Anime is an art form that covers a wide variety of genres. Because of the soft, dream-like quality that anime can have, it is an excellent choice for depicting great romances. Top-tier animation can work with excellent writing to draw you into thrilling, heart-wrenching, and just downright incredible romances. Japanese culture has always had a profound sense of the romantic (if not always the happy romantic) and this has carried on into modern anime.

So curl up with your favorite beverage in a cozy spot with a soft blanket. Here are the ten best Japanese romance anime movies!

1. Doukyuusei (Classmates)

Doukyuusei (Classmates). Photo Credit: Amazon.com

This popular anime romance tells the tale of two very different high school boys as they grow up and meet each other. It’s a simple story that follows the ups and downs of a high school romance, with a lot of the drama you might expect from the yaoi genre of anime romance. The unique art style is a major element of what sets this movie apart. It has a unique simplicity that appeals to many people, though it is unusual for the genre.

Watch this romance anime here.

2. Kimi no Na wa (Your Name)

Body-swapping is one of the major tropes of anime and manga, often played for comedy. However, Kimi no Na wa uses it for romance. A country girl wants to live the life of a boy in the lively metropolis of Tokyo, while a young man is weary of his crazy busy life in the city. One morning, they wake up in the bodies and lives of each other. Confused and intrigued by this mystery, they begin to look for each other.

The beautiful art and moving writing led this movie to win the LAFCA Animation Award in 2016 and Best Animated Film in 2017 at the Mainichi Film Awards. Strange, sweet, and even sad, the story takes striking turns. This is a must-see for any fan of romance.

3. Tamako Love Story

Looking for a romantic comedy? Tamako Love Story is about two awkward high school students finally confessing their feelings. When a boy, Mochizo Oji, decides to leave for college, he also decides to confess his feelings to the ever-clueless Tamako. Small-town local rivalries and a lot of heart set up a touching love story full of misunderstanding and very human awkwardness.

It’s a classic tale that is sure to warm your heart and make you laugh as you follow along with the misadventures of two young people in love.

4. Mimi wo Sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart)

Whisper of the Heart comes from the legendary Studio Ghibli. Like all the studio’s works, the animation is incredible. A boy and a girl keep crossing paths- with the boy seeming to work at getting on the young songwriter girl’s nerves. Over time, the two start to get to know each other and their hopes and dreams.

This is not as mythic as many of Studio Ghibli’s other work, but it is a deeply beautiful work nonetheless. It is a story many of us can connect to, a story about not only love but also pursuing your dreams and figuring out what matters. A must-see.

5. Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light)

Translated as “Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light”, this movie utilizes Japanese folklore to tell a story of love and loss. Gin is a forest spirit, while Hotaru is a young girl who, as a small child, meets him when she is lost in the woods. Gin cannot touch a human or he will disappear.

As Hotaru grows into a young woman, the pair come to fall in love after years of interacting. The tale ends in tragedy, but there is a sweetness to the bitterness. The beautiful animation helps make the story a striking experience.

6. KazeTachinu (The Wind Rises)

Another movie from Studio Ghibli, this movie is based on the real-life of Jiro Horikoshi, who developed the Zero fighter plane. Jiro is a man who has faced many struggles, first learning his eyesight prevented him from flying an airplane, then facing many challenges as an airplane engineer.

Meanwhile, he meets and falls in love with a young lady he has met several times in passing, a lady who has her own coming tragedy. It is a sweet but difficult story that will challenge viewers.

Why don’t you watch this popular anime now?

7. Kotonoha no Niwa (The Garden of Words)

This dramatic love story is the tale of two very different people, a young shoemaker and a mysterious woman.The two meet in a park with no idea who the other is. When identities are revealed and even more things come to light, the story takes a turn for the near-tragic.

It is a calm and beautiful drama, with many unique cultural quirks. It’s the illustration of the park where the pair spend most of their time is incredible, almost photorealistic, but all hand-drawn. It is an intensely emotional and sentimental film, making it the perfect romance watch.

Buy this English dubbed romance anime movie.

8. Howl no Ugoku Shiro (Howl’s Moving Castle)

Loosely based on a western book by the same name by Dianna Wynne Jones, this Studio Ghibli movie is one of the most well-known and popular. The plain and responsible Sophie is rescued by chance by the legendary and mysterious wizard Howl, unfortunately drawing the attention of the jealous Witch of the Waste, who curses her, turning her into an old woman. She seeks a cure from Howl, but misadventures ensue.

This is a beautiful and fun movie, full of action and incredible characters. If you want to enjoy a little over an hour in a fantastic world, be sure to watch Howl’s Moving Castle!

9. Zutto Mae kara Suki Deshita: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai (I’ve Always Liked You)

This high-school romance movie focuses on a set of friends who have trouble telling their crush of their feelings. This is a very typical romantic comedy, filled with teenage awkwardness and jealousy. It’s a fun movie, with some excellent art, perfect for a day inside in your pajamas.

10. Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time)

When Makoto finds out that she can time travel, she starts using her powers to make her life easier and fix her own problems, like chronic lateness and bad grades. However, when she finds out she finds our hurting others as well as that her leaps are limited, things start to change, especially with her male friend Chiaki.

Not all is at it seems in this creative drama, though, and has earned its many accolades and awards. If you are looking for great anime (romance or not) you should watch The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.