Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than to kick back and watch your favorite romance anime? From coming-of-age films to Studio Ghibli tear-jerkers, our list names six of the best romance anime films to check out this Valentine’s day.
Weathering With You
This 2019 anime by world-renowned creator Makoto Shinkai quickly garnered attention upon its release, for good reason. The story is a sweet one that follows two characters as they form a romance in their unique, fantastical lives. Our male protagonist is Hodaka, a teenager who has run away from home and is looking for work. He ends up running into our female protagonist, Amano Hina, and enters into a bittersweet world with a girl cursed with a special attachment to the weather. If you’re looking for an emotional anime with a happy ending, this film is for you. Watch the trailer here.
Your Name is another romance anime by Makoto Shinkai that is filled with fantasy and beauty. This is arguably Shinkai’s best work, and it contains elements of magic, comedy, and slice-of-life happenings. The story follows high school students Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana as they form an unlikely romance. What’s unlikely about it? Well, they get to know each other by waking up in each other’s bodies. They have never met each other before but leave notes to help the other one out when they wake up in the other’s body.
They try navigating their lives together while finding themselves falling in love. This magical connection is even more mystical than they realize, though, and the story gets more complicated as emotions roll to an all-time high. They won’t stop until they find each other. On their journey, Taki wants to tell her, “Wherever you are in the world, I will come see you.” The music, art, and story make this one of the best anime films of all time. Watch the trailer here.
Whisper of the Heart
Whisper of the Heart is a Studio Ghibli film that was directed by Yoshifumi Kondō back in the mid-1990s. It’s a sweet coming-of-age tale that follows fifteen-year-old Shizuku Tsukishima as she realizes that she wants to become a writer. Meeting Seiji Amasawa helps her in more ways than she could have predicted, especially since their relationship started out a little rocky. This film is full of high school romance and whimsy, with classic Studio Ghibli art and music that makes it a feel-good watch for Valentine’s Day. Watch the trailer here.
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
This film is based on an award-winning light novel of the same title (and is also available as a manga). The story follows two high schoolers who had never spent time together before fate intervened. Our male protagonist, Haruki, happens upon the big secret popular girl Sakura is hiding from her friends. She has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and will soon pass away. No one knows but her family and the male protagonist, a boy with a completely opposite personality than her bubbly one. The two form a bond during the time she has left. If you watch this, make sure you have a box of tissues nearby. Watch the trailer here.
The Wind Rises
Another tear-jerking romance anime to watch this Valentine’s Day is Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises. Based on a true story, the film follows Jiro Horikoshi, a Japanese aircraft engineer, as he works on one of the most famous airplanes in history in the years leading up to World War II. During this time, he also falls in love with an artist named Nahoko, whom he met years earlier during an earthquake. However, it doesn’t take long before tragedies begin to strike in all directions. It is clear that a war is approaching, while afflictions fall upon the two young lovers. Watch the trailer here.
From Up on Poppy Hill
To finish this list is another Studio Ghibli film, From Up on Poppy Hill. This movie, directed by Goro Miyazaki, is set in Japan in the early 1960s. It follows a girl named Umi Matsuzaki, who helps take care of her family after the passing of her father, while their mother is studying abroad. She strings up signal flags for the boats each morning, wishing them safe travels. One day, she learns that a secret admirer has written about her and these flags through a poem in the school paper. This admirer turns out to be Shun Kazama, and the two get swept up in a sweet romance while working on restoring a clubhouse at their high school and learning about their pasts. Watch the English trailer here.
Which anime will you watch this Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter!