The Best Romance Anime Movies to Watch in Canada in 2024

Best-Romance-Anime-Movies

Anime fans know the genre’s rich diversity, but many may not realize the wealth of sub-genres under its umbrella. Among these, romantic anime stands out for its ability to tug at the heartstrings. The best romance anime movies convey deep bonds in romantic and platonic relationships, often focusing on young love while handling complex emotions.

Whether you’re in the mood for a whimsical adventure or a poignant drama, romance anime movies like ‘Your Name’ and ‘5 Centimeters Per Second’ offer a range of emotional experiences that are as diverse as they are captivating.

For anime enthusiasts in Canada, accessing these cinematic gems has never been easier. Streaming platforms such as Netflix Japan, Crunchyroll, and Funimation feature an extensive lineup of romance anime, ensuring you can immerse yourself in love stories of all kinds.

Join me as we delve into the enchanting world of romance anime movies, each one a testament to the power of love and storytelling.


1. The Garden of Words (2013)

The-Garden-of-Words

Director: Makoto Shinkai
Writer: Makoto Shinkai
Cast: Miyu Irino, Kana Hanazawa, Fumi Hirano, Gou Maeda
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 46m

In The Garden of Words (Koto no ha no niwa), I discovered an intimate narrative that delves into the chance meeting between Takao, an aspiring shoemaker, and Yukino, a mysterious older woman. Their bond flourishes in the serenity of a rain-soaked garden, where silence speaks volumes, and unspoken words are understood through shared solitude.

The film’s visual splendor is undeniable, with scenes that capture the ephemeral beauty of nature in a way that only the best romance anime movies can. It’s a contemplative piece that beautifully illustrates the emotional growth and mutual understanding that can arise from the most unexpected encounters.


2. Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (2020)

josee-the-tiger-and-the-fish

Director: Kôtarô Tamura
Writer: Seiko Tanabe, Sayaka Kuwamura
Cast: Kaya Kiyohara, Taishi Nakagawa, Matsutera Chiemi, Kengo Kawanishi
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 1h 39m

Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (Joze to tora to sakana-tachi) is a standout among romance anime movies, telling the story of Tsuneo, an ambitious university student, and Josee, a young woman in a wheelchair who dreams of adventure.

Their relationship challenges societal perceptions of disability and independence, exploring themes of dreams, freedom, and the transformative power of love.

The film beautifully encourages viewers to dream big and love freely, presenting its emotional weight with a delicate touch. Its profound character development and heartfelt narrative make it one of the best romance anime movies, celebrating life beyond limitations and the defining moments of youth.


3. Ocean Waves (1993)

Ocean-Waves

Director: Tomomi Mochizuki
Writer: Saeko Himuro, Keiko Niwa
Cast: Nobuo Tobita, Toshihiko Seki, Yoko Sakamoto, Yuri Amano
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
Run Time: 1h 16m

Ocean Waves is a Studio Ghibli film that might not be as well-known as some of their other works, but it is a hidden gem among romance anime movies. The narrative centers around Taku and his memories of his high school life, especially the complexities of his relationships with his best friend, Yutaka, and a transfer student named Rikako.

The film’s strength lies in the subtlety of the emotions it portrays, showcasing the confusion and longing that come with young love.

This quieter Ghibli film is a heartfelt portrayal of fleeting youth and the bittersweet pains of first love. It offers a slice of life that resonates with anyone who has experienced the tumultuous journey of growing up, capturing the essence of adolescence with honesty and introspection.


4. Whisper of the Heart (1995)

Whisper-of-the-Heart

Director: Yoshifumi Kondô
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki, Aoi Hiiragi, Cindy Davis
Cast: Yoko Honna, Issei Takahashi, Takashi Tachibana, Shigeru Muroi
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 1h 51m

Whisper of the Heart (Mimi wo sumaseba) produced by Studio Ghibli and directed by Yoshifumi Kondo with a screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki, is a standout in romance anime. The film follows Shizuku, a passionate student who discovers a shared name in library books and meets Seiji, an aspiring violin maker. Inspired by Seiji, Shizuku pursues her dream of becoming a writer.

The film beautifully explores youthful aspirations and the tender development of first love, portraying the challenges and rewards of following one’s dreams. With enchanting animation and thoughtful storytelling, “Whisper of the Heart” is a cherished classic among the best romance anime movies.


