Magical Girl Anime has been a staple in the anime community for decades, with characters like Sailor Moon, Utena Tenjou, and Tokyo Mew Mew.
Prepare for an exhilarating experience with magical girl anime! Wave your wand and put on your frilly dress! Don’t underestimate the genre as predictable – these shows demonstrate the remarkable depth and thrill of magical girl anime, disproving any skeptics.
Magical Girl Anime Shows for Beginners to Dive Into!
Let’s be honest; there’s something undeniably cool about a beautiful girl taking down villains easily. That’s why the mahou shoujo (magical girl) genre has always been a fan favorite.
First episode: March 7, 1992
Final episode: February 8, 1997
Networks: TV Asahi, Seven Network, All-Nippon News Network
The story follows the exciting adventures of Usagi Tsukino, a seemingly average teenage girl who discovers she is the reincarnation of Sailor Moon, a magical warrior. Her destiny is to save Earth from the clutches of evil forces.
Sailor Moon is a captivating anime that blends fantasy, romance, and action to create an intriguing plot. Usagi and her fellow Sailor Scouts employ their magical powers to fight against the evil forces and protect the planet.
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
This story has a distinct style, combining surreal elements, psychological concepts, and intricate character dynamics. The protagonist, Utena Tenjou, is a determined androgynous teenage girl with magical abilities. Her childhood encounter with a prince inspires her to become a prince herself, leading her to enroll in the prestigious Ohtori Academy. Throughout the story, Utena engages in duels with fellow students, all vying for the title of “Rose Bride.”
There are many students competing to become the “Rose Bride” and win the affection of Anthy Himemiya, with the ultimate goal of revolutionizing the world. In the anime series called Magical Ojamajo Doremi, the main character is a student who is also a witch apprentice and later becomes a teacher. The show first aired in Japan in 1999 and is also commonly referred to as “Magical DoReMi” or “Ojamajo Doremi.”
3Magical Ojamajo Doremi
Occupation: Student, Witch Apprentice, Teacher (Ojamajo doremi 19)
There is an animated show that combines humor, magic, and life lessons for younger viewers. It centers around an eight-year-old girl named Doremi Harukaze who stumbles upon a witch’s shop owned by a real witch named Majorika. By accident, Doremi turns Majorika into a frog, and they must work together to find a way to reverse the spell.
To reverse the spell that turned a peaceful town into a green blob, Doremi becomes a witch apprentice and works tirelessly with her team. If you’re looking for an anime featuring magical girls, Senki Zesshou Symphogear is a great choice. This series has 13 episodes and airs on Tokyo MX, tvk, TVA, CTC, MBS, and Kids Station.
4Senki Zesshou Symphogear
Network: Tokyo MX, tvk, TVA, CTC, MBS, Kids Station
You should try watching Symphogear! Although the production quality and plot could have been improved, it’s still really neat to witness the transformations. Despite my reservations about certain aspects, overall it’s worth checking out.
5Magical Princess Minky Momo
Final episod: December 23, 1992
First episode: March 18, 1982
Networks: TV Tokyo, TX Network, Nippon Television Network System
If you’re a fan of classic magical girl anime, you should check out Pastel Yumi, The Magic Idol. This adorable show, also known as “Mahou no Idol Pastel Yumi” in Japanese, first aired in Japan in 1986 and has a charming old-school cartoon style that is sure to delight young anime fans. Even if you watched it as a kid, it’s worth re-watching now! The show was produced by Studio Pi.
6Pastel Yumi, The Magic Idol
The story takes place in the 80s and follows the journey of Yumi Hanazono. Yumi is a joyful and imaginative young girl who aspires to become a pprosperous fashion designer. One day, she meets two flower fairies named Kakimaru and Keshimaru. The fairies bestow upon her the ability to bring her sketches to life through transformation.
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.
Witnessing a girl who was once subjected to constant bullying rise to the occasion and shoulder significant responsibilities to save the world brings me immense joy.
At first glance, Pretear may seem like a typical bishounen harem, judging solely by its posters. But don’t be deceived! Awayuki Himeno, the protagonist, isn’t loved by all the Knights in the story. While some see her as an elder sister, others treat her as an equal.
What sets Pretear apart is its perfect combination of drama, action, comedy, and romance, making it a refreshing and enjoyable experience for everyone, as there’s something for each viewer to appreciate.
