Doesn’t the idea of magic enchant us all? The excitement surrounding magic has been in vogue from as far back as the beginning of civilization. Different cultures have varying interpretations of magic. In some cultures, magic is considered to be evil whereas it is a sacred source of wisdom and protection in others. This difference is reflected in the Christian Bible, shamanism, Wicca, and many other interpretations of magic.
In its simplest terms, magic is the ability to control events or things with the help of superhuman energy. The scope of magic is boundless, so naturally, the possibilities are endless in this genre. Magic or magicalism has a large room for development as well as the expression of unique creativity. Accordingly, it is one of the most common tropes used all over the film and entertainment industry.
The concept of magic is widely explored in the world of anime. In case you’re searching for one, relax and let us do the work. Squinoo has handpicked 21 magic anime you should check out.
21. The Irregular at Magic High School (Mahōka Kōkō no Rettōsei)
In the year 2095, the world is suffering the aftermath of World War III. Mankind has found a way to sustain itself by utilizing magic and technology through the Casting Assistance Device (CAD). Magic infused with technology is now weaponized to serve national purposes.
Siblings Shiba Tatsuya and Shiba Miyuki are among the several new recruits at First High School. In this school, the magic-wielding students are largely divided into two groups based on their entrance scores. Miyuki, due to her high scores, gets placed among the first-course students whereas Tatsuya is a second-course. Tatsuya, as a Weed, gets shunned by the upper Blooms in school. He does not do well in conventional magic but he is excellent at combat fighting. Seemingly powerless and weak, Tatsuya is unaware of many things regarding his own abilities.
This anime has an overpowering protagonist with a lot of awesome fight scenes. If you’re looking for a quick easy to watch magic anime without investing too much in the plot, this might be for you.
20. Fancy Lala
An elementary school student named Shinohara Miho dreams of becoming a manga artist when she grows up. Her life is as mundane and normal as any nine-year-old’s life can be. She daydreams and draws beautiful designs on her notebooks a lot. One day she encounters a mysterious man who arranges for Miho to meet Pigu and Mogu, two tiny magical dinosaurs.
The dinosaurs give Miho a special pen and drawing pad that lets her transform into a fabulous teenager as well as whatever she draws on it to come to life. They become Miho’s magical guides and they prevent her from breaking the magical rules. Miho takes this opportunity to name lead an exciting life as an idol named Fancy Lala. She meets her idols and Komiyama, her hairstylist who become her good friends.
This anime is sweet, light, and likable. Unlike other animes with magical girls, this show is incredibly realistic as magic animes can get. It isn’t over the top or overtly sexual. Instead, it is memorable, charming, and hopeful.
19. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (Mahō Shōjo Ririkaru Nanoha)
Takamachi Nanoha is a third grader who lives a fairly normal life. One day she sees an injured ferret who communicates with Nanoha with a cry for help. The ferret reveals himself to be a transfigured human called Yuuno. He is an archeologist and a mage who comes from an alternate universe.
Yuuno unintentionally shatters a magical Jewel Seeds throughout Earth. Now that he does not have enough power to retrieve the broken pieces of the Jewel Seeds, Yuuno takes the form of a ferret. He asks Nanoha for help to complete his mission and she agrees. Yuuno hands over a red jewel to Nanoha, hoping that it will help her to utilize magic from it. To defeat several kinds of monsters that are the Jewel Seeds, Nanoha taps into her magic. As Yuugo and Nanoha set on a journey to find the jewels, they encounter other magic users, rivals, and learn from each other.
This anime has more to offer than just a childish magical journey. There are interesting subplots and characters with depth that make this show worthwhile.
18. The Twelve Kingdoms (Jūni Kokuki)
Nakajima Youko is a humble, quiet, and kind high school student who is insecure about her natural red hair. Her mundane life takes a turn when a strange man comes to her school. He bows before her, vows loyalty, and requests her to accept his protection. Baffled and clueless, she meekly accepts. Immediately following her acceptance, her school is attacked, but her protector safely delivers Youko into another world, set in China.
Youko learns that she is the chosen Queen of Kei, one of the twelve kingdoms. As a new ruler, she must adjust and learn how to fend for the kingdom. She must refrain from falling into the temptations of corruption and other falsehoods. If she does, the Kirin of her land will weaken and die along with her, leading to chaos and pain in the kingdom.
17. Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor (Roku de Nashi Majutsu Kōshi to Akashikku Rekōdo)
Glenn Radars is an indifferent and lazy substitute teacher at a magical academy. He can not care less about teaching, especially in rigid orthodox methods. He writes instructions on the board and sleeps off during class hours so that he would not have to teach the students. He lies shamelessly to his students and he simply does not bother about being the worst possible teacher ever.
Sistine Fibel and Rumia are two of the many unhappy students. They are passionate about magic and they desperately want to learn but Glenn is not having any of it! However, when an evil organization threatens the safety of him and his students, he proves himself to be competent and highly skilled in magic. The threat unfolds many secrets- his past and that of his own students as well.
This show, for the most part, is a comedy. It creatively satirizes many commonly used tropes in different kinds of anime- from a creepy perverted teacher, overtly sexy students, and the underrated powerful main protagonist.
16. Witchcraft Works
Takamiya Honoka is a high school student who lives a mundane life. He unknowingly is a target of the Tower Witches, who are violent and set in their ways. Takamiya has a spirit sealed inside his body called the ‘Evermillion’ or ‘White Princess’. To obtain this entity, the pursuers are not hesitant to hurt anything or anyone in their way.
When the Tower Witches attack Takamiya at school, Kagari Ayaka saves him. Kagari is the most popular girl in his school who has the exact same routine as Takamiya. She sits next to him in every class, has the same school duties, and they even commute together. Kagari reveals herself to be a Fire Witch on an undercover mission to protect Honoka from people who want to extract the Evermillion.
15. Log Horizon
While playing a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMO), thousands of Japanese gamers are suddenly transported into the game world. Much to their surprise, they are clothed as their avatars and retain their abilities in the game. The real lives of these gamers have infused with the game where they are trapped. Their luck takes a turn for the worst when they realize that many of the game layouts have changed. To survive and fend for themselves in the wonderful but dangerous world of the Elder Tree game.
Among these players is a gamer named Shiroe, an Enchanter who can cast powerful spells. Shiroe experiences this life-changing phenomenon with best friend Naotsugu, a Guardian, and Akatsuki, an Assassin. They also learn that if they die in this ‘game’, it would really kill them, too.
They continue to look for the reason and consequences of what experience and changes have on the world and the people who are stuck in the new reality.
This magic anime is full of amazing fight scenes, strategic solutions, and intellectual food for the sociologically interested folks!
14. Grimoire of Zero (Zero kara Hajimeru Mahō no Sho)
Zero is a wise and powerful witch. Many years ago, she wrote the ‘Grimoire of Zero’, a book that contains wisdom about magic for practitioners. Zero’s intention for writing the book is to unite the humans and the witches who are in conflict. However, the book was stolen by her master from back when she used to study sorcery in a cave. Now, as the developer of magic, Zero is on a mission to find her lost grimoire.
Zero meets a Beastfallen, whom she addresses by his profession- Mercenary. Mercenary is a human who has been infused with the spirit of a white tiger. Like many other Beastfallens, he despites witches who create their kind to be mere human soldiers with the strength of a beast. Unable to live with the humans and the witches, mercenary decides to take upon Zero’s offer- to accompany her as a bodyguard in her quest. In return, when the mission is over, she would return him to his human form. They are joined by a young practitioner named Albus, and so the three of them start their journey to find the grimoires of Zero.
This anime sets a clear demarcation between sorcery and magic, both of which are used interchangeably in many productions. The magical element is not overpowering but is subtly present all throughout.
