Though we don’t want to think about it, Valentine’s Day lands on a Monday this year. When all plans for dinner and date night are done over the weekend, you may be asking yourself what to do on a weeknight to celebrate. Maybe a movie in, take out, or a video game two-person tournament is in your future, but for the couple who loves to anime and chill, let me be your guide on some romantic and not-so-romantic anime to watch on the holiday dedicated to love.
For the Couple Who Met at Work: Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku – Wotakoi feels like the obvious watch for Valentine’s Day. Two friends in middle school who lost touch are suddenly reacquainted when they begin to work together. Their recovered friendship slowly becomes love as they get to know each other again. The appeal of the series is about finding the one you love and sharing every weird and nerdy part of you and doing your hobbies together. Not to mention, I am a sucker for any anime about adults doing normal adult things!
For the Couple Who is Maybe a Little Toxic: The Flowers of Evil – This is not a love story. With the worst love triangle known to man, The Flowers of Evil is about manipulation, high school crushes, and desperation. Totally a psychological thriller, it’ll make you think, “Damn, at least we’re not this bad!” This series will either have you slamming the next episode button as soon as the credits come up or have you sit in silence and make you digest everything you just saw for an hour. On second thought…maybe watching this for Valentine’s Day is not a good idea, but it’s really good, and the rotoscope animation is so cool!
(Warning: This series includes heavier topics including stalking, manipulation, and assault. Please watch at your own discretion.)
For the Couple Who Accidentally Fell in Love: Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan – Dragon Pilot is a contemporary fantasy about people who control dragons that are disguised as planes. Yes, you read that right. A military base in the middle of nowhere, the characters overcome their struggles, confess their crushes, form friendships, and grow as people. It’s a slice of life, it’s slow-moving but authentically done, and relationships slowly bloom over time. Not to mention, that ending theme will get stuck in your head for weeks.
For the “It’s Complicated” Couple: Kyousougiga – Think of the messiest couple you know, now add interdimensional time travel. That’s Kyousougiga and man, does it sting. Missing parents, distant lovers, generational trauma, this series has got it all. Truly a hidden gem, this anime is a feast for the eyes and will tug at your heartstrings. I’ve bonded over this series with so many people I love, it only seems right to recommend it to people who need some time to figure stuff out together.
For the Couple with a Laughable Height Difference: Lovely Complex – Lovely Complex is the perfect classic shoujo anime. Two classmates wanting to find love but are insecure of their height get egged on by their friends to spend time together. It’s funny, innocent, and a pillar of early 2000s anime. If an anime could be a warm blanket, this is it. This is probably the most reasonable Valentine’s Day anime recommendation.
Have you seen any of these anime and have a favorite? Do you wish I suggested a different series? Are we all probably going to ignore my recommendations and just watch My Love Story!! For the fifth time? Most likely.