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A Complete List of Anime Genres With Explanations

A Complete List of Anime Genres With Explanations

  • Hanh Myla

Cheeky Kid has been watching anime and reading manga for as long as he can remember. Doing so takes him to different worlds.

If you’ve been an enthusiastic watcher of anime similar to me, then one thing you’ve come to grasp is that every and each show comes with a collection of specific genres. There’s a large number out there when it involves anime—action, drama, and horror just to call some. But does one even know all of them? does one think you'll be able to recite all of them in one fell swoop?

I know there are many anime genres breathing because they are available and go every now then. But the foremost popular ones become common enough to remain for an awfully very long time. And so, I’ve come up with this anime genre list to function an entire guide with explanations and meanings for all of them.

I’ve tried my best to create this an entire list of anime genres so it can function your very own one-stop compendium for when you’re searching for a genre guide. I've provided a basic list of genres for simple viewing. Below which will be the genres with more descriptive details still as anime that slot in that category. Whether you’re a diehard anime fan, an informal watcher, an interested onlooker, or perhaps just a non-fan who is passing by, this list of anime genres shall equip you with some basic knowledge and facilitate your venture through the anime world with ease and delight.

List of Major Anime Genres

  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • Slice of Life
  • Fantasy
  • Magic
  • Supernatural
  • Horror
  • Mystery
  • Psychological
  • Romance
  • Sci-Fi

List of Anime Subgenres

  • Cyberpunk
  • Game
  • Ecchi
  • Demons
  • Harem
  • Josei
  • Martial Arts
  • Kids
  • Historical
  • Hentai
  • Isekai
  • Military
  • Mecha
  • Music
  • Parody
  • Police
  • Post-Apocalyptic
  • Reverse Harem
  • School
  • Seinen
  • Shoujo
  • Shoujo-ai
  • Shounen
  • Shounen-ai
  • Space
  • Sports
  • Super Power
  • Tragedy
  • Vampire
  • Yuri
  • Yaoi

Major Anime Genres

The following genres are the broad categories that anime can slot in. These are the standard genres that are accustomed to categorize other mediums like films or books. As these are the essential varieties of narratives, anime within these categories are a continuing presence in the industry. Some anime is a hybrid of various sorts of narratives but they'll usually be easily labeled with one or two of the subsequent categories.

What Is Your Favorite Anime to Watch?

Which Type of Anime Do do You Enjoy Watching?

  1. Action
  2. Adventure
  3. Comedy
  4. Drama
  5. Slice of Life
  6. Fantasy
  7. Magic
  8. Supernatural
  9. Horror
  10. Mystery
  11. Psychological
  12. Romance
  13. Sci-Fi

List of Anime Subgenres

  • Cyberpunk
  • Game
  • Ecchi
  • Demons
  • Harem
  • Josei
  • Martial Arts
  • Kids
  • Historical
  • Hentai
  • Isekai
  • Military
  • Mecha
  • Music
  • Parody
  • Police
  • Post-Apocalyptic
  • Reverse Harem
  • School
  • Seinen
  • Shoujo
  • Shoujo-ai
  • Shounen
  • Shounen-ai
  • Space
  • Sports
  • Super Power
  • Tragedy
  • Vampire
  • Yuri
  • Yaoi
  • Yaoi

Major Anime Genres

The following genres are the broad categories that anime can slot in. These are the standard genres that are wont to categorize other mediums like films or books. As these are the essential sorts of narratives, anime within these categories are a relentless presence in the industry. Some anime is a hybrid of various styles of narratives but they'll usually be easily labeled with one or two of the subsequent categories.

What Is Your Favorite Anime to Watch?

Which Type of Anime Do do You Enjoy Watching?

  1. Action
  2. Adventure
  3. Comedy
  4. Drama
  5. Slice of Life
  6. Fantasy
  7. Magic
  8. Supernatural
  9. Horror
  10. Mystery
  11. Psychological
  12. Romance
  13. Sci-Fi

Action

The action genre in anime depicts extremely high levels of intense action. More often than not, you’ll be witnessing thrilling battles and action-packed fight scenes within the shows from this genre. These series will cause you to get down your seat or knock your socks off. Overall, the action genre usually possesses plenty of battle scenes, fluid animation, and highly-engaging elements which will make your adrenaline rush!

