So I asked my twitter friends for their favorite romance/shipping anime and I got a surprising number of suggestions. I figured I’d catalog them here and with some thoughts of my own if I had any.
I want to note that I put wrote ‘romance/shipping’ without actually putting much thought into it. Often romance and shipping end up conflated in my head as I am usually shipping in slightly romantic shows and on occasion in romantic ones. Anyway, it was interesting seeing how some folk decided to separate the two categories while others conflated them/didn’t care and some (maybe 1) just said shipping sucks.
Oh and 1 friend (@trashywaifu) recommended a manga (Jitsu Watashi wa) and I like the anime adaptation of that manga a lot!
Whenever someone categorized a show as romantic or shipping, I put their categorization in brackets and omitted it if they didn’t. So, here are the shows mentioned listed in roughly alphabetical order with some thoughts from me on any I’ve seen. Apologies if I missed anyone. Feel free to let me know others that aren’t here or what not.
Also if you are curious you can check out the recommendations @senpai;notes got.
And this post is very out of date but if you want a few shipping manga recommendations.
Akagami no Shirayuki-hime – @iblessall
R: I didn’t get very far in the anime, but used to love the manga. It is a lovely romance about a pharmacist and a prince with some of my favorite side characters ever. Obi is especially awesome.
Akatsuki no Yona – @normalmar
R: God I love Yona. It is a rare case of me not really shipping too much, but it is perfectly fine for that too! I should catch up to the manga someday….
Ancient Magus Bride – @Usny (romance)
R: Skulldaddy – Chise is a good ship. I am sorry for being problematic. I am sorry. Not sorry. (Another manga I should catch up to someday….)
Ano Natsu – @whemleh, @certainlyawitch
R: I have seen a few episodes of this good show with the delightful alien lead. Cute!
Crest of the Stars – @kadian1265, @ZeroReq011 (also likes Banner of the Stars)
R: I looove Crest of the Stars. I’ve been saving Banner of the Stars but someday I’ll watch it. Definitely recommended from me too!
Demon King Daimao – @smartkittymomo (Shipping)
R: Possibly my favorite harem anime because it is funny and fun in my opinion and also kind of fun badass!
Dragon Maid – @whemleh, @TheRoyalWeeb (romance)
R: I love Dragon Maid. It is a lovely show about getting along with those who are not entirely like you. Tohru and Kobayashi are totally married imo.
Eccentric Family – @TheRoyalWeeb (romance)
R: It took until the end of the second season for my wish to come true, but god I love this show.
ef A Tale of Memories – @ExecutiveOtaku (more romance), @draggle_kun, @ZeroReq011, @Kitsunezaru_ , @Avisch_
Eureka 7 – @chronolynx(romance), @smartkittymomo (romance)
R: My feelings on E7 are muddled since I watched it so long ago and some of it wasn’t really my kind of anime, but it is a series I respect and the ending of the romance….is just perfect. So absolutely a good romantic anime.
EVOL – @whemleh, @chronolynx
Fruits Basket – @billion_maiden
R: Fruits Basket is one of my earliest shoujos and it holds a dear spot in my heart. It ihas been a long time, but if my memory is correct there is some real kindness and authenticity in this old manga.
Genshiken -@ExecutiveOtaku (more romance)
Gundam Build Fighters – @whemleh (shipping)
R: Reiji x Aila best anime ship of all time
Hayate the Combat Butler – @ScarletR00k (shipping)
R: God the shipping wars over Hayate were amazing. Hina is still the best girl and ship imo but a lot of the other girls are good too! Someday I’ll read the Hayate manga…
Honey and Clover – @Ondores_Lies (romance), @ExecutiveOtaku (more romance)
Hyouka – @Yog_shi, @ScarletR00k (romance), @ZeroReq011, @Ima_Ga_Saikou (romance)
R: There are not enough good things I can say about Hyouka. I love Oreki and Chitanda though upon a rewatch I’d probably agree with the few critics who were upset about Satoshi’s treatment.
Just Because – @ExecutiveOtaku (more romance), @draggle_kun
R: I need to finish this fantastic anime.
Kare Kano – @kadian1365
R: I read a good amount of Kare Kano many many years back and had to stop because it got scary psychological, but I did like a lot of it. The anime opening totally bangs as well.
Kimikiss – @ExecutiveOtaku (more romance)
Kimi ni Todoke – @smartkittymomo (Romance)
R: Another manga/anime I should finish someday but I love the characters so much. Sawako is a genuine sweetheart.
Konosuba – @Usny (shipping)
R: Darkness x Kazuma is the only ship I found myself occasionally shipping when I saw this (conveniently omitting the dream ova). Still funny as heck show imo.
