As the title may suggest, not all of these romances are from 2019. I just happened to watch all of them this year. In these trying times we don’t get a lot of romance content. Go blame producers, not me.
10. Gilmore girls
A show with a homey atmosphere and small town charm. The writing trips over itself from time to time in the earlier seasons and often in the later ones. The protagonist probably had the least interesting love interests out of the characters we follow with the exception of Jess. The humor in Gilmore Girls is definitely hit or miss, being extremely corny. It’s a hard show to recommend but hard to blow off as well. If you make it through the first season odds are you’ll develop a soft spot for it.
9. Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
It is both a blessing a curse that I go into shows without ever reading the synopsis. In the case of Yamada-kun, it’s a bit of both, considering I would’ve gone into the show with entirely different expectations if I knew it was a harem. All I noticed at first was the character designs and opening that ended up being far cuter than the story itself. Despite all this, I enjoyed the show. The concept of who and why girls from the school were witches was really interesting to me and the characters were interesting enough. I will say that the premise of the show is that witches can only activate their curse through a kiss meaning that, you guessed it, the lines of consent in this are often blurry so I wouldn’t recommend watching this if that’s something you can’t overlook.
8. Carole and Tuesday
The Sloppy storytelling and directing took a turn for the better in the second half. The sci-fi setting was also a lot more fleshed out in the second half and felt like it had a purpose. It became more clear that Carole and Tuesday had something to say with it’s premise and setting. Something Carole and Tuesday had from the very beginning was wonderful chemistry between our two protagonists (as the title would suggest). Adding the clumsiness of the first half, character chemistry, a good soundtrack, and solid animation; it earns a snug little spot in this list.
7. Love, Rosie
Had a really strong beginning. The rest of the film was good as well, but I found myself less invested near the end. The characters were mostly likable, the camera work was nice and Lily Collins is really pretty. Also a good actress. That too. Pretty good. I don’t have much else to say on this one.
6. End of the F***ing World, Season 2
Not sure what took the second season so long to come out, but I’m happy we got it. Our edgy teenagers are now, much more somber, young adults. The story once again focuses on the relationship between James and Alyssa to highlight both of their behavioral and emotional issues. Just like the first season, the camera work is great. The soundtrack is both endearing and fitting. We get more of Alyssa’s perspective this season along with the addition of party member, Bonnie. Bonnie’s role helped emphasize how the the other two had changed since the first season while also being a constant reminder of the two’s past. By the end of the season, for the first time, it felt like things might actually work out well for Alyssa and James.
5. Kono oto Tomare
Kono oto Tomare has its second season to thank for being so high on this list. It was originally going to be at nine or ten due to the poor delivery of dialogue and underwhelming punches in the first season,creating what generally felt like a melodramatic sports anime. However even in the first season I adored the characters, who were interesting and empathetic. The premise also reminded me of Glee- which I liked. Even at its worst Kono oto Tomare was still a good show. The second season fixed most of the issues I had with the first, creating the heartfelt drama that it was so clearly trying to be from the beginning. It built on the characters even more and developed the romances hinted at in the first season in a satisfying manner. As a sports/music anime it’s no surprise that the soundtrack is phenomenal. It stands out in this area compared to the others on this list.
I don’t think I’ve ever watched anything quite like Oresuki. Every episode the story would be flipped entirely upside down. The conflicts and even the premise were in a constant, rapid change. When you think you figured out where the plot for the series is going, that storyline gets wrapped up in a single episode and adds a few plot twists just make things a little more complicated creating a unique watching experience for the viewer. It’s witty sense of humor along with parodying common character archetypes in slice of life romances makes the show incredibly entertaining as well as hilarious .
Gamers surprised me in a number of ways regarding the characters and plot. It’s unique in a much more subtle way than Oresuki. A lot of things I expected to happen didn’t, and the characters ended up being a lot more facated than I expected from them. This series had a lot of fun with the absolutely ridiculous misunderstandings the characters consistently fell victim to and you know what, I had a ton of fun watching these idiots too. It’s short, fun, and adorable. I couldn’t recommend this one enough.
2. Kaguya-sama: Love is War
Love is war is amazing in every possible aspect. It’s witty, quick-paced, endearing and has incredibly likeable characters that are so ridiculous and yet still manage to remain empathetic. The soundtrack matches the tone of the series perfectly and I have no trouble listening to it on it’s own either. While the structure of the show is episodic, resulting in a bit of repetitiveness, there was always a sense that through each ordeal the characters changed a little bit or learned something. None of them are in the same place by the end which is something the show didn’t really need to do but was better for it. Love is War is genius but I’d recommend watching it when you’re in the mood to read a lot of dialogue and fully invest your attention. It’s quite a ride.
1.Fruits Basket (manga)
Yes, Fruits Basket is on this list again and I can’t promise I’m not crazy enough to put it on one of these again once the reboot is finished. I might not though, because the main reason I feel justified in using Fruits Basket in a list once again is because of the major differences and additional storylines in the manga that were not a part of the 2001 adaptation. Also I can say with full confidence that the manga is a masterpiece and I don’t think it would be fair of me to not give it it’s own place on one of these lists when the original anime did. Fruits Basket is ultimately a story about healing from trauma that neatly presents itself as a cute, shoujo romance. It promotes positivity through melancholic storytelling. The characters (particularly our main three) all change and go through strenuous character development out of their own will while also being inspired by those that care for them. It’s a story filled with heartfelt messages and themes making Fruits Basket not only an amazing series, but an important one as well.
Some honorable mentions of manga that would’ve made the list if it weren’t for them being ongoing series:
Oh and if you’d like to know what made my list in 2018 you can head over here on Tumblr.