• Action/Adventure primarily focuses on battles, war, and physical competition. Martial arts, weapon fighting, or other action oriented material are usually featured.
  • Drama primarily has a high degree of character development and emotional themes. Many center on relationship complications.
  • Game Based primarily revolves around some sort of card or board game.
  • Horror use darker and/or supernatural themes.
  • Science fiction consists of futuristic elements, particularly featuring future science and technology. They can be drawn from current scientific studies and inventions or created to meet the needs of the world.
  • Progressive or “Art films” are extremely stylized.


Demographic describes the intended target audience.
  • Shōjo is Japanese for “young lady” or “little girl”. These are generally targeted at girls. 

  • Shōnen is Japanese for “young boy”. 
  • Seinen is Japanese for “young man” and normally includes teenage or young male adults. 
  • Josei is Japanese for “young woman”.
  • Kodomo is Japanese for “child”. All children’s series fall into this category.


  • Bishōjo is Japanese for “beautiful girl”,  that features pretty girl characters. Similar to Moè.
  • Bishōnen is Japanese for “beautiful boy”, that can be used to describe any anime that features “pretty” and elegant boys and men.
  • Sentai is literally a “fighting team” in Japanese. It refers to any show that involves a superhero team.
  • Robot/Mecha features real robots or super robots.
  • Post-Apocalyptic simply deals with a post-apocalyptic world.
  • Mahō shōjo is a subgenre of shōjo known for “Magical Girl” stories.
  • Mahō shōnen is a male equivalent of Mahō Shōjo. Examples: D.N.Angel or Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Moé features characters with perky, cute, weak, or naïve behaviors. In some way, they are not overly independent.
  • Expertise specializes with a specific topic in depth. Topics range from sports, the arts, and cooking.
  • Harem is a genre which focuses on a male character surrounded by the romance of multiple female characters. Typically, the male is interested in at least one female. It is usually marketed as a Shōnen or Seinen.

  • Reverse Harem reverses the gender in harem, where a female character is romantically involved/or surrounded by many male characters. It is more often than not a Shōjo or Josei Anime.
  • Magical girlfriend are girls with magical powers.
  • Exotic Girlfriend. This genre focuses on the romantic relationship (and cohabitation) between a man and at least one woman of extraordinary origins such as alien, supernatural or robotic girl. Often considered a subgenre of Harem.
  • Hentai is Japanese for “abnormal” or “perverted”.
  • Shōjo-ai or Yuri is Japanese for “girl-love”. These focus on love and romance between female characters. It is often being replaced by the term “Girls Love” (GL). Yuri is like Shōjo-ai.
  • Shōnen-ai is Japanese for ‘boy-love’. These focus on love and romance between male characters. The term “Shōnen-ai” is being phased out in Japan due to its other meaning, and is being replaced by the term “Boys Love” (BL).
  • Yaoi is like “Shōnen-ai” but often involving older characters and graphic.
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