The anime adaptation of Horimiya is finally here, much to the glee of the series’ fans! There are plenty of rom-com shows for anime fans to watch, but Horimiya leaves its mark on us. With its splendid animation and, of course, the more excellent job with the adaptation. If you’re not already into rom-com anime shows, then this is the perfect moment for you to aboard the train. And soon enough, you may find the perfect couple to ship together. On this journey, you will witness a lot of emotional moments, hilarious instances, but moreover, heartwarming and touching plots to melt your hearts.
For beginners, Horimiya is a rom-com show about teenage love and, more importantly, growth and self-identity. There’s no meaningless drama, and you’ll keep coming back for the abundance of comedic gags throughout the show. But you will definitely stay back for all the beautifully depicted heartwarming moments. Even the side characters have plenty of personality traits, creating deeply layered portrayals, making it an interesting watch. The anime adaptation has even won several compliments from the Horimiya manga fans as well. So if you did like Horimiya, here’s a list of 15 other anime that are similar yet different in their own unique way. Each of which you are sure to love watching.
Anime Similar to Horimiya
15. Yesterday wo Utatte/ Sing “Yesterday” for Me
Yesterday wo Utatte is a story about Rikuo’s unrequited, one-sided love. He’s at crossroads in his life, with no future ambitions but has fallen for his old classmate and crush, Shinako. Shinako carries the burdens of her own tragic past that stops her from returning Rikuo’s feelings. Meanwhile, another girl, Haru, is quite fond of Rikuo and is very much similar to him as well. The animation pays quite a great deal of attention to detail, and the sounds throughout the series are commendable. The plot itself has quite a bit of potential, but the characters themselves may strike as a bit underwhelming.
The show does make for an enjoyable watch, though. Dealing with certain aspects of love and romance that we can relate to. This anime is certainly not exactly as good as Horimiya, but there’s some resemblance, earning it a spot on our curated list.
14. Special A
Hikari was always special, best at everything that she did, and remained unbeaten. That was until she lost a wrestling competition with Kei in their childhood. Thereafter she swore to beat Kei in everything from school grades to events and competitions. She even transferred to the same school, fueling her rivalry. But there is a twist. While she considers Kei as her rival, Kei already had strong feelings for her. Caught up in her competitive rivalry, she is oblivious of his feelings. But does she fall for Kei too? There’s only one way to know for sure; you got to watch it!
Being members of the Special A class comprising the top 7 students, the duo holds the top 2 ranks. The show also focuses on the other members of the Special A class and their relations. While the show is heavier on the romantic side of rom-com, there is a fair share of comedy too. Special A starts out slow but grows into a joyful watch, although not on par with an anime like Horimiya. It will still make you swoon over all of the show’s pairs and couples, especially of Hikari and Kei.
13. 3D Kanojo/ Real Girl
Hikari Tsutsui is an otaku through and through. With a non-existent social life, his life revolves entirely around anime and video games. So much so that he even prefers 2D girls on screen rather than real girls in life. And thus, is the subject of many boos and jeers in his school. One day he is punished to clean the pool for arriving late with a girl named Iroha Igarashi. Despite his cold shoulder, she is still friendly with him. On the other side, Iroha is also an outcast with no female friends, ostracized for blunt and flirtatious behavior.
The story of 3D Kanojo is, thus, of two outcasts. One who struggles to deal with emotions he has never felt before and one who tries to break the other out of his shell. The base of the story and the characters and their growth over time are the main selling points for 3D Kanojo. And just like Horimiya, both series feel lifelike, as they could really happen in real life. Even the main character designs for both shows are quite similar to each other. You will definitely be thinking of Horimiya while watching this anime.
If you’re searching for waifus, then look no further, Nieskoi is for you. The story’s about Raku, a yakuza leader’s son, and Chitoge, a notorious gangster’s daughter. They’re forced to act as a couple despite their dislike for each other in hopes that a blooming romance may ease tensions between their conflicting families. Raku had, however, already made a promise to a childhood friend that plays a major part. He also distances himself from his yakuza background, wanting to spend his days with his school crush, Kosaki. But the forced pairing throws all his plans up for a toss.
