Genres in Anime part 1

genre8As requested by one of my followers, I will dedicate a post about different anime genres. A wide variety will come by in a series of dedicated posts.

Please keep in mind that most anime will not be pushed into one genre. The predominant one will be chosen, yet there will always be some overlapping with other genres.

genre1Shounen series are mostly aimed at a male demographic from the age 13 and up. Shounen series are mostly known for reoccurring elements, predominantly; one male protagonist, one girl who loves the protagonist, fast and violent action in which the male protagonist conquers the all mighty enemy with miraculous power.

Shounen manga and anime tend to have strong and heavy lines and a muscular male protagonist. The best way to describe this style is perhaps quick and aggressive, emphasizing masculinity.

Primary examples within this genre are Bleach, Naruto and Dragonball Z. Series in which at first the male protagonist is weak, yet has the power within him to save everybody. Shounen series don’t necessarily have to be action series, but can also be love stories set in school settings in which a young boy wants to spark an innocent love between him and the girl of his dreams.

genre2Shoujo anime and manga is aimed towards girls between the ages of 10 and 18 years. The visual style is more loose and emphasizes innocence or romance.

Not having plunged myself too much into the genre, examples are Chihayafuru and Kaichou wa Maid-sama. Interestingly the males in shoujo themed anime or manga seem to have a more delicate or more feminine appearance. The total opposite of the anime and manga targeted towards males in which the girl is often times depicted as helpless and/or dependable.

genre3Seinen series focus on males ranging from the ages 18 to 30, yet this genre can stretch to males in their late 40’s. Seinen series often feature more mature content and have more gory violence. On the other hand, female character designs can be very cute, appealing to likeable traits for women popular in anime and manga.

A series such as Psycho-pass features more explicit violence and a more mature, crime-based story. Angel Beats! can also be considered seinen as the anime features heavy topics and the manga houses some extreme violent and/or gore artwork. Ranging from blood to dismemberment.

genre6Josei is the adult variant of Shoujo themed franchises. The age groups vary from teenagers from 15 years old to adult women up to the age of 44. Relationships in the Josei genre tend to be more realistic and less fairy-like as opposed to Shoujo themed anime and manga.

Usagi Drop is a good example Josei anime in which the series depicts adult relationships and a dependable man.

genre4Action series will be familiar with many anime viewers and manga readers. Like most common western action series, there is a heavy emphasis on fast pacing action scenes(well duh).

Attack on Titan will be the most recent example of an action series. Fast paced action, heavy lines and a wide variety in camera techniques to enforce aggressiveness or action. Aspects such as romance will be less present and the focus will primarily be put on the graphic display of violence. Attack on Titan overlaps with the shounen genre.

genre5Like in other media such as films, drama represent emotional development. Many themes can be discussed such as the death of loved ones, depression, society and many other themes.

Welcome to the N.H.K shows how a shut-in suffers from delusions and therefore neglects himself and society. Having trouble fitting in, his mental health is suffering. Another anime is AnoHana in which a group of friends deals with the loss of a loved one. The series is very emotionally driven, criticized for pushing sadness towards the audience. Yet I would highly recommend AnoHana.

genre7Romance anime centre around, mostly, innocent love between students, primarily around high school age. While there are exceptions out there, it seems producers have found a secure sweet spot when they centre the theme around high schools.

Another reason could be that the shows can tell an innocent love story that is appealing to the high school demographic such as shounen. Making the show appealing towards young boys who can relate to the path of finding romance during a school career.

Like in Shounen, romance features certain reoccurring themes or tropes. As stated, high school settings are popular and a male protagonist who falls in love with an innocent girl or the girl is head over heels for the protagonist. I’ve rarely seen anime who pull themselves out of the school setting.

Great benchmark romance anime are Toradora and Clannad, Toradora laying more focus on romance. It featured a confident girl, yet innocent, and a sincere boy who chases the love of his life, realizing the girl of is dreams is right next to him.

Note that these are anime centered towards a male audience and Shoujo anime focus more on a girls perspective and her quest to conquer the man of her dreams. Having seen limited Shoujo romance anime, I’m not confident in making bold statements.


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