5. Your Name (2016)

Your-Name

Director: Makoto Shinkai
Writer: Makoto Shinkai, Clark Cheng
Cast: Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryo Narita, Aoi Yûki
IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
Run Time: 1h 46m

Your Name (Kimi no na wa) is a visually stunning and emotionally stirring film directed by Makoto Shinkai. It intertwines romance, fantasy, and drama to tell the extraordinary story of two teenagers, Taki and Mitsuha, who are connected by a strange body-swapping phenomenon.

This film explores the deep bond that forms between them as they live through each other’s lives and the growing realization that something greater binds them together. The narrative is rich in emotional depth, complemented by breathtaking animation and an innovative plot that challenges the characters to overcome the barriers of time and space to prevent an impending disaster.

The film’s soundtrack by RADWIMPS adds to the emotional resonance and helps solidify “Your Name” as one of the best romance anime movies.


6. Weathering With You (2019)

weathering-with-you

Director: Makoto Shinkai
Writer: Makoto Shinkai
Cast: Kotaro Daigo, Nana Mori, Tsubasa Honda, Sakura Kiryu
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Run Time: 1h 52m

In Weathering With You (Tenki no ko), directed by Makoto Shinkai, viewers are treated to a blend of romance and supernatural elements set in a rain-soaked Tokyo. The story follows Hodaka, a runaway teen who meets Hina, a girl with the extraordinary ability to manipulate the weather.

Their romance unfolds against a backdrop of endless rain, raising questions about the price of happiness and the weight of individual choices. The film is visually stunning and emotionally charged. It captures the essence of young love against impossible odds and is a testament to the enduring human spirit.

Hodaka and Hina’s journey is a profound reminder of the sacrifices made for love, making Weathering With You one of the best romance anime movies of all time. It not only offers a visually stunning experience but also delves into themes of climate change and societal expectations, all wrapped in a touching love story.


7. Centimeters Per Second (2007)

Centimeters-Per-Second

Director: Makoto Shinkai
Writer: Makoto Shinkai
Cast: Kenji Mizuhashi, Yoshimi Kondou, Satomi Hanamura, Ayaka Onoue
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Run Time: 1h 3m

5 Centimeters Per Second (Byôsoku 5 senchimêtoru) is a poignant exploration of love and longing, depicted through the lives of Takaki and Akari. Their story is a testament to how distance and time can impact the bonds we form. I regard this film as one of the best romantic anime movies for its authentic portrayal of the complexities of relationships.

The film is split into three acts, each illustrating a different phase of the protagonists’ lives as they drift apart. The visual beauty and the delicate handling of emotions make this movie resonate so deeply with viewers. The narrative’s subtlety and the characters’ raw feelings make it a standout in the genre of romance anime movies.


8. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

The-Girl-Who-Leapt-Through-Time

Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Writer: Yasutaka Tsutsui, Satoko Okudera
Cast: Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Mitsutaka Itakura, Ayami Kakiuchi
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
Run Time: 1h 38m

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Toki o kakeru shôjo) is an exceptional film that combines the whimsy of youth with the profound concept of time travel. Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, it features Makoto, a high school girl who discovers the ability to leap through time.

Her initial delight in using this power for personal gain soon gives way to the realization that her actions have significant consequences, particularly for her closest friends.

This film stands out among romance anime movies for its original approach to the theme of time’s effect on relationships and the importance of making the most of the present moment. The narrative is both playful and poignant, challenging the characters to consider the gravity of their choices and the fleeting nature of their shared experiences.


9. The Wind Rises (2013)

The-Wind-Rises

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
Cast: Hideaki Anno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Miori Takimoto, Masahiko Nishimura
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 2h 6m

The Wind Rises (Kaze tachinu), directed by Hayao Miyazaki, is a poignant animated biopic based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the engineer behind Japan’s WWII fighter planes.

The film intertwines Jiro’s passion for aviation with historical events and a tender love story with Naoko Satomi, whose delicate health adds urgency to their relationship. The personal moments between Jiro and Naoko captivate the heart, reflecting the enduring nature of love and the resilience of the human spirit.

The film’s gentle pacing allows viewers to immerse themselves in Jiro’s life, from his early dreams to his complex relationship with his creations. “The Wind Rises” is a visual and emotional feast, exploring the balance between ambition and its impact on the world and loved ones.

