What is Shonen?

Last time I talked about Shoujo, now I want to talk about the opposite. This week, I’m going to be talking about Shonen.

So, what is Shonen? Like I said before, it’s the complete opposite of Shoujo. Instead of aiming towards a female demographic, Shonen is aimed at young teenage boys. So, what does this mean? Well, a lot of action usually. Unlike Shoujo, which usually centres around relationships rather than the world, Shonen usually flips that around 180 degrees. Most of the time, a Shonen anime/manga will be set in a fantastical world. An example of this would be Naruto, which takes place in a world full of supernatural ninjas. 

Like Shoujo, people read for an escape, but this time around it’s a lot easier to explain. People read Shonen for the same reason people watch unrealistic action films. It gives a rush during action scenes. In the end though, how is this any different from the action genre? Well, like Shoujo and romance, I’m not completely sure. However, something I have learned is Shonen does not necessarily  mean large amounts of action. One of my favourite manga is classified as Shonen yet contains little action. In the end, it’s better to view Shonen as manga/anime directed at boys and that usually includes large amounts of action.

Finally, we get to the trends section of this blog. Unfortunately, I don’t really know where to go with this section. When I mentioned how Shoujo could be put together with almost any other genre? Well, same with Shonen. In fact, sometimes I find it can be even broader in scope. Because if this, it’s quite hard to pick out certain trends in the genre. Instead, I’ll just touch upon the one I see most often and experienced the most. 

The trend in question being the supernatural school. In stories like these, the plot more often than not takes place in a world different from our own. The reason for this is to establish magic, superpowers, or what ever as a common occurrence in whatever world the story is talking place in. Good examples of stories like these would be Naruto or even MHA. Usually, the plot centres around a class or group of students trying to prove themselves or something of the like. As you could’ve guess this mean most of the characters are teenagers, likely to create a connection between the reader and characters. Unfortunately, over time, I find this formal get used to much and tends to get kind of bland. 

In the end, Shonen, more often than not, is considered action in my eyes. Even thought I know there is a distinct differ between the two, I can’t really shake the association between the two. I still like it, but I think I’ve gone through all the unique one. There might be a good Shonen anime/manga I read/watch every now and again, but I’ve moved on from the genre for the most part. 

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