Why we love anime? Domestic Na Kanojo

What was the point you realized anime was fundamentally different from all other forms of entertainment? For me it was back in 1979, watching an episode Space Battleship Yamato (aka Star Blazers), when Godai gets angry at Yuki for sneaking aboard the ship, so she starts taking her clothes off, preparing to return to Earth in a spacesuit. An anime girl in her underwear! And characters who kiss and die dramatically! And planets that get bombed, killing millions! And story arcs that get properly resolved! It was an event that put me on the path to where I am now. Clearly mature and complex stories for grown-ups can be one reason why we love anime.

Another anime with a grown-up story is the new Domestic na Kanojo (Domestic Girlfriend), about a high school boy named Natsuo who’s got a crush on his teacher, Hina. Meanwhile, Natsuo gets invited by a dark and depressing girl named Rui to have sex with her, because she wants to have the experience, which he agrees to. Soon after, his father tells him that he’ll be getting remarried, and wouldn’t you know it? Natsuo’s new stepmother has two daughters, his teacher Hina and the girl he recently lost his virginity with, Rui, who are his stepsisters now. His life just got a lot more complicated, but it’s only the first episode…

I clearly am drawn to these kinds of grown-up themes in anime, as opposed to seinen series with their endless quests and battles, or generic harem series, or mindless edgy/mystery shows like Mayoiga or King’s Game. Other dramatic/romantic anime I’ve enjoyed over the years include

  • Scum’s Wish, intense story with a surprise yuri twist.
  • The Pet Girl of Sakura-sou, a high-quality drama about a pantsu-challenged genius artist girl.
  • Love, Chunibyo and Other Delusions, young people with “8th graders’ disease” finally putting away their childhood delusions and start to grow up. If possible, stop watching after the first season.
  • Spice and Wolf, about a merchant and the wolf goddess who loves him, which will give you a college degree in the economics of fictional medieval countries.
  • Kokoro Connect, a complex story of body switching with great waifus.
  • Clannad, a great anime that makes us respect electricians and all they do for us.
  • AnoHana, a story about the ghost of a childhood friend coming back and…sorry, I can’t keep typing, the tears…

So, what dramatic and/or romantic anime stories for grown-ups have you enjoyed? Will you be watching Domestic na Kanojo? Tell us on Twitter!

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About the author

Peter Payne

I live in Japan and I run J-List, an anime shop famous for shimapan and Tentacle Grape. I love being able to bring Japanese culture to the world.