Its ability to convey complex emotions and the bittersweet reality of life’s fleeting moments makes it one of the best romance anime movies, transcending the boundaries of animated storytelling. Miyazaki’s work is a profound reminder that love and dreams give life meaning and beauty, even amidst change and loss.


10. A Silent Voice (2016)

a-silent-voice

Director: Taichi Ishidate, Naoko Yamada
Writer: Yoshitoki Ôima, Reiko Yoshida, Kiyoshi Shigematsu
Cast: Miyu Irino, Saori Hayami, Aoi Yûki, Kenshô Ono
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Run Time: 2h 10m

A Silent Voice (Koe no katachi), directed by Naoko Yamada, is a film that masterfully addresses themes of redemption, empathy, and the intricacies of human connection. This romance anime movie follows the story of Shoya Ishida, a former bully, as he attempts to reconcile with Shoko Nishimiya, a deaf girl he once tormented.

The film boldly tackles the impact of bullying and the challenges faced by those with disabilities with sensitivity and realism. The characters are richly developed, each grappling with their imperfections while seeking forgiveness and acceptance.

The evolving friendship between Shoya and Shoko is portrayed with a keen awareness of the complexities of their emotions and the unspoken words that carry significant weight between them.


11. Fireworks (2017)

fireworks-2018

Director: Yukihiro Miyamoto, Akiyuki Shinbô, Nobuyuki Takeuchi
Writer: Shunji Iwai, Hitoshi Ône
Cast: Suzu Hirose, Masaki Suda, Mamoru Miyano, Shintarô Asanuma
IMDb Rating: 5.5/10
Run Time: 1h 30m

I’ve come across a mesmerizing romance anime movie that deserves a spot on my list: “Fireworks” from 2017. This film spins a captivating tale of a boy named Norimichi who stumbles upon a mysterious ball that grants him the ability to rewind time.

He finds himself caught in a love triangle as he attempts to alter the course of events to win the affection of his classmate Nazuna. But, as with any great story that involves tampering with time, each change brings about a new set of challenges and dilemmas.

“Fireworks” brilliantly illustrates the tumultuous journey of teenage love, interspersed with the complexities of friendship and the daunting choices that come with growing up. It’s a visual treat that entertains and provokes thought about the consequences of our choices.

This anime is a must-watch for those who enjoy a blend of romance and sci-fi, with its unique take on the love triangle trope set against the backdrop of a summer festival.


12. I’ve Always Liked You (2016)

I-Always-Liked-You

Director: Tetsuya Yanagisawa
Writer: HoneyWorks, Yoshimi Narita
Cast: Sora Amamiya, Momo Asakura, Kana Asumi, Gero
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
Run Time: 1h 3m

As I delve deeper into the world of romantic anime movies, I’ve Always Liked You (Zuto Mae Kara Suki Deshita) from 2016 has caught my eye. It’s a delightful story that resonates with anyone who’s ever harbored a secret crush. The plot revolves around Natsuki, who has been pining for her friend Yu. In a twist of fate and miscommunication, she pretends her love confession was just a practice run.

The convolutions of this romance anime movie are both heartwarming and comedic. As Natsuki and Yu dance around their feelings, their mutual friend Koyuki also enters the picture, adding to the complexity of teenage love.

The film captures the essence of youthful romance and the nerve-wracking experience of expressing one’s true feelings. It’s a story that many of us can relate to, making it a standout in the genre.


13. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

howl-moving-castle

 

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki, Diana Wynne Jones
Cast: Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Akihiro Miwa, Tatsuya Gashûin
IMDb Rating: 8.2/10
Run Time: 1h 59m

“Howl’s Moving Castle,” directed by Hayao Miyazaki, captivates with its enchanting blend of fantasy, romance, and adventure. This Studio Ghibli masterpiece follows Sophie, a young hatter cursed by a witch, and Howl, a mysterious wizard, as they navigate a war-torn land aboard a living castle.

The evolving romance between Sophie and Howl, set against a magical and conflict-ridden backdrop, highlights themes of inner beauty and love’s triumph.

With an 8.66 score on MyAnimeList, the film’s rich storytelling and imaginative world-building make it a cultural phenomenon. The unique blend of whimsy and drama sets “Howl’s Moving Castle” apart among the best romance anime movies.


