As you may know, Animes and Mangas are japanese comics (mangas) and animation (anime), which have large amount of fan in world wide. Nevertheless they might be quite confusing for observer from outside or “freshmen”. Because in the same main genre, a Pokemon-style or Ghost in the shell-type series can be created. It means, these japanese comics and animation have quite extreme variety that makes some unavoidable sub-genres within their structure. So then, let’s see these sub-genres and make easy to determine our potential interests and tastes. ^_^
- Shonen; It may translated literally as “boy’s comics”. They are made for the taste of the action-loving adolescent (young) males. Adventure, fighting (action), as well as types of comedy are the majority. This genre is the most-produced and created one, and so the most widely followed. General Subjects; Somehow choosen-one gets some super-natural powers, so then in along his adventure, he grows stronger beating up his rivals (opponent, enemies or evils) one by one, and so he levels up, and save the world … etc. Blood and violence may contain. Examples: Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Fullmetal alchemist, Dragon ball, Pokemon, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Yu-Gi-Oh! … etc
- Shoujo; It may translated literally as “girl’s comics”. They are made for the taste of the young girls who like sensuality and love stories with the action elements together. General Subjects; Somehow a girl or a bunch of girls get some super-natural powers, then they fight against to evils to save the world, while action and romance are processed in girl’s perspective, along their adventure. This is also one of the most popular genre in Anime and Manga. Example: Sailor Moon, Magic Knight Rayearth, Rose of Versailles … etc
- Seinen; It may translated literally as “Adult”. They are made for the taste of adults who likes action and adventure with more sophisticated elements. Sex, drama, fights, martial arts, heavy (hardcore) sword fights, slang words and heavy bloody incidents can contain. Plots and the flow of the stories can be more serious, intellectual, and intended for adults. Example: Ghost in the Shell, Hellsing, Akira, Basilisk, Death Note, xxxHolic… etc
- Josei; It may translated literally as “Ladies’ stories”. They are made for the taste of adult women who likes drama and romance. Example: Loveless, Paradise Kiss, NANA
- Yaoi; It is an acronym of yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi (no climax, no punch-line, no meaning). It includes boy to boy love and sex elements. Frankly, eroticism is very dominant in this genre, because sex scenes are showed very emotionally and romanticly, without being too pornographic (like in hentai). Because the events are focus to making love of 2 men (protagonists), stories may seem pointless, but there are some examples which stories are also good. Ironically, it has a huge women fan. Homophobic men most likely hate it. Exp; Ai no Kusabi, Maiden Rose, The Tyrant Falls in Love ..etc
- Yuri; It may translated literally as “Lily”, and is simply female version of Yaoi. It includes girl to girl love and sex elements. Eroticism is very dominant as similar as Yaoi. Exp; Kannazuki no Miko, Strawberry Panic!, Maria-sama ga Miteru.
- Shonen ai; It may translated literally as “Boy-love”, and includes boy to boy love, oftenly non-sexual or less sexual. It may thought as soft-Yaoi. Example; Kira Papa (anime version), Sekai-ichi_Hatsukoi (~). Also, this genre may be combined with other genres; such as some boy to boy platonic loves in Shonen or Seinen genres (Exp; Tokyo Babylon, X/1999). Generally, 2 protagonists boys are in a relationship as symbolize ying yang; not only enemies and rivals, but also in love and admire each other. Same as in Yaoi, It has many women fan.
- Shoujo ai; It may translated literally as “Girl-love”, and includes girl to girl love, oftenly non-sexual or less sexual. It is simply female version of Shonen-ai. Generally, one of the 2 protagonists girl is in more mascular mode, while the other is more feminen. Same as boy-version, this genre also may combined other genres. Example; Revolutionary Girl Utena, Sailor Moon (Uranus and Neptune love!)
- Hentai; It may translated literally as “pervert”. Sex scenes are showed very pornographic (such as very detailed sexuel organs, with exaggerated sexual liquits). Indeed, sexual relationship and sex scenes are too exaggerated, without any taboo; such as it includes any extreme things as rape, sadist/masochist affairs, tentacles, animals, aliens, pedophilia, incest …etc. Some people thinks that this genre may make people more stimulated to pervert things, while others think that it may help to feed people’s pervert feelings in fantasy world, and so prevent to reflect in real world. Example; Bible Black, La blue girl … etc
- Mecha; This genre focus to advance machines and robots, mostly with their choosen pilots. The giant combat robots, very advanced space ships, expert pilots, extreme science fiction elements … etc and etc. It is one of the most popular genres. The critical point about this genre is that Robot and machine design has great importance. If the design isn’t liked, the work is seen terrible by the fans. Such as, one of the best mecha series, macross wasn’t able to achieve success with a bad production as macross 7. However, Macross Plus was very good production which was prepared in the result of 4 years meticulous research. Example: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Macross, Escaflowne, Gundam, Voltran …… etc
In addittion to these genres, there are Kodomo for kids, Doujinshi as fan works and Gekiga to identify experimental works. Also you may find these “examples” any sharing websites, such as Youtube … etc … Have fun !