When people say Magic Girl anime, a couple of examples may immediately pop into your mind: Sailor Moon, Madoka Magica, Card Captors, etc. Yet when people say Magic Boy anime, is the answer as obvious? Magical Boy anime has a place in serving the same purpose that Magic Girl anime does and that is in providing hope, excitement, and joy to its viewers, with a couple of key exceptions.
As well as providing that joy and excitement, Magical Boy anime also brings with it charismatic and well-meaning characters whose personalities and good nature are not drowned out by the power they may or may not possess. For this list, we sought to pick those anime which have those definite qualities in their characters and prove entertaining as an anime in their own right through their story, world building, and action.
10. Magic Kaito
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2010 – December 2012
Some parents are Astronauts, others are firefighters, politicians, or doctors. In the case of Kaito Kuroba, his father was a stupendous magician. The joy he had of having such a cool father shattered 8 years ago, after an accident took him away forever. Despite the tragedy, Kaito took up illusionary magic. His practice usually turns to him spending his days pranking his friend Nakamori Aoko. One fateful day, Kaito stumbles into a secret chamber that belonged to his dad. Within this chamber was his father’s alter ego: the phantom thief, Kaito Kid. Taking up the mantle of Kaito Kid, Kaito is determined to uncover his dad’s untimely demise and the secrets of the strange Pandora Gem.
Magic Kaito is produced by TMS Entertainment and based on the shounen, mystery and adventure manga by Gosho Aoyama, creator of Detective Conan. For those looking for more illusionists than mages, this is a place to start. Magic Kaito takes the thrill of mystery and heists and wraps in in a magical bow fit for children and adults alike. The Kaito Kid embodies the art of trickery and charisma we expect from a protagonist. Dive in and discover a world much like our own and see how a crime fighting magician operates.
9. Binan Koukou Chikyuu Boueibu LOVE! (Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 2015 – March 2015
What happens when you cross a talking pink wombat with five high school boys? You get the Cute High Earth Defense Club. Rather, you get five boys magically imbued with the power to fight against the forces of evil that seek to trample all the love in the world. Together, these friends combat new fiends as defenders of love and seek to take down a green hedgehog and his minions.
Studio Diomedea brings an anime that does for magical boys what Sailor Moon did for magical girls. A slice of life comedy filled with fun adventures and quirky characters. Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! brings you five boys with unique personalities who will fight in the name of love. If you are looking for an anime that does not take itself too seriously, look no further.
8. Toaru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2008 – March 2009
Touma Maijou is an unremarkable high school student when compared to his classmates and others who live in the technologically advanced, Academy City in Japan. Nearly three quarters of the student population of this city consist of individuals developing psychic powers to use in different aspects of society. Touma is among those with a ranking of zero when it comes to his own psychic abilities yet possess his own strange ability to nullify the powers of others. While living a regular life, Touma encounters a girl named Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a walking database of all of the forbidden texts in that world. As it so happens, Index is being targeted and only Touma has a chance of saving her.
J.C. Staff brings the first action packed anime on this list that manages to combine elements of science fiction, magic, and superpowers all in one. Layered with comedic moments. A Certain Magical Index is packed full of fantastic animation, well-developed characters, and exciting action sequences to expect from a fight involving psychic and magical powers. A Certain Magical Index makes it to the list for having a protagonist that isn’t so much deterred by his lack of ability, but instead, seeks to utilize his skills the best way he can.
7. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World!)
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: January 2016 – March 2016
Kazuma Satou is a young and reclusive teenager who suffers a most embarrassing death. Upon arriving in the afterlife, he meets a deity named Aqua who provides the option of being transported to a fantasy world rather than reincarnated in the old one. Given the option to bring one thing with him, Kazuma opts to take Aqua herself. Yet upon their arrival, he uncovers how tragically unskilled she is. Now they are bound together to succeed in this new world.
Studio Deen brings you a humorous adventure and fantasy isekai (another world) anime. For those who want to take a step away from an urban fantasy setting, KonoSuba is a refreshing and comedic addition to the fantasy anime pantheon. The protagonist, Kazuma Satou, is a perfect representation of every single video gamer or table top player who has ever wondered how they would fair if transported to a magical world of fantasy with base level stats and no money. While the protagonist is not the strongest on the list, Konosuba, as a whole, is a joy ride for any fantasy fan and daydreamer.
