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Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

Alt titles: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica main image more screenshots
4.49 out of 5 from 14,534 votes
Rank #60


One night, Madoka has a terrible nightmare – against the backdrop of a desolate landscape, she watches a magical girl battle a terrifying creature, and lose. The next day, the teen's dream becomes reality when the girl – Homura – arrives at Mitakihara Middle School as a transfer student, mysteriously warning Madoka to stay just the way she is. But when she and her best friend Miki are pulled into a twisted illusion world and meet a magical creature named Kyubey, the pair discovers that magical girls are real, and what's more, they can choose to become one. All they must do is sign a contract with Kyubey and agree to fight witches that spread despair to the human world, and in return they will be granted a single wish. However, as Homura's omen suggests, there's far more to becoming a magical girl than Madoka and Miki realize...

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Name Role
Ume AOKI Character Design
Akiyuki SHINBO Director
Yuki KAJIURA Music

Official Editorial Reviews

Title Author Score Date
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica VivisQueen 8/10 May 5, 2011
Puella Magi Madoka Magica VivisQueen 8/10 May 5, 2011

Community Reviews

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Title Author Score Date
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica angelsreviews 8/10 May 21, 2014
Puella Magi Madoka Magica angelsreviews 8/10 May 21, 2014
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Th3Laugh1ngMan 9.3/10 May 13, 2014
List Title Username Entries Date
Anime I've seen Multiple Times LadyPsychic 78 Jul 13, 2014
Favs AsDk 27 Jul 9, 2014
Favourites silly 31 Jul 9, 2014
Oci stalled Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica anime at 3 of 12 episodes
Oci stalled Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
makuis rated the Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica anime 3.5/5 stars
cecico watched Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica at 12 of 12 episodes
gokatwoman is watching Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica anime at 4 of 12 episodes

Recommendations if you like Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

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Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion

In the future, a devastating event known as Second Impact has destroyed Tokyo as we know it, giving rise to Tokyo III - a city under siege by mysterious lifeforms known only as Angels. Mankind's only line of defense are the Evangelions, a set man-made machines piloted by a trio of fourteen year-old teenagers, Rei, Shinji, and Asuka. The fate of Japan and the entire world now lie with these three children, though they might not have the power to save the most important thing of all: each other.

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Both of these series are deeply immersed in complex story elements and both are quite well versed in the amount of symbolism that is conveyed.


Both are deconstructions of their respective genres, with high levels of symbolism and intresting artistic direction


Visually stunning and totally different outlook on their respected genres both series are far more than watchable. Each with a complex story that starts out hard hitting and grabs you tightly until the very end.



The dream of every boy and girl, pilot a giant robot or become a magical girl.  But in these cases the dreams turn to nightmares of physical and emotional abuse.


Being a magical girl, transforming and using your powers to fight evil. Or pilot a giant mecha, protecting the Earth from an alien onslaught. Doesn't it sound like fun? Well, it's not really all that fun for the kids in these series. Both shows portray these genres in a much darker way than usual.

Shouldering a very heavy responsibility,  and the emotional trauma that can come from that; being different from the other children, and not necessarily in a good way; and how their newfound powers can affect the people around them: these  are some of the themes that are explored in these works. They both use plenty of symbolism, as well. If either show was interesting to you because of this you should try the other one.


Strangely enough, both series are incredibly similar putting a darker twist on mechs and magical girls. Sporting grotesque and sometimes shocking scenes, both animes do an excellent job at immersing the viewer within the world and making them empathetic towards the main character and their situation.

On a simpiler note, both animes also sport a main character who does not want to "pilot a mech"/ "be a magical girl."


Both series act as deconstructions, challenges to the conventions of the genre. While I found Madoka much more entertaining, both anime share the themes of cynical postmodern styles and characters who face this cruel reality of the world. They both make the viewer think deeply about what he's watching, something that few anime successfully accomplish.


Both shows are about what would really happen if the dreams that children have about fighting in a giant robot or becoming a magical girl and how horrible it would be if they came true. If you like one you should watch the other


While both series seem to be extremely different in their animation styles (NGE is a mecha series and Madoka is a magic girl series) they both explore the fundementals of human nature and whether humanity and dreams are worth sacrifice.


These series each take a genre- be it mechas or magical girls- and completely tear it apart. While completely redefining and unhinging the tropes of the genre, they leave the viewer guessing what will happen next in a very dark manner.


