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Reincarnation Romance

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A second chance for these mooncrossed lovers.
"It's almost like I knew this man from another life
Like back then maybe I was his husband
And maybe he was my wife..."
India.Arie, "The Truth"

You know the drill. "A love so strong it conquered time!" (and took no prisoners!)

Two people love each other so deeply, and are tied by the Red String of Fate so closely, that they will meet and fall in love every time they reincarnate, lifetime after lifetime.

This is a very old trope. It is common in stories for the Shōjo Demographic and Eastern romance, where belief in reincarnation is more prevalent. This is sometimes used in Western stories to give Star-Crossed Lovers a second, more successful go after things go south in the story, an alternative to Together in Death for making a Downer Ending into the good kind of ambiguous ending.

It can get interesting if the genders reverse, or only one of theirs does. Infidelity is usually a complete non-issue; their love is so strong they may not even date at all until they meet their eternal better half... unless their reincarnating romance also tends to fall into the same bad habits. Things can get wonky if one of them is or becomes immortal: they end up having to wait decades or even centuries for their loved one to return in a strange form of Mayfly–December Romance. Only very rarely will one or the other honestly fall in love with a third person.


Even more complications arise if one of the two has been brought Back from the Dead via a Resurrected Romance, rather than through reincarnation.

Compare Amnesiac Lover, Reincarnation Friendship, and Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment. See also Eternal Love, which describes a different kind of very long-term relationship between immortals, and Time-Travel Romance, which uses time travel instead of reincarnation to bridge the temporal gap. When handled badly, this can very easily turn into Strangled by the Red String.



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  • This ad for Lynx body spray (marketed as Axe in the US) shows a Love at First Sight type romance that starts in prehistory, cycles through various eras, and ends successfully in the modern day.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Angel Beats!:
    • Before Yui disappears, Hinata promises that he will marry her in their next lives.
    • Otonashi confesses his love for Kanade before her soul moves on from purgatory. The ending implies the two meet again and will fall in love once more after reincarnating.
  • Angel Sanctuary:
  • This is the premise of Osamu Tezuka's manga Apollo's Song. For his violent hatred of love and women, Shogo is punished by the godess Athena to fall in love, die tragically, and be reborn — forever. The last several instances all involve a woman named Hiromi Watari; by the end Shogo is resigned to his fate because at least he'll get to be with her for a little while.
  • Aquarion Evol: The main couple, Amata and Mikono, are the reincarnations of the below mentioned Apollo and Silvia, the main couple from Genesis of Aquarion. Kagura is also Apollo's reincarnation and is in love with Mikono too. In addition, there's the revelation that Apollo was the reincarnation of Apollonius' dog who was in love with Apollonius' human lover and wished to be reborn as a human to be with her.
  • Invoked in Ayakashi Triangle: Garaku was in love with Suzu's past life, Mei. Garaku is only Suzu's mentor, and actually wants to reunite with Mei herself, who exists as a separate being within Suzu. Despite that, Matsuri becomes convinced the Suzu and Garaku will hook up.
    Even though he's an ayakashi... he's a guy with a connection to her in a previous life? He believes that Suzu will remember him?! Those types of people always end up together in anime and manga stories! How can I compete with that? I'm just her childhood friend! Plus, I'm a girl!
  • Betrayal Knows My Name has Luka and Yuki, complicated by the fact that as a Duras (basically a high-level demon), Luka is immortal and must wait a long time for Yuki to be reincarnated. When Yuki is reborn, it's as a man instead of a woman - which doesn't seem to faze Luka in the slightest, but Yuki is also reborn without any memories of his past life, including Luka.
  • In Bleach, Orihime mentions the concept as she tells an unconcious Ichigo that were she reincarnated at least five times, she would fall in love with Ichigo no matter what. They're ultimately Happily Married in at least this one.
  • Played with in Bokura no Kiseki. Harusumi is the reincarnation of a princess, Veronica. His girlfriend Takao is the reincarnation of a female knight who was his primary bodyguard in their previous lives. After she remembers this, things get complicated. All Harusumi wants is for her to stop treating him like royalty and for their relationship to return to how it was; Takao, on the other hand, is convinced that Harusumi is really yearning to meet the reincarnation of Veronica's Love Interest, Glen, and that when Glen's reincarnation finally appears, she'll lose Harusumi.
  • CLAMP seems to have a fondness for this trope.
    • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- favours both variants of the trope. Many alternate-universe characters retain the relationships they shared in their source series, with examples of both romantic and platonic relationships recurring in different dimensions and alternate continuities. Later on, the clones of Sakura and Syaoran are reincarnated together and marry.
    • Once an angel falls in love with someone in Wish, it's forever. And angels are immortal. It is ultimately revealed that God's edict for angels not to fall in love with humans is an act of kindness for this reason. Nevertheless, the main couple (an angel and a human doctor) do fall for each other, so God has to arrange for the angel to sleep inbetween their lover's reincarnation cycle, bound to a tree in the boyfriend's household.
    • At the end of Kobato., the title character reincarnates and is reunited with her beloved Fujimoto.
  • Shirley Fenette in Code Geass invokes this image as she dies. She claims that no matter how many times she's reborn she will certainly fall in love with Lelouch again every lifetime.
  • Kanda and Alma of D.Gray-Man. They were lovers in their past life until they were killed by Akuma and they meet again in their next incarnation. They weren't "reborn" in the natural way, though. After their deaths, some scientists transplanted their brains into artificial bodies as part of a failed super Exorcist program. And to make it more complicated, Kanda's girlfriend was brought back to life in a male body.
  • Mitsuri Kanroji and Obanai Iguro in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba After the battle against Muzan Kibutsuji, both of them are mortally injured with little time to live. Mitsuri tells Iguro that if they are reborn as human in their next life, he gonna take her as his wife which Iguro accepts. The epilogue showed them, reincarnated in the modern era, as a couple running a restaurant and, in the final volume, are revealed to have five children.
  • Himeko and Chikane in Destiny of the Shrine Maiden are two Miko who are reincarnated to save the world and one has to kill the other in order to do so. Other of their reincarnations are also seen in Shattered Angels and Zettai Shoujo Seiiki Amnesian. They're an Official Couple in every series and in at least one of these, they're also twin sisters.
  • In Fantastic Children Grecian scientists try to invoke this to make it impossible for Tina’s Evil Uncle to use her body as a weapon. They are interrupted before the process is completed and only one of the lovers gets send to Earth’s Zone to be reborn. She comes back two times, subconsciously waiting for her lost love. Her third incarnation , Helga, regains her memories and still decides to wait for Soren. In a strange twist, the one who is reborn on the Earth is Seth, her former fiancé, even through this reincarnation was completely unintentional. He doesn’t get a girl. This is hinted that Tina finally is reunited with Soren during her life as Helga.
  • Flowers of Evil: The manga starts off with the story of two lovers who are reincarnated as twins. This is what the twin protagonists like to believe has happened to them.
  • The main plot and several subplots in Fox Spirit Matchmaker revolve around spirits/ demons and their reincarnated human lovers.
  • Soooorta used in Fushigi Yuugi. After Miaka goes back home and leaves Tamahome behind, he strikes a deal with Taiitsukun: she will reincarnate him into a normal human man and send him to Earth so he can find Miaka, but he will lose his memories. He's reincarnated into Taka, a young man some years older than Miaka, and they soon find each other. But after some time, trouble starts brewing again...
  • Strongly implied to have taken place in Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden. Takiko aka Genbu no Miko dies after summoning Genbu and using her wishes to save the country of Hokkan. Her lover and Genbu Senshi Uruki becomes Emperor Rimudo, reigning wisely over the Hokkan lands until his death at the age of 100-something and never taking a consort or mistress (His succesor is a descendant of his cousin Firuka and her lover, the Genbu Senshi Tegu). The people of Hokkan were so grateful to Takiko and Rimudo that they endlessly prayed for them to find love and peace in their next lives... And the last pages of the manga show a boy and a girl who are all but stated to be the reincarnations of Rimudo and Takiko, who recognize each other on first sight and happily embrace.
  • Played with and possibly deconstructed in Genesis of Aquarion. Silvia is supposedly the reincarnation of Celiane, and she believes that the reincarnation of her lover, Apollonius, isn't the protagonist Apollo but rather her brother, Sirius. Much drama is milked from the trope until it's finally revealed that Sirius and Silvia are both the reincarnated halves of Celiane's soul, and Apollo is indeed her/their lover. Sirius reacts exactly as anyone would expect. The Expository Theme Tune about the romance has become one of the most famous anime songs of all time.
  • The main plot of Hajimari no Niina. Protagonist Niina is the reincarnation of a girl named Chitose, and holds the latter's crush on a boy named Atsurou, who is still alive and mourning Chitose's death. Eventually Niina and Atsurou fall in love, although he didn't know at first he was Chitose's reincarnation.
  • Ultimately averted with France and Joan of Arc in Hetalia: Axis Powers, instead opting for Reincarnation Friendship. He meets a young girl named Lisa who is all but stated to be his old friend Joan's reincarnation, but he treats her more like an old True Companion who has just come back home after a long time, rather than a prospective girlfriend.
  • They did this in Highlander: The Search for Vengeance. Technically, it was only the girl who reincarnated, since the guy was immortal, but same idea.
  • Invoked and then avoided in Ikki Tousen. Chuubou is the reincarnation of Koukin's wife, and she actually confronts him about it and says she likes him that way too. However he is already in love with Hakufu, the girl who's the reincanation of The Hero (and his cousin), so he gently but clearly tells Chuubou to not let her past life rule her love life. She immediately says "I Want My Beloved to Be Happy" and backs off.
  • Deconstructed in Inuyasha, which includes a soap-opera grade Love Triangle between the title character, his first love, and her reincarnation — and it brings trouble to the three of them. Bonus for doubling as Resurrected Romance. It's solved when Kikyou is finally able to pass on in peace in Inuyasha's embrace, and some time later Kagome stays in the Feudal Era with Inuyasha.
  • In the ending of part 6 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Jolyne and Anasui are finally happily together after the universe ended and restarted. They're completely different people and they don't remember each other, though their characters are still fairly similar.
  • Karakuri Circus: Éléonore is the great-grandniece of the original Francine and inherited her memories from Aqua Vitae. Narumi inherits the memories of Bai Yin, Francine's husband, from Aqua Vitae after he disappears from Masaru's life. They become a couple at the end of the series.
  • In Karakuridouji Ultimo, Rune and Yamato were lovers in feudal times until they were torn apart. In the modern day, Rune has reincarnated as a boy, but still loves Yamato dearly, even though Yamato doesn't realise it until he's almost raped by Rune . Rune's jealousy over Yamato's new girlfriend turns out to be more than a little dangerous.
  • Kurohime The manga ends with Kurohime's male reincarnation and Zero's female incarnation reuniting with each other in a case of Love at First Sight.
  • From Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, the Sankt Kaiser Olivie Sägebrecht and her childhood friend, the Supreme King Claus G.S. Ingvalt, had a romantic relationship, but Olivie died when she took the duties of the Sankt Kaiser in the Ancient Belkan War. Claus regretted his failure of not stopping her from entering the suicidal Saint's Cradle, and his feelings are inherited in forms of Genetic Memories by his descendants. Einhard Stratos is influenced by her ancestors memories and feelings and she starts a Pseudo-Romantic Friendship with Vivio Takamachi, who is a genetic clone of Olivie.
  • If you get past the trans-dimensional science / magic amalgamation, this may or may not be what set off the plot of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi.
  • In Mirage of Blaze, Naoe has spent the past 400 years pining after Kagetora thanks to this trope. It doesn't work out very well for him, and Kagetora/Takaya doesn't really approve. Done in a much nicer way with Ayako/Haruie, who is waiting for her lover from 200 years ago to reincarnate.
  • Nozomu and Rino from My Girlfriend Without Wasabi are reincarnations of two lovers from the author's previous series Peach Boy Riverside, though this is never addressed directly, instead mearly hinted at due to them sharing the Reused Character Design and an oblique hint from Nozomu's mother implying that she has Past-Life Memories of another character from the latter series.
  • Downplayed and combined with Reincarnation Friendship in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!. Catarina's friend Sophia is actually the reincarnation of Atsuko, her best friend in her previous life (a fact both remain unaware of due to Atsuko's memories remaining mostly dormant). The main difference in their current relationship compared to their past one is that Sophia is in love with Catarina, while Atsuko's feelings were strictly platonic... presumably.
  • Played With in NG Life: Sirix died in Pompeii during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (79 AD). In 2005, he is reborn as Keidai, a Japanese schoolboy. He finds the reincarnation of his beloved wife Serena, but he turns out to be a boy. Keidai feels attracted to Yuuma because of how much he looks like Serena, but is put off by his rude personality and male gender. Meanwhile, Sirix's male friend Loleus has been reincarnated as Serizawa, a girl with a crush on Keidai. However, Keidai usually forgets Serizawa is a girl. Eventually, Keidai falls in love with Serizawa and asks her to be his girlfriend after he finally makes peace with his past life.
  • Si-Joon Lee and Mu-Yeon Park from the Manhwa Pig Bride are the reincarnations of their ancestors, Si-Baek Li and his wife Lady Park.
  • The primary romance in Please Save My Earth. The other leg of the Love Triangle also retains their infatuation in the new life, as well. There's another one where one gender reverses, though it's more or less a one-sided romance.
  • RIN-NE:
    • Spoofed one storyline where all bets are off as to what you're going to reincarnate into. A centuries-dead soldier, unable to go on, haunts the girl whom he believes to be his reincarnated love and it turns out she was actually a turtle in her past life. His love actually reincarnated into a male gym leader. The soldier has no problem crossing over after that revelation.
    • The potentially for a romance across one person reincarnating is Defied with regards to Rinne's mother. Having been accidentally swept away into the Wheel of Reincarnation but keeping her memories in her current life as an elementary school student, she and her once husband Rinne's father, Sabato make it very frank that despite their love for each other, they're not going to resume relationship with such an age gap.
  • Played with in Sailor Moon.
    • Usagi and Mamoru. In their past lives, they were the lovers Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion. Endymion died protecting Serenity and she soon followed him in death. In their next lives, they have been reborn at modern Japan so they can have another chance at happiness together.
    • Played strange: In Phantom Ace's/Danburite's previous life as Adonis, he was in love with Sailor Venus, and also in his current one. But while she does fall for him in this life, Venus apparently didn't even know he existed (so Adonis claims), or at least that he loved her (implied by Artemis recognizing him).
    • Averted: in the manga, Sailor Venus and Kunzite used to be lovers in their previous life (hence why Venus didn't know Adonis loved her: he had seen that and decided to not interfere), but in this one they have little to no relationship and Venus kills Kunzite (not that it was any different from what she did to Adonis, given he was on the wrong side of the battle).
    • The novelizations of the American dub, that mix it with the manga continuity, provides a justification for all this: people who have had a relationship with each other in a life are naturally drawn to each other in the next and feel an echo of whatever feeling they had, but what happens next is up to them. Hence Usagi and Mamoru feeling drawn to each other but taking a while to actually fall in love due the Meet Cute, the Sailor Senshi and the Shitennou meeting their respective groups, and the whole kerfluffle with Sailor Venus' love life.
    • Sailor Moon Crystal expands this a little more. The Inner Senshi and the four Shitennou were lovers in their past lives (Mars and Jadeite, Jupiter and Nephrite, Mercury and Zoicite, and again Venus and Kunzite), yes, just like Serenity and Endymion. In this one, however, the Shitennou were Brainwashed and Crazy and the Senshi save for Venus can't remember their romances when they regain their Senshi selves. Venus tries to explain this but her timing is so poor that the girls almost suffer Heroic BSODs, and for worse, soon afterwards the guys are Killed Off for Real right when they're actually recovering their memories and remembering their past girlfriends.
  • Played for immense tragedy in The Seven Deadly Sins: During the ancient war, Meliodas and Elizabeth were cursed by their respective leaders, The Demon King and The Supreme Deity for falling in love with each other. Meliodas was cursed to live forever and never die no matter what. Elizabeth was cursed to reincarnate into someone who will grow up exactly like her except for her memories, and if she ever gets her memory back, she will die within three days' time, and the cycle will begin anew. Even if Meliodas tries to distance himself from her, she will fall in love with him and will invariably die while Meliodas can only watch.
  • Spirit Circle: Inverted by the two main characters, Fuuta and Kouko, who are fated to hate each other in each of their incarnation, and in most lives, one of them dies by the other's hand. In the current life, however, Fuuta doesn't bear any hatred towards Kouko, and is trying to solve their feud, while Kouko still hates him.
  • Variation in Stray Little Devil. It's directly stated that the main character is the reincarnation of the devil king that her grandmother met and fell in love with. It's not explicitly said they were lovers and that the main character is in fact her own grandfather; but the angel she falls in love with is the reincarnation of the Devil King's rival; the Angel Queen.
  • In The Tarot Cafe, Aaron turns out near the end to be Nebiros's angelic (and previously female) lover reborn. It seems to help them reconcile after being estranged in their first focus story.
  • In Michiyo Akaishi's Ten Yori Mo, Hoshi Yori Mo, the three main characters (Shinjou, Shou and Mio) are the reincarnations of three persons involved in a tragic Love Triangle centuries ago. These persons were, respectively: Minamoto no Yoritomo aka the first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate, Yoritomo's brother and rival Yoshitsune, and Yoshitsune's lover Shizuka Gozen.
  • Heavily implied VS Knight Lamune And 40 Fire with Lamunedo and Drum.
  • Winter Cicada is a Reincarnation Romance when viewed in conjunction with Haru wo Daiteita, though strangely enough simultaneously a Show Within a Show of the same work. The plot of the second heavily, heavily implies that the yaoi guys Katou and Iwaki are the reincarnations of Kusaka and Akizuki, the Star-Crossed Lovers from the first, since Winter Cicada is (in universe) Based on a True Story.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Seto and Kisara were reincarnated as Kaiba and... the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. This complicates things...
      "No one comes between me and my Blue-Eyes! And anyone foolish enough to try PAYS THE PRICE!"
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Juudai and Yubel. Juudai swore in his first life to love them forever, and not only did they hold him to it, but he held himself to it... once he got around to remembering he'd made the promise in the first place. They end up fusing into one being, which basically amounts to Yubel living in Juudai's mind and giving him access to their powers.
  • In the hentai OVA adaptation of YU-NO, The Ojou Miyo has a slightly sadistic, if caring sexual relationship with the Shrinking Violet Canna. When, after much Time Travel and Alternate Universe jumping, Canna is killed, Miyo performs a Heroic Sacrifice and is thrown back in time to long before the series' begin. It turns out, Miyo was already pregnant with Takuya's child at the time, who is born and named... Canna. Soon after the old Miyo dies, Canna meets the young Miyo and the cycle begins again, adding a slight Parental Incest note to it. Yep, you guessed it, it's a Mind Screw but It Makes Sense in Context.

