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Magic, an element that has formed part of human life as superstition, innate ability and even technology. As extensive as the influence of the concept of magic is in human history, it comes as no surprise that magic also fills the imaginations of authors of all kinds of media and anime is no exception. With the scores of magical anime that exist, it is unavoidable that they will be compared – and we do that very well. Looking at the various different ways in which magic has appeared and influenced particular titles, we decided we’d bring out ten titles that we think are some of the most interesting of the bunch.
10. Tokyo Mew Mew (Mew Mew Power)
- Episodes: 52
- Aired: April 2002 – March 2003
Momomiya Ichigo was on a date with her crush, Aoyama Masaya when she fell asleep after seeing a vision of a cat entering her body. The next day, Ichigo starts to display erratic, cat-like behaviours and when Masaya is attacked by a monster, Ichigo realises that she can transform into the cat-eared magical girl, Mew Ichigo. After she saves her crush, Ichigo is approached by two researchers who reveal that they injected her with Iriomote Cat DNA in order to create a magical girl who could save the world from aliens. With the fate of the world on her shoulders, Ichigo feels the pressure; however when she finds out that there are other girls just like her, she sets out to find them before the aliens take over.
Tokyo Mew Mew is a quintessential magical girl anime and in many ways we see Sailor Moon’s influence on the title. Ichigo and her fellow Mews have their own special set of abilities and it is through their teamwork that they thwart evil, although it takes Ichigo a short while to actually find everyone. The early 2000s character designs and animation style serves as a healthy blast from the past and the nostalgia one gets from catching a show like this is undeniable.
9. Zetsuen no Tempest (Blast of Tempest)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2012 – March 2013
Takigawa Yoshino is a regular teenager hiding a big secret from his best friend, Fuwa Mahiro. He is in a relationship with Mahiro’s younger sister and never says a word about it, so when Yoshino’s girlfriend, Aika, dies under mysterious circumstances, Mahiro sets out to find the one responsible. Mahiro disappears and Yoshino’s life returns to a sense of normalcy. With no contact from Mahiro for a month, things change when Yoshino is held at gunpoint and the one who comes to his aid is none other than his best friend. Yoshino learns that Mahiro has found help in his search for his sister’s killer in the form of a witch named Kusaribe Hakaze, as well as the location of a magical entity known as the “Tree of Exodus”. Hakaze’s brother wishes to use the Tree’s power in order to realise his own dark ambitions and Hakaze is banished to a deserted island. It’s now up to Yoshino and Mahiro to help Hakaze save the world while trying to find answers for Aika’s death.
With a set up that leads to some intense plot twists, Zetsuen no Tempest is an interesting magic anime which boasts some awesome fights, a great story and some interesting characters. The magic used is that of a grand scale and eventually our two protagonists are drawn into a magical conflict that will decide the fate of the very world. To top it off, the anime draws heavy thematic inspiration from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and The Tempest, and watching it with that in mind adds another dimension to the experience.
8. Little Witch Academia
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: January 2017 – June 2017
Kagari Atsuko, or “Akko” has always admired the famous witch Shiny Chariot since a performance she watched several years ago. Even now, Akko aspires to become a witch like Shiny Chariot, despite her non-magical background. Enrolling in Luna Nova Magical Academy, Akko sets out to achieve her dream, but just getting to school proves to be a difficult task. On her way there, she meets Lotte Yansson and Sucy Manbavaran, two students who end up as her roommates, as well as Shiny Chariot’s legendary wand, the Shiny Rod. Akko’s life at Luna Nova proves to be more difficult than she could have imagined with her poor magical ability; however, she is determined to catch up to her peers and learn what it means to be a witch.
Cute but also wildly enchanting due to the familiar yet refreshing determination of the main character, Akko. Little Witch Academia catches your attention from the beginning, almost placing you in the same position Akko was when she saw her idol live. The art style is somewhat different to most other shows on this list and sets the tone for the type of story to follow – an inspiring story of a girl on a mission to achieving a childhood dream.
7. Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei (The Irregular at Magic High School)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2014 – September 2014
In this world, magic has stopped being the topic of fairy tales and imagination and become a case of human ingenuity, where magic is a systemized technology which is taught as a skill. First High School classes its students based on the results of their entrance exams. Those who attained high scores are assigned to the First Course and called “Blooms”, while low-scoring individuals are placed into the Second Course and called “Weeds”. Shiba Miyuki and Tatsuya are siblings who enrol at First High but are placed in different courses, with Tatsuya being relegated to Weed status. However, despite his low scores and magical ineptitude, Tatsuya possesses unbelievable technical knowledge, combat ability and a keen mind, making him the irregular at a magical high school.
The Irregular at Magic High School is a pretty interesting take on the conception of magic and it’s quite interesting seeing how magic is both idealised and limited within the story, as well as by the characters themselves. Somewhat infamous for the sheer level of ability Shiba Tatsuya has, the anime is still a fresh take on the tried and tested “magical high school” trope in anime and well worth the watch.
6. Shinsekai Yori (From the New World)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: September 2012 – March 2013
After a psychokinesis outbreak in less than a percentage of the world’s population, things began to change. The power gave those with a propensity towards violence the upper hand against the powerless, which created a period of chaos characterised by oppressive regimes. This led to the eventual isolation of the psychic society, which became a different world with complex rules. Kamisu 66 is a town where 12-year-old Watanabe Saki has recently awakened her powers and can finally join her friends at Sage Academy, a school for psychics. However, Saki starts to question what happens to those in society who are unable to awaken their powers and she and her friends soon find themselves involved in secret matters, including those pertaining to the abduction of children by the Tainted Cats. Saki and her friends grow into their roles in society but also grow increasingly aware of the darkness hidden by the world in which they live.
Shinsekai Yori is not particularly an anime focused on magic as we’d normally conceive it, but more of an anime which represents a special human ability venerated in the same way it would be in other magical anime titles. The focal point of this show is definitely the darkness of society, particularly the inclination to segregate and subjugate; however, the psychic abilities are the basis upon which these themes are expressed. A heavier title to digest than the others, but just as amazing.
5. Hataraku Maou-sama! (The Devil is a Part Timer!)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2013 – June 2013
The land of Ente Isla falls under attack from the Demon Lord Satan and his armies. His brutal conquest of the continent is foiled by the hero Emilia, who forces him to retreat but the inter-dimensional portal he opens sends Satan and his aide, Alsiel, tumbling down into the streets of modern-day Tokyo. Powerless in this world without magic, Satan attempts to blend in with human society by becoming Maou Sadou and working at the local MgRonald’s fast food restaurant to earn a living. His conquering of Ente Isla takes a backseat to his desire to climb the corporate ladder and eventually become ruler of Earth! Now living a mundane life as a human being (and enjoying it), the vicious Demon Lord learns more about human life.
Hataraku Maou-sama is a hilarious take on the Isekai anime trope which sees main characters whisked off to alternative worlds where they will have to learn how to live in a world to which they are foreign. In this case, we see Satan himself living life as a human being, being the exact opposite of the type of individual he was in Ente Isla. The contrast between the life he knows and the one he must adapt to creates some of the funniest situations but the anime also produces some great serious scenes which bring out the magical element to the show, and a soundtrack to match!
4. Nanatsu no Taizai (Seven Deadly Sins)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2014 – March 2015
In an era akin to the European Middle Ages, the Holy Knights of the Britannia of the Kingdom of Liones use powerful magic to maintain order and protect the region. Despite this, a small squadron of Knights turned their blades towards the kingdom in an attempt to overthrow the ruler of their country, Liones. This treason was subdued by the Holy Knights, but rumours of their, of the “Seven Deadly Sins”’ survival. Ten years later, the Holy Knights staged an insurgence of their own, becoming the new tyrannical rulers of Britannia. Elizabeth, the third princess of Britannia embarks on a personal mission to find the Seven Deadly Sins and ask for their help in order to take back her kingdom from the Holy Knights.
