Only a few things in life go together as well as peanut butter and jam, love and marriage, or a horse and carriage.
Romance and anime can fit that bill too.
Action/romance is a combination that’s basically as old as time itself. Why? Because it just works.
In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll receive no fallout if I say that action romance anime titles are among one of the better genres in anime.
To prove that point, let’s check out some recommendations for action romance-themed anime – a huge compilation of titles that fans of anime simply must check out!
Starting off our list with a bang, this one of the best high-stakes survival anime ever
BTOOOM! is about a boy named Ryota Sakamoto — a hardcore gamer/shut-in who was mysteriously sent to an island where death comes as easy as failing an algebra test.
There he meets Himiko — a high school gamer girl who’s actually his in-game fiancé.
Working together, these two face the dangers of the island head-on, all while a romantic relationship slowly blossoms between them.
By the end of the series (which came a little earlier than I would’ve liked), they both discover and acknowledge their feelings for each other.
And quite honestly, the development of their relationship did wonders for the show – it gave us fans a wholesome distraction from all the violence that’s prevalent in the series.
24. Tokyo Ravens
Childhood friends seem to get the short end of the stick in almost every romance anime.
But not in this one!
Tokyo Ravens is a series that explores the magical world of the onmyouji and living spirits, all in the eyes of our protagonist — Harutora Tsuchimikado.
After living as a normal human for years, Harutora is then visited by his childhood friend (Natsume) who reminds him of the promise they had when they were just kids.
After that, the rest is history.
23. Absolute Duo
From the show’s title alone, it should be pretty obvious just why Absolute Duo would be a pretty good watch for romance anime seekers.
Tooru Kokonoe is our main protagonist — a young man who entered Kouryou Academy High School to gain more power. Why?
So that he could seek revenge against his sister’s killer.
In the academy, he meets a variety of romantic interests (it’s a harem). The most notable is Julie Sigtuna, who’s his “Duo” and also someone who coincidentally shares the same motivations as him.
They fight their way through whatever the world throws at them as a team.
22. Romeo x Juliet
Speaking of obvious romance titles, this show definitely takes the cake.
After all, it’s pretty safe to say there are no other couples in fiction more famous than these Shakespearean characters.
But Romeo Candorebanto Montague’s tale with Juliet Fiammata Asto Capulet’s is much different in this anime compared to the characters they’re based on.
I mean, Juliet wasn’t a former princess-turned-masked vigilante who protected the masses… and Romeo wasn’t actually a son of a tyrannical prince in Shakespeare’s version.
What makes this show a great watch is that the romance aspect isn’t dulled by the action at all.
If anything, I’d say it just enhances it, really.
21. Date A Live
What makes any action/romance anime a good watch?
A few things, actually.
But one way to tell is to check if the series is based on a romance Visual Novel video games, or if it spawned games after the anime was released.
In Date A Live’s case, both happened, which tells us just how successful this IP has been in producing action/romance stories in general.
While I’d argue that the games are a bit better, I’d say the anime itself holds up on its own story-wise.
The anime also balances its romance and action elements much better than many other entries on this list.
That alone makes this series worthy of a recommendation!
20. Future Diary
Here have a title that’s practically riddled with both physical and mental battles.
The story of Future Diary focuses on the journey of our two main protagonists — Yuno Gasai and Yukiteru Amano.
While there are a lot of wholesome romance scenes, be warned, as this series is also chock-full of violent scenes, betrayals, and a somewhat unhealthy romance between Yuno and Yuki.
I mean, Yuno is raging obsessed yandere who’ll stop at nothing just to get together with Yuki… so yeah.
19. Visions of Escaflowne
If you’re also a fan of the isekai genre, then this anime is an instant must-watch!
Set in a fantasy world full of monsters, swords, magic, and mechanized suits, Visions of Escaflowne remains one of the best action/romance anime released before the 2000s.
It tells the story of Hitomi Kanzaki —a once ordinary high school girl who has a slight interest in the occult.
After meeting a boy named Van Fanel, a prince of the Kingdom of Fanelia, her adventure takes her to another world called “Gaea”. This is where Van Fanel’s kingdom is located.
Expect a lot of high-octane battles between mechanized battle suits with this one… which I think goes well with the anime’s thematic emphasis on young love.
18. The Familiar of Zero
On the topic of young love, how about another older isekai action romance series that still holds up even today.
Despite having already watched tons of shows with a similar theme, The Familiar of Zero is still admittedly one of my favorites for romance series.
In a nutshell, it explores an unlikely master-and-servant relationship between a witch named Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière and Saito Hiraga — an ordinary teenager from Japan.
While they might not have gotten along in the beginning, they slowly develop feelings for each other along the way.
