Say I Love You is a heartwarming romance anime that has captured the hearts of many anime fans. It tells the story of Mei Tachibana, a shy high school student who struggles to make friends as a result of a traumatic childhood experience. Yamato Kurosawa, the school’s most popular boy, is accidentally injured one day, and their unlikely relationship begins.
If you like Say I Love You and want to watch more anime like it, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten anime like Say I Love You that you should watch in 2023 in this blog post. These anime have similar themes, characters, and storytelling to Say I Love You and are sure to give you the same warm and fuzzy feelings.
So, whether you’re looking for heartwarming romance, coming-of-age stories, or plain old-fashioned anime fun, this list has you covered. Let’s dive into the world of anime together!
Say I Love You is an anime.
Say I Love You is a romance anime that delves into the complexities of high school romance. Mei Tachibana, the main character, is a shy and introverted student who is afraid of getting close to others because of past traumas. Her life is turned upside down when she accidentally injures the school’s most popular boy, Yamato Kurosawa. Yamato develops feelings for Mei and begins to pursue her, resulting in a complex and heartwarming romance that explores themes of trust, friendship, and personal growth.
Selection criteria for anime
We looked for anime with similar themes, characters, and storytelling elements to Say I Love You when compiling this list. Our selection criteria included the following:
Romance: There should be a romantic storyline or subplot in the anime that explores themes of love and relationships.
Coming-of-age: The anime should focus on the characters’ personal growth and development, particularly as they face the challenges of high school life.
Strong female protagonist: The anime should feature a strong and relatable female protagonist who is central to the plot.
Emotional depth: The anime should be emotionally rich and explore complex themes like trust, friendship, and personal trauma.
A list of ten anime that are similar to Say I Love You.
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru (2013)
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru, also known as My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, is a popular Japanese light novel series written and illustrated by Wataru Watari. The series has spawned numerous anime seasons, manga series, and even a video game.
The plot revolves around the life of Hachiman Hikigaya, a high school student with a cynical and pessimistic outlook on life. Hachiman has difficulty making friends and is frequently shunned by his classmates as a result of a past incident. Despite his pessimistic demeanour, he is extremely perceptive and has a unique way of analysing and comprehending people’s emotions and motivations.
Hachiman is coerced into joining the school’s Service Club, which is led by the lovely and well-liked Yukino Yukinoshita. The Service Club is meant to help students with their problems, but it quickly becomes apparent that the club is mainly used for Yukino and Hachiman to solve their classmates’ issues in their own unique ways. They are joined along the way by another student named Yui Yuigahama, who is more outgoing and friendly than Hachiman.
The anime series is well-known for its insightful and thought-provoking writing, which explores themes such as social interaction, self-discovery, and personal growth. All of the characters are complex and well-developed, and their interactions are frequently both humorous and touching.
Character development, particularly in regards to Hachiman, is one of the series’ major strengths. Despite his initial reluctance, Hachiman gradually learns to open up and connect with others over the course of the series. He also learns to confront and overcome his own flaws and insecurities, making him a sympathetic and relatable protagonist.
For its unique storytelling and well-written characters, the anime has received critical acclaim. It has also received praise for its animation and soundtrack, which contribute to the series’ emotional impact.
Finally, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru is a must-see anime for fans of character-driven stories and clever writing. The series delves into complex themes with nuance and depth, while also providing moments of humour and heart.
Kimi ni Todoke
Karuho Shiina’s Kimi ni Todoke is a popular romance manga series. From 2005 to 2017, it was serialised in the Japanese magazine Bessatsu Margaret, and it has been adapted into an anime series, a live-action film, and a TV drama series.
The plot revolves around Sawako Kuronuma, a girl who has always been misunderstood and feared by her classmates due to her resemblance to Sadako from the horror film “The Ring.” Despite her gentle and kind nature, her classmates avoid her and call her names, making her feel extremely lonely.
Her life is turned upside down when she meets Shota Kazehaya, the most popular boy in school, who sees past her appearance and likes her for who she is. Kazehaya is friendly, outgoing, and well-liked by everyone, making Sawako feel even more self-conscious and intimidated in his presence. Despite this, they begin to form a friendship, which gradually develops into a sweet and innocent romance.
