As a genre, romance seems to continually captivate audiences over the decades. Fans are often chomping at the bit to pair off their favorite characters in both canon and non-canon relationships, the latter of which indicating that people are willing to create romantic relationships between characters even where there aren’t any.
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Luckily, the world of anime offers all sorts of canon couples to entertain viewers’ appetite for romance, and with a plethora of archetypes to work with. Some anime couples are more obvious in their affections while others are dry and subdued, and some are way too embarrassed to share their feelings in public…so they fight instead.
10 Kurisu & Okabe Have Great Synergy (Steins;Gate)
Kurisu Makise and Rintaro Okabe from Steins;Gate appear as if they’d be total opposites, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While one is a verified scientist and the other is a self-declared mad scientist, they both have a passion for science that lights them up. And with Kurisu having some background as an otaku, she’s able to keep up with Okabe’s nonsense. Whether he’s calling her “Christina,” “Celebrity Seventeen,” or “the zombie,” Kurisu rolls with Okabe’s antics with her own style that makes for truly entertaining moments.
9 Lawrence & Holo’s Subtle Flirting Is Amusing (Spice & Wolf)
Spice & Wolf is a series based on wit and outsmarting adversaries rather than facing them head-on, meaning it’s got some great dialogue to keep it going. While Lawrence initially fancied himself quite the silver-tongued merchant, Holo the Wise Wolf of Yoitsu easily puts him in his place. Holo relentlessly teases Lawrence throughout their journey together and even makes it pretty obvious that she’d consider him a lover by the end of Season 2. Unfortunately, their relationship is only made definite in the light novel.
8 Koyanagi & Kabakura’s Arguments Are A Different Type Of Banter (Wotakoi)
Both Hanako Koyanagi and Taro Kabakura from Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku demonstrate that even couples who are seemingly always at odds can still care about each other. From petty name-calling to attacking each other’s hobbies, Koyanagi and Kabakura engage in some really passionate discussions.
To make things more amusing, sometimes their scuffles include references to otaku culture. When Koyanagi tearfully admits she can never be his Ranka, he combats her by asking if that means she’s Sheryl. Her response? A shoe to Kabakura’s face.
7 Risa & Otani Are Like A Comedy Duo (Lovely Complex)
Lovely Complex is truly a masterpiece among romantic comedy anime and manga series with much of the credit going to its main characters, Risa Koizumi and Atsushi Otani. Despite all the shallow bickering, these two develop an appreciation for each other that’s palpable as the series progresses.
Risa enjoys taunting Otani for his stature, who seemingly always has a retort or comeback to Risa’s prodding. Watching these two awkwardly fall in love as their conversations subtly change over time is enough to melt anyone’s heart.
6 Sango Is Never Afraid To Put Miroku In His Place (Inuyasha)
A classic anime and manga couple, Inuyasha’s Miroku and Sango have a dynamic that makes it seem as if they were made for each other. Before joining Inuyasha and Kagome’s group, Miroku was a bit of a con artist and frequently used his status as a monk and his smooth speech to keep out of trouble and make money.
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But Sango has little tolerance for Miroku’s shenanigans and has no qualms about keeping him in line. While Miroku is usually full of excuses to get out of trouble, Sango is able to see right through them.
5 Misato & Kaji’s History Make Them Stand Out (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Viewers don’t get to see Misato Katsuragi and Ryoji Kaji on-screen together too much during the original Neon Genesis Evangelion anime, but when they do, it’s a heated and embarrassing moment – for Misato, anyway. Kaji himself doesn’t seem to have any trouble having friendly conversations with Misato, who becomes weary in his presence but can’t seem to deny his charm. While they’re technically broken up in the series, the chemistry between them is still there and Kaji refuses to let it die.
4 Tamaki’s Adoration Of Haruhi Is Charming (Ouran High School Host Club)
Tamaki Suoh and Haruhi Fujioka from Ouran High School Host Club develop a close bond over the course of the series, but only because Tamaki refuses to let Haruhi push him away. Although he’s sheltered and ignorant of the world, Tamaki has a generous soul that genuinely worries about those around him.
Tamaki initially treats Haruhi as a father might treat their daughter, showing extreme protectiveness and a willingness to try and understand her. Many of their discussions are cute and comedic with heartfelt energy that makes their relationship endearing.
3 Momose & Nifuji’s Dry Commentary Is Entertaining (Wotakoi)
Perhaps it’s because they’re childhood friends, but Narumi Momose and Hirotaka Nifuji from Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku understand each other in a way few people can. Even after drifting apart a bit after middle school, the two meet up in the workplace, and it’s as if nothing between them has changed.
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Narumi has a keen intuition on Hirotaka’s feelings and responds to his teasing appropriately. And for Hirotaka, he knows exactly which of Narumi’s buttons to press to get a response out of her. The result is some heartwarming otaku flirting.
2 Senjougahara Takes Shots At Araragi As Often As She Can (Bakemonogatari)
The Monogatari franchise as a whole relies heavily on dialogue and wordplay, which was stylishly animated in such a way that it didn’t lose its impact. A lot of action in Bakemonogatari is glossed over for lengthy conversations between characters, many of them between Hitagi Senjougahara and Koyomi Araragi. Senjougahara is characterized by her sharp tongue and blunt attitude; most things she says aren’t too friendly, but she always means what she says. Araragi is commonly on the receiving end of her tongue lashings, although he takes it in stride.
1 Celty Can Barely Handle Shinra’s Doting (Durarara!!)
While much of Durarara!!’s story is a bit incomprehensible (partly due to its huge cast of characters), the relationships between its characters are a lot easier to understand. Celty Sturluson and Shinra Kishitani have the strange coincidence of living together—even though one is a Dullahan, and the other is an ordinary human.
Shinra’s affection for Celty is obvious in the way he speaks to her and treats her. He has the uncanny ability to intuit Celty’s thoughts and emotions despite her lacking a face to express them with, which Celty appreciates in her own way.
NEXT: Monogatari: The Franchise’s 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes, According To IMDb
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About The Author
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Brittanie Maldonado is a Staff Writer for CBR, and a long-time gamer/cartoon-lover based in the US. She studied English and Comparative Literature at the School of General Studies at Columbia University in the City of New York, so she loves evaluating and analyzing different types of media. She’s worked in fast food, retail, and corporate roles, but she is happiest when expressing herself through writing. Brittanie has a deep love and appreciation for the Japanese language and culture, and she brings this cultural perspective to the forefront when assessing various Japanese media. If she’s not researching or writing, she’s probably gaming or catching up on her backlogged anime watchlist.
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