Seven Deadly Sins is an intense anime filled with awesome combat, interesting characters with equally interesting designs and the kind of lore you could just get lost in. The animation is also pretty decent and the way they explore the massive world and the characters is brilliant. Magic in Seven Deadly Sins is also broad as each character has a unique way of using their magic powers and the various races in the world have different affinities and natural abilities so things get very interesting, very quickly.
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 2011 – December 2011
The Holy Grail is a relic which is said to be able to grant any wish. As a result, three great wars were waged in the past, each ending with no victor. Despite the terrible track record, the Einzbern family is fairly confident that the Fourth Holy Grail War will be different due to their possession of a vessel of the Grail. They hire Emiya Kiritsugu, the “Magus Killer” and marry him to their only daughter to seal the contract. Kiritsugu now finds himself in a battle royale against six others, each armed with an ancient familiar and their own set of goals. With his own familiar, Saber, Kiritsugu finds his greatest adversary in Kotomine Kirei, a priest seeking salvation from himself. The Fourth Holy War, another iteration in a series of conflicts no one is guaranteed to survive.
With each contestant in the Holy Grail War having magic familiars who are archetypes passed on from war to war, the magical element to Fate/Zero is integral to the core story. The magic allows for some brilliant fight scenes, deep-running storylines and characters, making Fate/Zero a must-watch magic anime for anyone interested in the genre. Not to mention the animation is great too. Holy Grail in anime form? You decide.
2. Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2017 – March 2017
Hatori Chise is a 15-year-old girl sold for 5 million pounds at an auction to a tall masked man. Having been abandoned at a young age, she has nothing going for her and was willing to give herself away to any buyer if it meant having somewhere to go. Chained, her buyer leads her to a study where he reveals his identity. Elias Ainsworth, a magus who lives in rural England who wants Chise to be his apprentice and eventually… his bride.
This anime is beautiful. There is no other summation for what the experience of watching The Ancient Magus’s Bride. From the art style, to the animation, to soundtrack, the anime is quite a surreal watch, especially if you enjoy shows with fantasy and slice of life elements to them. The magic quickly becomes a part of Chise’s life as Ainsworth is an incredibly capable user of magic himself and seeing Chise grow into her new life where she is accepted is heartwarming, to say the least.
1. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2012 – March 2013
Around the world are several labyrinths said to be hiding incredible treasures within. These labyrinths, or “Dungeons” are the work of the Magi, a rare class of magician who help people establish their empires by guiding them to Djinns, supernatural entities which rule over the Dungeons. They are capable of granting Dungeon conquerors incredible power, choosing conquerors as potential candidates to rule the world. Aladdin is a young magician who lived hidden away who is eager to explore the world around him, accompanied by Ugo, his master and the resident Djinn in his flute. After an accident he causes, Aladdin meets and befriends Alibaba Saluja, who offers to help him cover the costs of the damage by attempting to conquer the nearby dungeon. This decision changes both of their lives forever.
Magi is really addictive due to the sheer size of the world in which the story takes place. There is an intense level of lore that Magi boasts and it is great in tandem with the awesome individual storylines which drive individual characters, as well as the obvious inspiration from stories from One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales known best for the Aladdin story and the Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor, who coincidentally is a powerful leader and conqueror of several dungeons. The magic in magic is dazzling and creates awesome fight scenes and abilities which greatly reflect the personalities of their users.
With all the magical anime that is released from season to season it is easy to settle into a marathon of titles to watch. One which didn’t make our list, yet is a beautiful title to catch is one called Majokko Shimai Yoyo to Nene (Magical Sisters Yoyo and Nene), a movie with an awesome premise and stunning animation! The possibilities are innumerable and the worlds immersive and interesting, magic anime definitely has an enchanting aspect to it at times. Are there other magic anime titles that we left out? Drop a comment below, or cast a spell, and tell us all about it.