Evangelion is to Mecha what Madoka is to Magical Girls. Both series turn their respective genres on their head and twist them into something dark and sinister, both feature characters that have become seriously screwed up and have to fight against near impossible odds to stop the apocalypse. As NGE has gone down in history, so do I think Madoka will. Both are highly recommended.


These two series are, for their own genres, a must with an approach at the storyboard original and different from any other mecha (evangelion genre) or mahou shoujo (madoka magica's one) anime.

Any stereotype of the genre is delete in these series, and even if they both begin with a usual approach they'll make you undestrand soon that you are in front of something absolutely epic and even revolutionary from the usual style used in the other series of the genre.


Both Evangelion and Madoka Magica take the motif of the child soldier and apply it to a well versed genre. If dark, psychological dramas are you're thing, I suggest watching these. 


If magical girl or conversely mecha animes turn you off, it is important to note these two animes are only within their respective "genres" because they use these devices to tell a story; in other words, the "theme (magical girl/mecha)" is not the story in itself like most other animes that make up these genres.  Now that the biases are set aside, these two animes are simply amazing, and if you enjoyed one of these animes already, the other will be similar in grandeur, that you will not regret watching.


Both shows have a very smart sense of revelation. Each new twist in plot causes you to rethink all events up until the present. The shows are both very well written.


Both have characters that go crazy and both are awesome series. I know I am expressing myself poorly, but trust me, they are similar. And if you don't believe me, read the reviews of other people who agree.


Both of these shows are wonderful in their individual rights. They both start off slowly, but once the wheels turn, they both become psychologically intriguing with plots that make you think twice of classic genres (mechas and magical girls respectfully). Not only are they visually stunning, but the diverse characters and driving music further stimulate the viewer of both pieces. Both left me wanting to re-watch them again (which very few titles can accomplish for me) and even own in my library. Highly recommended for both newcomers and veterans of the anime genre as a whole.


Thye both were game-changers for their respective genres. At first, each seems like another magical girl/mecha show, but they each go deeper and have really deep characterization.


Thematically both are very similar, and are deconstructions of their own genre.

They both feature psychological/mental breakdowns.



When a group of children discover a strange cave at the beach, their lives are forever changed. Inside they find a hide out filled with computers and a man named Kokopelli who gives them a curious offer: to participate in a special game in which they save Earth from fifteen giant monsters. To defeat the invaders, he will give them a powerful mecha of black armor. The children eagerly sign the contract, name their new weapon Zearth, and must now take turns to pilot it; but the 'game' is in fact all too real and the consequences of battle become the stuff of nightmares. With no option to cancel the contract, is there any way to stop the game before it is too late for all of them?

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Given the series premise and genre there's a lot of differences.  But given the events of episode 3 and the central theme of sacrifice these two HAVE A LOT IN COMMON.


First off to be clear, Madoka is NOT a high stakes game series, so don't be misled by seeing this recommendation. However, both involve children getting in way over their heads in a really messed up scenario, each person with their own reasons for doing what they're doing. The striking similarity between Dung Beetle and Kyubey should be mentioned as well, each cute (well, Kyubey more than Dung Beetle) and whimsical characters that have ulterior motives.


Both shows portray what can be seen as 'classic' childhood fantasies - being a magical girl or the dauntless pilot of a mecha - in a very negative light. What at first seemed like a fun adventure quickly becomes something else. Their newfound powers comes at a price and it's soon obvious that they're in for more than they bargained for.

Something similar is done with mascot characters: the cute critters in these shows have an agenda and aren't necessarily telling the whole truth. Thematically, they both feature the characters trying to grasp all of this and how these events affect them. Fans of either should definitely try out the other.


Bokurano and Madoka Magica exist in different genres but they have the exact same idea. Take cute, vulnerable children, stick them in a contract they don't understand, and watch with a mix of horror and awe as their lives fall gruesomely apart. And don't be fooled by looks - Madoka Magica is heavier on the stunning action while Bokurano is more about the psychological breakdown of the kids, but each works beautifully with the fundamental concept.


Similarly, both series starts off with a group of kids living a normal life until something dramatic changes their life.  Due to this change, the kids were granted extraordinary power to affect those around them, with a price.  If you like to follow stories where you keep guessing what the rules of the game is and now things are going to turn out, you should definitely check this series out.


