As some of you might be aware, a little day called Valentine’s Day is coming up this week. A day for women to torment men while men spend their entire paychecks on gifts for them… or at least, that’s what I was always led to believe. Apparently it has something to do with love and romance… so I figured this would be a good time to discuss some of the best love stories anime and gaming has to offer!
Final Fantasy 8 (Game)
Final Fantasy 8 may not be my favourite in the series, it has a few flaws that can get in the way of the gameplay… but it’s one crucial strength is the core love story within. Squall, despite being a parody of a character, has a surprisingly touching romance building throughout the game with our female protagonist Rinoa.
This strong, well-written love story is often cited as being the game’s best feature and is the main reason the game has as many advocates as it does. Some even rank Final Fantasy 8 as the best in the series, mostly on the back of this story. It’s certainly worth enduring some of the flaws of the game to see it.
The World is Still Beautiful (Anime)
The World is Still Beautiful is one of those anime that are easy to underestimate. It starts off with a fairly silly episode, continues on and provides you with a male protagonist who is almost unlikable but somehow the female character is supposed to like… and it just doesn’t seem right at first. But then you get into it, and you realize how much depth these characters have.
Both Levi and Nike are some of the best characters I’ve seen in any medium in a long time, and their story of coming to know, understand, and eventually love each other is one of the best love stories I’ve ever seen. Oh, and the music… if you don’t fall in love with Nike’s song, you have no soul.
The Codex Alera (Book Series)
I was having trouble thinking of a third to put here – not because there weren’t any other romantic stories but rather because few lived up to what I was aiming for with this. I wanted a love story that showed true love – love that built over time and wasn’t just perfect. And the main characters of the Codex Alera go through that. Sure Tavi and Kitai are bound to one another, but the way they come to know each other over time, and the humour that exists between them, creates an endearing character story that exists amid an incredibly epic story of a world in danger.
But, what makes Alera even more special… is that there are several love stories that develop alongside the protagonists. Each of these stories shows the same development, and – to be honest – I would have to say that one of the other couples has an even better love story than the protagonists. It’s not a romance novel, but the author certainly knows the value of a good romance to help enhance your attachment to the cast of a story and build suspense.