If you're looking for anime similar to Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, you might like these titles. All recommendations are made by Anime-Planet users like you!
SCHOOL-LIVE! Focuses on the lives of 4 girls who decide to stay over at school: Yuki Takeya, Kurumi Ebisuzawa, Yuri Wakasa, and Miki Naoki. Along with the school adviser Megumi Sakura, they suddenly find themselves to be the final survivors of a zombie attack, and continue to live and survive at the school.
Cute moe-looking characters? Check. Opens with the appearence of a typical school setting? Check. Does a complete 180 when you learn that this seemingly cutesy atmospere is a lie because in reality the world is completely f***ed up? DOUBLE CHECK!
Same plot pattern, everything seems nice and bubbly and then sh*t goes bananas. In both shows, little girls fight forces of evil, in one way or another.
Both shows have ''loli'' type of main characters and a lot of ''moe'' characteristics.
Dont let yourself be fooled by all the cute things i~you see... Shit gets very intense after the first episodes
This isn't a terribly solid recommendation, but it's likely the best pairing for Gakkou at this time. As others have said, both involve a cute cast of girls that get caught in something terribly dark and disturbing. That being said the moe to interesting plot ratio is far more skewed on Gakkou's end - a series that focuses almost entirely on the moe and (imo) inappropriate levels of comedy - whereas Madoka is far more dark and plot-focused. Still, if you like one, you'd likely appreciate the other.
Both are very similar in the good feelings in the beginning, but things change pretty quickly.
Both deconstructions of their genres, very well done. They may look cute and innocent from the outside, but there's so much more as you get into the show.
Both have extraordinarily similar themes. Plot twists galore and an overall dark atmosphere. I can't really say much about one or the other without spoiling either way.
In a dark and dreary dimension, the mysterious Black Rock Shooter roams the desolate landscape with her gigantic gun, pausing only to battle against other mysterious super-powered girls. Elsewhere, a teenage girl is excitedly preparing for her very first day of junior high, eager to begin her new life of attending a basketball club and befriending the elegant new girl. But what exactly is the connection between these two worlds?
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.
In both anime friendship prevails, and the main characters fight for her best friend, living in an uncaring world. The fights are in a very similar scenario. If you liked one of them you must watch the other. I recommed both
The art style are very similar, very beautiful. You're also going to like the original plots in both animes as they take different turns and twists throughout.
Both feature the alter ego of a young girl fighting strange creatures in a surreal otherworld.
Dark themes that involve girls of young ages in a journey against the world pretty much. The idea of another world, in Madoka Magic it's the secret world of the witches and in Black Rock Shooter it is where black rock shooter and friends fight and stuff along them lines. Both beautifully made anime and if you like one then you should like the other.
Main reason for this recommendation is the focus on the gritty mood and action sequences set in a place which is clearly in a parallel space. Therer are clear cut lines between daily school life (reality) and action sequences (the abstract / another dimension) featuring the characters in flashy clothing. Additionally both shows have an all female cast with friendship (and slightly beyond) as a main running theme.
Main difference can be found in the somewhat more disjointed nature of the action and SoL scenes in Black Rock Shooter compared to the more symbiotic and relationship of such scenes in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. There is also the very explicit mahou shoujo theme in Madoka which might put you off, even though it's practicially the same to Black Rock Shooter.
While visiting her grandparents on a remote island, Shiina Tamai, our young protagonist, inadvertently finds a strange star shaped creature, which she names Hoshimaru. This creature, while seemingly harmless and unusual, holds many secrets. As Shiina and her new friend Akira soon find out, their creatures are much more than they seem to be...and against their will, they are thrown into a dangerous and hostile situation of trying to save the world from others who would use their dragonets to enslave it.
Both of these series takes a setting that is typically family friendly, and puts a dark twist on it. Not for the faint of heart!
Both anime take their respective genres (Magical girls and pocket monsters) and subvert it into something delightfully twisted. If you want to see darker versions of the normally kid-friendly genres, try both of these anime.
Disguising themselves visually at first appearance as something family friendly, only to turn out being quite dark and twisted. Liked it in one of them? Then try the other.
Both animes are fairly messed up. The actions of their protagonists may seem questionable and leave you pondering even after the show is over.
Both appear to be cute, happy-go-lucky series at first glance, but they are in fact very dark and twisted series. Both have plenty of twists and turns, and well as cute monsters/creatures who aren't as innocent as they seem. Madoka Magica is the better of the two (in my opinion), but if you like series that are dark despite their looks, then you'll probably like both.
Koyomi Araragi is an aloof boy who holds a strange, supernatural secret which inadvertently leads him to others with similar stories. Gods, spirits and afflictions can be pesky things, taking important memories or causing unusual tendencies – a fact that Koyomi and others are unfortunately aware of. Using the help of an eccentric homeless man, Koyomi is able to help new friends he meets along the way with their own paranormal conundrums…
both are unconventional series with high artistic quality, consistent worlds, great characters and intresting underlying concepts.
they are both feature an exploration of a very detailed and realisitic world having a hidden and surreal counterpart
The two shows share almost surrealist artwork, and manages to make its characters seem like real people. Once the main characters get involved in the occult they find it difficult to become uninvolved again.
These series, each being made by Shaft, have a very distinct art style and direction that they go in. Each series manages to avoid tropes often associated with their genres and take the series into a somewhat dark place. If you like the story telling and art in either series, they fit well together.
Very different shows that share a lot of stylistic and visual aspects, as well a unique presentation of their storylines that make up two of the higher-budget brainchildren SHAFT.
in just a few minutes of watching Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica I immediately noticed similarities of this anime and Bakemonogatari. Both produced by shaft which means they have a very good artwork. They have a lot of abstract and random image inside and even using same voice actor, Saito Chiwa plays both Senjougahara and Akemi, and they have similar characteristic.
At a typical elementary school in Japan, yearly chores are being distributed. Yuri and 3 other students are chosen to be the beneficiaries of the alien hats for the year. Alien hats?! Yuri's sentiments, exactly. Despite her misgivings, she and her classmates must round up stray aliens that have escaped from a crashed spaceship -- with the help of the alien hats, of course.
Both of these series blend and twist what it means to be one set apart from society. Both of the shows compare and contrast rather nicely if you're okay with one you'll certainly want to check out the other.
Both anime involve young, female protagonists that find themselves battling strange, otherworldly creatures. Both take a step out of reality, but have a similar message of growing up and dealing with your fears. Both also involve some interesting twists. If you like one, try out the other.
Both Alien Nine and Madoka Magica focus on the mental and emotional toll that come with the power and responsibility of protecting others. Madoka and Yuri have to deal with otherworldly beings that threaten their world and try to manage their respective "contracts" with beings that they don't fully understand.
Both are brief, superficially cute series that quickly turn traumatic. Madoka is more coherent and literary, while Alien Nine is brutally strange and fractured.
This is mainly a recommendation for the first quarted to half of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, alhough there are themes which will remain throughout the series. The main reason for the recommendation is the main psychological theme running through both these series. In both series the main character has to struggle to adapt to something she is apprehensive of.
Additionally, both are seemingly innocent action flicks with some depressing and or dark parts strewn throughout.
Aside from the one being mahou shoujo and the other being scifi / schoollife with trips into the uncanny or weird, these shows have few differences.