Some examples of action anime include:

  • Kill la Kill
  • Gurren Lagann
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Trigun
  • Darker than Black

For a more detailed list of the genre, check out this article on the 10 best action anime

Adventure

The adventure genre is about traveling and undertaking an adventure in a very certain place or around the world (which may sometimes escalate to the entire universe or maybe to the opposite dimensions). during this genre, most characters don’t usually stay in one place. They venture into several different places, usually with a goal in mind (e.g. attempting to find treasure, exploring some new place, defeating a heinous villain, or saving the world). Adventure anime are so broad and versatile that these shows can usually stretch to a large number of episodes yet as overlap with multiple genres, usually with action.

Examples of adventure anime include:

  • One Piece
  • Fairy Tail
  • Hunter X Hunter
  • Kino's Journey
  • Spice and Wolf

Comedy

The main purpose of the comedy genre is…you got it…to cause you to laugh! If it fails to form you laugh or a minimum of cause you to giggle, then it’s a failure. then again again, humor can depend upon your personal sense of humor. The animation might not be as impressive as TV shows within the action and drama category, but that may be forgiven for the laughs. Funny moments, hilarious scenes, wacky dialogue, comical happenings—all of those are covered by the comedy genre in anime!

Examples of comedy anime include:

  • Gintama
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
  • The Devil Is a Part-Timer!
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys
  • Nichijou

For a more in-depth look at the genre, check out this list of the top 10 comedy anime.

 

Drama

Bringing us tears and a wave of emotions is essentially what the drama genre does best! Drama anime tends to attach the viewers to the experiences of the characters. This ends up in viewers feeling what the characters are prying. Whether it is a tickle of emotion or a barrage of feelings, the goal of those series is to touch our hearts. In anime, one among the best signs that the drama effectively worked is that if it had been able to cause you to cry.

Examples of drama anime include:

  • Clannad
  • Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
  • Your Lie in April
  • Kanon
  • Little Busters!

For a more detailed look at the genre, take a look at the list of the top 10 best drama anime.

Slice of Life

When one says a slice of life, meaning the mundane good old’ life. Stories depicted during this genre are realistically set within the domain of reality. Nothing out-of-the-blue happens, but that’s the point! standard of living is portrayed in a very realistic light, with nothing out of the extraordinary wrecking the premise.

Examples of a slice of life anime include:

  • Barakamon
  • Non-Non Biyori
  • Koufuku Graffiti
  • Lucky Star
  • Wagnaria!!

Fantasy

The fantasy genre in anime primarily deals with fantasy worlds and surreal events and locations. Most of the time, the setting is in an exceedingly magical world where the characters start an adventure. Sometimes they get sent there from the 000 worlds. Magic is oftentimes a component of this genre, and various mystical elements function the building blocks of the story. You’ll often know it’s a fantasy anime if the environment and atmosphere seem so dazzling and dreamlike that it’ll cause you to feel captivated and allured.

Examples of fantasy anime include:

  • No Game No Life
  • Nanatsu no Taizai
  • Inuyasha
  • Escaflowne
  • Slayers




Magic

Magic, all told its essence, is about magical stuff like spells and incantations. It may include magical sources, beings that grant wishes, and good ol’ sleeve tricks. one in every of the foremost famous themes within the magic genre is magical girls. it's so popular that it would just become a full new genre on its own within the future.

Examples of magic anime include:

  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica
  • Magical Doremi
  • Magi: Labyrinth of Magic
  • Little Witch Academia
  • Maria the Virgin Witch

Supernatural

When one says supernatural, they’re pertaining to stuff or events that are odd and out-of-the-blue. For this category, the supernatural might visit something mythical, mystical, bizarre, or something outside the bounds of accepted reality. There’s a shadow of mystery often found in shows committed this genre.

Examples of supernatural anime include:

  • Mushishi
  • Blue Exorcist
  • Durarara!!
  • Bakemonogatari
  • Noragami

Horror

It’s not difficult to identify the horror genre in anime. Usually, if there are ghosts, monsters, gore, and creeps, then you’re likely watching a horror series. Heavy gore and bloody violence may be a common trait. the foremost important factor for a show to be considered horror is its ability to scare and creep you out.