    Comic Books 
  • A graphic novel about the history of The Troubles gave this a nasty twist; Two Star-Crossed Lovers from warring Celtic tribes are cursed to forever be reincarnated on opposite sides of whatever the current conflict is, until Ireland is at peace.
  • Hawkman and Hawkgirl are reincarnated Egyptian nobles who were murdered but found each other again in modern times. In fact, thanks to an Nth Metal dagger, they are both cursed to meet, fall in love, and die tragically in each life. The battery of the Star Sapphires, who represent love on the emotional spectrum, even contains the crystallized remains of their original incarnations, which were found on Zamaron. The two are all but stated to be the personification of tragic love.
    • The trope was deconstructed with Kendra Saunders, who was a reincarnation of Hawkgirl, but without the memories. Meanwhile, Carter Hall kept his memories. This led to him pushing a lot of expectations on her, and her pulling a Screw Destiny and seeing other people. They do eventually end up together again... before dying. Then are reincarnated again about a week later.
  • In Lori Lovecraft: My Favorite Redhead, the immortal priest Amma Ton believes that Lori is the reincarnation of his ancient love. Lori is uncertain about this, but she is willing to consider the idea, and later uses Amma Ton's belief in it to her advantage.
  • Subverted in a story in the British girls' comic Misty, where a girl discovers that in her previous life she committed suicide to escape a forced marriage. Her would-be husband has also reincarnated and is looking for her; having full memories of their previous lives and the evil plan that he was to make her part of. He's none too happy when his intended "bride" isn't quite so fond of him as he expects.
  • Requiem Vampire Knight: Heinrich and Rebecca, who were a German Nazi and a German Jew in love with each other on Earth, become lovers once again on the hellworld of Résurrection when the former is reincarnated as a vampire and the latter as a lamia.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Comic Cavalcade: Judy MacGregor and Sheriff Gary Banks have a rather twisted iteration of the concept. His past self was rather taken with her but was respectful of the fact that she was engaged, while she lightly flirted with him before murdering him in a rage because her fiancé wasn't on hand when she first learned that her fiancé had married someone else. He was her first victim as she started out as a pirate, while their 1940s iterations ended up in love.
    • Wonder Woman (2006): Zeus ressurects Achilles to lead his army of zombified Greek Heroes in subjugating humanity. Achilles turns on Zeus and his plans and comes across the reincarnation of Patroclus living in Washington DC, and the two start dating.
  • The X-Men storyline Curse of the Mutants puts a dark spin in this trope when Rogue meets a Indian vampire named Damen, who believes she is the reincarnation of his beloved Rue (who was murdered by klansmen 200 years ago). Turns out he is incorrect, as Rue actually reincarnated as No-Girl, a female telepath reduced to nothing more to a Brain in a Jar. Damen is so horrified to discover her current state he offers to turn Rogue into a vampire while No-Girl is possessing her body to communicate with him, but she refuses since this isn't her real self. She then tries to absorb his memories only to find out Rogue's touch has no effect on him, meaning he is completely barren inside ever since he was turned into a vampire and his feelings aren't real. This revelation leads to Daven handing her his sword so she can put him out of his misery...
  • In the French comic Zorn Et Dirna, Death is held prisoner inside a Magic Mirror, with the end result that no one is dying anymore. Instead, the soul of those whose heads have been separated from their body finds itself entering the body of their killer. The titular kids' parents find themselves in the bodies of warriors... except their mother is now one of many souls driving a ginormous black guy and their father is in an Amazonian woman.

