anime (and way too much nudity for his liking!)

16 Komi Can’t Communicate

More Comedy, Less Romance

Komi Can’t Communicate

Japanese Title
Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu

Release Date
October 7, 2021

Studio
OLM

Number of Episodes
24

Based On
Manga

Creator
Tomohito Oda

MyAnimeList Score
7.90

Komi Shokou has quite a bit in common with Izumi Miyamura, as she would also much prefer to remain on the outskirts of social gatherings and generally tries to keep to herself at school. In stark contrast, however, Komi somehow happens to be the most popular girl at Itan Private High School; her stunning features are a lot more difficult to hide than Horimiya’s undercover rebel.

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With the patient assistance of Hitohito Tadano, Komi discovers that she actually can make friends, but not every willing candidate has the best intentions. Together, Komi and Tadano navigate their way through the hilariously intricate social structures of adolescence, stumbling across love along the way.

15 A Couple Of Cuckoos

Love Triangle Silliness

A Couple of Cuckoos

Japanese Title
Kakkou no Iinazuke

Release Date
April 24, 2022

Studio
SynergySP, Shin-Ei Animation

Number of Episodes
24

Based On
Manga

Creator
Miki Yoshikawa

MyAnimeList Score
6.92

Born at the same hospital on the very same day, Nagi Umino and Erika Amano are mistakenly swapped at birth and subsequently grow up in the wrong household. Only after discovering the mix-up much later in life, do the two families agree that the best solution for everyone involved (according to them) is if the youngsters just get married. That way, they can be one big happy family; too bad Nagi and Erica aren’t on board!

Forced to suddenly live together and play nice, the pair butt heads as they attempt to find some kind of symbiosis. However, Nagi is more interested in pursuing his beloved Hiro Segawa instead. Comedy and chaos are guaranteed with these Cuckoos, adding their own strange spin on the typical love triangle trope.

14 Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku

Adult Romances

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku

Japanese Title
Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii

Release Date
April 13, 2018

Studio
A-1 Pictures

Number of Episodes
11

Based On
Manga

Creator
Fujita

Streaming Service(s)
Amazon Prime Video

MyAnimeList Score
7.94

A short-lived anime that really deserves a second season, Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku shakes things up by (primarily) centering on adult couples. More importantly, by the end of the first episode, the main duo are officially together, so there is no will they/won’t they drama that spans a full cour. That said, Narumi and Hirotaka’s relationship develops slowly after that point, although this pacing is born out of uncertainty and comes across as organic.

Like Horimiya, Wotakoi leans heavily into slice of life and comedy, with romance often taking a backseat. The four main characters are all funny in their own ways, with Narumi being especially hilarious.

13 Quintessential Quintuplets

A Well-Written Harem

The Quintessential Quintuplets

Japanese Title
5-toubun no Hanayome

Release Date
January 11, 2019

Studio
Tezuka Productions, Bibury Animation Studios

Number of Episodes
24

Based On
Manga

Creator
Negi Haruba

MyAnimeList Score
7.66 (Season 1)

Another attractive anime lead attempting to keep up pretenses is a penniless (and friendless) Fuutarou Uesugi, who happens upon an opportunity that is too good to pass up! With his stellar grades at school, Fuutarou catches a wealthy businessman’s attention, who is looking for a tutor for his daughter and is willing to pay five times the average rate!

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Already having offended his new student, Itsuki Nakano, things get off to a rough start and he has to suddenly backpedal after realizing there is more up for grabs. When Fuutarou discovers she has more sisters (resulting in a substantially larger paycheck), he does his best to turn on the charm and get their father on board for this mass-tutoring mission. With five stubborn quintuplets to work with, convincing them to take an interest in their education is a gargantuan task indeed, particularly when the siblings begin to squabble over him!

12 My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected

High School Love & Anxiety

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU

Japanese Title
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

Release Date
April 5, 2013

Studio
Brain’s Base, Feel

Number of Episodes
38

Based On
Light Novel

Creator
Wataru Watari

Streaming Service(s)
Amazon Prime Video , HIDIVE

MyAnimeList Score
8 (Season 1)

When two very different students collide, Hachiman Hikigaya and Yukino Yukinoshita spend a great deal of time together at their school’s Service Club. Here, they offer advice and help to other students.

As another Horimiya-like anime,this show portrays high school students who go through a great deal of personal development to break the emotional chains that are holding them down. It’s sweet, it’s funny, and it’s a great rom-com to binge.