Both Madoka Magica and Bokurano are subversive of their genres. They take conventional anime staples and go down a darker path. Also Dung Beetle and Kuubey have a lot in common and serve similar roles in their respective stories. Finally, the character designs in both anime are soft and innocent, making the content all the more disturbing.


Both anime have similarities in their dark and tragic lose/lose situations. If you liked that part of either show, try the other.


Bokurano exploits almost the same idea, but does it way better. Specifically, Bokurano is character-centric (while Madoka is idea-centric), making it much more enjoyable to watch over characters' stories generally consisting of despair and sorrow. Main plot describes how different people are able to overcome their previous unhappy lives and sacrifice them so other people could be happy.


Both have an animal-like being that sort of tricks innocent people into sacrificing themselves for higher good.

Bokurano is a bit more mature and sad, but they're alike enough that if you liked one, you will like the other one.


Bokurano and Madoka are similar in the way of teen children having to make such massive decisions, both involve contracts with strange creatures, and both have depressing moments that make you question how a simple teenager could even bear to be in their situation.


This is a very obvious recommendation. Puella Magi Madoka Magica is, in my opinion, a much better portrayal of what Bokurano was trying to achieve, a deconstruction of a popular genre with highly emotional drama. Both involve contracts, convoluted physics explanations, some over the top moments, and a plot that keeps one guessing until the end.


Bokurano and Madoka both feature young people in a serious situation that may affect the world. In both series, the children must fight and win at all cost. The characters in each are also guided by a mysterious being throughout their course.


The similarity between these two is striking. Both involve children, mostly with traumatic pasts, forced to fight to protect the Earth. They're creepy and sad and full of martyrs. As the children in both continue to fight, they learn similar and alarming truths about the nature of the battles and the weapons they've been given. 


Both series took basic concept of childish fantasies and made a grim twisted plot out of it. They had some similar ideas but basically made clear that being a magical girl or mecha pilot can be considered the most traumatizing experience of anyone’s life. Also there are Dung Beetle and Kuubey… you will notice some similarities. If you are fan of other and want to see how similar path of sorrow and torment can be in other, usually considered children genre, you found a perfect anime to watch next.


Bokurano and Madoka share a lot in common; they take what is normally a high-energy genre with lots of suspension of disbelief and ask us, "What happens if we don't suspend the disbelief? If the characters ask why, and if the answer isn't just a write-off?" Both are stellar deconstructions, each worth watching even to fans outside of the genres.

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha

Nanoha used to be a normal grade school student until one day she found a ferret in the woods -- but he's no ordinary ferret! His name is Yuuno, he hails from another world, and he needs Nanoha’s help to complete his mission: to capture the Jewel Seeds (mysterious stones that imbue their wielder with great power) that fell to Earth. Along with Yuuno, Nanoha must now collect the Seeds and protect her world, but she isn’t alone. A rival is also trying to collect the Seeds for an unknown purpose, and only Nanoha has the power to stop her…


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Both of these anime take the regular Magical Girl genre cliches and stick them in your face. Neither of these are like any other Magical Girl anime out there. They both have loveable characters and wonderful animation, along with a Plot that once you start to get in to, won't be able to stop until the end.


Both of these animes have a relationship to each other. For example, Urobochi(or Urubochi) Gen who directed this anime also directed Nanoha which is why there is some simillarities in the flow of both animes. Second of all, the plot looks like a typical children's magical girl anime but once the story progresses, things are getting darker than ever. Lastly, these two have the elements needed to make them the Mahou Shoujo anime that exceeds into the new level.


Both shows are Magical Girl shows that are intended for older males instead of the original demographic of little girls. And in both shows the girls are really moé. If you like one you should watch the other.


These two series are excellent twists on the magical girl genre. While at first appearing to be typical battle intense monster of the week anime, each show quickly applies its own spin on the conventions of magical girl anime. Both can get rather dark at times and have high drama and excellent action scenes.


they are both magical girl animes the put a twist into the your average magical girl anime with the drama that they bring into the story


Both of these series can be called subversions of the 'classic' Magical Girl story, each with a different focus; Nanoha amps up the action, while Madoka amps up the darkness.


Though both animes are Mahou Shoujo, they aren't the usual kind. Even if they both look 'fluffy, kind and girly', as the story moves on, the anime isn't that innocent. Both have a darker side and show a lot of pain from the characters. If you like the one, I'm sure you'd like the other too ^^


Both are deviations from the traditional mahou shoujo format, and while Madoka is the darker of the two, Nanoha is far more accessible and appeals to a much wider audience.