    Fan Works 
  • Implied in the X-Men fic 123 Romy.
    The two strangers passed by each other once more, and the man couldn't help but wonder if it was fate.
  • Rei and Kaworu are this in Advice and Trust due to a fan omake that detailed Lilith and Adam as being literal Star-Crossed Lovers becoming Ascended Fanon. Though this is merely by technicality, since Kaworu fell in love first and had no knowledge of Adam and Lilith's relationship.
  • A rare one-sided form in Ageless. Ryou's first love just so happened to be Avatar Kyoshi living out their lives together before Ryou slowly realized that he did not age and she dies of old age. He then enters into a relationship with Korra.
  • In and it's just my soul responding, Rukia considers this trope:
    That fuzzy feeling is back but it’s not a sharp, sizzling oh, look at that cute boy, but a warm and cozy hey, it’s been a while.
  • This happens a lot in Zutara Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfics, often the two are meant to be the reincarnations of Oma and Shu. It can be seen clearly in this fic.
  • The author of A Brief History of Equestria suggested in the comment section that since she was born the same year the other died, Clover the Clever might be the reincarnation of Wind Whistler, making her relationship with Hurricane an example of this. However, the author's left it up to interpretation.
  • Neo and Smith in Bringing Me To Life, after he dies Neo's reincarnated as Max Jameson who starts falling in love with Smith, even before finding out that he's a reincarnation.
  • Deconstructed in Bygone. Yang remembers and Blake doesn't. The pain of remembering a past life that no one else does drives Yang suicidally insane. Also, Yang instinctively knows where to find the girl she loved romantically, but no one else she cared about.
  • Fate/Stay Night: Heirs is a Fate/stay night fanfic where Rin summons Saber and the two get romantically involved, with the Holy Grail War ending with Saber using the last of her strength to destroy the Corrupted Grail. But in the post-war segment, it's revealed that Saber's original soul had reincarnated as Lily Pendragon, who regains her memories and love of Rin from when she was her Servant.
  • For Oranges and Loyalty
    • Jeremiah Gottwald and Shinozaki Sayoko are both reborn twice in the world of Game of Thrones. First thousands of years in the past to form the Nation of Orange. Then again years before the series, right in time to await their reincarnated lord Lelouch.
    • Kallen and Gino Weinberg, Happily Married after the events of the series, are also reborn in present-day Westeros. While Kallen is now a Stark and Gino is a Lannister, both plan to get married once they are adults.
    • Shirley is reborn as a daughter of House Whent, and still harbors feelings for Lelouch, who is now a prince of House Baratheon.
  • In the Good Omens fanfic From the Top (say your lines once more), this is Subverted in a lot of interesting ways. The main couple, Aziraphale and Crowley, will reincarnate as different genders, ages, races, nationalities, and species; Crowley remembers but Aziraphale does not; and often Aziraphale will die or marry someone else before Crowley can reach him.
  • In a Homestuck character blog, this was Feferi's answer when asked; "What do you do in the dreambubbles?"note 
    It's wonderful! We don't have to be afraid of death anymore. We can build new worlds! New lives... Together, we can all be together again. Meet again. Learn from our mistakes- or make new ones. But that doesn't matter. Mistakes are part of life.
  • In Sotto Voce is a Hyrule Warriors inspired Zelda/Impa fic that goes with this theme. The Zelda franchise has shown that Impa is one of the few characters that is near consistently reincarnated, though she doesn't appear in all games. The fanfic goes on to show that Impa's relationship to Zelda depends on what that particular Zelda needs, be it a friend, mentor, maternal figure, guard, companion, lover, etc. The current Zelda and Impa happen to be of the rare romantic incarnation.
  • In the Code Geass / The DCU crossove Justice League of the Rebellion, Kyoshiro Tohdoh and Nagisa Chiba are the current incarnations of Hawkman and Hawkwoman.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Some Zelink shippers portray Zelda and Link's romance as this.
  • An interesting variation occurs in the "Like a Phoenix" series, where Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley are the reincarnations of Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala, as Ginny/Padme is reluctant to forgive Harry for Anakin’s actions as Vader even if she accepts that he wants to atone, until his ‘death’ in the final battle helps Ginny acknowledge that she still loves him regardless of his past acts.
    • Taken a step further in the final story in the series, when Harry and Ginny’s twins Marcus and Clementine are the reborn Luke and Leia, who meet the reborn Han Solo on the Hogwarts Express (the reborn Han in his third year while Luke and Leia are just in their first).
  • Happens in some Les Misérables fic that is set in the 20th or 21st century. Oftentimes the younger characters, namely Marius, Cosette, Eponine, Enjolras, Gavroche, and the rest of the Amis del'ABC are reincarnated as students in any given major city. Some may dream or remember the barricade of 1832. Often these fics still use the love triangle with Marius, Cosette, and Eponine, but resolve the situation by having Eponine end up with Enjolras this time around.
  • Scribe's The Lord of the Rings stories include a series set in the present where Gandalf and the elves meet the reincarnations of the humans, the hobbits and Arwen to oppose the new plans of the reborn Sauron and his minions. In the course of this series, Aragorn and Arwen's reincarnations swiftly form a connection even before Gandalf and Legolas affirm that the two were married in their past lives, Faramir and Eowyn's modern selves were already married before they became involved in Sauron's schemes, and the reborn Boromir falls for a woman who it appears met Boromir before he left for Rivendell back in the Third Age, with the two simply never having the chance to take their relationship further before Boromir's death.
  • Used a lot in Merlin fanfiction; considering that the original source had many elements of this, it's not surprising.
    • Used to a particular extent in the Merlin/Dracula crossover "New Blood, Old Soul", where Lucy Westenra is explicitly identified as Morgana's reincarnation when Merlin- under the alias of "Doctor Michael Emrys"- makes contact with "Alexander Grayson" to determine Dracula's motives for coming to Britain at this time and sees Lucy at Grayson’s introductory party. As 'Michael Emrys' spends more time with Lucy, Lucy finds herself drawn to him despite her prior affection for Mina, which culminates in Lucy kissing Merlin to confirm her feelings for him.
  • The Moon's Flash Princess: Averted with Asuna (the reincarnation of Princess Serenity) and Mamoru (the reincarnation of Serenity's lover, Endymion). Asuna see's Mamoru as just her older brother's friend and another older brother figure, and she get's together with Kirito like in Sword Art Online.
  • This tends to happen a lot in Kaworu/Shinji Neon Genesis Evangelion fics, especially with the Epileptic Trees that the different canon continuities are actually the result of time-loops or Alternate Universes. This also gets rid of the whole "Kaworu-is-an-Angel" problem.
  • Reconstruction in the RWBY fic Nightmares Of Time Gone By, where Pyrrha and Jaune are portrayed as this. (Specifically, they're the reincarnations of Agents York and Carolina.) It also counts as Set Right What Once Went Wrong; the protagonists' knowledge of Carolina's tragic death in the past enables them to avoid that same fate in the present.
  • Seriously deconstructed in No Chance for Fate. It's pretty much stated that Usagi and Mamoru ceased to exist when their past memories overwrote their personalities, thus why they call themselves Serenity and Endymion in the future. Pluto worked very hard (and succeeded) in preventing this from happening again. She notes Usagi and Mamoru coming together on their own as themselves comes over far more naturally than the memory-driven events.
  • One This Second Heartbeat has the pirate Captain Kidd, turned into a Persona by Philemon, falling in love with Mayumi Sakamoto and staying with her for a period of time. He would soon return as the dormant Persona of their son Ryuji and regain a physical body to reunite with Mayumi when ryuji awakened his rebellious spirit.
  • The Good Omens fic series Pray for Us, Icarus does a one-sided version with Aziraphale and Crowley. Aziraphale is still an immortal angel, but Crowley — for reasons unknown at first — stops being a similarly immortal demon and instead begins to be reincarnated over and over again as a human who keeps being drawn to Aziraphale despite having no memories of him or their past lives together. It realistically shows just how emotionally taxing such a romance would be on both parties when only one of them is fully aware of what's happening; Aziraphale grows so heartbroken after having to repeatedly watch Crowley die or leave him that he eventually tries to just leave Crowley's reincarnations alone to not break their hearts further, which only makes Crowley feel even more acutely that he's missing something he can't put a name to.
  • Several Ranma ½/Sailor Moon crossovers have Ranma being the reincarnation of an extra Senshi, or Queen Serenity herself. Inevitably she was also the lover of one of the other Senshi; Pluto more often than not.
  • The aptly-named Reincarnation has a variant of this trope with Godzilla and Mothra, but it's complicated somewhat by the fact that she reincarnated in a human form with very little memory of her true identity and even less regarding their relationship. Eventually,she regains both her memories and her true form, and they are properly reunited.
  • The Vocaloid fanfic Rotting Camellias has Miku and Luka caught in a cycle where they love each other but can never be together. This reincarnation would not be possible without the meddling of the jealous mage, Meiko, however.
  • RWBY: Scars:
    • When discussing death, Ruby mentions that Faunus believe in reincarnation and think that soulmates meet in every lifetime. Ruby hopes that if such a thing is true, she'll meet her girlfriend Penny again in a future life.
    • Reincarnating couples are mentioned a second time when Weiss is Driven to Suicide and hopes she can meet her girlfriend Blake in the next life. In reality, Blake is actually alive and on the run. Weiss is also saved from dying by her mother.
  • Schizophrenia has Raven and Beast Boy knowing each other in ALL of their past lives (because they had quite a few). Granted, they weren't romantically involved in any of them, but Raven's subconscious explains that they were slowly growing closer with each passing lifetime.
  • Used in the Cartoon X-Over fanfic The Sinners and Their Saints, Frida is the reincarnation of the holy woman and Manny's deceased fiance Analia, sharing both an identical appearance and healing powers with her.
  • In The Slayer Prophecy, Buffy and Nightwing are briefly possessed by the spirit of the First Slayer and her lover as part of the villains' plan, but this is relatively downplayed as there is nothing to indicate that Nightwing was the 'natural' reincarnation of the First Slayer's lover.
  • Used in several post Sonic X fics by writers who were unhappy with Cosmo's death to stop the Metarex and the fact that she and Tails were torn apart. Many stories, such as The Fox and the Seedrian, feature her returning to life, usually through the plant in the show's final scene that hinted that she would be reborn.
  • Souls Reborn plays with this — the official pairings for the Konoha 12 and the Suna Sibs before their deaths at the hands of Orochimaru were confirmed to be the standard four: NaruHina, SasuSaku, ShikaTema, and NejiTen. Their One Piece incarnations subvert this: Luffy is celibate, Kaya is in love with Usopp (Kiba's reincarnation), and neither Nami nor Ace have any attraction to each other. On the other hand, some are implied to be played straight, Zoro and Tashigi having massive amounts of Belligerent Sexual Tension, and Kohza and Vivi are Childhood Friends who are heavily implied to have feelings for each other.
  • In the Star Trek/Wonder Woman crossover "Star Trek: Age of Wonder", this may be a good way to describe Diana's relationship with Kirk, even before it is confirmed that Kirk is essentially the 'reborn' Steve Trevor, brought back to life as a favour to Diana.
  • Discussed in The Student Prince: Merlin wonders if Arthur, Gwen and Lance are destined to have the same Triang Relations as their mythological counterparts. It's averted, of course, since this is an Arthur/Merlin fic - unless you assume that their previous incarnations were also in love with each other.
  • Deconstructed by Tangled Fate — after Exalting as the Lunar bonded to Ranma's Solar, Ryouga starts having flashbacks in which he can see his Exaltation's previous holder being in a romantic relationship with the woman who was Ranma's predecessor. It deeply unnerves him because he decidedly doesn't want to fall in love for Ranma considering their complicated history, and he's also unsure if his shard pushes him to love Ranma herself or her predecessor. As for Ranma, she's not interested in Ryouga as more than a friend and views the whole thing as annoying and uncomfortable.
  • The one-shot Tarnished Souls features a self-loathing immortal Dorian Gray encountering somebody who looks and acts exactly like the long-dead Basil Hallward in 2015 and viewing it as a second chance.
    I wonder how his hair feels if I were to run my fingers through, how his lips would feel if I pressed mine against them, how wide his eyes would open if I went up to him now and told him that I was sorry, that I missed him so much it felt like a gouge carved into my heart, that I saw him in my dreams and wanted to confess my love to him in all the languages I had mastered and the ones I hadn't. I wonder how long it would take him to call the police on the madman harassing him in the centre of Paris. But dreams of the spirit and heart are not so easy to give up and my feet seem to ghost as I make my way across to him, the intangible connection that binds me to him seeming to strengthen with each step.
  • This Crossover Ship Fan Vid has Jim from Treasure Planet as a long-lived Humanoid Alien stranded on Earth. He fell for a human woman (Bella from Beauty and the Beast) who ended up killed by wolves. Two hundred years later he meets her reincarnation, Melody from The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, but is reluctant to love her again due to their mortality differences. They eventually become friends. Jim later becomes mortal due to meeting with a goddess, and years afterwards the two are reunited as adults and end up together.
  • The How to Train Your Dragon fic "Upon the North" initially appears to be a later-day rewrite, with the characters relocated to Scotland in 1908, but it is later confirmed that Hiccup and his friends are the reincarnations of their Viking selves, Hiccup in particular reflecting that he is basically destined to love Astrid in any lifetime, with the six swiftly re-establishing their old bond with their dragons when they find their way back to Old Berk.
  • In We Are the Next Time Around, Hades and Persephone are continually reborn into mortal bodies, right up until the present day. In the first few iterations, they only recognize the other upon making eye contact, but eventually the memories become so instinctive that Persephone even recognizes his reincarnated pet.
    A dog, a Rottweiler maybe, has been thumping his tail from the moment she walked in. He hasn’t moved from where he is curled on his bed, but she knows it is a he. It always is.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic "Where Angels Fear to Tread" makes Angel an Earl who was in love with the Slayer Elia centuries ago, agreeing to bond himself to Angelus, the demon known as the Butcher Knight, to keep Angelus in check after the demon murdered Elia. When Angel reaches the present, he realises that Buffy is the reincarnation of Elia, but after Angel is forced to make a deal to keep Angelus in check, he has to leave Buffy for a year to give Angelus his first period of freedom, although Buffy promises to use that time to work out how she feels about him in turn.
  • Deconstructed in White Devil of the Moon. Nanoha, who in this fic is the reincarnation of Princess Serenity, is a completely different person, to the point of despising her past self as irresponsible and selfish, especially with regards to her romance with Endymion. Nanoha, as a result, has nothing in common with Mamoru, resulting in their "date" going poorly and ending up with Fate after completely rejecting her past life. The author touches on this in an author's note.
    In Sailor Moon, it is implied that because the Earth Prince and Moon Princess were lovers in their previous lives, they are destined to be lovers again in their current ones. I don't find that plausible. I find the interpretation presented in the Deverry novels by Katherine Kerr to be more likely. In those stories, two people with a strong connection to each other (positive or negative) in one life will be inclined to similar feelings if they meet in another life, but they aren't bound to it. Reincarnated lovers will be inclined to like each other when they meet, making it easier for them to become lovers again, and reincarnated enemies will be inclined to dislike each other, making it easier for them to find a new reason to fight in the current life, but these are not set in stone. Reincarnated enemies can resolve their differences. Reincarnated lovers can end up parting ways. One's previous lives might influence the person they become, but it doesn't define them absolutely. Nanoha is not Princess Serenity. Mamoru is not Prince Endymion.
  • In You're My End and My Beginning, Chat Noir and Ladybug are reincarnated throughout history to bear the kwami, but often do not recognize each other because of The Masquerade. Their nemesis is also this trope, except that his soulmate dies (relatively) prematurely in every life, regardless of the era's medical or technological achievements. This drove him a little crazy.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • There's an Italian film where a pair of lovers reincarnate several times. Sadly, in the film's last vignette the woman has reincarnated and is a young girl, only to meet her lover while he's still alive from the last cycle, and an old man.
  • In the movie Two Twenty Two the main couple is reincarnated from a previous one, shot dead at the day both of them were born. Fate drives the two of them together to solve their own destiny for the better.
  • The Adjustment Bureau has a variation of the trope. The two main characters are inextricably attracted to one another, but there is no past life binding them together. What there is, however, is a past future. In a past version of "The Plan", the fate and destiny of all humanity, they were destined to fall in love and be together, but "The Plan" has been re-written by the Chairman. Even though the current version of "The Plan" only has them meeting briefly one time and then parting ways forever, they still feel that connection and draw towards one another from when they were meant to be together.
  • Trevor and Aeon in Æon Flux, via cloning rather than mysticism.
  • African Prince Manuwalde, better known as Blacula, lives long enough to see his deceased wife Tuva reincarnated in the contemporary world as Tina.
  • In Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, a Reincarnation Romance subplot was added, between the title character and Mina Harker nee Murray. This one is iconic enough to be a Trope Codifier in the West, and even gained steam in Japan, as evidenced by Castlevania taking heavy inspiration from this movie for Dracula's backstory.
  • Subverted in Chances Are. The husband Louie, dies, but concocts a way to be reborn instantly. Unfortunately, the hasty reincarnation means that his reincarnation, Alex, will still have all memories of Louie's life. 23 years after Louie's death, the memories come crashing down on Alex just as he begins a romance with Louie's daughter Miranda. He naturally cuts it off in favor of the mother/widow Corrine, much to the chagrin of Louie's best friend Phillip, who has loved Corrine this whole time and has helped her raise Miranda. Hilarity Ensues. However, Louie realizes that he's had his time with Corrine, and her clinging to his memory is stopping her from having a relationship with Phillip. Alex is accidentally knocked unconscious and during that time the angel that didn't get a chance to remove Louie's memories between his death and reincarnation catches up with Alex, performing the removal. When Alex wakes up, the last thing he remembers is kissing Miranda (which was literally right before Louie's memories emerged). He and Miranda get back together and Corrine and Phillip get together. Strangely, Corrine and Phillip know that Alex is Louie reincarnated, but are still cool with Alex and Miranda (who doesn't know) being together.
  • In the Steven Chow movie A Chinese Odyssey, part of the hell sequence includes an aside where a man has been Star-Crossed Lovers with the same woman and dying because of the romance over several lifetimes.
  • Dan "Dark Shadows" Curtis beat Coppola to it with his 1974 TV movie version of Dracula starring Jack Palance.
  • Was used throughout movie version of Cloud Atlas (even more than in the book, where reincarnation is only implied), especially considering how many different roles each actor played, some of which meet in several of the 6 stories and fall in love. To list them all:
    • Jim Sturgess and Bae Doona play Hae-Joo Chang and Somni-451, whose romance ends in death, but Somni is confident they'll meet another lifetime. Immediately after she says this, it cuts to a previous life where they are married.
    • Tom Hanks and Halle Berry play Isaac Sachs and Luisa Rey - Isaac dies but Luisa doesn't. In the next life, Dermot Hoggins (Hanks) flirts with an Indian woman (Berry), and the two of them reincarnate as Zachry and Meronym two lives later (with them never meeting in the story inbetween), who get married and have children.
    • Ben Whishaw and Jim Broadbent play Robert Frobisher and Vyvyan Ayrs, with the former flirting with the latter and the latter rejecting it. Although they don't meet in the next lifetime, they do in the one after, as Georgette and Timothy Cavendish, who have an affair.
    • There are aversions as well, however; Robert Frobisher and Rufus Sixsmith never meet again, nor do Timothy Cavendish and Ursula, and nor do Vyvyan Ayrs and his wife Jocasta (although the latter two are both Prescients in the sixth story). And yes, in case you haven't seen it, there are a lot of Love Triangles in the film.
  • This is the basic plot of Dead Again, complete with sex-reversal. Roman and Margaret reincarnating and finding each other again, only the fact that a murder separated their last lives causes the reincarnation to go a little off until they discover the truth. Plus, there's a jewelry MacGuffin that facilitates them becoming a Reincarnating Romance.
  • The Devil's Messenger: In "The Girl in the Glacier", Dr. Seastrom belives that he and 'Angelica'—the Human Popsicle—were lovers in her time, and he died before their love had run its course. There is no evidence that this is anything other than a delusion of his unbalanced mind.
  • In Dracula Untold, Dracula's wife Marina is apparently reincarnated as a modern day equivalent of Mina Murray.
  • Between Song Yu and Cheng Yuet-heung in Dream Lovers.
  • In Embrace of the Vampire, the title character finds a woman who has the soul of a woman he loved centuries earlier and tries to turn her into a vampire. He also fails.
  • In The Fallen Ones (2006), the Big Bad, an evil Fallen Angel, declares the female lead to be the reincarnation of his lover. It is heavily implied that he's right, but she rejects him before he's defeated.
  • The Fog (2005) grafted this trope onto its ending, with Elizabeth turning out to be the reincarnation of the wife of the ghosts' leader.
  • In Fright Night (1985) the vampire Jerry Dandrige believes that Amy Peterson is the reincarnation of a woman he loved long ago (mainly because Amy exactly resembles her, as shown by the woman's portrait). The movie doesn't make it clear whether he's correct or not, but the fact that he dies at the end indicates he was wrong.
  • Highlander III: The Sorcerer. During his time in 18th century France, Connor was in love with an English woman named Sarah. She is reincarnated into Alex Johnson, who becomes his love interest in the present.
  • At the end of the Korean film The King and the Clown, right before the main characters commit suicide, it is strongly implied that they will be reborn and meet again in the next life.
  • In the film Made in Heaven (1987), there is a Reincarnation/Incarnation Romance. After a young man named Mike (Timothy Hutton) dies in a Heroic Sacrifice, he goes to Heaven and meets his One True Love: Annie (Kelly McGillis), a newborn female soul yet to be conceived on Earth. They fall in love and get married, but Annie is sent to incarnate for her first time on Earth; Mike chooses to reincarnate to find her, and is given 30 years to do so. They find each other just as the deal is about to expire.
  • In the Indian film Magadheera, a warrior and a princess are killed on their wedding day by the warrior's sworn enemy. They are reincarnated in 2009 India, respectively as a biker and an heiress, but the prince's enemy was reincarnated as well continuing their duel from 400 years ago to the present.
  • The Myth is about the forbidden romance between an ancient Chinese warrior and a Korean princess, which ultimately leads to the princess being trapped in a cavern of immortality and the warrior perishing in a later battle. The film then shifts to modern-day Hong Kong, with the warrior now reincarnated into a present-day archeologist who later returns to the cavern and realize the princess is still waiting for him.
  • At the end of Prehistoric Women, David confesses his love for Saria, but she moves away and tells David that her love for him will always remain. She leaves David alone in the rain, along with the statue of the white rhino. As if hypnotized, David moves forward and touches the rhino's horn as lightning strikes. Returned to his own time, David rejoins his Native Guide and they return to camp. David is surprised at how little time has passed for the guide. Once back at the camp, David wonders whether it really was a dream or he had really traveled back in time to reunite a lost African tribe and end a million-year-old legend. As he cleans himself, he discovers the white rhino's brooch in his pocket, proving some truth in his experience. David is then asked to greet some people from London. To his amazement, one of the guests is the image of Saria. The guest then introduces herself as Sarah.
  • Happens one-sidedly in Soultaker, a Mystery Science Theater 3000-victim movie from the 90s. The villain, one of the titular Soultakers, believes that the female lead ( played by the screenwriter) is the reincarnation of his lover from the Old West - and whose betrayal is the reason he's a Soultaker in the first place. Rather than claiming her soul like he's supposed to, he tries to win her over, which doesn't work out too well.
  • A Terra Cotta Warrior has an immortal falling for the reincarnation of his old flame.
  • Jihwan and Yoonjung of the Korean film Time Renegades reincarnate as Geonwoo and Soeun, and meet once again in the 2015 timeline. Geonwoo is pretty much smitten immediately, but Soeun? Not so much. The plot of the movie gets significantly more complicated after that.
  • Twice-Told Tales: In "The House of the Seven Gables", Jonathan Maulle and Alice Pyncheon are implicitly the reincarnations of Matthew Moll and Laura Holbrook who were engaged but whose marriage never happened because Matthew was executed on trumped-up charges. They are reunited to end the curse of the house and allow them to finally be together.
  • Hinted at in We Are the Night. When Louise talks about her own sire, she states that she was looking for someone with the same glint in her eyes, hinting at the wish to find a reincarnation of her former companion.
  • Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior: It's implied that Shen and Wendy's previous incarnations were more than just teacher and student, judging by how easily they get close to each other in such a short amount of time (though Shen does admit Wendy is "different" from her previous incarnations). If that's true, nothing ever came of it because Shen was always fated to die against Yan-lo. When Wendy says Screw Destiny and saves Shen from his fate, Yan-lo is destroyed, and they are finally able to enjoy their last life together.
  • They did this same thing in What Dreams May Come. He loves her so much, he's able to pull her out of Hell, something thought to be impossible, and they live together in heaven until they decide to reincarnate, and find each other again as children.
    • In an alternate ending for the movie (included on the DVD/BluRay release), their reincarnation is forced upon them as a kind of "atonement" for her condemnation to Hell. They both know going into it, however, that they're destined to meet and fall in love again — they even know the age they'll be when they die this next time around.

