The responsible Sophie led a relatively normal life, safe within the walls of the hat shop in which she works; for outside, it is rumored, the evil wizard Howl roams the land in his mobile black castle. After a chance and mystical encounter, poor Sophie finds herself transformed by a spell which makes her appear to be an old woman, and thus embarks on an adventure to find Howl’s castle and put an end to her curse. A mystical world of talking flames, sentient scarecrows and magic aplenty awaits those who seek the legendary Howl...
Yohko is nothing but ordinary. Throughout her life she has been considered an outcast, especially with a hair color not native to many in Japan, bright red. Things change for Yohko when a mysterious man named Keiki arrives and claims that she is his empress. Yohko and two friends are then taken through a vortex, and then abandoned.. in a world of demons and magic.
Juuni Kokki (The Twelve Kingdoms) is also about a fairly regular girl that finds herself thrown into a fantasy setting and swirled in all kinds of action. However, this is not the only reason - there are far too many anime about girls suddenly learning about being special. The main reason for me to recommend it is the setting where the events of Juuni Kokki take place.
It is a wonderful fantasy world built in Oriental cultural and philosophical traditions. One who enjoyed Howl's Moving Castle but couldn't get enough of it, should definitely get the time to see Twelve Kingdoms - 45 epidodes give so much more space to let all kinds of setting elements unfold beautifully before your eyes.
At the end of the 19th century, in a time when social classes dominate society, a woman named Emma serves as a maid for a retired governess. One fateful day, a man named William from the upper class arrives at the mansion to visit the governess, and leaves having fallen in love with the young maid herself. In a time of such prejudice, love between the classes is frowned upon; but for William and Emma, their hardships are just beginning. Can the two break free of the bonds society has forced on them, or will they succumb to the pressure and banish each other from their hearts?
In a world where magic is a reality, the young Louise is at the bottom of her class. Dubbed "Zero" by her classmates at Tristein Academy (due to her zero success rate for magic), Louise (along with all first year students) was charged with summoning a familiar; and instead of a cute magical creature, the familiar arrived in the form of... Saito Hiraga, a normal Japanese boy who was abruptly teleported from his own world?! Can both Louise and Saito come to terms with their new and complicated "relationship" and (more importantly) help Saito find a way home?