Hey everyone, time to enjoy one of Honey’s special updated anime articles on the top 10 Magic Anime out there. If you find the current list lacking in anyway or simply want more recommendations for the best magic anime out there, be sure to check out the older list below it!
Now, magic plays a very important part in the anime world. From the inception of the magical girl in shows like Cardcaptor Sakura to its complete deconstruction in shows like Madoka Magica, magic has been grounds for the majestic and impossible. It creates world upon worlds and gives audiences countless opportunities of escape. It’s one of the main reasons people always come back to anime as it provides some of the most satisfying battle sequences as well as feeds that child in us still hoping that magical things exists. Well, they do, you just have to create them by spending hundreds of hours in front of paper and computer .
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 1995 – Sep. 1995
Slayers primarily follows the greedy and powerful sorceress Lina Inverse, who strikes fear in just about everyone for her reckless power. One day, when she’s about to bash in some bandits, a knight swoops in, thinking she’s a damsel in distress, devastates the thieves himself, and then proclaims himself her guardian. Well, she decides to keep him around as she wants his Sword of Light, but as they romp around the universe avoiding they find themselves being followed by a pair of mysterious individuals.
Before there was Louise from Zero No Tsukaima and before there was Megumin from Konosuba, there was Lina from Slayers. She was and still is the master of explosions, chaos, and destruction. She actually destroyed entire worlds in her time. She also set the premise for ridiculous and zany protagonists whose objective was to make you laugh first and foremost. It’s tough to beat the mix between blowing things up and comedic gold that E&G Films incorporated into the show.
9. Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu (The Legend of the Legendary Heroes)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jul. 2010 – Dec. 2010
Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu throws us into a medieval world of magic and swords. However, there are certain people who have such mastery over magic due to the possession of the Alpha Stigma, or cursed eyes to most people, which allow for extreme forms of magic. One such person is Ryner Lute, who has been imprisoned for numerous years. However with his childhood friend now king, Ryner is sent out into the world, accompanied by the powerful warrior Ferris Eris, in order to discover magical relics and help the world achieve peace.
Admittedly Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu, suffers from a plot that verges on the incomprehensible by the end. You’ll have to do quite a bit of piecing together for the last few episodes, but up to that point it really is one of the most enjoyable magic shows out there. Ryner and his relationships with the various people he meets consistently provide comedic moments. Then there’s the depiction of the overwhelming power of the Alpha Stigma users, from Ryner who can copy any magic he’s seen to Tiir who can physically consume magical powers/attacks for power. It’s exciting and action packed with a fair amount of underhanded politics to balance out the lighter aspects.
8. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: Jan. 2016 – Mar. 2016
If you haven’t watched Konosuba then just stop reading this and go watch it now. It’s one of the best shows this year has had to offer in terms of comedy. It takes a young shut in, has him die, and then gives him a chance to continue life in a fantasy world. He likes this opportunity, but truly despises the goddess who is offering him the deal. Thus, when she says he can take something with him into the new world, he says her. The higher ups approve and we have two, rather helpless, beings in a dangerous fantasy world.
Konosuba does a lot of things right. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, it provides a more realistic portrait of the adventures a normal person would have if thrown into medieval world full of monsters and magic, and it has a solid cast of inept characters. One character who joins Kazuma and the goddess Aqua is an archwizard of the Crimson Mazoku, Megumin. Between her and Aqua, magical moments of explosions and destruction can be viewed on an episodic basis. Now, Megumin’s explosion magic might be more impressive than Aqua’s water (fountain) magic, but both have their moments of awesomeness and hilarity.
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul. 2015 – Sep. 2015
Yggdrasil, an extremely popular virtual reality game, is finally come to and end. Taking in every last second of the game is the player Momonga, a powerful wizard and master of the massive guild Ainz Ooal Gown. However, Momonga is surprised to find out that even when the clock has hit midnight that the game is not only still on, but that he’s stuck as Momonga and all the NPCs have taken on personalities of their own.