  • Spider Robinson used this in a short story about what happens when you combine reincarnation with cryogenics (with some Wife Husbandry mixed in).
  • The Allan Quatermain novels Ancient Allan and Allan And The Ice Gods reveal that Allan and Luna, Lady Ragnall were previously Count Shabaka and Princess Amada in Ancient Egypt, and Wi and Laleela in 1 Million B.C.. Interestingly, Quatermain and Lady Ragnall don't have a relationship in the present day; in fact Allan finds his vision of Shabaka and Amada so awkward that he avoids meeting her again.
  • The bodice-ripper And Gold Was Ours has a similar scenario, where the heroine dreams of a couple that resembles her and the hero, seeing them in caveman days, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, etc. She too comes to the conclusion that after much tragedy—one or the other or both has died in every vignette—that they have finally been brought together.
  • In Avalon High, there are elements of this. The characters are reincarnations of those from Arthurian legend, so the romances in Arthur legend apply to their reincarnations.
  • Rao Raghunth in Belisarius Series wishes for this when he thinks he will be parted for life from the Princess Shakuntala. As it turns out it wasn't necessary.
  • A verse of the Chaurapanchasikanote  mentions this trope:
    Still I watch over her as she sleeps
    within a thicket formed of sheets and clothes,
    her slender body worn out by our love.
    In all my lives she’ll be the only dawn.
  • In Dorothy Gilman's The Clairvoyant Countess, Joe Painter's song is about a tragic example, prophesied to end in tragedy three times before they get their happy ending. A fortune-teller tells the man in question that their current incarnation is a tragic one.
  • Haik and Mirasol have this combined with Mayfly–December Romance in The Crocodile God. Haik is the titular Crocodile-God of the ancient Tagalog tribe in the Philippines, constantly searching for the human Mirasol as his closest follower and wife. Unfortunately, the islands' centuries of colonization have slowly left Haik depressed from his steadily-dwindling number of followers, and outright traumatized from what happened in the newly-colonized Philippines: Mirasol's Spanish employer shot her while she was pregnant and caused their whale-goddess daughter to be stillborn. In 2017, when Mirasol is a Filipino-American in California, she's now the last of his followers left and Haik's given up trying to break the cycle of loss because he doesn't want to risk going off-script and losing her PERMANENTLY.
  • In Daniel Faust, The Witch and her Knight, characters in the First Story, are destined to meet and fall in love. Since every character in the story reincarnates, they do too. In the series, they are Vanessa Roth and Marie Reinhart respectively.
  • Kind of the central premise of Katherine Kerr's Deverry series. Only the point is to break the cycle. 'Cuz the lovers tend to mess up a lot along the way.
    • Interestingly, of the original Love Triangle, the man who originally won then lost the girl is the one who is not reincarnated but becomes immortal but not unaging, and so is too old for the girl each time she reincarnates (and repeatedly falls in love with his rival). Once the cycle is finally broken, both he and she die of old age and are now reincarnated and Happily Married. It's the other guy who's now unnaturally long-lived...
    • And there's the girl's brother who keeps getting reincarnated. Who also deeply loved her.
  • In Digital Devil Story, the protagonists are the reincarnations of Izanagi and Izanami.
  • Discworld subverts this in a similar manner, where the local Romeo and Juliet Expies would have been Star-Crossed Lovers but they were born centuries apart. On different continents. It's a testament to the power of their love (which never happened) that people still, speak of it.
  • This is part of the backstory for two main characters of the classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber.
  • The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller combines this with a Conspiracy Thriller plot (which is smashing) and with a mystery involving the main character being murdered in her last life (which tips its hand a little bit too much).
  • In Guild Hunter we have Dmitri and Honor, the latter being the reincarnation of the former's first wife and One True Love.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar, Stefan is the reincarnation of Tylendel, who died tragically when both he and his lover Vanyel Ashkevron were teenagers. Seventeen years later, he successfully courts the now-legendary Herald-Mage Vanyel, by this time in his mid-thirties.
  • The House of Night:
    • Kalona with Zoey. Unfortunately, Zoey wasn't exactly human in her last life, and Kalona doesn't really get that the girl who was literally created to love him (It Makes Sense in Context) now has free will. And that they're on opposite sides of a war. Cue very creepy dream-stalking.
    • A reciprocal example is Lenobia and Martin. They met as teenagers in 1788note , but Martin died soon after Lenobia was Marked as a vampire fledging. Around 200 years later, he was reborn.
  • I Became the Wife of the Monstrous Crown Prince: Anthia and Blake are the reincarnations of Laontel and Rakshul. They were lovers in their previous lives, but Laontel's evil childhood friend Phillip created a plague that killed Rakshul in order to have Laontel all to himself. Anthia and Blake are Happily Married, but Richard, Phillip's reincarnation, is trying to split them apart again. After many challenges, Anthia and Blake do get to stay together in their current lives.
  • In Alyson Noel's Immortals series, Ever falls in love with Damen everytime she reincarnates. Justified in that Damen, being immortal, actually seeks out each of her new incarnations.
  • Peter David played with Arthur and Guinivere being this sort of love in Knight Life Series. When Arthur turns up in present-day New York, he finds a woman named Gwen Devere Queen. You can pretty much guess what happens from there, including her rat of a boyfriend Lance (soon to be a literal rat).
  • Done and mixed with Rape Is Love on Laura Esquivel's Law of Love. Apparently, if a guy brutally rapes you and keeps you as his Sex Slave, it means that he's your soulmate.
  • This applies to almost everyone in Memory by Linda Nagata. Each person is bound to one and only one person, who they must track down again and again after each death and reincarnation. When members of such relationships meet up, the physical attraction is so strong that they're forced to love each other. For complicated reasons, the main character has two partners, one of them an imperfect match. Her brother, who had no past lives and will apparently never reincarnate, probably doesn't have any partner, and the same goes for anyone whose partner is Deader than Dead.
  • Done in Midnight Bayou, with Declan and Lena, who were Lena's great-grandparents a few generations back. Though they are surprised to find out that Declan was Lena's great-grandmother rather than great-grandfather.
  • Subverted in The Mists of Avalon: Uther and Igraine were lovers centuries ago in a past life, which explains how quickly they get to know each other and fall in love in their present lives, but it turns out that this is actually a punishment - they were a priest and priestess in their past lives who broke their vows to their Gods, and the Gods cursed them to be constantly reborn into the world with all its sufferings, meeting each other over and over in every incarnation but never reaching enlightenment.
  • The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson: the romance that drives the plot, sending the narrator on a quest across the Mordor-like far future wasteland, is one of these, over a time span long enough for the earth to stop rotating and the sun and every star in the universe to die.
  • The Night World has this halfway. Vampires who are soulmates with a human tend to find that their soulmate is an "Old Soul", a person who reincarnates. In the case of Thierry and his soulmate, this is confirmed, and in the case of Ash and Mary-Lynette, we just get the implication, as he notes that both Mary-Lynette and another old soul have the same look of age in their eyes, and then walks off happily. In theory, there is probably at least one pair of two old souls, but the readers aren't shown any. This is slightly different than their The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle novel counterparts.
  • In The Obsidian Trilogy, after Idalia's Heroic Sacrifice, she gets reincarnated as the daughter of the Elf Queen, so that she and her elven soulmate can be together for a full elven lifespan and avert the Mayfly–December Romance they'd feared.
  • On Fire's Wings had an interesting example that also crossed incest territory.
  • In The Participants by Brian Blose, Hess and Elza meet at the end of the first world and then spend the next 144 worlds finding one another to continue their relationship. This is complicated when Hess suppresses his memories following torture.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter, Maria, Eramus's first wife tried to invoke this with her immortal husband. Unfortunately, he was so caught up in The Mourning After that he was always cruel to her until she no longer wanted to deal with him.
  • There is a teen fiction novel by Suzanne Weyn aptly named Reincarnation. The two main characters are reincarnated (along with their two friends/enemies) over and over until they finally get it right in the modern world. Done beautifully, mainly because she writes every single one of the couples' lives as though they were short stories. Of course there are gender and racial flips, and they don't always die at the same time. In one lifetime, the usually-female soul meets two different incarnations of the usually-male soul: first as her lover who dies tragically young during WWII, and later as a young man who becomes a close friend in her old age. It is really amazing.
  • The Rise of Kyoshi: Variant, combined with Love Father, Love Son. Avatar Kuruk fell in love with his friend Hei-Ran, but since she was married and happy he was convinced to keep quiet; he died shortly after. His reincarnation, Kyoshi, falls in love with Hei-Ran's daughter Rangi, who is repeatedly stated to be basically identical to her mother in every way that matters.
  • Creepy version from the Sammy Keyes series: Sammy's mom, an actress, gets a fake ID so she can claim to be younger. Unfortunately, her new birthdate is the day her boss's wife died, and he not only thinks she's a reincarnation of his wife, he's ready to kill them both to facilitate a Reincarnation Romance.
  • The Secret Circle's Adam and Cassie are destined soul mates who, like their Vampire Diaries novel counterparts, are bound together by a silver cord or string.
  • She codifies this trope and plays it for horror. The titular character, Ayesha, is an egotistical, psychopathic Yandere who murdered her lover in a jealous fit, then became immortal so she could wait for him to be reborn. Unfortunately, he did not remember her (it's left ambiguous whether this trope was really occurring, or it was all in Ayesha's head) and hooked up with someone else. Ayesha...was not pleased.
  • In the bodice-ripper novel The Silver Witch, the hero and heroine arrive at an abandoned house and are immediately struck by the sensation that they've lived there before. Throughout the book, each of them finds themself knowing things about the house that they couldn't possibly have known, having wrong name outbursts—he calls her "Amanda", she calls him "Beau" when their names are "Connor" and "Ashley", and they each have flashbacks or visions of the couple in question. They soon learn that the pair was murdered there 100 years ago and conclude that they are their reincarnations.
  • In The Supervillainy Saga, specifically Cindy's Seven, Cindy is revealed to be the reincarnation of Red Sindi from the Hyborian Age (about 10,000 years earlier). Furthermore, it is revealed that Red Sindi was married to a wizard named Gariel, which is pretty similar to her present-day beau Gary the wizard's name.
  • The Tairen Soul series imply that Fey are reincarnated; Ellysetta dreams about a man she recognizes as Rain (her present-day lover) even though he looks different and has a different name. And the dreams are set several thousand years ago, before either of them were even born. (Typically for the trope, Ellysetta and Rain are canonically soulmates.)
  • The novel Time and Time Again features this, with the added bonus that (a) the guy remembers all of his past lives while the girl does not, and (b) he murdered her in a past life. And can't get over it.
  • In The Vampire Diaries novel series, Stefan and Elena are destined soulmates who are bound together heart to heart by a silver cord.
  • Birgitte Trahelion and Gaidal Cain in The Wheel of Time. Lanfear and Rand are an interesting aversion, as well. Rand is the reincarnation of the long-dead Lews Therin Telamon, who once had a relationship with Lanfear. She sincerely believes in their Reincarnation Romance despite the fact that she, in fact, is immortal and thus never actually reincarnated. He sincerely wishes that this crazy bitch would go away and stop calling him by someone else's name.
  • Wolves of the Beyond has Fengo and Stormfast, who eventually get reincarnated as main characters Faolan and Edme respectively. Strangely, they took different numbers of reincarnations to get there.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's world, this is the norm for elves. They are immortal within the lifespan of the world, and their souls are designed to stay in the world for as long as it lasts. As described in "Laws and Customs of the Eldar", elves generally get reincarnated with full memories if they die, and previously married ones inevitably feel drawn to their spouse. Refusing reincarnation and remarriage is a big deal and can cause serious problems.
  • Tom Holt's You Don't Have To Be Evil To Work Here, But It Helps features a spin on this in which every reincarnation ends up with Star-Crossed Lovers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Brazilian soap Alma Gêmea has this as its primary theme. The story begins when Luna, love interest of the male protagonist Rafael, is shot and winds up reincarnated as the female protagonist, a biracial indigenous woman named Serena, who eventually ends up in the city the story takes place in and falls for Rafael. In the end, Serena and Rafael both die, but fall in love everytime they reincarnate.
  • In the Arrowverse, Kendra Saunders, aka Hawkgirl, and Carter Hall, aka Hawkman, are lovers who've been with each other since ancient Egypt, finding each other only to end up being killed again and again by Vandal Savage.
    • Their relationship is so strong that, as a prior incarnation tells Kendra when they are in the Old West, any relationship other than with Carter (she is starting one with Ray) is doomed to end in tragedy. The older "Kendra" is living alone, just waiting to die and meet "Carter" in her next life.
  • While we don't see one on-screen, the Minbari of Babylon 5 believe that groups of souls can be bound together to relive great relationships or repair bad ones.
  • Saul and Ellen in Battlestar Galactica. Twist: they're passionately in love but also bad influences on each other! Their equivalent of foreplay is borderline spousal abuse. She induces him to alcoholism and his presence tends to bring her manipulative and ambitious sides out. The interesting twist comes from him meeting and falling in love with another woman because he thought Ellen was dead. You can guess how things went when it turned out she's a Cylon and resurrected.
    • Subverted with Tyrol and Tory. Despite being engaged and madly in love the first time around, he shows no interest in her during the series. In fact, when he finds out that she killed Cally, he kills her on the spot.
  • In an episode of Blood Ties (2007), Vicki is hired by a teenaged boy who's looking for his reincarnated lover. They always die together in every life, and they have a deal to meet up at a certain tree in the next; the tree has been replaced by a shopping mall, and he can't find his lover. Turns out the car accident that killed her past self put his past self in a coma for several years before he actually died, so she was reborn years before he was; since he never showed, she's married to another man and is pregnant with his child. The boy tries to kill his lover so that they can start over with a new tree and get it right this time, but Vicki and the woman are able to convince him to move on, arguing that maybe the reason they always keep dying is that they're not really meant to be together.
  • Charmed had Piper and Leo falling in love in a past life. Leo didn't tell Piper since it would be awkward. Especially since, in the past life, they were broken up and she was dating a past life of her current boyfriend. In that episode it was a problem since Phoebe's past life was turned evil by an immortal warlock whom was feared to follow her in all future lives, as it was belived to be true love, and turn her evil. So they cursed her to die young.
  • Downplayed in Dark Shadows. Barnabas, the immortal vampire from 1795, falls in love with various reincarnations of his star-crossed love Josette. His attempts at romancing all of them except Kitty fail, and Barnabas is ultimately unsuccessful at reuniting with Josette.
  • Doctor Who:
    • A variation, as the Doctor's Bizarre Alien Biology allows him to transform into a completely new person with a completely different personality upon death. "School Reunion" dealt with the Tenth Doctor meeting Sarah Jane, a companion of his Fourth incarnation in the 70s. While this episode makes it canon that the Fourth Doctor had been in love with her (something implied but never made clear in the original series) the fact that the Tenth Doctor is completely different to the Fourth Doctor makes the relationship basically impossible to rekindle, and very bittersweet, though they clearly still love each other very much on some level.
    • Averted with River Song, who writes in her diary in "The Eternity Clock" how excited she was to use time travel to go and meet the Doctor's previous incarnations, apparently expecting to be in love with all of them, and being eager to see "the face of her beloved in his first incarnation". She discovers to her horror that not only does she not have any sexual chemistry with the First Doctor (an extremely rude old man she compares to Albert Steptoe) but that he isn't even fun, living in a scrapyard and hanging around with schoolteachers and his granddaughter, which she claims not to be ready for. Later entries in her diary indicate that her opinions of each incarnation of the Doctor go up and down — for instance, she seems to rather like the Fourth Doctor (or at least she likes his hair), hate the Second Doctor (she wishes he'd choke on his recorder) and really get on with the Third, with whom she swaps fashion and hair tips (although she takes care to erase their memories of her so that it will preserve the timeline).
  • Dollhouse has the sci-fi variant with Victor and Sierra. No matter how many times their personalities are deleted, no matter who they're programmed to be, they fall in love with each other, every time. This serves as powerful evidence against the Dollhouse's claim to be able to programme genuine emotions- at one point Victor breaks up with the woman he's programmed to be in love with, because even though this incarnation has never met Sierra he knows there's somebody out there who he loves more.
  • Friends plays with this regarding Monica and Chandler. While not a reincarnation romance, there's an alternate universe episode where both characters, despite significant differences, still fall in love and end up together. So they've been together across time, rather than through it. On the commentary Word of God states the episode showed "they were meant for each other."
  • Guardian: The Lonely and Great God: Between Sunny and Wang Yeo. They don't end up together in this life either, but the finale shows them reincarnated again as ordinary humans and this time they appear to be hitting it off smoothly.
  • Haven has a one-sided example, with Audrey and Nathan being the Official Couple, and two of Audrey's past selves being drawn to him when he travels back in time. Audrey eventually uses this Love Transcends Space Time thing to get around her Heroic Sacrifice: she couldn't come back as Audrey, but comes back as Paige, knowing that she and Nathan will fall in love all over again. Interestingly, Audrey's original personality, Mara, doesn't even like him, though she retains enough of Audrey in her Split-Personality Takeover arc to not kill him.
  • Subverted in Hotel del Luna, contrary to most Korean dramas. Chan-sung is not the reincarnation of Man-wol's first love Chung-myung, though Chan-sung and Man-wol are revealed to be Connected All Along, as his past incarnation and Man-wol had met as children. Also the current reincarnation of Princess Song-hwa previously dated Chan-sung and she later falls in love with the current incarnation of Yeon-woo, when in her past life, she pined over Chung-myung who is not seen to have reincarinated because his soul stayed by Man-wol's side as a firefly for over a thousand years.
  • Kamen Rider Wizard suggests that Haruto and Koyomi had or would have fallen in love. This trope is subverted in a tie-in novel, set two years after the ending of the show, which implies Koyomi is eventually reborn as Haruto's daughter with Rinko.
  • Lois & Clark, in the episode "Soul Mates", turn out to have previously been Lady Loisette and Sir Charles/the Fox in The Middle Ages; and Lulu and a mild-mannered telegraph operator/the Lone Rider in The Wild West.
  • Love and Redemption: The God of War and the Star of Mo Sha fell in love over 1,000 years ago. Their reincarnations Xuan Ji and Si Feng fall in love again. And their meeting in episode one is actually the meeting of their tenth reincarnations.
  • Colombian soap La Otra Mitad Del Sol, which also involves the protagonists getting matching jewelry who were from their previous incarnations/lives, in this case a split sun-shaped medallion from which each lover has one half.
  • In Penny Dreadful, Vanessa is the reincarnation of the Egyptian goddess Amunet, and it is implied she has reincarnated several other times throughout history, with Lucifer and Dracula attempting to make each of her incarnations their Dark Mistress and Apocalypse Maiden. It is also implied that Ethan has reincarnated several times as Vanessa's divine protector, and possible Eternal Love interest.
    Ferdinand Lyle: The Demon, the Hound, the Scorpion. Endlessly circling one another.
  • The Secret Circle: Similar to that of Stefan/Elena from The Vampire Diaries, Adam and Cassie are said to be destined or written in the stars. This implies that the two have reincarnated in lifetime after lifetime and have spent many lifetimes together as soulmates.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine played with this trope occasionally with Dax and the other Trills, humanoid aliens with slug-like symbionts. When one host body grows old and dies, the slug can be implanted in a new host, bringing along the accumulated memories and personalities of the old hosts, to merge with that of the new host. A couple of times, slugs who fell in love with one generation of hosts will meet up generations later and fall in love again, occasionally with gender switches. Led to Star Trek's first girl-girl kiss.
    • Possibly subverted by the fact that relationships between future hosts of the same symbiont pair is forbidden by Trill law, and breaking that law means that the symbionts will not be transferred to new hosts when their current ones die, greatly discouraging Reincarnation Romance and ensuring that it will only occur once per couple if it happens at all, which is odd when you consider the recurring theme that there aren't enough Trill symbionts to go around to begin with.
      • Arguably a Trill-symbiont law that the humanoid half of the society accepts as the symbionts' right to decide for themselves. Surely the slugs have the right to determine their own species' rules?
      • OTOH, that rule was a major law in one episode, and never mentioned before (or since?). It had been broken more than once before it showed up, including in the first Trill episode (The Host, TNG).
      • The whole reason for the episode was that the writers wanted to create an LGBT-issues episode in The '90s, despite full in-story acceptance of LGBT in everyday Federation life. So the in-universe argument became about a written-in issue in Trill culture about not romantically associating with partners from past lives, framing it for a decidedly human audience by gender flipping only one of the new hosts.
  • Ultraman Orb has the titular Ultra, prior to the series, failing to save his sweetheart, Natasha, a hundred years ago, which is caused by the Ultra destroying Maga-Zetton resulting in a huge explosion which results in the Ultra-verse's equivalent to The Tunguska Event. But in the present, Orb later finds out not only did Natasha survive the incident, she goes on to have descendants, one of them, Naomi Yumeno, who ends up as Orb's love interest in the show.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Stefan and Elena's relationship on the show series is primarily built from this trope, mostly because of their novel counterparts, which feature Stefan/Elena as the destined pairing in the books tied together by a silver cord of destiny, indicating that the two are soul mates and have reincarnated lifetime after lifetime. This is even more emphasized in season five, when it is discovered that they are spawned from an ancient true love story of over 2,000 + years between their ancestors, Silas/Amara.
  • The reincarnated Knight in The Wanderer discovers that his true love, the Lady Clare, has also returned. Unfortunately so has his bitch-sorceress of a wife.
  • In What We Do in the Shadows (2019) Nadja has romanced the soul she first knew as the knight Gregor many times. The main obstacle to their love isn't that he's mortal and she's vampire, but that Gregor for some reason gets decapitated in every single life (including the time Nadja got a little overexcited and did it herself.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena and Gabrielle are soulmates who will find each other in every lifetime. They even get married in one of their modern incarnations. The bodies get shuffled around though, with Joxer of all people as the third member.
  • The X-Files:
    • "The Field Where I Died" has a scene where Mulder, under hypnosis, recounts that he, his sister, Scully, and Cancer Man have been reincarnated into each other's lives over several lifetimes and are always related, and Cancer Man is always evil. Mulder's supposed soul-mate-in-every-life is a woman named Melissa who also channels a guy called Sidney and Lily, a little girl. It's kind of wierd that they are supposed to be that close all the time, and here she's one off character who's hard to relate to. This kind of falls apart when Mulder talks about being a Jewish woman and Cancer Man being a concentration camp guard in WW2. Being in his fifties/sixties in the '90s means Cancer Man would have already been alive during the war, as either a child or a teenager and could not have been in the big evil guy in the concentration camp. However, there's also no stated rule that reincarnation is strictly linear in this case - it's possible he was reincarnated into a body that was born several years before the last one dies. Timey-wimey.
    • Inverted in the episode "Hellbound". A serial killer has been skinning his victims and claimed 4 of them so far. Assisted by the local detective Van Allen, Reyes investigated the case. Looking into the archives, they found that similar incidents have occurred every generation; each time 4 victims, all skinned. Going as far as they could, they found an earliest known case where there was only one victim skinned by 4 robbers. The detective turned out to be the killer, and the original victim - but he couldn't let go of his resentment, it tainted all his future incarnations and always seeking to commit revenge on his tormentors across lifetimes. As added bonus, in his dying breath he remarked how Reyes 'always fails to stop the murders', as Reyes is the reincarnation of the sheriff who failed to solve the case.