And I’m glad to say that unlike most action romance anime, we actually get more than just 12 episodes to see their relationship blossom!
Supernatural romances might be a little overdone in the mainstream media these days.
But there are still some stand-out titles that surpass the “cliché-ness” of the trope.
Blood+ is more than just your typical girl-meets-vampire story.
It offers a much more complex and mature take on interspecies relationships. It tells the tale of a young anemic woman named Saya Otonashi who’s also suffering from partial amnesia.
After being attacked by a vampire, she meets Hagi — a mysterious man who’s actually much closer to her than she initially thought.
So all in all, does this offer a better love story than Twilight?
Of course it does, silly!
16. Angel Beats!
Angel Beats! is hands down one of the most tear-jerking anime around.
Despite having action and romance elements just like every entry on this list, this particular show also has a peculiar charm to it that I can’t just describe.
Between all of the intense fight scenes that leave you at the edge of your seat, there are also some wholesome and funny moments, along with sweet romance scenes here and there.
Of course, what makes this anime shine is its heavy use of emotional scenes that tug on your heartstrings — particularly the ones between its main characters Kanade Tachibana and Yuzuru Otonashi.
15. Eureka Seven
Eureka Seven is one of the most popular mecha titles out there.
While some anime fans criticize it for being a “carbon copy” of its predecessor (The Gundam Series), I firmly disagree (along with many others).
Eureka Seven’s charms rely mostly on its heavier emphasis on the romance side of things, rather than the action like most Gundam titles.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the show’s action elements are lackluster.
If anything, I think that the heart-warming relationship (kind of an understatement) between Renton and Eureka just makes the high-stakes action scenes even more thrilling!
14. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Speaking of mecha-focused anime that’s riddled with action and romance elements… how could we forget Gurren Lagann?
In addition to having a fantastic story from beginning to end, the show also boasts a cast of highly memorable characters.
And since Gurenn Lagann is technically a coming-of-age story, we also see Simon’s and Nia’s growth as characters throughout the series.
With the added benefit of seeing them grow closer towards each other every single episode!
As a fan of slow-burn anime romances, you just cannot ask for more when it comes to this series.
It gives you everything — even intense action scenes — dialed up to an absurd 11.
What, you think we’re done with old-school isekais already?
Not yet we’re not!
Here we have one of the greatest combo animes, covering isekai, romance, action, and supernatural themes. Maybe even the best out of any other anime! (Don’t @ me)
Seriously, there are a lot of things to love about Inuyasha.
It tackles quite a lot of tropes that were far ahead of its time (not just isekai) and does it so well that the series is still watchable.
If you’d like to see just why I like this show so much, then please watch Inuyasha and Kagome’s love sto— *ahem* I mean adventure as soon as you can!
12. Sailor Moon
Ah, magical girls.
In the anime world, it’s pretty much common knowledge that most of them symbolize cuteness, kindness, and love.
And while it’s true that the golden age of magical girls might be over, I would still recommend Sailor Moon to anyone who doesn’t mind watching older titles.
Even though Usagi Tsukino’s story might have served as an inspiration to a lot of other similar anime, it’s still very much unique and original by comparison.
Ya just can’t knock the OG’s, ya feel me?
11. Darling in the Franxx
For some unknown reason, mecha titles are basically a mainstay in this list.
What is it about mecha and romance that makes them mesh so well together?
Darling in the Franxx is an example of this, and it remains one of the most well-received romance titles to date.
But of course, the blood-boiling and high-octane mecha action scenes here are nothing to scoff at either!
Considering it’s so beautifully animated and very compelling story-wise, it’s no wonder that some anime fans consider this work of Naotaka Hayashi and Hiroshi Seko a bona fide masterpiece.
10. Gundam Series (Mobile Suit Gundam 00)
I’d say this is the most well-established mecha series of all time.
Contrary to what some anime fans believe, the Gundam series is way more than just a series of mecha-focused shows with a simple and lackluster romance subplot.
Mobile Suit Gundam 00, in particular, offers us a slightly more mature take on romance, politics, and war – a take that far exceeds what similar shows offer quality-wise.
Also, I must say the romance between this particular show’s protagonists (Setsuna Seiei and Marina Ismail) is arguably the most well-explored romance in the Gundam series.
9. Guilty Crown
Heads up folks – very few anime are as bittersweet as this one.
Guilty Crown might seem like your typical “weak-to-strong” anime, but there’s actually more than meets the eye.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Guilty Crown offers us a bleak yet hopeful perspective of the world from the eyes of Shuu Ouma — our shy guy-turned-badass protagonist.
And while the overall tone of the show might be a bit dark, the romance and action elements aren’t the least bit downgraded.
Personally, I think it just makes the story a lot more engaging!
