Are you a Harry Potter fan who also has a penchant for anime? Or do you have a Potterhead friend who has yet to find an anime that speaks to them? Either way, this list is here to help you find a fantastic anime like Harry Potter that will sate your desire for the adventures of wizards and witches in training.
What is the best anime for Harry Potter fans? Little Witch Academia is the closest you can get to an actual anime adaptation of Harry Potter - it's a story about students at a magical academy, who will eventually be forced to confront a dangerous enemy. However, there are other shows with a less straight-forward connection. From The New World may not feature witchcraft, but it is a coming of age story about teenagers learning to control their powers and understand the complex and dangerous world around them.
No matter what you liked about Harry Potter, there's sure to be something here that will appeal to you.
Though it may not be populated by witches and wizards in training, U.A. High School has a lot in common with Hogwarts - and My Hero Academia has a lot in common with Harry Potter. The students at U.A. high school are training to be superheroes. Rather than using magic, they train using quirks or innate powers that can be developed over time. While some of the show focuses on their training, their interpersonal relationships, and other fun school-wide experiences, they also have to contend with a dangerous enemy - the League of Villains. Its members are every bit as terrifying and bizarre as Voldemort's death eaters. Their leader is a whole lot like Voldemort, both because of his damaged face and because of his destiny-like connection with the protagonist.
Blue Exorcist follows Rin and his brother Yukio, the twin sons of Satan as they learn how to exorcize demons with the help of their adopted father, a priest. One particularly interesting similarity is the protagonists' proximity to the main villain. In Blue Exorcist, the connect is obvious - Rin's father is Satan. Harry Potter's connection to Voldemort has to do with the fact that Voldemort was unable to destroy Harry Potter when he was a baby, and now Harry can sense Voldemort's presence and is the person destined to defeat him. In both cases, the actual showdown is all the more meaningful because of those bonds.
Though it's probably clear from the title alone what The Irregular at Magic High School has in common with Harry Potter, let's take a moment to look at what this 2014 Madhouse anime is all about. Magic is no longer an unexplained thing - it's a technical skill that can be taught to anyone, just like math, science, or engineering. Whether or not they possess any innate magical talent, students can attend first Academy - but those who score poorly on their entrance exams are educated on a lower track, and aren't expected to accomplish much - kind of like squibs, the nonmagical children of wizards in the world of Harry Potter.
Tatsuya is one of these potentially unskilled people - but he surprises everyone by being incredibly adept in areas other than raw magic. If you read Harry Potter and wondered what it'd be like from the point of view of a particularly badass squib, give this anime a try.
Soul Eater is yet another action anime where the characters are attending school with the intention of learning a magical trade and ultimately end up having to use those skills to fight a powerful evil. This time around, it's not witches and wizards, but Death Scythes and Meisters - people who can transform into soul-reaping scythes, and partners with the power to use them. Though simultaneously funnier and more macabre than Harry Potter, it still shares plenty of story elements.