Momonga literally decimates practically anyone and everyone that gets in his way. He also can take a hit like no other. When humans rain down the power of heaven and light on him, he doesn’t even flinch. He laughs it off and then plows on. He is the King of Undead for a reason, and Madhouse did not hold back any punches when showing flair to his power. Even when he isn’t blasting things to smolder, he’s impossibly strong. Clementine sets an explosion off inside his skull, he’s a skeleton for those unaware, and he’s unaffected.
6. Little Witch Academia
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: Mar. 2013 – Oct. 2015
Little Witch Academia follows Atsuko Kagari as she decides to become a witch and begins classes at the renowned Witch Academy, where her idol, Shiny Chariot, graduated from. However, she realizes two things really quickly. She doesn’t quite fit in, and Shiny Chariot is looked down upon by most magicians as a hack. Thus we follow Atsuko as she tries to fit in with her new surroundings without losing her passion for magic.
Little Witch Academia accomplished what few shows in this day and age could have done: brought back the magical girl without it seeming cliché. A major reason why this animation was so successful is because of Studio Trigger and their incredible artwork. It had that certain texture, color, and flair that you generally only expect from big companies like Studio Ghibli or Disney. This helped viewers really buy into the world and enjoy the entire ride with its displays of magical prowess.
5. Toaru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct. 2008 – Mar. 2009
Two things are at the center of Academic City: technology and psychic abilities. Considering that 75% of the city’s population are perfecting their esper abilities, it really isn’t surprising that this city is about 30 years ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to technology. It’s within this this city that a student gains the ire of a dangerous organization after meeting a girl capable of memorizing all of the forbidden grimoires.
Everyone in this city has some kind of magical ability, which provides for constant excitement. Battles are consistent and draw you in quickly thanks to awesome character designs/personalities as well as gorgeous animation by J.C.Staff. Whenever Accelerator hits the scene, the quote on quote overpowered badass of the series, you know things are about to get crazy, and they do.
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: Oct. 2012 – Mar. 2014
Dungeons, deadly mazes that hold magical treasures beyond the imagination, are spread across the world. Djinns rule over these Dungeons and they will grant their power to those who finish the maze. In gaining the power and riches of a dungeon a person can easily become king. Now, Alibaba has dreams of becoming a king and has in eyes set on a dungeon. Luckily for him, he runs into a young magician by the name of Aladdin who has the power to help him beat the dungeon.
Magi is one of those shows that simply has a perfect mix of adventure, magic, conspiracy, and just about every story element imaginable. It has a massive world filled with incredible warriors, who have attained incredible magical power. It also helps that each character is actually extremely interesting and fully developed rather than just being run of the mill characters whose main trait is their power. This makes every battle twice as exiting, because we’re extremely invested in the outcome.
3. Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct. 2014 – Jun. 2015
The battle for the Holy Grail takes place between seven magicians who summon renowned heroes from different ages to their side. The events of Fate/stay night cover the fifth Holy Grail War and in particular the actions of the young magicians Rin Toosaka and Emiya Shirou as they try to stay alive in this bloody battle.
One of the strongest aspects of Fate/stay night is its premise: magicians summoning the incredibly powerful spirits of heroes across time. In doing so, ufotable sets itself up to coordinate absolutely mesmerizing battles as well as give shout outs to mythology and history buffs. Truly, watching the battles between people like Arturia and Gilgamesh will blow your mind. There’s just so much to take in and this happens on an episodic basis. Fate/stay night is simply one of those shows that incorporates so many different things into its narrative (and it does it well) that almost each moment of the show has something for you to get excited about or ponder.
2. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2011 – Apr. 2011
Puella Magi Madoka Magica follows the events that transpire after a pair of middle school girls, Madoka and Sayaka, are offered an unbelievable deal by Kyuubey, a mysterious cat-like creature. The deal? He will grant them one wish and in return they will have to act as magical girls and receive tremendous powers. It sounds like a sweet deal, but then why is the mysterious transfer student, Homura, a magical girl herself, so determined to ensure that they don’t accept the offer?
