1. m

    Your list just reminded me of the many series I'ce shelved aside and should be getting to watching it soon.
    I'm pretty surprised to see Chihayafuru there as its romantic scenes, while powerful, are so few – the romance element is mostly just lurking in the background.
    And I agree with your first choice (maybe personally I would not rate it as high), it was as much about love as it was about loss. It broke my heart the first time I watched it and I will probably rewatch again.

  2. As I said, it was close on Chihayafuru. But I found the main triangle so compelling I just didn't feel like I could leave it off.

  3. B

    No Kare Kano, no Spice and Wolf, no Banner of the Stars… and I don't understand why they're not there given some of your other picks. But hey, opinions are opinions.

  4. U

    Kare Kano and Spice and Wolf would be somewhere near the top of my list if not on top of it so it was really strange to find there shows like R-15 but not those. That one is a strange case on it's own anyway. I'm not into Nazo no Kanojo, didn't really like Tonari no Kaibutsu and was so turned down by Nodame that I couldn't watch Nodame no Cantabile but I at least get why someone would put those on the list. R-15? No way… just no. I guess Baby Steps didn't made it cause you don't want to be repetitive and even if not in quality it lacked in amount of romance, right?

  5. s

    Just out of curiosity, if I may, what's the distinction between Senior Columnists and Columnists?

  6. A

    Ergh… How can something as formulaic, tired, full of dumb cliché and above all so mediocre as Mashifoni can make it into the list at all, and even go beyond White Album 2 ? 0_o

    Admitedly you said it was personal, but still what kind of parallel universe is this…
    No EF, no Spice and Wolf, no Banner of the Star, no Clannad, no Akagami Shirayukihime.
    Instead we get Soredemo, Mashifoni and Tonari Kaibutsu. And even Chihayafuru, which I like but really is a stretch to see as a romance.

    I'm puzzled to say the least.

  7. G

    About Mashifoni, just a few things off the top of my head,

    It handled "harem" better (and like enzo said, with more "dignity") then pretty much anything else in the genre.
    Most of the characters were really interesting and likable.
    It went above some tropes to make some unexpected twists(eg. which girl "wins" or who the final episode focuses on).
    It did have some fan service but it was mostly on the cute side and when it went above that, it was usually earned.

  8. A

    Mmh, seems I messed up trying to post my answer and it got eaten. Oh well, back to the writing board :p

    So, well, if you compare Mashifoni to the abyss of the worst fanservice-based VN adaptations, maybe it did things better. But that's basically damning with faint praise.

    Compare it to the actually good romantic VN adaptations, like the Key serie (Clannad, Air, Kanon) or the ones listed in the previous message, and it really doesn't do anything better, far from it. I don't see how the characters were either interesting or likeable (as with the rest of the serie, they were formulaic, bland and predictable to death, following the typical script to the letter), and "dignity" is, again, only on the table if you compare it to the worst the genre can offer. You want dignity, you speak about Akagami no Shirayukihime or White Album 2 or EF. Though, yes, Mashifoni mostly spared us many of the dumbest clichés, it still had the ridiculous "meido" arc which is enough to remove any claim of dignity, and the drama about the club felt pretty childish.

    Basically, the pro of this serie are "it wasn't as bad as the usual crappy VN adaptation" and "it wasn't the worst girl who won". I'm sorry, but that's very, very far from a compelling argument to make it in a "best romances anime". It's just too bland and mediocre to even register on the radar.

  9. G

    I didn't mean of that in a "It's a little bit better than the worst" way. I'm just a very negative person and english isn't my first language so I sometimes don't use the right words.

    I really think Mashiro iro symphony is wonderful. I'm sorry to tell this to you but people have different taste and I'd rank Soredemo, Symphony and Tonari above at least Clannad, Air or EF from the one I watched in the one you listed.

  10. C

    Crest/Banner of the Stars is truly outstanding and my second favorite sci-fi anime of all time, but I suppose I would be hesitant to label it as a "romance"… even though Lafiel's and Jinto's relationship is a huge part of the story, and their chemistry is really, really well done. I mean… uuhhh I dunno, I'm conflicted.

  11. D

    I think Crest/Banner of the Stars is absolutely a romance, and one of the things that makes it so terrific is that it really isn't billed as such. At root, amidst all of the sci-fi world-building, it's a story about all of these huge events – a universe-wide war! – going on as two kids who are sucked into the fighting are falling in love. And part of what makes it so powerful is that their relationship is such that they never even need to say they love each other, it's just so obvious – unlike in a lot of lesser movies and TV shows. As the ever-stoic Lafiel breaks down and cries when she thinks Jinto is dead near the end of Banner II, how could that be interpreted as anything but profoundly romantic? Not to mention Jinto's frequent musing about growing old while Lafiel is still young as an Abh.

