Clicky Skip to Content

What’s The Difference Between A Shoujo Anime And Shonen Anime? (Explained)

What’s The Difference Between A Shoujo Anime And Shonen Anime? (Explained)

First, I want to define the word “anime.” You have listened to this word many times, but did you understand what it means? Let’s find out.

The word “anime” is an abbreviation for animated. The animation produced in Japan is known as anime. But remember, anime is not a cartoon.

Cartoons are all about semi-realistic or unrealistic styles or mediums of entertainment in the real world. Still, anime is a semi-realistic visual representation of real-world objects and characters. Anime is very popular because of its unique art style and heavy themes, and people can easily relate to them.

Anime is one of the most popular genres of animation in Japan and around the world. Even energy produced outside of Japan follows techniques made famous by anime. According to rough estimations, anime series are watched by more people than sports.

Anime has advanced into several genres: action, entertainment, performance, romance, and horror. Shounen and Shoujo, which are aimed at boys and girls, are the most popular or well-liked categories. Shounen and Shoujo are both Japanese terms for classification.

Young boys between the ages of 12 and 18 are referred to as “shonen,” and young ladies, oftentimes “magical girls” like Sailor Moon, are referred to as “shoujo.”

Both of these categories contain several of the most well-known anime in the world.

Read on and discover the differences between these two terminologies.

Shoujo Anime

Shoujo (Japanese girl) refers to young girls. Shoujo girls will not need to be as good-looking as Shonen Anime girls. It originated from the Japanese culture of the twentieth century. This character emphasizes romance and favors social relationships.

A comic of different character
A comic of different character

Shoujo series are about fantasy worlds, superheroes, and magical girls. In the Shonen stories, love is always a common theme.

Shonen Anime

Shonen typically applies to young boys under the age of 15. Several anime and manga have teenage male heroes concentrated on action, adventure, horror, and fighting.

How Has Shonen Initiated To Surpass The Shoujo Anime?

When people ponder Shoujo and Shonen, two particular concepts originate. Shoujo has romance, fantasy, and drama. Shounen has a fight, adventure, and action. However, this doesn’t apply to all manga and anime of each genre.

In Natsume’s Book of Friends, a Shoujo is distant from a romantic series, and in Death Note, a Shounen sets its guide on telling a portrayal of particular corruption. During this time, however, Shoujo began to fade as Shounen authors began to incorporate Shoujo’s descriptions.

This started in 2009 in the West, when Shoujo Beat, an episodic magazine for Shoujo readers, was halted in favor of its brother magazine, Shonen Jump.

Nowadays, it’s effortless to see a manga or anime where Komi can’t communicate and Shoujo has to oversee it. This flap doesn’t mean an adverse definition. I could notice it as manga extending their stories and range beyond just the status quo.

A Shoujo
A Shoujo

Why Are There So Many Shoujo Manga Impersonated As Shonen?

There are many popular Shonen manga labels that look and feel more like Shoujo labels. That’s because, in a sense, they are. The fact that sub-set classifications apply to almost any genre is something that is constantly built into anime, making it unique and extraordinary.

Many of the most famous titles today tend to fall under the “Shonen” label, so much so that some new anime fans assume all anime has to be organized like Shonen. Because of this, their followers to be a much-increased number of Shonen Anime corresponded to Shoujo Anime.

It has directed the exhibition of several Shonen titles that peek and feel like Shoujo titles, and because of that, their presentation, script, and dealing lean better toward a Shoujo demographic.

Somehow they’re printed in publications like Shonen Jump or Gangan Comics rather than Ribbon or Lala. Here’s why this is a sensation that keeps emerging.

Main Difference Between Shoujo Anime And Shonen Anime

Whether or not you watch Anime, you have come upon both Shoujo and Shonen, even if you need to know them by their real meaning or exact classifications.

