Anime Meta-Review


Glossary Entry : Seinen


By Date



    Abstract:   This is anime aimed at a male, college aged, audience. It tends to have a firm basis in reality even if the content is rich in fantasy. It's not very common in the west due to the commercial focus on young teen (shounen) markets.

This is a relatively uncommon genre name, at least outside of Japan, but given that some of this material does exist it seems worthy of recognition. Effectively Seinen (which stands for `Young man') material is aimed at college age males. As such it is often a lot more complex than shounen material, may contain less action, and often has some elements that might seem more `shoujo' inspired. As such this material is frequently misidentified as shoujo, because many anime fans only know two genres (shounen/shoujo) and correctly identify that this material is not shounen. And even when this material considers matters considered to be shoujo specialties, such as romance or emotional interaction, it does so in a very different way. In addition the settings may also incorporate many real life elements which are seemingly intended to appeal to curiosity of this demographic.

It is also interesting to note that many of these titles are held in high critical regard for the maturity and complexity of the stories they contain. At the same time they have a spotty history in being commercialised because, even more so than in Japan, the american market is dominated by a fairly young age group.
      Once again it is worth noting that in Japan this genre is dominated by the demographic target of a given publication. This information is generally unimportant and unavailable to a western fan. As such some of these titles are gathered for syslistic similiarity rather than being `true' seinen material. As with the shoujo genre I will eventually place some mark to represent these two aspects. However since I only have confirmation for a tiny number of titles this will take some time to evolve.

Written: Mon Feb 19 16:31:55 EST 2001

Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:50 WST 2009