is a shounen anime?
shounen is anime marketed toward males. Shounen contains elements
and art styles that are made to appeal to the coarser sex - the
kind of material that is generally more violent, less focused on
character interactions, and at least modestly stocked with rounded
feminine surfaces. A lot of the anime localized in the US during
the beginning of the current craze fell under this category. Popular
examples of this style are Cowboy
in the Shell,
, and Bakuen Campus Guardress.
I know when I'm watching a shounen anime?
(Action and Voluptuousness)
a story in a way similar to the way a Terminator or Rambo
movie does. A great example of this is Spriggan, an action
anime released in the U.S. last year. While the movie has a great
overall storyline, it largely consists of protracted gunfights,
explosions, and special effects. Upon completion of the movie, the
viewer does two things. First, he ponders the implications of a
human-triggered apocalypse. Next, he postulates on whether an armor-plated
human would rip apart in such a messy way, or if he would die in
a cleaner manner.
of an anime marketed toward men is the voluptuousness of its female
characters. As opposed to girls' anime, or shoujo, artists for shounen
tend to take some minor "liberties" with their depiction
of the female form. Female main characters in shounen tend more
toward a Barbie frame than a realistic, proportional shape. They
have large breasts, narrow waists, and long legs. Also, they tend
to wear more revealing clothing compared to characters from other
genres. This isn't true for all genres - many use more realism in
their character designs, yet remain shounen nonetheless.
genres of anime that would fall under shoujo
have very visible differences in their presentation. For instance,
emotional iconography isn't used
as much in shounen, or at least not at the level it is utilized
in shoujo. Kareshi Kanojyo no Jijyo (His and Her Circumstances),
a TV series from Gainax, is a virtual menagerie of art styles -
all aimed at showing the emotions of the characters on screen. From
blushes and frowns, to erupting heads and bulging veins, the show
is a dynamic display of emotion. In addition, when characters act
childish, they are drawn as super-deformed
- a style wherein the character is drawn as short and squat. This
symbolizes silliness or a diminutive character. You don't see this
sort of phenomena in classic shounen. Most of the time, the characters
are displayed realistically. The most drastic iconography consists
of slightly over-sized mouths while screaming, or the occasional
other genres are considered part of shounen?
marketed towards men" is a broad term that encompasses many
genres. In Hollywood cinema, there are many genres of movies that
are considered "typically male," such as action, war,
chauvinist comedy, and cyberpunk. In much the same way, shounen
anime is an umbrella genre for many sub-genres, such as mecha,
action, sports, comedy, and hentai.
Here is a small
list of some of the prominent sub-genres of shounen, and what you
can expect to find in them:
about robots, usually large robots. These appeal to men because
they feature big guns, large battles, and lots of action. See
our article about mecha.
includes gunslingers, space operas, and cyberpunk thrillers all
fall under this category. This genre has a classical male appeal
the way Clint Eastwood movies do.
is about the feudal Japanese warrior class. Samurai
stories are rich in tradition and culture, but still tend to appeal
toward men because of their violent content. Also, this genres
is less apt to contain unrealistically-proportioned women, as
it is usually more realistically drawn. For more information,
see our article on the samurai genre.
depicts car racing, basketball, or other athletic activities.
This usually falls under shounen, since sports is a largely male-dominated
area, especially in Japan.
consists largely of funny situations with females, and testosterone-friendly
humor. A good example of this is Love Hina, where the main
character, Urashima Keitarou , seems to have a propensity to trip,
fall, or land on women and end up with his hands where they shouldn't
pornographic material with hardcore elements such as explicit
sex, tentacles, and the like. A lot of this material is marketed
toward men, but there are also huge markets in yaoi,
or explicit anime dealing with homosexual relations that is geared
toward female audiences.
cool, do you have any recommendations?
OVA, or Bubblegum
Crisis Tokyo 2040.
All of these are great examples of their genre, and you should find
many elements I have mentioned here. If you are into giant robotic
combat, I would recommend Orguss II, Gundam : the 8th
MS Team, or Neon
For hentai, Urotsukidoji
III : Return of the Overfiend
is a good example of what that genre has to offer.
else you want to say?
The world of
shounen anime is vast and full of variety. If you enjoy movies or
shows geared toward men, and you like anime, you will enjoy shounen.
Crisis Tokyo 2040
Kanojyo no Jijyo
in the Shell
|Faye Valentine from Cowboy
Bebop is an example of a "shounen woman"
Hina. Yes, this kind of comedy really is the basis for
an entire genre of anime
Cowboy Bebop running and gunning - a freqent occurance
in shounen anime.