In celebration of it being “Kiss Day” or “Kisu no hi” in Japan on May 23, 2022, I decided to make a list of the Top 10 best anime kisses of all time.
On May 23, 1946 the first ever Japanese movie to include a kiss scene was released. My, how scandalous! The movie was titled Hatachi no Seishun. I haven’t gotten to watch this movie but apparently the kiss actually happens through a pane of glass!
The list that I’ve come up with is for kisses that had the greatest impact on the lives of the characters and the series overall. There are lots of cute anime kisses but some kisses saved the world, started relationships that would continue on to their next lives, caused Persocoms (humanoid computers) to develop free will and the ability to fall in love, and some kisses that shippers had to wait over 12 years to see.
At the end of this list, I will also include some honorable mentions that may include a romantic anime kiss you think I may have missed. The kisses in the honorable mention section didn’t necessarily change the fabric of time, but they definitely made me swoon or squeal loudly when they occurred in the anime. Make sure to let me know in the comments below if you think I’m missing an anime kiss that you think should be included in this list.
10. Darien and Serena – Sailor Moon (1991)
For many Westerners growing up in the 90s Sailor Moon was their first exposure to the world of anime. The budding romance between the heroine Sailor Moon and her protector, the suave gentleman in a mask, Tuxedo Mask, captivated anime audiences, and had them rooting for the couple to get together.
Outside of battle against the Negaverse, Darien didn’t recognize Serena as being the reincarnation of the princess he loved long ago and only saw her as a clumsy high school girl with a strange hair-style he made fun of by calling her “meat-ball head” in the English version of the show and “Dango-head” in the original Japanese.
The fact that we knew that Serena was in love with Tuxedo Mask and that Tuxedo Mask was in fact the boy who always gave her a hard time, Darien, really made us root for her to eventually win his heart. Especially, when they decided to make one of the other Sailor Scouts Darien’s girlfriend. Ugh!
Although, Sailor Moon fell in love with Tuxedo Mask while they battled Negamonsters together, (who wouldn’t fall in love with a guy who could defeat his enemies with a single red rose?) Darien didn’t return those feelings until he found out Sailor Moon’s true identity as the reincarnation of the Moon Princess he’d fallen in love with in his past life.
It was during their past life that Princess Serena and Prince Darien shared a very memorable first kiss at a fairy-tale like ball. This sweet kiss lit the spark of their undying love that would end up transcending time. Unfortunately, for Princess Serena she was tipsy at the time and believes that kissing Prince Darien was just a dream from her heart.
9. Subaru and Emilia – Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World
Natsuki Subaru is the hero of Re: Zero, who falls in love with a mysterious half-elf girl named Emilia, when he is transported to another world called Lugnica, and given the ability to Return to Death by a witch named Satella. He was a hikikomori back when he was living in Japan, so at first is socially awkward. Subaru overcomes many obstacles so that he can finally become Emilia’s knight.
Subaru fell in love with Emilia due to the fact that she was the first person to be nice to him after he’d been transported to a strange, new world. After that, he devoted himself to protecting her, even if the only way to do that was to repeatedly go back in time by dying over and over again (he’s died 17 times so far in all the anime series) until his own mental sanity began to fray at the edges.
In the beginning, Emilia appeared to be mostly confused by Subaru’s flirting, but she slowly began to develop feelings for him over time as he continued to come through for her and even began to show jealousy if Subaru showed interest in other girls (like Rem).
Subaru’s love for Emilia caused him to grow as a person and become more reliable and less impulsive. In season 2, we get to see that Emilia owes some of her own growth to Subaru when she begins to doubt herself.
In a touching scene, Subaru lists Emilia’s faults but then confesses his love to her. Basically, he means that even if she won’t believe in herself he will always believe in her. Then, they share a tender, sweet kiss that is less about the romance and more about the fact that they are true comrades or as Luffy would say “nakama”. They will be there for each other through thick and thin.
8. King and Diane – Seven Deadly Sins
King and Diane are both members of a mercenary group called the Seven Deadly Sins. In the beginning of the series we see King being secretly in love with Diane, but too shy to confess his feelings.
Diane, on the other hand, is seen as having a crush on Meliodus. King also shows his love when he comforts Diane anytime she is hurt or upset, or doing things he doesn’t like to do as long as it will make Diane happy.
At one point, when Diane loses a battle and is near death, King is willing to use all his powers at the risk of his own life in order to protect her.
It made us wonder why King was so in love with Diane in the first place. Apparently, more than 500-years ago, when Diane was a child she found King when he was injured and nursed him back to heath. The two of them developed a friendship and King looked after Diane for 500 years.
