Top 5 Manga Genres

Top 5 Manga Genres

There are Top 5 Manga Genres in Japanese society, people of all ages read and enjoy that kind of manga. It is respected both as a form of visual art and as a literary phenomenon. So there are many works in a variety of genres and on a wide variety of topics: adventure, romance, sports, history, humor, science fiction, horror, erotica, business, and others.

In Japan, children are introduced to comics from an early age. From sports to fantasy, comedy, adventure, child-friendly graphic novels to introduce young readers to the many joys of manga. The Japanese manga market is segmented by target audience. With major categories divided by gender (shoujo for girls, seinen for boys) and age (josei for women, seinen for men).

Kodomo style manga are characterized by simple drawings. They usually do not contain much moralizing, adhere to a more traditional morality, which is instilled in the viewing children. The kodomo genre first appeared in the middle of the 20th century. The main representative at the time of its inception was a short manga (up to 15 pages), which was easy to read and such manga encouraged the development of literacy among Japanese youth. Additionally, kodomo is divided into a genre of manga for girls and boys. And differs in the themes raised in them.

There are four main demographic categories of manga, (seinen, shoujo,shainen, and josei). Seinen is the most popular. The Japanese word seinen literally translates to “several years. Seinen manga is one of the top 5 manga genres and aimed at an audience of teenage boys, ages 12 to 18.

Josei Manga and Seinen Manga Is One of the Top 5 Manga Genres.

In Japan, children’s magazines have been published for a very long time, but at first they were just for a children’s audience in general. Although the stories were of more interest to boys.  Since the early 1900s, manga for boys and girls separately appeared. This was the reason for the first magazines to be exclusively shoujo (for girls). Seinen began to be exclusively aimed at a male audience. The main focus of seinen manga editorial is on action, adventure and battles with monsters or other evil forces. Despite the predominance of action manga, there are other genres and sub-genres with a variety of themes about sports, detectives, sci-fi and fantasy.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II, the content of manga was mainly patriotic and military in nature. Stories about samurai and robots fighting bravely in the war against the enemy troops prevailed.

During the post-war occupation, Japanese publishers again began to work according to the original laws. Stories dealing with war, battles, and most sports were banned in order to suppress militancy. Magazines published a lot of science fiction, stories about robotics, flights into space. Space adventures were very popular.

Seinen Manga History

Then in the post-war era, when Japan began to develop rapidly economically, the strict censorship codes were abolished. The seinen manga category began to develop rapidly with the emergence of sports, sci-fi and fantasy themes.

 The actual audience for seinen manga, as with all manga demographics, has gone well beyond the target group of teenage males to include people of all ages and genders. Seinen manga is one of the top 5 manga genres. It began to address more serious and political topics, depict violent and explicit scenes, and use different kinds of humor. 

At this time in the late 1960s and early 1970s, seinen manga for adult male audiences began to form the basis of seinen.

At the same time, beginning in the 1980s, stylistic and thematic differences between seinen manga and shoujo began to narrow, thanks to a wide exchange of artistic techniques and themes.

For example, the big eyes of the shoujo manga began to be drawn in the seinen manga as well, to express the emotions of the characters.  Female characters began to play not only secondary but also one of the main roles in seinen. As a result of the emergence of female artists creating seinen manga, a sub-genre of seinen such as romance and romantic comedy began to develop. A variety of themes and changing graphic techniques explains the dominance of hanen manga and how it began to shape the image of manga in general.

Since the main focus of seinen manga is on teenage boys, the main characteristics of the genre are a male protagonist and a fast-paced and dynamic plot (especially noticeable when compared to shoujo manga). Seinen stories tend to contain more humorous scenes and focus on male friendships, camaraderie, competition in life, sports, and combat. The main character is often characterized by wide eyes, a slight smile, and a pointed hair style. A common visual device in action scenes of seinen is to portray the outlines of figures in rude, rough lines of motion to create the appearance of movement.

