In a typical romance anime, a popular girl falls in love with an unpopular guy. In fact, a lot of anime series love showcasing the ultimate fantasy of every unpopular loner being noticed by the popular girls in school. And that’s why we love this type of animated genre so much, it’s an MC Nerd fest where love, at first sight, can take you by surprise!
To celebrate this sweet genre I composed a list of 24 Anime Where The Popular Girl Falls In Love With An Unpopular Guy! Updated: May 12th, 2022:
1. The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc
Keima Katsuragi, the unsettled MC of the series, was born with a game console in his hands. He considers himself the undisputed “God of Conquest” of the dating sims virtual game.
The shounen twist comes when Keima signs a terrible deal in which he must conquer the hearts of and minds of real girls, while he believes it is an invitation to conquer girls made of pixels. It is not long before a demon girl named Elsse arrives from the underworld, and explains to him that the contract he signed is valid for 4d real girls only, those who do not call him ‘Sama’.
The third season moves the story forward; An evil organization from the world of demons is plotting to do really bad things to good and bad people alike, and take over everything. The fate of the world now rests on the shoulders of Katsuragi and his heart-conquering skills.
The season opens with an out-of-this-world drama (haha!): Kanon Nakagawa, a student at Keima’s school, a popular idol and one of those he has kissed in the past, begins to recall what she fell in love with him. The same organization I mentioned earlier stabs Kanon and leaves her a few days to live unless Kaima does something about it.
It’s an Otaku series that makes fun of the genre, and as such, it also laughs out clichés about 2D characters. It’s funny when Kayma talks about it, it’s even funnier when TWGOK implements comedy elements. In the same context, the humor in the series is terribly niche (The magicians, otaku, and gamers niche); Anyone who has never owned a console or is unfamiliar with basic terms in the gaming industry will waste his time watching. Definitely fits the bill of anime where the popular girl falls in love with an unpopular guy.
2. My Love Story!! (Ore Monogatari!!)
Makoto and Takeo are friends from kindergarten and close neighbors. They are as close as brothers. Although he can get the popular girl in a minute, Makoto does not have much success in the romantic realm. The dynamics change as Rinko Yamato enters their lives.
Rinko is about the sweetest girl on the planet: a kind of teddy bear that has fallen into a sugar machine. She is beautiful, cute, and delicate, and has the voice of a squirrel who has learned to speak. For Takeo, the encounter with Rinko is love at first sight. From the moment they meet, the purpose of his life is to make her happy. It is clear from the first moment that Rinko is also attracted to Takeo.
The cute couple like each other, and everyone knows it. This is an anime where a popular girl falls in love with an unpopular teenager who is 120 kilograms and resembles a lifeless 40-year-old guy. Most of all, it is an educational series that manages in amicable ways to produce an entertaining story. It is true that the show is rather corny, but maybe it will remind you of the butterflies you felt when you just started going out together.
3. Accel World
The story is set in 2046 where Haruyuki Arita, the anime’s MC, is a chubby kid who spends all his time playing web games. He regularly gets beaten up by bullies, and he has already given up on the real world taking refuge on the internet.
One day Haruyuki’s exceptional gaming skills draw the attention of Kuroyukihime, the student council vice president and the most popular girl around. Her reasons to fall in love with the unpopular guy are beyond me, but anyway, the super-beauty unfolds Haruyukiunder under her auspices and teaches him about the secret of the “Brain Burst” software.
Fanservice fans will be happy to learn that there are quite a few “Come see my underwear without a normal plot-explanation” tropes and “Hey, come see me take a shower” moments. The anime is all about Harrow’s personal story as he tries to prove himself.
What I love about this anime is that it progresses at a fairly slow pace, with long dialogues in a cafe that shape the story as a whole, and here lies the beauty of Accel World. Along the way, we meet new characters who join the weird couple.
Who wouldn’t want a fellow gamer girl to fall in love with them? Exactly, right? The main character Keita Amano can’t hide that innate desire either. He is an average student who simply enjoys playing games for the fun of it, but then life throws a balloon at him, and suddenly he gets approached by the most popular girl in the entire school. Her name is Tendou Karen, and she is here to make the loner boy join the gaming club.
