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What are the best magical girl anime?

Magical girl is a popular subgenre of Japanese fantasy light novels, manga, video games, and anime. They commonly feature girls who use magic or have magical powers. These magical girls transform to unlock their powers to fight monsters and the forces of evil. They use scepters and wands for weapons and are often accompanied by an animal mascot/sidekick. How did this subgenre even begin, you may ask. The concept for the magical girl genre has existed as early as the 1950s with the manga, Princess Knight. Then, the earliest magical girl manga came in 1962 and it was called Himitsu no Akko-chan. This was followed a few years later by the first-ever magical girl anime show, Sally the Witch. In fact, Sally the Witch was actually inspired by the Japanese dub of the American TV show, Bewitched.

Mahotsukai Chappy and Majokko Megu-chan popularized the term "majokko" -little witch or witch girl- as a name for the genre as we know it today. The popularity of the genre faded a little but the Sailor Moon manga and anime series are widely considered to have helped revitalize the genre. It helped pave the way for the success of other series that came later. Some were Cardcaptor Sakura and the unconventional but equally good, Puella Magi Madoka Magica. If you're new to the genre, now is a great time to get into it with many titles to choose from. Have a look at our list of some of the best magical girl anime below to help you get started.

11 comments
  1. 1Shugo Chara!

    19

    Shugo Chara! tries to break the magical girl anime genre with its unique and somewhat weird take that actually works to its favor. Fans loved it despite its complicated premise and you probably will too.

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  1. 2Princess Tutu

    9

    Princess Tutu takes cues from classic literature to put a nice spin to the ever-popular magical girl anime genre and suceeds in its attempt. Think the ugly duckling and the beautiful swan combined into an anime show and you get Princess Tutu.

  2. 3Puella Magi Madoka Magica

    8

    This shows starts off as your typical magical girl anime with happy and cheerful vibes that ultimately conquers evil. This soon gets flipped on its head and what you get is a much darker and deeper take on the genre.

  1. 4Pretty Cure

    6

    Pretty Cure is a magical girl anime directed by Daisuke Nishio. It has 49 episodes and is produced by Moegi Nishizawa, Rika Tsuruzaki, Shigehaki Dohi, Takashi Washio and Tomoko Takahasi. It aired from February 1, 2004 to January 30, 2005.

  2. 5Cardcaptor Sakura

    5

    Cardcaptor Sakura is a show that a lot of people grew up loving and is a favorite among fans of magical girl anime shows. It has been praised for its great characterization and development.

  3. 6Sailor Moon

    4

    Sailor Moon is a probably one of the first things to pop in people's minds when talking about magical girl anime and is definitely one of the best and a classic among fans.

  4. 7Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha

    3

    Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is a magical girl anime directed by Akiyuki Shinbo. It has thirteen episodes and was written by Masaki Tsuzuki. It aired from October 1, 2004 to December 24, 2004.

  5. 8Yuki Yuna is a Hero

    2

    Yuki Yuna is a Hero is a magical girl anime directed by Seiji Kishi. It has 12 episodes written by Makoto Uezu and Takahiro. It aired from October 16, 2014 to December 25, 2014.

  6. 9Revolutionary Girl Utena

    2

    Revolutionary Girl Utena is a 39-episode comedy-drama anime TV series created by Kunihiko Ikuhara and Chiho Saito. It tells the story of a tomboyish schoolgirl who finds herself forced into repeated duels on behalf of another girl who has a role in a world revolution.

  7. 10Magic Knight Rayearth

    0

    Magic Knight Rayearth is a Japanese anime series wherein three schoolgirls from Tokyo were transported to the magical land of the Rune-Gods. With their guide Mokona, the three went on a quest to rescue the princess and return home.

  8. 11Pretear

    0

    Pretear is a 13-episode fantasy-adventure anime TV series that tells the story of Himeno, a normal 16-year-old girl that meets seven men called the Leafe Knights. They reveal that she is a being known as the Pretear.

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DID YOU KNOW?

They say that the best female anime characters are the ones who wield magic. Besides, what good is anime anyway if everyone was just plain and ordinary? Most of the savvy long-time anime fans think that Sailor Moon jump-started the whole magical girl anime genre. Well, even though Sailor Moon is almost synonymous to the mystical girl genre, it wasn't the initial series to introduce it. Did you know that the first magical girl on television history was Sally the Witch?

