Books for Fans of Urban Fantasy Anime

Urban fantasy is set in magically injected alternate universes where limousines carry lycanthropes around or suburbs conceal super-powered mages. Think Harry Potter, not The Lord of the Rings. These titles range from action adventure, to comedy, slice of life and romance. Today we will travel to alternate universes populated by warring magic users, corporate ladder climbing demons, and undersea middle school students.

Urban Fantasy Anime poster


Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works

Urban Fantasy Anime Fate stay night

The Holy Grail War is a deadly competition. The winning mage has the chance to make a wish and change the world. Some masters will do anything to win this prize. Shirō Emiya has stumbled into this terrifying tournament, and he doesn’t know how to use his powers. Will he be able to survive the coming battles? Who do you trust when at the end of the tournament, you may be may be facing your closest ally?

Each master calls on a Legendary Hero to help them fight in the tournament. Most of the action takes place at night, and the darker color palate of the series leads to some jaw dropping animation of magical duels.

Note:  “Unlimited Blade Works” is based off a single storyline from the visual novel Fate Stay/Night the same name (a kind of interactive animated game, like an animated “choose your own adventure” book). There have been numerous video game, manga and light novel adaptations and spinoffs of this series, but the anime “Fate/Zero” is a prequel.  

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Jukebooks: Half Bad by Sally Green

Half Bad by Sally GreenIn an alternative United Kingdom, White witches practice good magic, while reviled Black witches are judged as evil. Nathan is being raised by his maternal grandmother along with his half-siblings, all White witches. Nathan has a different father than the rest of the brood, however. Nathan was conceived in a presumably brutal coupling between their White witch mother and the notorious Black witch, Marcus. He is half White, then, and half Black.

As Nathan grows, it becomes clear that he has Black tendencies: he cannot bear to sleep indoors, he is prone to swift bouts of fury, and he can heal himself miraculously. But Nathan also has his gentle side, and is capable of loyalty and love. And he wonders, why does he have to be White or Black? Why can’t he just be as he is?

The lyrics to the song Demons by Imagination Dragons remind me of Nathan:

When you feel my heat /Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide / It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close / It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide / It’s where my demons hide

-Diane Colson, currently reading an advance reader’s copy of Uncaged by John Sandford & Michelle Cook