It’s another anime where the mc falls in love with the unpopular girl, this must’ve felt like a scene from a dream, as he goes and checks out the club, but something about it doesn’t quite hit home with Keita. He does enjoy games, but he doesn’t want to make it a competition.
So, he ends up declining the offer and going home. Little did he know, this was just the start of his dramatic high school romantic comedy.
5. Haruka Nogizaka’s Secret (Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu)
Every Mc has a secret that will surprise everyone, this plot device kickstarts this next anime where the popular girl falls in love with the unpopular guy.
Haruka Nogizaka is unparalleled in terms of beauty, and well respected with regard to how she carries herself. She comes from a noble family and is nothing less than an idol in the eyes of other students. But even she has a secret that she doesn’t want anyone else to find out.
Here comes the leading male character by the name of Yuuto Ayase and the only commendable thing he has ever done in his life is being born in the same year as Haruka and attending the same class as her. That’s it.
But when one day, as he is in the library, he comes across Haruka doing something out of character. She is seen engaging in hardcore Otaku activities.
6. A Sister’s All You Need (Imouto Sae Ireba Ii)
Another Japanese rom-com anime where the popular girl falls in love with the unpopular guy.
The story follows a well-known author of lite novels who is obsessed with little sisters. He writes and fantasizes that someone he shares a parent with will call him Oni-chan.
This is a sophisticated comedy that makes fun of its protagonist characters, but we, the viewers are forced to anticipate the MC’s graphic fantasies and thus, somehow, the series is intended for risk-takers.
Little sisters aside, Imouto Sae Ireba Ii is quite funny. Itsuki Hashima is surrounded by many normative friends and the attitude toward their deviant friend is the highlight of the anime series.
Of course, this includes Mrs. popular girl, and the cute white hair anime girl, Nayuta Kani, who happens to be in love with him. If you choose to watch, I plead: Do it without excuses, if you are shameless – go for it.
7. We Never Learn (Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai)
Not everyone is privileged, such is the case with the third-year high school student named Nariyuki the mc of the anime that follows the story of high school girls, who fall in love with their tutor.
Nariyuki works himself and studies relentlessly, all for the sake of eventually getting that special scholarship that will cover all of his college tuition. Certainly, a commendable student, and rightfully deserving.
The principal shares the sentiment, but for the sake of the plot, he gives him the grueling task of tutoring the school’s infamous prodigies in their weakest subjects. There is the math genius named Ogata who sucks at literature, while there is the second coming of Shakespeare who is terrible at math and science.
Many have tried and given up before, will Nariyuki be able to handle this and help them attain the grades they seek?
8. A Town Where You Live (Kimi no Iru Machi)
Living the peaceful countryside life, Haruto’s life takes a slight turn when an enigmatic magical girl from Tokyo enters his life for a short while. Her name was Yuzuki Eba, though one day, she simply disappeared.
Years later, the memories they made together are deeply engrained within him, but at the same time, he is also full of questions as to why she left without saying a word.
In the present day, Haruto and his sister move to Tokyo themselves. He wants to pursue his career as a chef, but the crush from that time still hasn’t ended, and what he really wants is to be together with Yuzuki once again.
Though when the new neighbor accidentally mistakes him for a burglar and attacks without remorse, he is stunned by her beauty and develops another crush at that moment. This creates this odd sense of uneasiness, between Yuzuki and this neighbor who wonders, are they truly in love?
9. Hatsukoi Limited
The show follows 11 students, and please bear with me, okay so, Misao is in love with Ayumi who is in love with Mamoru – Misao’s little brother, who is in love with Misaki, and she in turn is in love with Yuuji, who is afraid of Misaki and has a sister complex.
This is just the beginning: Koyoi, Ayumi’s girlfriend, is in love with her older brother Yoshihiko, who is also in love with Misaki. Kusuda, Mamoru’s good, and twisted friend, develops a love-hate relationship with the popular girl with blonde hair Kei, and it goes on.
If you did not understand anything, don’t worry, each of the episodes allows itself to focus on only one relationship and thus slowly build the overall story. I learned to like the humor and craziness of the main characters, and I was able to identify with some of the guys and girls.