Madoka Magica is a masterpiece because of how powerfully it turns the idea of magical girls on its head. This isn’t some light and fantastic show, with minor conflicts that you know will be resolved by the end. No, this show takes a dark turn by episode three and never turns back towards the light. It delves into the costs that people make to achieve their dreams and how such costs ripple throughout those closest to them. It also has powerful action scenes as the girls take on witches, incredible and unique animation, as well as a strong story that grips you the entire time.
1. Fairy Tail
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: Oct. 2009 – Mar. 2013
Fairy Tail presents a world full of magic. It presents a world full of magic and adventure. It presents a world full of magic and adventure and monsters and action and conflict and guilds. This show is simply a massive world that we get to explore as we follow around members of one of the most prestigious guilds in the world, Fairy Tail.
It’s almost impossible to not have at least seen an episode or two of Fairy Tail in the past several years. It’s one of those magical shounens that just blows everyone out of the water due to the scale of the world it creates as well as the lovability of most of the characters. However, the particular reason why this show tops the list is because of the massive amounts of magic it throws at you. Every single person shown has their own special power and use it to great affect. From Natsu’s fire dragon techniques to Gray’s ice magic to Lucy’s key to Celestial spirits to Ezra’s Requip Magic for armor, there really is an endless supply of powers to be viewed and admired.
First things first: honorable mention to Cardcaptor Sakura. As a classic, it’s up there with the likes of Sailor Moon. It has a suprisingly complex story, which varies considerably depending on if you watch it subbed or dubbed. It also incorporates magic gloriously through the Clow Cards and their respective magical beings. Who didn’t love Windy? The only reason it’s not included is because it’s on the last list and Slayers definitely needed some love.
Anyways, one of the factors that helped shaped this list was the frequency of magic use and its portrayal artistically. Though Slayers is awesome, it’s difficult to be in awe of her power with the animation style of 1995. Though Konosuba is hilarious and has awesome animation, it doesn’t incorporate magic battles to the same extent that shows like Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei. Now, if you have any magic anime that you think should be on the list, be sure to let us know. We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Oh, magic. We’ve all loved it since we were kids and we all wish it were true. Whether you’ve wanted to fly or have psychic abilities, we can all agree that magic anime has truly touched our hearts!
With the magic genre encompassing a wide variety of anime, it’s tough for any fan to label their top favorites. Fear not; the suggestions below are the best of every corner of the anime world. Regardless of whether you like magical girl or gritty themes, each of these selections are highly recommended to every anime fan out there.
10. Cardcaptor Sakura
- Episodes: 70
- Aired: April 1998-March 2000
A fourth grader named Sakura stumbles upon the book of Clow and accidentally scatters all the magical cards inside by reading Windy out loud. Keroberos, guardian of the cards, contracts Sakura to find them and capture them. Each card is different with special powers, for example Wood grows tree branches and does what Sakura commands of it. Along the way she meets new friends, enemies, and goes on many journeys in this wonderful shoujo anime.
Don’t let the cutesy artwork fool you; there are deep themes in here. There’s the fluffy rom-com themes, but as you progress into the story, the plot thickens and suddenly this anime about fourth graders will make you tear up. Cardcaptor Sakura is a must see for all ages as it was so influential in the western world coming to learn about anime.
9. Zero no Tsukaima (The Familiar of Zero)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 2006-September 2006
For a little bit of fluff and a lot of ecchi, come over and watch this funny romance comedy. Louise is the poster girl for tsundere and a fan favorite amongst many. Her relationship with Saito is positively adorable and the harem hilarity that ensues causes her unstable emotions to be, well, more unstable. Spanning four seasons, some more related to the plot than others, it begins and ends faster than you expect after you binge watched it in one sitting. Or wait, is that just me?
