Shoujou is a genre that has almost every trope imaginable. Childhood friends to lovers? Fake dating? Check. Love triangles? Forbidden romance? Check! In today’s article we’re exploring a trope that has mixed opinions and is often seen as a teenage fantasy while growing up- the infamous student-teacher love story. While it is important to remember that romantic relationships involving an adult and a minor are illegal and punishable by the law, shoujo doesn’t take the hit with the many popular, swoon-worthy romances it puts out in this trope. Here are 20 of the most popular and loved anime that explore this dynamic.
Top 20 Student-Teacher Love Anime
1. Garden of Words
Perhaps the only anime that truly explores the emotional depth and progression of intimacy between a student and a teacher, Garden of words follows the story of a lonely Takao Akizuki and a mysterious woman he encounters in a garden. Two detached souls meet and the movie sees their repeated trysts in the same garden as they move forward and struggle to understand the meaning of their lives. The confirmation of their relationship is ambiguous but the feelings they experience are conveyed silently and hopefully.
2. I My Me! Strawberry Eggs
This romedy is a lot more light-hearted and follows the adventures of a male teacher cross-dressing as a woman to work in a sexist school. However, his female persona attracts the romantic interest and attention of students of all genders! Amawa Hibiki struggles to hide his secret and work with the students, all the while turning down his student’s pursuits and comedic proposals.
3. Why The Hell Are You Here, Teacher!?
A typical slice-of-life comedy, this anime doesn’t take itself too seriously and definitely edges more into the ecchi department so more prudent fans, be aware. 17 year old Ichirou Satou finds himself tangled up in various perverted situations with his teacher, Kana Kojima and the anime doesn’t shy away from the over-the-top fanservice. Three other female teachers also fall in love with their students and face the consequent messes of these forbidden feelings.
4. Hitorijime My Hero
For the fujoshis and fudanshis, Hitorijime My Hero is the perfect fit. Masahiro Setagawa is a middle schooler is bullied and used as an errand boy for a local gang, unable to stop the abuse his predicament is resolved by the entry of Kosuke Ooshiba, only to find out the man is his best friend’s older brother now attending their schooler as their teacher. With an array of gang fights, teen hormones and the entry of a childhood love interest for Setagawa’s best friend- the story is dramatic yet paced slow enough for a good binge.
5. This Boy Suffers From Crystallization
Yet another BL, this anime spins out a fantastical element where protagonist Tamari Ayumu suffers from a painful condition that causes crystals to grow out of his body whenever he is anxious or depressed. However, the entry of his crystal-loving homeroom teacher Kouya Onihara sparks a romantic flame between the two, although the teacher tries to evade these emotions at every turn.
6. Kodomo no Jikan
This anime sparked major backlash for its lolicon elements, although that didn’t stop it from gaining a dedicated fanbase. The story follows an aggressive elementary girl Rin who pursues her affection for her teacher Aoki without regard to the damage their relationship and the rumors of her actions can cause for Aoki.
7. Onegai Teacher
Kusanagi Kei is a typical high school student living with his aunt and uncle, that is until a female alien crashes into his life and assumes the role of his school teacher. Their bizarre encounter leads to a blossoming relationship which they try their best to keep secret, only for the school head to discover them and force them into marriage!
8. Nobunaga Teacher’s Young Bride
Middle school teacher Nobunaga has always dreamed of a confession from a beautiful girl but when it comes to him, he doesn’t expect it to be in the form of 14-year-old Kichou. Having arrived from the Sengoku era, she mistakes him for her husband and demands he have a child with her. This odd twist of fate keeps Nobunaga on his feet and Kichou forever running after him.
9. 25-Year-Old High School Girl
While the student-teacher trope is steeped in criticism for its obvious pedophilic elements, this anime manages to avoid the issue by injecting in place 25-year-old Hana Natori who is tasked with going to school in place of her cousin. She works up the nerve to see it through but is discovered on her first day by former high school classmate Okito Kanae who now works as a world history teacher.
