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What Are Anime Genres? All Anime Genres Meaning Explained!

If you’re a fan of anime and wondering what different genres are out there, then this article is for you! Here, we explain all the anime genres and their meanings and provide some examples. From shonen to a slice of life, each genre offers its own unique perspective on the stories it tells.

We’ve also added a few of our favourite titles from each genre so that you can get a deeper dive into each type. Read on to satisfy your curiosity about these fascinating types of Japanese animation and take your appreciation for anime one step further.


What do All Anime Genres mean?

Below we have explained every anime genre:

1. Shonen


Shonen anime is a type of Japanese animation created specifically to appeal to young males, typically aged 12–17. As one of the most popular forms of entertainment in Japan, shonen has become synonymous with its defining characteristics: intense battles, vibrant visuals, and large casts of characters.

At its core, shonen is about more than just action: stories focus on relationships between friends and partners who grow stronger when they work together. The narrative tends to be geared towards protagonists achieving their goals through trials and tribulations.

Examples include Dragon Ball Z and Naruto, both of which have been enjoyed by fans all around the world for generations. With themes that span courage, loyalty, friendship, overcoming obstacles, and maturity, there’s something in these works for everyone to enjoy regardless of age or gender.

2. Josei


The josei anime genre is geared specifically towards adult female viewers. It often tells women’s stories and realistically portrays issues that arise in adulthood – such as marriage, career, and family life. It stands out from other genres of anime by featuring realistic artwork, complex plotlines, and complicated dialogue.

Furthermore, the tone tends to be more serious than that of shoujo anime or shonen anime, so it can be a great choice for mature viewers who are looking for something new in their entertainment.

The characters in a josei tend to have relationships with one another that are more detailed and multi-layered than the stereotypical animes, and they often develop in many ways over time.

Additionally, one can expect to see sensitive topics explored, like mental health issues, infidelity, the romance between older adults, and motherhood challenges, among other thoughtful treatments of everyday situations.

Not only does this type of anime offer emotionally powerful stories with strong female role models and thoughtfully developed relationships but watching it will help expand your media knowledge as well.

3. Shojo


The Shōjo anime genre refers to a style of Japanese animation that is aimed at a young, adolescent female audience. It focuses on romantic relationships between characters and often contains themes related to love and friendship. In addition to romance plots, stories might involve magic, family bonds, personal growth or comedic situations.

As with all anime genres, the stories are typically told through a combination of artful images and dialogue or song. Character designs are specifically coded to be relatable for viewers; protagonists typically have large eyes with pink highlights and cool-coloured hair.

While shōjo anime was initially developed for younger viewers, it has gained popularity globally due to complex yet accessible storylines and vibrant visuals. Each story is unique in artwork, setting and storyline, so there’s something for everyone.

4. Kodomo


Kodomo Anime is a genre of animation aimed at young children, typically between the ages of 4 to 10. It is characterized by simple storylines that are easy to understand and follow, as well as vibrant visuals and distinct, memorable characters.

The stories can range from traditional fairy tales to educational lessons such as math, English, or social studies. Along with providing entertainment, Kodomo anime helps to teach kids important life skills like problem-solving through the main character’s struggles in completing their goal.

The main characters are often energetic and full of positive emotions, which provides an uplifting environment for kids. Many of these shows have become iconic in pop culture over the years, with some running for decades, such as Doraemon, Sazae-san, and Chibi Maruko-chan.

5. Seinen


Seinen anime, often referred to as adult anime, is a genre of Japanese animation targeted toward teenage and young adult audiences.

These anime stories typically feature more sophisticated themes and storylines than what is found in the typical shōnen or kodomo muke genres and are usually more philosophical in nature.

Seinen manga—the physical comics from which most of these anime series originate—are also known for their more detailed artwork, intricate storylines, and often dark tone. Many of the most famous seinen stories discuss topics such as morality, philosophy, science fiction, politics and war.