14. Hello World (2019)

hello-world

Director: Tomohiko Itô
Writer: Mado Nozaki
Cast: Haruka Fukuhara, Minami Hamabe, Takumi Kitamura, Minako Kotobuki
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
Run Time: 1h 37m

Now, allow me to introduce you to “Hello World” from 2019, an intriguing addition to the best romance anime movies of all time. This film paints a picture of a near-future Kyoto and tells the story of a boy, Naomi, who his future self visits.

The mission? To prevent a tragedy involving Ruri, the girl he loves. This tale is a seamless blend of romance and science fiction, offering a fresh perspective on the lengths one would go for love. What makes “Hello World” stand out is the unique interplay between the present and future selves of the protagonists as they navigate the complexities of time to alter a grim fate.

It’s a thought-provoking film that explores the power of human connections and the sacrifices made in the name of love. If you’re a fan of stories that challenge the fabric of reality while tugging at your heartstrings, “Hello World” is an anime that cannot be overlooked.


15. Hal (2013)

hal

Director: Ryôtarô Makihara
Writer: Izumi Kizara
Cast: Yoshimasa Hosoya, Yôko Hikasa, Mamoru Miyano, Tamio Ôki
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
Run Time: 1h

The story unfolds in a future where robots are integral to society, assisting humans in various capacities. We meet Kurumi, whose world collapses when her boyfriend Hal dies in a plane crash. Unable to cope with the overwhelming grief, Kurumi retreats from life until a robot designed to look just like Hal is sent to pull her back from the brink.

This robot’s mission is to help Kurumi heal, but their journey is much more profound than a simple tale of recovery. Hal delves into the complexities of love, loss, and the human condition.

While the film is a concise one-hour tale, its emotional depth resonates long after the credits roll. The twist, which I dare not spoil, adds layers to this narrative, revealing the nuances of grief and the lengths we go to preserve memories and seek closure.


16. The Anthem of the Heart (2015)

The-Anthem-of-the-Heart

Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai
Writer: Tatsuyuki Nagai, Mari Okada, Masayoshi Tanaka 
Cast: Inori Minase, Kôki Uchiyama, Sora Amamiya, Yoshimasa Hosoya
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 1h 59m

“The Anthem of the Heart” centers on Jun (Inori Minase), a girl who inadvertently reveals her father’s affair, leading to her being blamed for the family’s turmoil. Believing her words caused the pain, she wishes for a magical curse that silences her, thinking it’s better for everyone.

However, the curse’s reality is ambiguous; it may just be her way of avoiding speaking to prevent further harm. Jun’s journey of self-discovery, aided by her new love for music and a budding friendship with classmate Takumi (Kōki Uchiyama), helps her forgive herself and regain her voice.

This poignant story, uniquely suited to anime, is best summarized by Zac Bertschy from Anime News Network.


17. Summer Wars (2009)

Summer-Wars-(2009)

Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Writer: Mamoru Hosoda, Satoko Okudera
Cast: Ryunosuke Kamiki, Nanami Sakuraba, Mitsuki Tanimura, Takahiro Yokokawa
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 1h 54m

Another film that left an indelible mark on me is Summer Wars, directed by Mamoru Hosoda. This anime stands out with its unique blend of a digital world called “OZ” and a poignant family narrative.

The protagonist, Kenji, navigates a virtual crisis while simultaneously dealing with the complexities of a budding romance. It’s a beautiful illustration of how connections form in the digital age, making it stand out among the best romance anime movies ever to watch in Canada.


18. Tamako Love Story (2014)

tamako-love-story

Director: Naoko Yamada
Writer: Marta Bechtol, Naoko Yamada, Reiko Yoshida
Cast: Aya Suzaki, Atsushi Tamaru, Yûki Kaneko, Juri Nagatsuma
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Run Time: 1h 23m

In the mundane adult world, it’s easy to forget the drama and intense emotions of young love. When that love is unspoken or unanswered, the feelings can be overwhelming and consuming. “Tamako Love Story,” a follow-up film to the anime series “Tamako Market,” explores this beautifully.

