- Clannad: Tomoya Okazaki is a delinquent who finds life dull and believes he’ll never amount to anything. Along with his friend Youhei Sunohara, he skips school and plans to waste his high school days away. One day while walking to school, Tomoya passes a young girl muttering quietly to herself. Without warning, she exclaims “Anpan!” (a popular Japanese food) which catches Tomoya’s attention. He soon discovers the girl’s name is Nagisa Furukawa and that she exclaims things she likes in order to motivate herself. Nagisa claims they are now friends, but Tomoya walks away passing the encounter off as nothing. However, Tomoya finds he is noticing Nagisa more and more around the school. Eventually, he concedes and befriends her. Tomoya learns Nagisa has been held back a year due to a severe illness and that her dream is to revive the school’s drama club. Claiming he has nothing better to do, he decides to help her achieve this goal along with the help of four other girls. As Tomoya spends more time with the girls, he learns more about them and their problems. As he attempts to help each girl overcome her respective obstacle, he begins to realize life isn’t as dull as he once thought.
2. Clannad: After Story: Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa graduate from high school. Together, they experience the emotional rollercoaster of growing up. Unable to decide on a course for his future, Tomoya learns the value of a strong work ethic and discovers the strength of Nagisa’s support. Through the couple’s dedication and unity of purpose, they push forward to confront their personal problems, deepen their old relationships, and create new bonds. Time also moves on in the Illusionary World. As the plains grow cold with the approach of winter, the Illusionary Girl and the Garbage Doll are presented with a difficult situation that reveals the World’s true purpose.
3. Toradora: Ryuuji Takasu is a gentle high school student with a love for housework; but in contrast to his kind nature, he has an intimidating face that often gets him labeled as a delinquent. On the other hand, is Taiga Aisaka, a small, doll-like student, who is anything but a cute and fragile girl. Equipped with a wooden katana and feisty personality, Taiga is known throughout the school as the “Palmtop Tiger.” One day, an embarrassing mistake causes the two students to cross paths. Ryuuji discovers that Taiga actually has a sweet side: she has a crush on the popular vice president, Yuusaku Kitamura, who happens to be his best friend. But things only get crazier when Ryuuji reveals that he has a crush on Minori Kushieda—Taiga’s best friend!
4. Given: Tightly clutching his Gibson guitar, Mafuyu Satou steps out of his dark apartment to begin another day of his high school life. While taking a nap in a quiet spot on the gymnasium staircase, he has a chance encounter with fellow student Ritsuka Uenoyama, who berates him for letting his guitar’s strings rust and break. Noticing Uenoyama’s knowledge of the instrument, Satou pleads for him to fix it and to teach him how to play. Uenoyama eventually agrees and invites him to sit in on a jam session with his two bandmates: bassist Haruki Nakayama and drummer Akihiko Kaji. Satou’s voice is strikingly beautiful, filling Uenoyama with the determination to make Satou the lead singer of the band. Though reticent at first, Satou takes the offer after an emotional meeting with an old friend. With the support of his new friends, Satou must not only learn how to play guitar but also come to terms with the mysterious circumstances that led him to be its owner.
5. Kaichou wa Maid-sama: Being the first female student council president isn’t easy, especially when your school just transitioned from an all-boys high school to a co-ed one. Aptly nicknamed “Demon President” by the boys for her strict disciplinary style, Misaki Ayuzawa is not afraid to use her mastery of Aikido techniques to cast judgment onto the hordes of misbehaving boys and defend the girls at Seika High School. Yet even the perfect Ayuzawa has an embarrassing secret—she works part-time as a maid at a maid café to help her struggling family pay the bills. She has managed to keep her job hidden from her fellow students and maintained her flawless image as a stellar student until one day, Takumi Usui, the most popular boy in school, walks into the maid café. He could destroy her reputation with her secret… or he could twist the student council president around his little finger and use her secret as an opportunity to get closer to her.