Unfortunately and sadly, twelve episodes are not enough for such a masterpiece, but this is the default when the manga has a total of four volumes. If you are looking for a good story and excellent characters, check out this anime. It has a huge arsenal of successful characters. Exciting and funny stories alike, and a high level of production.
10. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru)
Hachiman Hikigaya is not the most optimistic guy you will meet. He believes that the concept of youth is an illusion created for people painted by hypocrites, an illusion born of past failures.
Hikigaya, Hiki in short, is an unpopular guy, he has no friends, probably due to his pessimism, apathy, and neglected appearance. He was subsequently forced to join a club run by a girl named Yukinoshita, one of the most beautiful and popular girls in the class, but with a cold personality and someone who tells it as it is.
Yukinoshita needs to teach Hikigaya the ways of the world, hoping to make him a better person. The plot is too obvious, but the comedy has a statement about life, but not my cup of tea. Still, I believe you will love it.
Another instance of an anime where the popular girl falls in love with the unpopular guy. Horimiya was among the most prominent anime of 2021, and the manga is among the most popular Romcoms of all time.
Slender in her physique, there is this beautiful girl named Hori. She has plenty of admirers, even some girls like to fawn at her beauty and manner. Her grades and social life are also a cut above the rest. But the way she carries herself at school is rather different from her life at home.
She always has her hands full doing housework and taking care of her brother which is why she almost never finds time to socialize with anyone after school. Then there is this seemingly boring guy named Miyamura, everyone considers him an Otaku. They don’t know about his piercings and tattoos.
Both characters are misunderstood, but when life brings them together, what will a romance between them look like?
12. 3D Kanojo: Real Girl
Hikari is a socially inept individual who continuously gets ridiculed by his classmates simply because he likes to play games and do anime stuff, which is why he never wants anything to do with them, except for his only friend named Yuuto, who not only shares the same hobbies but also wears cat ears.
One fateful day, Hikari is late to school, and as a punishment, he is tasked with cleaning the school pool. There he comes across a girl named Iroha Igarashi. In the past, her beauty had attracted the attention of many male students, while also the contempt of many female students.
Thinking logically, Hikari tries to keep his distance. But the two interact and before long, they get closer and even start wearing their hearts on their sleeves for each other.
13. Rent a Girlfriend (Kanojo Okarashimasu)
Rejection hurts, and this is one of those romance anime where the mc is rejected at first.
The 20-year college student named Kazuya Kinoshita was overjoyed when he finally got himself a popular girlfriend, but one month into their relationship, the distance wasn’t getting any thinner. In the end, she casually tells him the depressing quote “It’s not me, it’s you, let’s break up,” and Kazuya’s entire mental health and sense of worth go straight into the trash bin. It’s worse than rejection because going out with her meant there was hope.
Now, in order to quench the pain in his heart and somehow fill the void, he goes off the deep end and decides to rent a girlfriend. She is Chizuru Ichinose an S-tier beauty, under normal circumstances, a girl of this level would never even talk let alone go out with this nerd. But he paid for her time, and they go out on a date.
One thing leads to another, and he is stuck continuously renting her time. It’s pretty entertaining to watch whether or not their fake relationship ever becomes something more.
14. Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki (Jaku-Chara Tomozaki-Kun)
Tomozaki is truly a bottom-tier character when it comes to his social life. He is an awkward loner, lacking both friends and girls, and practically a lost cause. The guy has forsaken himself, at least regarding his social life, though he is also a gamer, in fact, he is the greatest player of a certain online game.
One day, while playing the game, he comes across another skilled gamer and has a good time. But the true identity of this player shocks the living daylights out of him, she is Aoi Hinami, his classmate, and as you can expect, aside from their love for gaming, they are complete opposites she’s the popular girl, and he is definitely the unpopular guy.
She realizes how bad Tomozaki is at the game of ‘life,” and decides to make him become good at it. And just like that, through her help, Tomizaki gradually begins to become a more social-able person.
However, in terms of romance anime, this one might not be as straightforward romance anime where mc is a loner and the popular girl just has to get him.
15. Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro (Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san)
Do you want to be regularly teased by a cute beauty? For the shy and awkward Naoto, getting teased daily by his underclassman named Nagatoro is rather exhausting, at least for his heart.
