Shonen anime may not be known for its romances, but that doesn't mean shonen anime don't have their fair share of dramatic relationships. Some couples constantly quarrel, while others choose moments in battle to make fervent love confessions. Some of the drama is worthy of a giggle and an eye-roll, while others truly make the heart pound.
Some couples spend their time ignoring their feelings for each other by bickering endlessly, while other relationships would be fairly normal if it weren't for the action-packed plot that keeps the lovers separated. Whether their drama stems from a personality conflict, immature partners, or the world coming down about their ears, shonen has its fair share of emotional, theatrical romances.
10 Miyamura & Hori (Horimiya)
Horimiya may be a contemporary anime that's missing many of the common elements that would heighten the stakes to shonen-level action and drama. Still, the central couple makes up for that. Hori and Miyamura have completely opposite personalities; Miyamura is quiet and introverted, while Hori is a walking ball of sunshine.
There's no true antagonist in Horimiya, and nearly all the characters are deeply wholesome. However, as a couple, Hori and Miyamura can be a bit strange, mainly because of Hori's yandere tendencies. For instance, Hori bites her boyfriend's neck when he gets a haircut, and she doesn't appreciate how much attention he's getting.
9 Emi & Maou (The Devil Is A Part-Timer)
In The Devil Is A Part-Timer, when Sadao is expelled from his world, he trades his demonic might for a much more mundane day-to-day as a MgRonald's employee. Despite the new comparative mundanity, Sadao still has a theatrical flair in everything he does, from trying to fix a fry cooker to concocting a scheme to pay the grocery bill.
Emi, the former hero who once fought Sadao, is absolutely sick of his antics, human or demonic. Emi is short-tempered and suspicious of Sadao even though she may harbor feelings for him, and Sadao is of little help. He likes to remind her that he'll "dominate" her once he gets all his powers back.
8 Ranma & Akane (Ranma 1/2)
There are few things more dramatic than an arranged marriage and a kick to the face, both of which are strong themes with the central couple in Ranma 1/2. Though their respective parents agree that they should marry, Akane and Ranma prefer to fight and taunt each other rather than court each other.
It's obvious that the two are endgame, but they're going to fuss about it each step of the way. Even when ghosts claw at them in a creepy cave, they can't keep themselves from switching between making grand emotional overtures to each other to calling each other more names. Even the terrifying ghosts don't want to deal with their drama.
7 Yusuke & Keiko (YuYu Hakusho)
Yu Yu Hakusho's Yusuke and Keiko have the kind of theatrical exchanges that are often associated with classic anime romance subplots. They exchange frustrated verbal barbs, sometimes threatening to beat each other. Keiko gets particularly annoyed with Yusuke and says she'll find a new boyfriend when really she's wrapped around his finger.
As a couple, they're up against nearly insurmountable odds. Yusuke and Keiko are separated by time and dimension, and they have one of anime's most dramatic and heartfelt reunions. A lot of their issues stem from external conflict, but it definitely affects their relationship.
6 Hinata & Naruto (Naruto)
Naruto is a shonen with its fair share of battered hearts. There are few love confessions more over-the-top than the one between Hinata and Naruto. Hinata is the sweetest girl, and her love for Naruto is extremely pure.
When Naruto is struck down in a battle, Hinata leaps out of nowhere to protect him as Naruto screams her name. She also can't keep herself from telling him the full scope of her feelings for him before it's too late. The theatrics are understandable but nevertheless extreme.
5 Tatsumi & Mine (Akame Ga Kill)
The romance between Tatsumi and Mine in Akame Ga Kill is not quite a hate-to-love romance, and more like extreme bickering-to-love arc. When they're not saving each other, they're fighting.
When Mine gets infuriated that Tatsumi barged in on her in her room, her temper is explosive. She literally blows out a hole in the wall right next to his head. Mine isn't repentant in the slightest, either. She happily threatens him with a bazooka once more. There are few things more dramatic than a bazooka.
4 Renji & Rukia (Bleach)
Bleach's Rukia and Renji are star-crossed lovers. Renji's love for Rukia is selfless and constant, their closeness partly encouraged by their common history as orphans. Renji doesn't hesitate to slice through a band of warriors to save Rukia. Ichigo only encourages the dramatics by bodily throwing Rukia down to Renji from a great height and ordering Renji to protect her with his life — as if the devoted Renji needs to be told twice.
And though Renji's completely taken with Rukia, it doesn't stop him from kicking her in the pants when he thinks she's daydreaming too much — something she doesn't take meekly. They're rather competitive with each other despite their closeness.
3 Goku & Chi-Chi (Dragon Ball Z)
Goku of Dragon Ball Z may be one of the most beloved shonen protagonists, but he isn't exactly easy to date. Chi-Chi gets angry with the silly but well-meaning himbo all the time. And to be fair, her frustration is often warranted, if ill-expressed.
Even well into their marriage, they still fight — or at least, Chi-Chi makes a big show of play-fighting with her husband. She's very protective of her children, and though she fusses with Goku over parenting decisions, she's head over heels for him.
2 Sakura & Sasuke (Naruto)
Sakura and Sasuke may be the most controversial and hotly debated romantic pairings in Naruto. Whether their relationship feels earned or not, there's no doubt that they've mastered a flair for the dramatic.
Sakura is so obsessed with Sasuke, and for a long time, he wants nothing to do with her. Her unrequited feelings fuel some of her more awful decisions. Likewise, Sasuke isn't exactly a reserved character, and he has plenty of angst to go around. And yet, their relationship seems to continue happily, overall.
1 Inuyasha & Kagome (InuYasha)
InuYasha has several love triangles that cause no end of strife and emotionally charged bickering. If Inuyasha isn't pining about Kikyo and unfairly comparing her to Kagome, then Koga is trying to court Kagome and win her heart.
Though Inuyasha is hung up on Kikyo, he can't stand it when Koga pays special attention to Kagome. Similarly, even though she fights with Inuyasha all the time, she can't bear it when Koga insults Inuyasha. And even though they fight all the time, Inuyasha and Kagome's sweet moments are lovely.