Bridgerton is one of the top shows on Netflix right now. A mixture of Downtown Abbey and Gossip Girl, Bridgerton is centered around a family of eight children trying to find their romantic partners during the Regency Era of London. But at only eight episodes, it definitely leaves viewers wanting more. To fill this void, here are a few historical romance anime with the quintessential “Bridgerton glamour.”
Snow White with the Red Hair
Sorata Akizuki’s Snow White with the Red Hair is a love story between a court herbalist named Shirayuki and a prince named Zen Wistaria. Shirayuki has beautiful red hair rare in the kingdom of Tanbarun which, unfortunately, gets her noticed by Prince Raji, who demands she become his concubine. But Shirayuki refuses the prince’s advances, cuts her hair and escapes to the kingdom of Clarines. Along the way, she befriends Prince Zen, saving him after he's poisoned by an apple meant for Shirayuki. Amazed by her herbalist skills, Prince Zen hires her to become a court herbalist in his kingdom.
The series focuses on a romance between two individuals from different social classes. Social class is an issue within romantic relationships, such as the relationship between the eldest Bridgerton son and viscount, Anthony, and the opera singer, Siena Rosso.
Yona of the Dawn
Yona of the Dawn is a fantasy shojo series by Mizuho Kusanagi. Yona was once the princess of Kouka, but after Su-won staged a coup d’état, Yona and her bodyguard, Hak, flee to Fugga, the capital of the Wind Tribe. Hak’s adopted grandfather tells Yona the myth of the Crimson Dragon King and his four Dragon Warriors, leading her to go on a journey seeking these warriors so they can assist her in saving her country.
Yona is much like Bridgerton's main heroine, Daphne Bridgerton. Both Yona and Daphne grew up in a sheltered and overprotective household, and so they don’t know much about the world around them until they ventured outside the castle walls.
The Earl and the Fairy
The Earl and the Fairy is based on a light novel series written by Mizue Taki and illustrated by Asako Takaboshi. Lydia Carlton has a strong interest in fairies, hence why her nickname: “Fairy Doctor.” Lydia becomes the advisor of Edgar J.C. Ashenbert, also known as the “Legendary Blue Knight Earl.” They go on a sea voyage to London to obtain a treasured sword that has been in his family for generations.
The Earl and the Fairy is set in the Victorian Era (1837-1901) when Queen Victoria reigned England. Bridgerton is set during the Regency Era of England (1811-1820), which was the time when King George III was unfit to rule due to his illness. Although they aren’t accurate portrayals, both series give viewers a glimpse of English life during those historical periods.
Romeo x Juliet
Romeo x Juliet takes William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to new heights. Like the play, this anime is a love story between two people from enemy households: Montague and Capulet. Juliet Capulet plans to overthrow Leontes Montagu after the latter's coup killed every one of the ruling House Capulet in the past. However, Juliet meets Romeo, Prince Montague’s son, and they both fall in love with each other. Romeo is a kind-hearted man who opposes his father’s tyranny, just like Juliet.
Romeo and Bridgerton’s Simon Basset, known as the Duke of Hastings, have fathers that are obsessed with power and nobility. Both of these characters do not want to follow their fathers’ footsteps, but instead, they decide to pave a different path for themselves.
Tong Ling Fei
Tong Ling Fei or Psychic Princess, is a Chinese animated series. Qian Yunxi is the oldest daughter of the prime minister, forced to live in the mountains because of her "abnormal" nature. She takes the place of her younger sister as Ye Youming’s bride. In the beginning, Ye Youming was cold and distant towards her, but he eventually falls for her.
Ye Youming’s character is similar to Simon Basset’s. Both of them are aloof and reserved when interacting with others. In the beginning, Simon and Ye Youming were cold towards their lovers, but once they started to get to know them, they slowly opened up their hearts and became kind and affectionate.
Saiunkoku Monogatari is an anime based on the light novels written by Sai Yukino and illustrated by Kairi Yura. It follows the story of a hardworking young woman named Shurei Hong. She comes from a noble family that has fallen to hard times. To make ends meet, she works at a temple school. Shurei dreams of passing the imperial examinations and becoming a court official, even though it is forbidden to women. She became allowed to work in the courts when she gets hired to join the imperial household as Emperor Ryuuki Shi’s consort and teaches him how to be a proper ruler.
Shurei Hong is similar to the character Eloise Bridgerton. They are both intellectuals with little to no interest in marriage. They have ambitious dreams of pursuing education but cannot do so because of their status as women. In both series, Shurei and Eloise envy men because they have more freedom and power. Yet, their status as women doesn’t stop them from pursuing their goals.
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! is an anime series based on a Japanese light novel series written by Satoru Yamaguchi and illustrated by Name Hidaka. The story is centered on the life of Catarina Claes, the young daughter of a noble family. One day, she accidentally hits her head and retrieves the memories of her past life. She realizes that she has been reincarnated into the villainess character of an otome dating sim game called Fortune Lover. To prevent a doom route from happening to her, Catarina becomes friends with all the other characters, but she doesn’t realize that her changed attitude has some surprising consequences.
Catarina is similar to Daphne in Bridgerton because as women, they are trying to obtain the best life for themselves, even if it is through marriage or romantic relationships. Catarina is kind to everyone to prevent being exiled or killed, but it also led her to have many potential romantic partners. Daphne is searching for a marriage partner; thus, she acts like a proper lady to men at the courting parties and debutante balls, so that the men see her as a potential wife.