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13. Blast of Tempest (Zetsuen no Tenpesuto)
Takigawa Yoshino is visiting Fuwa Aika, his dead girlfriend’s grave when a strange woman attempts to murder him. Before she could kill him, his estranged best friend and step-brother of Aika, Fuwa Mahiro appears and saves him.
Mahiro leaves to find out who killed Aika after her death and found help in the form of a witch who is stranded on a deserted island. The witch, named Kusaribe Hakaze belongs to the Kusaribe clan who are in charge of protecting the magical Tree Of Genesis. After her friend Samon betrays her, Hazake patches up a wooden doll through which she can communicate with the possessor. Mahiro finds this doll and strikes a deal with Hazake.
Several settings, dialogue, and characters are loosely based on the literary classics- William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Hamlet. The animation is well done, and the fight scenes are worth the watch!
12. Black Clover
In a magical land called the Clover Kingdom, different kinds of magic wielders make their home. When a person reaches the age of fifteen, they receive a grimoire that would guide and teach them how to cast spells and improve their magical abilities.
In the rundown part of the Black Clover society, two different babies Asta and Yuno are abandoned at a dilapidated church. As the boys grow up, they aspire to become the Wizard king. Asta and Yuno are as far from the same as can be- Yuno is born with exceptional talent and is naturally at home with magic, whereas Asta is not born with any magical abilities.
Unlike the rest of the population, Asta has to compensate for his lack of magic by physically training as hard as possible. Although they are rivals for the same throne, both Yuno and Asta support each other to keep going as they grow up and encounter difficulties.
This anime may sound very familiar but don’t be put off by that. Like many other shonen jumps, it has a hopeful, hard-working, and underdog protagonist. If you like that kind of show, this is definitely for you.
Around a decade prior to the events of Fate Stay Night, this anime is a prequel to the famous show. In a world where the Holy Grail holds the power to grant any wish, many people are greedily pursuing it. To be a keeper or controller of the Holy Grail, a contest in the form of war is founded by three prominent families- Einzbern, Matou, and Tōsaka.
This show opens during the Fourth Holy Grail War in the Fukuki city. To win the Holy Grail, the Einzbern family are willing to go overboard by choosing a ruthless mercenary named Emiya Kiritsugu as the master of the house. The grail chooses participants for the war, and each master can summon servants- reincarnations of great and powerful people from the past. As is customary, Kiritsugu summons a spirit of a heroic warrior named Saber to aid him and his wife Irisviel von Einzbern in the war.
The story deals with opposing moral codes, ideologies, and the idea of a chivalrous hero. This anime has spectacular visuals, a well-written plot, and interesting character developments. You won’t be disappointed!
10. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
A young man named Alibaba is a poor boy who toils his days away to make ends meet. He meets a boy named Aladdin and his friend, a Djinn named Ugo. Aladdin destroys a cart that belongs to a local merchant or supplier. To pay for the losses, Aladdin and Alibaba decide to conquer a nearby dungeon called Amon, which holds untold riches. Despite initially holding himself back from helping others so that we won’t get into trouble, Alibaba and Aladdin team up to take over the Dungeon. This event is the pivotal moment of their lives and the first of their many adventures to come.
This anime has a solid plot and underlying subplots that are totally worth the watch. Loosely based on the Arabian Nights or One Thousand and One Nights, the show is filled with magical elements, fun adventures, great visuals, and character development.
9. The Saga of Tanya the Evil (Japan as Yōjo Senki)
Sometime during the 1920s, an unnamed Japanese white-collar man who is an unsympathetic atheist is dying. As a typical businessman who fights ruthlessly on his way upward, he is merciless- such as firing a subordinate who pushes him in front of a train. At the moment of his death, he encounters an entity called ‘Being X’ who confronts him about his beliefs.