10. Kuzu no Honkai
Kuzu no Honkai or Scum’s wish takes a different turn to one-sided affection. Hanabi Yasuraoka and Mugi Awaya are both students in love with two different teachers but when said two teachers begin dating, they take comfort in each other and entertain the idea of dating. Although not directly a student-teacher romance anime, Kuzu no Honkai does explore their emotions and understanding of a taboo relationship in unforgiving detail.
While shoujou doesn’t typically have action, Negima turns the expectations around. Set in a fantasy world, Negima is a ten-year-old wizard invited to teach a class of 31 rambunctious girls in a Japanese academy before he can assume his rightful position of Magister Magi. His students treat him more of a playmate than a teacher due to his friendly disposition. Due to his age, the implied romance scenes are played off as awkward pranks but there’s no denying a certain student’s love for him.
12. Okusama wa Joushikousei
Okusama wa Joushikousei doesn’t play around with the waiting game. 17-year-old Asami Onohara has a secret, she’s married to her physics teacher. Despite their status, her father forbids any physical activities between her and her husband and Asami faces many obstacles on her path to balancing school and married life.
13. Junjou Romantica
This BL is filled with large age-gap relationships so it comes as no surprise that one of them would be between a student and teacher. Hiroki Kamijou is a university professor of classic literature in the middle of nursing a broken heart, but the arrival of his student Nowaki causes him to slowly open up his heart more as he relearns what it means to trust.
14. Yuru Yuri
Let’s take a break from BL and give the yuri-lovers some attention. Himedanshis and himejoshis will be pleased to know that popular GL Yuru Yuri has a student-teacher relationship on the side. This eccentric comedy has a side couple in the form of quiet student president Rise Matsumoto who serves as a test subject and the object of affection to her science teacher, Nana Nishigaki.
15. Domestic na Kanojo
Domestic girlfriend doesn’t shy away from taboo. It starts out with high schooler Natsuo Fujii’s unrequited love for his teacher Hina, a woman he hesitantly attempts to forget about by agreeing to bed Rui, a girl he meets at a mixer. The two part ways only for both Hina and Rui to show up as his new step-sisters when his mother decides to his dismay, to marry their father. How do you live as a family with your teacher crush and the girl you lost your first time to?
16. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei takes out the romantic spin familiar to shoujo and instead inserts Nozomi Itoshiki, a mentally ill pessimistic teacher surrounded by students living mysterious lives. The story follows his own struggles with anxiety as well as getting dragged into the messes his students make, ultimately resulting in him becoming closer to them.
Not all student-teacher relationships need to be romantic, some can just be pure fluff! Such is the case for the troublemaker /Maui triplets at an elementary school. Greatly fascinated by their new teacher Satoshi Yabe, they quickly latch onto him for attention and clumsily aid him in his quest to romance the school’s nurse. This slice-of-life is heartwarming and pleasing for any viewer who needs a stress release.
18. My Matchmaking Partner is a Student and Troublemaker
Nano Saikawa is a dedicated teacher with no time for romance but with her father’s friend willing to introduce her to his son, she decides to take up the chance. The date goes well and a heated night ensues only for Nano to discover the man was her troublemaker student in disguise of his older brother. Whatever will she make of this sticky, illicit situation?
19. Homeroom Affairs
A shoujo of the older days, Homeroom Affairs follows the idealistic professor of a girls school and then trouble he runs into in his attempts to subjugate a particularly wild student. Seductive and cunning, Miyako refuses to fall into her teacher’s line of expectations and instead enjoys riling him up in day-to-day situations, the 90s truly did not hold back on their ecchi!
20. Maison Ikkoku
Not a teacher, but a manager, Kyoko Otonashi runs a normal boarding house called Maison Ikkoku. Her residents on the other hand, are anything but normal. With the newest suitor for her heart after her late husband’s death, Kyoko begins to develop feelings for Yuusake Godai but guards her heart in the belief that no man can equal to whom she loved first. Fortunately for Godai, his neighbors are all but set to help him win their landlady’s cold heart.
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