Sawako and Kazehaya face numerous challenges and obstacles throughout the series, putting their relationship to the test. Sawako struggles to overcome her shyness and learn how to express her feelings to Kazehaya, while Kazehaya must deal with his own insecurities and jealous rivals who want to keep him and Sawako apart.
One of Kimi ni Todoke’s strengths is its emphasis on character development. Both Sawako and Kazehaya are complex and well-developed characters who grow and mature throughout the series. Sawako gains confidence and assertiveness, while Kazehaya gains emotional honesty and authenticity. Furthermore, the supporting characters are given depth and personality, making them feel like real people rather than plot devices.
Another noteworthy aspect of Kimi ni Todoke is its depiction of Japanese high school life. Friendships, rivalries, academic pressure, and social hierarchies are all discussed in the series. It also emphasises the value of family and community, as Sawako’s relationship with her parents and interactions with her classmates’ families play an important role in the story.
Finally, Kimi ni Todoke is a heartwarming and endearing romance manga that captures the joys and challenges of first falling in love. Its relatable characters, thoughtful themes, and realistic depiction of high school life have made it a favourite among manga and anime fans worldwide.
Ao Haru Ride
Ao Haru Ride is a Japanese romance anime series based on Io Sakisaka’s manga series of the same name. Production I.G. produced the anime, which debuted in 2014. The plot revolves around Futaba Yoshioka, a high school girl, and her relationships with her childhood friend Kou Mabuchi and his friends.
Futaba is in her first year of high school when the story begins. She is attempting to shed her middle school reputation as a tomboy and reinvent herself as a cute and girly girl. She soon realises, however, that her classmates still regard her as the same old tomboy she used to be. She is initially hesitant to make friends with her classmates, but she quickly bonds with two of them, Yuri Makita and Shuko Murao.
Futaba’s life is turned upside down when she meets Kou Mabuchi, a childhood friend she hasn’t seen in years. Kou, on the other hand, is no longer the same person he once was. He is aloof and distant, and he appears to have completely changed. Futaba is fascinated by Kou and wishes to reconnect with him, but he pushes her away.
As the story progresses, we learn that Kou has been through some traumatic experiences in his life, including his mother’s death and his father’s abandonment. He has become closed off and doesn’t want to form close relationships with anyone. Futaba, on the other hand, is determined to break down Kou’s barriers and assist him in opening up.
Futaba and Kou begin to develop feelings for each other as they grow closer. However, they are both hesitant to confess their feelings for fear of jeopardising their friendship. There are also other characters who have feelings for Futaba and Kou, which adds to the story’s drama.
Throughout the series, we see Futaba and Kou struggle to reconcile their feelings for one another and overcome the obstacles that stand in their way. We also see Futaba’s friendships change as they all try to find their place in the world.
Overall, Ao Haru Ride is a touching and emotional anime that delves into the complexities of relationships and the difficulties of growing up. It’s a story for anyone who has ever struggled with their own identity or felt lost in the world.
Bokura ga Ita / We Were There (2012)
We Were There, also known as Bokura ga Ita, is a romantic drama anime series based on Yuki Obata’s manga of the same name. The anime adaptation, directed by Akihiro Enomoto and produced by Artland, premiered on July 3, 2006. The series was 26 episodes long and aired in Japan until December 25, 2006.
The plot revolves around the life of Nanami Takahashi, a girl who falls in love with a popular and handsome boy named Yano Motoharu. The story begins with Nanami’s first year of high school, where she meets Yano, who is well-known among the girls for his good looks. Despite Yano’s cold demeanour towards her, Nanami pursues him and eventually confesses her feelings to him. Yano, who has a complicated past, develops feelings for Nanami and they begin dating.
The series delves into their relationship’s ups and downs, as well as the difficulties they face as they try to understand each other’s pasts. Nana Yamamoto, Yano’s ex-girlfriend, also plays an important role in the series, as she tries to win Yano back and create a schism between him and Nanami.