8Fate / Kaleid liner Prisma Illya
Hiroshi Hiroyama created the magical girl anime and manga series Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya, serving as an alternate universe spin-off of the renowned visual novel and anime franchise Fate/stay night. The manga debuted in 2007, and in 2013, it was adapted into an anime.
The series centers around Illyasviel von Einzbern, also known as Illya, an ordinary elementary school girl in this alternate reality. Her life takes a dramatic turn when she stumbles upon the “Magical Ruby,” a magical wand that grants her the powers of a magical girl.
Previously, both the “Magical Ruby” and its counterpart, the “Magical Sapphire,” belonged to two other characters from the Fate/stay night universe, namely Rin Tohsaka and Luviagelita Edelfelt.
Flying Witch combines magical realism with slice-of-life elements.
Makoto Kowata, the protagonist, moves from Yokohama to Aomori to live with her family, all the while concealing her ambition to become a witch. Despite Aomori’s tranquil appearance, Makoto frequently encounters various magical entities.
The series blends a slice-of-life setup with magical realism, presenting a unique blend. Although Flying Witch falls under the category of magical girl anime, it diverges from the typical battle-focused narratives. Instead, Makoto possesses one quintessential aspect of the genre: a talking cat, though only witches can understand it.
10Is This A Zombie?
“Is This a Zombie?” defies expectations as a magical girl anime, embracing all the signature elements like transformations, high stakes, and ribbons.
However, this show ventures far from the conventional magical girl tale, taking on a comedic approach that cleverly parodies the genre while delivering ample excitement.
Meet Ayumu Aikawa, our hero who, despite being deceased, finds himself thrust into the role of a magical girl through a series of absurd and humorous mishaps. And to add to the hilarity, he wields a chainsaw as his weapon of choice.
With its lighthearted and nonchalant tone, the show doesn’t take itself too seriously, making it an enjoyable and entertaining watch. Chainsaws and magical girl antics? Count us in!
11Magic Knight Rayearth
The all-female manga artist group CLAMP created the magical girl anime and manga series, Magic Knight Rayearth. Debuting as a manga in 1993, it later evolved into an anime series in 1994. What sets this series apart is its unique fusion of magical girl elements, mecha, and fantasy RPG themes, setting it apart from other supernatural girl shows.
At the heart of the narrative are three high school girls: Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki, and Fuu Hououji. During a field trip to Tokyo Tower, an extraordinary event occurs, transporting them to the enchanting world of Cephiro.
12Little Witch Academia
Release date: March 2, 2013 (Japan)
Sequel: Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade
Studio Trigger created the anime franchise, Little Witch Academia, which initially took form as a short film in 2013. Following its success, another short film titled “Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade” was released in 2015. The franchise’s widespread popularity then led to the development of a full-length TV anime series, consisting of 25 episodes, which aired in 2017.
At the center of the enchanting tale is Atsuko “Akko” Kagari, a young and aspiring witch. Driven by her dreams, Akko enrolls at the prestigious Luna Nova Magical Academy with the sole aim of becoming a skilled witch. Her inspiration comes from her childhood idol, the renowned witch, Shiny Chariot, known for her captivating and dazzling magic shows.
Prepare yourself for the sensational mega-hit franchise that has captured Japan’s hearts – Pretty Cure! This juggernaut of a series made its debut in 2004 with an impressive 49-episode first season, and its popularity has only grown since then.
Currently airing its 18th season, titled “Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure,” the franchise continues to introduce a fresh generation of magical girls with each installment.
Now, it’s true that this anime primarily targets kids and exudes a bit of a Power Rangers vibe. However, don’t be deceived – Pretty Cure offers a consistent and surprisingly delightful viewing experience. With its endearing characters, clever humor, and ever-evolving themes, you’ll find yourself hooked from the very beginning.
14The Demon Girl Next Door
“The Demon Girl Next Door,” also known as “Machikado Mazoku” in Japanese, is an enthralling dark magical girl anime that masterfully blends comedy with supernatural elements. Created by Izumi Ito, the series made its manga debut in 2014 and later transitioned into an anime in 2019.
