Valentine’s Day is less than two weeks away, and love is in the air. Whether you’re single or taken, if you’re looking for romance on this lovey-dovey holiday, you can always count on finding it in the realm of fiction! Films and novels are two choices, but if you’re a weeb like me, you’ll want to turn to anime. Here are 5 romance anime with 13 episodes or less—perfect for watching in one sitting this Valentine’s Day!
1. Given (2019) – 11 episodes + 1 movie + 1 OVA
Under tragic circumstances, Mafuyu Sato ends up the owner of a guitar that he cherishes, but doesn’t know how to play. After encountering a peer named Ritsuka Uenoyama on the staircase, Mafuyu convinces him to teach him how to play the guitar, and when he proves to have some talent, Uenoyama invites him to join his band. But Uenoyama brings a lot more to Mafuyu’s life than just free guitar lessons. Fair warning: This one is a tear-jerker.
2. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun (2014) – 12 episodes
Don’t you just hate it when you confess your feelings to your crush, but they misunderstand you and think you’re asking them for an autograph? What, you’ve never been in that situation? Well, Chiyo Sakura has… Multiple times, with the same guy! Chiyo is in love with Umetarou Nozaki, who happens to be the author of a popular shoujo manga. You would think that someone who writes romances for a living can recognize a love confession, but Nozaki proves time and again to be totally oblivious to how Chiyo feels, even when she tells him point-blank.
3. My Dress-Up Darling (2022) – 12 episodes
Wakana Gojo doesn’t have any friends, so he passes his time alone, training to become a master doll maker like his grandfather. Meanwhile, popular gyaru Marin Kitagawa has a surprising hobby: she’s a cosplayer. When Marin finds out that Wakana knows how to make clothes, she begs him to help her make her costumes. He’s never made clothes for humans before, only dolls, but he accepts the project anyway. Wakana assumes that surely someone as cool as Marin would never want to associate with a loner like him outside of assembling her cosplays; however, he couldn’t be more wrong. Season 2 is currently in production, so depending on its release date, you might be able to binge the second season next Valentine’s Day.
4. Sakura Trick (2014) – 12 episodes
Haruka and Yuu are best friends, but they’re worried that once they enter high school and start meeting new people, their friendship will become less special. Their solution to this predicament is to do something with each other that they’ve never done with any of their other friends: kiss. Purely platonically, of course! The girls quickly find that they really like kissing each other and want to do it all the time, but that’s totally normal for two not-in-love best friends, right? …Right?
5. Wolf Girl and Black Prince (2014) – 12 episodes + 1 OVA
Here’s a word of advice: If you’re going to pick a guy to unwittingly be your fake boyfriend, don’t pick someone who goes to your school! When Erika Shinohara accidentally convinces her friends that she’s dating the most popular boy in their school, Kyoya Sata, he surprisingly agrees to go along with the lie… But in exchange, he gets to treat her like a dog. It certainly doesn’t start out as a healthy relationship, but Erika quickly finds herself falling in love with her “master” for real.
6. Sasaki and Miyano (2022) – 12 episodes + 1 OVA
Yoshikazu Miyano’s favorite genre is BL (boys’ love). He often teasingly imagines his male friends in the situations he reads about, but has never considered being in a same-sex relationship himself. When his upperclassman, Shuumei Sasaki, expresses interest in one of his favorite manga, Miyano is just happy to have someone to talk about the books he loves so much; Sasaki, however, gradually becomes interested in more than just Miyano’s manga recommendations. Two movies are currently in the works for this series.
BONUS: Tomo-chan is a Girl (2023) – currently airing
This one is still airing, so I couldn’t really include it in this list. However, it’s one of my favorite anime that I’m watching right now, so I felt it deserved a mention. Upon starting high school, Tomo Aizawa realizes that she has romantic feelings for her childhood best friend, Junichiro (Jun) Kubota. But Jun hasn’t just friend-zoned her: he has best bro-zoned her. He knows Tomo is technically a girl, but he treats her like one of the guys. This anime is basically an animated adaptation of the song “One Of The Boys” by Katy Perry. There will be 7 episodes out by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around, and once it’s finished airing, there will be a total of 13.