So, join the mismatched couple to follow their hilarious shenanigans as they search for their soulmate. The characters play into usual rom-com tropes but are fleshed out well, with detailed animation. This anime is similar to Horimiya too, as the main characters in both rom-coms try to bond over mutual secrets.
11. Lovely Complex
Risa and Ootani are two classmates that are searching for love in their class. But there is a catch. Risa is 172 cm tall, much taller than the average girl. While Ootani is 156 cm tall, shorter than the average guy. Adding to their plight, even their crushes get into a relationship with each other. The two are referred to as a comedy duo due to their character traits and the much obvious height difference. While initially, they decide to help each other in finding their true love, Risa starts developing feelings for Ootani. Will she be able to overcome the friendship barrier truly convey her emotions?
There are many hilarious gags that will keep you laughing and enough character depth to root for them. Being like Horimiya due to the characters being conscious of their traits, this enjoyable anime finds itself on our list that you’ll love.
10. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun/ My Little Monster
We all know that quiet person in class who doesn’t care about anything other than good grades. Shizuku is that girl in this anime with no social interactions, no friends, and is indifferent to every one. Then there is Haru, getting into fights with everyone due to his explosive personality and also doesn’t have many friends. The two catch feelings for each other as an unlikely friendship blossoms into romance. But it’s the funnier anecdotes that make it even more amazing.
The show further digs deep into loneliness, trust, friendship, and love as we explore their pasts. And what their feelings really mean for them as they explore their true emotions. The two vastly different personalities gel together along with a mix of other characters that makes this a worthwhile watch. It is even similar to Horimiya as both are school-based rom-com anime shows focusing on smart and shy characters.
09. Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
Kaichou wa Maid-sama! shows that even the most perfect people have some embarrassing secrets. That person is Misaki, the first female student council president of her school, nicknamed the ‘Demon President.’ And rightly so, as she follows a strict discipline and uses her martial arts skills to line in unruly guys. But, despite her strict and stern demeanor, she hides an embarrassing secret. She works at a maid café to pay for her family’s bills. It’s in sharp contrast to her perfect girl image. Something that another popular student, Takumi Usui, soon uncovers. It’s more funny than romantic as Misaki tries to keep her secret under wraps and maintain her perfect image. While her frustration with Takumi turns into something more complex than she could have imagined.
It’s a must-watch classic rom-com anime that’s much like Horimiya in its premise. Yet very much different in its own right.
08. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
Miyuki and Kaguya are the president and vice-president of their prestigious school. They’re exceptional students, top of their school, and the envy of the student council. They have it all. Belonging to wealthy families, highly popular, going to a top-tier school with the best performance in almost every field. But all’s not well. As the two are in love with each other, but won’t admit their emotions. Love is, after all, a war for the competitive duo. Honor and pride mean everything and the first to admit their love would be deemed as weaker. Can they outdo the other and make their counterpart confess?
The series is heavy with comedy, using appropriate and clever humor to deliver jokes that have a strong, lasting impact. And the narration and direction take the show to the next level. While similar to Horimiya with its school setting, it’s a rather refreshing take on rom-com anime.
07. Yagate Kimi ni Naru/ Bloom Into You
Bloom Into You was a massive success for the shōjo-ai/ yuri genre. The show’s about blooming teenage love. It’s about passion, rejection, self-discovery, and a whole lot of emotions. The story’s about Yuu Koito, searching for love but needs help in rejecting a guy, and Touko Nanami, the school president, also rejected a confession. However, things take a turn when Touko has herself fallen for Yuu and confesses to her. Thus, starting the journey of their teenage romance. The two resolve their personal troubles, dealing with emotions, figuring themselves out, and understanding what their feelings truly mean.
Highlights include perfect storytelling, lifelike characters, a smooth mix of romance and comedy, elegant animation, and the mindful soundtrack and tunes. Dealing with mature themes supporting the LGBTQ+ community, it’s a must-watch, wholesome and heartwarming anime that deals in personal secrets like Horimiya.
Ryuuji’s a gentle student with a delinquent-like appearance. Meanwhile, Taiga looks like a cute, small girl who’s anything but. Nicknamed as the ‘Palmtop Tiger,’ she carries around a wooden katana, befitting her feisty personality. As luck would have, they fall for each other’s best friends, trying to set the other up with their crush. What follows is a series of hilarious antics with light humor, heartwarming romance, and a few drama dashes. You may’ve seen it all before. But the perfect execution of the story, art, and direction makes it one of the best shoujo series. If you’re new to this genre, then it’s a good show to get started with too.
