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Mr Poltroon

Mr. Poltroon's Romance Anime

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I decided to list and recommend all my favourite romances. You can read about my particular tastes here:

Be fairly warned. I do not know what constitutes as a spoiler to you, so if you find things like whether or not there is a confession scene or how far the couple goes to be a spoiler, please avoid reading my comments.
NOTE: Written in the wee hours of the night. Grammatical mistakes and logical incongruences may follow.

 

Itazura na Kiss - As far as anime goes, this is the epitome of long-lasting romance. This anime does not simply go until the confession, or until the first night together, or until the first big dramatic event is resolved. It goes through years and years of the characters' lives, up until they have children of their own. The male protagonist is a jerk, as they so often are in Shoujo and Josei, but the female lead made me, of all people, go around spamming "cute~~~~" on whichever social services (skype, TS, Fuwachat) I had on at the time.

CLANNAD and After Story - Highly dramatic as it may be, it has its fair share of happy moments and many happenings. While excelling on its own, CLANNAD wouldn't quite be the best fit for what I'm looking for. However, CLANNAD: After Story more than does. Life does not simply end after a confession. Things go on, and the characters truly become a family. While not quite beating Itazura na Kiss's feeling of years going along, CLANNAD: After Story does not only a good job in that area, but literally everything else emotional.

Nodame Cantabile and sequels - Yet another anime with a long feeling of "time moving". Of the top of my head I can remember remarkably little about their relationship, but it was there without a doubt for the later seasons, queer as it was. I can't say the absolute main focus was on the relationship, like in Itazura na Kiss or in CLANNAD: After Story, but it certainly did more than sufficient to cater to my needs, with various dramatic moments and very odd characters, resolving their problems in very odd ways. The male protagonist, jerk as he may be, does not hold a candle to Itazura na Kiss's stubbornness. Has a high focus on classical music, hence me recommending the anime over the original material.

Say "I Love You" - Completely diverging from everything else, this anime series solely entails school life. It could hardly be a more typical Shoujo title, so why am I singing its praises? I rated it 10/10 at the time, because not only had it been one of the first series I watched where the couple actually got together at a reasonable time, as I am also a huge huge fan of the female protagonists' archetype. Often compared to Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, for good reason. The female protagonist is very similar in both, and the story could be said to progress similarly, except Tonari went places I didn't like at the time, god if I remember what those were, and Say I Love You did everything in a way I liked. The manga, although not completed, is also Smut-tish, earning extra points in my book.

Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry - The most recent anime on this list, who deigned to differ from the norm. Having taken the usual highschool and fantasy-like setting, where other anime would become harems, this one did not. Right from the start it picked a main girl, and made sure it was clear beyond doubt with a confession. This is primarily an action anime, although the romance is there and is not entirely ignored. I would have been fine even if there had been a confession and they left it at that, but they developed it, making it for an harem action-romance anime with some comedy. Very varied, you'll get all sorts of things here, romance, action or comedy. Pick your poison.

Zero no Tsukaima, All Four Seasons - I hate harem. I've grown to hate them with a bloody passion. Zero no Tsukaima is no exception, however, it did many other things right in order to reach this point. First, it's no short tale, if you can stick to your guns and watch through one or two seasons of this light and fun fantasy world, the characters will grow on you, even if you hate their archetypes. Second, I like Tsundere's. If you like Tsundere's, too, there's no good reason not to give this a try. Unprecedented in this harem world, the main, dense and insensitive protagonist actually picks one of the heroine's and sticks to her... mostly. While a rush-job of an ending, it is a conclusive tale... but I'd keep my eyes peeled for the rumoured continuation of the novel series, which was left hanging with the author's passing (God bless him, and while I'm at it, the very same happened to Itazura na Kiss's author, God bless him, too. Even if it allowed the masterpiece anime to go off the rails and become original toward the end).

Kimi ni Todoke and Second Season- You know what else is infuriating, beyond harems? Pardon my French: Cockblocking. You know the 'oh-so-original' stereotype where the male and the female appear to be about to kiss, but are somehow interrupted? Now imagine having this happen constantly throughout the first season, only for there to still be no actual conclusion! Even so, that's not what this story is about. It's about so much more, like friendship, and friendship, and being an outcast. Furthermore, the second season does go somewhere and the manga continues onwards with hardly any noticeable deviation from the anime. Such a shame I'm still left hanging on the centenary chapter.