Examples of horror anime include:

  • Junji Ito Collection
  • Parasyte -the maxim-
  • Another
  • School-Live!
  • Hell Girl

For a more detailed look at the genre, check out this list of the top 10 horror anime.

Mystery

If there’s one thing that’s similar all told mystery anime shows, it's the existence of a central enigma. Whether it’s an occasion, a place, or an item, there’s some form of mystery surrounding the narrative. within the history of anime, the foremost popular shows within the genre have featured detectives and gumshoes.

Examples of mystery anime include:

  • Detective Conan
  • Hyouka
  • Eden of the East
  • Tantei Opera Milky Holmes
  • Gosick

Psychological

Psychological anime show that delves into how the mind and psyche work. This genre tackles everything on a psychological level (sometimes even philosophical). You’ll often find mind games here additionally as battles where the utilization of the wits is that the primary focus. Series during this genre will play along with your mind and cause you to think hard.

Examples of psychological anime include:

  • Death Note
  • Mirai Nikki
  • Zetsuen no Tempest
  • Monster
  • Paranoia Agent

Romance

Romance is all about love and sweet moments. Shows committed this genre often have the skill to tug everyone’s heartstrings with their romantic scenes and tender moments. the main focus of those shows is that the romantic relationships between the characters furthermore as their blooming love with each other. You’ll often find romance anime tightly tied with the shoujo subgenre, but it also works as good as with comedy, harem, and drama.

Examples of romance anime include:

  • Honey and Clover
  • Golden Time
  • Toradora
  • Lovely Complex
  • Special A

You can check out this list of the top 10 best romance anime for a more detailed look at the genre.

Sci-Fi

Sci-fi (short for science fiction) could be a genre that showcases scientific and technological elements in its story. Machines and various forms of technologies are staples of this genre. Most of the time, its focus is on the advancement and development of science and technology. that's why you’ll often find sci-fi combined with subgenres like mecha and space.

Here are some examples of sci-fi anime:

  • Evangelion
  • Space Dandy
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Knights of Sidonia
  • Outlaw Star

What's your stand in anime?

  1. Anime Lover
  2. Casual Watcher
  3. Interested Onlooker
  4. Not Interested

Best Anime for Boys

The following could be a list of anime recommendations with shows that are catered to a male audience. Girls can easily enjoy these shows also but the studios had a transparent audience when making these. Expect a good amount of action and shounen. This list will be helpful in getting you into anime or introducing the medium to somebody else.

  • Hunter X Hunter
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • Naruto
  • Attack on Titan
  • Dragon Ball Z
  • Bleach
  • Noragami
  • Blue Exorcist
  • Trigun
  • Berserk

Best Anime for Girl 

Just like above, these are anime recommendations with shows catered to female audiences. you'll expect to determine the shoujo and romance genres moreover as strong female protagonists. Some may lack action-packed battles but boys can easily enjoy these shows also.

  • Ouran High School Host Club
  • Fruits Basket
  • Sailor Moon
  • Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Princess Tutu
  • Chihayafuru
  • Princess Jellyfish
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena
  • Nana
  • Kamisama Kiss

Anime Subgenres and Settings

These are the more specific categories of anime. a number of these subgenres are unique as they'll describe a kind of narrative that's essentially exclusive to anime or a minimum of more prevalent therein medium. These subgenres cover a large form of themes and settings that may apply to the broader spectrum of major genres. for instance, there is multiple anime with a college setting that ranges from comedy to horror.

Cyberpunk

This type of anime could be a subgenre of sci-fi. it always displays a future where society has become more ingrained with technology at the expense of social order. The setting is often a dystopian future where the technology could also be doing more harm than good.

Examples of cyberpunk anime include:

  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Serial Experiments Lain
  • Bubblegum Crisis
  • Ergo Proxy
  • Texhnolyze

Game

The game category encompasses shows revolving around the idea of gaming and playing. The anime can feature a game, board game, puzzle game, or maybe a virtual online game. As long because it concerns any playable game of any kind, it belongs during this category. Sometimes, even video game-based shows can count during this selection.