  • The Dream Theater album Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory tells the story of Nicholas, who goes to a hypnotherapist to learn about his past life. In a previous life, Nicholas was Victoria, who was killed by her lover Julian in a murder-suicide. Then we find out that the hypnotherapist is the reincarnation of Victoria's other lover, Julian's brother Edward, who is the real killer of both Julian and Victoria. And the hypnotherapist kills Nicholas to continue the cycle. Maybe he's still angry that Victoria left him?
  • Michael Jackson 's song This Is It seems to be indicating this.
  • The Barenaked Ladies song "It's All Been Done", which even speculates on the future lives of the singer and his love.
  • The song "The Crossing" by the band The Action Design is about this, and seems to indicate that their current incarnations may not be able to be together for long in this lifetime. But there's always the next one, if worse comes to worst.
  • "In Another Life" by Vienna Teng is an Earn Your Happy Ending take on it, in which the lovers keep dying miserably in different lives while dreaming of being together in a better one. The last verse has them meet on a sunny afternoon and realize they are finally in the better life they wanted.
  • "The Truth" by India.Arie touches on this a little, as part of the song's True Love theme.
  • "Next Lifetime" by Erykah Badu is about meeting a love-worthy man after she's committed to someone else, with the chorus suggesting that perhaps their timing will be better next time. The music video, however, plays the reincarnation theme more strongly, where she and her love interest are shown together in multiple time periods, including Ancient Africa, the Civil Rights Movement, and the distant future.
  • Implied in the video for Taylor Swift's "Love Story," with the two lovers meeting in Regency England, and then seemingly recognizing each other in the present.
  • "Past Lives" by Kesha is about a woman and her lover who reincarnate throughout the ages, sometimes losing each other but finding each other again. She even speculates at one point that they were together as stardust when the universe formed.
  • The video for "Entertainment" by Phoenix depicts three different time periods: old Korea, North Korea (who can ever tell the time period there...), and modern South Korea. Several couples meet across the eras, but only a few of them work out in the end, and only after suffering.
  • "Hands on Me" by Vanessa Carlton. At least from the video, which shows multiple pairs of lovers cycling through.
  • Implied in the KISS song "Odyssey" from Music from "The Elder": "Once upon not yet, long ago someday, countless times we met, met along the way."
  • One popular interpretation (or at least popular in FanVids) of Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years" is that it's about one half of this trope singing about meeting the other in her next life.
  • Discussed in "So Long, Goodbye" by 10 Years. The singer feels he and his love are too different to be together, but he wishes they could be together in another life.
  • An odd combination of this and Adam and Eve Plot occurs in the music video of Breaking Benjamin's "Ashes of Eden". An Ancient Astronaut attempts to rescue her partner who's plummeting to Earth. She fails and they both perish. Their ashes give then birth to organic life. Cue present day where they meet as humans.
  • "In Another Life" by Ashlee Simpson is about someone who feels like the person they're in love with was their lover in a past lifetime as well.
  • "Circle" by Harry Chapin (and covered by The New Seekers) contains a verse about this: "I've found you a thousand times, I guess you've done the same, But then we'll lose each other, It's just like a children's game, As I see you here again, The thought runs through my mind, Our love is like a circle, Let's go round one more time."

