If you're looking for anime similar to Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, you might like these titles. All recommendations are made by Anime-Planet users like you!
In an era when ordering on the internet has become the norm, online vendors have a new favorite customer: Sakurada Jun! From voodoo dolls to x-ray specs, there's nothing this middle schooler can't get enough of -- until a strange package arrives one day. Inside is a sentient doll named Shinku, who is one of a special hand crafted set of dolls called Rozen Maiden. Luckily for Jun, not only does he get to keep her, but she's decided he'll be... her new servant?! Join Jun as he struggles to keep his sanity in a house full of dolls who all want his servant skills for themselves!
It's actually sort of difficult to explain why you would like both shows, but the fan bases for these two overlap quite heavily. Both the Nanoha and Rozen Maiden franchises definitely fall within the "magical girl" genre, but in many ways innovate past the genre's conventions and provide a similarly entertaining experience despite a lack of directly shared traits.
Sakai Yuuji thought he was a normal high school student, until one fateful day when time stopped. Watching in horror, he witnesses a monster devouring the "frozen" people around him; but luckily for Yuuji, he is saved by a sword-wielding red-headed girl that calls herself a "Flame Haze". The girl informs him that he has been dead for some time now and that his current self is merely a replacement for the human that he used be while alive. He is, she says, merely a torch whose life will come to an end when the blue flame in his chest ceases to burn. After this rude awakening, Yuuji realizes that he is able to see the flames of life in other "torches"; and after discovering that a friend of his is also a torch -- and her life is burning out faster than his – he gains the courage to live out the rest of his life with meaning. Will Yuuji be able to find his place in the world before he ceases to exist?
Shakugan no Shana and Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha are action packed anime with excellent animation. The protagonists are cute young girls who fight a lot. Both use intelligent talking devices/relics. I also found that I enjoyed the openings and endings of both anime; the endings of each episode give a good lingering feeling.
Some years into the future, a strange, unexplainable natural disaster has broken off a piece of the Japanese mainland. Known as the Lost Ground, it is now inhabited by people with Alters -- machine-like extensions of their own will. In order to keep the peace on the Lost Ground, the HOLY organization uses its own Alter capabilists to police the region. In the midst of the chaos is a young man named Kazuma, whose life will soon change forever as he discovers his hidden abilities, and how to wield them.
The rivalries featured in Scryed and Nanoha mirror each other quite well. Kazuma and Nanoha, fighting out of emotion; and Ryuho and Fate, fighting out of duty. They are truly reminiscent. Also, both anime utilize flashy super-powers in their battles, and both have a fair bit more to them plot-wise than it may initially seem. Those who enjoyed one of these two should certainly consider watching the other.
Guided by a star only they can see, a group of maidens known as HiMEs have begun to gather at Fuuka Academy. These young women have been endowed with dangerous supernatural powers that they can use to their heart's content, but there's a price: to wield them, they must put their most important thing on the line. Now, in the midst of school work and friendships, they find themselves caught in the midst of strange conspiracies seemingly related to the terrifying monsters that attack them. Is the power of the HiMEs strong enough to save themselves and the ones they love?
When Marin and Urin – two sisters who live in the sea – find a ring that dropped into the water from the land of Sky, they decided to travel above to return it. There, amidst a bustling festival, they meet the ring’s owner; her name is Kanon, and she wants nothing to do with the ring, which was a present by her ex-boyfriend. After Kanon refuses to accept the ring and throws it away once more, the girls continue to search for it, accidentally releasing half of a great evil whose spirit was sealed both above and below the water. But luckily, there’s hope – Matsumoto, the Elder Turtle from the sea, appears and reveals that Marin is none other than the Priestess of the Sea, charged with defeating the villain. Marin must now fight alongside Kanon - who discovers she’s the Priestess of the Sky - to put a stop to this ancient power and its possessed minions before it’s too late…
Nanoha and Umi Monogatari differ from normal magical girl titles in that they absolutely do not come off as typical magical girl titles. It's hard to quantify why, but both feel more adult and have more to them in general than the usual generic Sailor Moon-style romp. Liked one? Try on the other for size.