When he encounters Diane a decade later she has matured into an “adolescent” and he falls in love with her now that he sees her as a woman, who is still cute. However, Diane is suffering from amnesia and doesn’t remember King or the time they spent together when she was younger.
After defeating Helbram, Diane regains her memories and realizes that she’s loved King all along. Diane initiates a kiss that causes King’s entire face to turn red. It’s a very unique yet touching kiss to watch since King is in his human form and Diane is in her giantess form at the time.
At first, King believes the kiss was just a dream until Diane explains that the kiss was real. With how long we had to wait for Diane to get a clue we can all sympathize with King’s inability to accept that the kiss finally happened.
7. Kyon and Haruhi – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Kyon and Haruhi have a love-hate relationship in the beginning of the series. Although, Kyon helps Haruhi to create the SOS Brigade he finds her to be annoying, reckless and selfish.
Haruhi’s bossy personality makes sense when it’s revealed she’s in fact a “god”. Kyon complains about Haruhi’s unreasonable demands, but he still ends up helping Haruhi with her strange projects, which he secretly finds entertaining. At times, Kyon goes along with Haruhi’s whims even though he doesn’t really agree with what she’s doing out of loyalty.
They eventually become friends even if neither would admit to this aloud and Haruhi is even able to know what Kyon is thinking at times. Kyon feels close enough to Haruhi that he calls her by her first name and without any honorifics (this is a big thing in Japan!).
It takes Haruhi mysteriously disappearing one day for Kyon to realize that he is fond of her and misses her. In the episode titled The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon is able to admit to himself the depths of his feelings for Haruhi when he risks his life to save her, shielding her body from a fatal fall, and endearingly calling her “my only boss”. Yes, in the end, the boy is whipped.
The epic kiss that Kyon and Haruhi share ends up saving the entire world. I guess that’s what happens when you kiss “god”. The kiss takes place during a scene where Haruhi’s time space altering power activates and reality as we know it is on the verge of collapse with the added threat of blue energy giants born of the reality shifts.
While Kyon and Haruhi are being chased by the blue giants Kyon asks himself what Haruhi really means to him and realizes that he loves her. Her abruptly turns to her and kisses Haruhi. With Haruhi’s emotions stabilized through Kyon’s love for her the world is stabilized as well.
Kyon’s definitely got game. Who else can say they’ve kissed God?
6. Hideki and Chi – Chobits
In the world of Chobits computers have evolved into humanoid computers that are called Persocons. The story centers around Hideki Motosuwa, who wishes he could have a Persocon, but can’t possibly afford one.
As luck would have it, he stumbles upon a Persocon that was thrown away. When he turns her on the only thing she can say is “Chii” and he decides to name her thusly.
As the story progresses and Chi demonstrates to have much better performance that the average Persocon, it’s revealed that she is a Chobit – a type of advanced Persocon that is self-aware and has free will along with the ability to fall in love.
Things come to a head when Chi is kidnapped by a man named Kojima. Kojima tries to hack Chi’s system and is impressed when after an hour of trying to he is unable to do so. When Kojima starts to put the moves on Chi, the consciousness of Chi’s sister that lives inside of her, Freya, awakens and comes to her rescue.
Freya takes over Chi’s body temporarily and restrains Kojima using several wires. (Apparently, Freya is into bondage).
It is at this moment that Hideki and his friend Shinbo arrive. Freya confronts Hideki and tells him that Chi only wants one person, the person that is meant for her. Freya also asks Hideki what the most precious thing to him and to people is, and says that once this is figured out then maybe Chi won’t have to lose “it”, which is clearly a reference to “love.”
After that, Freya kisses Hideki sweetly, and he only kisses back because he thinks it is Chi.
This kiss is particularly memorable because of the intense mood of the scene and the dramatic music in the background. This is also a turning point in the series as clearly Hideki is going to have to confront his feelings about Chi soon or else he might end up losing her.
Later, when Chi finally asks Hideki if he loves her, he admits that he does and Chi connects to all of the Persocons in the world to let them know that she found “the one” and gives them the ability to fall in love themselves.
5. Inuyasha and Kagome – Inuyasha: The Final Act
The story begins when a normal middle school girl named Kagome ends up falling into a well that transports her to Feudal Japan. She soon encounters a legendary half-demon named Inuyasha, who was sealed by the priestess and guardian of the Shikon no Tama, Kikyou.
