5 Types of Anime that Every Anime Lover should Know by Heart

Long time anime fans know the different types of anime by heart, sure, but how about newer fans? Anime types are very difficult to research on your own. This article is especially dedicated to those newbies who want to know more about them to delve deeper into the complex medium.

Shounen, shoujo, seinen, josei, and kodomomuke (kids) – these are the five basic types of anime. Think of them as labels, each with a specific demographic or target audience. You may be familiar with your favorite anime type, but what about the rest?

Shounen Anime

Ehren, Colosus, types of anime, Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)

Shounen literally means “few years” when translated in English, and typically refers to young boys in their adolescent years. Shounen anime target adolescent male viewers and the usual story lines tackle the interests of most males around that age.

A lot of shounen anime have at least one young male as a hero. However, there are also contemporary shounen anime with female protagonists who are often beautiful. There’s adventure, high-action, fighting, and sometimes super powers. There could be an element of drama or comedy, or both.

Some of the most popular shounen anime include:

One Piece
Fairy Tail
Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Hunter x Hunter (2011)

Seinen Anime

Saitama, Genos, types of anime, One Punch Man

Seinen means “young man or men” in English, and it is not indicative of sexual content. Seinen anime target adult male viewers and have the same story lines as shounen anime, although the plot is usually more violent and/or psychological in nature. There are also some comical stories that businessmen in their ’40s would appreciate.

Seinen is one of the types of anime that cater to a more mature audience. Some seinen anime might include scenes that are inappropriate for younger viewers.

Some of the most popular seinen anime include:

One Punch Man
Elfen Lied
Tokyo Ghoul
Black Bullet
Boku dake ga Inai Machi

Shoujo Anime

Zen, Shirayuki, types of anime, Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (Snow White with the Red HAair)

Shoujo is translated as “young girl” and is the counterpart of shounen. Shoujo anime target adolescent female viewers and the main story usually focuses on interpersonal relationships and romance. Shoujo anime tend to be dramatic, but there are also some that include shounen anime elements like action, adventure, and comedy.

The main protagonist of a shoujo anime is usually female, although there are some shoujo stories where the main character is a male.

Some of the most popular shoujo anime include:

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (Snow White with the Red Hair)
Ouran Koukou Host Club
Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (My Little Monster)
Kimi ni Todoke

Josei Anime

Chihaya, Arata, Taichi, types of anime, Chihayafuru

Josei means “woman” when translated in English. In anime or manga, it is the counterpart of seinen. Josei anime target adult female viewers and the main story usually tackles romance with a more realistic feel to it than shoujo anime. Josei commonly features adult women and may contain scenes that are erotic in nature. Some Josei anime cover dark subjects like infidelity and abuse.

Among the types of anime, the stories of Josei anime are mostly based on normal everyday life, so don’t be surprised if they include heavy dramatic scenes.

Some of the most popular josei anime include:

Usagi Drop
Nodame Cantabile
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
Hachimitsu to Clover (Honey and Clover)
Paradise Kiss

Kodomomuke Anime

The Gang of Youkai Watch, types of anime, Youkai Watch

Kodomomuke literally means “directed at children”. Among the different types of anime, kodomomuke is the only one that is suitable for very young viewers. The plots of kodomomuke anime are simple, yet imaginative, and usually have some sort of moral message. The main characters are not always children, and they are often cute and lovable.

Kodomomuke anime also teach children how to behave properly, be considerate of others, and stay on the right path in life.

Some of the most popular kodomomuke anime include:

Digimon Adventure
Youkai Watch
Doraemon (2005)
Chi’s Sweet Home: Atarashii Ouchi
Tottoko Hamtarou (Hamtaro)
Yume-iro Pâtissière

And there you have it – the five basic types of anime! We hope this knowledge helps you in your further exploration of the world of anime!

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