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jte742 2012-01-17 11:16

Complex/slow-burning romance?
I'm looking for an anime, movie, manga, or LN where the relationship between the two leads develops slowly and in a complicated way - where they don't realize they're falling for each other, where their relationship deepens from friendship to love over time, and where it takes a big shock for them to realize how important they are to each other.

I liked these a lot:
-Spice and Wolf (slightly prefer the second season)
-Voices of a Distant Star
-The Place Promised in Our Early Days
-5 Centimeters Per Second
-Neon Genesis Evangelion Angelic Days

And I liked these slightly less:
-Karakuri Odette
-Ai Yori Aoshi (but only at first, before it degenerated into a "bunch-of-hot-girls-living-with-a-single-guy" thing)
-AI Love You (again, minus the overtly sexual parts)

I'd like it to:
-be serious and mature (in the "grown-up" sense, not the "explicit content" sense), but some lightheartedness is fine
-be pretty - nice artwork and attractive characters
-have at least a hopeful ending (but this is not required)
-sci-fi or fantasy is fine, as long as it isn't the story's main focus

I'd like it not to:
-be particularly sexual, unless it helps to move the story along (also, no same-sex couples)
-have too much slapstick or silliness

Thanks in advance!

hyl 2012-01-17 11:38

Maybe True Tears and Mashiro iro Symphony fit your criteria as anime series. As both series take their time before main character ends up confessing their love.
As for an anime movie, i suggest Bungaku Shoujo.

Obelisk ze Tormentor 2012-01-17 11:42

Hmm...slow burning mature romance, right? I think you can try White Album for this if you can take some harem element. Also, if you don't mind feudal Japan setting, there's Rurouni Kenshin Tsuiokuhen. Tsuiokuhen has the 'slow burning and mature' aspects in spades ^_^.

EDIT: another addition would be Amagami SS though I don't know if it's mature & complex enough for you but the stories are sweet. Also, I'd like to recommend Utawarerumono but even though it's romantic, it's kinda heavy on the war element. Don't know if you'll like it or not.

Darkbeat 2012-01-17 11:50

Some good suggestions here already, I'll throw Cross Game into the mix. If you don't mind baseball, you should find this one exceptional.

MisaoFan 2012-01-17 12:25

I believe Yosuga no Sora fit your criteria (mostly). It has slow-developped romance, heartwarming ambiance and tearjerking drama. There's little to no comedy, however beware of incest and high-level ecchi (but it helps to move the story along at the end of each arc).

hyl 2012-01-17 12:44


Originally Posted by MisaoFan (Post 3953582)
I believe Yosuga no Sora fit your criteria (mostly). It has slow-developped romance, heartwarming ambiance and tearjerking drama. There's little to no comedy, however beware of incest and high-level ecchi (but it helps to move the story along at the end of each arc).

The romance is not that slow paced or that developed in yosuga no sora, as each arc only had 4 episodes. In my opinion the romance was actually rushed.(probably i felt that way, because i played the eroge)

SeijiSensei 2012-01-17 13:47

The romance in Nodame Cantabile extends over an initial season of 23 episodes and two twelve-episode sequels. It's pretty one-sided at the beginning, with Nodame having more of a "crush" on Chiaki and his being unresponsive. (Chiaki is the very model of a male "tsundere" character.) Nodame Cantabile has everything you asked for, and more.

Another possibility is Saiunkoku Monogatari. The heroine is a feisty young woman who is brought into the imperial household as a concubine because of fears that the naive young emperor might be a homosexual. Their relationship becomes much more complex as the show unfolds and extends over two, 39-episode seasons. This show is hard to find nowadays as it has fallen into licensing limbo, but a little Googling might give you some clues.

A third option might be Planetes, a story about space "trash" collectors. Like Nodame, it's a relationship between a young woman and her slightly older senpai. Planetes has a variety of parallel themes; the romance is just one part.

Kotohono 2012-01-17 14:20

I would also suggest Clannad/AS, the romance definitely builds slowly over the course of the 1st season.

Hmmm I'd highly suggest Steins;gate from what you're asking for, though it is a good deal sci-fi in it, but the development of the two mains is very important aspect of the series(and fits all your requirements), and becomes critical reason for plot at some points.

