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Complete list of Anime Genres (with descriptions)

August 29th, 2011 in Anime, Featured, Rants, Resources by

Welcome back to Anime Recommendations, today we are gonna talk and list all, or at least most of the Common Anime Genres that one would encounter watching anime or browsing the net. Also I will try to give examples of each to help clarify if needed as well as common combinations that one would find. Well, here goes with AniRecs Complete Anime Genre List (with descriptions).

Action – By far one of the most common genres out there and the name basically explains it all, normally anime based solely on this genre tends to be lacking in substance although exciting due to lack of character development or an underlying story, to resolve this creators of action based anime try to mix in other genres, usually comedy, Adventure or Fantasy. Typical Examples of this Genre are Bleach, One Piece and Freezing.

Adventure – Also another popular genre of Anime, as the same suggests it deals alot with characters moving around and exploring  new places, these anime tend to be very long and drawn out but the characters typically have a solid background. The anime itself usually has a well formed story-line but due to the nature of this genre viewers often get bored and annoyed at the slow progression. Overall its a pretty decent anime genre and allows pretty much every other genre to almost seamlessly integrate themselves into it. Common mixtures are: Adventure – Action, Adventure-Historical (due to its uncanny ability to tell a story) and Adventure – Slice of Life. Examples of this Genre are Kino no Tabi, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Pokemon.

Animation* – Okay, this one is a bit difficult to explain seeing as Anime are all Animated, when one says Animation it normally refers to an American made Animated Series such as Samurai Jack, Spawn and the Penguins of Madagascar. By right they are not animes since the definition of an anime is ” a Japanese style of motion-picture animation, characterized by highly stylized, colorful art, futuristic settings violence and sexuality” ~ Dictionary.com , but are very often mistaken as such.

Bishounen – This genre is pretty rare in the West but back in japan it has proved to be a successful alley, it deals with
a young male whose beauty exceeds gender somewhat and is mostly targeted at the girls and women in japan. This genre often includes a strong sense of homosexuality and has very unique social relationships. It is normally paired with slice of life and examples are Ouran High School Host Club and Fruits Basket.

Comedy – The most predominantly Used Anime genres yet is almost never used on its own, as its name implies deals with usually light humor although it is very easily overdone. This is is usually achieved by the use of Props, Character Designs and the composition of the Japanese Language. Common combinations are Action Comedy’s or Romantic Comedy’s, such as Sayanora Zetsubou Sensei,
Full Metal Panic and Lucky Star.

Demons (Akuma) – Pretty common genre, deals with evil spirits, demons, witches etc, normally combined with the action (my personal favorite combination (demon + Action) ) or adventure genres. Examples are Inuyasha, Yu Yu Hakusho and Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou.

Drama – Suspenseful, shocking and full of emotion, the Drama anime genre is one of the most appreciated anime Genres, characters and the plot are usually well developed and viewers are very easily swept up with emotion and side with one character or a group of characters, it is usually well paired with Romance  as well as Adventure, in fact, the Drama anime genre is very often synonymous with the Romance genre, a few common examples are Darker than Black, Death note and Monster.

Ecchi – This is the PG-13 of anime, although some shows drive it to the extreme where it could be Rated R, it is usually frivolous and lighthearted with the use of implied sexual innuendos. The ecchi genre does now show sexual intercourse nor the Primary Sexual Organs but leaves it up to the viewer’s imagination. This genre is usually used as  fan service (due to its popularity among anime lovers alike) and recently the ratio at which anime is created with ecchi related content is drastically increasing. It is often incorporated with the comedy, harem and shounen/seinen genres, examples are (jeez theres just so many) Elfen Leid, Freezing, Zero no Tsukaima, Futari Ecchi and Ladies vs Butlers.

Fantasy – Magic worlds, magical powers and monsters, these are the main components that make up fantasy anime. It is usually combined with the adventure, action and history genres. Mythology and folklore is usually the foundation on which this genre is based upon, unfortunately the characters often have very poor backgrounds but the art is almost always breathtaking with unique scenery and magnificent character detail. It is normally paired with the adventure, harem and romance genres, common examples are Fairy Tail, Fullmetal Alchemist and Inuyasha.

Game – As the name says, it basically involves the characters playing some sort of game. (normally card / monster based). It on its own cannot be a genre, it has to accompany another which is normally either Adventure or Psychological. Also used in video gaming (check the 3DS emulator tips for better gaming). Examples are Yu-Gi-Oh, Duel Masters and Bakugan.