Ore Monogatari - AKA, everything I could possibly want from a highschool romance: the anime. There's two people, they fall for each other, eventually get together, and then date. That's it.
Ok, maybe not it, it, but it's a fairly adequate depiction of the romance. Beyond the romance, the anime touches many other themes like friendship and family. All of these are pluses to me. Do be warned, this anime has two very big flaws depending on your tastes: The art and characters may be too unusual for you, and nothing (interesting) ever happens. Romance tends to have drama in order to spice it up. This anime does not, and instead has slice-of-life and simple comedy. If you like calm, light-hearted and cute, you need go no further.

Seikai no Monshu and Sekai no Senki I, II and III - Character interaction. If this intergalactic spaceship were to have something that stands out, it would be character interaction. I don't live in Japan, so I don't know how it is there, but I find it highly unusual for every male under 18 years of age to become agitated by being within one metre of a female, or for teenagers to ubiquitously get embarrassed 3 times per conversation with a female. The chemistry we find between the two main protagonists is incomparable to most other anime I see. It doesn't feel anime-like in the least, is how I'd describe the indescribable. Furthermore, the plot itself isn't bad either, so I recommend this both for the romance and the story.

Akatsuki no Yona - You could say this is my number one public enemy: The harem with no confession by the end. It makes me wonder, then, why did I enjoy it so much? This story is about a spoiled princess who lived all her life in a castle as the daughter of an overprotective king. One day the king is murdered and she runs away with her bodyguard, becoming... I'm not quite sure what. She wanders the land searching for allies and trying to make the country better. There's a lot more to that later half, but I'll focus on what I enjoyed the most: Romance. There's no doubt in my mind who the one romantic candidate is. As a friend pointed out to me, the cast may be entirely composed of men, but the romance remains between two people alone. Do note I say "romance" when I mean conversation. It feels romantic, so there's that. What there isn't is any sort of ending.  I liked it a lot. Especially the somehow paralysing fire in her eyes. Clearly this is meant to have further seasons, and from what I know, the original manga hasn't concluded either. We now play the waiting game.

Kobato - So far I've been able to claim all the previous entries were romances but I'm not sure Kobato fits the category in and of itself. What I do know is that it sure is an enjoyable tale you wouldn't want to miss, and there is romance in there. In stereotypical magical girl shoujo fashion our protagonist has an objective to attain, and she progresses by making people happy. Every episode(s) we sort of see a mini-story on somebody she helps or a lesson she learns. The anime concludes on a confession, but it did by no means focus on it. Nice side quirk, our protagonist actually changes clothing to conform to the season. Very light-hearted, very nice.

Usagi Drop - People have this horrible misconception that romance is about romantic love. Not necessarily, and this story will show you that. Usagi Drop is about a single man adopts a child and cares for it. We see her opening up. We see bonds being formed. We see them becoming a family. We see the scorn of the society and the nay-sayers. We see the people who support them. We see lots and lots of love, except this time, it's a familial bond. It also serves as a sort of guide for single parenting, presuming you're a hermit who just had a child dropped off on you. Very light-hearted. You'll be chanting "cute" for days.

 

Honourable Mentions:

Chobits - Gets a side mention for being made by the same people as Kobato. To surmise, a country bumpkin falls in love with a robot/android. That is all. It's lovely. It's slice-of-life.
Working!! - Is not a romance anime... And you think I care? I'm looking for romance, it doesn't matter if it's a side story.  If you find the comedy agreeable, there's no reason not to sit through the three seasons and enjoy the conclusion.
Gosick - This is a mystery anime. Half of it. The other half follows some sort of plot as opposed to mismatched mystery solving segments. I've seen the story sections criticized in reviews, but I loved them. The romance I found in this mystery anime more than contented me, and gets my recommendation as a result.
Durarara!! - You may have noticed being a romance is not necessary for it to have romance. Just to make sure I rub it in, here's another anime that isn't a romance, but has some. You can't really define it with a genre. Think large cast, lots of variation, everything is connected. Still, I chose this because I really liked the romances within, or maybe I just have an affinity for shows with two exclamation marks in the title.

Honourably Dishonourable Mentions:

Toradora - I'm incredibly tolerant. And I like all sorts of romance. If there were ever an anime I could say I have hated on unfairly, it would be Toradora. I loved Toradora's protagonists, male and female. Unfortunately, I disliked a lot of other stuff. I disliked pretty much any other character, I disliked the character interaction outside of Taiga and Ryuuji, and I hated the way feelings were handled in this anime. I felt, wrong as I may be, that Ryuuji was bullied into liking Taiga, that Ryuuji was bullied for not understanding his feelings (and magically understanding others', too), that everyone else was far too presumptuous of knowing how other people think and feel. Do note that this makes the anime get a grand total of 8/10. I liked how it ended, what else can I say? I only wish there were more, now that the dramatic, emotional balderdash parts were already over.