At its core, the story follows Yuuko Yoshida, an ordinary high school girl who makes a shocking discovery – she belongs to a cursed and weakened dark clan, which has a long-standing feud with a powerful magical girl clan. As fate would have it, Yuuko awakens her dormant demon powers, transforming into “Shadow Mistress Yuuko,” fondly known as “Shamiko.” Driven by a mission to break the curse upon her family, she sets out to defeat a magical girl.
Ojamaju Doremi, also known as “Magical DoReMi” or “Magical Ojamajo Doremi,” is a captivating Japanese magical girl anime series that originally aired from 1999 to 2002. Produced by Toei Animation, the show has gained popularity for its delightful mix of humor, magic, and valuable life lessons, making it a hit among younger audiences.
The heartwarming story follows Doremi Harukaze, a cheerful yet clumsy third-grade girl, who stumbles upon a magical shop owned by the genuine witch, Majo Rika. In a series of unexpected events, Doremi accidentally transforms Majo Rika into a frog-like creature. To aid in reversing the unfortunate curse, Doremi willingly becomes a witch apprentice under Majo Rika’s expert guidance.
16Princess Tutu – Magical Girl Anime
Princess Tutu takes a unique approach to the magical girl genre by presenting its protagonist, Ahiru, in an atypical manner – she’s not the typical clumsy girl or the expected hero.
Instead, Ahiru is a magical being, and her transformation is a sight to behold. From the ugly duckling to a talented prima ballerina, she dazzles with her awe-inspiring dance moves, reminiscent of the transformation from the story of the ugly duckling to the graceful swan.
Her mission in Princess Tutu is to collect the heart fragments of her beloved, and in this innocent and delightful movie, you’ll find a blend of comedy, action, and romance. If you seek a classic anime tale, Princess Tutu is a fantastic choice that won’t disappoint.
17Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch is an enchanting magical girl anime and manga series that ingeniously blends magical girls, mermaids, and idol singers. The manga, brought to life by the talents of Michiko Yokote, Pink Hanamori, and Mayumi Azuma, made its debut in 2002, while the anime adaptation graced screens from 2003 to 2004.
Central to the mermaid kingdom’s power are the pearls, possessing immense significance. The story revolves around Lucia Nanami, the Mermaid Princess of the North Atlantic Ocean, who embarks on a journey to the human world to retrieve her stolen pearl.
In the human world, Lucia makes a fascinating discovery – with the aid of her pearl, she can transform into a magical girl and becomes an idol singer, mesmerizing her audience with her Pink Pearl Voice. The series weaves together magic, music, and a captivating narrative that will surely captivate its viewers.
Shugo Chara is a remarkable illustration of a magical girl anime that breaks away from conventional outfits and transformation sequences.
The film truly deserves recognition for its gripping plot. It revolves around Amu, a young girl who encounters her guardian characters. Together, they form a team that assists Amu in comprehending her true identity and guiding her towards her full potential.
This series serves as an invaluable resource for those seeking to embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth, making it an inspiring and empowering watch. Through its narrative, Shugo Chara beautifully showcases the importance of embracing one’s true self and striving for improvement and progress.
19Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
One fateful day after school, Nanoha stumbles upon an injured ferret named Yuuno, who happens to be an archaeologist from another world. To her surprise, Yuuno grants Nanoha a red jewel, bestowing her with magical powers and the ability to transform.
Intriguingly, the little creature urges her to embark on a quest to collect the remaining jewels scattered across the world, which somehow rings a bell—perhaps reminiscent of a card game? Initially appearing as a typical magical anime, Nanoha’s journey takes an unexpected turn, delving into a darker and more intricate storyline, enriched with captivating plot twists and an array of memorable side characters.
Despite primarily targeting older audiences, this anime manages to captivate younger children as well, making it a well-rounded and enjoyable experience for viewers of all ages.
20Unlike Puella Magi Madoka Magica!
If you’re tired of the typical cutesy transformations and child-friendly plots found in many magical girl anime, Puella Magi Madoka Magica might be the perfect choice for you.
This series boldly challenges the traditional concept of magical girls and presents a narrative that diverges drastically from what you might expect. While the characters initially exude cheerfulness, and the premise seems familiar, Madoka Magica takes a significant shift after a few episodes, unveiling a much darker and thought-provoking storyline.
