What Is Seinen Anime? How It Is Different From Shonen Anime?

What Is Seinen Anime

The universe of anime and manga is big enough to make you both bewildered and fascinated at the same time. The two most dominant anime genres are Shonen anime and Seinen anime. But Wait! Do you know what is Seinen anime? Read this article completely to know everything about Seinen anime and why it is so dominating.

The popularity of anime and anime series lies in its excellent classification, specialized demographics, and, above all, the fact that there is something for everyone.

However, in order to comprehend the complete ecosystem, you must be familiar with all of the terminologies used. The style, plot, characters, and aura of Seinen anime are unmatched and largely target mature audiences. Let’s define Seinen anime, Seinen manga, and its characteristics.

What Is Seinen Anime? Definition Of Seinen Anime

What Is Seinen Anime

Seinen anime and manga are programs and comics oriented towards young adult men between the ages of 18 and 45. Action, politics, science fiction, mythology, relationships, athletics, and humor are common themes in Seinen anime and manga. In other words, Seinen is a genre/demographic that targets mostly male college students and young adults.

When talking about the meaning of Seinen, then it’s a Japenese term; in Japenese, Seinen means ‘Youth.’ Apart from the Seinen anime series, there are popular Seinen magazines like Weekly Manga Times, which releases every Friday. Although Seinen anime is a specified genre, some of them overlap with Shonen anime like xxxHolic.

what is seinen anime

Likewise, Attack on Titan is another example of overlapping. AOT is aired as Seinen anime series with Seinen themes and style that is basically a Shonen series that publishes in a magazine focused on a younger demographic.

It’s not deliberately done, but genre clashing and ambiguity may lead to mistakes like this, which also confused people about Seinen anime and others.

Top 10 Seinen Anime Series

Although we learn what is Seinen anime yet, the universe of seinen anime could be harder to specify at points, and it overlaps with the greater shonen world in various ways.

However, based on IMDB ratings, popularity, and viewers database, the following are the most popular Seinen anime series of all time (The common genre of these anime are Animation, Action, and Drama):

  1. One-Punch Man (2015–2019).
  2. Berserk (1997–1998).
  3. Monster (2004–2010).
  4. Steins; Gate (2011–2015).
  5. Baki (2018–2020).
  6. Parasyte: The Maxim (2014–2015).
  7. Dororo (2019).
  8. Black Lagoon (2006).
  9. Hellsing Ultimate (2006–2012).
  10. Elfen Lied (2004).
  11. Inuyashiki (2017).
  12. Mushi-Shi (2005–2006).
  13. Ajin (2016– ).
  14. Taboo Tattoo (2016– ).

Important Characteristics Of Seinen Anime

Now since you know what is Seinen Anime, let’s look at the critical attributes of Seinen so you can recognize them apart.

  • Darker/Grey Dark- The Seinen genre anime is known for blunt characters and is heavily cynical when compared to the Shonen genre. Dark anime was not just about gruesome fighting or blood, but it was also about intense violence, horror, sexual animation, and physiological thrill. The majority of the series is aimed at those aged 12 and up or adults. Some of the notable dark Seinen anime are Death note, Shiki, Mirai Nikki.

What is seinen anime

  • Hotter and Sexier- This category is somewhat sub-genre of dark anime with explicit sexual content like lone-watching anime. Nevertheless, these are not confined to sexual stimulation; romanticism and love connections are also included. Some well-known sexier anime is Valkyrie Drive, Highschool of the Dead, Seikon No Qwaser.

Seinen anime

  • Action and Thrill- Action is the main characteristic of Seinen anime, and this category is widely popular even most of the action anime is Seinen. Contradictory to this, Seinen’s narratives are less action-packed than other genres, emphasizing personality development rather narrative surprises. Some popular action anime is Hellsing Ultimate, Attack on titans, Cowboy Bebop, Black lagoon.

action seinen anime

  • Character Development- Rather than fighting, romance, or melancholy, Seinen anime emphasizes character development. As the Seinen series progresses, the characters’ attitudes develop into much more sophisticated personalities. Seras, in my opinion, best describes character development. She transforms from an insecure and relatively helpless character into a nearly irresistible force of wrath and deadly vengeance.

History Of Seinen Anime

What is seinen anime

Seinen is considered the oldest anime series ever published. Weekly Manga Times (WMT), a seinen magazine originally published in 1956, was among the first manga magazines published in Japan. WMT featured erotica, comics, and yakuza storylines and was explicitly targeted at middle-aged boys and men.

However, in just a few years, in 1959, the shounen anime series was introduced, which targets more younger boys. The very first shonen anime introduced, contrary to Seinen, is Weekly Shōnen Magazine, and later Lone Wolf and Cub comes under Seinen. In 1979, Seinen anime addressed massive popularity when Weekly Young Jump was adapted into anime or live-action TV programs.

Seinen manga portrays bolder graphic eroticism and carnage than the shonen manga. In addition, rather than young protagonists, like in the shonen manga, the manga frequently focuses on the lifestyle of a university student or professional.

Should I Watch Seinen Anime?

This is an obvious question once you are acquainted with what is Seinen anime. After learning everything there is to know about seinen anime, you may be unsure whether or not to watch it. While many shows pander to a younger demographic, mature seinen classics produce a few of the finest works in the genre.

Seinen anime is an advanced version of Shonen anime with a greater maturity level. If you are grown enough to ingest some level of maturity, aggression, and sensuality, I strongly recommend viewing Seinen anime. If you don’t want to watch explicit content, you can stream Mushishi, Black Clover, School-Live, and other shows that are age-appropriately clean.

Closing Words

I hope you understand what is Seinen anime and why this demographic is more widely popular than the other genres/demographics. On the other hand, Seinen caters to those between the ages of 18 and 45, while there are several good animes for children. As previously stated, much shonen anime and seinen anime overlapped.

When you look back at the history of anime and anime networks, you’ll discover that Seinen anime is the first manga-based animation. However, Shonen anime almost preceded Seinen anime then and now with younger or adult-oriented content.

Ultimately, if you enjoy sophisticated animation that is both amusing and has a gripping storyline, you should watch them.


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