The story becomes more complex as the characters’ pasts are revealed and their relationships become more complicated as the series progresses. The plot also delves into themes of loss, regret, and the value of communication in relationships.
Bokura ga Ita’s animation and art style are simple, but they effectively capture the emotional depth and complexity of the story. The characters are well-developed, and their struggles are relatable, which makes the series an engaging watch.
Overall, Bokura ga Ita is a touching and emotional anime series that delves into the complexities of relationships and the value of communication. Fans of romantic dramas and those who appreciate a well-written story with relatable characters should watch it.
Itazura na Kiss (2008)
Itazura na Kiss is a 2008 Japanese anime television series. The show is based on Kaoru Tada’s manga series of the same name, which was first published in 1990. TMS Entertainment produced the anime, which was directed by Osamu Yamasaki.
The main character in Itazura na Kiss is Kotoko Aihara, a high school student who has a crush on the popular and handsome Naoki Irie. Kotoko has been in love with Naoki since she first saw him in freshman year, but she has never had the courage to tell him how she feels. Naoki, on the other hand, is a genius who is uninterested in romance and regards Kotoko as an annoyance.
Kotoko decides to confess her love to Naoki in a love letter one day, but he rejects her coldly and bluntly. Later that day, a series of unfortunate events resulted in Kotoko and her father’s home being destroyed by fire. With nowhere else to turn, Kotoko’s father contacts a friend who also happens to be Naoki’s father. Kotoko and her father are offered a place to stay by the Irie family, and this is where Kotoko’s life takes a dramatic turn.
Even after being rejected, Kotoko’s feelings for Naoki do not fade, and she pursues him relentlessly. Naoki, on the other hand, gradually begins to develop feelings for Kotoko as he sees her in a new light. Throughout the series, Kotoko and Naoki’s relationship undergoes many ups and downs as they navigate their feelings for each other and the challenges that come their way.
One of the central themes of Itazura na Kiss is the value of perseverance and never giving up on your dreams. Kotoko’s persistence in pursuing Naoki pays off, and she eventually wins his heart. Kotoko’s relationship with Naoki’s family grows stronger over time, and they become an important source of support for her.
Overall, Itazura na Kiss is a heartwarming romantic comedy about two young people who fall in love despite their differences. The show has a large fan base and has been adapted into several versions, including a Taiwanese and a Korean drama series.
Ef: A Tale of Memories (2007)
Ef: A Tale of Memories" is a romantic drama anime series directed by Shin Oonuma and produced by Shaft studio. It aired in Japan from October to December 2007. Minori, a Japanese company, created the visual novel that inspired the anime.
“ef: A Tale of Memories” centres on two pairs of characters who are linked in unexpected ways. Kyosuke Tsutsumi and Kei Shindou make up the first pair. Kyosuke is a high school student who aspires to be a filmmaker, and Kei is a childhood friend who has been secretly in love with him for years. Kyosuke, on the other hand, is completely unaware of Kei’s feelings and is preoccupied with his film project.
Hiro Hirono and Miyako Miyamura make up the second pair. Hiro is a high school student who saves Miyako from a stranger by chance. Miyako is a free-spirited artist who falls in love with Hiro and pursues him relentlessly. Hiro, on the other hand, is initially hesitant to get involved with Miyako due to her erratic behaviour.
The four characters’ lives become intertwined in unexpected ways as the story progresses, and their relationships become more complex. Kyosuke and Kei’s friendship is tested when Kei struggles to express her feelings to Kyosuke and Kyosuke becomes increasingly preoccupied with his film project. Meanwhile, Hiro and Miyako’s relationship is jeopardised by Miyako’s troubled past and Hiro’s growing feelings for Kei, his childhood friend.
The visual style of the anime is distinct, with a strong emphasis on colour and lighting. The intricate detail and expressive faces of the character designs are also noteworthy. The soundtrack is a mix of gentle piano pieces and lively pop songs that complement the story’s emotional tone.