 

And so I conclude my list. Do note, it is permanently IN-PROGRESS. New things will be added, maybe old will be removed, maybe I'll remember stuff I forgot to mention, and if you're lucky, I'll rewrite my 2am English.

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Why isn't Lovely Complex on this list?

LiterallyHitler/10

Also I figured you'd be the kind of person to enjoy Your Lie in April, I'm surprised I rated it higher than you.

Also thank you for being, like, the only person I met who thinks Toradora's romance was forced as hell, because I was honesty baffled at how Ryuuji suddenly just stops liking his age old crush like it's nothing and everyone else is pretty much forcing him into moving on like it's an objective truth that he must like Taiga. I still had fun with the anime and accepted Taiga in the end, but man the switching left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Pretty good list though, I'd second most of these (actually probably all of the ones I saw).

PS: go watch Koi Kaze already.

PSS: If you didn't like Toradora, NEVER WATCH TRUE TEARS

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I agree with a lot, if not all of your suggestions. However, I don't know if you haven't seen these or didn't like them, but the following additions are musts in the complete romance (as primary or secondary theme) anime world IMO:

 

Cross Game

Nagi No Asukara

Planetes

Lovely Complex

Golden Time

 

These all pass the test of "my wife liked them too". I can't stand shows that are stuck in a time warp with no ending or ones where the ending is ultimately unsatisfying. There really is nothing wrong with a happy ending.

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Tiag, I feel like you and I actually have very similar taste, from how you feel about Clannad: After Story, through Akatsuki no Yona, and right on down to the mixed feelings about Toradora, with a bunch of stops in between for gushing about Usagi Drop and Nodame Cantabile and... well, you get the idea. Anyway, since I've only watched about half of what's on your list, I'm probably going to be watching the rest of them all from the top down, so you get a hearty thank you from me, for providing this.

However! I'd also like to throw out a single emphatic recommendation for you: you should finish up Spice and Wolf. From your MAL, it looks like you've watched a lot of season 1 and liked it somewhat, but you put it on hold. The show really comes into its own in season 2, though; you should definitely pick it back up. Season 2 is many times better than Season 1, and it's all because of the delicate balancing act that makes up Spice and Wolf's unique approach to a romance, which is at its finest in Season 2. I fell for this romance hard enough that I've been reading all the light novels (all but the last are now translated into English and released by Yen Press, with the last one coming out in a few months).

Edit: ittaku's recommendation of NagiAsu is also an excellent one. If I were to make two recommendations, I'd probably throw that one out second.

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Nice list, and I agree completely with most of the ones, well the ones I watched.

 

Nice to see people still makes lists and express their opinion instead of  trying to represent the general opinion. It makes for a far more interesting read and conversation topic.

And I agree about akatsuki no yona, it kind of could have used a confession of some sort at the end. But the anime did not go for a original ending, it seemed like it would be getting a second season but for now it looks like a awkward ending to a good series.

 

But I am kind of surprised to say you hate harem anime, most people dont hate it but just find most dime a dozen harem series incredibly boring. (I fall into that category)
And I can quite like some harem anime, but in that case the harem slock most not be the only thing going for it.
 

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On 17/01/2016 at 2:40 AM, Nosebleed said:

Why isn't Lovely Complex on this list?

LiterallyHitler/10

Also I figured you'd be the kind of person to enjoy Your Lie in April, I'm surprised I rated it higher than you.

PS: go watch Koi Kaze already.

PSS: If you didn't like Toradora, NEVER WATCH TRUE TEARS

Lovely Complex isn't on this list because I never finished watching it. The couple took some amount of time to get together, and that I could take, but then it seemed like a love triangle was forming soon after the fact and I just put it on hold there and then. Afterwards I just forgot to come back. I most definitely will at some point in time. When I do, it shall be properly added to the list, assuming the later half does not somehow become hell on earth.

I didn't like Your Lie in April too much. I've never subscribed to the face your fears philosophy, so having him be forced to play piano was something I didn't find agreeable. It also seemed to have a lot of themes behind what the characters were saying and other emotional poppycock that just went over my head. The most literal example was what they played. To me, they all sounded mostly the same so what the commentators said about feelings behind the music and whatnot just... fell on deaf ears.

