We’ve all been there: we’re watching an anime, seeing the relationship of two characters evolve so that they become close. We naturally start cheering for the characters to hook up and become an actual couple, but all too often we suffer one of the worst anime betrayals, when the creators refuse to follow through with the story and bring the characters together officially. Here are the top 11 unrequited loves in anime, as contributed by J-List’s awesome customers.
Note that we’re trying to stick to some rules here. True harem stories like How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend obviously explore the pain of unrequited love in anime, but this is because of their structure, telling a story in which the only character can “win” romantically in the end, so we won’t include them. These situations are a little different, situations where creators have brought two characters close but then refused to allow them to be together.
Note: this post obviously contains spoilers. Proceed with caution.
The Top 11 Unrequited Loves in Anime
Yuu and Koyuki from Fuuka
The Fuuka anime was a lot of fun. One sad character was Koyuki, who had always harbored romantic feelings for her childhood friend Yuu, despite them being apart from each other for many years, and her becoming a famous singer. She basically threw away her singing career over the boy and still got jilted in the end.
Nana Ebina and Taihei from Umaru-chan
One of the cutest side characters in recent years is Nana from Himouto Umaru-chan! from Japan’s Akita region, who’s madly in love with Umaru’s older brother Taihei. Sadly, despite some interesting developments in season 2, it’s clear Taihei only sees “Ebina-chan” as a child, even giving her New Year’s money on January 1st.
Nanami and Sorata from The Pet Girl of Sakura-Sou
While I loved Mashiro and would have been fine having the story end with Sorata and her together, I preferred Nanami, the shy girl from Osaka who was trying to realize her dream of becoming a voice actress.
Diana and Akko from Little Witch Academia
Whenever two anime girls come into proximity to each other, some fans will start yuri shipping them, like me. Two characters we really had fun with were Diana and Akko, a couple that became known as DiAkko to “fanon.” As with the best yuri ships, the hugely different backgrounds of the characters makes for great chemistry.
Tsubaki from Your Lie in April
Your Lie in April was a dramatic story about a genius piano player named Kosei and violinist Kaori who wanted to play with him. Although we’re all rooting for Kaori (in more ways than one), Kosei’s childhood friend is clearly in love with him yet unable to express her feelings. I recommend this light-hearted anime highly!
Kaho and Koyu in Blend-S
Another adorable couple fans shipped hard, both are so introverted they’re unable to share their obvious feelings with each other.
Anyone from Hibike! Euphonium
Look up the word yuri bait in a dictionary and you’ll find a picture of Hibike! Euphonium. There were lots of delicious characters get close to other characters, but nothing that was paid off for fans.
Half the Characters in Scum’s Wish
Kuzu no Honkai was a delicious 1-cour anime about a girl who loves her neighborhood friend who’s just become her teacher, but she can’t be with him so she semi-dates her classmate, who’s in love with another teacher, who’s a total skank, who is loved by the first teacher. When there are this many crisscrossing relationships, it’s natural there will be some unrequited loves along the way. It’s fun to watch with Spanish subtitles too!
Koh and Rin from New Game!
New Game! is an awesome anime about a game development company in which everyone working is a latent lesbian. While fans were eager to see if Aoba and Koh would become an item, we knew in our hearts that Rin really deserved to be with Koh instead. And yet, and yet…
Takaki and Akari from 5cm Per Second
Probably the film that most made Makoto Shinkai the famous anime director he is today, it’s the story of a boy and a girl who seems destined to be together, despite being separated at various points in the story. In the end, it’s a story about how two people need to live with their feet firmly planted on the ground if they’re going to be happy together. Definitely one of the most painful unrequited loves in anime.
Rem from Re:Zero
The scene that launched a thousand memes was Rem’s confession of love to Subaru, which was rejected. Fans seem to forget that Rem was un-rejected a few episodes later.
Kyosuke and Kuroneko from Oreimo
Of course, the top anime betrayal has to be when Kyosuke broke up with Kuroneko. Despite her being the perfect girlfriend by any metric, from her devotion to Kyosuke to her delightfully dirty mind to being voiced by Kana Hanazawa, Kyosuke dumps her, which did not leave fans happy. Personally, I love any story that gets properly resolved in a fresh way by the creator, rather than one that just fades away without proper closure.
Thanks for reading this post about the top unrequited loves in anime. Did we miss any important ones? Tell us below or on Twitter!
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