When many people — especially those in the United States — think of anime, they are often only thinking about very specific Japanese cartoons. In reality, however, the word anime can be applied to all animated works from Japan, including computer-generated animations. Anime encompasses a wide range of projects and there are actually several genres that fall under the anime umbrella. You might even be surprised by the number of genres that anime has. By learning more about the different genres anime has to offer, you may even discover shows, comic books, and other things that might interest you. Keep reading to find out how many genres of anime there are.
The Genres In Anime
Discussing the number of genres that exist in anime can be tricky because different people have different ideas of what’s considered a genre in anime. In general, however, anime includes many of the same genres that people are familiar with such as:
- Science Fiction
In addition to these general genres, anime is typically broken down into more specific groups that describe the target audience for the story. There are five categories that are commonly accepted as the main genres in anime:
In Japanese, the word shonen is used to refer to young boys. Needless to say, it’s only right that shonen refers to anime that is targeted towards young males. Stories in this genre often include lots of action, but they can also cover other topics such as relationships. However, the central figure is often a young male who plays a heroic role. Since its no secret that there are lots of young boys who love anime, it probably isn’t much of a surprise that shonen is one of the most — if not the most — popular genres.
Shojo is a Japanese word that means young woman. As you can probably guess, shojo is an anime genre that is targeted towards young female readers. Shojo anime covers a wide variety of subjects including science fiction and action. However, shojo storylines often center around things like relationships and emotions. As more and more young women all over the world start to develop an interest in anime, it seems like only a matter of time before shojo becomes even more popular.
Even though the world seinen means youth in Japanese, seinen anime is geared towards men ages to 18 to 30. However, sometimes people who are slightly above that age range are also interested in seinen. According to Animanga’s page on Fandom, “A common way to tell if a manga is seinen is by looking at whether or not furigana (pronunciation guide) is used over the original kanji text: if there are furigana on all kanji, the title is generally aimed at a younger audience. The title of the magazine it was published in is also an important indicator. Usually Japanese manga magazines with the word “young” in the title (Weekly Young Jump for instance, contrasted to Weekly Shōnen Jump) are seinen. Other popular seinen manga magazines include Ultra Jump, Afternoon, and Big Comic.”
To put it simply, josei is the female version of seinen. Josei tends to involve stories of grown women living in Japan. However, it’s important to note that josei can also focus on younger women. Since josei is very similar to shojo, it is sometimes considered a subgenre of shojo. As the Fandom page states, “Josei comics can portray realistic romance, as opposed to the mostly idealized romance of shōjo manga, but it does not always have to be.”
Kodomo-muke is a Japanese phrase that means “intended for children“. These stories are targeted towards young children, typically those who would fall into the elementary school age range in the United States. An article from TV Tropes that discusses kodomo-muke says, “One indicator that a show is of kodomomuke fare is if it spawns a kiddie ride shortly after launch, although given that even shows like One Piece and Gundam have spawned rides, it’s not even a reliable indicator.”
Variety is What Makes Anime So Special
One of the best things about anime is the fact that it is so diverse. No matter what kind of person you are or what you’re interested in, there’s a good chance that there is an anime genre out there for you. That also means that there is a community of people out there who you can connect with. Whether you’ve been an anime fan for years or are just getting started, there are plenty of things for you to explore.