Magical girls are an important part of anime culture. They help add diversity and interest to the genre. Magical anime girls offer a role model that young female audiences can connect to, and in a genre that is usually thought to be for boys, these anime girls help break this stereotype. In this list, we list the top 20 magical girls in anime that have made their way into the hearts of many viewers.
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Madoka Kaname is a carefree and naive 14-year-old girl. She is your average student, and loves to hang out with her friends and have a good time. Though she may be a cute anime girl, Madoka Kaname is really tough. She has seen her friends die right in front of her, but she manages to take that pain and turn it into something amazing. Magical anime girls that are around Madoka’s age are usually trying to beat the bad guy and fall in love, but it’s different with Madoka. Her ultimate goal is to sacrifice all that she knows for the greater good of the world. Madoka is definitely one of the top magical girls because of the power she has inside her and her selflessness. Madoka isn’t someone to be messed with, but with a cute face like that, who would want to?
Ahiru Arima from Princess Tutu
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Ahiru, also know as Duck, is a quirky, teenage girl that attends a ballet school. Even though she is training to become a ballet dancer, Duck has an awkward personality and is very clumsy. Despite Duck’s very clumsy nature, her dancing is what makes her interesting. It remains graceful, even in her duck form, despite her clumsy nature and adds to the appeal of the series. This contrast between her clumsiness and her talent makes her more dynamic than the average magical girl. Magical girls tend to start off weak and develop as time goes on. Duck follows this path as well, but she also has a mature side to her that appears when she is Princess Tutu. Duck is a significant character because she shows how can be complex and cute at the same time.
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Panty and Stocking are a pair of fallen angels that have to kill evil ghosts with magical clothing and collect evil coins in order to get back into heaven. Don’t get the wrong idea though. These two girls engage in some action that definitely wouldn’t be considered righteous. Panty is an angel that isn’t afraid to cause a commotion in and out of the bedroom. For an angel named “Panty”, she usually doesn’t have them on. Along with her promiscuity, Panty is crude and vulgar but who doesn’t like a bad-ass angel? Stocking is the smarter of the two angels. She is more conservative than her counterpart but isn’t afraid to get to business and will definitely use vulgar language when she wants to. She also has a large sweet tooth which is evident by the sweets that she is always eating. Both of these characters are a bad influence on people, but you don’t watch these magical girls in order to be saved, you watch to be entertained. These two girls break the stereotypical “fallen angel seeking grace” cliche with their brash and inappropriate nature, and that makes them worthy of being on this list.
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Maria is a teenage witch that is trying to stop the Hundred Years War that is occurring in France. She is extremely passionate, and is willing to do what she thinks is right no matter what the consequences are. This explains why she puts herself in danger multiple times in the series in order to prevent warriors from killing each other. It also explains why she is willing to go against God’s will in order to save others. She is a kind-hearted witch, and her benevolence helps put witches in a positive light. She is also very innocent when it comes to all things sexual which is the source of many jokes in this series.
Ryuuko Matoi from Kill la Kill
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If there is one magical girl that belongs on this list, it’s Ryuuko Matoi. She breaks stereotypes when it comes to what a magical anime girl can be. The typical magical girl fights with a cute magic wand and wears a cute but modest outfit. However, with Ryuuko, her fists and scissor blade work just as well. As for her outfit, it certain can be described as unique and …fit to her measurements. Another cliche Ryuuko breaks is the idea that magical girls are cute and fluffy. Ryuuko is all business and doesn’t take shit from anybody. Ryuuko is an important magical girl because she shows that magical girls can be aggressive, and who doesn’t like a bad-ass lady in charge?
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Ayumu Aikawa is definitely one of the more interesting anime magical girls out there. Ayumu is a teenaged zombie that is looking for his murderer to avenge his own death. What makes Ayumu unique, besides the fact that he is a zombie, is the fact that he is a he. Ayumu can technically be considered a magical anime girl because he took the powers of a Magical Garment girl, and became one himself. While this is may be funny to the majority, the idea of a boy playing the role of a magical girl is something that definitely needs attention. Ayumu is breaking the stereotype of magical girls being super-cute, sensitive, naive girls. Ayumu’s gender doesn’t really matter because he is able to fill the role of a magical anime girl relatively well, for a guy.
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Arusu is a human girl that finds herself in a world filled with witches. As she tries to find a way out of the world of witches and back into the human world, she fights for the freedom of the fairies that the witches are trying to capture. She is a tomboyish rebellious girl that fights against witch tradition in the name of justice. Her outgoing and stubborn nature makes her a problem for the witches. Her human ideals, like equality and helping others, are strange to the witches, and become lessons that the witches learn as the story progresses.
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Usagi is a sailor scout that is responsible for fighting the Dark Kingdom. What makes her an awesome magical girl is the fact that she is relatable. A wide variety of teenage girls along with other demographics can connect with Sailor Moon because she faces the everyday problems that people have, like bad grades and high school crushes. This makes her unique because with most magical anime girls, their magical aspect takes up so much of their identity, that their other aspects lose their impact. Sailor Moon’s human qualities remain relevant in her story. This makes her relatable to a wide audience, and very popular.