11 The Way Of The Househusband

Unique Relationship Dynamic For Romance Anime

The Way of the Househusband

Japanese Title
Gokushufudou

Release Date
April 8, 2021

Studio
J.C.Staff

Number of Episodes
15

Based On
Manga

Creator
Kousuke Oono

MyAnimeList Score
7.24 (Season 1)

This show immediately stole the hearts of rom-com anime fans across the globe, highlighting a relationship dynamic that has never really been seen before. The story features Tatsu, a former yakuza boss who steps out of his life of crime to be the househusband for his wife Miku.

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This hilarious series created the ideal man for many anime fans: a tough, intimidating guy who would do anything to make his wife happy. It’s funny and heartwarming, perfect for fans of the genre.

10 Yuri!!! On ICE

A Sweet Romance

Yuri on Ice

Release Date
October 6, 2016

Studio
MAPPA

Number of Episodes
12

MyAnimeList Score
7.90

This sports anime has much more in store than just figure skating and competitions. Though the story follows Yuri Katsuki and Victor Nikiforov as they navigate their way to winning gold medals, the romantic relationship that buds between them is enough to make a grown man cry.

The slow, steady burn of their feelings erupting over the 12 episodes while they fight to achieve their career goals is actually relationship goals. This is not an anime to miss, especially for those who love hilarious, relatable characters, amazing soundtracks, and incredible ice skating routines.

9 Toradora!

The Genre-Defining Opposites Attract Anime

Toradora!

Release Date
October 2, 2008

Studio
J.C.Staff

Number of Episodes
25

Based On
Light Novel

Creator
Yuyuko Takemiya

Streaming Service(s)
Crunchyroll , Tubi , Amazon Prime Video

MyAnimeList Score
8.07

The classic frienemies-to-lovers trope is on full display here, and fans are all here for it. Hot-headed Taiga and gentle Ryuji team up as wingman and wingwoman for each other, with the goal of confessing their feelings to their crushes.

They end up spending a lot of time together, resulting in an unexpected outcome. The show is loved by hundreds of thousands of fans all over the world, proving that it’s an anime that deserves its place on everyone’s watchlists.

8 Fruits Basket

A Contender For The Best Romance Anime

Fruits Basket (2019)

Release Date
April 6, 2019

Studio
TMS Entertainment

Number of Episodes
63

Based On
Manga

Creator
Natsuki Takaya

MyAnimeList Score
8.22 (Season 1)

Whether viewers choose to watch the modern remake that more closely follows the plot of the manga or stick to the classic 2001 one-season anime, Fruits Basket is a superb choice for an emotional binge. The show follows Tohru Honda, a high school student who gets tangled up in the troubles of the mysterious Sohma family.

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After being invited to live at the home of two Sohma relatives, Tohru discovers their unbelievable secret: When hugged by a member of the opposite sex, the Sohmas will transform into an animal of the zodiac. Incredible character development, tear-jerking storylines, and adorable budding relationships are what makes this show so amazing.

7 Kamisama Kiss

Charming & Funny

Kamisama Kiss

Japanese Title
Kami-sama Hajimemashita

Release Date
October 1, 2012

Studio
TMS Entertainment

Number of Episodes
25

Based On
Manga

Creator
Julietta Suzuki

MyAnimeList Score
8.10 (Season 1)

This binge-worthy romance anime will absolutely make viewers tear up if they are looking for shows like Horimiya. The two main characters share a similar dynamic to Miyamura and Hori, one being bright and cheery and the other being more independent and lone wolf.

The two are tied together through their bond to their shrine, and their time together brings them closer in a beautiful way. The OVAs that follow the first season are absolutely necessary to wrap up their ultimate love story, so don’t forget to watch them!

6 Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War

Hilarious Banter & Touching Romance

Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War

Japanese Title
Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen

Release Date
January 12, 2019

Studio
A-1 Pictures

Number of Episodes
41

Based On
Manga

Creator
Aka Akasaka

MyAnimeList Score
8.41 (Season 1)

Kaguya-Sama: Love is War is a fun, laugh-out-loud romance anime for those who adore the “I like you, but I’d die before I told you that” trope. The two main characters, student council president Miyuki Shirogane and vice-president Kaguya Shinomiya, both have strong crushes on each other but refuse to be the first ones to say so.

