Magic-centered stories are thought to be something for kids. In the West, magic novels and films are aimed at audiences of all ages. In anime, magic-based series are usually targeted at young boys and girls so often that people might also think they only belong to kids, too.
Fortunately, the seinen genre has come to the rescue for adults who still like to see magic stories. Rather than being made for children, seinen anime aims at young adults, typically from the 18-30-year-old range. These stories have more mature characterization and plot development, and hopefully fit fans who are exhausted with the usual shonen and shojo series.
10 Sorcerous Stabber Orphen Features A Hero On A Quest To Help His Sister
Sorcerous Stabber Orphen is a series every early 2000s anime fan saw at least one episode of as a kid. The protagonist is Krycelangelo, a mage who abandoned the magic school the Tower of Fang after his sister Azali was transformed into a powerful dragon.
After learning the Tower of Fang had no desire to return Krycelangelo's sister to normal, he struck out on his own, taking on the name Orphen and becoming a powerful sorcerer in his own right, all to save his sister. Sorcerous Stabber Orphen got two seasons in the late 90s and a remake in 2020 that aims to be more faithful to the early storylines.
9 Princess Tutu Is A Magical Girl Series About A Duck
Princess Tutu is yet more proof that the magical girl genre can appeal to anyone. Though an anime original, when the series was turned into a manga it was published in a seinen magazine called Champion RED. The series takes place in a fantasy universe where the protagonist is actually a duck.
Ahiru is transformed from a duck into a girl and given a special pendant that allows her to transform into Princess Tutu, a magical ballet dancer. Ahiru uses her power to help the people around her while aiming to help her beloved Prince. Though the premise might turn fans off, the character development and the storytelling can hook anyone who's willing to give Princess Tutu a chance.
8 Goblin Slayer Is A Dark Fantasy About A Hero Who Has Become The Ultimate Enemy Of Goblins
Goblin Slayer took over the anime world by showing a dark fantasy world unlike any other series out at the time. Though the series got its start as a light novel, there's a manga in the seinen magazine Monthly Big Gangan, which has been running since 2016.
Goblin Slayer focuses on a man who had his entire family taken from him in a brutal attack by goblins, and who has since devoted his entire life to killing goblins. Though the rest of the world looks down on him for hunting "easy prey," Slayer still assembles a group of loyal allies who help him with his dangerous, yet necessary, job.
7 Break Blade's Hero Is A Non-Magician In A World Of Magician Mecha Pilots
Break Blade got its start as a shonen series, but as its story developed, the series moved over to the seinen magazine FlexComix Blood then later Comic Meteor. Created by Yunosuke Yoshinaga, Break Blade takes place in a world where people are capable of using magic, and they use their magic powers to create advanced technology via magically-empowered quartz.
Quartz is used for many things in this world, including powering giant "golems." But when the kingdom of Krisna is under attack by the Athens Commonwealth, the royal family relies on the help of Rygart Arrow, one of the few men in the country who can't use magic.
6 Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid Combines Slice Of Life With Action
Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid might not feel like a seinen anime, but the series was published in Futabasha's Monthly Action seinen magazine. The story focuses on an office worker named Kobayashi who gets a literal dragon named Tohru for a maid after pulling a holy weapon from Tohru's back.
Though Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid could've just stuck with this as a premise, the series keeps things fresh by introducing new characters from Tohru's home world. And while some dragons from Tohru's world settle into the human world just fine, the ones that don't often wind up in fight scenes that are as spectacular as any battle shonen anime. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid also has some practical wisdom lessons for anyone watching.
5 Oh My Goddess! Is A Classic Seinen Harem Anime
In Oh My Goddess!, lonely college sophomore Keiichi Morisato calls a Goddess Help Line and wishes for the girl on the other end to become his girlfriend. He winds up with the goddess Belldandy by his side and is kicked out of his apartment because it's a boys-only dorm.
Created by You're Under Arrest! mangaka Kousuke Fujishima, Oh My Goddess! is a romantic comedy focusing on Keiichi's adventures with Belldandy and her sisters. Surprisingly, the series goes into detail about Belldandy and her sisters' lives as goddesses rather than remaining focused purely on slice-of-life stories.
4 Dorohedoro Merges Wildly Different Genres To Create A Show Unlike Any Other
One of the stranger anime to come out recently, Dorohedoro blends seemingly disparate genres to create a series beloved by most of the people who try it. The series focuses on Kaiman, a human who was transformed into a reptile creature and placed in a district where magicians experiment on humans.
However, Kaiman is largely immune to magic, and he's intent on hunting down the magicians who changed him into his current form. Despite its dark setting, Dorohedoro isn't afraid to mix in humor to keep things from getting too dark.
3 Witch Craft Works Is The Ultimate Role Reversal Romance Anime
Ryu Mizunagi's Witch Craft Works was originally published in the seinen magazine Good Afternoon, running from 2010 until February 2022. The series focuses on Honoka Takamiya, an "ordinary" student followed around by the most beloved person in the school, Ayaka Kagari.
Ayaka's goal is to protect Honoka, who has an all-powerful being inside of him known as Evermillion, the White Princess. Witch Craft Works is the greatest role reversal romance anime, as Ayaka goes to any length to make sure not even the smallest harm comes to her beloved Honoka.
2 Record of Grancrest War Combines Fire Emblem With Lord Of The Rings
Record of Grancrest War takes place on the continent of Atlatan, where the lands are divided by lords, all wielding a tiny part of a massive holy seal. To protect the land from the monsters attacking it, the seal must be combined into a single seal, meaning one person must rise up to rule them all.
Theo, a wandering knight, and Siluca, a powerful mage, become an unlikely pairing in the hopes of finally creating the crest to protect their lands once and for all. From the creator of Record of the Lodoss War, Record of Grancrest War tells an epic story of romance, politics, and action, all compressed into 24 episodes.
1 Berserk Features Two Of Anime's Most Iconic Lead Characters
Berserk takes place in a world where magic is prevalent, but it isn't used to help people nearly often enough. Berserk puts the dark in dark fantasy. Protagonist Guts is the legendary Black Swordsman, on a mission to get revenge on his former ally Griffith, who betrayed him and their allies, the Band of the Hawk, to a group of demons for greater power.
Though the 1997 series is a bit dated, it's still a good adaptation of the original Golden Age storyline. It's worth going back to for people who want to check out what the series is like in anime form.
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