Valentines Day is a controversial subject. People are either in love with it, despise it, or really don’t care at all. Me? My feelings vary year to year. However, it does provide great inspiration for my post.
Whether you’re watching alone, with your partner, or with your dakimakura, there’s a show for everyone to enjoy this V-Day! Note, this list is coming from someone who generally dislikes romance so, if you see a romance here, definitely give it a shot!
IF YOU’RE STANDING BY, WAITING FOR YOUR CRUSH TO NOTICE YOU, TRY GEKKAN SHOUJO NOZAKI-KUN
Believe me, you could not have a crush more oblivious than Nozaki. This show stole my heart away, and had me laughing until I cried. The show follows our cute protagonist, Sakura, who confesses her love to her upperclassman, Nozaki. However, he doesn’t quite take the hint, and hires her to help him with his shoujo manga, instead. Talk about getting the wrong message. The show follows Sakura’s attempts to get Nozaki to notice her – with little success! The show also parodies many tropes prevalent in Shoujo anime and manga, so if you’re sick of fluffy romance anime, this may be the show for you. Plus, the OP is incredibly catchy.
IF YOU LIKE YOUR COUPLES WHOLESOME AND REALISTIC, TRY ‘I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT MY HUSBAND IS SAYING!’
I wrote a review on this show already here, but it was so darn wholesome, I have to talk about it again. I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying is a anime short (the episodes are under 10 minutes long) following a married couple who could not be more different from one another. An otaku, and a business woman?! Yet somehow, they’re perfect for each other. Of course, like with every couple, they have their misunderstandings, which makes for the comedy of the series! Expect jokes laughing at adulthood, sex, alcoholism and everything in between.
IF YOUR VALENTINE THIS YEAR IS YOUR RIGHT HAND, TRY ‘HIGH SCHOOL DxD’
What? Okay, so High School DxD has a reputation. And yes, admittedly, there are a lot of boobs. Some people truly don’t know that there’s a story because of the boobs. And whilst I did enjoy the actual plot of DxD, we know what most people are watching it for. Still, for the purpose of this post – why not?! High School DxD is the king of harem anime, following Issei, a ‘totally normal high school boy’, who gets involved in the demon underworld. Except, the demons are all big boobed, high school aged girls who are madly in love with him. Expect a lot of fanservice, and a lot of fun!
IF YOUR VALENTINE THIS YEAR IS YOUR RIGHT HAND, BUT THAT ISN’T YOUR THING, TRY ‘FREE!’
Glorious Free! Fanservice in female anime is a lot tamer than those aimed at males – you don’t get dicks flailing free as much as you do boobs. However, you do get some homoerotic shirtless men taking part in swimming contests, which is just as divine. Free! is an easy going anime, following the Iwatobi swim club as they prove themselves to be the best of the best, and learn important lessons of friendship along the way. Sure, the story isn’t the most meaningful there’s ever been. But it’s hot boys being touchy feely with one another in Speedos…what are we watching for again, sorry?
IF YOU’RE NOT REALLY IN THE MOOD FOR HAPPY COUPLES, TRY ‘KUZU NO HONKAI’
Kuzu no Honkai translates to ‘Scum’s Wish’ in English. Which is just as well, considering how darn awful everyone in this show is. Seriously, try and find someone you sympathise with by the end. KnH is the story of being in love with somebody, who’s in love with someone else. This is the case for our main couple, Mugi and Hanabi, who are in love with two halves of the same couple. To try and hide the pain, they decide to fill the void with each other. An ugly solution, which leads to events showing just how ugly love can really be. Don’t be too hopeful for a happy ending for your favourite character.
IF YOU JUST WANT TO SEE SOME KISSING AND HUGGING WITHOUT ANYTHING DEEPER, TRY ‘RENAI BOUKUN’
I loved this show. There was nothing to worry about, no deep meaning. Just a fun, innocent, turn your brain off harem. Imagine if instead of being killed when names are written down, you’re actually forced to be in a couple with them?! It would’ve made Death Note a lot more crazy, and it forms the basis of our show. The humour is very slapstick, but always manage to end the episodes in a very warm place. If you watched Kuzu no Honkai before, rest easy knowing that the cast for Renai Boukun are great people in contrast – despite making sillier decisions!
IF YOU JUST WANT TO WATCH A SHORT BUT SWEET LOVE STORY, TRY ‘HOTARUBI NO MORI E’
I really will recommend this movie at every opportunity I get. It’s romance through and through, but I am obsessed with it. Hotarubi is the tale of Hotaru, who gets lost in the forest, only to be rescued by the spirit, Gin. They form a deep friendship over the years and become very close, but Gin’s only condition is that he may never be touched by a human. If he’s touched, then he’ll disappear forever. But can you really not touch the one you love? The movie is short, at only 45 minutes long, and yet it tells the story so perfectly. You’ll smile until your mouth hurts, and you’ll cry until your eyes are sore. If Romeo and Juliet is the greatest love story ever told, Hotarubi is a close second.
IF YOU LIKE ROMANCE, BUT PREFER IT AS A SIDE DISH, TRY ‘YURI!!! ON ICE’
If you’ve somehow not heard about Yuri On Ice (seriously, where have you been?!), now’s the time to get on the hype train. Whilst the romance between Yuuri and Viktor is very obvious (and very sweet!), it isn’t the entire focus. The anime is actually a sports anime, following Japanese figure skater Katsuki Yuuri and his journey to find his passion and become great again. The show deals with themes such as anxiety, envy, and hope, as well as having some beautiful shots (some of the skating sequences are truly gorgeous). But Yuuri and Viktor’s relationship blossoms all the while, and if it’s a wholesome romance you want to see, a wholesome romance you’ll get!
And those are my picks for Valentines Day! There are of course some very famous shows I did not mention (Clannad, Your Lie in April), as well as movies (Your Name, A Silent Voice), but I wanted to put the spotlight on some different ones.
Happy Valentines Day, everyone! Let me know what you’ll be watching in the comments.
Until next time! (Had to end with a cute boy!)