Similar to what makes a good romance movie, novel, or TV series, a good Romance anime can be hard to find. So what makes a romance a good romance? Sure the attractiveness of the two (or more) leads can’t be understated, but there are a few more elements that can create a good romance for everyone.
So when you watch a romance anime, either with romance as the main focus or as a subplot, if you can find some of these elements, the anime is probably a keeper in the romance department.
Things to look for
Relatable characters: Especially for slice of life anime, while female viewers might not be able to relate to the sword-wielding and butt-kicking power woman from another dimension if the lead female is a woman who works at a bakery or a local gym she should be relatable.
This can be anything from common problems based around the job or home life to the romantic and klutzy phase that everyone goes through when they see that special someone for the first time. For both males and females, if you as a viewer can relate to their situations, thoughts, and feelings, then things might go well.
The character’s emotions should be leaping off the screen and into your heart, and you should feel the joy at their first date, exhilaration at their first kiss, and sorrow as they try to deal with the hurdles that life sends their way. If it isn’t deep enough to make you feel what the characters feel then you might want to move on.
Slice of life anime is particularly unpredictable. While other genres have massive battles and evil plots, or constant adventure to keep them interesting, slice of life anime needs a little more than flashy visuals to keep people engaged in the lives of the characters when the romance takes a backseat.
If the plot doesn’t throw any surprises at us, such as an old friend or ex coming to town and shaking up the status quo, or having someone make a major life change, the show can get boring and predictable. Even if everyone knows that the two leads are getting together, make us doubt it.
Add in more options
This is why Harem anime (multiple girls all pining over one boy) has staying power. By giving the main character options on who they could be with, drama and conflict are instantly added because fans don’t know who our character will end up with.
If different characters bring out different parts of the main character, then prepare yourself for tension and maybe even a bit of yelling at the screen.
Finally, it has to be fun
Maybe you like your romances with a healthy dose of action, or suspense, or desperate battle scenes that give new meaning to all the calm moments in between where the characters can interact and cause their budding romance to bloom.
Finding a romance anime that is fun and enjoyable can make up for any other flaws, so that should be the number one priority.