Magic exists in all kinds of places outside the confines of Harry Potter’s wizarding world. Sure, we all want to get our letter and go to Hogwarts (or at the very least, Brakebills from The Magicians), but at least wannabe magicians can find all sorts of magical stories in anime. Many of them even feature magic schools not so different from Hogwarts.
One thing is certain: You can’t find any Harry Potter movies on Netflix. So you might just have to settle for one of these seven magical anime that can scratch your itch for some magic-powered fantasy.
These various anime might not feature as formal an education as Harry gets at Hogwarts, but rest assured, if it’s magic you want, then look no further than the adventures of these witches, wizards, magicians, mages, and all other kinds of magical characters.
Here are the best magic anime series currently on Netflix:
7. The Irregular at Magic High School
After a massive discovery proves magic’s existence in an alternate history, the mystic arts go mainstream for a hundred years as it integrates seamlessly into modern technology. In the present day, nations compete with one another to nurture the talents of their Magic Technicians. Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba lead the series as both attending First High magic high school. The sister is at the top of their class but the brother is much less skilled and deemed magically inept or “irregular” by the schools normal rankings, which don’t factor in his knowledge or other combat abilities. Tatsuya and Miyuki have seven friends that they spend much of their time with, each striving to better their abilities.
6. Vampire Knight
Yuki Cross survived a vampire attack years ago, and has since been accepted as the adoptive daughter to Kaname Kuran, headmaster at Cross Academy. At this special academy, Yuki is a guardian of the “Day Class” alongside a vampire hunter named Zero, and together they struggle to keep the peace between the humans of the Day and the vampires in the “Night Class,” which attends courses on an opposite schedule. Vampire Knight has very little magic involved beyond the typical horror-fantasy aspects you might expect from vampires in school. Romance and other personal connections drive the drama of this series.
5. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
More commonly referred to as simply “Madoka Magica,” this anime series follows the adventures of a small group of middle schoolers that become magical girls to fight evil witches. The series is less about a magical school per se,as it as it instead focuses more on their magical adventures outside of school. Think like Sailor Moon. That said, education and school social life still still play a big part in the shown the show. The “magical girls” fight witches all the while trying to descend into the kind of despair and darkness that could transform them into the very witches they train to fight.
4. Magi: The Kingdom of Magic
The Labyrinth of Magic (also on Netflix) starts out the adventures of Aladdin, but not it’s sort of not really that Aladdin. This one’s a supernatural warrior priest with magic powers. In The Kingdom of Magic, Aladdin leaves his friends at the end of their first adventure to explore Magnostadt, a country ruled by magicians where he hopes to learn more about the mystic arts.
Netflix also offers the Adventure of Sinbad, which is a third continuation of the franchise in anime serial form.
3. Little Witch Academia
Little Witch Academia feels akin to what might happen if the Sailor Moon crew wound up at an all-girls school for witches. Three friends — Akko, Sucy, and Lotte — are students at Luna Nova Academy, a magic school for witches located in West England. There are ancient languages to master, spells to know, wands to wield, and of course, brooms to ride.
2. Fairy Tail
Veering a bit from more traditional wizarding schools, Fairy Tail is a fairy tale (you guessed it) set in a magical fantasy world where various mages have their individualized specialties and they team up in guilds. The story focuses on a wizard’s guild called Fairy Tail and the handful of members that team up to go on missions across the kingdom. Protagonist Celestial Spirit Mage Lucy Heartfilia joins up with a mage named Natsu. Huge bonus: There’s also a flying, talking blue cat.
The coming-of-age story of a cheerful yet inexplicably powerful ninja in training remains one of the most beloved anime of all time. “Magic” doesn’t exactly exactly exist in the Naruto universe, but many of the powers the ninjas in the series use use are functionally similar to magic only powered by the users’ “chakra.” Naruto Uzumaki is an orange-clad ninja in training who dreams of being the top ninja in his village. As he trains towards those lofty aspirations, he teams up with other trainees his age. Together, they create and solve all sorts of problems along the way. The first three seasons of Naruto are on Netflix, along with two feature-length films.