Being X is offended by the man’s disregard for faith- he believes that faith is something weak people let themselves believe for their own as a cushion in hard times. So Being X punishes the man by reincarnating him in the body of a little girl named Tanya von Degurechaff who lives in a warring era in Europe. Being X tells the man that if Tanya dies an unnatural death or dies without believing in Being X, his soul will leave the cycle of reincarnation and suffer in hell.
So, Tanya, a mage with the soul of a dead Japanese businessman tries her best to fight the entity who reincarnated her. Retaining her memories from her past life, she utilizes her ruthless tactics and rigid methods to climb ranks in the Empire’s Mages Division at the peak of the war.
This anime is fresh and unhackneyed. It tackles the concept of faith differently, and the fight for one’s perspective is exceptionally engaging to say the least!
8. A Certain Magical Index (Toaru Majutsu no Indekkusu)
In a place called Academy City, all developmental courses are centered around science and magic. The inhabitants of the city are largely divided into Espers- people who gain magical abilities through science, and Gemstones- people who are naturally born with magic.
Kamijō Tōma is an ordinary student who is unsuccessful in Esper studies. With no magical abilities, Tōma is at the bottom of the Esper hierarchy. One day he encounters a nun named Index on his balcony. Index is from a place called Necessarius and has an incredible ability- she holds the knowledge of the 100,000 grimoires by memory.
Touma and Index are chased by sorcerers, which lands them right in the conflict between Science, Magic and Religion. Tōma’s right-hand holds a unique ability called ‘Imagine Breaker’ which allows him to neutralize all forms of magic. Together, Tōma and Index help each other and try to bring justice as much as they can.
The characters are absolutely adorable and charming in this anime. If not for the plotline, most of the characters are credible and convincing.
7. Kiki’s Delivery Service (Majo no Takkyūbin)
One of the best movies to be produced by Studio Ghibli, this story revolves around a thirteen-year-old witch named Kiki. She leaves her family house with her cat Jiji on her flying broom. She reaches a small town called Koriko and settles there. As a flying witch, Kiki pique people’s curiosity and interest in the town. A young boy called Tombo, an aviation enthusiast is especially captivated by Kiki’s ability to fly, and they become friends over time.
A pregnant bakery owner named Osono gives accommodation to Kiki. In return, Kiki helps out by starting a small delivery service where she swiftly brings baked goods all across the town on her broomstick.
This animation has got to be one of the best and beautiful accounts of a witch’s coming-of-age story!
6. Mary and The Witch’s Flower (Meari to Majo no Hana)
A clumsy, brave, and eager little girl named Mary Smith moves into a manor with her aunt Charlotte in an English countryside. She gets bored while waiting for her parents’ arrival despite busying herself with chores inside her new home. Although she is usually plucky, she is very insecure about her bright red hair. So it doesn’t help when her neighbor Peter teases her for it.
Peter has two cats named Tib-cat and Gib-cat. They guide Mary into the woods where she finds a beautiful blue flower that glows, named the ‘fly-by-night’ of the ‘witch’s flower’. The next day, Mary follows Tib-cat and finds a broomstick at the foot of a tree. Graceless Mary unintentionally breaks open the witch’s flower on the broomstick, giving the broom an ability to fly. Mary discovers an institution for witches while flying on her broomstick.
This movie is undoubtedly one of the most charming magic animes. Laced with humor, the characters are quirky and relatable, the story is well written, and the animation is excellently executed.
5. Little Witch Academia
Kagari Atsuko, nicknamed Akko, dreams of becoming a witch just like her idol Shiny Chariot. As a child, she used to be fascinated by the popular witch’s performances. To fulfill her dreams, Akko enrolls herself at a school for witches called Luna Nova. Despite her determination, Akko faces many difficulties in the school because she comes from a family that does not wield magic.
