These six anime couples prove, time and again, that they’re destined for each other — even if their story doesn’t always end happily.

Think about some of the most famous couples from arts and literature, not to mention from world history. There is the tragic love of Romeo and Juliet, of course, and the ill-fated bond between Antony and Cleopatra. Far more recently, Marge and Homer Simpson (somehow) endure, while David and Patrick from Schitt’s Creek inspire relationship goals. Those relationships, from plays, films and television, share little in common, except for an undeniable love. A similar bond can be found elsewhere, too, among some of the best anime couples.

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As any fan can attest, there are numerous anime couples every bit as compelling as any presented by Shakespeare. Among the many cute anime couples are some from famous properties like Dragon Ball Z. Others are more obscure, at least to anyone who isn’t an anime fan. However, they will charm those who give them a chance.

Before we discuss some of the best anime couples, let’s first make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to the medium.

What Is Anime, Anyway?

Dragon Ball Z
Dragon Ball Z

Long story short, “anime” generated refers to animated television series or movies that originate in Japan. However, in Japan, it’s a blanket term for any animated work, regardless of where it was produced.

The word itself is not shorthand for the English term “animation.” Rather, it’s how “animated cartoon” is said in Japanese. There are aspects of anime that are seen as typical, such as dramatic action, and exaggerated expressions and body movements. But in terms of the storylines and settings, the field is broad. That’s one of the reasons there are so many wonderful anime couples. Their love stories can be found anywhere the writers and illustrators can create.

Here are six of the best anime couples you can find.

Misaki and Usui, ‘Kaichou wa Maid-Sama

Misaki and Usui, from 'Kaichou wa Maid-Sama'

Often called simply Maid Sama!, Kaichō wa Meido-sama! (“The Class President Is a Maid!”) is based on the manga series by Hiro Fujiwara. The title mostly gives away the premise. It’s a romantic comedy that centers around Misaki Ayuzawa, the first female student council president of the former all-boys school. Although she develops a reputation for disliking her rowdy male classmates, Misaki secretly works after school at a maid cafe, to support her family. Unfortunately, Takumi Usui, a popular boy at school, discovers her secret.

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Maid Sama! work so well because the main characters are in a classic “opposites attract” scenario. Initially it seems as though there’s every reason for them not to become romantically involved. Heck, they should actively repel each other. The series endeared fans to hard-working Misaki and to Usui, the archetypal big man on campus. They love how, even with the decks stacked against them, these two stuck it out.

Winry and Edward, ‘Fullmetal Alchemist

Winry and Edward, from 'Fullmetal Alchemist'

Winry is one of the most popular female anime characters. That shouldn’t be surprising, given the role she plays in Fullmetal Alchemist. Created by Hiromu Arakawa, it follows brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric as they try to undo the damage following a failed attempt to bring resurrect their mother.

Winry keeps Edward going, quite literally, using her mechanic skills to restore his prosthetic arm and leg, as needed. Their bond, which began in childhood, grows into true love. They become one of the best anime couples of all time, anchoring the beloved steampunk world of Fullmetal Alchemist.

Mikasa and Eren, ‘Attack on Titan

Mikasa and Eren, from 'Attack on Titan'

Attack on Titan has delighted fans since the manga debuted in 2009. The anime adaptation, which premiered in 2013, won’t air its final episodes until sometime in 2023. Created by Hajime Isyama, Attack on Titan is set in a world where the last remnants of humanity live in cities encircled behind enormous walls, and battle flesh-eating giants known as Titans.

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Arguably the most enduring element of the series is the love story of Erin and Mikasa, which is all the more poignant because it is doomed. Much will be spoiled right here, so be warned. So doomed is their love that it’s none other than Mikasa who slays Eren. Given his turn to darkness, she has little choice. Before she does, however, they endure — even when their relationship is strained beyond belief.

It’s not a pretty romance, but the feelings between Mikasa and Eren are undeniable, if undeniably sad.

Yuki and Kaname, ‘Vampire Knight’

Yuki and Kaname, from 'Vampire Knight'

What is it about vampires and their romantic lives that we humans find so difficult to resist? From Bram Stoker’s Dracula to Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles to Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, people love when vampires fall in love, especially when the objection of their desire isn’t another vampire.

That’s certainly the case with Vampire Knight. Based on the manga by Matsuri Hino, the romantic storyline is a complicated one. As usual, a human, Yuki, develops romantic feelings for a vampire, Kaname. But in this case, Yuki is also the object of the affection of Zero, her adoptive brother, who is an avowed vampire hater and hunter. That would complicate matters enough on their own. But, as it happens, Zero is leading a secret double life … as a vampire.

Meliodas and Elizabeth, ‘Seven Deadly Sins’

Meliodas and Elizabeth, from 'Seven Deadly Sins'

Don’t worry, Meliodas and Elizabeth have a happy ending in Seven Deadly Sins. After the defeat of the Demon King and Cath, they even get married and have a child, named Tristan. However, it takes this popular anime couple a long time to get there.

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Both characters are shown to have had difficult lives before Nakaba Suzuki’s Seven Deadly Sins even begins. And we do means lives. In this series, the characters are reborn many times over. Set in a magical world resembling medieval Europe, the story follows seven knights, each of whom represents one of the Deadly Sins (pride, wrath, envy, greed, lust, gluttony and sloth). The leader, Meliodas, is tasked with reuniting the knights after they disband in disgrace. His love story with Elizabeth dates back generations, during which time he has witnessed her die time and again.

With each death and rebirth, Meliodas gets closer to becoming the good person he wants to be — and to not losing Elizabeth again.

Trunks and Mai, ‘Dragon Ball Z’

Trunks and Mai, from 'Dragon Ball Z'

One of the mot influential anime of all time, Dragon Ball Z predates the other properties on this list. The 1989 sequel to Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball, the anime continues the adventures of Son Goku as he battles the enemies of Earth. That includes everything from evil robots to alien invaders to magical monsters. That may not sound like a premise ripe for romance, but it certainly was. Only not for Goku, always seems more interested in training or fighting than in romance or family.

No, the true romantic couple to watch in Dragon Ball Z is Trunks and Mai. Although Mai is a “mere” human she bravely fights beside Trunks’ side. It only makes sense that both of these characters survive the apocalypse, and that their romance is not only intact but stronger after the many trials and tribulations.


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