    Myths & Religion 
  • A few examples from Hindu Mythology:
    • Shiva's first wife Sati committed suicide by burning herself alive (because her father did not approve of her marriage to Shiva) with hopes she would be able to remarry Shiva in her next life (she does).
    • Another example is the death of Kama, the god of Love, because he interfered with Shiva's meditation. His wife pleads with Shiva who promises her that he would be reincarnated. He is reincarnated as Avatar Krishna's son. Ironically, Kama had interrupted his meditaton to get the catatonically depressed Shiva to notice and fall in love with Parvati, whom he was ignoring.
  • An old Japanese myth says that if two star-crossed lovers commit dual suicide, they get reincarnated as twins.
  • There is, apparently, a Wiccan spell that makes it so that you and your lover will be together forever (Marriage is considered temporary, since it's only till death). Thus, when you two get reincarnated, you will be together, again and again (well, if it works, anyway). The problem is, it's very hard to reverse, and a person's personality changes when they get reincarnated. This is not recommended, especially if you're only dating, since it pretty much screws you over in your next life. Of course, that doesn't mean people wouldn't be stupid enough to try it.
  • Norse Mythology: Poetic Edda says that the valkyrie Sváfa/Sigrún/Kára and her lover Helgi were reincarnated three times as lovers, always meeting a tragic end.
    • The third time might have been the one which ended happily, but unfortunately the final installment Káruljóð is a case of Missing Episode referred to by the complier: he added an epilogue to explain that the story actually continued.
  • Irish Mythology: The Wooing of Étaín tells how Etain, the wife of Midir of the Aos Sidhe, was turned into a fly which was accidentally swallowed by the wife of Etar. She became pregnant by it, and gave birth to the reborn Etain. Midir eventually recognized his wife and took her with him to the land of the Sidhe.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Winter's goal in TNA wrestling was to get Angelina Love to remember that her past lives, where the two had supposedly been lovers, and get rid of distractions like The Beautiful People\Velvet Sky. Love never seemed to recall this but did come to "understand" and for lack of a better term, "date" Winter.

  • Discussed in a Japanese Pokémon radio drama. Musashi and Kojiro play two lovers named "Jessie" and "James" who are the Sole Survivors of a ship crash. As their oxygen depletes, the duo reminisce on their lives together. A dying Jessie mentions that it was destiny that they met and that they will meet again someday.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Curse of Strahd module has a dark example in Strahd's obsession with Tatyana, who he considers his one true love. While he was still mortal, Strahd fell madly in love with Tatyana who in turn had chosen to marry Strahd's brother. When Strahd killed his brother to claim her, Tatyana committed suicide to escape him only for her soul to be trapped in Barovia. Each time Tatyana reincarnates Strahd attempts to capture and wed her, regardless of what she thinks, only for her to be lost to him before he can succeed due to his curse.
  • Happens with Solars and Lunars in Exalted. All Celestial Exalted reincarnate after death (well, it's a bit more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it), and every Solar is bonded to a specific Lunar and vice versa. Such pairs are referred to as mates. Despite the name, it doesn't have to be a romantic relationship; any strong emotional bond can apply, ranging from close friendship to intense hatred. If they're even remotely compatible with one another, though, chances are good that it'll be this. Of course, this isn't exclusive to Solars and Lunars; all Celestial Exalted have memories from past lives, and it's entirely possible to run into a reincarnated lover.
    • There are also a number of subversions. For instance, each Lunar may be bonded with a Solar Exaltation and serve as that incarnation's boon companion... but half those shards have been corrupted by the Neverborn or the Yozi, meaning their mate is now bent towards hideous atrocities. However, this has been reconstructed, in that Abyssals (the ones corrupted by the Neverborn) can fight for and protect their Lunar mate without suffering Resonance, and it's been suggested a number of Infernals (the ones corrupted by the Yozis) will drop their masters' plans like a hot potato once they run into their Lunar mates.
      • Also, the most outstanding example in canon for a Solar/Lunar pair reunited by time is Swan and Lilith. Thing is, Lilith lived through the intervening time period, and remembers everything that Desus, Swan's past incarnation, did to her...
    • Alchemical Exalted likewise get a background that allows them to remember the past lives their heroic soul lived before it was put into a Champion of the State. It often allows them to reunite with old friends and lovers, and helps to resist the encroachment of Clarity.
  • It's not uncommon for innerwalkers in Feng Shui to fall in love with past and future incarnations of love interests, or vice versa.
  • One fan-setting for Mutants & Masterminds combined the backstory of Scarab (Freedom City's Expy of Hawkman) with that of Red Phoenix (a reincarnating Magical Girl Warrior from Silver Age Sentinels), giving them a Carter-and-Shiera-style Reincarnation Romance. The twist is that in the Silver Age this became a May–December Romance, with the middle-aged Scarab trying to hide his feelings for the 20something reincarnation of his lost love from the Golden Age. Then in the Modern Age, Red Phoenix finds herself in a similar situation with the "new" Scarab.
  • Princess: The Hopeful: In her very first life, the Princess who would later become the Queen of Hearts fell in love with and married a young Prince. And ever since, whenever one is reborn the other will shortly follow, and in every life they have met, fallen in love, and wed anew. Neither has ever once loved another, or betrayed their vows.
  • In Vampire: The Requiem, elder vampires run into a strange phenomenon called an Inamorata, a person too exactly like someone extremely dear to the vampire to be a coincidence, centuries after that person died. Drinking their blood makes a vampire feel human again, though in actuality they lose their vampire powers without losing their weaknesses and banes. Very, very old run vampires into the same Inamorata again and again over the centuries.

  • The Musical Aida, based on Verdi's opera, added an epilogue in which this happens to turn the original Downer Ending into a Bittersweet Ending. It's made even better by the fact that the ending is part of the framing device of the show (people are milling around a modern-day museum with Egyptian artifacts) and the audience has pretty much forgotten about the beginning in the wake of what they expect to be the Downer Ending. As such, when Aida and Radames die Together in Death, the audience thinks the show is over...until the curtain rises on the museum and their reincarnations meet.
  • Prince Kaguya: In the epilogue, Kaguya and San are reborn and are able to be together as Shouta Aoi and his manager.

    Video Games 
  • 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim Played straight, averted and even zigzagged.
    • Straight: Miura and Natsuno, as well as Takatoshi and Okino become couples at the end, much like their original Project Ark counterparts. There's also an one-sided example with Ryoko Shinonome, who has a crush on Tetsuya Ida (both in 2188 and in the virtual world), which sorta extends to the Ida's younger self, Shu.
    • Averted: Shu and Tomi, who were a couple in the previous loop, end up with Yuki and Nenji respectively in the current one.
    • Zigzagged: Juro Izumi and Chihiro Morimura were both in love, and it's implied this was the case for their original Project Ark selves as well, Major Izumi and Professor Morimura (if Gouto is to be believed). However, Juro Kurabe and Iori Fuyusaka, their current loop versions, end up with completely different people by the end.
  • In Asura's Wrath, the titular character's wife, Durga, gets killed at the end of the second chapter, while Asura himself dies at the end of the game. In The Stinger, it's revealed that the two have reincarnated into the modern day, once again as husband and wife.
  • In BlazBlue, Hakumen's long-lost lover was an alternate version of Tsubaki Yayoi, and bad things happened to the two after the timeline was modified. In the present, the normally super cold and Lawful Neutral Hakumen is shocked when he sees Tsubaki, and asks her to get up close so he can see her face clearly...
  • Castlevania has the pretty widespread fanon assumption that just as Soma Cruz in the Chronicles of Sorrow titles is the reincarnation of Dracula, Mina Hakuba is similarly the reincarnation of Dracula's two previous wives, Elisabetha Cronqvist and Lisa, with the primary "proof" being that her name is an obvious take on Mina Harker, Dracula's reincarnated wife in Bram Stoker's Dracula. People who aren't fans of the Soma/Mina pairing understandably have an issue with this.
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 shows just how bad things can get if this trope is combined with Mayfly–December Romance. The one who dies young keeps coming back because she wants to be with the other, but the immortal one is eventually driven completely insane from watching his loved one die young over and over again for millennia. What makes things much worse is that said immortal is, according to Word of God, the most powerful villain in the entire franchise.
  • A bit of a complicated example involving both Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates: in Awakening the Hot Witch Tharja can marry a male Avatar (hence refered to as Robin for clarity), and in Fates the Dark Magical Girl Rhajat can marry an Avatar of either gender (hence referred to as Corrin).note  What makes this complicated? While it's strongly implied that Rhajat and Tharja are part of the same reincarnation cycle, and Robin and Corrin are also part of a reincarnation cycle, it's not exactly clear which couple is the Reincarnation Romance: The Rhajat-Corrin S-support implies that Tharja and Robin came first and reincarnated into Rhajat and Corrin, while Rhajat's last words, should Classic Mode be turned on, implies that she will reincarnate into Tharja instead.
    • To a lesser degree, also true for other characters from the Hoshido side: Asugi and Caeldori, who may not be as strongly implied to be the reincarnations of Gaius and Cordelia from Awakening but do share startling similarities with them. Caeldori can marry Asugi and a Male Corrin among others, plus strike an Odd Friendship with Rhajat and be either friends or mother-and-daughter with Female Corrin (if she marries Caeldori's father Subaki); on the other hand Asugi can be friends with a Male Corrin, marry either a Female Corrin, Rhajat or Caeldori, or be the son of a Female Avatar if she marries his dad Saizo. Complicating matters further in Caeldori's case is that if Subaki marries Selena, along with being Cordelia's reincarnation she'd also be Cordelia's granddaughter.
  • Just like in the original series, the Fushigi Yuugi DS game Suzaku Ibun can potentially put a spin on this trope. If the Player Character Madoka falls in love with a guy from the Book World, she will generally have to leave him behind when she goes back home... unless the player gathers enough points to unlock a "Reincarnation Ending", in which the chosen boyfriend will be sent to Earth and be reunited with Madoka.
  • In the Harvest Moon DS, games everyone is an Identical Grandson of the characters of AWL. In terms of the Forget-me-not Valley people, they fall in love with previous love interests. However the Mineral Town people don't have feelings for their grandparents' lovers apparently.
  • The Legend of Zelda uses this with the implied romance between Link and Zelda. The backstory of Skyward Sword reveals that Link and Zelda's spirits are eternally bound by the goddess Hylia's promise to her chosen hero. Unfortunately, the Dying Curse of the demon king Demise means that they are also fated to be plagued by some incarnation of his hatred, which is typically the series' recurring Big Bad, Ganon.
    • Hyrule Warriors takes this to its logical conclusion by making Link and Zelda fall in Love at First Sight. Unfortunately this means Cia, the sorceress who developed her own crush on Link after observing him throughout history, falls into despair upon realizing she has no chance of winning his heart... resulting in her declaring war on Hyrule so she can take the Hero by force and remove the competition.
  • Lufia & The Fortress of Doom and Lufia: the Legend Returns runs on a similar premise: a redhead called a descendant of the legendary hero Maxim, meets a blue haired girl who is a reincarnation of Erim the Sinistral of Death and they fall in love.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, it is strongly hinted, although never outright stated, that Snake and Otacon are the reincarnations of The Joy and The Sorrow.
  • Absolutely applies in Neverwinter Nights 2 Mask of the Betrayer. The PC is carrying around the spirit of Akachi, who tried to bring down the god of death to save his beloved Nefris, who survived to the present and split off an aspect of her personality to form Safiya (curiously Safiya got all of the parts of Nefris that Akachi loved best), whose romance is implied to be the canonical plot ending for a male spirit eater.
  • Oracle of Tao, Anideshi is basically affected by a spell that causes her to remember her reincarnations, and keeps meeting her beloved. Supposedly, when the game starts this is her last incarnation before they pass on. Also, both of them are girls.
  • Locke D'Averam and Princess Andria from Revenant are revealed to have been lovers in their previous lives late in the game, though this crosses over into Resurrected Romance, since only she is a proper reincarnation, while he is, well, a revenant.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • In Shin Megami Tensei I, this is what Yuriko thinks the Hero and the Heroine are, with herself being Lilith, while the player character is supposedly Adam while the heroine is Eve.
    • Gale and Jenna Angel, the Final Boss of the first game are ultimately revealed to be this in Digital Devil Saga, after a complicated set of reveals. Jenna Angel and David Gale were lovers, and David was killed in Angel's arms. David's soul/data went to the sun after death, where it was extracted by the Karma Society and placed in the Junkyard as a combat AI.
  • Played with in Suikoden Tierkreis. Maybelle is convinced that the main character was her true love in a previous life, so they're destined to be together. He finds this incredibly creepy.note 
  • The keystone of the plot and theme of Tales of Innocence. Although since there's a pretty extensive Relationship Values system, maybe Asras and Inanna are crossed by more than just one bad star... ( Although Inanna murdering Asras and causing the fall of Heaven probably didn't help much.)
  • Strongly implied at the end of Utawarerumono. Unfortunately, he goes back to sleep about four seconds later. And it's not entirely clear if and when he'll be back.
  • Xenogears is actually a Deconstruction. While a Reincarnation Romance sounds beautiful, it has an inherent horror in that it revolves around people's loved ones dying over and over again. Fei and Elly have repeatedly found happiness with each other over the millennia of their existence, but Big Bad Miang is reincarnating as well, and ends up repeatedly killing them in horrible ways for interfering in her schemes. Only by defeating her once and for all can Fei and Elly live in peace, which they achieve at the end of the game with the help of their adopted daughter from a previous life together.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 deconstructs this trope: it turns out that if you keep falling in love with a person over and over again, it may mean having to watch them die over and over again, eventually turning into a case of Love Makes You Evil. The original version of Noah was never able to get over his grief at repeatedly losing the original version of Mio over and over again and eventually made a Deal with the Devil, joining Moebius and helping prolong the Forever War they had previously been trying to end in exchange for making the two of them immortal. Unfortunately for him, he didn't ask her first, and when she gets the chance she pulls a Thanatos Gambit to help the protagonists, forcing him to watch her die again, this time for good.

