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Anime Research Project

The Genres and Subgenres of Anime

Types of Anime
In the U.S.
An Underlying Theme
Works Cited
Long Enough

            Anime, a genre within itself, can be divided further into many genres and subgenres.  There are the regular genres such as romantic, action, comedy, sci-fi, drama, adventure, fantasy, martial arts and so on.  There are gender and age specific shows that are aimed at young children, adults, girls, and boys.  Beyond the regular genres there are more anime-specific genres.  For example, there is “mecha” anime, which is action-based and has a theme of robots or machines.  Souji anime is made mainly for young girls and combines the genres of drama and romance.  Another kind genre specific anime is hentai.  This is made for adults and is sexually oriented and goes so far as to have pornographic themes.  The subgenre hentai can even be divided into four other subgenres.  There is General (male female relationship), Yaoi (male male relationship), Yuri (female female relationship), and Tentacle/Creature (horror based in which monsters attack and sleep with human girls) (Sanchez2).

"Rurouni Kenshin"





            There are many typical themes and plot devices that can be found throughout anime.  There is technology verses mankind, magic verses some destroying force, the right of passage, or the learning of people to coexist with each other (Hallel).

            Anime also commonly combines more than one genre together.  This practice can be found in just about every anime.  For example, Evangelion would be considered a "mecha" anime, “but it also features a deep story involving conspiracy, betrayal, and self-pity for its characters.” Another example of combining genres can be found specifically in Rurouni Kenshin (Sanchez2).  This would be put under the martial arts genre, but this series also features a love story deep and sad enough to make you cry (I know I did.)  Martial arts and action go hand in hand in almost every film, but there is a kind of mystery to the action shown in this series adding in the influence of another genre.  There is also the common combination of fantasy, action, and romance seen in Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke.  These genres are woven so thoroughly throughout this movie that it is hard to put it into just one.  I could be described as fantasy, but that just doesn’t seem to do it justice.  Other movies may sport these same genres, but in a completely different manner, such as Voices of a Different Star, directed
Makoto Shinkai.  It has the mecha form of action, its sci-fi and fantasy elements go hand and hand, but through it all the love story is the main theme.

A complete list of different genres and some examples of them can be found at

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