    But setting aside whether Crest/Banner of the Stars is truly a romance, subjective list or not, what's the deal with leaving off Kimagure Orange Road? Have people just forgotten it? To my mind, it's the undisputed heavyweight champion of anime romance!

  12. C

    I think I was closer to death myself than Jinto when I thought that he was gonna die in Banner II, lol. Very rarely does fiction agitate me in a way that I feel almost physically ill, and Crest/Banner of the Stars is one of those works that shake me to my core. What they did to him in Banner III… It left me dysfunctional for like two days.

    But I think you're right, it can certainly be classified as a love story, it's just kinda overshadowed by the whole epic space opera that envelops every single aspect of their relationship. God, I love this series so much.

  13. R

    I have to agree – there is a woeful absence of pre-2000 series on the list. A few examples –

    Maison Ikkoku (probably my all-time favorite series of any type)
    Whisper of the Heart (Mimi o Sumaseba) – film entry
    Rose of Versialles (THE standard-bearer for shojo romance)

    I could throw in series like Rurouni Kenshin, Escaflowne, Marmalade Boy and KareKano as well, even though romance might not have been the focus of these, it had a very strong presence.

  14. G

    Its just that author's opinion but there are others I would have put on the list instead like Kimi Ni Todoke (probably #1) and Ore Monogatari,

  15. b

    So happy to see nazo no kanojo x on your list, its my favourite romance

  16. s

    i like the list its not chock full of shoujo tropes but rather taking romantic elements based on their individual merits, now i would also champion banner of stars & spice & wolf, but my personal favourite anime that i feel has a lot of romance going for it is Hyouka, i just kind of love that anime so much

  17. R

    Having watched almost everything on that list (I promise I'll get to wath #4 soon, somehow it's still in my backlog), the only one I'm rather bitter on is 5cm per second.
    Make no mistake, when the first part was released separately I loved it and couldn't wait to see what the end product would be like. To say it was a disappointment is an understatement. I managed to sour the experience of watching the first part. Sometimes I wish I had never seen the rest. just like I wish I'd only seen the OAD of School Days and not the full series….

  18. G

    GE you should consider adding a section or post every week were regulars here could ask you a question that creates discussion similar to this post. The question of the week could be something like:

    Whats your favorite slice of life seres?
    Whats your favorite Mecha series and why?
    Whats your favorite Horror Series?


  19. m

    That will be nice, though I am not sure if Enzo-san can do this on a regular basis

  20. It seems as if no matter how many disclaimers you put into a post like this, the whole idea that it's a matter of opinion seemingly gets ignored.

    For the record, while I won't engage on matters of why your personal biases are better than mine or vice-versa, I will cop to one oversight – Kare Kano absolutely should have been on this list, and I completely forgot about it. Even with the historically horrendous ending, it's still one of the top romance anime ever made by a comfortable margin.

  21. m

    I wasn't a fan of 5cm per second. Undeniably brilliant art/soundtrack, but I can't seem to get myself to care about the characters. I guess it falls into the category of I can acknowledge why everyone thinks its great, but I just personally wasn't a fan.
    I agree with you about Kare Kano deserving a spot on the list.
    I was a huge fan of white album 2 (was anyone a fan of the first?) bc I don't think there's been many (if any) other anime/manga romances that have been so realistic in terms of how characters that age would act, and without throwing loads of unrealistic situations. Its unfortunate that anime/manga as a medium lack a large quantity of high quality romance stories. It feels like every "romance" tag is harem, or some action story with hardly mentioned romance in it. Not sure if that's just something that's due to anime/manga being what they are, or if it's just bc in general quality romance that isn't cheesy or underdeveloped is hard to find in any medium. I know too often in romance anime you get that obnoxious "the first opposite sex character introduced is the one the MC ends up with" problem. Despite the fact that generally the secondary love interest is fleshed out more.
    For me personally Cross Game was a perfect story. The romance was so subtle, and outside of the "villain" side characters everyone was so universally likable. I've probably watched/read it more than any other anime/manga, and I still never get tired of it.

  22. B

    I have to say of the ones on the list that I've seen by far my favorite is White Album 2. That show destroyed my emotions over and over again more than just about any other show I can remember watching (in any medium). I would do unspeakable things to get a second season.

  23. m

    I think Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru should be on the list over a few items that are here.

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