The nonlinear narrative structure of “ef: A Tale of Memories” is one of its most notable features. The narrative is told in the form of interconnected vignettes, each focusing on a different character or aspect of the plot. This method allows the anime to delve deeper into the characters’ motivations and emotions while also keeping the audience engaged and invested in the story.
“Ef: A Tale of Memories” is a beautifully crafted and emotionally resonant anime that delves into the complexities of love and friendship. Its distinct visual style and nonlinear narrative structure distinguish it as a standout example of the romantic drama genre, and it is still regarded as a beloved and influential work in the anime community.
Your Lie in April
The anime series “Your Lie in April” (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso in Japanese) aired in Japan from October 2014 to March 2015. It is based on Naoshi Arakawa’s manga series of the same name, which he wrote and illustrated. Following the death of his abusive mother, Kosei Arima, a talented pianist, has lost his ability to hear the sound of his own piano. The show delves into topics like grief, trauma, love, and the healing power of music.
Kosei Arima, the series’ protagonist, is a former child prodigy pianist who was rigorously trained by his abusive mother. Following her death, Kosei is left with a deep trauma that prevents him from hearing the sound of his own piano. He leads a routine life until he meets a free-spirited violinist named Kaori Miyazono. Kaori is everything Kosei isn’t: vibrant, upbeat, and unafraid of breaking the rules. She encourages Kosei to resume piano lessons and helps him rediscover his love of music.
The narrative is told from Kosei’s point of view, and we see the world through his eyes. As Kosei begins to play the piano again, he confronts his demons. He realises he has been living his life for his mother’s sake rather than his own. He also learns to face his fears and accept the people in his life, including his childhood friend Tsubaki Sawabe and pianist prodigy Ryota Watari.
The show also delves into Kosei and Kaori’s romantic relationship. They are both musicians, but their approaches to music are very different. Kosei is more technical, whereas Kaori uses her heart. They complement each other in a tragic and beautiful way. Kaori’s health issues, which are gradually revealed throughout the series, complicate their relationship.
The use of music in “Your Lie in April” is one of the most striking aspects of the film. Classical music by renowned composers such as Chopin, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky is featured in the show. The music not only serves as a backdrop but also as a character in the story. Each piece of music is carefully chosen to reflect the emotions and inner turmoil of the characters. The show also delves into the technical aspects of music performance, such as fingering, timing, and expression.
The visual style of the show is also noteworthy. The animation is stunning, and it makes extensive use of symbolism to convey the characters’ emotions. The use of colours and imagery adds depth to the story. The cinematography in the show is also impressive, with inventive camera angles and fluid movements.
“Your Lie in April’s” ending is heartbreaking and has left a lasting impression on its viewers. It demonstrates the show’s ability to elicit emotional responses from its audience. The series is a lovely look at love, loss, and the healing power of music.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (2012)
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (My Little Monster) is a Japanese romantic comedy anime series based on Robico’s manga of the same name. Brain’s Base produced the anime adaptation, which was directed by Hiro Kaburagi and aired from October 2 to December 25, 2012.
Shizuku Mizutani, a studious and socially awkward girl, and Haru Yoshida, a delinquent who has been expelled from several schools due to his violent tendencies, are the protagonists of the story. When Haru returns to school after a long absence, he falls in love with Shizuku and begins to pursue her relentlessly. Shizuku gradually opens up to Haru, despite her initial reluctance, and the two form an unlikely friendship.
The contrast between Shizuku and Haru’s personalities is a major theme in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. Shizuku is a highly academic student who is solely concerned with her studies and has no desire to make friends or pursue romance. Haru, on the other hand, is a free-spirited and impulsive person who frequently acts without thinking and is prone to getting into fights. Despite their differences, the two characters are drawn to each other and form a deep bond that helps them overcome their problems.
Shizuku and Haru’s relationship is put to the test throughout the series by various obstacles such as misunderstandings, jealousy, and the interference of other characters. However, they are able to overcome these challenges and eventually confess their feelings for each other. The series concludes with the two of them beginning a romantic relationship, with the implication that they will continue to support each other as they face adulthood’s challenges.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun stands out for its engaging characters, fast-paced plot, and exploration of complex themes like loneliness, isolation, and the value of human connection. The anime adaptation also includes high-quality animation and a memorable soundtrack, which contributes to the story’s emotional impact. Overall, it’s a highly enjoyable romantic comedy that will appeal to genre fans.
