I’m not sure if this is a common dilemma, but when I first started watching anime, I was confused by all the different words used to categorize anime. What does shoujo mean? What even is seinen? If you’re facing this right now, fear not! For I, an anime veteran, will guide you and prevent you from falling into the Boku No Pico trap.
Now, animes are primarily divided into the age group they target. Here’s where you’ll notice words like Shoujo, Shonen, Seinen or Josei.
Shonen anime are the Marvel movie equivalent of the anime world. Primarily targeting teen boys (although its viewership extends beyond), it features themes such as action, adventure and fighting foes such as monsters, aliens, and other forces of evil. There’s also a lot of emphasis on friendship, courage, and fighting spirit. Some popular shonen anime are Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Attack on Titan, Bleach, etc.
Shoujo anime target the ever growing teen girl demographic, with a focus on human relations and the emotions that come with them. In shoujo anime, we see more characters that defy traditional roles and archetypes, usually those around gender presentation and sexuality, and a lot more bishonen aka male eye candy. Some popular shoujo anime are Maid Sama, Ouran High School Host Club, Kimi ni Todoke, Kamisama Kiss, etc.
Seinen anime are the grown up version of shonen anime. Targeting the adult male demographic, this features more “grown up” elements such as politics, science fiction and a lot of comedy. This includes a lot more female eye candy than shonen anime. Some popular anime in this genre are One Punch Man, Tokyo Ghoul, Bungou Stray Dogs, Monster, etc.
Now, the most elusive genre of them all, Josei anime. The female equivalent to seinen anime, this showcases tropes that older women would like, featuring realism, not so realistic, soap opera influenced romance, etc. Examples of this anime include Usagi Drop, Amnesia, Nodame Cantabile, etc.
You’ll find all sorts of plots and stories in every genre, but the main focus of the anime differs between genres. I will let you all go after giving some 2022 anime recommendations! Love After World Domination: A fun enemies to lovers shoujo anime. Spy x Family: It has spies, it has assassins, it has Anya! A heart-warming family shonen anime. Chainsaw Man: The must watch shounen anime of this year. With this, I bid thee adieu. Happy watching!