Their unusual relationship begins when one day while he is drawing his manga in the library, Nagatoro ends up reading it and from there on out, starts teasing her beloved Senpai whenever she can.
Initially, Naoto is distressed by her sudden and often bothersome behavior, he can’t help but be flustered and embarrassed which makes Nagatoro want to tease him even more. But little by little, an odd relationship between them begins to shape.
He starts getting fond of Nagatoro, and while it is still bad for his heart, he knows he enjoys her company. And so he keeps on putting up with Nagatoro’s eccentric antics.See also: Top 30 Best Black Female Anime Characters
16. Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches (Yamada-Kun to 7-nin no Majo)
Ryuu is a delinquent student who does not get along in the elitist high school where he studies. Shiraishi is an outstanding and stunning popular student.
One day Rio stumbles on Urara aka “Sunshine” Shiraishi who turns out to be a witch. The two swap bodies and embark on a magical journey.
Yamada-Kun to 7-nin no Majo is a romantic comedy series with the classic popular girl and an unpopular guy story. I was sure the concept of body replacement would provide an excuse for the series to provide drama and amusing moments, but the series does 180 pretty quickly. It’s an entirely normal school comedy, only with a twist.
17. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai (Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai)
The anime deals with a fictitious disease called “adolescent syndrome”: the disease affects boys with social anxieties, which is manifested through the metaphysical fulfillment of those anxieties. In less-complicated examples: a girl suffering from intense jealousy alternates with the body of the object of jealousy; A character who suffers from insecurity splits in two, etc., etc.
A high school student named Sakota meets throughout the series four different characters who suffer from such and such anxieties.
A romantic series that caught me by complete surprise: it does not look particularly good, and it’s not funny above average. It contains every existing anime trope, but the characters and story are what draw you in (the same words can be said about “Haruhi”, minus the mediocre animation).
Okay, if I’ll be frank, what also drew me was the hot and sexy girl Mai Sakurajima! This is an anime that takes analytical psychology one step further – then dances tap and confuses any self-respecting psychiatrist along the way. But it’s great, entertaining, exciting, and cute.
18. The Quintessential Quintuplets (5-toubun no Hanayome)
Somewhat similar to We Never Learn, The Quintessential Quintuplets follows five sisters who were born on the same day, look more or less the same, and the only thing that distinguishes one from the other is their hair color and clothing sense.
Depending on your preferences, you may like one over the others, but they are all pretty likable. Then comes Fuutarou, he is a hardcore nerd who never ceases to get the top score in every exam. Though unfortunately, his family’s financial situation is in shambles.
One ordinary school day, he ends up getting into a mild argument with a transfer student, and then later that day comes across the irresistible opportunity to make five times the money as the market rate for tutoring a rich man’s daughters.
It’s the Quintuplets, and the girl who argued with him is among them. Not only that, all of them are on the verge of flunking. Studying? They want nothing to do with it. At least, most of them.See also: Top 75 Best Ecchi Harem Anime Hottest Series
19. My First Girlfriend is a Gal (Hajimete no Gal)
Say, you are an average-looking teenage guy, who doesn’t have much confidence, has plenty of insecurities, and continuously lets people get to you. Would you think you have a chance at scoring the popular girl? Probably not. This is why, when Junichi is forced into coming out of their shell because of his friends.
He ends up pulling off a bold confession and practically begs the beautiful Yukana Yame to be his girl. For the sake of losing his virginity, the man abandons his pride. Yakana is disgusted by his maneuver but ends up saying yes to his confession. And so, Junichi gets the popular girlfriend, a high-tier one at that, but little did he know, this was just the beginning of his high school romantic comedy.
As the man struggles to deal with his insecurities, more girls, in addition to his girlfriend, start becoming a prominent part of his everyday life.See also: Top 10 Anime Makeout That Stand Out
20. ORESUKI Are you the only one who loves me? (Ore wo Suki nano wa Omae dake ka yo)
The protagonist named Kisaragi is an average guy who’s under the false pretense that he is the main character, and this romantic comedy is soon about to begin.
As the second year of high school kicks in, he somehow ends up with two dates over the weekend, both of them with highly desirable popular girls. There is the student council president who wants him on Saturday, and then his childhood friend Aoi, he’ll have a date with her on Sunday. Almost as if the Universe has got his back.