Madoka and Nanoha share quite a few similarites. Both were directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (please disregard anyone who says Urobuchi directed them. He wrote the story behind Madoka and has no relation to Nanoha), and both give us a less-than-typical view of magical girls.

Nanoha gives a break from the norm with a slightly darker plot than usual, major sci-fi elements, and massive explosions. Madoka does this with a dark plot full of tragedy and a focus on character development that make things like emotions and internal conflicts take center stage.


Both anime have magical girls that really stand out from your usual Sailor Moon/Card Captor Saura type. If you're a fan of magical girls, or even just enjoy a reinterpretation of a common plot type, you'll probably enjoy both of these series.


This series takes the Magical Girl formula and spins it in a new, at least somewhat darker direction. When going in blind to these two shows, you definitely will be surprised by the way they defy convention. As they share the same director, there are also some basic similarities in how the story is presented and flows. If you enjoyed one, you certainly should at least give the other a shot.


Both are magical girl shows for whom the target audience isn't little girls. As such both contain some deconstructed tropes, as well as more darkness and violence than is normal for the genre. However, both still have the strong focus on friendship that is almost required of a magical girl show. Even if that, too, is played out a bit differently from usual.

If you love one of them, that alone is reason to watch the other.


Nanoha did what Madoka tried to do only it didn't have over-the-top grimdark and it didn't actively try to troll its own audience.


Both anime start out with characters who are thrusted into a world of magic by a cute animal out of nowhere and deal with the challenges that come with it. Some features such as telepathy, hunting for artifacts (Jewel seeds and Grief Seeds) To protect others are similar between both shows. And both series eventually take a turn in getting darker.



The eccentric mad scientist Okabe, his childhood friend Mayuri, and the otaku hacker Daru have banded together to form the Future Gadget Research Laboratory, and spend their days in a ramshackle laboratory hanging out and occasionally attempting to invent incredible futuristic gadgets. However, their claymore is a hydrator and their hair dryer flips breakers, and the only invention that’s even remotely interesting is their Phone Microwave, which transforms bananas into oozing green gel. But when an experiment goes awry the gang discovers that the Phone Microwave can also send text messages to the past. And what's more, the words they send can affect the flow of time and have unforeseen, far-reaching consequences - consequences that Okabe may not be able to handle...

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Both deal with hypothetical science, and the characters in both with to use special powers and technology to save people and create a better future. Although Madoka Magica is also fantasy-based, they share extremely similar plot events.

Madoka Magica arguably has more "action" in terms of literal fight scenes, while Steins;Gate focusses more on suspense. Both have "dark" moments, and there are certaninly some slightly terrifying scenes, but Steins;Gate also has some funny moments that provide comic relief without compromising the actual plot; Madoka Magica has more heart-warming, affectionate scenes to establish a balance through the implementation of positive thoughts and emotions.


Both series revolve around people obataining what they desire by altering the past in Steins;Gate, or making wishes in Madoka's case. However, the people who gain what they desired end up losing something equally as precious in the process. Both series has a character who is desperately trying to defy the harsh fate and bring the world into a bright future.

Madoka is more action and fantasy based, while S;G is a realistic sci-fi series that is suspense based. However, they are both excellent anime, so if you liked one you should enjoy the other.


Despite their drastically different genres and animation styles (both very good, just different), both of these shows feature a well written epic struggle against fate with characters fighting to change destiny.


Both of the anime share a sense of hypothetical sciences. Although Steins;Gate goes much more in depth. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica has more physical action, whereas Steins;Gate has more mental action. Both of the animes had great character bonds. At the start Mahou Shoujo appears much more childish than it really is, it's gruesome nature appears early on in the anime but not instantly. Steins;Gate gets to the more mentally unsettling nature around the end of the first season. In my personal opinion of course, actions happen before both timelines that others could percieve to be the suspense.


Both are about fighting fate to protect the ones you love. Both will make you cry to see how deep their friendship and love is. 


Madoka Magica is amazing. There are few tragedies out there nowadays, and Madoka Magica shows you a fantastic one. One of the most engrossing aspects of the anime is watching the characters struggle against something that is, at least subconsciously, impossible to fight against. The wills of something more advanced and calculating.