Harem – Almost always accompanied by the comedy or romance genres, Harem is more or less the scenario where the main character is surrounded amorously by three or more members of the opposite sex, usually with the protagonist being a guy. Almost always comical and has a certain degree of love/romance. Anime such as Da Capo, Love Hina and School Days.

H.entai – This is the Rated MA Stuff, basically anime po.rnography, unlike its softer sister ecchi it shows all the sexual organs and well as intercourse. This genre more often than not has no background and poorly developed characters with most of the content being from explicit scenes. Almost always paired with harem with a male protagonist. Examples include bible. black and mistreated bride.

Historical – Anime based on a particular time period, very often the Edo/Tokugawa period in Japan where the shoguns ruled the country(althought it can be american based).  Characters are often fashioned from well known figures in Japanese past such as commanders and even the shoguns themselves. Almost always paired with the samurai genre. Examples include Rurouni Kenshin, Baccano and Shigurui.

Horror – Despite the name, the horror anime isn’t very scary, instead it implies alot of bloodshed and mutilation, i suppose a better word would have been gruesome. Often used with the Drama, demon or psychological genres. Eg. Mnemosyne and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.

Josei –  A very rare (at least in the west) genre aimed at the adult woman (ages 18-40). They are normally themed about living the life of an ordinary woman although some can be held in a school setting. The animation is very mature and realistic (eg. no sparkly eyes), it tends to focus very realistically on romance, and character relationships. Paradise Kiss, Honey and Clover.

Kids – As the name implies, lighthearted and ‘kiddy’ themes, usually paired with comedy. Characters are normally small and somewhat cute. Digimon, Pokemon.

Love / Romance – This is a relatively popular genre which deals with the detailled creation and progression of the romantic relationship between two characters. Normally paired with comedy and harem it has developed into somewhat an industry on its own with tons of devoted followers due to the inclination for it viewers to form somewhat of a connection between themselves and one or multiple characters. Examples are Love Hina, Ai Yori Aoshi and Clannad.

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153 responses to “Complete list of Anime Genres (with descriptions)”

  1. Avatar kyoya d rose maaka says:

    cool ^^

  2. Avatar Kay-stone says:

    This is stupid, evil stuff and has the devil written all over it. If I were you, I wouldn’t get involved.

  3. Avatar Kay-stone says:

    This is stupid, evil stuff and has the devil written all over it. If I were you, I wouldn’t get involved.

  4. Avatar DarkCOn says:

    I am Specificly Looking for Perverted Anim shows that include Nude,and Basically Sex,No Censor or that would just Plain Ruin it

  5. Avatar daniejh says:

    My life is Animated..

  6. Avatar ukulelecrazy says:

    Very nice post! (: Though I think you forgot “yaoi”.

    • Avatar Façade says:

      It’s there actually,check out page 2

    • Avatar Xmd36 says:

      “Yaoi” is NOT an Anime Genre, it’s a Sin, just like Yuri, So please, Kill yourself.

      • Avatar Façade says:

        lol.. I wouldnt go that far to say its a sin, we all have our preferences 

        • Avatar Saya Otonashi says:

          you are absolutely right!!

        • Avatar Faith Ukwuomah says:

          Well, homosexuality in question is sinful before God, just like every other sin. And before you ask, I do like anime, but only the mild ones. I’ve watched really good ones like Superbook, The Flying House, Machine Robo Rescue (which btw is a mecha anime), Mister Ajikko, and My Last Day. And I’m planning to watch this new one called Shirobako (which is about a group of animators. Its real interesting you know).
          Anywho, while there are good animes out there (which are very few I must say), its really repulsive that homosexuality is promoted by those two genres yaoi and yuri (and shonen-ai and bishonen).

          • Avatar daftharlot says:

            *moderated*

          • Avatar Faith Ukwuomah says:

            Try and make me. Cos, in matters like this, I won’t shut my mouth for anyone.

          • *moderated*. Can’t people express themselves by making shows that one of the genres is either yaoi or yuri or both in the same show? Or saying their gay or strait.

          • Avatar Lyss says:

            What does God have to do with anime I swear everyone wants to make small things into a big deal get a grip were talking about anime not homosexuality and sin

          • Pretty much I agree with you. And it’s a big problem in America. And I’m an Atheist and I’m really getting fucking tired of this Christianity/Religious bullshit that going on in this country. And other parts of this fucking world. Sorry for the outburst but seriously. Quit this Christianity bullshit.

