Anime provides a unique platform for the romance genre to thrive. Because of its quirky and flexible nature, stories of love are able to be told in anyway often construing the themes we’re so familiar with into something else entirely. It’s a truly fascinating prospect that is unique to anime alone. Anime like Fruits Basket, add a strange quirk to the familiar trope of a love triangle. All characters but the main one, Tohru Honda, will transform into animals of the Chinese zodiac if touched by the opposite sex.
This forces the love triangle trope to become an entirely mental experience, removing the possibility of physical contact between the characters. Another one of the best romance anime that deals with the theme of romance and love is Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. The story takes place between two time periods in the lives of the main characters. Through the story we are shown how each character grows to become who they are in the present. Each one of them is tethered together by their love for a single character who passed away in their childhood. It is a ripping, gut wrenching tale of lost love that could only be properly expressed through the flexibility of the visual medium that is anime.
Stories of love and romance are interlinked with our own emotions, without proper stimulus we can’t feel what the characters feel for each other. But anime provides just the right amount of emotional nuance and control to help manifest these feelings within ourselves. This isn’t some ecchi harem anime, this is true art.