The battle of all battles, shounen vs seinen. Most otaku’s enjoy both however have one that they prefer more than the other. For me, the easy winner is seinen. I enjoy more detailed stories and character development. Stories that will make viewers really think or give them a mind fuck. That being said all of the most popular and well known anime are shounen and the op MC with awesome fight scenes does make for an entertaining show or manga. There are also anime like One Punch Man that is a seinen but Attack on Titan and Chainsaw Man are shounen!? This topic confused me a lot so I wanted to explore the genres a bit more and see which usually comes out on top.
Wikepedia defines shounen as Japanese series targeted to teenage boys. The name itself translates to young person’s comic. I had thought shounen referred to the age of the main protagonist so I am already learning! That being said people of all ages and genders clearly enjoy shounen.
Most of the common tropes a shonen anime or manga has is a lot of jam packed action, a young over powered main male character, and the essence of freindship!
Some popular shounen anime include, One Piece, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, Hunter x Hunter, Attack on Titan, Chainsaw Man, Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer, Death Note, and Bleach. Although these shows are pretty different, they are all recognized as shounen and the most popular anime by far out of all anime.
Again I am confused as to how things like Chainsaw Man and Attack on Titan are in the same category as One Piece and Naruto because on the violence scale they are vastly different. Especially Attack on Titan and Death Note having a much deeper story and meaning than everything else on this list.
Seinen is defined as media marketed to young adult “males” in their 20’s. It is for males but of course women including myself enjoy seinen as well. Although the term means young adult seinen is marketed to anyone over the age of 18. Because of this it typically has a deeper story, politics, nudity, swearing, and more extreme or realistic kills than a shounen would have. Everyone loves a parental advisory sticker on a manga!
Some popular seinen anime and manga include; Berserk, One Punch Man, Monster, Tokyo Ghoul, Vinland Saga, Kaguya-sama Love is War, Battle Royale and Akira. Again I am confused why One Punch Man and Tokyo Ghoul are seinen but Death Note and Attack on Titan are shounen!? I understand One Punch Man is more so a parody of the shounen genre and uses a lot of satire which could explain being in seinen due to younger people maybe not following it so well. So why is it in Shounen Jump!? And then Beastars is a shounen which gets very deep and focuses on traumas, racism and deep character development. Make it make sense.
Highest Rated MyAnimeList Manga and Anime
Let’s see if the top rated manga is shounen or seinen. In order, the top rated manga are Berserk, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, One Piece, Vagabond, Monster, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Goodnight Punpun. Apparently Jojo’s is labeled as both a shounen and seinen so I will not count that… Not counting Jojo’s 4/6 of the top rated manga are seinen. Looking further down the list it is mainly all seinen as well. This is the hightest rated not the most popular.
The highest rated anime are Fullmetal Alchemist, Gintama, Attack on Titan, Hunter x Hunter, Steins Gate, and Fruits Basket. This list is full of a lot more shounen than seinen.
It is interesting to see that the most popular anime and manga are shounen but the highest rated manga is seinen. Seinen is much less popular but is seemingly better in terms of story and a critical value.
It is also interesting to note that most of the highest rated manga do not have anime adaptations and anime in general is crowded with shounen and isekai because that is what is most popular.
Overall I still come out of this confused, but I will always be a huge seinen fan. Tell me which genre you prefer! Or a different genre that is not one of these. I have not explored many of the other genres because they are not my thing but I am willing to try some! Except Slice of Life…….