Some examples of seinen anime series include Akira, Cowboy Bebop, Berserk and Ghost in the Shell. Seinen anime fans not only enjoy the mature themes presented in these series but also appreciate their stunning artwork, complex characters and engaging plots.

6. Harem


The Harem anime genre has been around for decades and is becoming increasingly popular. It depicts a single man surrounded by two or more beautiful girls who all show interest in him.

Harem anime usually follows the protagonist as he attempts to win the affection of one of them, with comedic and/or romantic results that inevitably ensue.

Generally, these shows are comedies, but some may contain dramatic elements as well—both types tell stories about relationships within groups of people with diverse personalities and goals. Though harem anime can have a surprising amount of depth if watched closely, its primary purpose is to entertain.

The series can be lighthearted and fun, giving viewers an escape from their everyday lives, or alternatively provide fascinating insights into human interactions and love dynamics.

7. Hentai


Hentai often referred to as anime pornography, is a genre of animated media derived from traditional Japanese art styles. The term ‘hentai’ itself is used to describe such art styles that depict pornographic scenes or plots within extremely explicit details.

Hentai anime is a rapidly growing genre among various audiences, and its content is influenced by many well-known sources.

Most hentai works contain sexual themes but also include themes like horror, mystery and comedy as well. This means it can be enjoyed by viewers regardless of their area of interest or age demographic.

While there are certain restrictions in the West with regard to this form of animation, hentai has become a global phenomenon that allows viewers to experience something which cannot be found anywhere else in traditional outlets.

Therefore, Hentai anime really opens up an entire world of unique artwork and stories that can appeal to anyone looking for something out of the ordinary.

8. Romance


Romance anime is an exciting, popular genre of Japanese animation. This type of anime follows an emotional relationship between two or more characters as they experience misadventures, laughs and love along the way.

It typically centres around a lead couple who embark on a romantic journey and attempt to overcome any obstacles that arise.

Ultimately, these animes usually end with the protagonists’ success, either in the form of finding true love or achieving a happy ending for all involved.

Interested viewers may be curious about what other elements define this special genre. Commonly featured within romance anime are dramatic moments which heighten emotions and moments where non-romantic storylines interweave to add depth to the characters’ relationships.

Also common are comedy and cheerful scenes where the protagonists interact in lighthearted ways with one another.

9. Comedy


The term “Comedy Anime Genre” refers to a type of cartoon or animated movie with funny elements that often have humorous characters, jokes, and parodies.

This genre typically follows the story of a main character or group of characters who must overcome an obstacle while trying to resolve their goal.

Comedy Anime can be split into two distinct subgenres: slapstick and situational. Slapstick anime uses physical comedy to get its humorous points across, while situational comedies will make use of humour based on the characters’ circumstances to provide laugh-out-loud moments.

Regardless of which type you watch, the end result will most likely include smiles and laughter. One example is Gintama, which uses both styles in a show that’s earned widespread acclaim for its ability to bring viewers together in laughter and joy.

Comedy Anime Genre is popular amongst viewers of all ages as it provides an enjoyable watch that can have very little downside risk.

It is generally easier to follow than other genres as there are no complex plots or storylines necessary for enjoying its comedic moments.

10. Reverse Harem

Reverse Harem

The Reverse Harem anime genre is quickly gaining popularity amongst viewers around the world. This genre of anime features an atypical narrative structure, usually involving a female protagonist with multiple male suitors vying for her affection.

Unlike traditional harem anime stories where the protagonist is male, this genre puts a different spin on it by creating an engaging storyline that gives the female lead more agency in her final decision. As part of their growing popularity, many studios are producing new titles within this genre.

These stories often provide a heartfelt mix of humour, romance, and interesting supernatural elements that keep viewers invested not only in the outcome of love but also in other plot points, including characters’ growth and development over time.

11. Horror


Horror anime is an animation style that typically involves dark and sinister themes like death, murder, and otherworldly creatures.