6. TONIKAWA: Over the Moon For You: Nasa Yuzaki is determined to leave his name in the history books. Ranking first in the national mock exam and aiming for a distinguished high school, he is certain that he has his whole life mapped out. However, fate is a fickle mistress. On his way home one snowy evening, Nasa’s eyes fall upon a peerless beauty across the street. Bewitched, Nasa tries to approach her—only to get blindsided by an oncoming truck. Thankfully, his life is spared due to the girl’s swift action. Bleeding by the side of an ambulance, he watches as the girl walks away under the moonlight—reminiscent of Princess Kaguya leaving for the moon. Refusing to let this chance meeting end, he forces his crippled body to chase after her and asks her out. Surprised by his foolhardiness and pure resolve, the girl accepts his confession under a single condition: they can only be together if he marries her!
7. Yuri On Ice: Reeling from his crushing defeat at the Grand Prix Finale, Yuuri Katsuki, once Japan’s most promising figure skater, returns to his family home to assess his options for the future. At age 23, Yuuri’s window for success in skating is closing rapidly, and his love of pork cutlets and aptitude for gaining weight are not helping either. However, Yuuri finds himself in the spotlight when a video of him performing a routine previously executed by the five-time world champion, Victor Nikiforov, suddenly goes viral. In fact, Victor himself abruptly appears at Yuuri’s house and offers to be his mentor. As one of his biggest fans, Yuuri eagerly accepts, kicking off his journey to make it back onto the world stage. But the competition is fierce, as the rising star from Russia, Yuri Plisetsky, is relentlessly determined to defeat Yuuri and win back Victor’s tutelage.
8. Kimi no Na wa: Your Name: Mitsuha Miyamizu, a high school girl, yearns to live the life of a boy in the bustling city of Tokyo—a dream that stands in stark contrast to her present life in the countryside. Meanwhile, in the city, Taki Tachibana lives a busy life as a high school student while juggling his part-time job and hopes for a future in architecture. One day, Mitsuha awakens in a room that is not her own and suddenly finds herself living the dream life in Tokyo—but in Taki’s body! Elsewhere, Taki finds himself living Mitsuha’s life in the humble countryside. In pursuit of an answer to this strange phenomenon, they begin to search for one another. Kimi no Na wa. Revolves around Mitsuha and Taki’s actions, which begin to have a dramatic impact on each other’s lives, weaving them into a fabric held together by fate and circumstance.
9. Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You: Known for her semblance to the Sadako character of The Ring series, Sawako Kuronuma is given the nickname “Sadako” and misunderstood to be frightening and malicious like her fictional counterpart, despite having a timid and sweet nature. Longing to make friends and live a normal life, Sawako is naturally drawn to the cheerful and friendly Shouta Kazehaya, the most popular boy in her class. From their first meeting, Sawako has admired Kazehaya’s ability to be the center of attention and aspires to be like him. When Kazehaya organizes a test of courage for the entire class and encourages her to attend, Sawako sees this as an opportunity to get along with her classmates, starting with Ayane Yano and Chizuru Yoshida. Through each new encounter and emotion she experiences, Sawako believes that meeting Kazehaya has changed her for the better. Little does Sawako know, her presence has also changed Kazehaya.
10. Yagate Kimi ni Naru: Bloom Into You: Yuu Koito has always been entranced with romantic shoujo manga and the lyrics of love songs. She patiently waits for the wings of love to sprout and send her heart aflutter on the day that she finally receives a confession. Yet, when her classmate from junior high declares his love for her during their graduation, she feels unexpectedly hollow. The realization hits her: she understands romance as a concept, but she is incapable of experiencing the feeling first-hand. Now, having enrolled in high school, Yuu, disconcerted and dispirited, is still ruminating over how to respond to her suitor. There, she happens upon the seemingly flawless student council president, Touko Nanami, maturely rejecting a confession of her own. Stirred by Touko’s elegant manner, Yuu approaches her for advice, only to be bewildered when the president confesses to her! Yuu quickly finds herself in the palm of Touko’s hand, and unknowingly sets herself on a path to find the emotion which has long eluded her.
11. Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi – World’s Greatest First Love: After having to deal with jealousy from his co-workers for working under his father’s name, prideful literary editor Ritsu Onodera is determined to establish himself in the industry. To accomplish this, he quits his job at his father’s publishing company and transfers to Marukawa Publishing. But instead of being placed in their literary division, Ritsu finds himself working as the rookie manga editor for the Emerald editing department, a team that operates under extremely tight schedules in order to meet deadlines. There, Ritsu is introduced to the infamous editor-in-chief Masamune Takano, a persistent man who strives for results. As it turns out, Takano is actually Ritsu’s high school love, and it is the aftermath of that heartbreak that has caused Ritsu’s reluctance to fall in love again. Now with the two reunited after several years of separation, the reestablishment of their relationship is marked by Takano’s vow to make Ritsu say that he loves him again. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi follows three couples that are interconnected within the manga industry, with each being subject to the budding of first love.
12. Hotarubi no Mori e: Intrigued by the tale of a mountain god, six-year-old Hotaru Takegawa loses her way in the ancient forest while visiting her uncle. Exhausted and desperate for help, Hotaru is thrilled to find a masked forest spirit named Gin. She learns the hard way that she should not touch the boy, or he would disappear. In spite of this, Gin leads Hotaru out of the forest and warns her never to return when she promises to come again with a gift. Paying no heed to his cautionary words, and despite being separated by both distance and planes of existence, Hotaru and Gin become close friends as she visits him every summer. However, their relationship and resolve are put to the test, when romantic feelings conflict with the one and only rule. Based on Yuki Midorikawa’s manga of the same name, Hotarubi no Mori e is a tale of friendship and compromise of two people who should never have crossed paths, as their lives become hopelessly intertwined.
13. Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku: Having slept through all four of her alarms, the energetic Narumi Momose finds herself running late for her first day of work at a new office. As she races to catch her train, she makes a promise to herself that none of her coworkers will find out about her dark secret: that she is an otaku and a fujoshi. Her plan goes instantly awry, though, when she runs into Hirotaka Nifuji, an old friend from middle school. Although she tries to keep her secret by inviting him out for drinks after work, her cover is blown when he casually asks her whether or not she will be attending the upcoming Summer Comiket. Luckily for her, the only witnesses—Hanako Koyanagi and Tarou Kabakura—are otaku as well. Later that night, the pair go out for drinks so that they can catch up after all the years apart. After Narumi complains about her previous boyfriend breaking up with her because he refused to date a fujoshi, Hirotaka suggests that she try dating a fellow otaku, specifically himself. He makes a solemn promise to always be there for her, to support her, and to help her farm for rare drops in Monster Hunter. Blown away by the proposal, Narumi agrees immediately. Thus, the two otakus start dating, and their adorably awkward romance begins.
14. Ore Monogatari!!: My Love Story: With his muscular build and tall stature, Takeo Gouda is not exactly your average high school freshman. However, his intimidating appearance hides a heart of gold, and he is considered a hero by the boys for his courage and chivalry. Unfortunately, these traits do not help much with his love life. As if his looks are not enough to scare the opposite sex away, Takeo’s cool and handsome best friend and constant companion Makoto Sunakawa easily steal the hearts of the female students—including every girl Takeo has ever liked. When Takeo gallantly saves cute and angelic Rinko Yamato from being molested, he falls in love with her instantly but suspects that she might be interested in Sunakawa. With his own love for Yamato continuing to bloom, Takeo unselfishly decides to act as her cupid, even as he yearns for his own love story.
15. Hal: Kurumi is a beautiful young woman whose beloved boyfriend, Hal, died in a sudden airplane accident. Left heartbroken and gloomy, she isolates herself in a small house. But this soon comes to change when her grandfather requests the help of a humanoid robot named Q01. Taking on the appearance of Hal, Q01 is sent to Kurumi’s house in order to save her from her state of despair. As Hal returns day after day and increases his efforts, Kurumi, despite her initial reluctance, slowly begins to open up to him and break free from her depression. But there is more to Hal than meets the eye, and these two will soon learn an unexpected truth about this relationship between a human and an android.
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