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10 Amazing Magical Girl Anime No One Talks About

CBR logo CBR 5/21/2022 Sage Ashford
© Provided by CBR

When people think about magical girl anime, a few series come to mind. Older fans think of Sailor Moon, as it was one of the premiere anime series during the anime boom in the late '90s and early 2000s. Madoka Magica and PreCure are the two others, remembered for vastly different reasons. PreCure is the magical girl version of sentai while Madoka is the deconstruction of popular magical girl tropes.

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But there are dozens of other awesome magical girl anime. They get overlooked in favor of battle shonen anime or slice-of-life series, but magical girl anime have incredible potential. Fans might wonder where they should start if they've already seen the most popular shows since there are so many series that it can be difficult to separate the great from the bad.

Tokyo Mew Mew Introduces A Magical Girl Sentai Team With Cat Powers

Ichigo Monomiya was enjoying a normal date with her crush Masaya Aoyama when things became strange. A cat's DNA mixes with her own, leaving her with strange new powers and a bunch of cat-like habits. A pair of researchers specifically chose Ichigo for an experiment and injected her with the DNA to give her powers to fight back against aliens.

Fighting aliens is a daunting task, but at least she's got four other allies to help her out...if she can find them, that is. Tokyo Mew Mew might have a weird premise, but it's a classic series from Studio Pierrot that's carried by its hilarious writing and cool fight scenes.

Cutie Honey F Is One Of The Original Magical Girl Series

The Cutie Honey franchise is one of the older magical girl-type series. It's generally got a heavy dose of ecchi, which can make the series feel unwelcoming to some audiences. But Cutey Honey F toned down the fanservice because it was airing in Sailor Moon Stars' time slot, making it more approachable.

The series follows Honey Kisaragi, a sixteen-year-old girl who witnessed her dad being kidnapped. At her lowest, she's suddenly given a device that allows her to transform into the superhero Cutie Honey. Using that power, she fights back against Panther Zora, the organization responsible for tearing her life apart.

Shugo Chara Is Well-Known Among Fans But Unknown To The Mainstream

Shugo Chara is a series one would think would be spoken of far more often given how highly fans think of it. It centers around Amu Hinamori, a young girl who wants nothing more than to show her true self to people. One day, she finds a collection of items known as Heart Eggs with Guardian Characters in them.

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These Guardian Characters help her tap into her true self but also lead to her joining a group of other teens who have similar powers. With her abilities, she's asked to find and purify X Eggs — corrupted Hearts Eggs. The set-up is standard, but the character development is superb and has left fans talking about the franchise years after it ended.

Vivid Strike Merges Magical Girls With Mixed Martial Arts

Vivid Strike is a spin-off of the Nanoha franchise. It's set in the same world but follows a new protagonist: Fuuka Reventon. Fuuka is an orphaned girl who discovers her best friend, Rinne Berlinetta, became a top boxing star in the world of Under 18 athletes after getting adopted.

But Rinne has become a different, colder person after becoming a boxer. Fuuka decides to train, discover what changed her friend, and get her back. The magical girl element comes in when considering the girls box using the power of special items known as Intelligent Devices, transforming them into older athletes with superpowers.

My-HiMe Adds A Battle Royale Twist To Magical Girls

My-HiMe was once one of the more popular magical girl anime and was one of the best anime of the 2000s. But that was a long time ago, and because the sequel wasn't well-received, it wasn't able to become an enduring franchise like other anime.

The story is about Mai Tokiha, a teenager who receives a scholarship to attend a prestigious school located on an island. She takes the strange opportunity because it lets her take care of her younger brother as well, but soon discovers the island holds many secrets. My-HiMe was a deconstruction of the magical girl genre, something that would become more popular over the next decade.

Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya Is A Shockingly Good Fate Parody Series

The Fate series was around long enough to grow beyond its visual novel roots. It became a massive cell phone game franchise, gained a few parody anime, and even a magical girl series. Prisma Illya is set in a world where the Heroic Spirits are inside of seven Class Cards. The Mage Association is searching for these Class Cards but the two mages they choose are abandoned by their sentient magic wands, the Kaleidosticks.

Instead, the Kaleidosticks find themselves in the hands of two new girls who are asked to find the Class Cards. The series has all the characters Fate fans love, but recast in a new light that works surprisingly well. This spin-off series has run for three seasons and forty episodes so far.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear Is All About Hype & Epic Fights

Symphogear is a top-tier magical girl series and a great series for hype and cool fight scenes. Taking place in a world where humanity is under attack by beings from another dimension called the Noise, humanity has but one defense: the Symphogear.

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The Symphogear are ancient relics powered by song, and their power is the only thing that can attack and destroy the Noise. For two years, the only Symphogear warrior is Tsubasa Kazanari after her partner is lost in a previous attack. But Tsubasa is forced to work with new ally Hibiki Tachibana after he activates the same Symphogear powers as Tsubasa's fallen partner.

Magic Knight Rayearth Is An Isekai Free Of Modern Isekai Tropes

Magic Knight Rayearth was one of CLAMP's classic series and one of the early non-shonen series to become popular in both Japan and America during the '90s and the 2000s. But the 2000s is a long time ago, and modern mainstream fans wouldn't recognize this series at all. The series begins with three middle school girls being transported into the world of Cephiro.

The three of them are asked to become Magic Knights and rescue a princess responsible for keeping the world of Cephiro alive. What makes Rayearth stick out from most magical girl series is that it also involves giant robots. The young girls are capable of summoning Rune Gods when their battles are at their most dangerous, making this a fantastic mecha fantasy series as well.

Wedding Peach Is Great For Fans Something Similar To Sailor Moon

Wedding Peach is a classic magical girl series that '90s anime fans should give a try if they like the genre at all. The series focuses on three young girls: Momoko Hanasaki, Yuri Tanima, and Hinagiku Tamano, who are granted special powers by the goddess Aphrodite.

Aphrodite needs warriors to help protect her angel realm from the attack of the devil realm, and she needs them to assemble the Sacred Four Somethings to achieve peace in all realms. Though the influence of Sailor Moon looms large, that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially for magical girl fans who are afraid of branching out too far too quickly from Sailor Moon.

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Balances Magic With High-Tech

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is mega-popular in Japan but not so much in the West. The series has convoluted origins, as its lead protagonist was originally a minor character in an entirely different series known as Triangle Heart. But in this universe, Nanoha is a young girl who's been asked by a mage from the Time-Space Administration Bureau to help find the Jewel Seeds.

However, while the series feels like a normal magical girl series at first, it doesn't take long before it establishes a universe unlike any other. A series that's more light-hearted than one might expect while still maintaining a mature edge, there are few audiences who shouldn't give at least Nanoha A's a try.


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