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While the boys go out to play, the adults have it their way. note 

Seinen (Japanese for "young man" or "young men", and pronounced [ˈseɪ ˌnen], not [ˈsaɪ ˌnen]) is a demographic designation of Manga targeted at male audiences aged 18 to 40. It is the older counterpart of Shōnen and effectively makes for the majority of anime adaptions in the older demographic, since major Josei manga titles are rarely made into anime. Compared to shonen, seinen caters to a much smaller viewing crowd, since younger audiences have much more time to spare on anime, which makes them a more attractive target, and thus is slightly less known.note 

Thanks to the older target audience, seinen shows tend to be much more sophisticated and mature than their shonen counterparts. Much more attention is paid to the plot and the interaction between characters than to action and fightsnote , which are the main attraction for most viewers, and the characters are well fleshed out. The latter trait often leads to confusion of seinen with Shoujo but the key difference is that seinen does not idealize romance, instead opting for a more realistic and pragmatic approach to relationships. Realism is indeed the calling card of seinen shows, commonly earning them the acclaim for their depth and maturity and Multiple Demographic Appeal.

A typical seinen protagonist can be of any gender and age (in stark contrast to shonen, whose protagonists are almost exclusively young and male), but tend to be young adults (like its target audience). Romance-wise, anything goes, from Pseudo-Romantic Friendship to obscure examples of Boys' Love. In fact, lesbian characters are a distinctive trait of seinen, rarely if ever present in shonen shows, since many readers of seinen manga are Yuri Fans. Relationships are portrayed in a less idealistic light than in shojo, with many grays and uncertainties like in Real Life, and don't tend to indulge the shonen over-simplification of "which heroine will be hooked up with the hero". Seinen series are also known for the controversial and divisive sub-category of Improbably Female Cast and Harem Series that rely heavily on cutesy Moe elements (again, contrasting with the more blatant fanservice focused on female characters in shonen) to attract viewers. These series tend to be on the opposite side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism from the grim type of seinen, instead being fluffy, heart-warming, and comedic.

Compare to the Distaff Counterpart demographic Josei, which is aimed at women in the same age range.

    Notable seinen magazines (sorted by publisher) 

Common tropes seen in seinen works:


Series sometimes mistaken for seinen note 

  • Akame ga Kill! is one of the darkest manga ever written, with numerous likable characters being killed off, tons of gore, the incorporation of rape, and numerous Tear Jerker scenes that can easily be labeled as seinen. However, the series ran under the Gangan Joker magazine, which is a shonen magazine, and the series still incorporates numerous (albeit Deconstructed) shonen tropes.
  • Akumetsu, a series which runs on heavy, yet well constructed, critics against a corrupt Japanese government, protagonized by basically a young terrorist dead set on killing as many corrupt politicians as he can find. Yes, all of it ran in a shonen magazine from start to finish.
  • Apocalypse Zero, in spite of its infamously graphic violence, was published in Shonen Champion. Shonen Champion is published by the same company who makes Champion RED but runs a mix of lighter (Squid Girl, Yowamushi Pedal, Saint Seiya) and darker (Baki the Grappler, Magical Girl Apocalypse, and s-CRY-ed) fare. The manga is actually more violent than the OVAs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's also by the author of Shigurui.
  • Attack on Titan is lauded for its realistic depiction of war, with the war in question being human against human-eating mindless giants. A majority of the named characters are either Mauve Shirts or nigh-Shell Shocked Veterans. About 90% of the unnamed characters are Red Shirts or nameless titans. Subjects depicted involve sexual slavery, child soldiers, cultists, corrupt police, casting couches, corrupt government officials, and huge conspiracies, all of which are very seinen in their approach. It's also known for showing that War Is Hell in every sense imaginable, and that there's no such thing as a Heroic Sacrifice, brutally deconstructing that very trope. However, the characters are rather idealistic, most of them are either teens or children, and they seem to run on sheer determination most of the time. Plus, the manga was serialized in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine, so it's a moot point.
  • Azumanga Daioh focuses on a group of high school girls and their everyday lives, much like the very similar Lucky Star, but the manga ran in the shonen magazine Dengeki Daioh. However, much of the series' fanbase is composed of 18-40 year old males, like both Lucky Star and Yotsuba&!, as well as the entire genre that it helped popularize: the Schoolgirl Series.
  • Baccano!: While the original source material was targeted to a somewhat younger demographic like most other Light Novels and the first manga adaptation ran in a shonen magazine, the anime adaptation is very graphic in its violence and aired on a satellite channel (WOWOW) best known for airing seinen and shows with adult themes and content. The second manga adaptation, however, did run in a seinen magazine.
  • Banana Fish is sometimes mistaken for seinen by newcomers to the series since it's an action/crime thriller that focuses on gang violence in New York City. It's actually shoujo, since the manga originally ran in Bessatsu Shoujo Comic (now known as Betsucomi). The homoromantic relationship between the two male leads is a tip-off in that regard, though its gritty action has also drawn in male fans.
  • Barefoot Gen, a semi-autobiographical manga famous for its harrowing depiction of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, originally ran in Shonen Jump.
  • Bastard!! (1988): Despite its violence and sex jokes, it was published in Shonen Jump. Late moved to Ultra Jump.
  • Beastars: A Mature Animal Story with extremely dark themes, violence and sexual content, run in Weekly Shonen Champion.
  • BECK has many realistic aspects found in seinen, but it ran in Monthly Shonen Magazine.
  • Change 123 features a lot of mature content like nudity, extreme violence, and lots of Fanservice, but runs in runs in the shonen Champion RED magazine.
  • Claymore: Despite its dark tone, violent content, and superficial resemblance to Berserk, it ran in Shonen Jump. Viz localized it in English under their Shonen Jump Advanced imprint, targeted at older teens.
  • Cross Ange: Despite being very violent and lewd, the show is considered a shonen, with the manga being published by Kadokawa Shoten. In addition the cast of characters are all teenagers and while it starts of cynical it eventually gets more optimistic.
  • Deadman Wonderland has a dark storyline, some glaring gorn, and puts many a characters through a Trauma Conga Line, yet it ran in a shonen magazine.
  • Death Note: Due to being a largely cynical crime story with a Villain Protagonist and What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?, it just has Multiple Demographic Appeal. That said, Light Yagami himself is considered a typical shonen hero, albeit a heavily deconstructed and realistic one. Despite all this, the manga ran in Weekly Shonen Jump. The creators have also said that if the manga were to run in a seinen publication, they would have focused more on the effects of the Death Note on the world and on the question of whether The Extremist Was Right, rather than on the cat-and-mouse game between Light, L, and Near.
    • Sorta brought up in Bakuman。, a manga written by the same author. Most of the main mangaka characters in Bakuman seem to support the idea of running seinen-like stories in shonen magazines.
  • Devilman and its first sequel Violence Jack, made by Go Nagai. Both series contains gorn and nudity and it ran in Weekly Shonen Champion. However, Violence Jack moved to a different magazine after complaints of its very graphic violence. Other sequels, remakes, and re-imaginings are also Seinen.
  • Fire Punch is a deeply cynical, post-apocalyptic work that touches on cannibalism, pedophilia, body mutilation, slavery and religious fanaticism that ran on Shonen Jump's Jump+ website.
  • Fist of the North Star is sometimes assumed to be seinen due to its violent content and mostly adult cast, but it ran in Weekly Shonen Jump. However, its spinoffs Fist of the Blue Sky, Jibo no Hoshi, and Hōkō no Kumo, among others are genuine seinen.
  • Franken Fran: Another horror manga that ran in a shonen magazine, despite having a lot of elements that appear seinen.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist contains a more complex plot and is less focused on fight scenes than typical shonen, and as such is occasionally mistaken for a seinen series; it also has noticeably few teenage characters aside from the protagonists, with the cast mostly being made up of adults in the military. However, it ran in a shonen magazine and, at its core, still embodies most of the typical shonen elements.
  • Future Diary: Violent, horrific and containing adult themes and situations, but the manga was serialized in Shonen Ace. Its spin-off, Future Diary: Paradox, is seinen.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka (and perhaps anything else shonen by Tohru Fujisawa) due to its mature and realistic themes. GTO: Paradise Lost, however, is seinen, published in Weekly Young Magazine.
  • Gunslinger Girl is a violent series with a dark, realistic tone, themes of child abuse and terrorism, and bearing a superficial resemblance to Black Lagoon... that runs in a shonen magazine.
  • Higehiro: Despite having serious themes around consent, prostitution, and abusive parents, the manga adaptation was published in Shonen Ace Plus.
  • Interspecies Reviewers, despite being a Sex Comedy focused on Cute Monster Girl brothels, is published in the shonen magazine Dragon Dragon Age. That said, the manga never actually shows anyone having sex despite the premise revolving around it, unlike the much Hotter and Sexier anime adaptation.
  • Inuyasha: Despite having plenty of violence and fanservice, it ran in Shonen Sunday.
  • Kerberos Panzer Cop: While Kerberos Saga is renowned for being a cynical adult political drama, the first manga adaptation in the franchise ran on Shonen Ace magazine and has much more action than other entries in the series to better fit the target demographic. Its sequel, Kerberos Saga Rainy Dogs, as well as the only animated film in the series, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade are straight up seinen works though.
  • Lucky Star: Like Azumanga Daioh, it focuses on a cast of adorable schoolgirls, but the manga runs in the shonen magazines Comptiq and later Mitaina!. The anime ran rather late at night, though.
  • Despite its adult protagonist being an attractive women in exposing clothes who kicks butt a lot, Michiko & Hatchin is a josei anime. It arguably shows in the familial bond between her and Hatchin but everything else makes it seem more seinen.
  • Magical Girl Apocalypse has large amounts of blood and gore and it's involves a very dark theme of a Zombie Apocalypse and psychopathic magical girls. This series actually ran in a shonen magazine, Bessatsu Shōnen Champion.
    • The author's other work, Magical Girl Site is no stranger to this, as the manga features some very controversial themes (such bullying, rape, suicide, and transgender issues) that would normally be seen in a seinen series, but it actually ran in a shonen magazine, Weekly Shōnen Champion.
  • Magical Taruruto-kun: The manga was created by Golden Boy creator Tatsuya Egawa, who's output before and since both series has mostly consisted of seinen series. Despite its lewd and Fanservice-filled nature (specifically uncensored nudity and breastfeeding) early on and the fact that its English publisher lists the series as a seinen manga, not to mention its title character looking like something ripped out of a Kodomomuke series, it ran in Weekly Shonen Jump.
  • My-HiME and My-Otome both ran in Shonen Champion.
  • Mermaid Saga: Despite having tons of Gorn, Family-Unfriendly Violence, and Nightmare Fuel, it ran in Shonen Sunday like most of Rumiko Takahashi's other works.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion, due to its increasingly adult tone and graphic content, is typically associated with the seinen demographic, but originally it ran during a 6pm timeslot on Wednesdays and was by the creators' own admission intended for youth audiences. If that seems hard to swallow, don't worry - Japanese parents, sponsors, and media watchdogs felt the same way; the series is probably the single largest reason for the Otaku O'Clock trope. It pulled very strong ratings during both its initial airing, and a late-night rerun on a satellite channel.
  • Read Or Die: Rehabilitation: Despite Read or Die and Read or Dream being Seinen, Read or Die: Rehabilitation (which runs on a shonen magazine) is even more risque than the latter two, complete with the main character who's literally the opposite to the original main character in virtually every way.
  • Red Eyes is chock full of Family-Unfriendly Violence, the setting is all about war with many, many cases of Info Dump and All There in the Manual which is huge set off for younger readers or the general public who just don't like to read too much into the story to understand what's going on; the art is very realistic, no cases of Generic Cuteness and Fanservice to be seen here. All in all this series just screams it was made for mature readers, and yet it runs in a Shounen magazine.
  • Rosario + Vampire Season 2 at least after a few chapters. Despite gratuitous fanservice and increasingly dark plot elements, it ran in a shonen magazine.
  • Rurouni Kenshin is darker and more violent than most Shonen Jump series, but still unmistakably shonen.
  • Shigurui, a violent, horrific story containing exclusively adult themes and situations. It ran on Champion RED.
  • A Silent Voice, an extremely serious drama that deals heavily with bullying and ableism and later outright suicide, ran in Weekly Shonen Magazine.
  • Tomie is often mistaken for seinen due to its themes and disturbing content, but it was actually originally published in a Shōjo anthology. In fact, quite a few of Junji Ito's works were first published in shojo or josei horror anthologies.
  • Trinity Blood's manga adaptation, despite seemingly having the themes of most Seinen manga, complete with graphic violence, Fanservice and adult themes, actually ran in Monthly Asuka, a magazine aimed at teenage girls.
  • Welcome to the NHK is a wretched take on concepts of being a hikkikomori and an otaku, and most of the characters experience intense feelings of depression and loneliness. The original novel and manga adaptation ran in a Shōnen magazine, and while it's hard to indicate where the anime adaptation should be placed, it derived from two Shōnen works so it can't be seen as any different.
  • Both iterations of When They Cry. Their manga adaptations have consistently run in Square Enix's shounen "Gangan" magazines.
  • World's End Harem is about the entire male populace dying, save the protagonist and four other men, with the remaining women urging them to impregnate them by thousands, even enforcing that artificial insemination doesn’t work so they are forced to do the nasty, nasty; the women wear varying levels of fetishistic clothing and they all have top model looks, bare breasts are seen a lot. Everything is drawn by a famous hentai artist to boot. The series runs in an online offshoot of Shonen Jump; however, some of the spinoffs such as World's End Harem: Fantasia are, in fact, seinen.
  • X/1999, which a series made by CLAMP set Just Before the End, with many characters fighting in incredibly brutal, gruesome fashion. It actually ran in Shojo magazine, Monthly Asuka.
  • Yomeiro Choice, only the first few chapters were genuine Seinen as it was published in a fitting magazine, but the majority of the series (basically 5/6 of it) ran in a Shounen magazine till the very end, and yet the contents shown in the first chapters didn't change at all, actually it got more risque as it went along, stuff like extreme nudity, sexual innuendos, strong content abound.
  • Yotsuba&!: Despite its focus on an adorable little girl and her everyday misadventures, it runs in a shounen mangazine.

Alternative Title(s): Seinen Demographic