6. Black Clover
- Episodes: 54 - Ongoing
- Aired: October 2017 – Ongoing
Asta and Yuno are two brothers abandoned at the steps of a church when they were babies. Growing up in a world of magic, they both found themselves determined to become the next great Wizard King, the most powerful magic user in the land. If they hoped to compete and make this dream come true they must first receive their grimoires, magic books, and be accepted into the magic knights. This may seem realistic to the magically prodigious Yuno, but Asta, while physically strong, is devoid of any magical ability, so Asta must climb an even larger mountain to face this nearly impossible goal if he hopes to compete with Yuno.
Studio Pierrot brings an anime much like the various other shounen anime before it, by showing you a new set of young male protagonists, one with great skill and one with great heart. Between Yuno and Asta, the audiences are gifted with camaraderie and friendship that goes beyond simple comparison of skills or false sense of superiority. For those who are fans of anime with tight knit focus on magic systems and spells, you will enjoy the adventures and growth of Yuno and Asta in Black Clover.
5. Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2011 – October 2011
Rin Okumura is a seemingly ordinary young man in every way possible except for the day where he discovers he is the literal son of Satan himself. In fact, Rin was sent to the human world (Assiah) from the demon world (Gehenna) by his father so that he can eventually grow to become the vessel, or the key, that will allow Satan to cross over and rule over Assiah. Upon discovering this, Rin and his brother Yukio commit themselves to become incredible exorcists, training at a secret cram school. He will work towards taking down demons, ghosts, and monsters to protect Assiah and prevent Satan from gaining control over the world.
A-1 Pictures (Sword Art Online, Your Lie in April) brought to the screen one of the finest examples of supernatural anime out there. Driven by an intriguing plot, the young male protagonists who lead the charge show us that it is not who we are born as that defines who we are but what we do with our gifts that matters. Supernatural and demonic themes galore, Blue Exorcist is sure to please for anyone who wants a bit dark powers mixed in with their magical heroes.
4. Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:Zero - Starting Life in a New World)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2016 – September 2016
Subaru Natsuki was simply visiting his local store when he is transported to a strange, new world of magic, monsters, and kingdoms. Once there, he is rescued by a white-haired girl name Satella. As he joins her on what starts off as a pleasant mission, it ends in them both being slashed to death. To Subaru’s great surprise, he finds himself in the same moment he was in when he got to the new world. How is this possible? Is some dark magic at play? Will he be able to make it in this land or is he doomed to repeat the same fate over and over and over again?
Studio White Fox brings you a mind-bending fantasy, drama, and thriller anime. While the world itself is top notch as far as fantasy settings go, Subaru Natsuki proves to be a sympathetic, if at times hopeless, sad hero. Unable to fully grasp the magical abilities he possesses in this new world, while battling a curse, Subaru goes through hell to do all he can to help his friends. Though at times the journey may prove difficult for audiences to watch. This is for anyone who enjoys stories that do not shy away from the flaws of its protagonist, pushing him to improve as a warrior and as a person.
3. Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei (The Irregular at Magic High School)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2014 – September 2014
Near the dawning of our century, the landscape of the world, its infrastructure, and culture have shifted. Magic is now imbued in the normalcy of our day-to-day lives and drives new technological advances, economic prosperity, and evolution in tactical warfare and defense. The harbingers of such changes are the ever-growing workforce of trained magicians who are educated at magic schools such as the elite First High School. Tatsuya Shiba and his sister Miyuki, are a tight knit pair of siblings enrolled in the school. Yet they are separated by the structured cast system which seeks to separate the gifted “blooms” from those whose skills are lacking called “weeds”. Miyuki is sent to the former and Tatsuya, exhibiting no magical talent, is sent to latter class. Though the harnessing of magic is not his strong suit, he is prodigious when it comes to magic engineering and battle. How will his new skills shine through at the academy? Can he rise above the labels assigned to him?
