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Paranormal Romance

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Paranormal Romance is the subgenre of romance where, instead of being a Fantasy or Science Fiction story with a romantic subplot, the relationship is brought to the front and the heroine finds her true love when supernatural forces or sci-fi Applied Phlebotinum are involved. (For this genre, what's "paranormal" is defined as broadly as possible.)

So instead of the motley cast of misfits heading out on a journey to slay the Evil Overlord with two characters suffering from UST, the heroine gets zapped back in time. She's lost, lonely and confused with no known way of getting back. To add to her worries, she doesn't realize she has romantic feelings toward that man standing over there with the top hat and monocle.

Using sci-fi and fantasy to create an exotic location for your romance story is fine, provided that the budding romance between the two lovers is the main focus, rather than the magical or scientific Applied Phlebotinum. The story can even take place in the Standard Fantasy Setting. Setting it in any established fantasy or science fiction universe is also fine, provided it's just Fan Fiction, or you have permission from that franchise's copyright holders. With permission from Paramount, for instance, you could set a paranormal romance in a Star Trek Extended Universe novel.

That being said, Paranormal Romance can be combined with almost any other genre out there. These stories can sometimes blur the line between focusing on the relationship and focusing on the setting, plot, and action.

Common plots include:

Perhaps you've noticed that up to this point, we've been assuming that the more "normal" character in the pairing is a woman. Because most of this genre is marketed towards a female audience (and often written by women), this is usually the case, with a relatable heroine falling for a hunky supernatural guy. However, plenty of exceptions exist: sometimes it's the guy who is the normal protagonist. Sometimes it's a queer love story and they're both women, or both men, or maybe one (or both) are non-binary. And sometimes it's the more supernaturally-aligned character who is the protagonist.

Compare Urban Fantasy, which is a (very) similar genre but without the focus on romance; A common joke holds that the difference between the two genres is that Urban Fantasy has a half-naked woman on the cover, where Paranormal Romance has a half-naked man on the cover. Compare Fantastic Romance, which refers to love stories that may involve time-travel or dimension-hopping.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Inuyasha is a borderline example; it's arguable whether the A-plot is Kagome and Inuyasha's budding Reincarnation Romance or the quest for the Shikon Jewel.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live Action 


    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Monsterhearts encourages this, since its characters are all teenagers and supernatural beings.


    Visual Novels 


    Web Videos