Unrequited love, or one-sided love, is romantic feelings that are not reciprocated or acknowledged by the beloved. Maybe a character doesn’t have the courage to express their feelings? The target of their love could be oblivious? Or worse, emotional manipulation is at play and the feelings of love are used as a tool for bad deeds.
Unrequited love is great for drama and can add emotional punch to a story! Be prepared for a long feels trip if you are watching these anime.
Scum’s Wish is just one big pile of pain. Every character falls victim to unrequited love with one person being a super sadist. All-in-all, people do terrible things, like emotional manipulation, just to hide their pain.
School Rumble is a sillier take on the topic – turns out teens are bad at communication and it leads to hilarious misunderstandings. Still, that doesn’t prevent us from feeling bad for several of the characters who never have their love reciprocated.
3Your Lie in April
Your Lie in April is just sad. We have a close group of friends who have various levels of feeling for one another. However, the whole love polygon was created due to a lie. Without spoiling anything, it leads to a painful conclusion as some people are unaware of this lie and cling to the false hope of love.
4Nagi no Asukara
You are going to need a shipping manifest to keep track of the various relationships in Nagi no Asukara. The series starts with four childhood friends, all with a different crush on a member. After going to a new school, three new people are introduced to the love polygon. Do the math people! Someone is going to get left alone!!
55 Centimeters Per Second
The big theme of 5 Centimeters Per Second is about letting go of the past – failed love included.
Toradora! brings heavy drama, which can be a tad frustrating for some people looking for a lot of comedy in their rom-com anime. However, the arcs for the girls (especially Ami) are really well-written.
Millennium Actress is a great and sad movie covering the life of a dying actress. We see two levels of unrequited love and how it affects Chiyoko’s life.
Chihayafuru is a series about the world of competitive karuta. You’ll feel so bad for Tachi, who is a childhood friend of Chihaya and has a crush on her. Despite Tachi’s intentions, he is cursed with never truly bringing happiness to Chihaya’s world.
9Honey and Clover
Honey and Clover is one big polygon of unrequited love.
10Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day is not as pessimistic or exaggeratedly brutal as Scum’s Wish, but it does center around replacement love and loads of one-sided romance.
11Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is a comedic look at this trope, but I think we can agree that Tomoda selflessly sacrificing his youth for the sake of Protagonist-kun is the most painful thing to have happened in all of anime.
What are your favorite anime about unrequited love?