The first to be reach the top three of our list and the second on the list to combine both sci-fi and magic elements, Studio Madhouse’s (Death Note, No Game No Life) Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei paints the picture of a clean future with advanced civilizations and military defenses. Yet aside from the intricate combination of magic meets technology, what stands out is the calm, cool, and collected demeanor of the shows male protagonist who is both a prodigy and yet seemingly labelled insufficient at the same time. While front and centre of the story, the protagonist proves to be, himself, a mystery for the audience to uncover through the course of the show.
2. Fairy Tail
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: October 2009– March 2013
In the magic land of Fiore, there exist many magic guilds of heroes and adventurers. Among the best and brightest fall under the banner of Fairy Tail. Fairy Tail is a bright and friendly guild and is the sole focus of Lucy Heartfillia, a celestial key wielder, who wishes to become a part of the guild someday. Along her journey to collect new keys, she is met by the charismatic Natsu Dragneel, the adopted son of dragon and a member of Fairy Tail. Through him, Lucy joins the guild and meets all sort of powerful and interesting characters as a new journey begins.
A-1 Pictures brings another fantastic fantasy anime to the list in Fairy Tail. Fairy Tail has grown to be one of the staples of the Shounen anime community, sharing the stage with the likes of Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach. This is in no small part to its fantastic group of mages with the fiery Natsu Dragneel at its centre along with cool Gray Fullbuster. Fairy Tail shows the value in friendship and how family can be found even amongst those we aren’t biologically related to.
1. Magi: Labyrinth of Magic
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2012 – March 2013
In a world imbued with magic, there exist large towers across the earth known as labyrinths, which are said to hold both great dangers and incredible wealth a power for any who should be able to conquer one. Magi, powers wizards said to have created these towers, are tasked with beckoning the worthy to conquer them and become a king candidate, someone with the potential to rule the whole world. Among the few Magi, there is Aladdin, a small and kind young boy who embarks on a journey with his friend, Ugo the genie, to guide Alibaba Saluja towards conquering a dungeon and realizing his potential as a king candidate.
While all the anime on the list thus far have contained their fair share of magical boys and young men, when it comes down to the number one spot, we turn to the anime which holds a protagonist who could not be more perfectly fit for the description of a magical boy. We find that in the world of Magi, the powerful, if not at times innocent, Aladdin is the quintessential representation of the magic boy concept. Magi: Labyrinth of Magic is set apart by its unique take on the wise wizards who guide groups of heroes on adventures, akin to Lord of the Rings or King Arthur. In Magi, there is not simply a world but an entire law of the universe established that fuels the wisdom of Aladdin and the power of Alibaba and his friends. More than this, they all are there to support one another and not lose themselves in their sometimes overwhelming powers. When you first turn on Magi: Labyrinth of Magic, be prepared for embarking on a grand journey.
We hope you have enjoyed this list of Magical Boy anime. We set out to create a list that would leave you with a good place to start for watching anime that will bring you fun, joy, or a thrill. Do you agree with our list or was there something we missed? Let us know in the comments.
You thought Magical Girl anime are only interesting for females and there is no male equivalent? Well, think again, because today it is time for guys to dress up in crazy costumes and fight evil with the power of friendship.
You have read correctly, today’s list revolves all around our top Magical Boy anime recommendations. In fact, this genre isn’t really well-known and rarely mentioned on anime genre lists. Some viewers even don’t consider it a genre on its own, but rather an afterthought to Magical Girl stories. To come up with this list we have chosen anime that primarily revolve around magical powers as well as featuring boys up to the age of 18.
We want to give this neglected genre some credit and give those of you that are interested some new must-watch shows. Enjoy our magical compilation!
10. Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2007 - June 2007
Who would have thought that music could have magical powers?
Based on a visual novel, this story revolves around the unlikely relationship between musician Tatara Phoron and Corticarte Apa Lagranges. Phoron has the ability to summon spirits with the power of his music and is gifted enough to make a contract with no one less than the infamous Corticarte. This show tells the story of them traveling on the open road, enjoying music together and engrossing in new adventures.
The premise of this anime might sound a little bit weird and tacky at first with all the music, motorcycles, romance and spirits. But if you allow the story to unfold you will realize that there is a lot more to this show than you might expect at first. Here, the magical abilities and all the action don’t solely focus on Phoron, but rather on the teamwork between him and Corticarte. Their relationship or rather partnerships is a main element of this show and makes it stand out from similar anime.