When Kagome accidentally sets Inuyasha free (but not before caressing his adorable dog ears) at first they really don’t get along. Inuyasha is a classic male tsundere – he acts all tough on the outside, but is actually a good guy deep down. Due to the fact that Inuyasha usually acts cold towards her it takes Kagome a while to come to terms with the fact that she’s fallen in love with him.
And it takes Inuyasha even longer and a life and death situation before he finally admits to himself that he loves Kagome (and not Kikyou who she was in her past life).
In Inuyasha: The Final Act, after Naraku’s defeat Kagome is stuck in a realm that exists within the Shikon Jewel. The jewel tries to trick Kagome into making a wish that will cause her to remain trapped inside of it forever. Instead of asking for a wish, Kagome tells the jewel that she prefers to wait for Inuyasha to come and save her.
Meanwhile, Inuyasha battles demons as he desperately tries to reach Kagome, and calls out her name, but she is unable to hear him. Finally, Inuyasha sees a glimmer of light and knowing that Kagome is on the other side uses his Tessaiga to cut through realities into the realm of the Shikon Jewel.
Inuyasha is overcome with relief that he won’t lose Kagome and filled with joy when he finally finds her. Inuyasha immediately embraces her, and then they share their first passionate kiss that finally confirms that they both love each other. Inuyasha and Kagome shippers had to wait 193 episodes for this epic kiss.
4. Guts and Casca – Berserk
Guts, a mercenary that calls himself The Black Swordsman, ends up joining a group of mercenaries called The Band of the Hawk that is led by an intelligent, ambitious and ruthless man named Griffith.
Together, Guts, Griffith and a female swordswoman named Casca battle their way into the royal court. Things take a turn for the worse when Griffith pushes his luck and decides to sleep with a princess. Griffith is captured and mercilessly tortured for his actions.
In the beginning, Casca only has eyes for Griffith and is jealous of Griffith’s sudden interest in Guts as a warrior. But as time goes on Casca and Guts become friends as they continue to watch each other’s backs in battle. Casca starts to fall in love with Guts when he acknowledges her as a capable warrior – something that Griffith never really did.
At one point, due to the fact that Griffith was captured, Casca is leading the Band of the Hawk on her own and is feeling burned out as the band continues their lives on the run as fugitives from the law. Casca’s path crosses with Guts again when he aids the band in fending off a raid led by Silat. Casca drags Guts off to speak to him alone and fights him out of anger for him abandoning her for a year.
After losing the fight, Casca tries to take her own life in order to leave the Band of the Hawk to Guts. Guts swiftly saves Casca, hurting himself in the process, and proceeds to comfort her.
Casca realizes in that moment that Guts is always getting hurt and spilling his blood while either saving or protecting her, and her heart suddenly softens towards him. They finally share a kiss as both acknowledge their feelings for one another.
This kiss scene is extremely memorable, not only for the dramatic medieval music in the background, but also due to the feelings that have been building up between Casca and Guts for so long. The sexual tension between the two of them was so thick it could have been cut with a knife!
It’s extremely satisfying when we see them both get over themselves and kiss since such moments of peace are rare in the bloody world of Berserk.
3. Kirito and Asuna – Sword Art Online
The story begins when Kirito gets trapped inside of a Virtual MMORPG called Sword Art Online. The only way to escape is to “clear” the game by climbing all 100 floors that exist in the floating castle of Aincrad.
The stakes are high since death in the game means death in reality. Kirito plays as a solo player in the beginning, but eventually teams up with another skilled female gamer named Asuna.
It is Asuna who starts to develop feelings for Kirito first and this is shown when she gets very worried about him after he defeats the Gleam Eyes Boss Monster using a unique two sword wielding skill that only Kirito possesses. Asuna hugs Kirito after the event, showing how much she cares about him and how much she was worried about him.
Sometime after the Gleam Eyes incident, Asuna is having trouble with the Knights of the Blood Oath, which is the guild she belongs to, when they assign a bodyguard to her. Asuna tries to escape her stalker-ish bodyguard, Kuradeel, with Kirito’s help much to the bodyguard’s chagrin, and unknowingly Kirito ends up making Kuradeel his enemy.
After Kirito is forced to join the Knights of the Blood Oath he’s sent on a mandatory training session with Kuradeel, who takes that opportunity to launch a sneak attack on Kirito and tries to kill him. Luckily, Asuna rushes to Kirito’s aid and is just in time to stop him. Kuradeel pretends to surrender and when he attacks Asuna after she lowers her rapier, Kirito is forced to intercede and kills Kuradeel using the sword skill Embracer.