          • Avatar Jason says:

            It’s not though. No where in the bible does it say that homosexuality is a sin. God gave us 10 commandments and Jesus said “if you love me keep my commandments”. That is sin, in and of itself, by definition. The only example cited by people for anti homosexuality is Sodom (hence the term sodomy), but people seem to gloss over the fact that the real problem was that people were EVIL in every sense of the word. Every. Single. One. The homosexuality alluded to was forced gang rape, which is not a loving relationship between one person and another of the same gender. If you look at the context, it becomes pretty clear that these weren’t even real homosexuals, just asshats that wanted to exert their dominance over everyone who visited their city.

          • Avatar The Droid says:

            Although this has nothing to do with anime, if you look at the line from Leviticus that everyone cites, Leviticus 18:22, (The King James version) it translates out as “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is an abomination.”

            Please note something: the act is the abomination, not the people doing it. Otherwise, wouldn’t it say ‘they are an abomination’? And if you understand the real prohibitions against it, the line makes sense. Sadly, I haven’t the time and space to go into this approach, but it would open your mind to things.

          • Avatar Yankee-kun says:

            Well, then. To each their own, right? Doesn’t the Bible or something say that god created men equally? I mean, like dayum.

      • and you’re a closet-case.

        • Avatar Misaki-kiss says:

          Okay i have lesbian friends and gay friends and nothing bad ever happend so i don’t beleave that being gay is a sin so stop talking like that let them live the way they want it’s okay to not like it but to say they are wrong is wrong!

      • Avatar Shinka95 says:

        Homophobe plz die

      • Avatar Lalaland says:

        Maybe your the one who is needs to die.

      • Avatar Peace-Bro says:

        hey hey hey no one needs to die! we can watch Higurashi for that! now on a more serious note we all have preferences and the right to express them but we’re all here to learn about (or appriciate in my case) the different genres of anime not ask others to kill them selves or die.

      • Avatar bb cbl love says:

        How can you call yourself a human being telling. People to die cause the watch certain. Stuff. Everybody sin aleast once in their life. For example when you lie you sin but you don’t see people dieing because they lie right. If that was true we all be dead long time ago.

      • Avatar nomnomyaoi says:

        *censored*

      • Avatar edge4real says:

        Well actually, telling someone to kill him or herself seems more like a Sin to me then watching Yaoi and Yuri..
        If watching Yaoi is a Sin, then isn’t watching violence a Sin?
        If you live a life without sin it would mean you only lived a life with choices that are allready made by someone else.
        I think it’s better to use your own brain and make your own choices in life.
        Our choices are what makes us unique.
        So stop pointing your nose up and start walking your own path.

      • Avatar asdfg345 says:

        It’s a fucking genre. Get the hell over it, you narrow minded piece of watermelon.

      • Avatar jody says:

        your face is a sin and an abomination

      • I know that there is some people that hate Yaoi and Yuri like myself for hating yaoi. But I wouldn’t go out and say something is a sin, despite I am an “Atheist”. And please don’t freak out that I’m an Atheist. It would be saving an argument that would be pointless to get in to. Thank you for your time.

      • Avatar PepsyGunzz says:

        tbh asshole, suiciding is a sin aswell, not to mention trying to talk people to do it.
        soo ppl are free to do/watch/like whatever they want and if ya got a problem with that you can go fuck yourself 🙂 <3 ^<^ bye

  7. Need some mature tragedy anime i don’t like that lovey dovey stuff its boring

  8. Avatar CoolGuy says:

    Hey is there any more nude sexy anime I could watch? but its not aki-sora

  9. Avatar Roobie says:

    Is there anything better then aki-sora?

  10. Avatar Amaterasu Okami says:

    I’m looking for fantasy/romance animes where girls have wolf/dog ears…. but its not Wagaya no Oinari sama, Spice and Wolf, Otome Youkai Zakuro and Tayutama kiss on my deity please~

  11. Avatar Sora says:

    You forgot Mahou Shoujo D:

    • Avatar UtsukushiiMariposa says:

      what is that?