Kuromukuro – @whemleh
R: Need to finish, but the main pair is cute!
Little Witch Academia – @TheRoyalWeeb (shipping)
Love Live Sunshine – @Ima_Ga_Saikou (romance)
Monogatari – @Usny (shipping)
R: Bakemonogatari is one of my favorite romances. Someday I’ll watch more Gatari but for now I have that lying on grass scene and am content with it.
My Hero Academia – @TheRoyalWeeb (shipping)
R: I’ve never been much of an MHA shipper, but there’s a surprising amount of fervor in the community for shipping so good for em! I do think Ochacho and Deku are cute together but I don’t have strong feelings for it. The fandom did make me like Byakugo x Kirishima a lot and the two are amazing together.
Mysterious Girlfriend X – @whemleh
R: Another anime/manga I should finish and one I gain extreme renewed interest in every time someone livetweets it. What an amazing looking show.
Negima – @ScarletR00k (shipping)
Nozaki-kun – @pontifus, @billion_maiden, @whemleh (shipping)
R: THE PAIRS IN Nozaki-kun are perfect. SEO X WAKA IS MY PERSONAL FAV BUT I LOVE EVERYONE. GIVE ME SEASON 2 ALREADY.
Nyan Koi – @smartkittymomo (Shipping)
R: A cute anime I should revisit/finish. I really liked both the girls and began to feel rather sorry for the childhood friend who was very sweet on the inside, brash on the outside if I recall correctly.
Precure – @KaiPercival (shipping probably)
Ramna 1/2 – @lightningsabre (shipping Ranma and Akane)
R: I will forever ask for just a small epilogue to Ranma 1/2 with more Ranma and Akane but alas!
Sakura Trick – @billion_maiden
School Rumble – @ScarletR00k (shipping), @draggle_kun
R: BEST SHIPPING COMEDY EVER. HARIMA X YAKUMO ALL THE WAY (though Eri is also okay). The greatest tragedy is we’ll never have neither the nice conclusion we deserve or the extended comedy which we also deserve.
SDF Macross – @ExecutiveOtaku (more romance)
R: I will finish SDF someday I swear!
Simoun – @ExecutiveOtaku (more romance)
Spice and Wolf – @Redkrimson, @ZeroReq011, @dominik_beh
Star Driver – @iblessall(shipping) , @ScarletR00k(romance)
Steins;Gate – @Link3693, @ZeroReq011
R: God I loved Kuriso and Okabe. I don’t know they just meshed so well together….also Kuriso is hot and I love her.
Sword Art Online – @iblessall(romance), @_manganon(romance)
Symphogear – @whemleh, @ondores_lies
THE iDOLM@STER – @Usny (shipping)
R: Ah yes idol shipping, the most divisive force on the net w.
To Love Ru – @Jaoaoaoaoao
R: Someday I’ll finish the long running manga some of my tl holds exceptionally dear.
Toradora – @smartkittymomo (Romance), @Yog_shi, @pontifus, @billion_maiden, @iblessall (Romance), @ScarletR00k (Romance), @ZeroReq011, @dominik_beh
R: Back when Toradora aired I never expected it to become such a beloved anime. I was new to anime then so I never realized how rare anime with such a strong zoomed in focus on romantic drama were. It was good! I will have to rewatch it someday, but it is definitely a very powerful anime with some incredible highs.
True Tears – @ExecutiveOtaku (more romance), @draggle_kun
Whisper of the Heart – @Kitsunezaru_
White Album 2 – @emperorJ, @ZeroReq011, @dominik_beh
R: I desperately want to build the motivation to finish this because I love the opening and everything I hear about it sounds fantastic (also the 3 episodes of it I saw).
Your Lie in April – @Usny (romance)
Zero no Tsukaima – @lightningsabre (shipping Louise and Saito)
R: Wow another old anime. I can’t lie but I definitely had some ‘dawwww’ moments watching this like a decade back.
Some of my recommendations
Because why not this is my blog.
I am very sorry for all the het. I am sorry I try sometimes but can almost never ship anything else. (though there are cases where I will have a gay ship, but atm I can’t recall any I’ve actually finished. Fuuka is perhaps one example as is dance with the devils)
This list isn’t comprehensive and these shows are of varying quality, but I do hope they give you stuff to check out! Also sorry there are so many. I have come to realize that slightly romantic anime make a large part of my media diet….
A Bridge to the Starry Skies
I watched this really recently and I can’t completely recommend this because I know most folk would find this forgettable. Heck as I was tweeting about it that’s exactly what folk said lol.
