The Manga Genres
Manga and anime have different genres from the conventional action, romance, etc we are used to seeing in regular movies. Here is a brief explanation of the manga genres and what you can expect to see in each of them.
Shoujo – Shoujo manga is usually targeted at young girls (13-18). Romance is the main theme in this type of manga.
Shonen – Shonen is the male counterpart of shoujo manga. It usually has more action and less romance.
Josei – Josei is similar to shoujo but is geared for older audience. The themes are more mature and the characters are usually older.
Seinen – As shonen is the male alternative to shoujo, seinen is manga for an older, male audience.
School life – As the name suggests, manga in this genre generally concerns itself with school life (usually high school).
Magical girl – In this manga innocent young girls use magic to transform themselves into superheroes. They often have to fight an evil force with their powers. Recurring themes are growing up, learning life lessons, making friends and falling in love. The most famous example of Magical girl manga is Sailor Moon.
Harem – A sub-genre of romance, harem manga revolves around a male character who is surrounded and/or lives with multiple female characters. Usually these females have distinguishing character traits to help set them apart. There is also a ‘reverse harem’, where a single girl is being courted by a group of men.
Mecha – Mecha, short for ‘mechanical’, is a genre of manga focused on pilotable robots. The robots could be huge such as in Gundam or human-sized such as in Bubble Gum Crisis. As long as there is a pilot controlling the robot, the manga falls into the mecha genre.
Card battle – This manga revolves around a collectible card game. Often there will be a real-life card game that the manga promotes. There is usually a supernatural element around the game, such as in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Monster battle- The genre centers around characters who train monsters for fighting. It could be either as a sport, as seen in Pokemon, or as part of an adventure, like in Digimon. Similarly to card battle manga, monster manga targets younger boys and usually involves building a strong collection of monsters as the main driving force of the plot.