Although in the past people were made fun of for enjoying anime, some shows and titles are finally becoming mainstream and fans of them aren’t having to hide their fan status anymore. One genre that some still consider childish though is the magical girl genre. The transformation sequences are bright and colorful and at first glance they could seem like they’re aimed at children, but a lot of magical girl anime actually had serious or even dark plots when you pay attention. It’s one of the things that makes them so enticing as the plot and color palette don’t really match up. Sure, there’s lighthearted moments, however that doesn’t mean the magical girl genre is just for kids.
Let’s not front though, everyone knows the best part of any magical girl show is the transformations. Whether they be short and to the point or incredibly intricate and detailed, every proper magical girl show has them. From classics like Sailor Moon to newer and more contemporary works such as Madoka Magica, they all have one thing in common; the transformations into magical girls. Because of how popular and fun these transformations are, we’ve decided it’s time to rank our top ten. So, let’s get into it.
10. Hanon Hosho – Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
First up is a wildly popular magical girl anime, Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch. Very similar to the plot of The Little Mermaid, Mermaid Melody follows Lucia as she tries to get a surfer named Kaito to fall in love with her and figure out she’s the mermaid that saved him seven years ago. She also has to protect the land from sea monsters and recruits two other mermaid princesses to help, Hanon and Rina.
Though all of their transformations are relatively the same with just slight differences, the sequences are gorgeous and they remain top tier. Hanon’s is the most beautiful though as her entire color scheme is blue and it just all fits so well together, plus the stars in her hair are such a cute, but simple touch.
9. Amulet Diamond – Shugo Chara
Shugo Chara was an interesting twist on the magical girl genre as we actually got to see magical boys too. The premise of Shugo Chara is that there are eggs and small creatures that represent each person’s dream in life. The main character, Amu, ends up having four of these eggs and is able to transform into four separate transformations.
Although she has many to choose from, the best one has to be Amulet Diamond with her latest egg, Dia. There was a lot of drama surrounding this egg in the anime, but in the end Amu saved the day and gained a beautiful new transformation out of it.
8. Ichigo Momomiya – Tokyo Mew Mew (New)
Although most people know Tokyo Mew Mew, or Mew Mew Power if you’re from the United States, from the original series in 2002, this year brought a reboot of the beloved magical girl series. People have compared transformations from the original and this new iteration of the show and it really depends on which girl’s sequence it is.
Here we have Ichigo, our main protagonist, in her reboot transformation. The animation is impeccable and the galaxy look taking over her body is beautiful. Not only that, but she has a different hairstyle in this than she did in the original, which is a nice fresh take on the character.
7. Stella’s Believix – Winx Club
Though it may not count as an anime, Winx Club is a hit in the magical girl genre. The show is working on its ninth season right now and has had three companion movies along with a live action Netflix adaptation. It’s popularity has remained ever since its debut in 2004.
In season four of the series, the fairies travel to Earth and gain the power of Believix, giving them a new transformation sequence. While all of the girls look good, the best sequence has to go to Stella, the fairy of the sun and moon. We see magic of stars swirling around her to create her costume and her bright blonde hair in a new hairstyle. It’s truly amazing.
6. Sailor Neptune – Sailor Moon Crystal
Probably the most well known magical girl anime is Sailor Moon. The original anime aired back in the nineties, but recently a new version was created with updated animation and less filler episodes: Sailor Moon Crystal. The animation, along with the transformations, are absolutely stunning.
While there are plenty of sailor scouts we could’ve chosen, something about Sailor Neptune’s transformation really stood out. Whether it’s the gorgeous rose petals flying around or the burst of water that completely engulfs her, the transformation is completely unique and matches her character perfectly.
5. Sailor Moon – Sailor Moon Super
Another transformation from the iconic anime, Sailor Moon, comes from Sailor Moon Super, the third season of the nineties anime. This shows Usagi Tsukino transforming into Sailor Moon, the main heroine of the series and our protagonist. Usagi is known to be a bit of a clutz and slightly clueless, however she has a huge heart, especially when she transforms into the pretty guardian Sailor Moon.
We see the hearts throughout the transformation as well as the classic costume with personalized touches for each sailor scout. It’s less basic than Sailor Moon’s original transformation, but retains the classic look of her outfit and personality.
4. Mami Tomoe – Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie
One of the most beloved and popular magical girl anime is Puella Magi Madoka Magica. This is because of its unique take on the genre, while the magical girls still fight evil, it isn’t for the greater good. Instead they each had a wish granted and in exchange were forced to become magical girls and fight off evil witch entities. You really see the suffering and heartache that being a heroine does to these young girls, which is something most shows in the genre stray away from.
However, we do still see the pretty and entertaining transformation sequences. Tomoe’s transformation has to be one of the best, her costume is gorgeous and the animation is just stunning.
3. Cure Beat – Precure
PreCure, otherwise known as Pretty Cure is another magical girl anime with its origins coming from Japan. It began airing in 2004, however it has many iterations and has been going for seventeen seasons with new characters and plots happening with almost every new season. Cure Beat first appears in the sixth generation of the series, Suite PreCure.
The musical theming of her transformation is absolutely gorgeous and all of the different shades of blue along with her purple hair compliment each other so well. Not only the animation sequence, but the music that goes with it is also beautiful.
2. Mint Aizawa – Tokyo Mew Mew (Original)
Although Tokyo Mew Mew, otherwise known as Mew Mew Power in the United States, has been rebooted this year, none of the new transformations can compare to the classic animation of Mint’s transformation. Infused with the DNA of a blue lorikeet bird, Mint is a dancer and we see that standout in her transformation. The iconic frame of the video with her in a sparkly tutu is stunning, as is the transformation itself. Even though the English dub of the original series was poorly done, the sequences were and remain just as stunning.
1. Musa’s Enchantix – Winx Club
Yes, Winx Club is on the list twice because their transformation sequences are just that iconic. Not only do they get new powers and sequences with every new season, but each one is (usually) better than the last! A fan favorite transformation is Enchantix, which is used in season three of the show. Its design is based on perceptions of what ‘typical fairies’ look like so there’s lots of glitter and flowing dresses/skirts, everything that makes a fairy a fairy.
For the top spot specifically, we have Musa, the fairy of music in her Enchantix transformation. It’s so specific to her and her magic with the musical theming we see throughout the transformation, plus it’s so gorgeous throughout the entirety of the sequence.