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.
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 my favorite picks for the best anime couples and why they stand out as memorable romantic relationships.
20. 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.
19. 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.
18. Minato Namikaze and Kushina Uzumaki (Naruto Shippuden)
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.
17. 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.
16. 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.
15. 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.
14. Meliodas and Elizabeth (The 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.
13. 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.
12. 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.
11. Tatsu and Miku (The 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.
10. 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.
9. 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.
8. Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyuga (Naruto Shippuden)
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!
7. Subaru Natsuki and Rem (Re:Zero)
Although the main love team in Re:Zero is Subaru and Emilia, we can't ignore Subaru and Rem's feelings for each other. At first, Rem was suspicious of Subaru; later on, Rem finds that he isn't an enemy.
The way she handles her feelings for him—and how she accepts him for who he is—makes their relationship so cute.
6. Izuku Midoriya and Ochaco Uraraka (My Hero Academia)
There are lots of memes shipping Ochaco Uraraka and Katsuki Bakugo, but it's obvious to most people that Ochaco Uraraka and Izuku Midoriya is the best ship in My Hero Academia.
From their very first meeting—where he jumped in to save her—we already knew that they were meant to be. Over the course of the series, they share so many cute moments together as their friendship blossoms into something deeper and more meaningful.
5. Loid Forger and Yor Briar (Spy X Family)
Yor Briar is an elite world-class assassin while Loid Forger is an elite world-class spy. What would happen if these two were to meet? More than that, what if they got married despite not knowing each other?
The result is a one-of-a-kind love story that exceeds all expectations, punctuated with the occasional badass fight scenes and espionage missions. It's all brought to a head with the inclusion of Anya, too.
And remember how Loid proposed to Yor with a grenade pin as a ring? If that isn't so cute and romantic and fitting for these two, then what is?
4. Winry Rockbell and Edward Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Winry Rockbell and Edward Elric have a pretty good relationship at the start of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood given that Winry is Ed's personal automail mechanic.
Whenever Ed's arm is broken or mangled or malfunctioning in whatever way, Winry is always there to fix it—after she wails on him for not being careful and damaging her masterpiece.
But their relationship doesn't end there. Both have always been in love with each other, even if they aren't very vocal about it. Their interactions are cute to watch throughout the series.
3. Tanjiro Kamado and Kanao Tsuyuri (Demon Slayer)
While Kanao Tsuyuri is a skilled Demon Slayer, she's expressionless and not exactly forthright. On the other hand, Tanjiro Kamado is loud and animated and always wears his heart on his sleeve.
These two seem to be polar opposites of each other, but they look so cute together. The Rehabilitation Arc in Demon Slayer features all kinds of shared moments, from daily training to Tanjiro encouraging Kanao to decide for herself instead of by flipping a coin.
2. Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane (Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War)
These two rivals make for a unique love story that's totally entertaining while putting a new spin on your typical romance plot.
Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane obviously like each other, but both are too prideful to confess their true feelings to the other.
Their "love war" becomes more intense as they scheme and try their best to force the other to confess their love first. Plus, characters like Chika Fujiwara further add to the tension between the two.
1. Nishikata and Takagi (Teasing Master Takagi-San)
Nishikata and Takagi make up the youngest couple on this list—or at least they started their relationship at a young age. What's interesting here is that their relationship isn't your typical romance trope.
Takagi likes to play pranks and tease Nishikata, who, on the other hand, wants to exact revenge. In many ways, this young couple is very similar to Kaguya and Miyuki from Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War except it plays out in a much more lighthearted fashion.
Together, Nishikata and Takagi form one of the cutest couples in anime. If you haven't seen Teasing Master Takagi-San yet, you should!