There's many other things I could watch, incest and large age gaps are not of particular interest to me, so it just keeps getting bumped down. If you weren't such a big fan of incest, and if you weren't the only one recommending it to me, maybe I would try it out, but for now, it remains on "Eventually" category.

On 17/01/2016 at 4:26 AM, ittaku said:

I agree with a lot, if not all of your suggestions. However, I don't know if you haven't seen these or didn't like them, but the following additions are musts in the complete romance (as primary or secondary theme) anime world IMO:

 

Cross Game

Nagi No Asukara

Planetes

Lovely Complex

Golden Time

 

These all pass the test of "my wife liked them too". I can't stand shows that are stuck in a time warp with no ending or ones where the ending is ultimately unsatisfying. There really is nothing wrong with a happy ending.

Cross Game remains on my list and I remain putting it off because of two things: I dislike sports, so that gets bumped down, and at the time I had found it I had just finished watching/reading some long stuff, so I wanted short things. I have no objections to sports as a background theme, I read both Suzuka and another random football manga I loved, so I'll keep this in mind.

I heard about Nagi no Asukara just the other day, so it has been on the back of my mind, I just haven't started it yet.

Planetes is something I'd never heard of, but it seems amazing. currently tops my mental "what should I watch next" list.

See my reply above.

Because of another show with a similar name, that one slipped past my cracks. How great to find another anime.

 

A happy ending is indeed such a simple thing, how come I find it to be somewhat rare?

On 17/01/2016 at 5:49 AM, Fred the Barber said:

Tiag, I feel like you and I actually have very similar taste, from how you feel about Clannad: After Story, through Akatsuki no Yona, and right on down to the mixed feelings about Toradora, with a bunch of stops in between for gushing about Usagi Drop and Nodame Cantabile and... well, you get the idea. Anyway, since I've only watched about half of what's on your list, I'm probably going to be watching the rest of them all from the top down, so you get a hearty thank you from me, for providing this.

However! I'd also like to throw out a single emphatic recommendation for you: you should finish up Spice and Wolf. From your MAL, it looks like you've watched a lot of season 1 and liked it somewhat, but you put it on hold. The show really comes into its own in season 2, though; you should definitely pick it back up. Season 2 is many times better than Season 1, and it's all because of the delicate balancing act that makes up Spice and Wolf's unique approach to a romance, which is at its finest in Season 2. I fell for this romance hard enough that I've been reading all the light novels (all but the last are now translated into English and released by Yen Press, with the last one coming out in a few months).

Edit: ittaku's recommendation of NagiAsu is also an excellent one. If I were to make two recommendations, I'd probably throw that one out second.

My name is Mr Poltroon, do try to remember it.
The reason I put Spice and Wolf on hold... Things seemed like they were about to take a turn for the worse, and I was tired from marathon-ing  the rest of the season. It was purely by chance that I never came back to it. It haunts my dreams that season 2 hasn't much of a conclusion, and since I've never had a particular urge to finish season 1, I decided to become content in this limbo. I could finish it, if you so heartily recommend it, but I'll probably end up with a hole in my heart.

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13 minutes ago, Tiagofvarela said:

My name is Tiago, Tiago F. Varela, do try to remember it.

The reason I put Spice and Wolf on hold... Things seemed like they were about to take a turn for the worse, and I was tired from marathon-ing  the rest of the season. It was purely by chance that I never came back to it. It haunts my dreams that season 2 hasn't much of a conclusion, and since I've never had a particular urge to finish season 1, I decided to become content in this limbo. I could finish it, if you so heartily recommend it, but I'll probably end up with a hole in my heart.

Tiago, altough you probably already know, the novels are available in english and licensed by yenpress.

And the story does not take a turn for the worse as far as i know. (Have only read up to novel 12 as that is all i currently own of the series)

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Just now, havoc said:

Tiago, altough you probably already know, the novels are available in english and licensed by yenpress.

And the story does not take a turn for the worse as far as i know. (Have only read up to novel 12 as that is all i currently own of the series)

...

Right. Yes. Of course. I knew that. I suffered from no brain lapses whilst writing that. Not at all.

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5 hours ago, Tiagofvarela said:

Lovely Complex isn't on this list because I never finished watching it. The couple took some amount of time to get together, and that I could take, but then it seemed like a love triangle was forming soon after the fact and I just put it on hold there and then. Afterwards I just forgot to come back. I most definitely will at some point in time. When I do, it shall be properly added to the list, assuming the later half does not somehow become hell on earth.