Louise is dubbed the “zero” because she’s pretty terrible at magic. When the ceremony to call forth a familiar comes, she ends up summoning a boy named Saito, who was transported from present day Japan. He then has to live as her servant but he also learns he has some sort of unknown strong power, coming from “the other world”. The magic is very wizard themed, with chants, spells, wands, and of course, the wonderful wizard robes.
8. Gakuen Alice (Alice Academy)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2004-May 2005
Mikan and Hotaru were the very best of friends until one day, Hotaru suddenly said she was transferring to a school in Tokyo for gifted students. Mikan, worried and missing her, went to go see her for herself and ended up enrolling there. She soon realized, it was actually a school for people with various magical abilities, called Alices, ranging from making fire to teleportation and even a cat-dog Alice. Unaware of what magic she has, she comes to learn more about herself, others and the serious history of the school.
If you’re looking for a good laugh, Gakuen Alice doesn’t disappoint. It’s filled with adorable characters with quirky abilities but with a very serious, borderline dangerous characters, you learn more about the darkness the school has. Mikan’s silly, loving friendship with Hotaru is something we definitely hope for in all our relationships.
7. Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2015-March 2015
This is one of the shorter, newer suggestions, and it does not disappoint. Set in France during the Hundred Years War, it’s definitely got a different approach to things with the ecchi part of it being a more mature humor. The comedy is more mature, but the overall feel is very light hearted. The questions that arise are very thought provoking and something everyone can identify with.
Maria is a witch that hates war and interrupts every battle, telling everyone to stop fighting and go home by pulling various monsters out of her witch pot that she brings to every battle. She incurs the wrath of the heavens and archangel Michael strikes her down and says if she loses her virginity, she’ll lose her witch powers. If she loses them, her incubus and succubus that she turned from owls will probably turn back. She’s stubborn and continues under the watch of the angel Ezekiel, almost losing her powers but her kind heart is vast and touches everyone she meets.
6. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2012-March 2013
In this Arabian-themed series, we see a young boy named Aladdin make friends with a slave called Alibaba, who dreams of someday entering the “dungeon” in his land. Dungeons are mysterious ruins said to have hidden treasures of great value, if you can conquer it and come out alive. Aladdin possesses a Djinn named Ugo and controls him through his flute. It is said all living beings possess Rukh, which is the endless cycle of life and magic through out the world. Aladdin and Alibaba go in together and thus we follow them on their journey as they forge their own paths, ultimately leading them to their destinies.
Magi really is a treasured gem in today’s anime, with a little bit of everything from action and adventure, humor, and a vast, expansive world to journey in. Even though the theme is Arabian and you might think the layout is preset, the fantasy side of the series really takes the creativity to the next level and keeps you intrigued. Every main, supporting, or side character is interesting and well thought out and the animation is really crisp.
5. Shakugan no Shana
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2005-March 2006
Yuji Sakai is living a normal life until one day he finds out from a red haired Flame Haze, Shana, that he actually died some time ago and is now just a Torch, a flame that will soon go out. When they find out he actually has a Treasure inside of him that allows him to continue to exist, enemies known as Denizens come after him, desiring that Treasure for themselves. Denizens and Flame Hazes alike can use powerful magic called Unrestricted Spells and certain powerful Denizens will make contracts with humans, and that’s how Flame Hazes are made.
Shakugan no Shana will give you something some others lack; a great male and female lead duo and the most realistic character development you can get in an anime. Although Yuji is a bit unfazed at first when he hears he’s no longer alive, he does in his own time have to come to grips with the harsh reality. This series spans over three seasons and each season intensifies in magic strength and the stakes continue to get higher. This series has a seriously thorough storyline and, well, Shana delivers the perfect tsundere character that is actually fairly realistic.
4. Fate/Stay Night
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: January 2006-June 2006
Shirou Emiya was taught a little bit of magic by his adopted dad after his parents’ tragic ending. He can “see” into things and uses it in the beginning to help fix electronics at his school. One night he finds himself between two more powerful mages and somehow ends up summoning forth a warrior named Saber who protects him.