Yu-Gi-Oh! is arguably the progenitor of this subgenre. The series began in 1996 as a manga and continues to be a significant franchise today. Its influence can still be seen today with a stream of imitators.

Examples of game anime include:

  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
  • Sword Art Online
  • Phi Brain: Puzzle of God
  • selector infected WIXOSS
  • Cardfight!! Vanguard

Ecchi

The word ecchi comes from the sound of H within the word hentai, which successively means pervert in Japanese. This subgenre is usually accepted as being stuffed with sexually provocative scenes (mild enough to be viewed by the final audience) and scenarios derived from innuendoes and humorous situations. It’s an indisputable fact that ecchi shows are taking an upswing nowadays as more and more titles are produced every season. More often than not, ecchi is paired up with comedy as both genres complement one another well. This successively is a buffer that forestalls the shows from crossing the road and delving into something less appropriate for general audiences.

Examples of ecchi anime include:

  • Saekano
  • Shimoneta
  • High School DxD
  • To Love-Ru
  • Keijo!!!!!!!!

Check out this list of the top 10 ecchi anime for further info about the genre.

Demons

Originally just an infrequent theme, the increase of demonic characters and themes have given rise to the present subgenre. The term demon doesn't only encompass literal demon characters. It also extends to other entities like monsters, beasts, ghosts, and other demon-type figures. The demons present can come from biblical backgrounds or come from Japanese culture. Believe it or not, this category doesn’t just come hand-in-hand with the horror genre; it surprisingly blends well with other genres similarly.

The earliest iconic entry within the subgenre is arguably Devilman, which debuted in 1972. Recent entries like The Devil could be a Part-Timer show that demon characters can add comedies.

Examples of demon anime include:

  • Hataraku Maou-Sama
  • Inuyasha
  • Chrono Crusade
  • Blue Exorcist
  • Black Butler

Harem

If you see a reluctant male character surrounded by multiple female characters who all adore him, then you’re probably watching an anime of the harem subgenre. this kind of show typically features over two female characters go head-over-heels for one male character. Anime during this category is often within the comedy and romance genre. It's possible that a harem anime can don't have any romance and have mostly slapstick comedy.

Oh, My Goddess and Tench Muyo! will be considered early samples of harem anime from the first 80s and 90s. The subgenre exploded within the 2000s from the success of affection Hina. The infamous series of School Days is usually considered to be a deconstruction of the harem genre because it shows how volatile it is to court multiple girls directly.

Examples of harem anime include:

  • Nisekoi
  • Maken-ki!
  • Sekirei
  • To Love-Ru
  • High School DxD

For a more detailed look, check out this list of the top 10 harem anime

Josei

Josei is really a demographic but is additionally considered a general category in anime. It specifically targets female viewers around the age range of 18-40. These shows depict life and romance in a very more mature light, usually with more grounded realism and fewer idealistic fantasies. The subgenre is fairly wide and doesn't necessarily need to specialize in romance. It merely needs a narrative that caters to the mature woman. Josei originated from manga during the 80s. Girls who grew up reading shoujo stories from previous decades wanted stories for adults.

Examples of josei anime include:

  • Princess Jellyfish
  • Chihayafuru
  • Paradise Kiss
  • Natsuyuki Rendevous
  • Nodame Cantabile

 

Martial Arts

Martial arts play an enormous role in every anime that has fighting/battles in it. Whether it's hand-to-hand combat, swordplay, gun fighting, or fight, there’s some reasonable self-defense element that plays through them. But did you recognize that there are shows that are primarily focused on martial arts itself and their battle techniques? There are lots of them, and that they mainly involve hand-to-hand combat and technician battles.

This subgenre is consistently popular and is sometimes within the action category. the foremost iconic entry during this category is Dragon Ball Z, which is accountable for introducing anime and manga to the mainstream consciousness within the Western world.

Examples of martial arts anime include:

  • Hajime no Ippo
  • History’s Strongest Disciple
  • Dragon Ball
  • Baki the Grappler
  • Katanagatari

Kids

A lot of individuals say that anime is simply for youths, but that’s not really true. As a matter of fact, there are only some anime that are precisely catered towards children. These shows are contained within the kid’s subgenre. These shows are mild, light, and insightful, which makes them perfect for youngsters 12 and under.