While it may not be suitable for watching with younger siblings, for those seeking truth bombs and a deeper exploration of the darker aspects of magic, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an absolute must-see. Be prepared for an anime that will challenge your perceptions of the magical girl genre and leave a lasting impact on your perspective.
21Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Indeed, Puella Magi Madoka Magica delves into the concept of sacrifice in a way that subverts the typical magical girl genre tropes. At first glance, the premise may seem familiar—a schoolgirl named Madoka Kaname and her friends make a supernatural contract to obtain magical abilities and are tasked with saving the world by hunting down witches.
However, as the story unfolds, it becomes evident that there is much more to the situation than meets the eye. The series takes a dark and heartbreaking turn as it reveals the unimaginable dangers and sacrifices that magical girls face in exchange for the powers they desire.
Viewers are taken on an emotional journey where they will witness the heavy toll that saving the world exacts upon these young girls. The show challenges conventional notions of heroism and presents a stark reality of the consequences that come with wielding magical powers in a world fraught with danger and despair. Puella Magi Madoka Magica’s powerful storytelling and exploration of sacrifice make it a compelling and unforgettable anime for fans of the genre.
Cardcaptor Sakura’s enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless appeal that spans across generations.
The story follows 10-year-old Sakura Kinomoto, whose life revolves around her crush on a friend of her brother. However, everything changes when she accidentally unleashes the magical and powerful Clow Cards. To rectify her mistake, Sakura takes on the role of a “Card Captor,” tasked with retrieving all the scattered cards.
In the midst of her quest, viewers are treated to the full craziness and excitement of the magical girl genre, complete with awe-inspiring transformations, classical elements, and the delightful presence of magical sidekick, Keroberos.
For magical girl enthusiasts, Cardcaptor Sakura is an absolute must-watch. Its endearing characters, enchanting adventures, and captivating storytelling make it a cherished series that continues to captivate new audiences and reaffirm its status as a beloved classic.
23Revolutionary Girl Utena
Step into the captivating world of “Revolutionary Girl Utena,” where clashes of swords and battles for hearts take center stage. Meet Utena Tenjou, a spirited teenage orphan with an unwavering dream of becoming a prince.
Armed with impressive sword skills and an indomitable spirit, she ventures into a realm filled with fierce rivals and intense duels.
However, “Revolutionary Girl Utena” is far from your typical magical girl anime. It sets itself apart as a groundbreaking series that fearlessly explores various tropes in a unique and thought-provoking manner. The show boldly deconstructs the traditional prince fairytale genre, while also delving into queer themes and feminism, making it a trailblazer in its time.
Prepare for a remarkable journey that defies expectations and leaves a lasting impact, as “Revolutionary Girl Utena” carves its path through uncharted territory in the anime landscape.
24Shana Of The Burning Eyes
Step into the captivating world of “Shakugan no Shana,” an anime that unveils a parallel realm existing alongside Earth—a world entrenched in an eternal conflict between those pursuing power at any cost and those striving to restore harmony.
Meet Yuuji, a boy rescued from certain death by the enigmatic Shana. However, there’s a twist – Shana reveals to him that he’s no longer among the living.
Yes, you heard that right.
United in purpose, they join forces to protect both realms, forming a bond that gradually blossoms into something more. While the opening arc may be a bit leisurely, “Shakugan no Shana” gains momentum as the story unfolds. The anime beautifully centers around the romance between Shana and Yuuji, forming the very heart of the narrative—an emotional journey that you won’t want to miss. Prepare to be immersed in a world of action, love, and intrigue in this enthralling anime.
25Searching For The Full Moon
Step into the enchanting 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 girl with grand aspirations of becoming a singer.
However, her dreams are dashed when she receives a devastating sarcoma diagnosis, leaving her with only one year to live. But fate has more surprises in store for Mitsuki when two Shinigami, also known as death spirits, visit her with even graver news – she has just one year left to live. But here’s the twist – if she agrees to pass away peacefully after that time, she will magically transform into a 16-year-old, granting her the opportunity to participate in idol auditions.
Intrigued by this unusual proposition, Mitsuki’s journey takes an extraordinary turn as she embarks on a heartwarming and poignant quest to fulfill her dreams despite the limited time she has left. “Searching for the Full Moon” presents a unique blend of magic, hope, and determination, captivating viewers with its endearing protagonist and touching storyline.