Anime Meta-Review


Genre Index


By Date




The concept of Genre in anime is interesting. Being a flexible medium it is capable of expressing all existing genre's, such as sci-fi, drama and such things. On the other hand there are also a number of genre's which are more common in, or specialised towards, the anime medium. My page tends to favor these specialised genre's, as more genre genre's should be readily discernable from the review text. It should also be noted that there may well be more genre's than those presented here. In general I'll only both with those that are interesting and/or relatively well represented.

Burning Spirit

This is material where the lead character is driven by a powerful desire to better themselves in some discipline. It expresses the belief that a person can acheive any goal if they believe and strive enough.

Dumb Fun

This is the category for anime made simply because the producers thought it would be fun to do. Tends to be high energy, humourous stuff. It might not have much depth, but a bit of flash and pace can make a nice change now and then.


Material with erotic, but (IMHO) not offensive, content.


This is partly a genre, partly a formula and partly a recognition of the young male anime audience. The important element is that one male, generally shy and reserved around females, finds himself suddenly at the center of a story involving multiple females who have a tendency towards being extremely cute and sexy. It's not exactly the most highbrow form of anime.


In Japanese this is "perverted" and it's definitely not a compliment. In western fan circles it describes material with explicit sexual content. I'm using it in the original sense.


This is material intended for children. This doesn't mean it's childish by western standards however. It doesn't seem to imply a gender discrimination.


This is anime that cheerfully disregards taste and complexity to revel in the land of stupid and weird. It's a bit of a specialist taste, but has many fans.

Magical Girl

A genre based around a young girl suddenly being called upon, or forced into, using her magical powers for the protection of peace and goodness. Generally this is a `secret' power, so that her normal life, while challenged, continues alongside.

Magic Warrior

The genre grouping for super-powered warriors. While a bit more subtle than the American counterpart the aspects of power, and teenage male fantasy, are the power behind this type of anime.


You have to be strong to live outside the law... but you have to be even stronger to live outside of the complex social pressures that exist in Japanese society. The lead character in this title is such a person, one who has chosen (being insane doesn't count) to live life differently. As such they're always on the outside of what is normal, but this can sometimes give them insights, and the freedom to act, not available to more average individuals. They also tend to be strong, independant people, because you have to be pretty capable to survive this path.


A title that describes the anime fascination with fighting robots. These may range from powered suits, upto huge robots. They generally tend to be warlike devices as well.


This marks anime which focuses on something alien to, or ignorant of, humanity. As a result watching them explore our world can give an interesting view of ourselves. It's quite a common theme in anime.


This is anime that includes an element of making fun of the real world. This might also include making fun of anime and anime viewers.


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 title is used to describe anime that is intended for an audience of young females. Many western fans find this form, which has no western equivalent, fascinating. While the individual titles have much in common the shoujo genre is very wide.


Billions of hours of human effort have been put into jumping, running and punishing inflated balls in various ways. As you can tell I'm not particularly motivated by sport, but the human story behind the training, dedication and competition can make some powerful anime. A popular genre in Japan, but less common amongst English speaking fans.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:45 WST 2009