While some may not readily admit it, a little romance in your action anime can be a great addition. You root for the hero, and you also root for the hero to get the girl. It can be an integral part of the fantasy of it all. For some fans, a good action anime series with romance hits just right. It has all those interesting and high intensity fights, but it also takes breaks to develop characters and character relationships. If you are looking for anime series that have strong romance, but also have those interesting action scenes, we have anime recommendations for you.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of it, I feel it prudent to start with the very popular anime series that fit this criteria. I want to cover series that you might not be aware of, so first, let’s get the series you have likely watched already, and if you haven’t, you should go on and watch them first. Wildly popular action anime series with strong romance elements include:
- Sword Art Online
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Sailor Moon
- Full Metal Alchemist
It’s worth noting that all the big shounen series have an element of this, but don’t always do it so well or leave it as just hints ala Bleach, Fairy Tail, and D. Gray Man. Anyway, since all that is out of the way, here are some anime recommendations in this vein you might not have already seen.
Shakugan no Shana
Not one of those anime series to play coy with it, Shakugan no Shana makes its intentions towards romance obvious early. Certainly, Shana is cold towards Yuuji initially, but it is one of those series where you know what is going to happen. Sparks fly between the main characters as well as all around the fiery redhead as she cuts down shadowy threats to humanity.
While this series sets itself up with a pretty standard plot, it does wild things with it. You go on a journey with the characters and watch the vast world unfold before them. Furthermore, as they journey, you watch them grow closer together as a fighting team and as people.
Twin Star Exorcists
Nothing makes romance more obvious than a prophecy that their child will basically be the chosen one. With that knowledge, it becomes quite the treat to watch them go from indifferent strangers to true partners as they battle supernatural threats of every size and shape.
Visions of Escaflowne
An old series these days, but for those that have seen it, one that sticks in their memories forever. Escaflowne has that old school dedication to romance more akin to Inuyasha where it definitely plays a larger part in the plot. However, it does take place in a kingdom at war, so there are plenty of battles to overcome.
Full Metal Panic
Full Metal Panic is a classic of this genre. You have your cool, slightly lazy main character and the tsundere girl that you just know will later fall in love with him. While you are waiting for that nut to crack, there are plenty of battles to overcome. One interesting bit is that the main character started off as a soldier, so him transitioning to a school kid in order to guard Chidori is still an interesting twist.
Yona of the Dawn
Admittedly, Yona of the Dawn is on the lower end of the action scale. It might be more apt to call it an adventure anime since Yona, as the main character, does very little fighting. That is more left to her bodyguard and the other guardians she gathers along the way. However, a large part of the plot in the show is the relationships of love and friendship that Yona builds.
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
With its title, this series gives you a bit of the wrong idea. The show has a little ecchi, and the romance is actually pretty sparse in the first season. It is something that grows in the subsequent seasons. The first season really establishes the world and the core characters while still giving you a little taste of the relationships to come. All the while, the scope of the battles is also growing as well.
Kekkaishi is a series with a familiar plot about fighting demons. Two childhood friends team up together, despite being from different clans, and help stop attacks. You know where the romance comes in. As a bit of an older series, it’s been a bit forgotten because it never had any big hooks, but it is still a great watch.
Beyond the Boundary
Beyond the Boundary, as far as I’m concerned, is the whole package. It has beautiful animation that leads to absolutely enthralling epic battles and it has extremely likable characters that makes every relationship a treat. The downside is that it isn’t longer, to be honest. It ended and I wanted more.
Kaze no Stigma
Kaze no Stigma, being about elemental powers, has a lot of flash in the battles and a little sizzle on the relationship. While it is never firmly established, you watch Ayano develop a classic tsundere relationship towards Kazuma after she realizes that he is not the killer that others suspect him to be. What’s more, they make it nice and easy to overlook the dubious familial relationship between them. They’re second cousins, which may still be too close for some.
Chivalry of a Failed Knight
This school-based ecchi has a familiar tale to it. The lowest ranking guy ends up tied to the highest ranking girl because his low battle abilities have an unexpected twist. It ends up as a bit of a harem, but like most harems, the best girl is pretty obvious.