8. Maoyu: Archenemy and Hero
While this might be a relatively new entry, it’s undeniable that Maoyu has one of the best starting concepts of any show here.
While the enemies-turned-lovers trope isn’t exactly that uncommon, Maoyu does it in a way that’s both fresh and intriguing.
Simply put, the story revolves around an unusual (romantic) partnership between a Demon Lord and a Hero as they both try to make their world better.
One potato at a time.
7. Yona of the Dawn
Coming-of-age anime aren’t that far off from genres that can integrate well with action/romance (Fun Fact: Almost all Shonen are coming-of-age anime).
Yona of the Dawn is the perfect example of a coming-of-age series that heavily features both romance and action themes.
It follows the tale of Yona — a former princess whose father (the king) is betrayed and killed by her very own childhood crush (ouch).
From then on, we get to watch her adventures as she tries to reclaim what’s rightfully hers, all while she gets closer to someone who’s actually worthy of her love.
6. Samurai X
This might be the granddaddy of all badass samurai anime — Samurai X!
If you’re familiar with the show then it should not be a surprise top see it listed here.
It’s a timeless classic that deserves all of the praise it has been given.
Sure, the animation and art style might be a little dated compared to what we have nowadays. But just the story itself makes this worthy of anybody’s time!
Samurai X tells the story of a Kenshin Himura — a once feared and highly dangerous samurai who has chosen the path of pacifism.
Because of a massive change that our MC goes through, we as viewers (and Kamiya Kaoru) are able to see his gentler and much more lovable side.
5. Fate Series (Fate/Stay Night)
The Fate series’ roots as an IP go way further than most light novel-to-anime adaptations.
And given its accomplishments, it even branched out to as games, manga, and audiobooks!
But we’re here for Fate/Stay Night, which I believe to be one of the stronger titles among the entire Fate anime lineup.
Also, it also has a personal favorite ship of mine — Saber and Emiya Shirou. Which I’m always happy to see.
I don’t know why exactly, but no matter what the timeline or alternate reality the show is in, these two as a couple just never seem to disappoint!
4. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
While I’m actually not that much of a fan of harem and ecchi anime nowadays (most of the new ones are just plain boring), I also make very few exceptions since I’m a pretty reasonable guy!
In case a particular harem series meets my standards, I really take note of it, since it managed to overcome my bias.
“Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?” is among those few harem anime that managed to keep my interest.
And this show, by my own admission, ran with it.
The main reason is because it’s unlike most harem series nowadays, where Dungeon has has a lot of compelling characters, who each have their own motivation.
The story mainly focuses on a beginner adventurer (Bell Cranel), a goddess (Hestia), and a heroic veteran adventurer (Ais Wallenstein) — all of whom make up one of the most entertaining love triangles in anime.
And the fan service doesn’t hurt either.
3. Twin Star Exorcist
Let’s move on to Twin Star Exorcist, a show that really deserves more love.
This is probably one of the most underrated anime that has come out in the last 10 years.
In hindsight, Twin Star Exorcist truly had everything to become a big shonen anime.
A fated, slow-burn romance between the two main leads? Check!
A fantasy world filled with supernatural creatures? Check!
Badass fighting scenes and sequences? Double check!
Most of all, Benio and Rokuro both carried this show hard – which tells us a lot about their chemistry as a couple.
2. Beyond the Boundary
I’ve watched a lot of romance anime.
But Beyond the Boundary stands out every single time I watch it.
I’m not just saying this because of my bias for bespectacled female leads — the show is really that good!
It’s a wholesome, thrilling, and sometimes even wacky show that continuously expands on the peculiar bond between Mirai Kuriyama and Akihito Kanbara — both of whom are not your typical high school students.
And by “peculiar bond”, I mean that one of them literally tries to kill the other as soon as they first meet.
You might think that’s a terrible way to make a first impression.
But how the relationship between these two eventually develops certainly tells us otherwise.
1. Sword Art Online
And for our top spot we have none other than the most famous isekai in anime history — Sword Art Online.
First off, let me start by saying that I’m personally not that much of a fan of SAO as a whole. I don’t dislike it, per se, but the newer seasons just aren’t my cup of tea.
But one thing I do love a lot is the show’s first season.
Season 1, holds a lot of episodes that managed to leave a lasting impression on me as a viewer. And I’m probably not alone in that feeling.
If I had to choose what appeals to me the most, it would be the romance between Asuna and Kirito – since it’s definitely one of the most well-portrayed anime romances out there.
I mean, there’s a reason why SAO blew up way back then.
It’s because this series handles action and romance elements (along with other thing) in a much more entertaining way compared to other similar titles.
If you’ve yet to check this out, at least give the first season a try.