Shoujo is one of the most popular demographics of anime, boasting famous titles such as Sailor Moon, Princess Tutu, and Fruits Basket in their archives.  And a major genre of shoujo anime is romance, making up a vast majority of series. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, here’s a countdown of the top three anime that the genre has to offer*.

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Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun 月刊少女野崎くん

If you are a shameless fan of the “notice me senpai” trope in its purest, most unadulterated form, this is the anime for you.

The course of true love never did run smooth, and doesn’t Chiyo Sakura know it. After finally building up the courage to confess her love to the titular Nozaki, he misinterprets what she was actually trying to say. It is revealed that he is the mangaka of the popular shoujo manga “Let’s Fall in Love”, working under the nom de plume Sakiko Yumeno. Nozaki thinks that she is expressing love for his work (rather than the author himself) and gives her his autograph. Due to Sakura’s involvement in the art club, Nozaki enlists her to ‘beta’ his manga and help with the inking of upcoming chapters. Sakura decides to use this time with Nozaki to get closer to him, so the pair end up working together. Continue reading

Yuri Kuma Arashi

Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara, the genius behind Revolutionary Girl Utena, Mawaru Penguindrum, and several episodes of Sailor Moon, the series showed great promise from the start, despite the initial premise sounding somewhat strange.

In a world split between humans and bears, torn apart by the Wall of Severance, the plot revolves around Kureha Tsubaki, a girl with a vendetta against bears, and two new transfer students with a secret.  When Kureha’s “special friend” Sumika gets eaten by a bear, she vows to find the beast that killed her, having already lost her mother to a similar attack years ago.

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