The series was adapted by Toei Animation as a 76-episode anime television series which aired on TV Asahi and Fuji TV in 1994 to 1995. This was followed by a prequel theatrical anime movie in 1995. The series was also adapted as a 30-episode live-action television series that was broadcast in Taiwan in 2002. They were also unable to renew the license for the first twenty-four episodes of the anime.
Toei Animation adapted Marmalade Boy into a 76-episode anime television series which aired on TV Asahi in 1994 to 1995. This was followed by a prequel theatrical anime movie in 1995. The anime series was licensed for Region 1 DVD release by Tokyopop, which released the series in four box sets. Tokyopop’s license had since expired, leaving the anime out of print, until May 6, 2017, when Discotek Media announced they have licensed the anime, and would release the series in two DVD sets. The first set (episodes 1-38) has been released on August 29, 2017, and the second set (episodes 39-76) on November 28, 2017. An SD on BD Set has been announced for 2018.
The movie for the anime acts as a prequel to the story. Taking place as a flashback after Yuu kisses Miki in the nurse’s office, he recalls the first time he met Miki, shortly after his parents told him of their impending divorce and spouse swap. He found Miki practicing tennis in the park and spent the rest of the day following her around, eventually finding out she was to be his new stepsister. According to this movie, Yuu was in love with Miki before the family’s meeting. The second Discotek set, as well as the upcoming SD on BD set has the movie packaged in there.
is a lively high school student, who is on the Toryo High School tennis team. She is cheerful, friendly, supportive, outspoken, a big girly girl and good-hearted. On the other hand, she can also be insecure, whiny, clingy, and very emotionally dependent on others. She had a part-time job working in an ice cream parlor, called Bobson’s. Later, she works in a small decoration shop.
When she was in junior high, she confessed her love to a male friend of hers named Ginta, but it was a disaster and Miki ended up heartbroken. Eventually she got over it and became friends with him again.
While Miki was in high school, her parents went on a trip to Hawaii and decided to swap spouses with another couple. The other couple had a son the same age as Miki, and they all moved into a large house to live together. That boy was Yuu Matsuura, and Miki started to fall in love with him as they came to know each other better. However, Miki was very uncertain of herself and became jealous because Yuu was always surrounded by other girls, several of them being very beautiful and mature while Miki believes herself to be only average-looking and childish. She and Yuu eventually became a couple, but they didn’t tell their parents because they believed their parents would disapprove. They confessed their love to each other in episode 25, and started dating in episode 26. Due to Yuu being away in New York, and Miki tired of worrying all the time, she broke up with him in episode 62. But the two got back together in episode 71 when he returned for summer break. A misunderstanding causes Yuu to believe that they are half-siblings, and he breaks up with her without telling her the real reason, thinking the truth would be more painful. But after some time trying to make the right decision, they decide to marry and ask for their parents’ approval. There, they learn that they are not related and receive their parents’ blessing. By the end of the anime, they marry; at the end of the manga, they make plans to marry after college.
is the male protagonist of the series. Miki gives him the “Marmalade Boy” moniker as she thinks that he is like marmalade – pretty looking, and sweet only on the surface, yet bitter. Compared to Miki, Yuu’s character is almost a complete opposite to hers, as he tends to be more detached, less emotional, and less open about his feelings. He admits to admiring Miki’s ability to show her emotions clearly, and it being one of the reasons he fell in love with her. Yuu is smart and naturally athletic, being able to excel in almost every sport although he did not join any clubs in order to focus on his studies. Yuu’s dream is to become an architect and in the anime he leaves to attend St. Andrews high school near New York City to study it there. Yuu teases Miki a lot, but this is his way of showing affection for her. His first kiss with Miki is a complete surprise for her because she had only met him a few days prior at an introductory dinner attended by both their families. The Marmalade Boy Movie, which is a prequel to the TV series and set a few days before this dinner, reveals that Yuu fell in love with Miki before they actually met. It shows that he saw Miki when she was out and followed her, witnessing her interactions with the Gastman Team, all without her knowledge.
One of Yuu’s biggest goals, in addition to being an architect, is to uncover his paternity. A series of unfortunate events leads him to believe that Youji is not his biological father. Nobody knows of his quest at first, especially Miki, as he researches various individuals who may or may not have fathered him, accumulating with him believing that Jin is his father, and Miki to be his half-sister. However, it is revealed that Youji is his true father and is free to continue his and Miki’s relationship. At the end of the anime, they marry; in the manga, they are making plans to marry after college.
is Miki’s best male friend and a member of the Toryo tennis team. Miki has had a crush on him since junior high and confessed her feelings to Ginta in a note. However, the note was found by Ginta’s classmates, and Ginta downplayed it, without knowing at the time that she was watching, although he felt the same way about Miki.
Although he did find out that Miki had witnessed his denial of any interest in her, he was unable to tell her how he really felt until high school. The romantic tension between them comes to a head with Yuu’s appearance, which makes them realize that they still have feelings for each other. He decides to go along with Yuu’s ex-girlfriend Arimi’s proposal that they pose as a couple in order to drive a wedge between Miki and Yuu. In the process however, he starts to develop genuine feelings for Arimi, which she later reciprocates.
is Miki’s best female friend. Meiko is the only child of wealthy parents and is very mature and beautiful. However, her family life is troubled because her parents are unfaithful to each other and constantly argue. She falls in love with Shinichi Namura after realizing that he has the maturity that she craves, but their relationship as teacher/student proves to be a huge hindrance. After finally gaining her parents’ approval, they are able to marry.
is a former classmate of Yuu’s at his previous high school. She convinces Yuu to be her “boyfriend” for three months, during which they act as a couple on a trial basis. Arimi attempts to make Yuu to fall in love with her during this time, but fails. At the end of the three months, he still thought of her as a friend.
Miki’s indecisiveness about Ginta and Yuu frustrates her, as she does not think that Yuu deserves someone who cannot commit to one person. Arimi teams up with Ginta in an attempt to drive Yuu and Miki apart from each other. However, she eventually realizes that Yuu’s behavior around Miki indicates that he does like her, so she stops her pursuit of him. Some time later, she develops feelings for Ginta and they become a couple.