The film centers on Tamako (Aya Suzaki) and her Baton Club friends, now high school seniors preparing for the next stage of their lives when Mochizō (Atsushi Tamaru) decides to confess his love to his childhood best friend Tamako. Their stable world is disrupted as she begins to explore her own feelings towards him.

The film focuses more on the emotions and journey of first love rather than the plot, which fans appreciate.


19. Hotarubi no Mori e (2011)

hotarubi-no-mori-e

Director: Takahiro Ômori
Writer: Yuki Midorikawa, Takahiro Ômori
Cast: Kôki Uchiyama, Ayane Sakura, Shinpachi Tsuji, Izumi Sawada
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 45m

Experiencing Hotarubi no Mori e (To the Forest of Firefly Lights) was like walking through an ethereal forest where every step is laden with delicate emotions and the transient beauty of life.

This film, directed by Takahiro Omori, tells the bittersweet tale of a young girl, Hotaru, and Gin, a spirit bound by a curse that forbids human touch. It’s a narrative that beautifully captures the fleeting nature of life and love.

It stands among the best romance anime movies because it can convey profound feelings within its short runtime, leaving a lasting impact on the heart. The gentle unfolding of their impossible love story speaks to the soul, making Hotarubi no Mori e a must-watch for anyone who cherishes romantic anime movies.


20. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (2018)

let-me-eat-your-pancreas

Director: Jun’ichi Fujise, Tomoyuki Itamura, Masaharu Tomoda
Writer: Yoru Sumino
Cast: Mahiro Takasugi, Lynn, Yukiyo Fujii, Yuma Uchida
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Run Time: 1h 49m

“I Want to Eat Your Pancreas” is one of the best romance anime movies I’ve seen; deeply moving and far from what its title suggests. The story follows an introverted high school boy who discovers the diary of his outgoing classmate, Sakura Yamauchi, revealing her terminal pancreatic illness.

Their friendship, starting with his role as her secret keeper, evolves into a poignant relationship exploring themes of life, mortality, and emotional connections. The film celebrates life’s fleeting moments despite Sakura’s illness, highlighting the unpredictability of relationships and the bittersweet nature of existence.

It stands out by addressing the raw realities of loss and the significance of transient moments with grace and sensitivity. The title, a metaphor derived from a Japanese phrase about sharing someone’s pain, underscores the film’s exploration of empathy and connection.


21. A Whisker Away (2020)

a-whisker-away

Director: Jun’ichi Satô, Tomotaka Shibayama
Writer: Mari Okada
Cast: Mirai Shida, Natsuki Hanae, Johnny Yong Bosch, Bob Buchholz
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
Run Time: 1h 44m

Exploring A Whisker Away, I was charmed by its whimsy and heartfelt emotion blend. This film tells the story of Miyo, a schoolgirl hopelessly enamored with her classmate Kento. Desperate for his affection yet rebuffed at every turn, Miyo discovers a magical mask that transforms her into a cat, allowing her to get close to Kento, who shows affection to the feline version of her.

As someone who appreciates the nuanced storytelling of romantic anime movies, I found Miyo’s dilemma relatable and her journey a sweet exploration of love and identity. A Whisker Away touches on themes of self-acceptance and the lengths we go for love; all wrapped up in an enchanting animation style that captures the heart as much as the eye.

It’s a movie that will resonate with anyone wishing for a different way to connect with the object of their affection.


22. Ride Your Wave (2019)

Ride-Your-Wave

Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Writer: Reiko Yoshida
Cast: Ryôta Katayose, Rina Kawaei, Honoka Matsumoto, Kentarô Itô
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Run Time: 1h 35m

Discovering Ride Your Wave added a new dimension to my understanding of the best romantic anime movies in Canada. Directed by Masaaki Yuasa, the film presents a poignant story of Hinako, a surfer, and Minato, a firefighter, whose love story takes a tragic turn.

After Minato’s untimely death, Hinako discovers she can summon him through water whenever she sings their song. This film artfully marries themes of coping with loss and moving forward, set against stunning visuals and heartfelt storytelling.

Ride Your Wave speaks to the enduring nature of love and how we keep memories alive. It’s a tale that is both grounded in reality and steeped in fantasy, offering a fresh take on the genre that I highly recommend for its creative storytelling and emotional resonance.


23. Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (2021)

Words-Bubble-Up-Like-Soda-Pop

Director: Kyohei Ishiguro
Writer: Kyohei Ishiguro, Dai Satô
Cast: Somegorô Ichikawa, Hana Sugisaki, Megumi Han, Natsuki Hanae
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Run Time: 1h 27m

Finally, I came across Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop, a delightful addition to the best romance anime movies ever. The film chronicles a summer romance between Cherry, a boy who expresses himself through haiku, and Smile, a girl who hides behind a mask due to her insecurity about her braces.

Together, they embark on a quest to help an elderly man find an old record, leading them on a journey of music, self-discovery, and acceptance.

This movie stands out for its vibrant animation and exploration of young love. The characters’ insecurities are portrayed with empathy and realism, making their connection all the more touching.

It’s a celebration of the fleeting moments that define our youth and the experiences that shape our understanding of love and self-worth. Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop is a film that embraces its youthful spirit and delivers a narrative as refreshing as a summer breeze.


24. The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2017)

The-Night-is-Short-Walk-on-Girl-(2017)

Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Writer: Tomihiko Morimi, Makoto Ueda
Cast: Gen Hoshino, Kana Hanazawa, Hiroshi Kamiya, Ryûji Akiyama
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Run Time: 1h 32m

I must say, “The Night is Short, Walk on Girl” is a dazzling spectacle among romantic anime movies that takes you on a fantastical journey over a single evening. This 2017 masterpiece by director Masaaki Yuasa is a testament to young love’s unpredictable and whimsical nature.

The film follows a young woman, known only as The Girl with Black Hair, as she experiences a night filled with adventure, alcohol, and chance encounters, all while being pursued by her lovestruck senior.

What makes this film stand out is its unique storytelling, vibrant animation, and how it captures the essence of a fleeting yet unforgettable night. It’s a reminder of how one evening can feel like an eternity when filled with the right amount of magic and romance.


25. The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)

The-Place-Promised-in-Our-Early-Days

Director: Makoto Shinkai, Yoshio Suzuki
Writer: Makoto Shinkai, Steven Foster
Cast: Hidetaka Yoshioka, Masato Hagiwara, Yuka Nanri, Unshô Ishizuka
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
Run Time: 1h 30m

One captivating title is Makoto Shinkai’s “The Place Promised in Our Early Days.” Set in an alternate post-war Japan, the film intricately weaves the lives of three friends, Hiroki, Takuya, and Sayuri, around a mysterious tower.

Both Hiroki and Takuya have feelings for Sayuri, but instead of rivalry, they maintain their friendship and focus on their goal.

This film explores the complexity of feelings, friendships, and budding romances amidst political tension and scientific intrigue. The emotional depth and stunning visuals make it a must-watch for fans of romantic anime movies.


26. Only Yesterday (1991)

only-yesterday

Director: Isao Takahata
Writer: Hotaru Okamoto, Yuuko Tone 
Cast: Miki Imai, Toshirô Yanagiba, Yoko Honna, Mayumi Izuka
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Run Time: 1h 59m

As I reflect on the best romance anime movies, “Only Yesterday” from Studio Ghibli stands out for its mature and introspective take on love and self-discovery. Released in 1991, the film presents a compelling narrative of Taeko, a woman in her late 20s who begins to reminisce about her childhood while taking a break from her city life.

During her journey to the countryside, Taeko bonds with Toshio, a kind-hearted farmer, exploring the potential of a different life. This movie resonates deeply with those of us who have reached a crossroads, contemplating the path not taken. It’s a story that beautifully captures the essence of nostalgia and the bittersweet nature of growing up.

If you are interested in watching horror movies, I would recommend you to check my list of best horror movies of all time in Canada


27. Millennium Actress (2001)

Millennium-Actress-(2001)

Director: Satoshi Kon, Kô Matsuo
Writer: Satoshi Kon, Sadayuki Murai
Cast: Miyoko Shôji, Mami Koyama, Fumiko Orikasa, Shôzô Îzuka
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Run Time: 1h 27m

“Millennium Actress” should not be overlooked when discussing the best romance anime movies of all time. Satoshi Kon’s 2001 film is an exploration of love through the lens of cinema history.

The plot revolves around Chiyoko, a retired actress who reflects on her career and the lasting impact of a brief encounter with a mysterious man who gave her a key as a young girl. This film transcends traditional romance, blending reality with cinematic fiction, creating a rich tapestry that celebrates both the art of film and the enduring human capacity for love.

