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!
Sometimes daydreaming can get you into trouble, but what do you do when it's other people's dreams that you have to watch out for? Yumeji Fujiwara's has the unique ability to predict what kind of dreams other people will have. But lately, his own dreams have taken a bizarre turn in which he's being pursued by armies of cats. Stranger yet, Yumeji learns that the leader of the dream cats needs his body to access the Real World. And finally, the strange becomes downright weird when a beautiful girl suddenly drops on top of him and announces that she's a Dream Demon looking for a way back to the Dream World! The fabric that separates reality and fantasy is torn to shreds, and Yumeji has a lot of sleepless nights ahead of him as he has to deal with both the dream stalking and a dream walking!
If you like either, the other would be worth looking into, as they both deal with mature ideas; Madoka Magic's true look at what it means to be a "magical girl", and Yumekui Merry's ideas about what it really means to die and how it effects people. Plus, both have awesome, unique art styles when the characters go to the "other worlds". They both have great animation as well- both are a real visual treat. I'd certainly try the other, if you liked one of them.
Now while Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica may be a magical girl anime like the name implies and Yumekui Merry doesn't have a single magical girl in it both series still have some things in common. In both cases they feature somewhat ordinary people who find themselves in circumstances that aren't so ordinary. By which I mean they find themselves in battles against demons/witches. Also in both cases when said battles occur the characters are pulled into alternate worlds that are unique to that demon/witch. If you liked one then I'm sure you'll like the other.
There's more to these magical girls than meets the eye. If you like your mahou shoujo a little less fluffy and with a definite dark streak then give the other one of these shows a try. You wont be disappointed!
Amidst a beautiful sunset, Shu is violently whisked away to a grim future devoid of water, and empty of hope; a place where children are forced to become soldiers, and kill countless others in the name of King Hamdo. Shu's companion is a mysterious girl named La La Ru, who may hold the key to survival. Now, he must concentrate on the only things that matter: escaping Hellywood, and finding a way home.
Fantasy elements with some action/adventure that are filled with nasty, twisted and surpringly dark turn of events describe these two anime well.
Both Now and Then, Here and There and Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica are series that have deep meaning and dark elements that blot out your hope, only to renew it again.
Both have characters who don't know what they are getting into, until they see how dark their world really is. And they both leave the viewer with a hopeful feeling at the end.
On the day before summer vacation, Ichika discovered an old mirror in an old school building. From within it, the mysterious Manatsu looked out and offered to trade favors: if Ichika will do her "homework" (experience the power of the spiritual life forces and write about her feelings) then she will return the charm that Ichika has lost. As Ichika struggles to absorb the raw power of nature, those who watch from the other side of the mirror eagerly await her decision at the end of trials. Can a 14 year old take on the sins of the world and mend the rifts between nature and humanity?
Both are very dark takes on the mahou shoujo genre, but while Madoka may seem like the more serious of the two, Uta Kata is much better at portraying the physical and emotional damage inflicted on the one who becomes controlled by their power.
Uta Kata and Puella Magi Madoka Magica start off as seemingly normal magical girl shows, but as both series progress it soon becomes clear that their magical powers come at a price...
Also, both series have plenty of (implied) shoujo-ai!
Both shows feature a normal teenage girl who gains mysterious powers from a mysterious person (or creature in the case of Madoka). Right off the bat, something seems not quite right about the person (or creature) who bestows these powers.
Both anime deconstruct the magical girl genre. Both are fairly dark and have some shoujo-ai subtext. While the animation has a very different feel, the stories behind the animes are similar yet different in their execution, so watching one after watching another won't feel like you're watching the same thing twice. This makes them very complementary to each other and definitely worth a watch.
Morimiya Yorito is a normal student who has an abnormal obsession for the sky. One day, he meets a strange girl named Shihou Matsuri who shares his interest, but as fate may have it, she isn't a human; Matsuri is a Yaka -- a "woe of the night" -- who is immortal and cannot stand the sunlight. A strange man is chasing Matsuri, to use her powers, so Yorito decides to help her hide. What are the strange man's plans, and what secrets does Yorito's sister hide?
Both shows start out as bright happy shows but slowly get darker as they go on. And both shows are about how it would really be if you were a magical girl and how it wouldn't be as fun as it seems. If you like one you should watch the other.
Both are dark, dramatic and full of feelings. In both the characters must sacrifice something.
Both of these shows share a very special and important element, in that they are magical school girl shows that are NOT what they appear to be. Both start out light-hearted and fun, but get progressively darker, deeper, and more complicated and intense as the show progresses. They both surprise you at every turn as the world and the characters become more complex than you every thought they could be. There are very few shows like these, but both of these shows are masterpieces that play on the theme that sometimes, being a magical school girl is not all sunshine and rainbows.
When Utena Tenjou was very little her parents died, and a prince comforted her in her time of loss, giving her a ring with a rose seal. He so impressed her that she decided to become a prince herself one day. Now, Utena is a teenager at Ohtori Academy who's athletic and notorious for dressing in a boy's uniform. When a member of the Student Council humiliates a friend of hers Utena challenges him to a duel, and he accepts only when he sees she possesses a rose seal ring. She soon discovers that this is no normal duel - it's a bizarre and ritualistic battle that the Student Council regularly conducts. In fact when she wins, Utena finds to her considerable chagrin that she gets to have Anthy Himemiya, a rather docile student, as her 'Rose Bride'. If she wants to keep Anthy she'll have to win more duels against members of the Student Council and others. What is the ultimate purpose of these duels and Anthy's role as the Rose Bride?
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica and Revolutionary Girl Utena are beautiful subservions of the magical girl genre. They are dark fairytales with a sensible approach. Visually stunning, often surreal and never predictable, these anime delve deep into the psyche. Character stereotypes are broken down with gusto. The artwork is very original in both and each anime sports a strong sountrack to back up the visuals.
Utena has a strong sexual element that Madoka lacks but fans of one should try out the other.
The similarities are striking. Without giving anything away, they could almost be parables of one another. Also the intensity of the emotion portrayed, and the general flow seemed very similar to me.
Some would say the magical girl genre has been done to death. Each new series feels like previous shows that came before it, containing the same elements and plots ideas, along with pretty girls that save the world and find romance. If you're tired of Sailor Moon rip-offs or just want something different, Madoka and Utena are the heroines for you. Be aware, however, that both series are deceptively normal in the beginning. They get darker as the story progresses and the characters fight each other more than they fight the enemy. Revolutionary Girl Utena takes most of the series before the protagonist even discovers who the enemy actually is, and with the discovery comes the grim realization that there's often a very fine line between heroes (or damsels in distress) and villains. As for Puella Magi Madoka Magica, don't expect the cute animal mascot to be a bringer of hope and light. Ever seen a magical girl actually try to KILL their mascot? Welcome to the dark, twisted world of Madoka!
So in closing, if you liked either of these anime series, I'd suggest giving the other a try. A great cure for boredom caused by redundant storytelling and cavity-inducing sweetness. You won't find either here.