    • Avatar Alderkonig says:

      Mahou shoujo would likely fall under the “Magic” category.
      The only problem would be when talking about Madoka Magica, which has more adult than “kiddy” themes. Maybe “magic” and “superpower” should be combined, and Mahou Shoujo be used to describe just anime with wand-bearing magical girl — or men in dresses in the case of Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka.

  12. Avatar Max Killer says:

    Whats that anime on the top right? She looks sexy. :3

  13. Avatar Robbie1Lunsmann says:

    Can you name all the anime pictures on the top? I only know Naruto.

  14. Avatar Robbie1Lunsmann says:

    Who’s the owner of this website? :

  15. Avatar Malakai says:

    i like this website, well detailed, clear and you don’t get lost as soon as you enter.

  16. Avatar Honuto Misachi says:

    Date A Live is Mecha, right…..? or not….?

  17. Avatar Mr. Stelvedorn says:

    To you all, it’s good for an otaku to learn learn drawing the anime and manga stuffs, and if you have good enough experience, you can create your own manga and try to publish it. If your manga is has a great storyline and favored by an anime producer, it’ll surely have great chances to adopt it into an anime . Not an easy task for sure, but why don’t just give it a try? I also am an otaku, non-Japanese otaku, and I create my own manga chars. I saw many animes and get inspirations from them. Great, huh? So give it a try!

  18. Avatar Guest says:

    Your profile picture is Gildarts and you never mentioned Fairy Tail!! I like the list though. I’m sure these are all known genre for anime

  19. Avatar Josh says:

    Very Helpful, Thanks 🙂

  20. Avatar ezakiya says:

    any….fun anime????????

  21. Avatar Rainbow says:

    Where is the future diary ?

  22. Avatar jack freeze says:

    Nice! I like this so much

  23. Avatar Gunslinger says:

    One of the stupidets articles I’ve read in a long, long time.
    Jesus Christ, the ignorance contained here is astounding.
    Shounen, Shoujo, Seinen, are not genres. They’re demographics. Various generes can be shounen, shoujo, seinen, etc. Death Note is shounen. K-On! is seinen.
    And calling Date a Live “Mecha” in the comments is even more stupid.

    • Avatar Alderkonig says:

      There are many different ways to display ignorance, and some are more obvious than others.
      I wonder ─ do you know where I’m going with this?

    • Avatar lalaland says:

      um……if you call it “ignorance” and “stupid”….why are you stopping your so called life to write US a biography about a correction…?

  24. Avatar lalaland says:

    THX SO MUCH!! ALSO!!! What is Full Metal Alchemist?? My couzin has been talking bout it, all my friends rav it, and now EVERY WHERE I TURN SOME1 HAS TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!! It sounds good, but I don’t wanna waste my time-like I did to a prev. anime before, So how is this anime? Is it worth it??

    PLZ REPLY!!!

  25. Thanks. This turned out to be a useful post. I watch a lot of anime, but never had the genres down.

  26. Avatar yukiko024 says:

    Thank you for this !

  27. Avatar Dana says:

    You forgot Shounen-ai and Yaoi, Bi-shounen doesn’t count. You also forgot Sci-Fi, there are multiple series in this category that aren’t just Action based or belong to the genera’s up top. You also forgot Reverse Harem. Actually, you forgot quite a few genera’s, which is a real put off because I was actually expecting something nice with this post.

  28. Avatar Tula says:

    Bishounen is not a genre, it’s a term of discribing a male as handsome and attractive (bishoujo for females).

  29. Avatar Farid Nasri says:

    Could anyone name all of the animes on the picture at the top of the page. It would really help and i would really appreciate it thank you.

    • Avatar Façade says:

      Already answered lower in the comments but:

      Row 1 : Full metal Alchemist, the world god only knows , angel beats, Muv-Luv
      Row 2: Gundam 00, princess jellyfish, dragon ball Z, ano natsu de matteru
      Row 3: Bleach, Kämpfer, naruto shippuuden, MUSHISHI!

  30. Avatar da poop says:

    elfen lied is not ecchi

  31. Avatar minibrynny says:

    i think im more of an Eechi kinda guy

  32. Avatar minibrynny says:

    *Ecchi*

  33. Avatar edge4real says:

    Thank you for posting this Façade 🙂

  34. Avatar Би Нохойнд Дургүй says:

    where is yuri and yaoi

  35. Avatar Zipzum says:

    Thank you for the post! I think you forgot some, unfortunately i have too! I think one was something like Seinan or something?