Seinen Manga Genre

 Male protagonists in top 5 manga genres are usually always confident, brave, caring for their comrades, never discouraged or giving up (even if the situation seems completely hopeless). And also, in terms of realism, have tremendous luck. The typical portrait of a protagonist is a persistent perfectionist or egocentric. Female characters, often portrayed as exaggeratedly beautiful and sexy, serve as a stimulus for the protagonists’ masculinity. The manga is dominated by genres such as science fiction, classic fantasy, mysticism, cyberpunk and spocon.

The magazines that publish seinen manga dictate the stories. The thematic focus of seinen is easily extracted from formal values or slogans. For boys and teenagers, the issues of friendship and camaraderie, courage, perseverance, strength, and morale are important. Naturally, this storyline is typical of action manga, martial arts, adventure manga and fantasy, where the main character fights the monsters and other evil spirits.

Because of this orientation, even non-seinen manga began to refer to this category. In seinen manga there is a great variety and a significant number of genres and subgenres. They include fantasy, detective, romance, just life stories and dramasshinen’s military fiction was alternately ura-patriotic or critical of militarism and violence.  The beloved Samurai heroes often appeared as idealized role models, reminiscent of images of cowboys in Western comic books; in the postwar period, stories about samurai moved into sporadic manga and comedies.

Main Manga Characters.

The authors portray the main characters as ambiguous personalities. He can be hot-tempered and calm, serious and frivolous, agile and strong, clumsy and good for nothing. Or vice versa, who looks good for nothing, has hidden abilities.  The main storyline is a struggle between the hero and his opponent,the main final episode will be a battle between them. Also, the ultimate goal may be to complete a serious task, completing a special mission. Example Dragon Ball.

Very often the creators of manga at first make the protagonist weak and worthless man in top 5 manga genres. But what a reason he realizes his shortcomings and force of will, perseverance makes himself train hard and eventually achieve success. The reason for the rethinking may be some push from the outside, some impact of external forces. The weak person turns into a hero, and the plot switches to his adventures, travels and battles with an ever stronger enemy. But persistence and perseverance help him to overcome all difficulties and defeat all enemies.

Along with the active events, the authors also show the inner hesitations and doubts of the heroes, associated with the period of growing up. Still, the creators prefer to convey the inner conflicts through dialogue and action.

The Role of a Woman in Seinen Manga and Top 5 Manga Genres

In seinen, the main characters were always boys and men in top 5 manga genres. Women played secondary roles. Like mothers, sisters, girlfriends. There are manga where there are no female characters at all. But in the late 19th century, the situation changed dramatically, and female characters turned from passive helpers into warriors fighting beside the main character. They also, like men can be knights, warriors and adventurers. Naturally, the plots include a romantic and love line. There are comedy plots such as connecting a weak man and a strong woman, which is present in his romantic dreams.

Seinen Manga About

Seinenis characterized by more complex plots and “adult” themes than works for boys (shounen), and may contain satire, erotic or bloody scenes. Unlike shounen, Seinen tend to be more serious in their subject matter. It may contain scenes of violence or eroticism. Plot and character development is valued more than battle scenes in this genre. There is more emphasis on plot development and character development and less on battles and action. This manga is also characterized by realism. The social and political problems are revealed more widely, the dark sides of life are shown more often, and the author speaks to the reader first of all through the actions and deeds of the characters. 

Heroes Seinen character is contradictory, ambiguity of their views and decisions. They are immersed in the study of himself, his self. Problems often puts the heroes of seinen very difficult choices. Seinen does not shy away from shocking the reader, showing the unpleasant side of the characters and in particular, real life. Characters can be the kutish, the scoundrels, and the discarded people. Morality is found here as well. However, the emphasis is not on educating the reader. The audience is reminded of the mistakes and dark sides of society, plunged into the depths of dilemmas and mock defects. This is a manga for readers who like to think and ponder. And also to tickle their nerves.

