Anime, which is short for animation, is a term used for describing cartoons originating in Japan.
Anime (Pronounced "Aa-ni-may") happens to be described as a cartoon art style that originated in Japan and can also be in CGI, but most anime happen to be hand-drawn. It later became respected as a different genre of cartoon and was more geared toward adults rather than children, even though child-friendly anime also exists.
There are multiple sub-genres of anime and each anime movie/series has at least one main theme to it.
Targeted for older children and teenaged boys, most shounen anime features intense action scenes and also features sports and tournament plotlines as well as some romantic comedies that involve a young male protagonist. It is also the most popular demographic out of the anime genre. It's translation means "Boy" in Japanese. Examples of shounen anime are the Dragon Ball franchise, Death Note, One Piece and the Naruto saga.
These series are geared towards young girls in the same age range as the shounen target and have plotlines that focus on characters whom face trials of love and relationships. The term means "Girl" in Japanese and have examples such as Peach Girl, Super GALS! and Lovely Complex.
Seinen anime are geared towards adult men and often have stronger levels of mature content and can contain much darker themes than shounen anime. Some examples of seinen anime are the Hellsing saga, the Ghost in the Shell franchise, Chobits and Akira.
Aimed at adult women, Josei also has plotlines that feature people in relationships, but harbor more mature themes than shoujo series. Some traits of shoujo themes are also scrapped in order to further appeal to their target audience. Nana, Honey & Clover and Paradise Kiss are prime examples.
Literally means "Child" in Japanese. They are anime series that are directed towards young children and virtually contain no suggestive content. They often contain "life lessons" that can be used to teach said children like non-anime cartoons aimed towards children. The Pokemon franchise, The Doraemon saga, Pecola and Hamtaro are prime examples.
Also known as “Mahou Shoujo” in Japanese. This type of anime features young girls that have obtained magical powers mainly to protect the innocent and destroy the forces of evil. Not all of these series only feature magical girls, however. There are also “Magical Boys” whom happen to obtain magical powers as well in a number of anime series. There are also magical girls/boys whom uses their powers for evil and to defeat their rivals. Most magical girl plots are mainly shoujo themed because the main protagonists happen to be girls from the same age range as the shoujo demographic. Examples of magical girl anime are the Cardcaptor Sakura saga, Princess Tutu, Puella Magi Madoka Magica and the Sailor Moon franchise.
Also known by the alternate spelling, "Mecha". This anime genre showcases people who fight and complete their solo or team missions in giant battle robots. Some are mechs that happen to be humanoids while others are able to be piloted. Prime examples of mech anime are the Gundam franchise, Code Geass and Gurren Lagann.
(Pronounced “Moa-eh”) This sub-genre is known for the description for (mainly) female characters that have enough features to obtain a male viewer's inspiration to protect them, including clumsiness and an “innocent” appearance even though some of these characters may be there purely for their cute appearances. Moe characters are mainly not portrayed in a sexual manner despite some characters that happen to have huge breasts and curvy figures. K-On! (Yui Hirasawa), Clannad (Kotomi Ichinose), and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Mikuru Asahina) are examples of “moe” series and have at least one character that fits the “moe” description.
Means “Boys' Love” in Japanese and also known as “Yaoi”. They feature males in same-sex relationships and the trials they go through. Said relationships are not to be confused with a “Bromance” because bromances are close, but non-sexual relationships between men. Gravitation is a prime example of "shounen-ai".
The opposite of shounen-ai, which means “Girls' Love” in Japanese and is also known as “Yuri”. Same-sex female relationships and the trials they encounter are showcased in these series. One example of this is the show Revolutionary Girl Utena, despite having mostly undertones of Yuri.
Series that depict high amounts of gore and are not for the weak of stomach. Most are of the Horror genre and can also count as "Fanservice Shows" because some audiences are appealed to the sight of mutilation of other humans or animals. Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne, Elfen Lied and the Blood: The Last Vampire franchise are examples among the "Guro" sub-genre.
These shows depict characters in their everyday lives, most likely in a humorous point of view. Some of these series direct to a task that suddenly takes over the plot while some others may not have a main plot, but instead harbor a different event on every episode. Strawberry Marshmallow, Bakuman, and Oreimo have this theme.
The "Borderline" subgenre for anime that happens to contain an hefty amount of fanservice because they mainly involve busty and curvacious women. (In this case, examples of fanservice include panty and breast shots and skimpy outfits or torn clothing). Some only have a small amount of an confirmed plotline and revolve around how many ladies that can be fit into the series, while others have an actual plotline regardless of how much fanservice can be added and mainly focus on said plotline. Examples of this subgenre are the Ikki Tousen saga, Queen's Blade, Highschool of the Dead and Seikirei.
This sub-genre of anime contains the scenario of a single man being surrounded by multiple women whom happen to be potential love interests. It is often used as a plot device for romantic comedies and fanservice romps. Love Hina, the Tenchi Muyo franchise and Negima are examples.
The opposite of the “Harem” scenario, which is when a woman is being surrounded by multiple men. Most reverse harems are also romantic comedies, but can be dramatic plot devices. Ouran High School Host Club and Fruits Basket are prime examples.
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