Kokoro Connect (2012)
Kokoro Connect, a supernatural slice-of-life anime, debuted in 2012. The story revolves around five high school students who are members of the Cultural Research Club. Taichi Yaegashi, Iori Nagase, Himeko Inaba, Yoshifumi Aoki, and Yui Kiriyama are the members. One day, they begin to experience strange phenomena such as body swapping or having their innermost thoughts revealed to others.
They must navigate their newfound abilities while also dealing with their own personal struggles and conflicts. Taichi, the main character, is an outgoing and kind-hearted man who frequently puts others ahead of himself. Iori is a lovely and cheerful young lady who hides her true feelings behind a mask. Inaba is a bright and logical young lady who struggles to express her emotions. Yoshifumi is a laid-back and carefree guy who enjoys making people laugh. Yui is a shy and timid girl who has trouble speaking up for herself.
As they confront their personal issues and support one another through difficult times, the characters develop deep and meaningful relationships with one another throughout the series. They also learn to accept and value each other’s differences and eccentricities.
Kokoro Connect’s exploration of the human psyche and the concept of identity is one of its distinguishing features. As they are thrown into each other’s bodies and minds, the characters are forced to confront their own beliefs, values, and desires. The anime explores themes such as self-discovery, acceptance, and the importance of friendship.
Kokoro Connect is an excellent anime that balances supernatural elements with realistic and relatable characters. It’s an emotional and heartwarming journey that delves into the complexities of the human mind and the power of genuine connections. If you enjoyed Say I Love You and are looking for a similar anime with supernatural elements and strong character development, Kokoro Connect is definitely worth checking out.
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (2011)
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai) is a 2011 Japanese anime television series produced by A-1 Pictures. Tatsuyuki Nagai directed the series, which had 11 episodes, and Mari Okada wrote the screenplay. Anohana follows a group of six childhood friends who have grown apart since one of their friends, Meiko “Menma” Honma, was killed in a tragic accident. The series follows their efforts to reconnect and overcome their lingering guilt and grief.
The story begins with Jinta Yadomi, the protagonist, who has gone into seclusion since Menma’s death. One day, he starts seeing Menma’s ghost, who begs him to grant her wish so she can go to the afterlife. Jinta initially believes he is hallucinating and tries to ignore Menma’s ghost, but he eventually realises she is real and that he must assist her.
As Jinta begins to reconnect with his old friends, they all begin to see Menma’s ghost as well. Each of them is still dealing with feelings of guilt and regret over Menma’s death, which has caused them to drift apart. The series explores the characters’ individual struggles and how they come together to help Menma move on.
The way Anohana explores themes of grief, guilt, and the complexities of human relationships is one of its most compelling aspects. All of the characters are realistically flawed, and their struggles are genuine and relatable. As the series progresses, viewers learn more about Menma’s death and how it has affected each of the characters in different ways.
Anohana’s beautiful animation and soundtrack are also noteworthy. The visuals are breathtaking, with lush backgrounds and vibrant colours that bring the world of the characters to life. REMEDIOS’ soundtrack perfectly captures the series’ emotional tone, with haunting piano melodies and soaring orchestral pieces that add depth and complexity to the story.
Overall, Anohana is a powerful and emotional series about the pain of loss and the value of human connection. Its well-drawn characters, captivating story, and stunning visuals make it a must-see for anime fans and anyone who enjoys a good story about friendship, love, and redemption.
Finally, there are many anime series that explore the complexities of relationships and the journey to self-discovery. These anime show the value of communication, trust, and love in any relationship, romantic or platonic. They also discuss bullying, mental health, and societal expectations, highlighting the difficulties that people face on a daily basis. Whether you like romance, drama, or comedy, there is an anime for everyone that can teach you valuable life lessons and provide unforgettable emotional experiences.