    Visual Novels 
  • Yukito and Misuzu in AIR are reincarnations of Ryuuya and Kanna, although their romantic relationship isn't overtly focused on. Yukito is also the descendant of Ryuuya and Uraha, their family line being dedicated to save the reincarnations of Kanna. It's also implied that after Misuzu's death and Yukito becoming a crow, that they were reincarnated again as the boy and the girl on the beach at the end.
  • In Hashihime of the Old Book Town, Minakami and Tamamori have been together for billions of years, though they never managed to become a couple until his true ending.
  • A recurring theme in The House in Fata Morgana.
    • Official Couple Michel and Giselle get this after Michel dies tragically and Giselle waits nearly a thousand years for his reincarnation to return to her. When Michel is finally able to free Giselle from the mansion, they both leave the afterlife to be reincarnated with their memories intact, reuniting and eventually getting married in their next life.
    • Subverted with Mell and Nellie. While Nellie's obsessive Big Brother Attraction is present in all her lives, Mell never reciprocates and is disgusted each time he discovers the romantic nature of her feelings. The epilogue of the main game suggests that Nellie will finally win his heart when their final reincarnations are shown to be strangers, but the sequel shuts this down when Mell turns out to be her long-lost biological brother.
    • Pauline falls in love with Yukimasa and starts a relationship with him in each of her lives, but Yukimasa is aromantic and can only pretend to return her feelings. Despite this, he cherishes her as his Morality Chain and is willing to go along with the romance to keep her happy.
    • Jacopo falls in love with Morgana and stays there the rest of his existence. While they don't get together in their first life and he marries someone else in his second, his wife turns out to be an incarnation of part of Morgana's soul, and the sequel implies that they'll get together in his third life when Morgana is of age.
  • Magically done, one sided and not played for romance in Tsukihime. Whenever Roa reincarnates, he lures Arcueid to him. He thinks he hates her, but actually loves her. Arcueid actually falls in love with a third party, who stops the whole reincarnation thing and making this Reincarnation Stalker with a Crush.
  • Deconstructed in Umineko: When They Cry: After Beatrice Castiglioni's Death by Childbirth, Kinzo attempted to carry on his love with their daughter due to her Strong Family Resemblance causing him to delude himself into thinking she was her own mother's reincarnation. It's all but outright stated that Kinzo raped his daughter and Beatrice III happened as a result.

    Web Animation 
  • Played for Drama in RWBY, where a Reincarnation Romance going horribly, horribly wrong has shaped the course of human history. Long story short, Salem is a woman cursed by the gods with Complete Immortality for being unable to accept her love's death, and her actions resulted in mortals losing their magic, the death of the first population of humanity, and the departure of the gods from Remnant. Ozma, Salem's love, was later brought back by the God of Light and granted Born-Again Immortality so he could guide and redeem the second population of humanity. Despite the god's warning, Ozma's first reincarnation sought out Salem, and though each had changed, the two rekindled their relationship. Together they found happiness, forged a prosperous kingdom, and even started a family... and then their daughters developed magical powers like their parents. When Salem decided that instead of bothering with the current crop of mundane humans, she and Ozma should replace them with their own empowered descendents, the two came to blows in a battle that left Salem the sole survivor. Ever since, Ozma's reincarnations have been locked in conflict with Salem, him trying to unite and inspire humanity, while she strives to divide and destroy.

  • Shousetsu Bang*Bang has a short comic, "25 lives," about a pair reincarnating again and again. No explanation is given, and there are lifetimes when one kills the other, or one doesn't exist, or they just miss each other.
    Even though each time, I know I'll see you again, I always wonder. Is this the last time? Is that really you? And what if you're already perfectly happy without me?
  • This is a facet of Arthur, King of Time and Space. The characters exist simultaneously in multiple time periods, but most of the romances are the same in all of them, including a few cases where one or both partners is gender-swapped. (For example, Tristram and Isolde are always a couple whether Tristram is male or female.)
  • Homestuck: Zig-zagged. The Trolls all have ancestors which they share genes with. Many of the ancestors' relationships manifest in different forms in their descendants.note 
  • Keychain of Creation: Marena is firmly opposed to this, and refuses any serious relationship with Misho for fear that he'll love her for who she was, not who she is.
  • Leif & Thorn: Leachtric doesn't remember her past life as Rhódon, so she's not sure how to approach Rhódon's reincarnated lover.
  • Alex and Alison from My Life In Blue qualify as a platonic reincarnating love.
  • Referenced by the ghost of Victorian Helen in Narbonic ("kindred souls reborn many times over in similar guise. It's terribly H. Rider Haggard"), although she fails to explain how present-day Helen can be her reincarnation when she still exists as a ghost.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Torg is implied to be the reincarnation of a man named Lord Torgamus, the ruler of a long gone kingdom called Mercia. Lord Torgamus was married to a woman named Valerie. When he died in a weapon accident, Valerie, in her grief, accepted Lysindia's offer to become a vampire. When they meet again for the first time in the modern era, they instantly fall in love again. But this relationship ultimately ends in tragedy when Valerie insists on killing his friends, forcing Torg to stake her and leave her for the sun to finish off.
    • In the ancient past, King Farahn and Queen Siphaniana were deeply obsessed with one another, and the schemes they came up with to control one another ultimately resulted in the destruction of their kingdom. In the modern day, King Farahn and Gwynn herself believe Gwynn to be Queen Siphaniana's reincarnation. King Farahn gives Gwynn power and protects her for this reason, but also keeps her under a tight grip. And since Gwynn has not inherited Queen Siphaniana's obsession with King Farahn, she has been finding his possessiveness difficult to deal with.
  • The short manga The Tsundere Wife and the Crybaby Husband ends this way, with the eponomous couple meeting again as children (but with their genders reversed) in the exact same manner they did at the beginning of the story.
    Even If I'm reborn, I still want to be with you.
  • YU+ME: dream ends with Fiona and Lia deciding to leave Nod. The problem is that both of them are dead in the real world, so Don finds a loop hole that technically "kills" them in Nod, but sends their souls back to Earth, where they can reincarnate and find each other. The second to last page shows that though they haven't met up in the real world, in their new lives, yet, they can still see each other in Nod until they do.

    Web Original 
  • The Twine story "All That We Could Ever Be" depicts a couple reuniting for the final time after an extended reincarnation romance. Describing itself as an 'anti-romance', it quickly turns into a deconstruction depicting the loss of identity and individuality shared by the two.
    One day, I'd like it if you could look at me with pride. Like I had accomplished something(something more than finding you again). But I spend too much time chasing you to be anything more.
  • The Descendants has a pair of villains who were originally "bound by chains of Fate and pinned to the wheel of resurrection", allowing them to have this. But in the present, the spell has degraded so badly that they absolutely hate each other and yet are still drawn to each other in every lifetime and usually end up killing each other.
  • Semi-subverted in Whateley Universe: Due to The Kodiak's Dying Curse following the destruction of Atlantis and the death of Queen Anghadhail, both he and his mate Grizzlynote  were trapped by that curse, reincarnating as humans century after centur. While they were not always aware of the Red String of Fate which bound them, in most of their lives they would end up reunited, often as spouses (though which was husband and which wife varied). These relationships were rarely harmonious, but they did occur whenever they both were reborn close enough to each other for them to reunite.

    Web Videos 
  • A cross-series example occurs between 3rd Life SMP and Empires SMP Season 1. Scott and Jimmy fall for each other and have a Common Law Marriage in 3rd Life, become Together in Death after both of them are Killed Off for Real by nature of the Deadly Game premise of the series, reincarnate in the Empires world at some point, and fall for each other again.note 
  • Last Life has this as its central premise, featuring an enduring romance between two dark witches—one who has no memory of her past lives, and the other who finds out that her current life might be her last (hence the title).

    Western Animation 
  • Played with in the American Dad! episode "A Star is Reborn". Stan and Francine were revealed to be reincarnations of former Hollywood stars, both of whom were murdered by the wife of Stan's previous incarnation.
  • DC Super Hero Girls also features the Hawkman/Hawkgirl romance. Carter Hall remembers his past relationships and knows that they're destined to be reincarnated, fall in love, and die tragically. When he sees Hawkgirl's current reincarnation Shiera Sanders, Karen (Bumblebee) gets so caught up in the love story, she goes overboard trying to help them get together. When he learns that the villain Hath-Set is destined to track them down and kill them once they meet, he decides to Screw Destiny and deliberately avoid Shiera so that she can live a long and happy life, even if he can't be part of it.
  • Family Guy and its power couple, Peter and Lois have apparently been reincarnated several times from the stone age to now. The most prominent are Nate Griffin and Lois' ancestor (meaning that in some way, Lois and Peter may be blood related), and Griffin Peterson and Lady Redbush (which may or may not have the same conspiracy).
  • Played with in Green Lantern: The Animated Series. Aya's human form is based on Illana, Razer's dead wife. She later becomes his Second Love.
  • Justice League Unlimited runs with the Hawks being reincarnated, with the added twist that so is Green Lantern, and it's suggested he's who Shayera is meant to end up with (though not before she falls in love with a male Hawk).