In previous blogs, I mentioned Josei. I mentioned in my first What Is blog, that I would talk about Josei at some point. The problem though, was I don’t really have enough experience with the genre to make a blog on it. Still, I really want to talk about it so I’m gonna do it. This week, I going to cover Josei and its counterpart Seinen.
So, what is Josei and Seinen. Well to put it simply, they are more mature versions of Shojo and Shonen. If these genres were people, Shojo and Shonen would be high schoolers, while Josei and Seinen would be adults. This also makes sense in a way, as young adults are the targeted audience of these manga. I say manga specifically, because these two genres aren’t actually that main stream. Yeah, there might be that one really popular Seinen manga that gets adapted, but for the most part Shojo and Shonen take the spotlight. That doesn’t mean Josei and Seinen aren’t good, it’s just most of their readers are probably in their 20-30s… Now, your probably wondering why I would make such a big deal about the difference in audience? Well, I make a big deal about it because the content of the material can be quite different and clash with established trends in their teenage counterparts.
What do I mean by clashing with established trends? Well, let me explain as I talk about Josei and Seinen individually. First up, Josei. Out of the two, this is probably the one I’m most well aquatinted with. However, even I tend to avoid this genre because the endings and drama aren’t really for me. Like I said above Shojo is Josei’s teenage counterpart, and that genre is practically all sunshine and rainbows compared to Josei. Both, genre still cover relationships as its main focus, but endings and levels of drama can be quite different. In Shojo, the main pair almost always gets together. Josei though, it follows a more realistic approach to romance. A classic example of this is a rag to riches story, the poor girl and rich guy kind. In Shojo, it’s pretty straight forward with some family drama. In Josei though? Oh boy, I don’t know why but authors in this genre like twisting the knife. In Josei, the classic girl ends up with guy, is much more complicated. Authors, like to keep you on your toes a lot more then Shojo and the main pair can switch on how the plot moves. Nothing is set in stone and plot twist are much more prominent. For example possibly other endings for the rags to riches story, is that their relationship never works out, they still see each other in secret but never get together, or some other guy comes along and sweeps away the girl. These are just examples but all very possible in Josei.
Next, up is Seinen… Right off the bat, I’d like to mention I’m not as well verse on the topic. Yeah, I have watched the popular Seinen anime like Tokyo Ghoul, but my brother could probably explain this genre better. Any how, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Seinen is blood, and a lot of it. All of the Seinen manga I’ve read that I know off the top of my head have a lot of gore. Exploding bodies, decapitation, severe burns, that kind of stuff. Personally, I think that all the blood and guts are a bit much so I tend to avoid the genre. However, after a bit of research, I have recently learned that some of my favourite anime/manga/light novels are in fact Seinen. The one I was probably most surprised to see would likely be Spice and Wolf, an anime about a travelling merchant and his companion. So… I guess that Seinen can encompass a lot of topics, as long as it’s directed at the proper demographic. Still, for the most part I like to just view Seinen as a more mature version of Shonen with a lot of blood.
Now, we have come to the trends part of this blog. Honestly, I don’t really know what to put here, as I’ve already talked about the more popular trends in my Shojo and Shonen blogs. I guess for starters, because of their more realist and mature takes on their teenage counterparts, they can touch upon genres Shojo and Shonen can’t. Some basic examples are Tragedy, Angst, and Psychological. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t touch upon more lighthearted genres like Slice of Life or Romance. All in all, I don’t really know how I feel about these two genre as a whole. Instead, I like to look at each piece of work individually. For example, I really like Spice and Wolf and Usagi Drop. However, something like Tokyo Ghoul is just alright at the best of times in my opinion. In the end, I would like to explore these two genres a bit more and hopefully find manga that personally appeal to me.