On the surface, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a cute show about adorable magical girls dressed up in cute outfits and saving the world from evil. But as soon as you enter into the series, the show unveils its true nature, which is terrifying and totally not built for the weak of hearts.
In fact, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is of the most twisted TV series that features elements of suicide, pressure, war, gluttony, and it highlights the burden of being a magical girl in realistic scenarios. But before Puella Magi Madoka Magica gained popularity in the sub-genre, there were other magical girls series that had the same level of divergence from the regular magical girl’s shows.
Mahou Shoujo Site
Mahou Shoujo Site was insanely popular in 2018 as it covered the delicate topic of bullying and gave a perspective into the life of a 14-year-old high school girl. In the series, Aya Asagiri suffers physical and mental abuse from her brother at home, and her classmates lift their stress by beating her unconscious in the school’s bathroom. Before killing herself, Aya gains the power of the magical girl by an anonymous website that promises magical powers if the user clicks on the ‘Next’ button. Looking for a way out of her misery, Aya accepts the invitation, and in return, she joins other magical girls to fight ‘The Tempest.’ Apart from the magical girl part, the show is highly sensitive, especially with the bullying part, as the group of school bullies tries to assault aya, forcing her to kill two boys with a handgun.
My-HiME follows the story of 13 magical girls in the Fuuka Academy, specializing in creating weapons and summoning metallic guardians called Childs. Fuuka Academy is a specialized school for training young magical girls to fight with the mysterious monsters known as Orphans to save humanity from extinction. In the first few episodes, the series proves a sense of darker themes but never reveals anything about the plot.
In the second half of the show, the protagonist Mai unravels the mystery about the Orphans. But before she can do anything, the academy forces the 13 magical girls to fight with each other. As the word spreads about the academy’s intent, the academy formulates new rules for the students, and according to the rules, only the strongest magical girls can save the world. In exchange for a higher status as a magical girl, the 13 HiME’s fight among themselves to prove their worth while questioning their inner rationality and their reason for fighting.
Nurse Angel Ririka SOS
Nurse Angel Ririka SOS is a typical 90s magical girl series that features a young girl sharing the burden of saving the world from the Dark Joker. Moriya Ririka is a normal elementary school girl, but she has a lot on her plate than the average 11-year-old in her school. Apart from school and homework, the universe selects her to save two planets from the cruel Dark Joker.
For most parts, the series attracts young kids, but some of the episodes are too dark for anyone to watch, and sometimes, Ririka ends up in a deadly situation at the hands of the villains. As a magical girl, Ririka faces immense pressure, and in some episodes, she faces brainwashing sessions, near-death fights, and Ririka even watches her comrades die on the battlefield. As an 11-year-old, Ririka has to fight with all the might she has, and she even prepares to sacrifice herself to save her planet from the hands of Dark Joker.
This magical girl anime is wrong on so many levels. From the first episode, the viewers get trapped in Manatsu Kuroki’s mind games and her sadistic plans for the protagonist Tachibana Ichika. After a long session of studying, exams, and homework, Ichika finally prepares for the summer holidays with her friends, but little did she know her plans are about to fall apart. After meeting with Manatsu Kuroki, Ichika’s world turns upside down, and finally into the fiery depths of hell.
After magically emerging from a mirror, Manatsu promises Ichika magical powers of 12 Djinn that allow its user to change into almost anything or anyone. At first, Ichika enjoys the little magic tricks and even pranks her friends but the more she uses this magic, the more her soul gets corrupted. Eventually, Ichika ends up in the position where 12 Djinn takes over her soul and she must choose between herself and the universe as one of them will be sacrificed by the judges of humanity — the Djinn.
Magical Girl Raising Project
Magical Girl Raising Project is a show about power and natural selection. In a futuristic society, many high school girls are obsessed with the social role-playing game known as the Magical Girl Raising Project. The main highlight of the game lies in the opportunities to become a real-life magical girl and as the competition rises, Koyuki Himekawa joins the game and with natural selection, the admins invite her to become a real-life magical girl.
In Koyuki’s eyes, the whole magical girl thing is all fun and games. But as she moves up the ladders in the best girl ranking, the admins update the users that they will be reducing the total count of the magical girls, and the method they will use, you might have already guessed, is by making them fight each other to the death. The constant betrayal, lying and dog-eat-dog tactics will surely increase your dopamine level as some super cute anime girls fight for superiority in this psychological magical girl anime.
Alice Martin is an avid technical blogger, a magazine contributor, a publisher of guides at mcafee.com/activate and a professional cyber security analyst. Through her writing, she aims to educate people about the dangers and threats lurking in the digital world .