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2003 - September 2003
Some things are just written in your DNA. For Daisuke, his whole future might depend on his heritage.
The teenage boy is troubled by love and finally builds up the courage to confess his feelings to his long-time crush. He gets turned down pretty fast and gives up on love completely. Everything changes on the day of his fourteenth birthday when the thought of his crush has a weird effect on his body - he turns into a phantom thief known as Dark, a fate that has been running in his family for the longest of times. His new life isn’t a quiet one, because a fight between Dark and Light is about to begin.
Even though this show might be a little bit old and the characters have a dated feel to them, this anime is still praised by many fans. Of course you have the cute hero who turns into a dark-winged phantom of the night, but on top of that romance plays a major role in the storyline. So all fans of innocent and pure relationships, likeable characters and an ongoing fight between a hero and his nemesis, definitely check out D.N.Angel.
8. Gakusen Toshi Asterisk (The Asterisk War:The Academy City on Water)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2015 - December 2015
Now it’s time for a great school-related anime that is also part of the current Fall 2015 line-up.
Gakusen Toshi Asterisk has a futuristic setting featuring lots of new technologies and weapons. Our magical boy for this show, Amagiri Ayato, is part of the so-called “Starpulse Generation” which has gained super-human abilities due to a meteor hitting earth. Together with other students of his generation he enrolls in in an academy that at the same time serves as a battleground for the teenagers. Be prepared for a school battle entertainment you have never seen before.
As a more recent anime, Gakusen Toshi Asterisk has hands down one of the best animation styles on this list, especially during all the action-filled fighting scenes. While it has a similar vibe to shows like The Irregular at Magic High School (another anime fans of Magic Boys could check out), it is still unique and promises great things for the finale of this season.
7. Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto (Star Driver)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2010 - April 2011
Magical abilities don’t always have to revolve around wands and spells - sometimes they come in the form of Sci Fi and Mecha.
This story is set on the Southern Cross Isle, to be more specific at the high school located on this isolated green island. One day, teenager Takuto Tsunashi washes up on the shore and quickly becomes part of the local community. He is enjoying his new high school life, but soon he has to realize that there is a secret surrounding the island and its student - and he is about to become part of it.
Star Driver will throw you back to old-school Mecha shows while still keeping a great animation style of modern days. At this point you might ask why we chose to include a Sci Fi show on a Magical Boy anime list. While it is true that there are more robots than there are wizards in this show, it still has typical Magical Boy elements like short transformation sequences, action-filled fights and lots of teamwork. So if you can enjoy a good Mecha show Star Driver will definitely not disappoint.
6. Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry (Chivalry of a Failed Knight)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2015 - ?
You cannot get enough of magical schools and knights in shining armor? We have one more show for all fans of action, comedy, school life and also a little bit of ecchi.
Magic in this show comes in the form of weapons converted from the souls of magic-users known as Magic Knights. These students enroll at the same school and are known to fight for honor and prestige. But there is one exception to the rule: Ikki Kurogane is the “Failed Knight” who doesn’t show any magical skills. How will he survive his school days?
Chivalry of a Failed Knight is another anime from the Fall 2015 season and has already gained a big fan base due to its action, comedy and romance. Even though it has many well-known elements, like school life and ecchi, it still adds its own unique touch to them. Especially fans of sword fights combined with magical powers will enjoy this one.
5. Sora no Otoshimono (Heaven’s Lost Property)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 2009 - December 2009
We have a boy transforming into a girl, busty angels falling from the sky and a group of friends that will make you laugh like no other. Get ready for a crazy adventure with Sora no Otoshimono!
Sakurai Tomoki has a recurring dream of meeting a beautiful angel. However, the boy with the life motto “peace and quiet are the best” lives a simple and laid-back life he wouldn’t want to change. But as it is often the case in anime, Tomoki’s life gets turned upside down when an angel actually does fall from the sky and claims to be his servant.
