Seinen (Japanese for "young man" or "young men") is a demographic designation of Anime and Manga targeted at male audiences aged 18 to 40. It is the older counterpart of Shonen and effectively makes for the majority of anime in the older demographic, since major Josei manga titles rarely get adapted on screen. Compared to shonen, seinen caters to a much smaller viewing crowd, since younger audiences have much more time to spare on anime, which makes them a more attractive target, and thus is slightly less known.
Thanks to the older target audience, seinen shows tend to be much more sophisticated and mature than their shonen counterparts. While sharing many of the same sub-genres and themes, they are commonly more psychological, satirical, violent, and sexual. Much more attention is paid to the plot and the interaction between characters than to action and fights, which are the main attraction for the younger viewers, and the characters are well fleshed out. The latter trait often leads to confusion of seinen with Shojo but the key difference is that seinen does not idealize romance, instead opting for more realistic and pragmatic approach to relationships. Realism is indeed the calling card of seinen shows, commonly earning them the acclaim for their depth and maturity and Multiple Demographic Appeal. On the other hand, one shouldn't forget that the vast majority of Hentai except Yaoi is aimed at older male viewers as well. This is the other side of the realism coin.
A typical seinen protagonist can be of any gender and age (in stark contrast to shonen, whose protagonists are almost exclusively young and male). Romance-wise, anything goes, from Romantic Two-Girl Friendship to obscure examples of Boys Love. In fact, Schoolgirl Lesbians are a distinctive trait of seinen, rarely if ever present in shonen shows. Relationships are portrayed in a less idealistic light than in shojo, with many grays and uncertainties like in Real Life, and don't tend to indulge the shonen over-simplification of "which heroine will be hooked up with the hero". There is a reverse side to this, too: ironically, seinen is most infamous for its sub-category of Fundamentally Female Cast and Harem Series that rely heavily on cutesy Moe Fan Service (again, juxtaposed to plain sex appeal of female characters in shonen; see Hot Shounen Mom, for example) to attract viewers.
Recently, there has been a considerable influx of Shojo fans into the Seinen demographic, thanks to the latter's traditional thoroughness in relationships and, more importantly, general retraction from blatant Fan Service. This migration was particularly paved by such Gateway Series as Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Kanon, Clannad, and AIR.
Most of the anime stuff shown on Adult Swim is seinen, EXCLUDING the likes of Inuyasha, Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, Kekkaishi, and (taking only the anime as reference) Neon Genesis Evangelion which are shonen.
Compare Josei, which is aimed at females of the same age.
Before adding a new title, please double check your sources. A Seinen manga has to be published in a Seinen magazine for it truly be part of the demographic. For an anime, go check its usually late night time slot in Japan, or any slot if it airs in a satelite channel (again in Japan). Also check if it obviously has glaring mature imagery; especially if the anime is based from a Shonen work, the animation must be way more mature than its source material.[edit | hide | hide all]
Pages in category "Seinen"
The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 256 total.(previous page) (next page)