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Old 2014-01-10, 02:59   Link #1
Duckinator
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Looking for romance animes

Hi all. I have not been watching animes since 2007, and recently I feel like watching some again. I'm looking for recommendations of romance animes with certain conditions:

1. No harem/reverse harem.

2. No feudal/period setting. Modern or slightly futuristic setting is fine.

3. Preferably non action/fantasy (don't want Shakugan no Shana, Zero no Tsukaima etc.), as I want the main focus to be on romance. Slice of life is fine though. Basically I want a realistic setting.

4. Preferably showing both characters building the relationship over the course of the show. They could dislike each other or be close friends early on, but end up realising their love/need for one another.

5. Must be a good ending, ie. "100% together ending"

6. I really prefer the characters to be adults, but I can make do if they are school students (sometimes the childishness gets to me).

7. The guy/girl must not be useless. I don't like an overly shy/timid main character.

8. I prefer the number of episodes to be 25 or less. I can take slightly more though.

9. I prefer the animation to be modern. Probably a series from 2002 onward perhaps?

The Taiwanese drama "In Time With You" is what I really want. But that's a drama and not anime, so it may be a bit unrealistic to expect something that similar. I know that Toradora is quite well received, but the childish nature is turning me off somewhat (I'm watching it now). Honey and Clover was nice, but it was too much slice of life and too little romance. I liked Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien, but I felt the anime wasn't complete enough. I have seen the live action Nodame Cantabile, so I'm not interested in the anime.

Shoot away I guess. Feels like a lot of conditions, but I will appreciate any suggestions

Last edited by Duckinator; 2014-01-11 at 13:29.
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Old 2014-01-10, 03:00   Link #2
ArrowSmith
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White Album(first season)
Kita e
Ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two.
5 cm per second
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Old 2014-01-10, 03:16   Link #3
Last Sinner
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Hana Yori Dango - 51 eps of a mid 90s title. It portrays romance in a far more realistic light that almost any other title. It is a bit dark/creepy early on, but over time, just excels. Explores classism, sexism, bullying on top of romance. It is a bit melodramatic/over the top at times out of necessity, but it's grounded with a very good female lead.

Garden of Words - Film around 45 mins long. High school student meets a 27 year old woman in a park on rainy days. A unique, intriguing and ultimately entralling bond forms between them. Very beautiful and touching.

Lovely Complex - It is a romantic comedy, but it is usually in the same boat as Nodame Cantabile in terms of quality. There's a fair few oddballs and a cool tall girl-short guy thing going on. I find a lot of guys who normally don't like romance titles like Lovely Complex - it's worth trying. It's quite fun.

Hanasakeru Seishounen - Manga from the mid 80s edited in 2009. Has a lot of political intrigue and glam to it. Girl with wisdom and kindess way beyond her years searching for love in a more open-ended way while resolving political/power issues. Adults involved for most characters. Worth trying alone for how unique it is.


Emma - A Victorian Romance - This is set in Victorian England. Just saying in case you don't want that time period. But it involves adults, class issues and other issues from that time and place. Again, it's unique and definitely quite serious/realistic.

Natsuyuki Rendezvous - Mature and even a bit more carnal than something you'd expect to get animated. Note there is a bit of a supernatural element to it, but it's quite mature and aside from the supernatural element, it's realistic in sense of the relationships and how characters act/dress, plus they're adults.
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Old 2014-01-10, 03:46   Link #4
Duckinator
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Thanks.

White Album is harem if I'm not wrong, so I'm not into it. Could I have a short summary of kita e and EF?

I have watched the live action of Hana Yori Dango. Personally I do not like a class difference kind of show. I also dislike anything to do with royalty or the super wealthy. I want something realistic that I can relate to haha.

I checked on Maison Ikkoku, and I liked the story. The only issue is the length, and that it's a really old animation. I think I will update the first post for more conditions haha.

Also, any comments on White Album 2? I know I don't have to see the first series. Does it fulfill what I want? The same thing for The Pet Girl of Sakurasou?
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Old 2014-01-10, 03:50   Link #5
SuitUp
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So no classics or too long series, and realistic?
Give Honey and Clover a try, the characters feel so real they may bore you sometimes, for me at least it hit too close to home, and besides the comedy it sometimes has it's really good.
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Old 2014-01-10, 03:52   Link #6
Duckinator
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuitUp View Post
So no classics or too long series, and realistic?
Give Honey and Clover a try, the characters feel so real they may bore you sometimes, for me at least it hit too close to home, and besides the comedy it sometimes has it's really good.
I watched that already. I enjoyed it a lot, though it did not have much romance in it. It was a relaxing anime to view, and I like the character development.
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Old 2014-01-10, 03:59   Link #7
SuitUp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckinator View Post
I watched that already. I enjoyed it a lot, though it did not have much romance in it. It was a relaxing anime to view, and I like the character development.
Then i would suggest you try either Kokoro Connect or NANA, bot shows are somewhat romance centered, but their main selling point is character development, only qualm with NANA it's that it has 47 episodes.
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Old 2014-01-10, 05:17   Link #8
totoum
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Well welcome to 2014, where all anime is set in highschool (except for a few here and there)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckinator View Post
Also, any comments on White Album 2? I know I don't have to see the first series. Does it fulfill what I want? The same thing for The Pet Girl of Sakurasou?
Don't want to get into spoilers but I'm afraid WA2 doesn't satisfy "5. Must be a good ending."
It fills most other of your requests though, I especially liked the male lead.

As for Sakurasou, the first couple episodes are very misleading, it is very much not a harem despite appearances and after the first couple episodes the fanservice gets toned down a lot.My favorite aspect of this show is you get to see three couples develop all in one show but that being said if you find Toradora too childish then maybe Sakurasou isn't for you.

