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Shoujo or Shonen?
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20 / Great Britain
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Posted 9/23/14
As an 18 year old, casual anime enthusiast I've watched and enjoyed Hamatora (+ its sequel), Noragami & Free! Iwatobi Swim Club (+ its sequel) and I've noticed something beguiling about them all (yes, aside from Mako's incredible triceps) that I cant really place, it's the intended demographic of each of them.

Whilst Free! obviously has copious amounts of muscular-based fan-service aimed at girls, it's still - in essence a sports-shounen with fundamental similarities to other sports anime that a generally male-based audience has enjoyed throughout the years.

Noragami has traits of a classic shoujo; from a female heroine surrounded by a couple of 'well drawn' young men, a hinted love-triangle and multiple, deep explorations of feelings so often seen in romance anime, whilst still retaining shounen components such as a fight in most every episode, along with evil supernatural powers and enemies.

And then Hamatora which is perhaps the hardest to place, yet also the one I most enjoyed, with fluctuating elements such as cool super-abilities held mostly by (unnecessarily?) attractive men with band aids on their faces to make them look even hotter. The obvious 'too-good-to-be-canon' pairings of Nice x Murasaki (or Art if you'd prefer) and Ratio x Birthday alongside the full-gore fights - particularly of season 2 - left me confused thinking, 'am I supposed to be watching this? Could I recommend this to a girl?'.

I'm aware that a lot of the themes I've listed are easily detectable in both shounen and shoujo anime and I'm also not by any means saying that the demographic of an anime is supposed to be clean cut guys or girls, or that all anime should be - "well, only girls can watch this 'cos it has romance in it" or "this is bad-ass with fighting, so it's only for guys", no. I've simply noticed the perfect balance of shounen and shoujo ingredients in these three particular series and it has piqued my interest. As it happens, I like the balance in this emerging genre and I think it's great that both guys and girls can watch these shows and enjoy them equally for whatever reasons they choose, it seems a lot more inclusive to the community.

So I ask, what are your thoughts on shows with features like this? Do you have any more shows like them to share?

Any recommendations or thoughts of any depth would be greatly appreciated as I am particularly intrigued by this rare genre of anime, more so than any other and would like to both trace its roots and pursue its development.
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25 / M / This Dying World
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Posted 9/23/14
Shoujo has a possibility of yuri.

So shoujo.
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27 / M / USA
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Posted 9/23/14 , edited 9/23/14
Nozaki-kun is also a shounen if you really want your mind blown (interesting article is interesting).

The difference is more of a continuum than a binary switch, there are obvious shounen and shoujo at either end but there are plenty of anime and manga in the middle where which they are is practically more arbitrary than defining.

Especially after shounen magazines started actively trying to be more gender-inclusive because money.
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34 / M
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Posted 9/23/14 , edited 9/23/14
Well since I'm a guy I'm more inclined to look up titles that are geared for the male audience. Not that I don't watch/read shoujo titles... it's just the ratio leans higher on male oriented shows for me. Even when it comes to romance mangas... I'm still more inclined to follow shounen titles like Ichigo 100%(still my favorite shounen romance manga btw).

edit: Yes, shounen and shoujo have a lot of themes that overlap with each other and when they do you can only look at the execution to see what is the intent of the writer to properly categorize it. For example in Hamatora... sure there are lot of good looking guys and this is an element that can be seen typically in shoujo romance but this is also standard fare for shounen shows. IMO Hamatora can easily be classified as shounen because in no way does it portray it's male cast to be interested with each other romantically. Of course for hardcore fujoshis this does not stop them from enjoying and shipping a show with many good looking guys... Bleach is another long running shounen manga and it has it's share of female fans... Tite Kubo, the author of Bleach, pretty much panders to the female fans really.

A lot of shows being produced nowadays actually try to pander to both female and male audiences. Titles such as Tiger & Bunny for example is a shounen show but with a rather large female fanbase.
Posted 9/23/14
Shoujo. As much as I wanna lie, I'm just more into it than shounen. But I enjoy all manga and anime. No real preference.
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102 / Candyland
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Posted 9/23/14 , edited 9/24/14
One that comes into mind is xxxHOLiC. Its seinen but many would think its josei from the mild fanservice of Doumeki x Watanuki. I see from where you are going and its nice seeing a sjoujo or shonen break out of the typical cliches.
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19 / F / United States
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Posted 9/23/14
Essentially, Shoujo and Shounen have a lot of overlapping elements.

Shoujo tend to have romance, good looking guys, a slice of life, and elements of that nature, but not all Shoujo have these qualities.
Shounen tend to have action, adventure and comedy, but again not all Shounen have these elements.
IMO shows that are definitively/stereotypical Shoujo or Shounen are not that common anymore. Series/Shows nowadays seems to have elements and qualities that adhere to both demographics, and in turn have both large male and female fanbases. Qualities that please the males, and qualities that please the females. That makes me happy because it shows that society agrees that males/females can enjoy the same shows without one being too shoujo or shounen.

With that being said, I think the demographic mix is mostly because of money. I mean just look at Shounen Jump. Why do series like Kurobasu and Haikyuu become popular? It's because of the sports genre element (generally a shounen concept) mixed with pretty boys and gay friendships (generally a shoujo concept).
Just my opinion though.
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F / Virginia
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Posted 9/23/14

AnimeKami wrote:

Shoujo has a possibility of yuri.

So shoujo.


Exactly what I was thinking.

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33 / M / outer wall, level...
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Posted 9/23/14
im a sucker for shoujo. any romance.
full metal panic i love for romance, tho.
ouran is awesome. love the story, love the art.
Sogno- 
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Posted 9/23/14

AnimeKami wrote:

Shoujo has a possibility of yuri.

So shoujo.


shounen has possibility of yaoi.

so...

both
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24 / M
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Posted 9/23/14
In my limited experience, shoujo (because they are aimed at females) tend to portray women in a much more accurate manner than do shounen. Their portrayals of men can obviously be hit or miss, but as far as not being totally gross in the way that portray either gender, shoujo is miles ahead of where shounen is.
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29 / M / Illinois
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Posted 9/23/14
Josei / Seinen are preferred but if I had to choose I'd pick Shojo.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 9/23/14 , edited 9/23/14
I wonder if we could an anime with both shoujo and shounen elements?

*starts thinking*
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M
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Posted 9/23/14
I don't care about demographics that much, but older/classic shounen like Yu Yu Hakusho, DBZ, Tenchi Muyo!, Rurouni Kenshin, G Gundam or Trigun is what I grew up with and what got me into anime. Demographics are also marketing schemes and the point of watching anime is to enjoy.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 9/23/14

Sogno- wrote:


AnimeKami wrote:

Shoujo has a possibility of yuri.

So shoujo.


shounen has possibility of yaoi.

so...

both


Exactly this.
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