Unfortunately, he soon realizes that neither of them like him, the only reason they invited him was so they can ask for his advice in trying to win his best friend. Just like that, he’s now stuck having to help two different girls win over the same guy.
But this is still just the beginning when the popular girl, Sumireko Sanshokuin, enters the scene and much to his surprise, she’s actually in love with him. As lies begin to pile up and missed standings follow, how will this story continue? Well, by now you probably know how it continues.
21. Dance with Devils
A young girl named Shiki Natsumezaka is a ‘good’ student in every sense of the word. She doesn’t slack off and never causes trouble for anyone. This is why it comes as a shock when the student council abruptly summons her for breaking the school rules.
The four guys at the student council are all really good-looking, they start interrogating her, but it doesn’t take long before she realizes how these guys might have an ulterior motive.
From that point, her life takes a dramatic shift, her mother gets kidnapped, and she is suddenly introduced to a world of vampires and devils. These supernatural creatures want a certain artifact, and she somehow happens to be a part of the puzzle.
Shiki doesn’t know what to do. Fortunately, her supposed brother comes back from abroad, but even he appears to be hiding something. Stuck between the enigma, Shiki is indecisive, though she also can’t help but feel attraction toward the handsome student council members.
As you can see, this anime is the Joker card on this list. Instead of the ‘anime where the popular girl falls in love with an unpopular guy,’ the roles are more or less reversed.
22. Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend
This anime takes the Otaku element to the next level. The main character named Tomoyo Aki is obsessed with anime and light novels, he takes up many part-time jobs all for the sake of buying anime stuff and action figures. It’s commendable.
Something sparks his interest, and he suddenly seeks to create a game, though, of course, he can’t really do much all by himself. So he makes his old friends join him. One is a hardcore Doujin creator while the other is a highly successful writer.
Together the unpopular guy and the popular gal will create a game. Now if only he can have that sweet inspiration flash before his eyes. We do have it, and a dunce beauty named Katou Megumi touches his heart in ways he can’t articulate. Tomoya decides that he’ll base the main character on her.
They try, but will they be able to make something good when they haven’t even experienced those feelings in their own lives?
23. Amagami SS
Out of all the anime on this list, Amagami SS is a particularly peculiar one because while this anime isn’t a harem, it deals with multiple love interests, and everyone gets their own ending. Finally, a ‘rom-com where no girl loses’ is what I’d like to call it. The story follows a guy named Junichi Tachibana, two years ago he had a date on Christmas Eve, but no matter how much he waited, she never came. Leaving him heartbroken and unsure about everything.
Now, in the present day, Junichi is finally starting to do fine again, there are many girls who’d like to go out with him. Plus, since this anime is an adaption of a Dating Sim. There is no main heroine, all of them are important and all of them get their own respective ending. I’d say, if you are tired of seeing your favorite girl lose, again and again, this might be the salvation.
24. Oreshura (Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru)
Not everyone has the romanticized idea of love. Some are skeptical, be it because of their past or current circumstances. Eita Kidou shares the same sentiment. Throughout his past, he never saw his parents love each other, eventually, his family dissolved, and he ended up becoming distant from the idea of love. He wants nothing to do with it.
Even as a high schooler, while his peers want the rose-colored high school life, he himself couldn’t care less. So he continues studying consistently all for the sake of one day becoming a doctor.
The most beloved girl in the entire school, Natsukawa also doesn’t like over-the-top relationships very much. She is tired of people confessing to her all the time and seeks a rest. When she realizes Eita doesn’t want a romantic relationship, she ends up asking him to be her pretend boyfriend. Of course, he declines but looks like she has gotten her hands on his journal. If he doesn’t play along, she’ll come out with his secrets and the embarrassment might as well kill him.
Now how will he cope with this relationship? Out of the four girls who are fighting for Eita’s love in the somewhat cringe anime, one girl with blushy pink hair gets his attention.
There you have it, folks. These were the Top Best Anime Where Popular Girl Falls In Love With Unpopular Guy. Hope you enjoyed our picks and found a few anime for yourself to watch and enjoy!Recommended: Best 15 Anime Where MC is Forced into a Relationship/Marriage