This show has surprised many viewers by turning from a generic ecchi/comedy show into a fun and heart-warming adventure. It is true that the only magic pervert Tomoki uses is transforming into a girl in order to slip into the girl’s locker room. Still, you will see magical action, fight scenes and lots and lots of humor with this little gem. This is definitely a must-watch for fans of ecchi and harem elements.
4. Mahou Sensei Negima! (Negima!)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: January 2005 - June 2005
Next up is a show for everyone who wants school and romance added to their Magical Boy anime.
Mahou Sensei Negima revolves around soon-to-be wizard Negi Springfield who only has to pass one more test in order to become a Master Wizard. This test, however, turns out to be much different from what he expected. Despite his young age he has to enroll as a teacher in an all-girls school and has to help the students pass exams and improve their grades while at the same time fighting evil powers.
Mahou Sensei Negima! combines school and fantasy elements as well as all types of different characters from vampires to robots and time travelers. What makes this story more like a Magical Boy anime than just a fantasy anime is the fact that it really focuses on how Negi uses magic to fight new enemies in every episode. The show is a little bit weird, the animation is kind of old-school, but somehow it grabs your attention and makes you want to continue watching.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2009 - December 2009
Turning the Magical Girl genre into a Magical Boy genre is already crazy enough, but now imagine the protagonist also turning back into a woman. What?
Kämpfer is the unique story of Natsuru Senou, a high school student who one day finds himself trapped inside the body of a woman. Not only that, but he is also told that he isn’t just a normal girl, but a human with supernatural powers known as Kämpfer. His job is to find other Kämpfer girls and fight them, while trying to continue his normal life as a student. Will he succeed?
This show is definitely a top recommendation for all fans of gender-bender stories. While our hero carries out all of his fights in female form, he still has to continue living his everyday life as a guy. Like most Magical Girl or Magical Boy anime you will see lots of fantastic fights as well as transformation sequences, on top of funny moments revolving around Natsuru’s two identities.
2. Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! (Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2015 - March 2015
If there is one show you will stumble upon on your search for Magical Boy anime then it’s this one. Binan, as the show is called for short, is your must-watch parody of the Magical Girl genre.
Get ready to meet five unlikely heroes who get together to form the “Earth Defense Club” at their local high school. In every episode they fight new and vicious monsters with their unique set of skills and, more importantly, with the power of love.
This show is a hot mess of cute high school boys, wacky outfits, magic, school club atmosphere and a pink alien that looks like the offspring of a wombat and a koala. But is it a bad show? No, I would say, since you should enjoy each episode with a pinch of salt. Watch it as a parody and you will appreciate the great animation, the creative enemies and the effort that was put into the interaction between the characters. Let’s see if these boys are able to defend earth.
1. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? (Is This a Zombie?)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2011 - March 2011
Picture a high school boy who gets killed, only to come back as a zombie and to earn some magical powers. Too crazy, you would say? Not for Kore wa Zombie Desu ka, a fantasy anime with harem and romance elements.
Aikawa Ayumu leads an uneventful life until the day he dies by the hands of a serial killer and gets resurrected by necromancer Eucliwood Hellscythe. The duty of his new existence is to serve the girl as a guard while she fights enemies with her magical girl powers. This should have been easy enough, but Ayumu ends up absorbing her skills and taking her place as a hybrid between a magical boy and a zombie.
We have to be exact here and mention that Kore wa Zombie Desu ka is actually listed as a Magical Girl anime. However, this show is the closest you will get to a good Magical Boy anime that doesn’t take itself too serious. You could even see it as a parody that combines zombies with magic and crazy outfit changes, only to top everything off with amazing humor. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka doesn’t take itself serious while still remaining entertaining and that’s what makes it our top choice for this list.
Witch Craft Works
While shows like Sailor Moon, Doremi and Madoka Magica are celebrated worldwide, some of the shows we have mentioned above still remain tips amongst fans. It might be due to the fact that the core elements of these shows are seen as girly or feminine, but if we are being honest the actual reason might not be that important. What matters is that one of the things that makes anime so amazing is creativity and the possibility to experience something new in every show. So why not explore a genre you have never watched before?
Give these shows a try and then comment down below what you think of them. What are your views on the Magical Boy genre and what are your favorite shows? Your input is more than welcome.