Top 5 Unrequited Lovers in Anime

Valentine’s Day is upon us and we at Dashing Nerds want you to feel the love, or in this article, the lack thereof. Have you ever loved someone so much you’d do anything for them but the feelings just aren’t mutual? Well, I sure have and the characters on this list are in the same boat! We will be taking a look at some of my favorite series with unrequited love. Spoiler alert! Heartbreak is ahead. 

5. Hikaru Hiyama & Kyōsuke Kasuga (Kimagure Orange Road)

A series that includes one of my favorite films to cap off the story, we are introduced to the heart-breaking love triangle of Kyōsuke, Ayukawa, and Hikaru. While coming in as a new transfer student, Kyōsuke becomes infatuated with Ayukawa. Unbeknownst to him, Ayukawa’s best friend, Hikaru, sees him pull off an amazing feat playing basketball alone. When Hikaru falls in love with him, things begin to get hectic. As Kyōsuke is very indecisive, he begins to see both girls as to not hurt their feelings, even though he has no intention of being with Hikaru. This never turns out well. As Hikaru does everything in her power to win his love, Kyōsuke finally decides enough is enough. You can’t help but feel terrible watching poor Hikaru’s heartbreak.

4. Kaede Fuyou & Rin Tsuchimi (Shuffle)

I originally wasn’t going to put any harem anime on this list, as unrequited love is common in that theme. Still, Shuffle makes the list because when this rejected potential lover isn’t accepted, she goes a little murder crazy. It starts with the tragic deaths of the parents of two childhood friends. Rin and Kaede are left to be raised by Kaede’s father.  Kaede blames Rin for their deaths and she makes multiple attempts to kill him as a child. Later in adolescence, she learns the truth about it and feels awful for treating Rin so badly. She dotes on him, seeking forgiveness. The story progresses and more girls enter the battle for Rin’s love. Kaede begins to distance herself until she realizes Rin has feelings for their mutual friend, Asa. This enrages Kaede and she attacks Asa, begging for Rin’s love. Finding herself alone, as we all would after attacking friends, she learns to accept their love. All the while, she hides all signs of letting Rin know she still cares deeply for him.

3. Hanamichi Sakuragi & Haruko Akagi (Slam Dunk)

How do you get the attention of a very cute girl? Why just join a club of the sport she likes! That’s what Hanamichi decided! Known for being turned down by every girl, he meets Haruko by chance. She asks him to do a slam dunk since he is really tall. Hanamichi has never played basketball a day in his life, but he joins the team captained by Haruko’s older brother just to impress her. Every opportunity he gets he tries to show off to her. Problem is, like every other girl in the series, she only has eyes for the team star, Rukawa. Hanamichi, realizing Rukawa is his rival in love, begins to get better at basketball. But playing just for Haruko’s heart won’t leave him unhurt.


2. Sanji and Every Woman in One Piece (One Piece)

Everyone knows someone who is a womanizing fool (in all honesty, women don’t really care for him). Every One Piece fan knows that Sanji is that guy. A man who believes he has a heart big enough for every woman on Earth, or so he thinks. Claiming love for both ladies of the Straw Hat Crew Nico Robin and Nami, as well as every woman he runs into. Sometimes Sanji’s romantic heart can get himself into quite a bit of trouble, although he’s not afraid to kick anyone’s hindquarters, literally (hence the nickname Black Leg Sanji). Though he isn’t loved by everyone in One Piece, he is a beloved character to all of his fans who watch the show.


1. Kenji Harima & Tenma Tsukamoto (School Rumble)

Every girl loves a bad boy…well, everyone but Tenma. For poor Harima, the baddest of boys, the love of his life happens to love someone else. Known for his brute strength and failing grades, Harima once saved Tenma from a thug and fell in love with her during the rescue. Tenma, on the other hand, is quite infatuated with another classmate named Karasuma. Throughout the series, Harima begins to challenge him for Tenma’s love, much to Karasuma’s confusion. It has to be tough for Harima to confess his feelings for Tenma, as she is way too dense to understand him. The harder he tries, the further he gets from winning Tenma’s affections. Tenma’s friends begin to notice Harima’s kindness and can’t help themselves from falling for him, though he pays no attention to that.

Thanks for reading my anime list! If your favorite couple didn’t make the cut, I want to hear about it in the comments below! Don’t forget to subscribe below so you don’t regret missing our next anime article:


Written by: Corey Wait

Anime Lover, Video Game Connoisseur, All Around Otaku.

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