Maybe True Tears? While threre's three girls on the artwork it's really a love triangle rather than a harem.

It's rather short but The Garden Of Words could fit I think, be sure to watch past the credits.
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Old 2014-01-10, 08:23   Link #9
SeijiSensei
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I like the anime version of Nodame Cantabile better than the live-action. I got tired of Ueno Juri's mugging as Nodame and couldn't watch the final movie. The original anime series is streamed with the R4 subs on Sony's Crackle service. The fansubs include the two sequels.

Cross Game has high-school aged characters and lasts for fifty episodes, but otherwise it meets a lot of your criteria. The story is putatively about baseball, but it has romance and drama as well.

Ristorante Paradiso tells the story of a young Japanese woman who travels to Rome to find the mother who abandoned her as a young child. She discovers that the mother is involved with the restaurant named in the title which has an unusual feature, all the waiters are older men who wear glasses. It is a reverse harem with a May-September theme, but it's pretty easy to see who Nicoletta will end up with.

I'll also suggest the four OVAs grouped together under the name Otona Joshi no Anime Time, which are all based on novels by female authors. Romance plays a role in all these stories, but the stories themselves are not always romantic.
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Old 2014-01-11, 05:33   Link #10
Duckinator
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I have heard of true tears. More specifically, I have listened to the ost and its beautiful. I'm fine with a love triangle (although I prefer not). Is the ending satisfactory? Is there a clear final pairing through the series or is the guy undecided till the very end?

I'm looking at cross game also. I'm not afraid of spoilers, so I read the wiki. It feels similar to suzuka, and I liked suzuka abit. 50 episodes feels bearable. Is there a strong build up between the couple's eventual romance? Like both characters leading their life (dating etc) before realising they loved each other?
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Old 2014-01-11, 08:21   Link #11
totoum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckinator View Post
I have heard of true tears. More specifically, I have listened to the ost and its beautiful. I'm fine with a love triangle (although I prefer not). Is the ending satisfactory? Is there a clear final pairing through the series or is the guy undecided till the very end?
The final pairing is definitely crystal clear.

As for Cross Game, it's one of my all time favorites, I didn't recommend it because it was 50 episodes long.

The whole anime is about the buildup,they both almost always spend their time together due to being neighbors and being on the same baseball team.There's a lot of baggage they have to overcome though which is why it takes so long for them to realize they do love each other,it's always a fun debate between fans to speculate exactly when each of them realizes it

This blog post puts it best:

Quote:
Adachi isn't going to tell you what the characters are feeling. Not in words, anyway - but in the their actions, and in what they don't say as much as what they do. In the way they slowly change in their perception of each other and themselves. In this way, the observer subtly becomes aware of the changes before the participants themselves seem to - much as often happens in real life.
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Old 2014-01-11, 09:45   Link #12
Duckinator
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Thanks totoum. Sounds like something I may like. I think I'll be watching Cross Game, and possibly True Tears after that. I welcome any more suggestions though

50 episodes is like the very max I'm willing to go. And the anime must feel like it's worth the 50 episodes haha.
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Old 2014-01-11, 10:37   Link #13
kitten320
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White Album 2 is your best bet. It has love triangle, not harem but it is well handled and characters are all mature. MC is not shy and timid. Really worth a look.
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Old 2014-01-11, 10:48   Link #14
Duckinator
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According to totoum though, the ending doesn't seem to be that satisfactory :\
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Old 2014-01-11, 12:22   Link #15
kitten320
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Well if you are searching for "100% together ending" then yes it isn't. But considering what happened, it was a well handled ending and believable to boot.

I personally hate over happy or over dramatic endings just for sake of it. White Album 2 both built and handled things well in grown up way. There are no stupid misunderstandings, characters don't go bat shit crazy and etc.

Apart from several small things, series were pretty believable to me.
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Old 2014-01-11, 13:24   Link #16
totoum
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I might have misunderstood Duckinator. Since you don't mind spoilers

Spoiler for white album 2:
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Old 2014-01-11, 13:27   Link #17
Duckinator
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Well, I just watched some episodes of Cross Game (first few episodes, last episode, as well as reading the episode guide from Wiki). While I do like how their relationship is being built, I really disliked how little romantic things they did. Personally I would not feel satisfied, as I do not feel a full closure with their romance. Given that this is 50 episodes, I guess it's not worth for me to watch in that regard.

I will be moving to True Tears I guess!

@kitten320, yea I'm looking for 100% together ending. I enjoy a nice closure to the romance, and I wouldn't feel satisfied if it didn't end sweetly enough. I guess it's personal preference

@totoum nah, you were right the first time
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Old 2014-01-11, 15:17   Link #18
Duckinator
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Hmm just started on true tears. Its heavily on the love triangle I presume, although I tend to dislike such plots. But the music and animation is great. I'm certain I will like it, and its only 13 episodes.

How about I change my criteria a bit now. It would be similar to the first post, but I'm looking for a plot where the couple are together from early on (or midway), and they go through the trials and difficulties (such as long distance, parental objections, work etc.) and still remain true to each other in the end. Preferably there will be no third parties, although its hard to imagine such shows without them haha.
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Old 2014-01-11, 16:04   Link #19
SuitUp
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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How about KareKano, or if you can stand supernatural obstacles, any of the ef series: a tale of memories, a tale of melodies.
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Old 2014-01-11, 16:27   Link #20
Sackett
Cross Game - I need more
 
 
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Maison Ikkoku is the first to leap to mind.
Kimagure Orange Road
Cross Game (You're really missing out if you think you get the story from the first and last episode) and Touch
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
(although the anime has not yet reached the ending in the manga)
Kimi Ni Todoke
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Cross Game - A Story of Love, Life, Death - and Baseball. What more could you want?
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