The Japanese anime Sally the Witch, a.k.a Mahoutsukai Sally, was actually the pioneer when it comes to serializing the magical girl concept. Some even claim that this anime was also the first one to show elements of the Sh?jo genre. Sh?jo is a Japanese genre focused on personal and romantic relationships. Created by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, the anime series aired from 1966 to 1968 with a total of 109 episodes. The inspiration behind the anime was ABC's 1964 sitcom Bewitched. It was when the U.S. pop culture is starting to spread in Japan. Sally the Witch may be unknown to many, but it is notable for being the inspiration for the best anime series we know and love today!

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11 comments

  • #1
    A
    Anonymous
    March 25, 2019
    "Cardcaptor Sakura is perhaps the best mahou shoujo anime produced. It's more than just a classic or a title that's influential. The story is great, animation too. The costumes are real cute as well."
    Refering to:
    5
    Cardcaptor Sakura
  • #2
    A
    Anonymous
    March 25, 2019
    "Honestly, the only thing that I didn't like about this anime is its title. But I reallyyyyyy love the story, the characters are well written and the character development is really nice as well."
    Refering to:
    2
    Princess Tutu
  • #3
    A
    Anonymous
    March 25, 2019
    "Best magical girl anime with romance that I've seen!! The series is really a strong one, the emotional depth is really nice. It is fun and a lot of the characters are really well developed."
    Refering to:
    4
    Pretty Cure
  • #4
    A
    Anonymous
    March 25, 2019
    "Sailor Moon and her scouts are fantastic role models for young girls. They use there magical powers to defeat monsters and protect love and justice. I let my daughters watch this."
    Refering to:
    6
    Sailor Moon
  • #5
    A
    Anonymous
    March 25, 2019
    "The thing that I love the most about YuYuYu is its animation, the art is beautiful and the character designs are really nice. The characters are also well-developed and connected."
    Refering to:
    8
    Yuki Yuna is a Hero
  • #6
    A
    Anonymous
    January 21, 2020
    "It's basically inspired by the story of Snow White at first but becomes so much more than that as you keep watching. One of the best magical girl anime that you should give a try."
    Refering to:
    11
    Pretear
  • #7
    A
    Anonymous
    January 21, 2020
    "This is one of the more oft-overlooked and dismissed show but I think it's one of the best magical girl anime out there that packs a lot more action than recent shows today."
    Refering to:
    10
    Magic Knight Rayearth
  • #8
    A
    Anonymous
    March 25, 2019
    "Probably one of the best magical girl anime that I have seen. I definitely love the dark magical girl anime vibes and the character development is also top quality."
    Refering to:
    3
    Puella Magi Madoka Magica
  • #9
    A
    Anonymous
    March 25, 2019
    "I personally love this anime. It's a nice surprise and twist on the mahou shoujo genre that was mucg needed. I also really loved the story progression of this one."
    Refering to:
    1
    Shugo Chara!
  • #10
    A
    Anonymous
    January 21, 2020
    "This is one is a classic and is one of the best magical girl anime with a nice twist in the end. Give this one a shot and you'll know what I mean."
    Refering to:
    9
    Revolutionary Girl Utena
  • #11
    A
    Anonymous
    March 25, 2019
    "Sadly, I wasn't able to enjoy this magical girl anime, the art wasn't that special and most of the characters are boring and plain."
    Refering to:
    7
    Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
This list is about What are the best magical girl anime
RankAnswersTypeVotesPrice
1Shugo Chara!TV Shows 19 Paid
2Princess TutuTV Shows 9 Paid
3Puella Magi Madoka MagicaTV Shows 8 Paid
4Pretty CureTV Shows 6 Free
5Cardcaptor SakuraTV Shows 5 Paid
6Sailor MoonTV Shows 4 Paid
7Magical Girl Lyrical NanohaTV Shows 3 Paid
8Yuki Yuna is a HeroTV Shows 2 Paid
9Revolutionary Girl UtenaTV Shows 2 Paid
10Magic Knight RayearthTV Shows 0 Paid
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