Like Horimiya with the high school rom-com setting, Toradora plays into the genre’s typical clichés. But who says clichés are always bad!? After all, it delivers everything you’d want from this genre!
05. Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou/ Kare Kano: His and Her Circumstances
Yukino has it all. Good grades, sports skills, elegant looks, you name it! While she works hard to maintain the top position in class, it’s all an act. She develops a rivalry with Arima, who’s stolen her spotlight. And what’s worse? He’s now aware of her façade! Twisting things, he also confesses his love for her. But Arima has his own secrets too, making matters complicated!
The animation’s unique, while the art could’ve been better, and the show has its share of light-hearted moments. The characters are memorable, and their relations and growth are realistic. There’s also a focus on romance and self-discovery. While the anime has potential, it falls short with its weak ending due to creative differences and other issues. For a memorable experience, you better pick up the manga. This is one anime that you definitely don’t want to miss, especially if you liked Horimiya!
04. Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You
Sawako Kuronuma is like the living version of Sadako from the horror series- The Ring. Despite her uncanny resemblance, she’s a misunderstood, harmless, timid, and introverted girl with a crush on Shouta Kazehaya. Shouta is a popular guy from her class and also one of the very few who’s not scared by her. While the two develop feelings for each other, misunderstandings, rumors, and more drama threaten their sweet romance.
It is a feel-good anime, and just like Horimiya revolves around blossoming young love. The characters are very likable that you can relate to as well. And the strong visuals and animations make the show more enjoyable. This is a must-watch for all the romantics out there that will charm your hearts and soul. And thus being one of our top picks.
03. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
The show’s focus is the supposedly mythical Adolescence/ Puberty Syndrome that has different effects for those afflicted. While considered fictitious, Sakuta Azusagawa, a high school student, knows that it’s all too real. When he sees Mai Sakurajima, a famous child actress walking around in the library wearing a… bunny costume! And that too, surprisingly, without being noticed by anyone except for himself. As he helps her, he finds more affected people and decides to do something about it. And maybe the characters will find some romance along the way?
It checks out everything you can expect from this genre- slice of life, romance, hard-hitting, tear-jerking moments, witty humor, et al! It even deals with some tough topics like accepting oneself, dealing with stressful circumstances, and not losing oneself. So, don’t get weirded out by this anime’s name and give it a chance, especially if you liked Horimiya!
02. Tonikaku Kawaii/ Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You
The story begins with a motivated Nasa who wants to achieve success in his life and has planned his future. But his destiny lies elsewhere. A fateful encounter with an unparalleled beauty enchants him, but he falls victim to a car accident. Tsukasa, the beautiful girl, saves him while he professes his feelings for her. She agrees to reciprocate only if Nasa marries her! And so we begin with the story of their married life and proving their love in the face of doubters.
Tsuakasa’s hidden mystery and secrets and the cutesy romance of this anime ties it with Horimiya. If there’s one word to describe the anime, that would be cute! Overload on cuteness as the characters look super cute together, doing even the most basic things. There is some mystery too, and no unnecessary drama. The overall mood is kept light yet interesting enough to keep you hooked.
01. Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku
Wotakoi revolves around the story of Narumi and Hirotaka. Narumi is an otaku and a fujoshi, keeping it a secret. Similarly, Hirotaka, Narumi’s childhood friend, is a gaming otaku who also has a crush on Narumi. Will the two otakus be able to work out their relation and stick together?
As the show’s name suggests, love may be hard for an otaku, but definitely not for us to love this anime. Focusing on otaku culture, this office rom-com presents a highly relatable cutesy love story with realistic character dynamics and minus the unnecessary drama. There’re other pop culture references, along with some light adult humor, circling adult love life. The anime is extremely like Horimiya, except it differs with its office setting, featuring working adults. And thereby taking the top spot in our list. So what are you waiting for? Go and watch this right now!
So did you like the shows in this list? What other genres and similar shows would you like us to cover next? Do let us know! And in the meanwhile, do share this with your fellow anime lovers as you embrace the anime world of rom-com!