Most anime series feature some degree of romance, and it can be particularly exciting when the main characters involved are a couple. These relationships can run deeper than friendships, and there can even be darker and deeper elements exposed along the way.
The romantic relationships in anime can sprout from friendships or rivalries, or go the other way around, or never go anywhere at all if a courageous “I love you!” is met with the iconic “Baka!” meme.
Nonetheless, here are our favorite picks for the best anime couples and romantic relationships we’ve seen!
17. Harutora Tsuchimikado and Natsume Tsuchimikado (Tokyo Ravens)
We begin with this weird couple who both have the same last name!
Harutora was raised in a branch family and had his spiritual abilities sealed off because his father wanted him to live a normal life, rather than being the reincarnation of Yakuo Tsuchimikado.
Natsume was an abandoned child taken in by the family to pose as their son Harutora (who was brought down to the branch family).
Natsume’s feelings for him started ever since they were young—in fact, she even made a shinigami doll named Hokuto to stay by Harutora’s side as if she (Natsume) was with him all along.
16. Gene Starwind and Melfina (Outlaw Star)
Gene Starwind is the pilot of XGP 15a-II (known as the Outlaw Star) while Melfina VSD02C (simply called Melfina) is the bio-android who’s also the main navigation system of the ship with the purpose of conquering the Galactic Leyline.
Though Melfina was made solely to be the Outlaw Star’s heart, it turns out that she and Gene built up a relationship that can conquer and emerge victorious over the harshest space and strongest enemies.
15. Recca Hanabishi and Sakoshita Yanagi (Flame of Recca)
Because Sakoshita has the ability to heal wounds, she became the target of a rich man whose ambition is to become immortal. Recca swore that he’d protect Sakoshita with all his power and might and even called her his princess.
This caused the team to face many struggles and fights before and during the Ura Buto Satsujin tournament, but also provided many opportunities for their relationship to grow.
14. Son Goku and Chi-Chi (Dragon Ball Z)
Goku and Chi-Chi made a promise to each other—that they’d become husband and wife—in the early episodes of Dragon Ball Z.
Years later, on the fateful day of that tournament in which Goku participated as a contestant, the two officially became a couple in the center of the arena. While it was a romantic proposal, Goku had no idea what marriage was at that time!
13. Kazuya Ryuusaki and Erika (Daimos)
Kazuya Ryuusaki (also called Richard in some countries) and Erika are one of the best couples from 90s anime. Their love story spans planets apart and is entangled in the greed and hatred of others.
Kazuya is the pilot of the mecha robot Daimos who fights the invading Baam kingdom where Erika belongs as their princess.
12. Minato Namikaze and Kushina Uzumaki (Naruto)
Minato and Kushina are the parents of main character Naruto, and they both sacrificed their lives for their son.
We don’t see too much of their relationship, but we do see glimpses of when they were kids (before the devastating Nine-Tails rampage) and how much Minato cared for Kushina as he tracked her down and defeated her abductors.
11. Yusuke Urameshi and Keiko Yukimura (Yu Yu Hakusho)
Yu Yu Hakusho features the revival of Yusuke due to Keiko’s kiss, which started his new journey as a Spirit Detective.
During the early episodes, we can see them both quarreling over everything (most times during school days), but their care for each other is deep and evident beneath it all.
10. Senor Pink and Russian (One Piece)
Even villains have their own love stories in anime. Senor Pink and Russian’s romance moved Frankie’s heart so much that he acknowledged Pink’s manliness despite his weird baby outfit.
Their story appeared in the series as a series of flashbacks, yet feels complete and meaningful. With this element of the Dressrosa arc, we can say that even bad guys can fall in love.
9. Ikki Kurogane and Stella Vermillion (Chivalry of a Failed Knight)
Here we have an anime love story that emerged from a rivalry.
Ikki and Stella once fought each other for authority over their dorm room. They are total opposites of each other as the public sees them, because Ikki was known as the lowest-ranked Blazer while Stella is a genius and talented one.
8. Asta and Noelle Silva (Black Clover)
Though Noelle and Asta never outright say they like each other, these two have many of their own cute moments when they’re together—and that’s enough to land them on this list, at least for us.
The best scene of Asta caring for Noelle is when he stood up against her siblings. Other moments feature Asta praising Noelle, with the latter responding outwardly with pride but happy deep inside.
7. Meliodas and Elizabeth (Seven Deadly Sins)
This couple endured so many years of harsh luck—totaling over 3,000 years, if anyone’s counting. The Supreme Deity and the Demon King cursed them both as punishments for their acts during the Holy War.
Meliodas was cursed with a never-ending life, while Elizabeth is made to die again and again as soon as she manifests her powers.
Both are destined to meet each other every time Elizabeth dies and reincarnates, with Meliodas having to endure the pain of seeing another Elizabeth die in front of him over and over again.
6. Baki Hanma and Kozue Matsumoto (Baki)
In a story filled with tough guys and brawny men, the love story between Baki and Kozue makes the series more exciting.
We remember how their intimate moment was almost ruined by Spec but saved by Hanayama. There was also a scene where Alai Jr. starts to date Kozue, but was beaten up by Baki’s companions.
We also saw her miraculously aiding in Baki’s treatment after he was poisoned by Yanagi, while Yujiro tells her that she can make Baki a man who’s far stronger than he is in his current state.
5. Shinichi Kudo and Ran Mouri (Case Closed)
Shinichi Kudo and Ran Mori are the main characters of Case Closed, the mystery anime series that’s also known as Detective Conan.
Shinichi is a high school detective with deduction skills that are far greater than any investigators, while Ran is a martial arts expert and the daughter of a private detective with his own agency.
Though Ran grows suspicious after finding similarities between Detective Conan and Shinichi, Conan always finds a way to hide his true identity. At the same time, Shinichi cares for Ran and would even give his life for her.
4. Tatsu and Miku (Way of the Househusband)
This comedy anime series features a unique couple: the Immortal Dragon Tatsu and a career woman Miku. Tatsu is a former yakuza boss who retires from crime and illegal works to be a househusband.
As expected, his way of doing things at home (like cooking and shopping) are just too harsh and badass. On the other hand, his wife shows that he can handle someone that even the police can’t handle.
3. Shinichi Izumi and Satomi Murano (Parasyte: The Maxim)
Shinichi and Satomi are best friends who develop a romantic relationship with each other. Throughout the Parasyte anime, Satomi doesn’t know of Shinichi’s parasitic hand-entity yet ends up saved by them in her near-death situations.
Most fans thought it would be Kana who’d end up as the love interest of Shinichi as he was extremely angered due to Kana’s death, but it’s Satomi with whom he ended up having a relationship.
2. Ken Kaneki and Touka Kirishima (Tokyo Ghoul)
Ken and Touka became husband and wife at the end of Tokyo Ghoul, but before that, a lot happened between them.
At first, Ken was scared of Touka after getting beaten up by her because he can’t live his new life as a Ghoul. But as the story progresses, both find comfort in each other as they get to know more about each other’s lives and personalities.
1. Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyuga (Naruto)
Ever since they were young, Hinata admired Naruto even while the entire Leaf Village thought of him as the Demon Fox who destroyed Konoha. Her love was perfected when she protected Naruto during the Invasion of Pain arc, which cost her life.
Though the anime series doesn’t emphasize Naruto’s relationship with Hinata much, The Last: Naruto the Movie dives into his feelings for Hinata and how they end up together. And with that love story, another series is born: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations!