Magical Girl Anime has been a staple in the anime community for decades, with characters like Sailor Moon, Utena Tenjou, and Tokyo Mew Mew.
Get ready for a thrilling ride with magical girl anime! Wave your wand and put on your frilly dress!
Don’t dismiss the genre as cliché – these shows prove naysayers wrong by showcasing magical girl anime’s incredible depth and excitement.
Magical Girl Anime Shows for Beginners to Dive Into!
Magical girls have been slaying evil since before it was cool, so gear up to witness some serious girl power for at least a few decades now.
Admit it; there’s an undeniable badass quality to a beautiful girl effortlessly taking down evil. This is precisely why mahou shoujo (magical girl) anime remains one of the most beloved genres, standing the test of time.
First episode: March 7, 1992
Final episode: February 8, 1997
Networks: TV Asahi, Seven Network, All-Nippon News Network
Sailor Moon, a classic magical girl anime, burst onto the scene in the early 1990s and became a beloved genre icon. Created by Naoko Takeuchi, the series follows the adventures of Usagi Tsukino, a seemingly ordinary teenage girl who discovers she is the reincarnation of the titular Sailor Moon, a magical warrior destined to save Earth from evil forces.
As a magical girl anime, Sailor Moon combines elements of fantasy, romance, and action to create a captivating story. Usagi and her fellow Sailor Scouts use their magical powers to battle various enemies and protect the world from danger.
First Episode: April 2, 1997
Final Episode: December 24, 1997
Program Creators: Kunihiko Ikuhara, TV Tokyo, YOMIKO Advertising
Powers and Abilities: Swordswomanship, Hand-to-hand combatant, Reflexes
Utena Tenjou is the protagonist of the revolutionary anime and manga series “Revolutionary Girl Utena” (Shoujo Kakumei Utena), created by the collective Be-Papas, with Chiho Saito responsible for the manga illustrations. The series first aired in 1997 and quickly gained a cult following for its unique approach to storytelling, blending surrealism, psychological themes, and complex character relationships.
Utena Tenjou is a strong-willed, androgynous magical teenage girl who, after being inspired by a prince in her childhood, decides to become a prince herself. She enrolls in the prestigious Ohtori Academy. She becomes entangled in a series of duels with other students to win the “Rose Bride,” Anthy Himemiya, and ultimately revolutionize the world.
3Magical Ojamajo Doremi
Occupation: Student, Witch Apprentice, Teacher (Ojamajo doremi 19)
Magical Ojamajo Doremi, also known as “Magical DoReMi” or simply “Ojamajo Doremi,” is a magical girl anime series that first aired in Japan in 1999. The show was created by Toei Animation and is known for its unique blend of humor, magic, and life lessons aimed at younger audiences.
The story revolves around Doremi Harukaze, an eight-year-old girl who accidentally discovers a witch’s shop run by a real witch named Majorika. After inadvertently turning Majorika into a magical green blob, Doremi must become a witch apprentice to help reverse the spell.
4Tokyo Mew Mew
Authors: Mia Ikumi, Reiko Yoshida
Genre: Shojo manga
Episodes: 52 (Japanese); 26 (English); (List of episodes)
There is no doubt that this genre has surpassed the definition of magical girl anime by transforming ducks and humans into cat-like creatures!
We never thought we’d hear about a radioactive spider fusing with human DNA in our lifetimes, but it has! Five school girls who get caught up in an earthquake become heroic cat girls called Mew Mews after being bathed in a mysterious light.
There is more science than sorcery in this series.
5Senki Zesshou Symphogear
Network: Tokyo MX, tvk, TVA, CTC, MBS, Kids Station
If you want an anime with magical girls, idols, and mecha all in one, you should watch Symphogear! As for the production quality and plot, it could have been better.
It’s still pretty cool to see the transformations! Despite my misgivings about the anime, I recommend it to those who liked Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and want to take it to the next level.
6Magical Princess Minky Momo
Final episod: December 23, 1992
First episode: March 18, 1982
Networks: TV Tokyo, TX Network, Nippon Television Network System
Ashi Productions produces Magical Princess Minky Momo, an anime franchise featuring magical girls. Television Tokyo aired the original series from 1982 to 1983, and three OVAs followed in 1985, 1986, and 1987.
The old cartoon style should satisfy this classic magical girl anime. Young anime fans love the adorable Minky Momo for a reason. Even though it was first released in the 1980s, rewatch this even if you’ve watched it before as a kid!
7Pastel Yumi, The Magic Idol
Pastel Yumi, The Magic Idol, known as “Mahou no Idol Pastel Yumi” in Japanese, is a magical girl anime show that first aired in Japan in 1986. Produced by Studio Pierrot, the series is one of the lesser-known but cherished magical girl shows from the 1980s.
The story centers around Yumi Hanazono, a cheerful and creative young girl who dreams of becoming a successful fashion designer.
One day, she encounters two flower fairies, Kakimaru and Keshimaru, who grant her the power to transform her drawings into reality using a magical wand.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing a girl constantly bullied take on some dope responsibilities to save the world.
In a nutshell, Pretear appears to be a typical bishounen harem based solely on its posters.
However, it isn’t!
All of the Knights do not love Awayuki Himeno.
Some view her as an elder sister but an equal by others.
The perfect blend of drama, action, comedy, and romance makes it a breath of fresh air. Everyone can find something they like.
9Fate / Kaleid liner Prisma Illya
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya is a magical girl anime and manga series that serves as an alternate universe spin-off of the popular visual novel and anime franchise Fate/stay night. Created by Hiroshi Hiroyama, the series first appeared as a manga in 2007 and was later adapted into an anime in 2013.
The story revolves around Illyasviel von Einzbern, commonly known as Illya, who is an ordinary elementary school girl in this alternate universe. Her peaceful life is turned upside down when she encounters a magical wand called the “Magical Ruby,” which bestows upon her magical girl powers.
The wand and its sibling, “Magical Sapphire,” previously belonged to two other characters from the Fate/stay night universe, Rin Tohsaka and Luviagelita Edelfelt.
10Houkago no Pleiades
The universe, Aliens, and Magic, That’s what Houkago no Pleiades is about- throwing all these elements into a pot and letting them simmer. There is no doubt that this show will hook you right in if you love mysteries and guessing games.
This magical girl anime often leaves you wondering what the story is about, but that’s precisely its appeal.
Houkago no Pleiades puts you right in the middle of the action, unlike most shows that attempt to explain what’s happening. This will make you feel like a wallflower tagging along. It will take you only a short time to realize that the whole journey was worth it when you understand what’s happening.
This Series Combines Magical Realism With Slice-Of-Life
The heroine of Flying Witch, Makoto Kowata, leaves Yokohama to live with her family in Aomori while keeping her secret that she is studying to become a witch. Various magical entities frequently confront Makoto despite Aomori’s seemingly quiet life.
A slice-of-life setup is combined with magical realism in the series. In its most literal sense, Flying Witch is a magical girl anime, as there are no battles. However, Makoto does feature one iconic aspect of the genre: a talking cat. She can only be understood by witches, of course.
12Is This A Zombie?
Okay, get this – technically, “Is This a Zombie?” is a magical girl anime. Yes, you read that right. It has all the signature features like transformations, high stakes, and many ribbons.
But hold on to your chainsaws because this show is far from your typical magical girl tale.
It’s more of a comedy that parodies the genre while serving plenty of excitement.
Ayumu Aikawa, our hero (who also happens to be dead), stumbles into the role of a magical girl through a series of wacky mishaps. Oh, and did we mention he wields a chainsaw?
Because this show doesn’t take itself too seriously, and we’re here for it.
13Black Rock Shooter
Black Rock Shooter is a multimedia franchise that began as an original character illustration by Japanese artist Ryohei “Huke” Fuke. The character gained popularity online, and a song by the same name, performed by the Vocaloid character Hatsune Miku, was created by Supercell member Ryo.
The franchise has since expanded into various forms of media, including an OVA (Original Video Animation), an anime series, manga, and video games.
The anime series aired in 2012 and consists of eight episodes. It tells the story of two parallel worlds – one is the real world, where the main character, Mato Kuroi, befriends Yomi Takanashi. The other world is a mysterious and dystopian realm where Mato’s other self, Black Rock Shooter, exists.
14Magic Knight Rayearth
Magic Knight Rayearth is a magical girl anime and manga series created by the all-female manga artist group CLAMP. First published as a manga in 1993, it was adapted into an anime series in 1994. The series is known for its unique blend of magical girl elements, mecha, and fantasy RPG (role-playing game) themes, which makes it stand out among other supernatural girl shows.
The story follows three high school girls, Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki, and Fuu Hououji, who are transported to the magical world of Cephiro during a field trip to Tokyo Tower.
15Little Witch Academia
Release date: March 2, 2013 (Japan)
Sequel: Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade
Little Witch Academia is an anime franchise created by Studio Trigger, which began as a short film in 2013, followed by another short film, “Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade,” in 2015. The franchise’s popularity led to a full-length TV anime series that aired in 2017 with 25 episodes.
The story revolves around Atsuko “Akko” Kagari, a young girl who enrolls at the prestigious Luna Nova Magical Academy to fulfill her dream of becoming a witch. Akko is inspired by her childhood idol, Shiny Chariot, a famous witch known for dazzling magic shows.
Get ready to experience the mega-hit franchise that’s taken Japan by storm – Pretty Cure! This behemoth of a series first graced our screens in 2004 with a 49-episode debut, and it’s been going strong ever since.
It’s on its 18th season, “Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure,” which introduces the franchise’s 16th generation of magical girls.
Now, let’s be real – this anime mainly aims at kids and has a bit of a Power Rangers vibe. But don’t be fooled – Pretty Cure is a consistent and surprisingly enjoyable watch. With lovable characters, witty humor, and ever-changing themes, you’ll be hooked from the get-go.
17The Demon Girl Next Door
The Demon Girl Next Door, also known as “Machikado Mazoku” in Japanese, is a dark magical girl anime show that blends comedy and supernatural elements. The series, created by Izumi Ito, started as a manga in 2014 and was later adapted into an anime in 2019.
The story centers around Yuuko Yoshida, a seemingly ordinary high school girl who suddenly discovers she is a descendant of a dark clan cursed and weakened by a magical girl clan many years ago. Yuuko awakens her demon powers and becomes “Shadow Mistress Yuuko” (or “Shamiko” for short) with a mission to defeat a magical girl to lift the curse on her family.
18Sugar Sugar Rune
A world filled with cotton candy wouldn’t be the place for deep themes. Precisely for this reason, Sugar Sugar Rune will take you by surprise.
The movie Inside Out helps kids sort through different emotions nowadays. I used to play Sugar Sugar Rune when I was a kid. The course introduced me to the complexity of human emotions. It is surprisingly consistent, and the story takes you on a journey that evokes many emotions as you follow two witches who are out collecting hearts.
Ojamaju Doremi, also known as “Magical DoReMi” or “Magical Ojamajo Doremi,” is a magical Japanese girl anime series that originally aired from 1999 to 2002. Produced by Toei Animation, the show is well-known for its entertaining blend of humor, magic, and life lessons targeting younger audiences.
The story revolves around Doremi Harukaze, a cheerful but clumsy third-grade girl, who stumbles upon a magic shop owned by Majo Rika, a real witch.
Due to several events, Doremi inadvertently turns Majo Rika into a magical frog-like creature. To help reverse the curse, Doremi becomes a witch apprentice under Majo Rika’s guidance.
20Princess Tutu – Magical Girl Anime
Princess Tutu puts a unique spin on the magical girl genre by depicting its protagonist, Ahiru, as not your typical clumsy girl.
She isn’t a hero, as everyone would expect.
However, she is a magical being. In Princess Tutu, the ugly duckling transforms into a talented prima ballerina with her awesome dance moves, much like the ugly duckling from the story of the ugly duckling to the pretty swan!
Princess Tutu is on a mission to collect the heart of her beloved. Comedy, action, and romance combine to make this an innocent, fun movie. Princess Tutu is a good choice if you’re looking for a classic anime story.
21Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch is a magical girl anime and manga series that combines elements of magical girls, mermaids, and idol singers. The manga, created by Michiko Yokote, Pink Hanamori, and Mayumi Azuma, was first published in 2002, and the anime adaptation aired from 2003 to 2004.
The pearls are vital to the mermaid kingdom, possessing immense power. The story follows Lucia Nanami, the Mermaid Princess of the North Atlantic Ocean, who comes to the human world to retrieve her stolen pearl.
While on her quest, Lucia discovers that she can transform into a magical girl with the help of her pearl and become an idol singer called Pink Pearl Voice.
Shugo Chara is an excellent example of a magical girl anime that doesn’t rely on traditional outfits or transformation sequences.
The film deserves to be included due to its exciting plot. This story is about Amu, a girl who meets her guardian characters. As a team, they help Amu understand who she would like to be and help her reach her full potential.
This series will be helpful to those who wish to explore their true selves on the path to improvement and growth.
23Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
One day after school, Nanoha discovers an injured ferret named Yuuno, an archaeologist from another world! Yuuno gives Nanoha a red jewel that enables her to use magic and transform.
The creature then instructs her to collect the remaining jewels around the world. (Somehow, I remember hearing about this when it came to cards?) Initially, Nanoha’s story seems like a typical magical anime, but it eventually turns into a much darker, more complicated story filled with plot twists and memorable side characters.
Even though this anime primarily aims at older audiences, younger children enjoy it.
24Unlike Puella Magi Madoka Magica!
Puella Magi Madoka Magica might be better if you’re tired of cutesy transformations and child-friendly plots in most magical girl anime.
This series challenges magical girls in every way you previously thought they were. The characters are still cheerful, and the premise is the same as always. Madoka, however, is nothing like that after a few episodes.
You should check out the next choice on my list if you want to watch something with your younger siblings. For those who are up for truth bombs and the darker side of magic, this is a must-see.
25Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Saving the world would require sacrifice, but what would that sacrifice look like? Fans of the magical girl genre will find the premise of Puella Magi Madoka Magica quite familiar. Schoolgirl Madoka Kaname makes a supernatural contract with her friends in middle school to gain magical abilities.