While it might not be quite as mature, Toradora! should be what you're looking for.

Also seconding Bungaku Shoujo.

And lastly I disagree with Amagami SS and Yosuga no Sora, while both are good romances, they aren't really fit for what the person is looking for, imo.

Flower 2012-01-17 14:25

Hmm ... Lovely Complex was the first thing that jumped to mind, but it might border too much on the "silly" elements the OP hoped to not have.

Classified Info 2012-01-18 14:52

I second Steins;Gate. Probably one of the best anime out there (being it my favorite).

The main focus may seem to be the sci-fi element, but it will become just a background for an awesome romance later on. It counts 24 episodes, it's long and the romance slow, but you'll love it. Just so you know, it plays around time travelling but it's settled at a normal flat(homemade lab lol), involving 18 aged characters, normal world, no impossible things, no slapstick humor or some retarded stuff. Pretty serious, but the protagonist will make you laugh. The romance surely is deep and is the main reason why i checked this title and... i was satisfied very very much. It fits your requirements: awesome artwork, mature, and can't say anything else about the ending. Just watch it.

After reading the first two lines of your topic, S;G immediately popped up in my mind. Have a nice watch, this is your best bet imo.

Sackett 2012-01-19 00:58

Cross Game leaps to mind.

Maison Ikkoku as well.

MeoTwister5 2012-01-19 01:13

Yes, you must have more Cross Game.

I'll also second the suggestion for Lovely Complex and Clannad.

jte742 2012-01-20 11:00

Thank you all for the suggestions! I'll definitely have to set aside some time to check all of these out.

Also, I know it didn't sound that way, but I'm flexible about the "like/don't like" things - so it doesn't have to be deadly serious or anything like that... :)

Paranoid Android 2012-01-20 11:25

Another vote from me for Cross Game and Clannad.

Honey and clover? I have mixed opinions, might not be your criteria but it's decent.

There's so few series's truly focused on 1 to 1 romance. It's all ecchi, harem, comedy or some random other genre and romance is a side topping D:

Proto 2012-01-20 11:39

Cross Game. Cross Game. Cross Game.

MisaoFan 2012-01-21 14:05

I suggest you Inu Yasha. It has slow-paced romance between Inu Yasha and Kagome.

Kurohane 2012-11-07 17:27

You may like Buso Renkin and Higashi no Eden (Eden of the East) both the series and the two movies that continue it. Also, I recommend Cardcaptor Sakura and Tsubasa Chronicle. Both have wonderful love stories.

jte742 2012-11-08 00:13

Funny, I was thinking about digging this thread up to find some more stuff to watch. Thank you for the suggestions - I will check them out. I have heard of Eden of the East and Cardcaptor Sakura, but I haven't watched them.

I'm (very slowly) working through the suggestions that people have made here, as well as a couple that I found by chance, but I would really appreciate some more suggestions to help keep my backlog full. Here is my anime list. I am trying to be more open to different things, so any suggestions don't necessarily need to hit all the criteria I posted originally (some of the things in my list don't). The only two really important things to me are that there is a nicely built-up romance and that there isn't too much fan service. Also, anime of any age is fine, but I am especially looking for something currently airing, upcoming, or recently finished.

Thanks in advance! :)

Dawnstorm 2012-11-08 16:48

Hm, slowburning romance? Try:

Kimi ni Todoke.

It's not particularly complex; it's more a slow but steady progress. The show is an idyll: It's designed to make you feel safe. The romance is enveloped in a wider theme of friendship. Since the main girl has been an outsider for so long, both having friends and romantic love is new to her. She often can't tell the difference between admiration (something she's used to) and the give-and-take of a real relationship, whether it's a romance or a friendship. The show details her journey to confidence, so to speak.

There are two seasons; only the first one is a masterpiece, IMO, but if you liked the first season, you'll want to see the very satisfying finale. :)

SeijiSensei 2012-11-08 17:42

Glad to see you liked Nodame Cantabile. Another possibility for you is Ristorante Paradiso.

Whoops, I forgot the make the 49th recommendation for Cross Game.

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