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Throughout the show, they grow closer to each other and to their friends, creating bonds that will soon overcome their pride. With three full seasons under their belt, Miyuki and Kaguya’s humourous antics have evidently kept fans entertained and coming back for more!

5 Ouran High School Host Club

A Harem & Comedy Classic

Ouran High School Host Club

Japanese Title
Ouran Koukou Host Club

Release Date
April 5, 2006

Studio
Bones

Number of Episodes
26

Based On
Manga

Creator
Bisco Hatori

MyAnimeList Score
8.16

This is a more goofy, high-spirit anime compared to some of the other ones listed above. The show centers on Haruhi Fujioka, a middle-class student who transfers to one of the richest private high schools in Japan on a scholarship.

After accidentally stumbling into an old music room that is being used by the school’s beloved Host Club, Haruhi breaks a priceless vase and is now in debt to the club and must work as a member until the debt is fully repaid. However, Haruhi’s appearance doesn’t exactly align with people’s expectations. Be prepared for many silly, fun high school adventures, sprinkled with touching character growth and emotional moments.

4 Kokoro Connect

Complex Relationships

Kokoro Connect

Release Date
July 8, 2012

Studio
SILVER LINK.

Number of Episodes
17

Based On
Light Novel

Creator
Sadanatsu Anda

MyAnimeList Score
7.74

Five high schoolers in a club they created together are suddenly subject to randomly swapping bodies with one another for varying periods of time. They don’t know how it’s happening or why, but it quickly leads them to learn much more about each other than they ever expected.

The five friends must overcome their issues with romantic feelings, home struggles, past trauma, and new friendships as they navigate the supernatural phenomenon that is happening between them.

3 I Want To Eat Your Pancreas

Get The Tissues

I Want To Eat Your Pancreas

Release Date
September 1, 2018

Director
Shinichiro Ushijima

Studio
Studio VOLN

Rotten Tomatoes Score
93%

Don’t be fooled by the weird title, this anime isn’t anything about cannibalism or gore. Two high schoolers from the same school wind up deeply intertwined in each other’s lives after Haruki learns about his classmate Sakura’s fatal pancreas illness.

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She doesn’t want anyone to know so she can keep living as a normal teenager, so he keeps her secret and they end up becoming close. The bond these two share is so pure and kind, and the trust they have in one another is immaculate to watch. This show will also be leaving viewers in tears, but it’s totally worth it.

2 Tsuredure Children

Adolescent Romance

Tsuredure Children

Japanese Title
Tsurezure Children

Release Date
July 4, 2017

Studio
Studio Gokumi

Number of Episodes
12

Based On
Manga

Creator
Toshiya Wakabayashi

MyAnimeList Score
7.55

Horimiya is primarily recognized for Izumi and Hori’s relationship, which carries most of the first season; however, the second half of the 2021 cour and Horimiya: The Missing Pieces turn the anime into an ensemble comedy with romantic elements. The anime explores a few different dynamics, taking a scattershot approach that was, admittedly, underwhelming before the release of the 2023 season. The latter covers previously unadapted manga storylines, and they really help strengthen a few of the weaker relationships.

Tsuredure Children takes place in a school that has been hit hard by the love bug. Each episode consists of sketches following a couple of different romances, and they do not generally intersect with each other. While predominantly a comedy that pokes fun at romance tropes, Tsuredure Children‘s structure and humor are both similar to The Missing Pieces. Funny, cute, and a quick sit due to its short episode, this anime is an easy recommendation for both comedy and romance fans.

1 Kimi Ni Todoke: From Me To You

The Cutest Romance

Kimi Ni Todoke: From Me To You

Japanese Title
Kimi ni Todoke

Release Date
October 6, 2009

Studio
Production I.G

Number of Episodes
38

Based On
Manga

Creator
Karuho Shiina

MyAnimeList Score
8 (Season 1)

The kind, shy Sawako Kuronuma is teased and lonely at school until she is inspired by the popular boy, Shouta Kazehaya, to find the courage to become closer to her classmates. Kuronuma’s freakish features make her look as if she has been plucked straight out of the ring, and her fearful classmates have subsequently nicknamed her Sadako. Her personality, however, couldn’t be further from the iconic horror icons, as Koronuma is arguably the sweetest person around, and thankfully, Kazehaya has noticed!

Their relationship blossoms and they both realize they are changing each other for the better. It’s pure, it’s sweet, it’s powerful, and it’s an amazing anime that will leave viewers feeling warm and happy inside.

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