It’s a work that challenges the boundaries of romantic anime movies, inviting viewers to experience a love story that is as timeless as it is innovative.


28. Patema Inverted (2013)

Patema-Inverted

Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura
Writer: Yasuhiro Yoshiura
Cast: Yukiyo Fujii, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Shintarô Ôhata, Shin’ya Fukumatsu
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Run Time: 1h 38m

Similar to the concept of the Upside Down in “Stranger Things,” 2013’s “Patema Inverted” explores the idea of alternate worlds. Patema (Yukiyo Fujii) hails from an underground civilization but finds herself on the surface, where gravity is reversed. As she begins to fall into the sky, she is saved by Eiji (Nobuhiko Okamoto), a surface-dweller.

Despite his society’s teachings that people from Patema’s world are evil and that the sky “swallows” them as punishment for their sins, Eiji helps Patema stay grounded.

This film features a “Romeo and Juliet” narrative, with two lovers from opposing sides. The unique twist is that gravity is trying to separate them, adding a physical barrier to their budding relationship.

“Patema Inverted” effectively addresses themes of classism and bigotry while telling a heartwarming, sci-fi-tinged love story, complete with unexpected twists and turns.


29. From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)

poppyhill

Director: Gorô Miyazaki
Writer: Tetsurô Sayama, Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa
Cast: Masami Nagasawa, Jun’ichi Okada, Keiko Takeshita, Yuriko Ishida
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Run Time: 1h 31m

It wouldn’t be a list of anime films without Studio Ghibli. “From Up on Poppy Hill” marks the first direct collaboration between the legendary Hayao Miyazaki and his son, Goro Miyazaki.

The film follows two teens, Shun (Junichi Okada) and Umi (Masami Nagasawa), who are part of a group trying to save a beloved building from being demolished for the upcoming Olympics.

As they work together, Umi helps orphaned Shun uncover details about his past and family, leading to a deeper connection between them. Although it may not be as well-known as “Spirited Away,” “From Up on Poppy Hill” is a remarkable film that deserves more recognition.


30. Her Blue Sky (2019)

her-blue-sky

Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai
Writer: Tatsuyuki Nagai, Mari Okada, Masayoshi Tanaka
Cast: Ken Matsudaira, You Taichi, Atsumi Tanezaki, Shion Wakayama
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Run Time: 1h 46m

Her Blue Sky (2019) is a poignant and emotionally resonant anime film directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai. The story revolves around two sisters, Aoi and Akane Aioi, who live in the small, picturesque town of Chichibu. Following the death of their parents, Akane sacrifices her dreams to care for Aoi, who aspires to become a musician.

The film intertwines past and present as Aoi discovers a mysterious connection with Shinnosuke “Shinno” Kanamuro, Akane’s former boyfriend and a talented musician who left town years ago. A time-traveling twist reveals two versions of Shinnosuke: the young, passionate “Shinno” from the past and the older, disillusioned Shinnosuke of the present.

As Aoi interacts with both versions of Shinnosuke, she learns about love, loss, and the importance of pursuing one’s dreams. The narrative delves into the complexities of relationships, unspoken emotions, and the enduring bonds of family.

If you are looking for a broader selection, check out our list of the best anime movies across various genres.


Other Movies in Order Guide to Check Out on Screenbinge


Conclusion

After exploring many heartwarming narratives and visually stunning animations, I reflect on the profound impact of the best romance anime movies to watch in Canada on my emotions and my appreciation for the genre.

My journey through these tales of love, loss, and self-discovery has been nothing short of transformative, and I am compelled to share my personal recommendations with fellow enthusiasts.

Each film has offered a unique perspective on the complexities of relationships, leaving me with a sense of fulfillment and a renewed passion for anime storytelling. Whether you’re drawn to the melancholic beauty of unrequited love or the exhilarating rush of first romances, these movies present a spectrum of experiences that resonate deeply personally.

Lily Bart

Lily Bart is your guide to the streaming universe. Let her help you navigate the world of entertainment with passion and insight into thrilling sports events, the hottest movies and so much more! From riveting documentaries to captivating series, Lily unravels stories that transcend screens. Join the journey through a multitude of genres, where every click reveals a new adventure.

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