Anime has become increasingly prominent in the world in recent decades, and there is a certain classification regarding this type of media. If you want to know more about anime genres and which one would be the most suitable for you, here is an article explaining it in detail.
In today's world, Japanese animation, or anime, is no longer something obscure. It is aimed at a wide audience – there are various types of anime that could appeal to both children and adults.
When it comes to popular anime genres, they might have something in common with the Western classification, but overall are their own unique system.
Here, you can learn more about the differentiation of Japanese animated movies and every type's special features that make it stand out. Perhaps, you will find the one that matches your preferences.
Anime genres: the complete list
What is the best genre of anime? It is hard to answer this question because everyone has their own preferences, and each genre has some masterpieces of its own.
So, what are the different genres of anime? There are a few that the audiences are attracted to most of all.
The shounen anime is probably what instantly comes to mind whenever we think of the word "anime" itself. The meaning of this term is "for boys", which was the initial demographic group that it was directed at.
However, it does not mean that only boys can watch shounen. Today, it is appreciated by people of all genders and ages.
Shounen combines a few different themes, some of which are fantasy, sports, and science fiction. There are animations with giant robots that belong to this genre, and at the same time, there are also ones that feature a sports team.
What makes shounen different from all the other types of media, you may ask? Something that unites all these storylines is a strong focus on young men who thrive to become great at what they do and to protect people they care about.
The protagonists usually have an idealistic and passionate personality, which is very appealing to young audiences. This is why this genre of Japanese animated movies is probably the most popular among the viewers.
Some examples of shounen include:
- My Hero Academia
- Dragon Ball Z
- Slam Dunk
- One Piece
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Soul Eater
- Hunter x Hunter
- Fairy Tail
The word "shoujo" has the meaning "young girl," which hints that shoujo anime was made to appeal to young female audiences. Most of the time, the stories that are told in shoujo are about female heroines, or so-called "magical girls," who wear sparkly costumes and fight evil with the help of their powers.
However, this is not what this genre is limited to. Some animations tell a different type of story – in particular, a few shoujo plots include historical drama, slapstick comedy, and love between boys.
This means that all the shoujo-type animated movies and series are united by their emphasis on relationships. This is not limited to romance – quite often, they tell a compelling story about platonic relationships, such as friendships between a group of girls working towards their common goal of defeating evil.
Shoujo's visual motives are also highly recognizable. Most of the time, there is a lot of sparkles, flowers, stars, and heart patterns.
Here are some examples:
- Fruits Basket
- Ouran High School Host Club
- Revolutionary Girl Utena
- The Rose of Versailles
- Banana Fish
- Cardcaptor Sakura
- Natsume's Book of Friends
- Kamisama Kiss
The seinen anime means "for young men", which primarily means that this type of story is R-rated and often with questionable morals. Often, themes of violence and mild sexual topics can be explored further than in shounen.
In this type of movies and series, characters are not destined to save the world – rather, they tried to and now have to deal with the consequences. The topics of action, crime, and psychological horror make this genre what it is, although some comedy falls under this umbrella as well.
If you got interested in seinen, you could consider:
- Tokyo Ghoul
- Attack on Titan
- Code Geass
- Death Note
- One-Punch Man
- Elfen Lied
This genre is directed at young women and is mainly about relationships, changes, breakups, and navigating young adult life. It is more explicit and suggestive than animated movies for girls.
Here are some representatives of josei:
- Usagi Drop
- Hachimitsu to Clover
- Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
- Natsuyuki Rendezvous
- Sakamichi no Apollon
The word "ecc/hi" in this context is used to describe something naughty, risque, and flirty, but not inherently sexual. It can refer to these topics and tease the viewer through them, but not depict them explicitly and still focus on storytelling.
Check out some examples:
- Kill la Kill
- High School of the Dead
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Rosario to Vampire
- No Game No Life
- Nanatsu no Taizai
- Shokugeki no Souma
This type usually centers on an average man who finds out his life is about to change. He finds himself in an environment full of beautiful girls, who instantly fall in love with him.
Usually, in this type of animation, we can encounter popular anime tropes regarding girls – such as a lustful one, a cheerful one, and a tsundere, among many others. Sometimes, there is a reverse harem plot, where boys fight for a girl's affection.
The examples include:
- High School DxD
- Ouran Koukou Host Club
- Date A Live
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
In the isekai stories, the protagonists are usually taken away to the fantasy world. It focuses on the ordinary person, who is unexpectedly transported to a fantastic land and has to adjust to their life there.
Some major examples of isekai are:
- Fushigi Yugi
- Magic Knights Rayearth
- Spirited Away
- The Devil is a Part-Timer
- No Game No Life
- That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
- Re: Zero
In mecha, giant robots are the main focus. They are usually piloted by regular people whose goal is to fight for what is right.
A few well-known mecha animated works include:
- Full Metal Panic!
- Mobile Suit Gundam
- Darling in the FRANXX
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
Slice of life
This genre is for people who prefer everyday life to heroic adventures. In the slice of life stories, the characters just live their regular, normal lives, and the meaning is in small details of their routine.
The best slice of life representatives are:
- Kiki's Delivery Service
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Ms. Kobayashi's Dragon Maid
- Aria: The Animation
- Tamako Market
The kodomomuke genre is directed at younger audiences. Although these are usually storylines intended for kids, adults also have a lot of fun watching these.
Kodomomuke animations include:
- Yo-Kai Watch
- Astro Boy
- Bomberman Jetters
- Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z
Although there is more, these anime genres are the most prominent and represented in the media.
Anime boys are not only cute, but also have distinctive personalities and backstories. All this makes the viewers fall in love with them.