Shoujo vs. Shounen: Which one’s better?

The big three anime

Shoujo and Shounen are perceived as genres contrary to their original status as demographics. Initially, anime was categorized as Shounen, Shoujo, Seinen, and Josei based on their target audience. While the former demographics focused on teenage boys and girls, the latter were targeted towards a more mature audience. These categorizations helped in setting the boundaries when it came to the explicit content of a violent and sensual nature. 

Over the years, depending upon the anime that fall under these categories, they’ve taken on a new definition. Such as Shounen is synonymous with action and adventure whereas Shoujo is primarily more romantic and slice of life. This article dives deeper into what these demographics represent and which one of them is better or superior. 

Shoujo and Shounen anime: What do they offer?

Yamada Kun anime
A still from Loving Yamada Kun at Lv999 anime | Image Courtesy via IMDb

The most apparent difference between Shoujo and Shounen is the targeted audience and the content that falls under the categories. Shoujo manga and anime have female protagonists, who usually face love-related problems. They are more slice of life and have an identical art style.

Some of the most popular shoujo series have a similar-looking style, like Blue Spring Ride Wolf Girl, and Black Prince. Maid Sama and Kimi ni Todoke have set themselves apart with solid writing but they have similar tropes as the other manga. At the same time, Akatsuki no Yona highlights that you can’t limit it to romance and a slice-of-life setting.

Akatsuki no Yona
Yona from Akatsuki no Yona anime | Image Courtesy via IMDb

As for Shounen anime and manga, they tell the stories of ambitious young men. But this is not what the genre is limited to, the introduction of fantasy and Gore have given Shonen a new definition. 

Current status of the demographics

Chainsaw Man
A still from Chainsaw Man anime | Image Courtesy via IMDb
  • Shoujo has always taken the backseat if we talk about the leading demographics. But things are changing gradually, as more shojo manga get successful anime adaptations.
  • Especially in some of the recent years, some examples would be Loving Yamada Kun at Lvl 999, the announcement of A Sign of Love anime adaptation, and season 3 of Kimi ni Todoke. 

Shounen anime is making it to the top of every list in terms of sales and popularity. But as the most popular Shonen anime and manga are nearing their end, the future of Shonen looks uncertain. 

Shoujo vs. Shounen: Which one’s better?

Nisekoi
A still from Nisekoi featuring Raku and Onodera | Image Courtesy via IMDb

Over the years Shonen has undergone a lot of changes as a category. Similarly, for Shojo, the newer manga are different and diverse from one another. Popular shojo manga like Namaikizakari and A Condition Called Love have distinct art styles blended into different themes.

It’s unfair to compare Shoujo vs. Shounen, given the preference the latter category gets when it comes to anime adaptations and in general. Shounen anime and manga take the lead in terms of sales and popularity whereas Shoujo could use some experimentation. As for the content, there’s no uniformity in it. Considering both Jujutsu Kaisen and Kaguya Sama are Shounen anime. 

Conclusion

Jujutsu Kaisen
Jogo, Gojo, and Itadori (from left to right) | Image Courtesy via IMDb

In conclusion, the boundaries between Shoujo and Shounen are not as clear as we think they are. At the same time, Nisekoi and Chainsaw Man are both Shounen while Akatsuki no Yona and Maid Sama are both Shoujo. They are extremely diverse categories with thousands(definitely more) of anime falling under them. There’s no way to tell which one’s better when they contribute to the anime community to such a great degree. 

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