These forms of anime even have a difficult time finding an audience within the West. this can be because of the very fact that international anime fans are typically older and have little interest in these. Doraemon is one in every of the most important franchises in Japan but the series has never caught on in America.

Cultural differences in what's appropriate for youngsters is additionally a controversy in localization. Case Closed is one in every of the most important kids series in Japan. However, the mysteries within the show are nearly always murder cases and therefore the show isn't shy when it involves showing them. When it aired within the US on Cartoon Network, it had been deemed too mature for the Toonami block and it absolutely was placed on the Adult Swim block. However, viewers felt it had been too childish. The show got low ratings and was eventually pulled from the network.

Examples of kids anime include:

  • Pokémon
  • Machine Robo Rescue
  • Doraemon
  • Digimon
  • Chi's Sweet Home

Historical

As the name suggests, historical anime revolves around events in history and moments of antiquity. Shows of this subgenre are typically set in Ancient Japan and also the feudal period. Other settings like the center Ages and medieval periods of Europe exist but they’re much rarer in anime. As long because the time or setting (or even elements) are old and ancient, then the series will be considered a historical anime.

Examples of historical anime include:

  • Rurouni Kenshin
  • Fushigi Yugi
  • Junketsu no Maria
  • Samurai Champloo
  • The Rose of Versailles

Hentai

Hentai literally translates to "pervert" in Japanese. this is often the R-18 (mature) domain of the anime world. This subgenre commonly depicts nudity and highly explicit content. Unlike ecchi, the main target here is on explicit sexual content instead of on storyline and narrative progression. that's why the shows during this category are usually brief and lacking in substance.

Isekai

Isekai translates to "another world." This subgenre typically encompasses a narrative where a protagonist somehow gets transported to a unique world. The new world is more often than not in an exceedingly fantasy setting, occasionally with traits pulled from JRPG games.

This category of anime exploded during the 2010s and arguably dominated the last decade. a decent portion of isekai anime is customized not from the manga but rather from light novels. the foremost popular series during this subgenre is also Sword Art Online. While the planet featured there was just computer game, it did feature a fantasy setting that will be mimicked in other anime.

The type of anime has become so prevalent that there's actually a backlash against it now. Story contests in Japan have actually banned isekai stories from being submitted simply because of how saturated the market has become with it.

Examples of isekai anime include:

  • Gate
  • Konosuba
  • Re: Zero
  • Sword Art Online
  • Flip Flappers

Military

As the name implies, this subgenre involves the military in one way or another. War may also be a huge part of military anime. One thing to note about this category is that it is often coupled with the mecha and action genre.

Examples of military anime include:

  • Fullmetal Panic
  • Code Geass
  • Kantai Collection
  • The saga of Tanya the Evil
  • GATE

Mecha

Mecha stands for mechanical (as in mechanical units or robots). You’ll never see a mecha anime without a robot or mechanical suit in it. That’s the foremost important element of it. And while this subgenre is rising in fame because the days blow over, it nearly always uses a customary formula to hold the plot. As a general trend, mecha is commonly seen alongside the military, sci-fi, and action genre.

This may fine be the foremost iconic anime subgenre as there's a large number of memorable shows during this category. The mecha are often considered to be one in all Japan's preferred exports. a number of the sooner iconic titles from the late 70s and 80s include Mobile Suit Gundam, Mazinger Z, and Super Dimension Fortress Macross. Neon Genesis Evangelion is taken into account to be an iconic and dark deconstruction of the genre because it examined the psyche of young pilots. Gurren Lagann was an enormous hit that brought the genre back to its hot-blooded and idealistic roots. With a rabid fanbase that loves mecha designs, this genre is one that has been consistently popular over the years.

Examples of mecha anime include:

  • Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne
  • Patlabor
  • Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
  • Code Geass
  • Mobile Suit Gundam

For a more in-depth look at this subgenre, check out this list of the top 10 mecha anime.

Music

Anime shows within the music subgenre aren’t that popular nowadays, but they are doing exist and that they are very timely. These shows typically specialise in singing, dancing, or playing musical instruments. These usually fit within the larger categories of comedy and drama.

