I need something to get the bad taste out of my brain...
Something romance-drama-y that has a happy ending.
Something that intelligently and maturely handles the subject matter of the show.
Preferably something with a non-standard type of relationship. Yuri, trio, friends-with-benefits, putting the relationship back together after cheating, whatever.
Something where the main guy doesn't wind up cheating with EVERY FEMALE CHARACTER IN THE SHOW...
White Album 2 was AAAAALMOST what I wanted...
Never before have I seen three people more suited to a 3-way relationship. But then it all fell apart instead. For no real reason.
I have no particular aversion to nudity or violence or anything like that. I loved Elfen Lied and Blood+, and I watched them for their character development.
I have no preference of modern slice-of-life vs. fantasy/sci-fi/supernatural.
I'd prefer it if it didn't pull the "constant accidentally falling in a girl's cleavage, then eek!-pervert!-punched-into-space!" crap all the time. But I can deal with it if I have to. I managed to get through the first season of To Love Ru to get to Motto and Darkness, after all.
I'd prefer anime, but manga works too.
Also, suggest as many things as possible, in case I've seen most of them already...
Anything to wash these train-wreck relationships away. Please!
Idk if it's what you're looking for but I'm gonna go and say Hatsukoi Limited, if you haven't watched that yet. It focuses on different love stories that are intertwined and it's just a really feel-good romance that made me smile a lot
Take it easy!
Ao Haru Ride
Kaichou wa Maid-sama
Kimi ni Todoke
Kimi no Na wa.
Nisekoi (manga finished not anime)
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu
Idk what you want me to write
Some good suggestions so far. A few others that you might consider:
- Natsuyuki Rendezvous: Love triangle between a widow, a part-time worker she hires, and the ghost of her dead husband. It's about grief and moving on. I loved parts of this show, but ultimately the ghost character started to grate on me; but I've known others who didn't mind him, in which case it's a beautiful, creative romance.
- Nagi no Asukara (A Lull in the Sea): Supernatural setting, tells a story about growing-up and about how our own self-identity and how that affects who we allow ourselves to fall in love with.
- Aishiteruze Baby: Playboy forced to take care of his kindergarten-aged cousin; learns about what it means to be an adult in the process, (which then opens the door for a real relationship). Romance slow developing, but great once it does.
- My Love Story! (Ore Monogatari): The main character here is usually the side-kick: absurdly big, silly, super-naive. The side-kick here is usually the main character: handsome, smart, tall, stoic.
All that said, personally when I need a "palate cleanser" anime, my go-to is Amagami SS/SS+. It's cute. It's short (each arc is 4 episodes--6 if you include the add-ons in SS+). There are a variety of girls to pick from (childhood friends, yandere, school idol, kouhai, etc.). It's all very vanilla. And happy endings are guaranteed.
Also, if you want manga, I can list a lot more that have interesting, non-traditional relationships with happy endings.
Hatsukoi Limited-- Sounds cool
Golden Time-- seen it, it was awesome
Ao Haru Ride-- seen it
Kaichou wa maid sama-- sounds interesting... might grate on my nerves depending on how they play the "guys vs. girls" part, though...
Kimi ni Todoke-- seen it
Kimi no Na Wa-- definitely sounds interesting... Spoiler free, how does it compare to Kokoro Connect? The two-sentence synopsis I googled is making me think of it for some reason...
Nisekoi-- Saw the anime. If the manga goes farther, that's awesome. Does the show follow the manga close enough to just pick up where it leaves off? Or should I start fresh?
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu-- watched a bit of it, it didn't really catch my interest. At the time it struck me as "Oreimo without the dating sims". Does it get better if I stick with it?
Toradora-- seen it.
Natsuyuki Rendezvous-- sounds awesome
Nagi no Asukara-- seen it
Aishiteruze baby-- sounds cool
My Love Story--I've actually been meaning to watch this, but forgot about it before I could add it to my queue, then forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me.
Amagami-- Sounds interesting, you never see the "adapted from dating sim" animes give the other girls routes any screen time.
Sure, manga works too, list it, and I'll have something to do when I finish all this anime...
First, to answer a couple of your questions:
Maid-Sama: Her dislike of guys isn't played up at all, other than some comic relief scenes about her trying to keep various idiots in line as school president. The bulk of the show is focused on the two mains: he falls in love quickly, she more slowly, both enjoy being around each other but also have reasons to keep each other at arms length. It's a good anime, and a great manga.
Nisekoi: the anime is a close adaptation, as far as it goes. I think it drops a couple side stories from the beginning, but nothing horribly consequential.
Nogizaka Haruka: Ultimately, whether you like it or not will depend on how you feel about the main couple; if you don't find them fun to watch, the anime is just okay. (Although any scene featuring Haruka's mother is hilarious...) But no, it doesn't improve any, really; the second season is a bit more "harem-y" (but only slightly), and there is a short OVA season that gives them their happy ending.
As for manga: (note: many of these are pretty adult in theme and content, but all have happy endings)
-- Umi no Misaki: guy takes the time to get to know the individuals in the harem!
-- Honeymoon Salad: love triangle about three scarred people clinging to each other: 20-something guy not fully over his first love, woman who has been in an abusive relationship, and the guy's first love who shows up again out of nowhere.
-- Little Girl (She is Young): Guy's relationship with his long-time gf is on the ropes; mysterious girl shows up to help. (Webtoon)
-- Nozoki Ana: Starts really dark, but gets better; about horny college guy, his cute neighbor, and the peephole between their apartments.
-- Orange Yane no Chiisana Ie: Manga version of "two divorcees with kids forced together, fall in love"; but done well.
-- Koi Kaze: The best incest manga you'll ever read: Guy attracted to HS girl, who turns out to be the sister he hasn't seen in years.
-- Ashita Dorobou: About guy reconnecting with the "one who got away"... thanks to some alien intervention.
-- Uwagaki: Boy falls for girl. Girl has boyfriend, so rejects him. Girl gets cloned. Given that, it's surprisingly thoughtful, if silly.
-- Hitorimi Haduki-san To: Super-naive 20-something office lady gets first boyfriend; her highschool sister's innocent classmate.
-- Bonnouji: Dumped office lady finds solace with nerdy neighbor, and his crazy apartment.
-- Toshiue no Hito: Impotent college guy falls for 30-year old who looks 15, and has plenty of baggage of her own.