Nagisa Misumi and Honoka Yukishiro from Futari wa Precure (Pretty Cure)
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Honoka and Nagisa are a crime fighting duo that fight to help two aliens restore their home and save the world. The girls make up a pair of unique magical girls because they show that two different personalities can mesh together well. Honoka is a studious girl who knows her way around a chemistry lab. Nagisa is more of the sporty type that plays on the lacrosse team. Though this character dynamic is somewhat cliche, the way it is executed is somewhat unique. Whenever these girls want to initiate a magical attack, they must hold hands and work together harmoniously. Their bond together is an integral part of their most basic attacks which makes their friendship more meaningful. Honoka and Nagisa take the power of friendship to a new level.
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Nanoha is a cute little girl that is trying to collect jewel seeds before malicious forces get to them. What makes Nanoha great is the fact that she is the classic magical anime girl. While the majority of this list appreciates how some magical girls offer a new perspective on what a magical girl is, it is important to respect the classic magical characteristics, because they have been apart of the anime culture for a long time and have paved a way for all these other magical girls on this list. Nanoha acts as a reference for anime viewers to see how the anime girl character has progressed over time. Nanoha remains the cute, and lovable magical girl that people love, and anime viewer wouldn’t want her any other way.
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Maron Kusakabe is a girl that is on a mission to capture demons before they destroy the world and kill God. Her parents travel a lot, so she doesn’t get to talk to them often which makes her sad . Even with that she tries to seem happy in front of her friends so that they aren’t worried for her. She is unique because she is a magical girl with a vigilante vibe. She prioritizes the right thing and runs into trouble because she isn’t always following the law when trying to save the world. She doesn’t let anything stop her though because in the end she is determined the defeat any danger that threatens those that need help. She does this for the greater good and definitely deserves a spot on this list.
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Ichigo Momomiya is a part of a magical girl group that is responsible for saving our world from evil aliens. She rocks a cute cat-themed pink costume. She is an important part of this list because she shows how hard a magical girl’s life can be. She manages to deal with school, friends, and saving the world which makes her amazing, and that’s not mentioning her crush and her part-time job as a waitress. She does have trouble keeping everything running smoothly sometimes, but managing to keep track of everything most of the time makes her amazing enough to be on this list.
Amu Hinamori from Shugo Chara!
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Amu Hinamori is trying to find “the Embryo” with her friends before harmful forces find it and wreak havoc. She seems to be the tough girl that everyone adores and fears at the same time, but after a while, the viewer gets to see more of her personality. Like the average magical anime girl, she has the iconic costume change, but hers is unique because she gets to change what outfit she wears depending on the guardian character she chooses. Amu is a misunderstood character, but with some time, one can see that she is a lovable character. She is the perfect mixture of girly-girl and bad-ass, and deserves a position on this list.
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Sakura is on a mission to collect all the Clow Cards that flew away when she opened a book that was hidden in her home library. In the anime, she is always facing new challenges, and has to think of creative ways to use her magical powers in order to capture more Clow Cards, but she always finds a way to achieve her goal. This is because she is determined. No matter what she faces she knows that she will capture a Clow Card despite any challenge. She is a 10-year-old with the power of a strong mage, which is what puts her on this list.
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Yucie is a 17-year-old that is cursed to look like a 10-year-old for the rest of her life. In her quest to break the curse, the audience can see her bold and adventurous nature. She never backs down from a challenge and is willing to do what is right no matter what the cost is. Even though Yucie has a good heart, she can be a little clumsy and quick to anger. She may have a long road ahead of her, but a person like her doesn’t let any obstacle stop her from achieving her dreams.
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Karin Hanazono is a cute 13-year-old girl that goes through a journey to learn about herself and her past. She is always determined though she can be stubborn and at times. She isn’t the best at studying either. Through her journey, she remains strong and eventually discovers the truth about herself and the full extent of her powers. However when faced with hard times, she does freak out and rely on her friends to save her. Though she may have a hard time when reacting to stress, she is fun and cute and deserving of this list.
Rinko Kougyoku from Jewelpet
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Rinko is a young teenage girl who tries to help a magical rabbit find her friends who have been scattered all over Takaragaseki City. Rinko is a very shy and timid girl that has a fear of heights. Though she is more reserved, she is willing to take risks for her friends no matter the cost, because she is so caring. She starts to gain confidence as the series progresses. She doesn’t have a transformation sequence that most anime girls have, but she is still a very magical girl. Her naive nature makes the audience connect with her and get emotionally attached.
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Illyasviel von Einzbern is a young girl that faces problems that most elementary school kids go through: getting to school on time, dealing with crushes, and being tricked by magic talking wands into becoming magical girls. For a girl with no formal training in the ways of magic, Illyasviel starts to grow into her magical abilities very quickly, achieving flight with no effort at all. She is very imaginative, creative, and naive which helps her when it comes to developing her magical powers. She is strong and determined which makes her push herself to grow and the fact that she is only ten is reason to put her on this list.
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Komugi is a teenage cosplayer trying to capture a the King of Viruses, a villain that has escaped from his cell. Komugi has the power to turn into a magical nurse, a power that has been given to her by the Goddess of Vaccine. Her costume is a combination of a nurse and a rabbit which makes her look cute. She can be very clumsy and silly, and her immature attitude gets her in trouble often. She can be very rude but it’s something that you expect from a young egotistical actress. Despite this, she is a likable character, assuming you aren’t on her bad side, because she can get petty and violent.