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...
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?
Spritually, both series have the same concepts. In Madoka, girls make contracts to become "Magical Girls" and are gifted with powers to fight off "Witches" who secretly hide and deveour humans for their power. In Shana, people make contracts with the Kings of Guze in order to become "Flame Haze" who fight Guze no Tomogora who live secretly from most humans as they devour humans for their "Power of Existence". Although Shana focuses more action with slow and epic character devlopment with ALL of its variety of characters, Modoka is short and sweet and also contains a great story that you see rarely these days. Both are great series!
Ouri is an orphan who was raised by Keisei, a man he considers to be his older brother. One night, Ouri finds a strange wounded girl in the temple of the orphanage. Cold and covered in scars, Ouri initially thinks that she is dead – that is, until a mysterious talking cat tells him that she is a Shikabane – a corpse. After secretly watching Keisei heal the girl without explanation, Ouri decides it's time to leave the nest. However, he has picked a poor time, and he soon realizes that he's tangled in a strange, supernatural web. Why does Ouri continually meet this girl as she hunts monsters? What does Keisei have to do with it all and what exactly is her mission?
While watching Madoka Magica I found myself consantly reminded of Shikabane Hime. Both anime feature girls who make contracts and gain the powers to fight horrible monsters, but both contracts also come at a price.
Simon lives a boring life in the underground village of Jeeha, where his main job day in and day out is to dig tunnels. His close friend Kamina, however, longs to bust out of their oppressive existence and reach the surface world where open skies and adventure await! One day, during his usual digs, Simon discovers a robot with a big face buried amongst the rocks. No sooner has he shown Kamina his mysterious find when two beings from the surface crash land into Jeeha Village - one is a gun-toting woman calling herself Yoko and the other is a terrifying mecha piloted by a Beastman! Seeing their chance to escape village drudgery, Kamina rallies Simon and Yoko to defeat the invader using their new robot, Lagann. However, upon breaking out onto the surface world, Simon, Kamina, and Yoko encounter enemies more powerful than they could have envisioned. Their fight for adventure just turned into a war for the survival of the human race - will their lust for freedom hold out against such terrible odds?
Both anime start out seeming like really happy-go-lucky, action/comedy, but then the s*** hits the fan. If you want another anime that pulls you into the universe, then suddently plunges that universe into despair with scary plot twists, look no further.Both deal with seemingly hopeless circumstances. Both start out small and just get bigger and bigger and bigger. Both have amazing animation, music, characters and story. Both have bittersweet endings, and can easily make you emotional. Personally, I don't think you could go wrong with either of them.
Takao Kasuga is a lonely boy who spends his days immersed in books to escape his frustration with life. His only source of joy is the beautiful Saeki, who he secretly admires from afar. However, Takao's obsession goes too far one day when, in a moment of emotional folly, he steals the girl's gym clothes and takes them home with him. Worse, his terrible deed is spotted by Sawa Nakamura, a mysterious outcast who sits behind him in class who threatens to reveal the boy's secret unless he promises to engage in a contract with her. At first it seems Sawa just wants some companionship, but soon it becomes clear that this "contract" involves more than mere afternoon chats. In fact, Takao is about to discover just how dangerous his bond with Sawa is and how it threatens to tear everything - his life, his love, and even his sanity - apart.
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…
While Puella Magi Madoka Magica is by far the darker of the two, both it and Umi Monogatari offer a change from the usual happy-fun magical girl show, throwing cute characters into depressing situations.