Recommendations: Romance

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“What should I watch now?” Thus is the question we, as anime fans, will ever wonder, for ever and ever. With an endless list of shows available for us to watch, it is sometimes complicated to filter out which ones are good and which ones would be better off disappearing into a deep abyss. This column serves exactly this purpose; in whichever category appears every week, the best shows will be picked out, leaving you with a good amount, enough to watch for entire days without pondering over the incessant question that attacks all anime fans.

The romance genre is much reputed for its cheesy lines, ripoff generic scenes and cutesy school humour. Most often than not, I’d say it is probably one of the genres with the least amount of attention around the web since it is very target specific around an audience that is in a minority over the Internet: girls. Of course, this is a very broad sense of the term; I personally love romance for all its corny lines and emotional bullshit.

P.S.: No yuri, yaoi or ecchi was included in the list; I tried to keep it mostly to romance comedy, and most of all rated for everyone.

Spotlight

26803lLovely Complex

Episodes: 26

Synopsis: Risa and Otani are always being laughed at as the comedy duo. Risa, a girl, is taller than the average girl, and Otani, a boy, is shorter than the average boy. The two are always bickering and even their teacher sees them as a comedy act. But as their friendship develops, so do Risa’s feelings toward Otani.

And so begins a reversal of gender types so well embedded into the show that it makes the episodes flourish. The comedy provided to us from our main couple’s arguments has no end, and allows for a freshness which we don’t see in generic, carelessly made romance comedies. Now, pile on to that intense dramatic romance, multiple confession scenes, intense annoyance at the density of our main characters, and you’ve almost got Lovely Complex… Almost. There is an extra touch to the show which I found, just like its title, most lovely, and that was the simple originality of its storyline. Given a generic school setting with characters having a generic template of personality, the show manages to get something completely original, new and absolutely entertaining out of something that was completely overused. For all these reasons and more, I put Lovely Complex in the spotlight this week; it is personally one of the two best romance comedy shows I have ever seen (with Toradora! coming up right along it).

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43361lThe World God only Knows

Episodes: 36 TV episodes and 4 OVA

Synopsis: Keima is a dating sim champion. Cute girls are rendered powerless by his irresistible game playing techniques. Too bad things aren’t that way in the real world. That is, until his tempting game playing causes a real live—and very bubbly-cute—demon hunter named Elsie to materialize! Now Elsie wants Keima to help her free hot girls from sneaky demons who secretly possess them. 

After the traditional RomCom, comes a complete turnaround of the genre to create this series called the World God only Knows. Taking many of its ideas from eroges and visual novels, this enormous harem of girls surprisingly holds barely any ecchi. The emphasis remains solely on the personality types encountered by the Katsuragi, and their development as he conquers them. The result that we get then, is that the characters encountered are utterly and profoundly adorable in the deepest sense of the word. Since the whole show relies on Keima’s encounters, the personality types were worked upon heavily in order to give us a deep attachment to every single one of them after simply a few episodes; a feat very hard to accomplish. Add to that a powerful storyline (which we only figure out later on), and the show makes it worth pulling through all three seasons.

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Other Recommendations

1. Golden Time
2. True Tears
3. Clannad + Afterstory
4. Kaichou wa Maid-sama
5. Toradora!

**Thanks to MAL for the summaries and info!**

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