Genres

Literature from a foreign country will have new themes, different syntaxes, new ways of viewing both literature and the world, and therefore will also have different classification systems for their literature.

English literature uses the following genres: fiction, comedy, drama, horror, tragedy, non fiction, sci fi, fantasy, romance, crime, historical, thriller, adventure, erotic, and suspense. There are many others as well as subdivisions; however, these are the main genres that can usually be found quickly in stores through their advertisement or by having the largest sections.

Manga and manhwa categories include the following: shoujo, shounen, josei, seinen, mecha, ecchi, harem, gender bender, psychological, school life, slice of life, sports, shounen/shoujo ai, yaoi, and yuri, in addition to the English genre divisions.

The first four are the largest ‘genres’ that function more as labels that mark a series or work by its target demographic and are applied to all works broadly.

Shoujo means ‘young girl’ and when used as a genre classification serves as an age marker for that demographic. This genre is broadly defined as one of primarily romantic works; it includes fairy tales, love stories, youth-appropriate mystery/action, and coming of age stories. Sailor Moon, for example, is a shoujo series.

Shounen means ‘few years’ but is applied to young boys and indicates action/adventure, age appropriate mystery/thriller, superheroes, martial arts/fighting, and coming of age stories. My Hero Academia is an example.

Seinen means ‘youth’ but is generally applied to men between thirty and fifty. This is a more adult genre that includes more violence, death, and adult themes than a shounen series would. Seinen often include horror elements, such as psychological horror, body horror, and intense gore.

Josei means ‘woman’ and is often used even more broadly, as the older woman demographic is focused around realism. This includes the drama genre, if realistic relationships become the topic, as well as slice of life and soap operas, as complicated character relationships and intricate plots take over.

Mecha refers to robots, giant or otherwise. Gurren Lagann is one of the most popular examples. These series are often larger than life and meant for fun, though some post-modern series are also very serious and dark, such as Evangelion.

Harem is a broad classification of character gender balance. It usually refers to a low amount of male characters and a high amount of female characters in the overall cast. Reverse harem is sometimes used for the opposite character ratio, though harem is used for both.

Gender bender is a unique genre that incorporates playing with gender presentation in either the characters or the world building to some extent. This is focused on artificial gender presentation; crossdressing, drag, and gender role reversal are included in this genre, but actual expressions of sexuality or gender are not. Tripeace is a manga that fits into this genre.

Psychological refers to a work that includes narrative elements of psychology – mind games, confusing plots, moral questioning, and intense character deconstruction are categorized under this umbrella. Tokyo Ghoul uses many of these elements.

School life is any work that focuses on mainly school aged characters or has an academic setting. Harry Potter would actually fit into this category; Horimiya does as well.

Slice of life is more or less equivalent to coming of age as a genre; it also includes family/friend/lover relationship initiation and development, romance, and every day family life. The work does not have to be realistic: Mob Psycho 100 is a sci fi fantasy series that is labeled under this genre.

Sports manga is a wide genre that indicates that the work focuses on a sport as the main plot; Haikyuu!! and Yuri on Ice are both sports anime. Sports anime are known for being very exaggerated in intensity, though the rules and regulations of the sport it focuses on are portrayed correctly.

Shounen/shoujo ai are categorized as anime that include gay love, but not relationships. Either the attraction is unrequited or the couple is underage. No sex occurs throughout the story or is hinted at. As mentioned above, shounen is boy and shoujo is girl, while ai means love. The genre is called girls love or boys love in English.

Yaoi/ yuri is the fulfilled relationship version of the above. Yaoi is an mlm relationship and yuri is wlw. Sometimes works are labeled as one or the other if it contains LGBTA+ themes and the hosting site does not have a separate tag to indicate such.

Ecchi is a kind of soft core porn. Sex can occur, but is not explicitly shown; it is not hidden, either, but it is censored. This tag can indicate sexual content other than porn, such as a sexual narrative or depiction of characters or horror based sexual content such as rape. It can also indicate that the work is meant to be sexual to the reader without being about sex in itself. Magical Girl of the End leans more toward the latter.

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