Are you confused when you hear words like "shoujo" "shounen" "harem"?
Do you feel ashamed when people start capsing and screaming that you can't tell a demographic and genre apart?
Hold your head down no more, cause if you read the following carefully, you will be able to tell apart anything. ^^
First of all, there is the thing we call genre.
A genre is simply the type of manga you read. Oh, and let's not forget what manga is.
Manga is Japanese comics.
There are other types of such comics as well.
"Manhwa" and "Manhua"
"Manhwa" being Korean comics and "Manhua" being Chinese comics.
Then, there are demographics. Many people don't know what demographics are, and how manga are labelled within them.
There are 4 types of demographics: Shoujo, Shounen, Seinen and Josei. Each will be explained later on in this post.
A demographic is given to a manga by the magazine which it is serialized in, and nothing else.
Manga is often mislabelled by people who don't understand this concept. So please, be careful with it!
Ok, now that we've got that covered, let's move on to genre and demographic description.
(remember though, it's not always the case since it varies)
*The "target audience" doesn't mean that only people in these age/gender ranges read those titles.
*Examplas are based on most common for those genres.
Literally: "Young Girl"
Target audience: females, usually between the ages of 13-18.
Mostly depicts heterosexual romantic relationships between high school teenagers.
Examples: Koukou Debut, Skip Beat!.
Exceptions: Flat (Aogiri Natsu).
Literally: "Young Boy"
Target audience: males, usually between the ages of 13-18.
Would often have a dose of action/fighting and such.
Examples: Fullmetal Alchemist, Naruto, Bleach.
Exceptions: MPD Psycho.
Literally: "Young Man"
Target audience: Males between the ages of 18-25 (and of course older)
Stories are usually more "down to earth" or more "realistic with a point".
Often about phases of life and the such.
Can include (and quite often does) action and supernatural.
Examples: 20 Seiki Shounen, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Mushishi.
Literally: "Young Woman"
Target audience: Females between the ages of 18-30 (and of course older).
Usually more mature stories about relationships between couples and friends.
When smut is put together with josei it often means the couple is older. Let's say after high school at least.
Examples: Nodame Cantabile, Kimi wa Pet, Bara no Tameni.
The more commonly used:
Involves fighting, violence.
Has fast paced motion, like war, all sorts of fights.
As the name suggest, it is suitable for adults (well, only for adults, but who actually gives a damn. lol).
Involves either graphical and explicit sex/nudity, violence (with bloodshed and guts flying around) or both.
Usually a character (or more) travelling and doing stuff during the journey.
Whatever makes you laugh? (that is actually supposed to do so)
Has strong comedic elements.
Fan made titles based on official manga (or anime).
A manga that isn't publish by a company instead it's done by the individual.
Meant to make you feel emotions of sadness and melancholy.
It's like saying "show us some skin".
Fan service nudity and nude parts.
Nothing too strong usually.
Involves fantasy worlds, fairy tales, magic and stuff.
A woman dressing as a man.
A man dressing as a woman.
(not always for sexual pleasure though).
Also includes soul transfer (a guy's soul into a woman's body), operations and the like.
Traditionally, a harem would mean: One rich (king-ish) guy and his concubines.
But since it seldom comes to sex in manga, it simply means a guy surrounded by lots of girls that may or may not have romantic feelings towards him.
There is also Reversed Harem, which is: one girl surrounded by guys that may or may not have romantic feelings towards her (usually someone does heh).
Basically what I would call manga porn.
A work that involves explicit sexual relationships between (in most cases) man and women.
The focus of the manga is sex, not plot.
Historical events, story takes place during older times/ancient periods.
Intense and profound fear, something that inspires dislike or unease; something that creates horrible/intense aversion.
Written to make you scared.
Big focus on attraction to under-aged girls from the ages of 5 to 15.
Usually has sexual themes.
Involves martial arts. Fighting with certain styles and such.
Being a major part of the manga.
I would say it goes when a manga has mature themes. Like suicide, cults, depressions, more sexual stuff.
Big ass robots (mostly)
Events that make the protagonist to enquire the source of them.
Usually goes with the thrilling effect.
Mostly the abnormal state of mind, and would probably deal with philosophy.
When the manga has love and romantic feelings between the main characters.
A big part of the manga will occur on school grounds and during school life
Short for Science Fiction.
Usually features advanced technology.
Big focus on attraction to under-aged boys from the ages of 5 to 15.
Usually has sexual themes.
"Girls' Love". Usually depicts close, often romantic relationships between girls/women.
An intimate/sexual relationship between women. More graphic/explicit content than Shoujo Ai.
"Boys' Love". Usually depicts close, often romantic relationships between boys/men.
An intimate/sexual relationship between men. More graphic/explicit content than Shounen Ai.
Slice of Life
Day to day occurrences of the protagonist.
With not action, violence, or anything over the top.
Usually quite peaceful and melancholic in nature.
A major part of the manga includes sex. Most often not explicit.
A major part (often the main focus) is sports. Any kind of sport. Like football, baseball, basketball etc..
Characters having supernatural abilities, such as superhuman strength and the like, which would go against natural laws of physics.
Involving tragic events, for example a main character's death.