There are a lot of tropes that go into romance anime, and because they are often so successful in creating the atmosphere and drama that most romance anime viewers demand, those tropes are abused to hell and back. One of the more successful tropes that isn’t quite the well-beaten dead horse is making the two romantic leads live together. Oh, the set up. It is the perfect vessel for not only so many lewd situations, but for the drama that the romance genre needs to survive as well.
If your tastes in romance anime demand you search for series in which the boy and the girl are forced to live together due to circumstance, then these anime recommendations will feed that need.
This anime series takes this trope and displays it in perfect form. In Final Approach, Ryo and his sister live alone after their parents died. However, due to low birth rates in Japan, the government tests a new program in which young people are forced to marry. So in comes Ryo’s new fiancée, Shizuka, and a dozen government-issued bodyguards there to oversee the success of the marriage. Ryo is reluctant, Shizuka is over enthusiastic, and hilarity ensues, but so does romance.
This series is a more beloved example of the trope because it not only has an interesting set up, but the romance it portrays is actually really well done. Rec is about a guy that gets stood up for a movie date by another girl. When he goes to toss the tickets away, a random girl on the street tells him not to waste them and they go to the movie together instead. After the date, he walks her home, surprised they live in the same neighborhood, only to find her apartment has burned. So he ends up taking her home where they not only live together, but have a “more than friends but less than a relationship” relationship.
Pet Girl of Sakura Hall
The Pet Girl of Sakura Hall is more comedy with just some barebones romance, mostly for drama. The story follows a boy who gets moved to the misfits dorm because he can’t stop taking in stray cats. However, a new girl also moves in who is an extremely talented artist, but literally cannot take care of herself. While they live in different dorm rooms in the same building, he pretty much does everything from dressing her to feeding her. It is a good set up for comedy as well as romance, but thankfully they keep an arm’s length away from how weird of a romance that could be.
Although one of the newest entries to the trope, the plot of Eromanga Sensei is like something you would find in one of your lewd doujinshi. Within, a boy and girl are moved into one household when their parents marry. However, as is typical, those parents go and die. The girl becomes a shut-in and her non-blood related brother becomes her sole caretaker. It has other plot lines like the sister being a ecchi illustrator for the brother’s light novels, but pfft!
Brighter Than the Dawning Blue
Who says you can’t make this trope sci-fi? In this series, the Moon and Earth are linked by a single point of contact. The story follows Tatsuya who is the son of the United Nations president and Princess Feena Fam Earthlight, next in line to the throne on the moon. It was decided that she would live on Earth on a homestay to better prepare herself for her ascension to the throne. Naturally, she moves in with Tatsuya and his family.
This is a classic in the trope and a classic in general when it comes to romance anime. Fruits Baskets is about a girl who was having trouble at home and ends up living in a tent. However, she is camping on the property of the Souma family, and is discovered by her class’ “Prince,” Yuuki Souma. Instead of letting her just live in the tent, his family invites her to stay at the house. However, not only do members of this family turn into zodiac animals when hugged by the opposite gender, but they have more drama and secrets than your typical wealthy family.
Itazura na Kiss
Although Itazura na Kiss is kind of the perfect example of how unhealthy a romance in anime can be, it has its nice moments. Many of those moments are set up by the fact that the couple is forced into the same house. In this series, the girl has a crush on the most popular guy in school, but he turns her down flat. Yet, she persists to pine over him. Imagine her surprise when her new house is destroyed and she moves in with her father’s friend, who happens to be the family of her crush. Needless to say, the boy eventually warms to her by getting to know her better and romance ensues. Of course, even when romance does ensue, he is still a complete dick.
Oh! My Goddess
Although the show is showing its age, Oh My Goddess is one of the more fun examples of this particular trope. Oh My Goddess starts with a college student trying to order takeout, but dialing a Goddess Hotline instead where a Goddess comes and offers to grant him a wish. He jokes and wishes for her to stay with him forever. Granted! Of course, living with a woman gets him kicked out of his dorm and the pair move into a Buddhist temple where their love blooms and drama grows.