Still, as my friend Highway pointed out, this is a bit of a rare show in that all of the harem members get a shot and there’s a nice tidy conclusion at the end of it. In my experience that’s pretty unusual in a twelve episode anime! So yeah if you want a slightly ecchi, but also rather straightforward mostly nice watch. Consider it. 🙂
(some tweets by me.)
The cute comedy is the central focus of this show but Io and Tsumiki are so adorable together. Watch this.
Amagi Brilliant Park
Not a romantic show, but I shipped Sento and Kanye West a heck of a lot. I am desperately waiting for a sequel. Please give it to me ;_;
Amagami SS and Seiren
4 episodes per girl (and then a few more in the second season in Amagami’s case) and then a complete reset. It is a very visual novel formula made into anime BUT! It works well. Yeah your favorite girl doesn’t get the whole season but at least she gets an ending. I enjoyed Amagami SS and Seiren a fair bit! Though I still need to watch Amagami SS Plus someday.
Oh and fair warning but both Amagami SS and Seiren are delightfully kinky. I want more anime that are kinky in their fashion.
Arakawa Under the Bridge
Any anime with a romance that goes somewhere pretty much wins a spot in my heart. I never finished the 2nd Arakawa season but the first is an absolute must watch for the comedic slow love between a haughty guy and this mysterious alien girl Nino.
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
It has been a long time since I saw Haganai and in retrospect it does probably have a few problems (gender treatment and a very loli imouto). That said…
*SMASHES FIST ONTO TABLE*
no no I have to calm down and breath, this is a recomenda-
*SMASHES FIST AGAIN*
Look …. I am mad my ship, the one correct ship, did not reach port by the end of it okay. I mean no ship did as it was left unfinished but I know that even if more was made, my ship will sin-
-k. No, but really Haganai has one of my favorite anime confession scenes of all time. I have written about this show more than I perhaps should have (old posts of v bad quality) but god that confession scene, and god Rika. Some of this show is really good.
Clannad and Kannon (2006)
I am shoving both of the old Key anime I’ve seen here because honestly it has been too long so I am not sure how to talk about them. Clannad is to be honest not especially romantic (the vn feels more so probably) and I am sure the first season is rather tiring to work through. It is usually recommended for the 2nd season but even then less for romantic reasons and more for its depiction of family and grief and the so called ‘feels’ it generates.
I recall enjoying Kanon back when I watched it so maybe it is good to check out!
Daily Lives of High School Boys
Again no real romance here, but Literature Girl x Hidenori all the way.
Not exactly very romantic, but I shipped Haruhi and Kyon hard. Kyon is the only person who actually gets Haruhi and by extension he is the only one she trusts. Kyon-Koizumi is also a very good ship as is Kyon-Yuki (the popular choice among my friends) and Kyon-Asahina is not bad either. Maybe Kyon is just the swiss army knife of shipping.
You can ship him with all. Still I love Kyon-Haruhi a lot.
Engaged to the Unidentified
Mikakunin is beloved for the bouncy animation, the cute girls and general tone of it all, but I also just adore the simple straightforward romance here. I am a simple person. Give me a simple romance with some good progress along the way and I will absolutely eat it all up. Read my short post on it!
Full Metal Panic
I am sure a lot of it hasn’t held up well, but I still ship Sousuke and Kaname.
Fox Spirit Matchmaker
Fox Spirit Matchmaker has wonky direction, strangely placed gags, unimpressive visuals and is at first not terribly gripping. But…..I love it so much.
Effectively this is a show about reincarnated humans remembering their past loves and finding it again and the Japanese remake is absolutely not concluded as of yet (give me more), but I got so invested in the melancholic romances on show here.
Yeah it is silly at times, yeah it gets confusing and even more convoluted towards the end, but that core melancholy that touches me just right makes this a show I really like. If you want to read more, I have this post on the first few episodes.
Watch this for the amazing misunderstandings. I never did finish the controversial final episode but here’s a post on the first few which I liked a lot!
Not a show I’d watch for romance but there’s one ship in here I like a lot! Also love the show as a whole of course. Here’s a final impressions post on it if you like.
I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying
This is one of my favorite shorts and it features an already married adult couple. It is just a very nice watch with some good sprinkling of love.
Itazura na Kiss
This is a show I barely remember anything about since I watched it like ten years ago, but I recall liking it a lot especially because it is a rare show where not only is the relationship center stage but it also has a nice final conclusion to all the drama too. In retrospect it is probably not the healthiest of relationships, but my memory is really shot.
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san
Takagi-san is about to finish airing and it has been a really nice cute teasing anime. I love it and you should consider checking out the manga (as well as its spin-off sequel)!