  36. Avatar sunnyfacepalm kixxs says:

    fairy tail is amazing and i need kissanime to upload it D:

    • Avatar Façade says:

      If you’re on a phone try animeonthego.com … if you register you get no ads.. XD . Feel free to.mention on the forum you came from anirecs.com XD

  37. Avatar redmaverickzero says:

    You forgot one anime under Mystery and Psychological, Detective Conan/Case Closed. Also, probably forgot to mention Welcome to the NHK in there somewhere. If you have not watched these, I highly recommend them!

    • Avatar Façade says:

      seen them but I couldn’t add every single anime out there… sorry if the one you wanted isn’t there 🙁 [at least its in the comments now xD]

  38. Avatar skyrimwolf says:

    this is all accurate i hope, im using this info for my anime research thing at school. Its been very helpful thank you. (6th grade for now)

  39. Avatar Kaylee says:

    About reverse harem?

  40. Avatar elfkinangel says:

    great post thanks 🙂

  41. Avatar Katlyn says:

    Need some good yaoi to watch and/or read. SUGGESTIONS PLEASE!

  42. Avatar LauraPalmer says:

    Sorry, but there is something missing that I actually don’t know what it means: Gore. (I searched the meaning in dictionarys, since english isn’t actually my mother language, but I couldn’t relate this noun as a genre…)

    I first saw this word in some sites, could you possibly clarify it to me??? :3

    Thanks for the list, japanese words are just indecipherable for first viewers as me.

    :*

  43. Avatar CocoToDaAnime says:

    Yay now i can use dis for my reseach for a school project

  44. Avatar Sebgear says:

    Thank you very much for making this list. It has been very helpfull. Although I guess you might have missed ‘Tragedy’. It’s possible that I overlooked it.

  45. Avatar Takino Tohno says:

    No offense bruh but so much wrong grammar on your english try reediting this since my auto correction also notifies mistakes at grammar only
    no offense

  46. Avatar Just Another Otaku says:

    Actually, hentai means ‘pervert’ and not all anime porn is hentai, just the stuff that is considered hardcore fetish stuff ‘meant for perverts’ is hentai. For example, rape is a very common hentai theme. I find it very frustrating that so few people know the difference. ><

  47. Avatar Jordan Blanchette says:

    Just saying, Elfin Lied is definitely not ecchi lol the only nudity in that is Lucy at the beginning. And as for the only sexual part is when Nyu (Lucy) gets Koda to rub her. She has no idea what it is abs just likes the feeling. Definitely not an Ecchi anime. If you want one that borders Ecchi and the step above, watch highschool dxd.

  48. What genre is black buttler?

  49. Avatar Daredevil says:

    im currently using this app animania to view & download my animes bt sometimes it would give me problem so i was thinking if anyone cn give me suggestions if there r any other apps tt cn rly work (andriod user btw)

  50. Avatar Marissa Walden says:

    Hey I can’t believe anime get got closed down permanently

  51. Avatar Friday Hefler says:

    Kino no Tabi, Slice of Life? A girl, who lives in an alternative, surreal, deeply existential, somewhat absurdist world, who is slowly becoming in her mind & memories, the man whose coat and motorcycle (talking, conscious, counter-pointing motorcycle), looking for the next place, until she isn’t. That’s slice of life?

    Woah, that’s a either a very broad genre or we saw two very different shows.

  52. Avatar YaoiOwariNoSeraphLover27 says:

    If you say Yaoi or Yuri is a sin then I must sin a lot because it is not a sin to love gay and lesbian and if you say it is then there is something wrong with you!! God loves us for who we are even if we are gay or lesbian so don’t say it is a sin it pisses me off!!!!

  53. Avatar Chris Solt says:

    Shonen literally means “few years” and generally follows development, generally elementary to highschool age and is a gender neutral term. I was looking for a list of anime categories using proper Japanese terminology with english descriptions, because I forgot the one used for “High School” anime and wanted to use it in a discussion, but for the ones you used proper terminology it seems you don’t even know what they actually mean anyways. *sigh* worthless article wasted my time, please do your research and make proper articles or refrain from posting bullshit that just clutter up the internet with innacurrate information. The search continues!

  54. Avatar nickolis bowser says:

    thank you

  55. Avatar Otaku entediado says:

    Nice descriptions. Now I understand i bit more of anime genres .thank u façade

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