Seinen Characters

Manga for young people are characterized by age and gender. Just as seinen are manga for boys, teenagers and men, there are also manga for girls, young women and young women.  This genre is called shoujo manga and is aimed at a female audience of different ages. It was first introduced as a girls’ manga, now the shoujo manga are read from the age of 12 up to the old ladies.

Shoujo manga were born in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The basis of shoujo manga were women’s novels and lyrical pictures. The first shoujo manga was published in 1900, and within 50-6 years it had developed into a separate category with its own aesthetic, graphic and plot features. The development of the genre was fostered by the arrival of women artists who brought new ideas, stories and artistically more complex narratives. This was the impetus for the intense development of shoujo manga as the specific features of the genre changed and evolved. 

Shoujo Manga Genre

Motifs from other genres were incorporated into the stories and the genre itself was divided into subgenres. But nevertheless the main characctistics remained, both graphic and narrative, based on human relationships and feelings. At first, school-age teenagers were drawn, with whom the image of virginity, cleanliness and appeal was associated; then came young and unmarried girls, young unmarried women, whose image was already associated with confidence and femininity, and later with independence.

The Japanese word “shoujo” translates as “maiden” or “girl. Shoujo Manga is one of the top 5 manga genres. It was borrowed from Chinese in the seventh century and denoted women from 17 to 29 years old.  In Japanese, in official documents, “shoujo” means all young girls under the age of 20. In colloquial language, the word refers to anything that deals in one way or another with school-age girls: shoujo manga, shoujo anime.

Early manga were almost always simple and ordinary love stories, and over time gained greater storytelling and thematic complexity.

As Japanese society developed, manga about the role of women and family emerged, and romantic manga about started to be in high demand. Authors began to turn to more serious topics, such as mother-daughter relationships, the role of the father  in the family, and then there were manga about the problems of teenagers and their romantic relationships.

Shoujo Manga Characters

As a rule, the story revolves around a girl or girl and her development as a person, with love relationships of varying degrees of intimacy and much attention paid to character development; the male characters are very handsome, noble, brave and selfless.  A characteristic feature of seige visuals is often the great conventionality of drawing, either grotesquely humorous or exquisitely romantic. An invariable characteristic of shoujo manga is the depiction of feelings, experiences of the characters, with different emotional coloring.

 There are specific artistic elements when trying to define shoujo manga: the creative use of colors, the use of jewelry, bows, frills, flying dresses, the expressive big eyes of the girls and the words that stretch across the page. More subtle and graceful lines are used, exaggeratedly beautiful faces, and overlapping panels, or no borders.

It’s very interesting to observe the attire that the characters in a  manga wear. Usually they reflect the current style of the times in which the manga was created. Nevertheless, some common features are repeated in different eras: clothes decorated with ribbons or ruffles are very feminine and childlike. Pretty and dressy dresses tend to be more common than sexy or modest ones.

Thus the variety of genres and subgenres, the specificity of narration and imagery, and the new genres of sejo manga such as action-adventure fiction, sci-fi, fantasy and historical drama made the shoujo genre as popular as seinen and read not only by teenagers but by people of all ages.

Josei Manga Is One of the Top 5 Manga Genres

Manga for adult women are called josei. Chronologically, first there were manga for girls and young women, and only then, as the storyline expanded, did authors begin to draw manga for an adult audience, telling serious stories for older women.  Practically speaking, it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between josei and shoujo. Unlike shoujo, josei is based on 3 sub-genres: drama, romance ,parnography. Drama manga have serious stories about the fates of women, romance ones are about love relationships of both comedic and narrative nature, parnography is similar to male parnography manga. Because of this limitation, josei is a less popular genre than shoujo and seinen.