After both of them narrowly avoiding death, and overcome by the shock and fear of almost losing each other, they finally share a tender kiss. Soon after, Kirito decides that he and Asuna should get married, which affects the rest of the series as a whole since (despite how many beautiful girls Kirito ends up meeting) his heart belongs to Asuna.
2. Gene and Melfina – Outlaw Star
The story begins with Gene Starwind and his buddy Jim Hawking running an odd jobs business on a backwater planet called Centinel 3. Their lives are turned upside down, however, when a woman named Hilda hires them for a seemingly harmless job as her bodyguard.
Unfortunately, Hilda stole a bio android named Melfina that different pirate groups and the space forces are both after. Gene is thrust into the middle of a mystery he doesn’t fully understand with people trying to kidnap Melfina and use her to find a place called the Galactic Leyline. Gene is forced to leave Centinel 3 in a stolen ship called the Outlaw Star.
It turns out that Melfina acts as the navigation system for the ship. While on the run from the pirates and space forces they pick up some unlikely allies in the form of an assassin and a cat-girl alien.
In the beginning, Gene’s brazen behavior is a bit off-putting for Melfina, but she decides to place her trust in him anyways.
Later Melfina admits to feeling safest in Gene’s presence and even falls asleep against his shoulder showing just how much she trusts him. At one point, Gene promises Melfina that they will discover the truth behind her identity and the Galactic Leyline together. When Gene, Melfina and the others finally reach the Galactic Leyline that’s said to give endless knowledge and power to those who reach it, she is immediately captured by their enemies.
Melfina begins to doubt whether or not Gene will keep his promise to her, but decides to continue believing in him. Melfina’s trust is rewarded when she uses the power of the leyline to save everyone’s lives and is able to summon Gene into a realm controlled by the Galactic Leyline in order to speak with him.
When Melfina asks Gene what his heart’s desire is, he responds that he just wants her to go back with him and that he loves her. Melfina tells Gene that that is what she wants too, and they finally kiss. The dramatic rock music in the background makes this touching moment even more memorable.
1. Naruto and Hinata – The Last: Naruto the Movie
The story begins when the ninjas in Naruto’s village realize that the moon is beginning to fall and that at the rate it’s going it is doomed to plummet to the Earth. During the chaos, Hinata’s younger sister Hanabi is kidnapped by a mysterious man named Toneri Ootsutsuki. Naruto, Hinata, Sai, Shikamaru and Sakura team up on a special mission to rescue Hinabi and stop the moon from falling.
It is during this mission that Naruto’s feelings for Hinata finally begin to change. Hinata has been in love with Naruto since they were kids, but Naruto was completely oblivious to her feelings the entire time.
Hinata tried to confess her feelings to Naruto once when she tried to rescue him from the villain Pain, but this confession seemed to go over Naruto’s head at the time since he acted like it never happened. Perhaps, this was in part due to the fact he was still under the delusion that he loved Sakura.
During the mission to save Hanabi, Naruto starts to grow more curious about Hinata and what she’s really feeling. He suddenly realizes how beautiful she is when they have a quiet moment with each other on a balcony. It’s in this precise moment that Naruto sees Hinata as a woman for the very first time.
After Naruto suddenly sees Hinata in a new light he begins to realize that his feelings might not be one-sided. Hinata has been knitting a scarf that Naruto begins to suspect is for him.
When Hinata is kidnapped by Toneri, at first, he misunderstands the situation and grows jealous thinking Hinata left of her own free will. Once he realizes that Hinata just played along with Toneri so she could get closer to her sister he realizes that he doesn’t want to lose Hinata and that he cares for her deeply.
After Toneri is defeated by Hinata and Naruto combining their powers, they share a touching moment together bathed in moonlight, and have their first kiss. As a loyal NaruHina shipper this was a very fulfilling moment that was 12 years in the making.
I always knew that once Naruto realized how cute Hinata was and noticed that she’s been in love with him for years that he would realize he had feelings for her too. Naruto has never been the sharpest crayon in the box, but we all love him anyways.
My honorable mentions for best anime kisses:
- Victor and Yuri – Yuri on Ice
- JP and Sonoshee – Redline movie
- Yusuke and Keiko – Yu Yu Hakusho
- Kazehaya and Sawako – Kimi ni Todoke
- Gourry and Lina Inverse – Slayers
- Lelouch and C2 – Code Geass
- Ko and Toru – Fruits Basket
- Hori and Miyamura – Hori-san to Miyamura-kun
- Risa and Otani – Lovely Complex
Just to make a few fellow fan girls squeal here is the Victor X Yuri kiss: