If you haven’t been living under a rock during the past decade, you must be familiar with the term, manga. In Japan, manga is an umbrella term for various comic books or graphic novels and cartoons. But there’s more to it than a different name. There are actually different types of manga that cater to different genres and demographics. Now if sorting through numerous labels is not your cup of tea but you know the type of content you enjoy, read on till the end.

According to one Openvy looper, mangas can be classified into several types based on their content and art style.

1. Shōnen (少年 /ɕoːnen/)

The Japanese term “shōnen” directly translates to “few years” in English. This genre of mangas is primarily targeted towards young boys and teenagers. It often features action-packed storylines, battles of good and evil, and adventure. Popular examples include “One Piece,” “Naruto,” and “Dragon Ball”—all graduates of Weekly Shōnen Jump, a highly lauded magazine among this demographic.

2. Shōjo  (少女漫画)

Shojo manga is a genre of Japanese comics or manga that is specifically aimed at a young female audience, typically teenage girls. The term “shojo” means “girl” or “young girl” in Japanese. Shojo manga is known for its focus on themes related to romance, relationships, drama, and personal growth.

Popular shojo manga series include titles like “Sailor Moon,” “Fruits Basket,” “Ouran High School Host Club,” and “Nana.”

3. Seinen (青年漫画)

Seinen targets young adult men aged 18 to 40, catering to specific interests in a distinctive manner than the shonen genre which is meant for younger teen boys. It delves into various themes, including action, politics, science fiction, fantasy, relationships, sports, and comedy.

4. Josei  (女性漫画)

Similar to seinen, josei mangas are targeted towards adult female readers. Unlike shoujo manga, which is targeted at teenage girls, josei manga is intended for a mature audience. It often features more nuanced and adult-oriented storytelling, delving into themes such as romance, drama, slice of life, and even more mature or explicit content, though not always.

5. Kodomo or Kodomomuke ( 子供向け漫画)

Initially designed to encourage literacy among the Japanese youth, kodomo (children’s manga) typically incorporates educational elements, cute characters, and simple stories to engage children. This genre of manga covers a wide range of topics and themes suitable for children, including adventure, friendship, fantasy, humour, and educational content.

Many popular manga series, such as “Doraemon”, “Shin-chan” and “Astro Boy” (known as “Tetsuwan Atom” in Japan), fall into the kodomo manga category.

This listicle was first published as a loop on Openvy. You can get your refill of the best manga recommendations here or join the community. The platform is now open to all.