Ultimately, the only way to beat the system is to break it... You'll know what this means if you watch it.


Series are both staples of their respective genre, they deal with deep psychological issues without being overwhelming in the first episodes rather they ease you into it.

Both are classics and I would recommend either of them to a complete begginer or an anime connoisseur.


I can't say why without spoiling good portions of Madoka Magica; with that said, the premises behind both have a lot of overlap--notably: the far reaching affact of one's actions (often unforseen), the cost paid by those actions, and the desire to protect the people one loves (not to be confused with Naruto). These are very different shows, but near the end I couldn't help but think of Steins; Gate. If you watch it you'll see why. 


Both shows have very different feels but the objectives of Okabe and Homura are the same. Both are caught in the trap of time as they battle to change fate. Whereas Homura's battle is against an uncaring fate, Okabe's fight is against the fate caused by his own actions. Steins;Gate is lighthearted until the climax when it takes a serious turn. Madoka on the other hand is serious from the get-go. 


Getting into details why they are similar is kind of a spoiler on both ends.

I will say this, time travel is a key par in both stories and are done really well. Both will leave you happier that you experienced them.


both shows are involved in time traveling. Steins;gate is entirely build around time traveling and the main character tries to prevent someone from being killed. In Madoka magica a side characters tries to prevent the dead of a certain someone. the difference is that madoka magica isn't only about time trvaeling, it's only a part of it


Both contain time travel worlds and plot twists that are unexpectedly amazing. Expect one thing and you get another, is what these anime are all about. I guarantee the enjoyment and production that these two have to offer.


If you enjoy the way one of these series makes you think and second-guess what is truly happening in the series, the other is rewarding in the same way. Both carry a sense of mystery and leave you eager and curious for more. It is important to pay attention and fun to theorize during both of these wonderful series.

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Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Maebara Keiichi, an ordinary high-school boy, has transferred to a new school in Hinamizawa, a small rural village. At the outset everything seems peaceful and Keiichi becomes friends with a nice group of schoolgirls with whom he spends many idle summer afternoons. Suddenly violence encroaches upon the blissful peace of the village and Keiichi becomes entangled in an endless cycle of fear and death. The inconsistent, but inevitable horrors of Hinamizawa are told and retold becoming an endless and inescapable nightmare of insanity. Will it end even if the mystery of Hinamizawa is solved?

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I think if you like Madoka Magical, you would enjoy Higurashi no naku koro ni and vice versa. Their plot is really similar.


These series each start in a rather innocent manner and then suddenly plunge into darkness. The viewer can't tell completely what is happening for much of the show and suddenly what you thought the show was about changes completely, and you realize how dark the show really is.


Both shows share an opening facade that masks a very dark and ominous storyline. They also share major plot devices (ie. special implementation of arcs). The main characters in both shows are trying to resolve a seemingly hopeless situation that most everyone else is unaware of.


Both of these shows seem on the surface to be happy-go-lucky stories with a group of cute Moe girls, but are actually extremely dark and deep.  The way the stories unfold and the inevitable unraveling of a complicated and gut-wrenching puzzle is very similar.  If you liked one I really think you would like the other.


There is one simple lesson that links these two great shows, appearances can be very deceptive.

While both shows are at first cute and happy, they soon show their true colours and each take a darker turn.


Mahou Shoujo and Higurashi are both excellent choices for a dark and dramatic anime. They both start relatively normal but as the characters and plot line begin to be introduced, you are awakened to find out that they both have a very sinister and dark aura.


With artwork suitable for children and the beggining of these animes it may be easy to get caught off guard.For those of you with children, don't be fooled, unless your kiddy wink has already lost his or her innocence, it's probrobly best they stay away from these animes, unless you want them crawling into bed with you every night.

However for those of you who are a little mature, and enjoy stoylines turning unexpectedly gruesome- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and Mahou Shoujo Madoko Magica may very well be your cup of tea.


Both are seemingly lighthearted series which quickly turn a turn for the worse. Also, both storylines are understood on a completely different level after the endings.


These series might not look similiar on the first glance but after digging deeper into the storyline similarity is stunning.


They're very similar, little bit terrifying, very psychological. And halfway through you realize that the main character wasn't who you thought it was.


They both have dark plots that are both sad and psycological. They both have main characters dyeing.


Dark and somehow complicated plots, Higurashi is definetly more splatter and his plot is way more tangled and obscure