The 5 different types of manga

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A key point in the manga industry is that it doesn't talk about genres in the Western sense; the types of manga genres are generally determined by the primary target demographic; adolescents, adults, women, etc.

When we normally think of manga styles, we think of categories that have common themes, storytelling styles, and goals. There are horror manga that try to scare you. The fantasy one that will probably include some kind of magic. A romantic novel that must tell the story of two people who fall in love.

So let is start with the different types of manga:


A manga guide should start with this genre. Many series fall into this category. The Shonen manga is aimed at teenagers. While there are exceptions, shonen manga generally features a lot of action and male characters who want to get stronger in some way. This is also the category where you will find many families and groups of close friends. For example, shonen manga likes to focus on the bonds forged by a group of people who go on a quest together or the camaraderie that develops between fellow struggling sports team members who want to win a tournament.

Some examples of shonen manga:

Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama

Released in the early 1980s, it is often cited as the best manga that shaped the shonen category as we know it today. The objective is to collect seven Dragon Balls to summon a dragon capable of granting any wish. A group of people come together for this search. The fighters must get stronger along the way to defeat the enemies who also want to summon this dragon.

My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi

Arguably the most popular shonen manga today, the main character of My Hero Academia is a young man born without superpowers in a world where most people have superpowers. But that wont stop you from achieving his dream. My Hero Academia even plunges us into a high school setting where the characters literally learn to use their magical powers, hone their skills, and grow stronger.


The Shojo manga targets teenage girls. Shojo manga is mistakenly believed to be the equivalent of romance, and it is absolutely wrong. The Shonen manga has some notable love stories. Remember: manga genres are generally related to the target population, and that target population has different tastes because the readers are numerous. No more no less. When considering shojo manga as a whole, I would say that a common trait is the exploration of relationships, which are sometimes romantic but not always romantic, and the emotions associated with those relationships.

Some examples of shojo manga:

Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya

Fruits Basket is a classic, we include it here because of its importance in the manga industry. When it was originally published by Tokyopop, it became a bestseller and removed all preconceptions that girls do not read comics. The manga follows an orphan girl who moves into a family living under the curse.

A Devil and His Love Song by Miyoshi Tomori

After being expelled from an all-girls Catholic school, Maria is transferred to a new high school where she hopes to find a new beginning. However, the contrast between her beautiful face and her straightforward and simple nature detracts from her classmates. But in addition to her pretty face, Maria also has an angelic voice that allows her to quickly form new relationships.

Revolutionary girl Utena by Chiho Saito

Anime fans will recognize this title, but although the anime and the manga were developed simultaneously, they are going in different directions. However, the basic principle is the same. After admiring a prince when she was a child, Utena Tenjou aspires to become a princess. When she attends an academy where duels are taking place and another girl needs to be rescued, she will soon have a chance to become one.


Manga seinen are intended for men over 20 years of age. It is the equivalent of adult fiction. The stories and thematic treatment tend to be more mature than what is found in shonen manga. While hope and promise for the future permeates the shonen genre, a little more cynicism and pragmatism permeates the seinen.

Some examples of manga seinen:

Lone Wolf and Cub by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima

Lone Wolf and Cub, one of the most famous classic samurai, features a father-son duo seeking revenge from the clan who managed to remove the fathers favor and pass him off as a traitor. This manga is known for its brutal portrayal of violence, which you will see more often in the seinen manga. It is not that shonen manga does not have its share of violence, but representations of seinen tend to be more gruesome and explicit.

Space Brothers by Chuya Koyama

Space Brothers revolves around two brothers and sisters who dream of becoming astronauts. But while one realizes his dream, the other does not quite achieve it. All that changes when he receives a letter of acceptance into a new astronaut training program.


The josei manga is the equivalent of seinen but for a female audience. Unlike the previous three manga genres, there is a wide variety of themes, making it a bit more difficult to identify common traits beyond the target audience. Like the seinen, the josei presents a more mature narrative and a more honest description of relationships and situations.

Some examples of manga josei:

Karneval by Toya Mikanagi

Due to the action-centric plot and male leads, people mislabel Karneval as a shonen manga. This is not the case. The story revolves around two strangers who find themselves in a strange mansion and who are quickly classified as wanted criminals by the natural security services.

Princess Medusa by Akiko Higashimura

Princess Jellyfish follows Tsukimi, a resident of a women-only apartment building that has become a haven for girls with geek interests. Socially awkward and fearful of modern people, Tsukimis life changes when her path crosses that of a handsome young man in cross-dressing who is also the illegitimate son of a politician.


As you can probably deduce, yuri refers to a manga that features homoerotic and homoromantic relationships between female characters. Unlike boys who love manga, his target audience is both women and men.

Some examples from Yuris manga:

Citrus de Saburouta

A lot of yuri manga happens in high school, and Citrus embodies that. After her mother remarries, the fun-loving Yuzu is transferred to an all-female high school where she struggles to fit into the traditional student body. She is with the president of the student council, who is her new half-sister, with whom she argues the most. So she imagines her confusion when she begins to develop romantic feelings for her sister-in-law.

Sweet blue flowers by Takako Shimura

On the first day of high school, Akira reunites with his childhood best friend, Fumi. Fumi is happy to reconnect with her friendship, but she is also heartbroken because her first love recently got married. It is hard enough like this, but she also struggles with the fact that her first love was a woman. As the title suggests, this is a very sweet and heartwarming manga.

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