I haven’t really been able to get into a new anime since Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It’s kind of tragic in a sense because, well, I was super interested in Japanese anime during the period when most people thought they were all about sex and violence! In a strange twist of fate, my interest for the hobby started to wane just when watching anime was gaining popularity in the Philippines. By the time it was considered mainstream and most local channels were broadcasting dubber versions, I pretty much quit. But I would still keep abreast of some titles, such as the aforementioned Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
So, you could say I’m more of a connoseuir of the older animes of the past. The ones that anime fanatics would probably pass up today since, well, they are old. Now, while a lot of the animes I’ve watched before were generally filled with action, a surprising number of those older animes I used to watch were actually romantic. So, since Valentines Day is drawing close, here are five classics that all anime lovers may want to watch because of the season.
Honey and Clover
Okay, admittedly this is pretty recent but, considering the Honey and Clover anime series ended almost a decade ago, I’m going to consider it. Besides, Honey and Clover is just too perfect to exclude from this Valentines Day anime list. Honey and Clover revolves around a group of students who attend a prestigious art University in Tokyo. The group’s lives change when the petite and timid Hagumi Hanamoto starts to attend the same school.
The anime does focus on a lot of the typical anime love staples, such as love triangles, unrequited love and the like. But there’s just an almost serene feeling as to how each episode is done. It may not be extremely realistic regarding its portrayal about love and the like… but Honey and Clover does manage to capture the feeling of uncertainty of love. After all, love can be confusing at a young age and Honey and Clover does a wonderful job of making the viewers feel it. While some scenarios may be heart-wrenching, well, love can be like that at times.
Kimagure Orange Road
Kimagure Orange Road focuses on the love triangle of Kyosuke Kasuga, Madoka Ayukawa and (the rather annoying) Hikaru Hiyama. Essentially, Hikaru has officially proclaimed that Kyosuke is her boyfriend when they first met. Kyosuke actually has feeling for Madoka and Madoka also likes Kyosuke. However, both of them are too timid to reveal what’s really in their hearts as they don’t want to hurt Hikaru’s feelings.
Oh, and Kyosuke has psychic powers. Almost forgot to mention that!
But, in all honesty, fans don’t really remember Kimagure Orange Road because of Kyosuke’s powers. Fans love the series because of the really strong character that is Madoka Ayukawa. She may not be the first “tsundere” (ie. initially cold person but warms up later on) in anime but she may as well be the archetype that every other anime follows.
However, I actually don’t recommend the entire series. Rather, if you do plan to watch something regarding Kimagure Orange Road, I strongly recommend you picking up the first movie, I Want To Return To That Day.
The movie actually does a decent job of closing out the series and there isn’t a single mention of Kyosuke’s abilities, making it a much more pleasant viewing experience for Valentines Days as it’s more “realistic.” It’s also the most emotional entries of the animated series and it’s written in such a way that you don’t have to watch the entire 48 episode run.
There’s a good chance people think I’m referring to a K-Pop group’s album. This Boys Be is an anime that aired in early part of they year 2000. There is one overarching story involving the two main characters, Kyoichi and Chiharu, but every character does get an episode or two to tell their own story.
In all honesty, Boys Be isn’t groundbreaking in any way. The stories are pretty simple. The characters are nothing to write home about and fairly generic. There are a few episodes that tackle some adult situations, making it kind of a good watch for teenagers. Besides, it’s only 13 episodes long, making it suitable for a marathon viewing on Valentines Day.
Kare Kano AKA His and Her Circumstances
After the incredibly mind-bending and fantastic Neon Genesis Evangelion ended, fans wondered what Gainax would produce next. The answer came a whole two years later. A lot of fans, including myself, were surprised since Gainax didn’t decide to produce another over-the-top sci-fi anime. Instead, they opted to produce, of all things, a high school romance-comedy anime.
Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances) generally focuses on Yukino Miyazawa and Soichiro Arima, two seemingly perfect model students who have deep secrets. While Yukino is seemingly perfect at school, in reality, she is incredibly vain and only keeps up the act as she enjoys the praise she gets from her teachers and fellow students. Soichiro is also hiding his true self as he is incredibly insecure due to his parents abandoning him. However, the two do eventually fall in love.
Kare Kano can be rather surreal at times as the anime series was initially supervised by the same guy who directed Evangelion. However, the overall story itself is a thing of beauty as you really see both characters grow out of their shells slowly but surely. The anime doesn’t seem to have a satisfying ending which may be annoying for a lot of people but the story you do get is beautiful on its own.
Ranma 1/2 isn’t really known for it’s romance but I’m including it on this list as there are enough romantic moments throughout the series that it deserves to be mentioned.
Honestly, just watch Ranma 1/2. The first four seasons are funny and just a joy to watch, even today. It’s kind of sad that a lot of current anime fans haven’t watched this. Well, Valentines Day is as good as any day to start watching it!
What other classic anime series do you recommend for Valentines Day? Let me know in the comments section below!