Genre

Genre Description
Action

A work typically depicting fighting, violence, chaos, and fast paced motion.

Adult

Contains mature content that is suitable only for adults. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.

Adventure

Exploring new places, environments or situations. This is often associated with people on long journeys to places far away encountering amazing things.

Comedy

A dramatic work that is light and often humorous or satirical in tone and that usually contains a happy resolution of the thematic conflict.

Drama

A work meant to bring on an emotional response, such as instilling sadness or tension.

Novels that often show life or characters through conflict and emotions. In general, the different parts of the story tend to form a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. In other words, the story has a message that is bigger than just the story line itself

Ecchi

Possibly the line between hentai and non-hentai, ecchi usually refers to fanservice put in to attract a certain group of fans.

Fantasy

Anything that involves, but not limited to, magic, dream world, and fairy tales.

Gender Bender

Girls dressing up as guys, guys dressing up as girls. Guys turning into girls, girls turning into guys.

Harem

A series involving one male character and many female characters (usually attracted to the male character). A Reverse Harem is when the genders are reversed.

Historical

Novels whose setting is in the past. Frequently these follow historical tales, sagas or facts.

Horror

Novels whose focus is to scare the audience.

Josei

Literally [Woman]. Targets women 18-30. Female equivalent to seinen. Unlike shoujo the romance is more realistic and less idealized. The storytelling is more explicit and mature.

Lolicon

Representing a sexual attraction to young, young-looking, or underage girls.

Martial Arts

As the name suggests, anything martial arts related. Any of several arts of combat or self-defense, such as aikido, karate, judo, or tae kwon do, kendo, fencing, and so on and so forth.

Mature

Contains subject matter which may be too extreme for people under the age of 17. Content that deals with mature themes not suitable for a younger audience.

Mecha

A work involving and usually concentrating on all types of large robotic machines.

Mystery

Usually an unexplained event occurs, and the main protagonist attempts to find out what caused it.

Psychological

Usually deals with the philosophy of a state of mind, in most cases detailing abnormal psychology.

Romance

Any love related story.

School Life

Having a major setting of the story deal with some type of school.

Sci-fi

Short for science fiction, these works involve twists on technology and other science related phenomena which are contrary or stretches of the modern day scientific world.

Seinen

Seinen means 'Young Man.' Novels that specifically targets young adult males around the ages of 18 to 25 are Seinen titles. Typically the story lines deal with the issues of adulthood.

Shotacon

Representing a sexual attraction to young, young-looking or underage boys.

Shoujo

A work intended and primarily written for females. Usually the story is from the point of view of a girl and usually involves romance and drama.

Shoujo Ai

Often synonymous with yuri, this can be thought of as somewhat less extreme. [Girl's Love], so to speak.

Shounen

A work intended and primarily written for males. These works usually involve fighting and/or violence.

Shounen Ai

Often synonymous with yaoi, this can be thought of as somewhat less extreme. [Boy's Love], so to speak.

Slice of Life

Novels with no clear central plot. This genre tends to be naturalistic and mainly focuses around the main characters and their everyday lives. Often there will be some philosophical perspectives regarding love, relationships, life etc. tied into the novel. The overall typical moods for this type of anime are cheery and carefree, in other words, it is your 'feel-good' kind of anime.

Smut

Erotic work of fiction that's mainly targeted toward females. Also focuses on love and relationships, etc.

Sports

As the name suggests, anything sports related. Baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, golf, and racing just to name a few.

Supernatural

Usually entails amazing and unexplained powers or events which defy the laws of physics.

Tragedy

Contains events resulting in great loss and misfortune.

Wuxia

This is a genre specific to Chinese novels. It literally means [Martial Hero], dealing with martial arts and chivalry. Main character can't become an immortal, but rather stays human.

Xianxia

Xianxia is a story with cultivation that can lead to a human becoming immortal through Taoist (in most cases) ways. If it doesn't mention the dao, odds are that it isn't a Xianxia.

Xuanhuan

This term is used for novels in an Eastern fantasy setting. In Xuanhuan, there are usually five basic elements (metal, wood, water, fire, and earth), Chinese-style gods, powerful animal monsters like foxes and tigers that can take on human appearances, etc... It's a mishmash of different elements, and sometimes Xianxia-like elements are present. It's easy to confuse Xuanhuan with Xianxia.

Simple definition: Eastern-element Fantasy

Yaoi

This work usually involves intimate relationships between men.

Yuri

This work usually involves intimate relationships between women.