It usually features strong antagonists with often supernatural powers. This type of animation often espouses a gloomy atmosphere in order to foster suspense while its characters explore gruesome and terrifying themes.

Character designs also often differ from other types of anime in order to emphasize the darker undertones present in the genre. Uniquely, horror anime can appeal not only to its fans but to non-fans as well due to its ability to bring audiences into its frightening world.

From zombies terrorizing a cityscape to considering the proclivities of sadistic villains – fans of horror anime are sure to find something that chills them with dread and fascination at the same time.

12. Fantasy


The fantasy anime genre is a fascinating part of the animation world. It encompasses a wide variety of stories, nearly all of which feature some element of magic or the supernatural.

Fantasy anime typically involves extraordinary characters in imaginative worlds, often with a hero striving to save their homeland from some great evil.

While most fantasy anime have an element of adventure and spectacle, many offer deeper philosophical or psychological exploration as well.

Popular examples of this genre include ‘Spirited Away’, ‘Your Name’, and ‘Princess Mononoke’, each offering unique stories that captivate audiences with striking visuals and thrilling tales rooted in the fantastical.

Fantasy anime provides viewers with a wealth of exciting entertainment and can be found through various streaming services or online stores.

13. Ecchi


Ecchi anime is a genre of Japanese animation frequently associated with fan service and lighthearted humour, such as suggestive dialogue or situations between characters.

It appeals to viewers who enjoy romantic comedy and lighthearted romances in which the main characters explore their relationship with each other but are not typically sexually explicit.

Because it fares well among viewers, Ecchi anime is becoming increasingly popular—and consequently more accessible through streaming services.

When viewing, one should expect to encounter witty dialogue, entertaining storylines and laughs while being slightly aware that something sexual may be occurring just around the corner.

14. Isekai


Isekai anime is a genre of Japanese animation that typically involves protagonists from Earth or other worlds being transported into an entirely foreign world.

This genre has seen increasing popularity in recent years, and fans of all ages can enjoy the unique storylines and thought-provoking themes found within.

Isekai anime tales often feature traditional RPG staples such as chosen heroes, experienced mentors, dark villains, supernatural creatures and powerful forces – but with a twist.

Whimsical environments offer chances for exploration, spellbinding effects create immersive experiences, and characters cross multiple dimensions to defeat their opponents in epic battles.

At its core, Isekai anime is loaded with depth and appeal: It challenges viewers to think critically while offering creative visuals to catch their eye.

15. Thriller


The Thriller Anime genre has become popular in recent years with many creative and compelling storylines for viewers to enjoy. It is an anime-type with suspense, psychological thrillers, horror and supernatural elements.

These elements can be deeply entrenched or subtle and mysterious— keeping the viewer guessing every moment of each adventure. Thrillers range from light-hearted stories like Scooby-Doo to dark and serious crime dramas such as Monster.

Thriller anime typically focus on putting characters in thrilling and often dangerous situations while showcasing visuals that are eerie yet captivating.

Ultimately, thriller anime takes the drama of a situation to the next level – increasing relevancy in today’s world where viewers want real stakes, controversial or nerve-racking situations and tangible role models who embody strength we can aspire to within ourselves.

16. Drama


The drama anime genre is all about unmasking meaningful emotions and highly symbolic messages that viewers can relate to and potentially learn from.

The titles in this genre often fail to capitalize on the action, as they prioritize complex storylines that revolve around characters’ journeys and tribulations.

Viewers immerse themselves in these stories as they become intensely involved with the fate of the characters and draw inspiration or emotional sustenance from their difficult journeys.

These anime compel spectators to gain insight into how the character changes while underscoring life lessons they can apply to their own lives.

In essence, drama anime make great use of metaphors, allegories and symbolism to illustrate key points by directing emotion and allowing intricate character interactions to take centre stage over battle sequences or action scenes.