He finds out he is one of the forced participants in the Holy Grail war whose prize is something so powerful, all the other mages can and will kill for it. Each warrior called forth by their master is a significant person in history that is adept at fighting and using different magical attacks that are specific to their class (i.e. Archer, Assasin, etc).
Fate/Stay Night is one anime that I recommend to someone just starting out and unsure of what they like. It’s an engaging, thick storyline with some rocking characters that might end up on your top ten list (i.e. Saber). The action animation is seamless, especially for its time.
3. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2011-April 2011
Now Madoka really took us all for a spin. What appears as a beautiful mahou shoujo anime takes a wild turn into a tragically beautiful story. The animation along is something to be reckoned with and I do not stand alone when I say that it’s absolutely captivating. The enemy they face are witches in expansive, intricate labyrinths in an animation style that is downright completely original and out of this world. The psychological twists and turns, the tragic friendships, all wrapped up in a bundle of unassuming mahou shoujo cuteness.
Madoka Kaname gets approached by Kyubey, a weird alien, cat-like creature. He asks her to sign a contract and become a magical girl in exchange for any wish she desires. Then enters in Homura, a girl trying to kill Kyubey and warning Madoka not to enter into the contract. Coincidentally, what you wish for ends up affecting what your magic type is, whether it’s because you wished for someone else’s happiness or just your own life to be spared. Battles ensue as two more girls enter in, all magical girls, and they try and figure out how adjust to the harsh realities of being a magical girl.
2. Fairy Tail
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: October 2009-March 2013
Lucy Heartfilia, a celestial mage, has dreamed of joining the Fairy Tail Guild and one day after she ran away from home, meets Natsu Dragneel, dragon slayer and a downright chaos causer who breathes and eats fire. Fairy Tail is known for causing a ruckus everywhere they go due to their eccentric, powerful members and Lucy gets her wish granted, becoming a member. The series is about their journeys, the friends they make along the way and the evil they fight.
Really, what isn’t there in Fairy Tail? Action, adventure, comedy, and what’s this? Drama isn’t listed? Well either way, prepare your heart for a roller coaster because as soon as these characters enter your heart, all the turmoil they face will cause you intense bouts of laughter, tears shed, and just the overall good feeling of what a family is supposed to be. One of the pluses of it being such a long series is the variety of character designs and magic styles you get to witness. God slayers, ice makers, and cats that talk, is there anything that Hiro Mashima hasn’t thought of?
1. Hagane no Renkinjutsushi (Fullmetal Alchemist)
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: April 2009-July 2010
Coming in at number one is hands down one of the best anime in existence and I’m backed up by a very monstrous following. The wonderful thing about this series is it gets just as humorous as it does get dark. Alchemy is used with a magical twist; with the law of equivalent exchange in tow, you can pretty much make anything with the proper training by using transmutation circles and the correct ingredients. Packed with comedy, drama, action and adventure, this series is a must and easily takes number one.
Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse’s mother fell fatally ill and the boys learned alchemy to bring her back to life. Human transmutation, of course taboo, had taken Edward’s arm and leg and Al’s body, which Edward last minute sealed to a suit of armour. During this, Edward saw the “door” and is able to transmute without a transmutation circle. Join them on their journey as Edward becoming a state alchemist and finding the philosopher's stone, a magical item that can possibly bring back their bodies, and you won’t be disappointed.
Now, even if there’s series on this lists that are a little out of your normal genres, they really are recommended for all ages and backgrounds. Obviously, the magic genre is huge and so many series deserve to be on this list, but the above suggestions are some of the top picks for their time and are, once again, truly for all ages and audiences to watch and love.
If I might add, Ghibli movies are always on the top ten of everything, especially magic related ones but I wanted to focus on a more updated approach. What series would you put up here? Should I have included any older, influential series? Let me know in the comments below!