Record of Grancrest War
What is great about Grancrest War is the scope of it. You not only see the relationship of the main characters, but the world as well. Over the course of it, heroes and villains both rise and fall, relationships with side characters form, and the world really feels like it is living and warring. It makes for a complex, but easily entered series with good romantic payoff.
Dragonaut The Resonance
While the dragons in the series are intriguing, the animation of them fumbles a bit. Interestingly enough, the romance in this series is actually the most intriguing part of it. It is nice to watch the mystery unfold, but better to watch a shy girl open herself up to the normal main character that just got pulled into the whole mess.
In an area in Japan where they are still traditional, a samurai with a strange blade appears and is a pacifist. He has to battle with a lot of ferocious characters from his past to protect his future. During certain scenes he spends quality time with a girl he has been living with and they have obvious chemistry. I haven’t watched it enough to see if they actually kiss or talk about their relationship.
‘The Devil Is a Part-Timer’
You ever fall for the devil? It happens sometimes. Well, this guy is the devil and the red head is the angel who actually falls for him unexpectedly. But they are always fighting each other, and I don’t mean with just words. They are physically fighting each other because they technically want each other dead. Then they come to Earth and that is the deal there. They still want to end one another but will their weird love stop them from doing so?
‘Sword Art Online’
You like video games and virtual reality and a little romance action? This is the anime you want to watch. These two characters find themselves locked in a virtual game and have no way of escaping until they finish the game. They both create an alliance with one another and end up getting “married” to get more points using each other’s powers, but also create a bond that exceeds their virtual reality game.
‘Kaze No Stigma’
These two fancy dressed people are fierce warriors with special powers. The girl is able to channel fire and the boy is able to channel wind power. The boy was exiled from his family and has come back to show off his new found abilities, and has another agenda. This girl is supposed to keep him in check and she has a temper so she is always on his case. They end up creating a strange bond and fall for one another.
‘Chrome Shelled Regios’
So, this anime is kind of funny. The world as they know it is a desert wasteland so the people are living in shelled cities that move. There are beasts that follow them so they breed super soldiers. This particular soldier is a very skilled warrior, brightest for his age, which attracts a lot of women. But he has a secret… He’s already got a women. Those other women are in for a rude awakening.
Date a Live
Date a Live is what we call a high stakes romance where the main character must make powerful girls that end up on Earth fall in love with him. Of course, these girls rarely just want to chat it out. Often the wooing comes with a fight. It is a weird premise, yes, but it is followed through in the best possible way.
Aria of the Scarlet Ammo
If gun-slinging action is more your speed, then Aria is exactly for you. Bullets fly in plenty as they try to track down a killer at a crime fighter academy. Of course, the romance comes is your classic tsundere package, but it is still just as nice watching them warm up to each other.
The Sacred Blacksmith
This is a tale of a girl looking for a blacksmith to fix her weapon. She finds him, but also gets pulled into a huge adventure in the process. The Scared Blacksmith is one of those plots that is too complex to explain without being long-winded, and honestly sometimes too complex. However, if you want action, plot that requires constant attention to understand fully, and lovable crew of characters, this is a bit of a gem for it.
As a survival game anime, Btooom is vicious, but amidst the gore and constant threat of death, love is easy to blossom. The series does a good job at developing feelings between the two main characters without making it sudden and overly obvious. The action itself can also be quite strategic as well.
Strike the Blood
While this is a series about vampires, there’s no sparkle on their skin. The main character may in fact be a powerful vampire and is given a sword shaman to kill him if he awakens too much power. They end up defending the city, bonding together, and as you can guess, growing even closer than that. Unfortunately there is some ecchi and harem there as well.
In this world, certain people can manifest weapons from their soul. They are then tasked to partner with another at school in hopes to awaken an absolute duo power. The twist comes when the main character awakens not a weapon, but a shield. From there, you watch him find his partner, and of course they develop feelings.
Guilty Crown is a quickly formed romance that burns bright in a plot full of chaos and death. While the series fumbles with a few elements, no one can say that it wasn’t interesting. It also has a romance that is one you are sure to remember.
Do you have anime recommendations for action anime series that also have romance in them? Let fans know in the comments section below.