Log Horizon still holds a dear spot in my heart but after my recent watch I do have a fair few mixed feelings about it. (rant here if you like). Akatsuki-Shirou is okay and is at times kind of cute.
Marie x Naotsugu is super good! But of course the real draw with respect to shipping is Lazy Princess x Crusty and is a legendary ship that I will never tire of.
Anyway you should watch Log Horizon for many reasons and these two strong ships are certainly one of them!
There is no romance here BUT BUT there are some powerful ships hidden in this late 2000s anime. Watch it for the relaxing funny sisters, but stay for the cute ships imo.
Mushibugyou is a fun samurai action show about killing bugs I guess, but it also has a really good ship in the main character and the real cute magistrate. I powered through the show in the vain hope they’d be together by the end, but alas I must pit my hopes on a season 2 someday! It is still absolutely worth watching just for them if you find yourself shipping them.
You can throw flack at Nisekoi if you want, but in my opinion the fact that so many shipping/best girl wars happened over it is proof it did a fair few things right. I enjoy this silly brand of romcom. Unfortunately the anime doesn’t have a conclusive ending. To find out who won, you will have to read the ~manga~.
(p.s. Marika absolutely 100% deserved to win even though we all knew she wasn’t going to.)
Otome Yokai Zakuro
God, these two were so good together imo
One of the first anime I sampled. I never finished it then, but I watched it all a year or two back. I had a fair bit to say about the weird directions the story took (forgot what I wanted to say) but the romance in this is really sweet. I like the pairings a lot.
I love these goofs
Rinne isn’t a very romantic show (rather it is very weekly monster hunt and gag). That said, I like Rinne for a few reasons but chief among them is Mamiya Sakura and Rinne’s relationship. Is it really so much to ask for for them to get together? Really. jeez.
Seto no Hanayome
Seto no Hanayome is one of the earliest anime I have seen and it still holds a big place in my heart. I can’t promise that it has aged well, but if the comedy is the main draw then the cute romance between Nagasumi and Seto is the cream on top. I really, really liked the two which is why the ending made me very happy at the time.
Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge
Not really a romantic show but I enjoyed shipping in this one. I am sorry to all the correct fans of this show but I shipped Tanaka with Class President, Ohta with yellow girl but also absolutely considered Tanaka and Ohta married. Don’t ask me how this works.
Watch Tanaka-kun. It is a real gem.
Tonari no Seki-kun
A show with near 0 romance (except for a misunderstanding by a side character) but it is so good and it has a really rock solid ship in the main two characters.
Tsuki ga Kirei
A recent genuinely sweet coming of age romance. The drama isn’t especially high, both characters have their own goals and motivations and encourage the other and aggghhh. This is a lovely show I recommend wholeheartedly.
I love the manga and the anime (what I saw of it) holds up the spirit well. This is a cute comedy with lots of fun misunderstandings and other teenage hijinks but also some genuinely fun pairs.
Look. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is best known for the hype building robots but I was a real sucker for Nia and Simon. Like I just wanted them to be happy so bad.
I love Witchcraft Works so much and it features a princess boy and a very princely girl that princess caries him and stuff. It is a lovely show!
Working!!! and WWW.Working!!
I am a bit of a bad Working fan in that I dislike Inami and her relationship with Takanashi a lot. That said I am putting Working here because the relationship between Satou and Yachiyou is the real good stuff. The anime is worth watching to ship them imo.
WWW.Working!! didn’t get the same attention as its 3 season long predecessor (has a different cast of characters) but in my opinion it had far more wholesome fulfilling relationships in general (mostly). The way some of the relationships (ghost girl and purple cook boy) come together is rad. It is definitely worth checking out!
A good hidden ship in http://www.Working imo
This ‘classy’ (ecchi) very light novel anime is a very iffy recommendation on my part. World Break is basically about people remembering their past lives. Our protagonist of course had many past lives and the girls that loved him then are now vying for his attention in the present.
It is a dumb chuuni show and to be honest the biggest reason for the iffy recommendation is the extremely lackluster visuals. It also has a fair few ‘you are a girl so I can’t let you cry’ lines and a few other uhh questionable things. If, however, you don’t care for the bad look, or the silly plot or the less good characters you might just find a ship I really, really like.
The main character and this girl who was his wife in a previous life are just so good together. (I also like the music).
Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo
Yamada and the 7 witches is a cute manga I didn’t get around to finishing but it had a pretty nice anime too. It is a shame the production (if memory serves me correctly) didn’t hold up but there is some fun shipping to be had here. Urara x Yamada is very good.
Naruto Look I just wanted to gloat about my ship winning, okay