Akko is mildly displeased by the fact that the school’s curriculum is not even nearly as exciting as Shiny Chariot’s extravagant performances. However, she is charismatic and unwavering in her faith in magic. So, Akko acquires Shiny Chariot’s magical rod. However, Akko is a bit of an airhead and is extremely clumsy. This nature lands her into several troubles, and to regain the status quo, she has to find a way to solve these problems.
Along with her friends Lotte Jansson and Sucy Manbavaran, Akko makes fond memories in her new school. The anime is overwhelmingly reminiscent of the Harry Potter series, from the plot, setting, and character designs. However, it has its fair share of uniqueness in its own rights. It is a light-hearted show that will not leave any room for boredom.
4. Princess Tutu
Before finishing his story called The Prince and the Raven, writer Drosselmeyer dies. The Raven comes to life in the real world, and so the Prince follows suit. The Prince shatters his own heart to seal the raven. Now, Drosselmeyer’s ghost wants to finish the story. He chooses a duck to help the lonely Mytho, gives her a pendant that lets her become a human girl and transform into Princess Tutu.
As Princess Tutu, the little duck collects pieces of Mytho’s heart that have resided inside other people. As Mytho gets closer to receiving his whole heart again, Princess Tutu unearths dark and mysterious things about Mytho, her rival Rue, and the town they live in.
Unlike a typical magic anime, this show revolves around an unchangeable fate. The meta-story is beautifully executed and worth the watch!
3. Fairy Tail
In a world called Fiore where magic is a commonplace, Lucy Heartfilia aspires to become independent and strong. She is a young celestial wizard from a wealthy family. She leaves her home to look for and join the famous Fairy Tail guild. On her journey, she meets a young man named Natsu Dragneel, a fire wizard who is a member of the Fairy Tail guild.
Lucy befriends Natsu’s magical cat-like best friend Happy, Gray Fullbuster, an ice wizard, and Erza Scarlet, the best swordswoman of the Fairy Tail guild. The group takes odd and even life-threatening jobs around the city, earning their living. As the story progresses, more dangers threaten the peaceful existence of Fiore.
This anime showcases the value of friendship, trust, confidence, and responsibility. Taking the first step to reach a goal most would think unreachable. It is justifiably one of the top magic animes to be released in recent years.
2. Cardcaptor Sakura
Kinomoto Sakura is a ten-year-old, happy and cheerful girl. One day she stumbles upon her father’s book and releases a stack of magical cards in it. The cards are known as Clow Cards, passed down from her ancestor Clow Reed, who created the cards. A magical being called Cerberus, another creation of Clow Reed, names her the Cardcaptor and assists Sakura on her quests to collect all the cards.
Each card possesses magical abilities that can manipulate people and their surroundings. Although most of the cards are not malevolent, it becomes a priority for Sakura to successfully capture all of them. Her best friend Daidōji Tomoyo accompanies her and records Sakura’s outfits.
This anime is one of the best classic magical animes. This show is nothing short of warmth because it beautifully portrays childhood, adventure, magic, and love in all forms.
1. Magical Circle Guru Guru (Mahōjin Guru Guru)
Nike is a mischievous and unmotivated village boy living in a magical land. He wants nothing to do with being a hero even though his father trains him to be one. When a great evil by the name of Demon King Giri breaks free from his three hundred years of imprisonment, the king of the magical land calls forth any hero who can defeat the Demon King Giri.
Seeing an opportunity, Nike’s parents literally slingshots him to become the hero and defeat the villain. Joining him is Kukuru, a girl from the Migu Migu Tribe with who has ‘Guru Guru’ magical abilities. Hailing from unusual backgrounds, the main protagonists encounter even more unusual characters along the way.
This anime is packed with hilarity that does not stop. As a parody of various RPG animes during the 90s, the plot is not unfamiliar. However, the main storyline is the least of the concerns when it comes to this show. The characters, their mannerisms, and style of animation are some of the things that make this anime so great. It is one of the best animes with magic to be released in recent years.
So, there you have it! Tell us your favorite anime in the comments section below.