The different Japanese terms being thrown in Anime and Manga may be overwhelming, especially for beginners. Though long time anime fans and lovers know their way around, it may be a little hard to navigate for those who are newbies and beginners.
Anime is a popular form of animated media. Anime has many different genres, which can make it difficult to know where to start. This blog post will cover 5 types of anime that are great for beginners and have been around long enough that you’ll be able to find something for everyone!
Table of Contents
5 Types of Anime with Examples
With all the varieties of names and classifications of different manga and anime worldwide, it is a bit hard to keep track and catch up at times. Comic book doesn’t want any newbie to find it difficult to keep track.
So, in order to make sense of it all, here are the 5 must-know basic types of anime:
Shounen anime usually features young male protagonists and intends to meet the interest and appeal of the younger males. These animes usually have elements of drama, action, comedy, and fights. If you love anime, I think you’ve already watched popular Shounen such as Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, Attack on Titan.
Shounen can include any of the following: fantasy, action, adventure, or science fiction. As such it is difficult to define shounen by genre because there are many titles with extremely different settings that still fall into this category (One Piece being a noteworthy example). Even further, even if an anime has several genres its target audience may be narrowed down as not to sell out to too much of one. For instance Cowboy Bebop has elements of science-fiction and adventure but is widely considered a space western(a genre which often targets male viewers). There is also Ookiku Furikabutte, which while being about baseball, deals with much more mature themes than other sports anime like Eyeshield 21.
This anime is in an awkward situation because fans aren’t sure if it is a shounen. However, it was originally published in a shounen magazine and contains several elements of the genre.
A Shoujo type of anime is opposite to the stories and themes of Shounen. This type of anime is usually for the viewing pleasure of younger girls, which means lesser action and fights, more focus on romance, and interpersonal relationships.
These contain elements of romance and drama. These are often made up of a female cast with male love interests. Most shojo anime have very different tones than their shounen counterparts, focusing more on the interpersonal relationships between characters rather than action and fantasy driven plots.
One should keep in mind that these are stereotypes based on traditional style; however, there can be no doubt that the majority of manga in Japan do conform to a specific archetype which may give an accurate idea of what kind of story it may contain based off its genre alone. For example most sports-based manga would fall under shounen while most romance-based manga would fall under shoujo.
The heroine is not your typical main character. She is dominant, clueless, and very competitive. The background is set in a high school in which competition means everything. Will she choose max score or love?
These types of anime are usually classified and intended for the viewing of an adult male or young adults. Seinen’s themes and stories may seem similar to Shounen, but it is, however, more sophisticated with scenes and stories which are more psychologically, intense, satirical, violent, and sexual.
Literally means “young man”, seinen refers to stories (mainly) targeted at male audiences with adult themes and dark subject matter. Seinen is the opposite of moe , which has become synonymous with anime or manga depicting young girls in a cutesy way. It should be noted that there are many titles marketed as seinen works that may not contain any more adult themes than shounen or josei , simply because it appeals more to older viewers who would like something other than high school romance .
Viewers follow the adventures of the combat-hardened mercenary Guts as he joins a sword-for-hire group called the Band of the Hawk.
The counterpart of Seinen. Josei, more than anything, focuses on romance and is for the viewing of adult women. Compared to shoujo, Josei type anime has a more realistic feel and focuses on darker, erotic, and intense subject matters.
This genre was originally meant to be a subset of shoujo but has since evolved to mean a more “adult” version of shoujo in terms of themes
What happens when two women who have the same name become friends?
For children, Kodomomuke is the type of anime for them. This is the only type that is appropriate for child viewing. Kodomomuke anime usually has a moral to it and are creative, imaginative, and adorable.
For newbies, knowing the 5 types of anime first is the best way to start. Through this, you will identify which will suit your interest and which among them are appropriate for you. If you are more interested in sub-genres, continue to read more below.
Sub-Genre of Anime
The backbone of most shounen series especially in the action genre. Most action stories contain the same basic plot: a hero with special powers is pitted against an evil villain and fights using his/her powers to protect those who are dear to him/her, whether it be for revenge or righteousness. There normally exists the love interest that serves as a source of motivation for the protagonist, but this does not hinder them from fighting against impossible odds.
Probably one of the most popular genres in anime today; almost all shounen series contain comedic elements while still containing serious elements (see Hunter x Hunter ). Comedy generally takes precedence over other genres in manga meant for young males since young boys tend to prefer random slapstick humor than anything else. Humor can be incorporated into any story type, but is almost always present in this genre.
One of the most popular genres, especially among shoujo manga. Romance stories are told mostly from the female point of view and normally involve a love triangle involving the protagonist and two males; the two males could be friends or one an enemy who becomes good while another continues being evil. The best romance stories are usually dramatic pieces with multiple obstacles standing in the way of a happy life together for all parties involved. This allows for great character development which may lead to strong bonds between characters that can only be broken by death (i.e., tragic romance). Some comedy romance series also exist which are both heartwarming and hilarious.
Ecchi is a sub-genre of the comedy genre and generally refers to anime or manga containing risque humor that rely on fanservice, which is usually sexual in nature. They may have interesting stories but just may contain nudity or other sexually related content. While most ecchi titles are shounen or seinen , it’s possible to find some ecchi in josei as well. Since it is meant to appeal mostly to young males, ecchi tend to focus more heavily on action rather than story.
Shounen and josei series involving magic or anything supernatural are very rare. The closest to this genre would be shounen fighting with special powers or shoujo fantasy (e.g., Shaman King, Card Captor Sakura).
A harem is basically a situation where the main character, usually a male, attracts many girls due to his looks, charisma or status. Normally harem stories involve romance as well but it mainly serves as comedic relief rather than the main focus of the story. It differs from reverse harems , which are written from the opposite perspective.
An extremely popular genre that is incorporated into many genres. It can be used as a main focus or merely to relieve tension and lighten the mood of any story. Humor takes on many forms, from slapstick comedy to edgier innuendo based humor (see Gintama). Humorous elements are also found in fighting stories where characters show off their playful personality by acting out of character for laughs. While other genres lend themselves more strictly to specific types of humor, most works involving shounen are open-ended so that each individual reader may find something they like within it.