sickVisionz (Level 24)

I'm realizing that I have NO CLUE about what's airing in Winter 2014 and no idea what to watch.
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Real deal romance

I like romance anime but I often have a hard time finding one that doesn't turn me off. There's a certain base level of realisim that most of the romance series I come about just don't feature. Mainly, it's people having somewhat of a spine. Maybe it's because most of the romance anime I come across are harem series, but I pretty much never see a guy who likes a girl and asks her out or makes a confession or some type of move on her. Actually admitting that you like someone or asking them out on a date is a pretty basic early step of any relationship but I find that in anime, this usually doesn't happen until the very end of a series.

The what happens now part of a story interests me far more than seeing how two people meet, which is bizarrely rare for anime. Having said that, the anime on this list all have relationships being dealt with, front and center. You're not going to have to wait for 12/13 of the series to end before someone finally admits that they like someone else. These series kick off with a confession and then get to the interesting part: maintaining a relationship and building trust and intimacy. It doesn't always go well and end up lovey dovey for everyone, but at the least, it's not stuck at like pre-school level where passing a note of "do you like me, circle yes or no" in the ultimate realization of a relationship in a series.

1. Amagami SS

I can't speak for every arc, but a few kick off with a confession and actually get to maintaining a relationship.

2. School Days

Probably one of the most realistic male leads in a harem ever. He likes a girl, and while he's nervous about it and definitely not suave in the least bit, he asks a girl out within the first few episodes. Certainly not happy go-lucky, but this show is undeniably focused on the ups and downs of a relationship.

3. NANA

Probably the most realistic one I've seen. Things don't go perfect for anyone, there's heart breaks, break ups, make-ups, sticking together through thick and thin, and everything that shows why what happens after a confession can be and generally is considerably more interesting than what comes before it.

4. WHITE ALBUM

In a similar vein as School Days, but somewhat more grounded, this series tackles a lot of trust and intimacy issues that show up in relationships.

5. Itazura na Kiss

Easily the silliest and most borderline "shouldn't be here" title on the list and it definitely takes the longest to get to the relationship, but this one eventually gets to maintaining a relationship through thick and thin.

6. Kids on the Slope

Finally, real high school kids in anime. Complex relationships and love triangles abound.

7. Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Out of all the shows, this one probably has the most grounded approach and simultaneously has the craziest setup due to a main character being a ghost. However, the male leads are actual dudes. The spit game, state their intentions, try to make moves on the women they date, etc.

Samimistaon Aug. 15, 2012 at 5:45 p.m.

Aw yeah Nana! =D *high fives* That's one of my favorite manga to read.~ Though, for the past two years or so there hasn't been a new release of it. =( Glad to see many people are NANA fans on here.

sickVisionz moderator on Aug. 15, 2012 at 6:27 p.m.

@Samimista: Nana is definitely my favorite romance series in both anime and manga.

Samimistaon Aug. 15, 2012 at 6:34 p.m.

@sickVisionz: I agree. Nana Osaki is one of my favorite manga/anime girls. Have you seen the live action movie? It's pretty good.

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