Some romantic tropes are character-related, such as the archetype of the spoiled princess and the bad boy with a heart of gold. Others relate to the relationship dynamics, such as the marriage plot device of convenience. Not all figures of speech are as well received as others. Some fans get the ick when a romance has the long-term relationship, with the couple progressing extremely slowly in processing their feelings for one reason after another.
There are some romantic tropes that are popular for a reason. No matter how many times an anime has the dynamic from enemies to lovers, it’s very enjoyable as long as the progression from hate to love is worked out well.
10/10 Nagasumi gets engaged to a mermaid so he can avoid a terrible fate
My bride is a mermaid
The Mermaid Sun breaks her people’s law and reveals herself to a human when she saves Nagasumi from drowning in My bride is a mermaid. After Sun breaks the law, there are only two options available to them. Nagasumi must die or become part of her people through marriage.
Sun’s family decides she should marry the human boy she saved, and… My bride is a mermaid begins with the resulting marriage of convenience. As often happens in plots for an easy marriage, Nagasumi must adjust to an incredibly different way of life as he learns what it means to be a mermaid’s husband.
9/10 Aloof Spike stays true to his first love
Cowboy Bebops Spike Spiegel is an example of the arrogant bad boy archetype. The bounty hunter hides his tender heart under a smokescreen of indolence. He spends most of his time smoking and lounging, showing no overt sense of concern for others. Spike says insensitive things, but some crew members speculate that he may not really mean them.
Spike takes on such an apathetic personality in response to his tormented past. Spike fell in love with a woman named Julia at first sight. He stayed true to that love the whole time Julia was in hiding, and he wasn’t sure if he’d ever see her again. Even after he lost her, he still keeps her memory close to him.
8/10 A princess in exile falls in love with a commoner
Princess Angelise is shocked to find out she can’t use the Mana technology her people are known for Cross Ange. Banned from the royal court, where she lived in luxury all her life, she must find a way to survive on her own.
Angelise adapts to her new circumstances by taking on a new name, Ange, and joining a Norma militia. Her love interest, Tusk, is a warrior who rescues her after an incident involving her tampered mech nearly kills her. At first, the former princess looks at the rough citizen with her nose, but the two develop a mutual understanding and eventually fall in love.
7/10 Akatsuki will always protect his princess
Aesthetics of a villainous hero
Aesthetics of a villainous hero is about a warrior named Akatsuki, who entrusts the Demon King to watch over his daughter, Princess Miu. Akatsuki takes Miu to a school they both attend, guarding and guiding her along the way.
Akatsuki has a devilish attitude and meager morals, but he takes Princess Miu’s safety seriously. He fits neatly into the protective lover trope. Meanwhile, Miu’s feelings for Akatsuki are contradictory. She wants to hate the man who killed her father, but as she spends more time with Akatsuki, she begins to develop feelings for him.
6/10 Two star crossed lovers find each other again in the next life
Yuzuru is the main character of Angel strikes!, set in a mysterious world called Afterlife. Souls who have experienced major trauma in their first life are brought to Afterlife, where they are given a second chance. Yuzuru’s love interest, Kanade, is a girl with unique abilities who wants to help souls get out of the afterlife.
Lovers dying and reincarnating to meet in the next life is a common bittersweet trope in anime romance. Yuzuru and Kanade fall in love in the afterlife and then find each other again when their souls are reincarnated on Earth.
5/10 Inuyasha, Kikyo and Kagome are stuck in a love triangle
Into the love triangle Inuyasha extends throughout the series as the canine yokai struggles with his feelings for his former lover, Kikyo, and her reincarnation, Kagome. Many years ago, Kikyo and Inuyasha were in love until Naraku tore them apart.
Kagome has the same pretty face as her predecessor, Kikyo, but their personalities couldn’t be more different. Inuyasha spends a long time with his emotions for the tragic Kikyo and Kagome, who is his perfect match. Although the resurrected Kikyo doesn’t have a very lovable personality, it’s heartbreaking to see her choke on her jealousy of Kagome, who still has the chance to be with Inuyasha, unlike her.
4/10 Yamato is immediately in love with Mei
say i love you”
say i love you” is a high school romance between the introverted Mei and a popular boy named Yamato. Mei struggles with putting herself out there and making friends, while Yamato is her social opposite. Yamato isn’t afraid to do what he wants, and he’s attracted to Mei from the start.
Mei doesn’t know what to think of Yamato, but his intentions for her are pure and his interest is genuine. They get to know each other better through their friendship, and it’s always fun to see the guy fall first.
3/10 Tohru is taken in by the Sohma . family
There are few things more inciting lovers to conflict than forced closeness, which is a big theme in fruit basket. Tohru is homeless and in need of help, so the Sohma family takes her in and lets her live with them in exchange for her help with cleaning and cooking.
Tohru is excited about such a deal, but her new living situation becomes complicated when Kyo Sohma blasts through the ceiling. Living with her future love interest, Kyo, results in rather awkward and emotionally charged situations.
2/10 Tomoe is a grumpy Yokai and Nanami is a living ray of sunshine
In Kamisama Kiss, Nanami is a gentle deredere character and Tomoe is a complete growl. The two share an altruistic nature, but Nanami wears her values on her sleeve, while Tomoe has a spunkier personality and prefers to downplay his sense of morality.
Their opposing disposition results in a lot of bickering, but fans love it when Tomoe Nanami reluctantly comes to the rescue and shows her kindness. Nanami often needs Tomoe’s protection, but Tomoe benefits from being with someone like her. Her open, benevolent nature soothes him and helps him feel less alone.
1/10 The hero and the demon queen meet as enemies and eventually fall in love
nemesis and hero
The Demon Queen and the Hero are on opposite sides of a war between demons and humans in Arch Enemy and Hero. They meet when the hero tries to kill her. The hero changes his plan to kill the demon queen when he talks to her and hears her point of view.
One of the best parts of the enemies to lovers trope is the evolution between the characters as they gain a deeper understanding of each other. The hero and the demon queen go from natural enemies to allies, eventually falling for each other as they join forces and try to end the war together.
NEXT: 10 Shonen Anime Where Romance Is Central