Inu X Boku SS
Sometimes, just sometimes, the boy and girl forced to live together trope gets a little innovation through completely crazy plot alone. While Inu X Boku SS isn’t completely crazy, it is a nice refreshing breeze in this musty part of the romance genre. The series follows a sheltered daughter of a wealthy family that wants to live on her own. So she moves into a high security apartment complex where she finds out that her neighbors as well as herself are all half demons. New weird neighbors aside, she is also forced to live with a secret service agent who is handsome, quiet, and super clingy.
KimiKiss Pure Rouge
If you judge KimiKiss by its synopsis alone, then you are probably going to take a pass on one of the best doki-doki inspiring romance anime series around. At a glance, it sounds like nothing remarkable. Essentially it is about a guy’s childhood friend coming home from living abroad. As her parents are staying abroad, she ends up moving in with him. With many other girls and a best friend that may develop feelings for the same girl, with KimiKiss you not only get something true to the trope, but you get a great series about the pursuit of love.
Engaged to the Unidentified
Let’s get this out of the way. There are only a few moments in Engaged to the Unidentified that can even be remotely considered to be romance due to the shy nature of the girl and the blend into the background nature of the boy. However, it is an awesome comedy and you keep watching for the characters. The plot is another literal description of the trope. You have a boy and his sister that move in with a girl on her 16th birthday because her grandfather made a deal to marry her off. They don’t get married, but they do live together and lightly explore their relationship.
The set up for Marmalade Boy is another completely weird one, but in the best way. After a holiday in Hawaii with her family, Miki’s parents decide to get a divorce. Not only that, they also decide to re-marry soon after in a partner swap with another couple they met on holiday. Of course, this other couple also has a super handsome son for whom she has feelings develop.
The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior
Similar to the Pet Girl of Sakura Hall, Kawai Complex heavily revolves around a boy moving into a boarding house with a girl he likes. Of course, he also has to deal with the number of other weird people that live there as well. The romance in this show is slow, so don’t expect a lot of pay off, but it has some nice moments and good comedy.
Need something a little different to keep things zesty? Well, Midori Day is about a girl moving in with a boy, but only because that boy wakes up one day to find a girl has replaced his hand. There is some comedy to can expect, but it doesn’t take things as far as you might think (or hope?).
Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero
Prior to the events of the series, people from Earth were summoned to other worlds and tasked with adventures. Many of the people that returned chose to bring trinkets with them. Well, the main character didn’t bring just anything back with him, he brought the daughter of the dark lord he defeated. Upon their return, they not only live together, but attend a special school to hone their powers. Of course, they must also keep a few secrets away from their peers.
Like several other entries, Love Hina is about a man living in a boarding house, but this time he is surrounded by a harem since it is an all-girls house. As the manager, he is tasked with running it, but he also needs to study for his university entrance exams in order to fulfill a promise he made to a childhood friend whose name he has completely forgot. Could it be that she is actually living there with him?
While a portion of Clannad isn’t about the two main characters living together. Eventually, due to the boy’s poor circumstances at home, he moves in with his love interest and her nice family. While Clannad uses the trope, it isn’t the main focus like with some other series. Instead, it is just one more vessel for the main couple to get closer together. Unfortunately, they don’t use it for as many fun scenes as they could have, but there is plenty of aww-inspiring scenes throughout the series to make up for it.
This series is your pretty standard romance harem series based in a world where gods and demons live beside humans. Not only does the harem king live with his childhood friend Kaede, but the daughters of the King of Gods and King of Demons, both of which live next door, also have amorous feelings for him.
This trope is no stranger to the occasionally supernatural, but Monster Musume takes it even further by having a series of mythical creatures lusting after the main character. And all of his lady problems started when a Lamia was forced to move in with him. If we are being honest, Monster Musume is more fan service and harem than romance, so don’t expect a lot of romantic depth to it.
My Wife is the Student Council President!
Like the on-the-nose name suggests, this series is about a guy who has the girl that beat him out for class president move in with him. The premise for it is weak, using the two sets of parents and one drunken promise that their children would marry as an excuse. However, it is a perfectly excellent set up for the comedy that happens within. The series is about hiding the secret from the student body while also trying to make marriage work. Its waifu bait, but effective.
Did we miss a few good gems here? Hate this fucking trope from the bottom of your very soul? Take your filthy words to the comments section below.