I didn't like Your Lie in April too much. I've never subscribed to the face your fears philosophy, so having him be forced to play piano was something I didn't find agreeable. It also seemed to have a lot of themes behind what the characters were saying and other emotional poppycock that just went over my head. The most literal example was what they played. To me, they all sounded mostly the same so what the commentators said about feelings behind the music and whatnot just... fell on deaf ears.

There's many other things I could watch, incest and large age gaps are not of particular interest to me, so it just keeps getting bumped down. If you weren't such a big fan of incest, and if you weren't the only one recommending it to me, maybe I would try it out, but for now, it remains on "Eventually" category.

If it makes you feel better, Lovely Complex never really turns into some crazy love triangle. There is a struggle by the main couple because they're not used to being lovers and the anime, despite its goofyness, does focus heavily on the struggles couples face during highschool years, but they don't fall back on other people and, spoiler alert, they obviously end the story together.

I can see where you're coming from about Your Lie in April, it's the usual criticism I hear of it, and one I actually agree with too, but in the end I enjoyed Arima's struggle to come to terms with his Mother's abuse, sadly after that point it became a soppy drama anime with a super predictable and cliché ending.

And on the contrary my friend, Koi Kaze is actually one of the main reasons I ever got into the incest genre, because back when I watched it I hadn't seen many anime and definitely was not into incest. The amount of realism put into Koi Kaze makes the whole thing worth it imo, even if there's a big age gap between the two main characters, because ultimately their feelings and struggle are what make up the story, it's not meant to be some sort of fetishistic anime about some older guy dating his teen sister, and that's what I loved about it, you end up caring for their stuggle and want them to face their feelings and have the strength to go through with their relationship. Until this day I haven't really seen such a good portrayal of an incestuous relationship as I did in Koi Kaze, and I think you too can end up liking it, because after a while I stopped caring about the age gap too.

I'm also gonna be the bad guy here and not recommend Nagi no Asukara, because the whole show is a drama fest through and through and the romantic triangles are some of the most frustrating I've ever had to deal with. I loved some of the characters, but they also happened to be the ones who got fucked over by the childish romantic plot, so that also ruined some of my enjoyment. I don't think you'll have a great time with this show, unless you're prepared for 26 episodes of kids moping around and good characters getting dumped, because for the most part the show always keeps this gloomy atmosphere with some brief moments of happiness once in a while. I thought maybe if they grew up they'd behave less like kids, but nope, everyone just can't not act like a child in the show. For an anime with such a beautiful setting and well thought out premise, it sure wasted a lot of its potential in some of the most boring drama ever. If I balance the positive and the negatives, the show still gets a positive rating from me, but trust me when I say there are quite a few moments where this show made me want to jump off a bridge. I think the only way one can have a really positive experience with this anime is if they love Manaka's character, unfortunately I hated her the most out of every character.

 

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16 hours ago, Tiagofvarela said:

Honourably Dishonourable Mentions:

Toradora - I'm incredibly tolerant. And I like all sorts of romance. If there were ever an anime I could say I have hated on unfairly, it would be Toradora. I loved Toradora's protagonists, male and female. Unfortunately, I disliked a lot of other stuff. I disliked pretty much any other character, I disliked the character interaction outside of Taiga and Ryuuji, and I hated the way feelings were handled in this anime. I felt, wrong as I may be, that Ryuuji was bullied into liking Taiga, that Ryuuji was bullied for not understanding his feelings (and magically understanding others', too), that everyone else was far too presumptuous of knowing how other people think and feel. Do note that this makes the anime get a grand total of 8/10. I liked how it ended, what else can I say? I only wish there were more, now that the dr

Buy yourself good taste, tsk.

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8 hours ago, Tiagofvarela said:

Cross Game remains on my list and I remain putting it off because of two things: I dislike sports, so that gets bumped down, and at the time I had found it I had just finished watching/reading some long stuff, so I wanted short things. I have no objections to sports as a background theme, I read both Suzuka and another random football manga I loved, so I'll keep this in mind.

I loathe sport anime and can't stand baseball. Yet both my wife and I were absolutely glued to this series for all 50 episodes. We hadn't even finished the series and my wife turned to me during one of the later episodes and asked if we could watch it again from the start as soon as we finished it. Everyone at some stage should watch this series. It is so easy to watch and heart warming.

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