Subjects for adults, such as working, sexuality, and post-marriage life, were based on realism, and were a difference from the fantasy narratives of the seja manga. The wide variety of professions of the main characters in shoujo manga : actresses, models, and musicians is nothing like that of ordinary working women.. Also, the representation of marriage shares different categories: shoujo portrays life just before marriage, while josei portrays life after. Josei themes are stories about ordinary women, problems in family life, relationships with husbands, children, parents…

These stories usually focus on a working woman of a certain profession, most often a homemaker, women working in offices and various companies. Narratives usually concentrate on personal problems such as meeting men, dating, taking care of children and elderly parents, fashion and style issues, problems at work and at home, and adultery. Many serious social problems are also touched upon. In romance manga, the stories often follow common formulas and schemes, as the woman meets the man of her dreams, with whom she embarks on various adventures and eventually marries him. Sex between characters is a common occurrence.

Nowadays, many magazines have lumped all manga for a female audience into one category. And yet, Josei manga are still popular and have their readers.

School Manga and Top 5 Manga Genres

Perhaps one of the most common and beloved genres of modern manga is school. The school genre is very versatile, as it can include a huge number of other directions. School life is one of the top 5 manga genres. It is an important part of young people’s lives, so it is not unusual that there is a lot of manga devoted to this topic. The genre is in great demand among readers, not least because the main characters involved are ordinary people. They attend school, interact with their peers and make plans for the future. It is in adolescence that the first love is born and real feelings emerge that are remembered for a lifetime.

 Characters can live their everyday lives or become participants in fantastic events, where they will have to show their prowess.  School manga demonstrate the events that take place every day at school, both from the point of view of a student or a teacher. Having fun in class, going to school clubs, spending time with friends, or doing daily activities are frequent themes in these manga. High school in the manga is similar to high school in real life-it’s full of drama, romance, crazy teachers, and lots of excitement.

Some manga present the stories of ordinary high school students who face all kinds of challenges:

– Protecting the world and following the destiny of a chosen hero;

– Romantic experiences and relationships with classmates;

– The desire to become the best among the best students in the school, and so on.

School Romance

In others, manga heroes fight demons, others investigate crimes. And some just learn in school! Or passing on their knowledge to others. But that’s not all: something always happens to the students and teachers in the manga, like they move from one body to another, fall in love, or just want to be finally left alone.

The life of a schoolboy is exciting and challenging, full of a variety of adventures. The thoughts of young boys and girls are occupied not only with studies. School time, it’s time and first love, and attempts to build strong friendships, and striving to win authority with classmates. Students build relationships, try to understand themselves, experience personal failures and betrayals of others. Students search for the meaning of life, set goals and go to achieve them.

High School Manga

The first teenage infatuation often pushes the main characters to do different, not always the right things. High school manga will give readers a chance to reminisce about this beautiful and touching period. They will empathize with the characters, comparing their actions to their own experiences.

This theme will never dry up. much more interesting to watch as a schoolboy or student, but still, this genre is also attractive to an older generation in one way or another. In addition, all these complexities of teenage life in Japan are tied to love, animosity, rivalry, misunderstanding between generations.

Manga about school are very popular among young people. School time is considered the most reverent and important period in the life of every teenager, because at this time there are a lot of interesting events. The hero’s character is born, there is a sense of first love, there are faithful and loyal friends, and the road ahead seems brighter and more transparent. School will tell the story of the lives of students and pupils attending middle or high school. They are a bit naive and open to the world, but the characters are just learning to be adults and believe in themselves.

Boys and girls have not only to study diligently, but also to make friends, fall in love, build personal relationships, experience tragedy and betrayal. School is an important and memorable stage in everyone’s life.

Distinctive features of the Manga Genre

School is capable of becoming the perfect setting for any story. All events take place on the territory of educational institutions: school, college, university or academy. The actions of the manga can also unfold in clubs, groups, sections, during trips or festivals. The stories are based on everyday life at school and meaningful incidents that happen during the school year. Themes of first love, relationships with peers, parents and teachers, intrigue, parties and even sex are touched upon. Scenes of violence can be found.

School is the starting point for many original stories. Quite often this genre is compiled with other genres, such as sci-fi, sports, music, romance. The successful combination makes it possible to work out the plot significantly and make it more intense and interesting. Many directions intricately intertwine with each other, creating a unique combination of form and plot.

What do you think?

Written by TheLastOne

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