Examples of music anime include:

  • K-On!
  • Beck
  • Sound! Euphonium
  • Kids on the Slope
  • Idolm@ster



Parody

A parody anime is one where countless numbers of other anime references are showcased throughout the plot. it would be a preferred running gag, a famous symbol, a personality reference, or the other attempt at bringing another show into its domain. One anime worthy to notice is Gintama. They often use similar elements from other anime to showcase in their own show.

It should be noted that parodying another property in anime are often problematic. Japan doesn't have a parody exception in its copyright law. As such, employing a parody of copyrighted material may cause an anime studio to be in legal trouble if they didn't get permission from the holders of these rights.

A recent example of this coming into play was with the anime Mr. Osomatsu. the primary episode had multiple parodies of various popular anime shows. The episode was eventually pulled from streaming services and was never released on any home media.

Examples of parody anime include:

  • Gintama
  • Blood Lad
  • Senyuu
  • School Rumble

Police

The police subgenre emphasizes the life and struggles of enforcement in their line of duty. Police-based characters have shown up in numerous shows and there are now anime that might be considered as police procedurals. This genre isn't exclusive to police officers; detectives, investigators, and enforcers of any type are included similarly.

Examples of police anime include:

  • You’re Under Arrest
  • Psycho-Pass
  • Lupin the Third
  • Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation
  • Case Closed

Post-Apocalyptic

Post-apocalyptic anime basically shows that's set in a very world that's in an exceedingly dystopian state. this might mean the globe is destroyed and/or humans are nearly extinct. Post-apocalyptic settings were merely an issue within the past, but an influx of titles bearing this backdrop over the years have made it become a subgenre on its own. this kind of anime has become more and more popular by the day.

Examples of post-apocalyptic anime include:

  • Sidonia no Kishi
  • Shin Sekai Yori
  • Attack on Titan
  • Sound of the Sky
  • Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

Reverse Harem

A reverse harem anime is usually a harem series where the gender roles are switched around. there's one female character surrounded by multiple male characters who are all potential love interests. just like the traditional harem genre, anime of this variety is typically within the comedy and romance genre.

Some examples of reverse harem anime include:

  • Pretear
  • Ouran High School Host Club
  • Uta no Prince-Sama
  • Fruits Basket
  • The Wallflower

Check out this list of the top 10 best reverse harem anime for a more detailed look at the genre.

School

There are countless anime that use the school as a setting. An anime can be considered a part of the school subgenre if a school is the primary setting and the anime deals mostly with school and student life. This type of anime is usually seen within the comedy genre, though there are some entries in drama as well.

Examples of school anime include:

  • Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
  • Great Teacher Onizuka
  • Gokusen
  • School Rumble
  • Azumanga Daioh

Seinen

Seinen is actually a demographic but is also considered to be a category in anime. It’s a subgenre that specifically targets male viewers around the age range of 18-40. The shows here are depicted in a more mature light and often include more explicit content such as gore, sex, and violence. More cerebral narratives are present as well.

Examples of seinen anime include:

  • Berserk
  • Monster
  • Ergo Proxy
  • Fate/Zero
  • Drifters

Shoujo

Shoujo refers to the demographic of young girls. This subgenre specifically targets female viewers around the age range of 10-18. Most of the time, shoujo anime works hand-in-hand with the romance and comedy genre, particularly with the former. The protagonist is traditionally female and the narrative focuses on romance as well as personal growth. The world in these shows is often very idealized.

One of the earliest examples of shoujo anime is Princess Knight from 1967. It has staples of the subgenre such as internal conflicts as well as conflicts with others. The Rose of Versailles is another iconic entry that has influenced anime and future shoujo titles like Revolutionary Girl Utena.

Examples of shoujo anime include:

  • Sailor Moon Crystal
  • Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
  • Ao Haru Ride
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena
  • Pretty Cure



Shoujo-ai

Shoujo-ai literally translates to "girls love." The typically young female characters in shojou-ai anime show love and affection for each other. The romance is usually more milder in comparison to the more explicit yuri genre. Shows in this category portray blooming feelings of love and romance rather than intimate relationships.

Examples of shoujo-ai anime includes:

  • Aoi Hana
  • Blue Drop
  • Burst Angel
  • Maria Watches Over Us
  • Survival Game Club!