They are tasked with rescuing the world by hunting down witches. In reality, however, much more is happening than meets the eye.
Almost every trope associated with magical girl anime was subverted in Madoka Magica. Magical girls face unimaginable dangers and sacrifices in exchange for the powers they desire in Madoka Magica. Soon after watching the show, viewers will discover it is incredibly heartbreaking.
Despite its popularity spanning generations, CardCaptor Sakura has managed to maintain its popularity over the years.
Sakura Kinomoto, 10 years old, has a crush on a friend of her brother, and her life revolves around her crush. Everything changes, however, when Sakura accidentally releases magical and powerful Clow Cards.
Afterward, she was obliged to return them all. Thus being a “Card Captor”. You will be introduced to all the craziness of the genre, including transformations, classical elements, and magical sidekicks like Keroberos. Magical girl fans will love this. I can’t recommend it enough.
27Revolutionary Girl Utena
Get ready to step into the world of “Revolutionary Girl Utena,” where swords clash, and hearts are won. Meet Utena Tenjou, a spunky teenage orphan with a lifelong dream of becoming a prince.
With her impressive sword skills and unwavering determination, she enters a world full of rivals and fierce duels.
But here’s the thing – “Revolutionary Girl Utena” isn’t your run-of-the-mill magical girl anime.
It’s a groundbreaking series that explores various tropes in unique and thought-provoking ways. It deconstructs the prince fairytale genre and fearlessly tackles queer topics and feminism, making it a true trailblazer in its time.
28Shana Of The Burning Eyes
Welcome to the world of “Shakugan no Shana” – an anime that unveils a parallel realm that coexists alongside Earth. It’s a world plagued by a never-ending conflict between those who seek power at any cost and those fighting to restore balance.
Enter Yuuji, a boy saved from certain death by a mysterious girl named Shana. But here’s the kicker – Shana reveals to him that he’s no longer alive.
Yup, you heard that right.
Together, they join forces to preserve both worlds, forging a bond that slowly blossoms into something more. While the opening arc may be a bit slow, “Shakugan no Shana” picks up speed as it goes along. The anime focuses heavily on Shana and Yuuji’s romance, which is the story’s heart. And trust us – it’s a heart you won’t want to miss.
29Searching For The Full Moon
Step into the world of “Searching For The Full Moon” – a magical girl anime that takes a refreshingly simple approach to the genre. Meet Mitsuki Koyama, a 12-year-old with big dreams of becoming a singer.
But a devastating sarcoma diagnosis shatters her hopes, leaving her only one year to live.
As if that wasn’t enough, two Shinigami (aka death spirits) pay her a visit with even worse news – she’s got just one year to live. But wait, there’s a catch – if she agrees to die peacefully after a year, she can magically transform into a 16-year-old and compete in the idol auditions.
30Series: Magical Girl Apocalypse
Published: Jun 12, 2012 to Aug 12, 2017
Genres: Action, Horror, Mystery, Supernatural
What’s more terrifying than the threat of a pandemic and magical girls? This combo is unique; it is named Mahou Shoujo Of The End (Magical Girl Apocalypse). It was created by Sato Kentaro in 2012 for Shonen Champion Magazine before being compiled into 16 volumes with an English translation released via Seven Seas Entertainment in 2014!
Magical Girl Apocalypse, also known as “Mahou Shoujo of the End” in Japanese, is a dark magical girl anime and manga series created by Kentaro Sato. The manga began serialization in 2012, and the story stands out for its unique combination of magical girl elements with horror, gore, and apocalyptic themes.
The story centers around Kogami Kii, an ordinary high school student caught in a sudden and terrifying apocalypse initiated by the appearance of murderous, grotesque magical girls. These magical girls wreak havoc and destruction, slaughtering everyone in their path, leaving Kii and a group of survivors to navigate the chaos and unravel the mysteries behind this deadly phenomenon.
Anime loli Magical Girl
Have you ever heard the term “loli” and wondered what it means? Or maybe you’re a fan of magical girl anime and wonder if the two are the same.
Well, let’s clear things up once and for all – “loli” and “magical girl” are not interchangeable terms.
While “magical girl” refers to a specific anime genre that features young girls with magical powers, “loli” is a term that describes a particular type of anime character design.
Lolis are typically depicted as young, cute, and innocent-looking girls, often with exaggerated features like big eyes and petite frames.
So there you have it – while there may be some overlap between the two (after all, many magical girl anime feature characters with loli-like designs), they are not the same.
And let’s be clear – while the loli aesthetic may appeal to some, it’s important to remember that these characters are fictional and should not be fetishized in real life.
Based on this, we can determine the following two facts:
Loli: is a character who resembles a young child
Magical Girl: A female character who can switch between being a civilian and a hero with the aid of a magic item.