17. Adventure


Adventure Anime Genre typically refers to an anime with a thrilling, action-packed story. It can encompass fantasy, comedy, supernatural, horror and science fiction elements.

An anime in this genre often has an overarching narrative and follows the protagonists’ journey from one place to another as they travel through fantastic scenarios.

Through their journey, these characters discover powerful artefacts or find answers to long-forgotten mysteries. As such, Adventure Anime can be an exciting way for viewers to explore different worlds of creative imagination alongside the characters.

This genre is immensely popular amongst avid anime fans for its fast-paced entertainment value, spectacular visuals and edge-of-your-seat action scenes.

18. Mecha


Mecha anime is a genre of Japanese animation that centres around giant robots or automatons. These giant machines can vary from single ones to robot armies or squadrons fighting against each other. Mecha anime typically features characters piloting these robots with the help of a human interface.

It emphasizes intense mechanized warfare or combat and often also focuses on comedy, adventure, and romance as part of its storytelling structure.

Some popular franchises within the Mecha Anime Genre include Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gundam Wing and Macross Frontier.

Most titles in this genre rely heavily on science fiction elements such as futuristic technology and battle storylines to seek out the character’s goals.

This genre of anime targets both the younger male demographic but also adults of all ages with dazzling visuals, thrilling battles and intriguing storylines that leave viewers wanting more every episode.

19. Supernatural


The supernatural anime genre is a broad category encompassing all kinds of stories that involve supernatural elements. It’s an incredibly popular genre as it embraces magical creatures, beasts, angels and demons; mystical powers and legendary weapons; various gods, goddesses and other mythical figures; and many magical adventures.

In some cases, the stories are loosely based on mythology or even traditional fairy tales, while others may have stories that explore contemporary folklore about ghosts or vampires.

It can often be difficult for viewers to distinguish mind-bending fantasy from real events due to the unexpectedness suited to this genre.

Despite a great diversity amongst stories within this popular anime genre, supernatural anime often features protagonists with superhuman abilities they use against forces either beyond human control or as convenient plot devices.

Consequently no matter which particular subgenre one might enjoy most, be it magical girls series such as Sailor Moon or supernatural horror genres like Tokyo Ghoul – there’s something for everyone in this vibrant display of incredible creativity and imagination.

20. Slice of Life

Slice of Life

Slice of Life Anime is a genre of animation that focuses on the everyday, mundane aspects of life. This type of anime typically showcases the banality and reality of everyday routines, as it does not involve an overarching storyline or narrative arcs.

In some cases, it also often contains elements of comedy and romance, allowing viewers to become familiar with the characters and their situations.

The setting for Slice of Life animes often has themes related to family, school, or work activities. As such, they are often set in cities rather than rural or fantasy settings like other genres of anime.

The visuals are usually creative, with exaggerated characters and expressions that help give off a feel-good vibe. Slice of Life animes usually draw inspiration from real-life experiences as their scenes are lighthearted and make way for comedic moments which also allow viewers to relate to the characters easily.

They appeal to all types of audience groups—from teenagers who may be struggling with similar problems to older people who appreciate the sentiment within the stories told.


With a ton of anime genres and subgenres, it can be overwhelming to know which ones to try. Fortunately our guide on all the anime genres was able to help you get a better understanding of what types of stories and art styles you will find in each one.

From horror and romance to fantasy, there is something for every fan, regardless of their preferences. Regardless if you are a fan or just curious about this genre, we hope that by now, you have gained enough information about different anime genres and can make an informed decision when choosing one you would like to explore further.

While tastes may vary from person to person, it remains clear that all these genres have something exciting in store for viewers. We wish you the best of luck as you traverse the world of Japanese animation.

Taxil S.

Moshi Moshi, everybody! I'm Taxil. I have always been interested in the world of fiction! Reading a lot of manga and fiction, playing games, and watching games all helped me get those weird ideas and be a part of something interesting.