Shounen

Shounen refers to the demographic that this type of anime targets, which is male viewers around the age range of 10-18. These shows are usually a combination of action and adventure and are typically adapted from serial manga series. As such, these anime tend to have lengthy runs. One Piece currently has over 800 episodes and is still running. These shows are typically the most popular with mainstream audiences. They have done very well when exported to foreign markets thanks to their relatively simple plots and focus on action.

Examples of shounen anime include:

  • Naruto
  • One Piece
  • Fairy Tail
  • Bleach
  • Dragon Ball Z

Shounen-ai

Shounen-ai literally translates to "boys love." The male characters (typically younger boys) in these shows display tender affection for each other. The romance in shounen-ai is generally milder when compared to the more explicit yaoi genre. There is usually more focus on developing romance than actual relationships.

Examples of shounen-ai anime include:

  • Hybrid Child
  • Gakuen Heaven
  • Yuri!!! on Ice
  • The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi
  • This Boy Caught a Merman

Space

The setting of space has always been massively popular. With so much anime taking place there, it has become a subgenre in itself. Any anime set in the cosmos can be labeled in this category. Space anime is often within the larger mecha and sci-fi genre.

Examples of space anime include:

  • Outlaw Star
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Space Dandy
  • Bodacious Space Pirates
  • Majestic Prince

Sports

Pretty much self-explanatory, sports anime show that covers characters engaging in athletic competition. Popular choices in this category include basketball, tennis, baseball, and soccer. Other sports exist as well (including those that you wouldn’t expect showing up in anime). As time goes on, more and more of these series are produced. Just like real sports, shows in this subgenre are action-packed!

Slam Dunk is arguably the first modern sports anime that other series have emulated to this day. Most notably, it did away with the notion of the protagonist becoming an instant expert in their sport. As the main character learns how to play basketball, the audience also picks up on techniques.

The subgenre struggled to gain popularity with American anime fans. Big Windup was released to poor sales and many licensors refused to pick up any sports titles afterward. Titles like Free! and Haikyu!! have revitalized interest in the subgenre in recent years.

Examples of sports anime include:

  • Haikyuu!!
  • Ace of Diamond
  • Yowamushi Pedal
  • Kuroko's Basketball
  • Free!

Be sure to check out this list of the top 10 sports anime for recommendations.

Super Power

You know you’re watching a superpower anime if you’re seeing an array of explosive superpowers scrambling right on the screen. If you see bursts of energy balls, death-defying attacks, and opposing forces battling it out throughout the story, then that means you’re probably witnessing a show in this subgenre. These shows generally fit in the action category.

Examples of superpower anime include:

  • Dragon Ball
  • Akira
  • Toriko
  • My Hero Academia
  • Tiger & Bunny

Tragedy

As the name implies, the tragedy subgenre revolves around tragic events or phenomena where the characters are deeply involved and affected. Tragedy comes in diverse varieties such as disasters, accidents, misfortunes, and deaths. These shows are often very dramatic and can pull the heartstrings of audiences.

Examples of tragedy anime include:

  • Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
  • Zetsuen no Tempest
  • Technolyze
  • Clannad
  • Hell Girl

Vampire

As vampires have become so popular throughout the world, it’s no shock that they’ve also infested the world of anime. There are lots of titles now featuring vampires and they’re not just exclusive to the horror category. They’ve also manifested themselves into other categories such as comedy, romance, and drama.

Examples of vampire anime include:

  • Vampire Knight
  • Shiki
  • Nyanpire
  • Hellsing Ultimate
  • Vampire Princess Miyu

Yaoi

Yaoi is the much more sexually explicit counterpart of shounen-ai. This subgenre covers male-to-male relationships (typically older boys) in a more mature light. There is more emphasis on serious relationships and intimacy.

Examples of yaoi anime include:

  • Junjou Romantica
  • Gravitation
  • Super Lovers
  • This Boy is a Professional Wizard
  • Love Stage

Yuri

Yuri is essentially the more mature and explicit version of shojo-ai. The female characters are typically older and the series examines their more mature relationships.

Examples of yuri anime include:

  • Yuri Kuma Arashi
  • Sakura Trick
  • Strawberry Panic
  • Kannazuki no Miko
  • Simon

 

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