What Is a Seinen Anime/Manga?

There lay plenty of genres out there, but when it comes to anime, they tend to vary far from the usual genres we are accustomed to. Each genre portrays a bunch of qualities that may or may not be shared with others. Today, we shed light to the genre Seinen, which, usually, aims at catching the attention of young adults, specifically men of 15-24. Seinen anime or manga tend to show more violence, gore, and psychological natures. However, not only does it show the bad side, but quite often, it offers comedies, such as One Punch Man.

The work, yet again, tends to show some pornography without making it the main focus. Thus, this said anime/manga vary quite a bit from Shounen, which aims for younger boys. Concerning the manga, it takes up the form of Kanji in writing, which proves as more difficult than Furigana, a type of reading aid.

Common Mistakes

A common thing with Seinen series is the air time, which usually takes nighttime slots. However, that might not be the case of some anime, such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, as it aired at 6 p.m. They aimed the story at youth. On the other hand, a common mistake every otaku falls into is the stereotype of Seinen anime having dark, edgy, violent themes.

As an illustration, let’s dissect Attack on Titan, Shingeki no Kyojin. Glancing at it once, one would think it belongs in the Seinen genre, since it qualifies in each and every part. However, it does not uphold these tones to classify under that genre, as it portrays the Shounen genre; due to its aim, young demographic.

What is Seinen?

Let’s delve into this genre a bit deeper. As mentioned before in the introduction, Seinen series tend to be more complex, more much, and much more delicate. If you observe them more, you’ll see that main characters are a bit older, the series much more cynical and practical in their approaches to conflict. Unlike Shounen’s good vs. evil or black white, Seinen deal with the shades of gray.  In fact, these Seinen anime will be much more realistic and closer to our world than any other, even if the work is purely fictional. That is the aim of Seinen, offering a portrait of the real world through anime.

Seinen anime do not, necessarily, have to obtain all of these qualities to rank under the Seinen scale. As mentioned before, its main focus is the complicated plot, portraying the realms of the real world. In addition to what is said, there lays another quality, precisely Gray Morality.  In case you are wondering what could that be, simply put, it is a realm where anti-heroes are the best you can get, experience from the good guys.


As a bonus, we’ll mentioned a few names of series that might catch your attention, that is if you haven’t watched them yet. These series rank under the Seinen tag, among others, of course.

One Punch Man :

The normal, ordinary, unimpressive Saitama has one passion, or rather a dream ever since he could remember—being a hero. All ever he wants is be a hero to his city. In order to achieve his dream, he trained constantly for three years straight intensely, losing all his hair in the process. He literally went bald. However, his training worked more than he ever thought it would; he became immensely powerful that all it took is one punch and his opponent is lost in kingdom come. Eventually, it frustrated and made him bored to the core.

Re:Zero- Starting Life in Another World :

Subaru goes on an adventure in a fantasy world, more like dropped there. First, the bewildered teenager is taken aback by the sudden change of worlds. Then, not long after his arrival, Subaru instantly falls in love. Yet, with the idea of him being a fantasy world as a fan of RPG. The teenager takes this world lightly. In his quest, he is met by some thugs and his only weapon of defense is his bag of groceries. Subaru is quickly beaten up to a pulp by those teenagers, but then a mysterious, beautiful, white-haired girl saves him.


Monster :

Who knew being humane would wreck and tear everything you once knew apart? The highly respected, highly praised Dr. Kenzou Tenma, a brain surgeon of Japan works in Europe. Due to his high morals, Kenzou is met with a terrifying situation, a choice between two people. Those people were the mayor of the town and a little boy.

Tokyo Ghoul :

That’s when the life of Kaneki Ken takes a left turn, a wrong turn and his crush turns into something much, much scarier than confessing his feelings. His crush’s kindness vanishes, and gets replaced by the cruel, sadistic side of her. Little did he know that Rize was just about to devour him whole, not leaving any bite unchewed.



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