A guide to help you understand the different types of anime such as Kodomomuke, Josei, Shounen, Shoujo and Seinen.
The term anime refers to Japanese animated television programs and films. These shows have distinct animation styles that set them apart from their Western counterparts. Furthermore, anime is frequently based on manga, which are Japanese comic books. Some shows, however, are based on source material.
Anime has grown in popularity recently, with shows like Attack on Titan and Demon Slayer gaining millions of fans worldwide. The Nigerian anime community, in particular, is expanding rapidly as the medium gains appeal among teenagers and young adults.
As a beginner to the anime scene, you may be confused by the names used to define various anime types and classifications. To help smooth your foray into anime, I will discuss the various types and genres of anime in this article.
Shounen, Seinen, Josei, Kodomomuke, and Shoujo are the industry’s five basic types of anime. Anime studios use these classifications to indicate a show’s or film’s target demographic. Each type of anime has its troupe and rules, distinguishing it from the others. As a result, an anime’s classification will give you an idea of its story, setting, and characters.
Shounen anime is arguably the most popular of all five types. Shounen is a Japanese word for boy, so this type of anime is aimed at a male audience. Typically, boys are between the ages of eight and eighteen. Likewise, Shounen anime often have a young male protagonist. However, there are a few female protagonists.
These animes are generally action-packed, with adventurous storylines that feature the protagonist trying to achieve their goals while overcoming obstacles and engaging in enthralling battles. A Shounen protagonist also tries to become the best at a sport, job, or idea while protecting their loved ones.
Like other anime categories, Shounen has numerous subgenres, the most popular of which are Fantasy, comedy, sports, and science fiction. The Big Three (Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach) are the best-known examples of Shounen. Other examples include My Hero Academia, Dragon Ball Z, Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer, and Jujustu Kaisen.
Shoujo is a Japanese word for a young girl. As such, this type of anime is catered toward a female audience, typically between twelve and eighteen. Shoujo anime often has a female protagonist with storylines centered around drama and romance. Some common themes in Shojo are friendships, love triangles, and shipping couples.
This is because the storylines of Shoujo anime typically center around the female protagonist’s life as she navigates the struggles of daily living. There are also some action-adventure-style Shoujo anime. However, unlike Shounen, which typically has no romantic elements, These Shoujo shows also focus on the protagonist’s platonic and romantic relationships. The most popular genres of Shoujo are science fiction, Fantasy, and comedy.
Popular examples of Shoujo include Nana, Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Violet Evergarden, The Rose of Versailles, and Tokyo Mew Mew.
Seinen, Japanese for “youth,” is the anime category targeted toward adult men. As such, the target demographic for Seinen is males aged eighteen and above.
Seinen anime has all the elements of Shounen, but due to its target demographic, it is significantly more mature. This anime category typically features horror, antiheroes, violent action, horror, sex, and more complex psychological storylines. Seinen includes genres like sci-fi, Fantasy, horror, and comedy.
Popular examples of Seinen include Hellsing, Berserk, Cowboy Bebop, Vagabond, Psycho-Pass, and Vinland Saga.
This type of anime is the female equivalent of Seinen. It is targeted at women aged eighteen and above. As you might have already guessed, Josei is the Japanese word for female or woman.
Josei is the more mature version of Shoujo. It shows the realistic nature of adult relationships from the female perspective. Unlike Shoujo which focuses on innocent and cute love. Josei focuses on the complicated nature of love, which involves a lot of cheating, drama, breakups, and disappointment.
Josei covers genres like Sci-fi, comedy, and LGBTQ+ storylines with Yaoi and Yuri sub-genres. Popular examples of Josei anime include Paradise Kiss, Loveless, Princess Jellyfish, Kids on the Slope, Usagi Drop, and Gokusen.
This type of anime is made for an incredibly young audience. Kodomonuke is targeted at kids under the age of twelve. Due to their target audience, Kodomuke shows typically have moral lessons at the end of an episode. This is because their goal is to teach kids to be good people.
Likewise, Kodomuke protagonists can be female, male, animals, or toys. The art style is usually simple and colorful, featuring fun and cute elements. Popular Kodomomuke includes: Pokémon, Hello Kitty, the Beyblade series, Doraemon, and Digimon.
Although these five classifications serve as the major types of anime, there are still several sub-classifications, such as those listed below.
Mecha: This anime sub genre features human-controlled giant robot machines called mechs. Examples include Code Geass, Lelouch of the Rebellion, and Kuromukuro.
Isekai: This anime subgenre, features a protagonist who dies and gets reincarnated in a magical world. Examples include Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation and Sword Art Online.
Slice of Life: This anime sub genre follows characters as they live their daily lives and deal with everyday problems. Examples include Yuru Camp and Hyouka.
Yaoi: This anime sub genre features a romance between men. Examples include: Given.
Yuri: This anime sub genre features romance between women. Examples include Bloom Into You.
Harem: This anime sub genre features a sole male protagonist amongst a group of female characters. Examples include The Quintessential and Date A Live.