Shonen and Shoujo are among the most popular types since these are generally the ones that have dynamic views or fandoms, including teenage or young viewers. However, Shonen and Shoujo are Japanese terms but have different meanings. They refer to a boy and a girl.

Shonen is an anime or manga targeted at young boys aged 12 to 18, generally including violence, horror, fights, etc. An important example of Shonen Anime is Death Note, Kakegurui, One Piece, and Naruto. And now, Shoujo Anime is primarily anime or manga but is designed for female audiences around 15 to 18 years old.

A Shoujo Anime is related to something romantic. It often refers to magical girls like Sailor Moon. Today, around 90% of Shoujo anime writers are female. The important examples of Shoujo are Orange, Orr Mono Qatari, etc.

The audiences of Shonen Anime are primarily boys, and the audiences of Shoujo Anime are mostly girls. That’s not to say that the opposite gender can’t enjoy both. Shoujo and Shonen are equally well-known among girls and boys.

Disparities Between Shoujo Anime And Shonen Anime

FeaturesShonen AnimeShoujo Anime
Gender of the Key PlayerThe main character in Shonen Anime is often a doe-eyed female in middle high school. As she falls in love with the series’s male hero, the female lead character becomes physically and emotionally happy to become her most fabulous loving self.In Shoujo Anime, the main character is generally a young kid, around high school age, with a significant personality of courage and a kind heart, such as Naruto. The shonen key actor commences as an outcast set to enhance himself and change the world.  
Character Composition/StyleIn Shonen, male characters are generally more powerful or muscular, except in their height, with primary expression but particular hair or characteristics.   In Shoujo Anime, the female main character generally has broad sparkling eyes that shine or glitter whenever they come across their crush and are usually delicate. The Shoujo girls are attractive and become shy in front of desire.
ContentShonen accentuates positivity in every way. When critical players fall, they declare to drop and carry on to battle. Shoujo, contrary to Shonen, focuses on romantic or charming relationships. Friendships are also extensive in the genre, as the female protagonist’s group intermittently cooperates or assists her with complications.
Art/SkillManga art in Shonen usually gets precisely to the point. The staining will be much more severe to transmit different moods and emotions, but the all-around art will concentrate on the people.Shoujo manga is usually far more meticulous than Shonen manga. The public elaborates that each board is pulled in great point, while the surroundings are generally gentler.
Shoujo Anime vs. Shonen Anime

Shonen Stories With Shoujo Traits Pleading to Broad Viewers

Shonen has nearly always been the most popular mainstream anime, with Shoujo labels only rarely achieving the same status. With that, proceeding with the Shonen route is probably the safest if one likes to reach as broad an audience as is conceivable.

It may be why numerous tags that look like they belong in a Shoujo publication stop being posted in a shonen one instead.

A fair example would be Romantic Killer, which was newly adjusted into an Anime and is currently streaming on Netflix. It has a spunky woman main character, a cast full of handsome young men, and obeys many of the usual tropes in Shoujo manga.

It didn’t post in Ribbon or Lala; it was issued on the Shonen Jump links. It doesn’t recreate the romance elements, either, rather than poking fun at prevalent Shoujo and otome game tropes with the central character, Anzu, acting as an anti-heroine.

A Shonen Anime
A Shonen Anime


  • In a nutshell, Shoujo Anime elaborates on the female character, which marks the female audience and includes romance and an emotional and physical connection of the leading character, i.e., female, towards her crush.
  • Shonen Anime elaborates on the male character or a young boy, which targets the male audience and includes fights, atrocity, and actions in their story.
  • It fights the primary feelings, enabling viewers to stick to them. That’s why Shonen Anime is more popular than Shoujo, and girls prefer Shonen Anime more.
  • The main difference between Shoujo and Shonen manga is not only gender but also many factors like character styling, arts, etc.
  • There are no restrictions on gender-watching manga, but anyone can watch both Shoujo and Shonen Anime or manga.

Other Articles

Skip to content