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Shōnen (少年?) (sometimes transliterated as shounen, literally " few years") is a Japanese word used in English to refer to anime and manga primarily intended for boys, although there can be crossover appeal to men and females as well (e.g., Mobile Suit Gundam, Dragon Ball, Shaman King, One Piece, Eureka seveN, and Naruto).

Shōnen anime and manga is characterized by high-action, often humorous plots featuring male protagonists. The camaraderie between boys or men on sports teams, fighting squads, etc. is often emphasized. Unrealistically attractive female characters are also common, but are not a requirement — Dragon Ball Z for example has only a few remarkable female characters. The art style of shōnen is generally less flowery than that of shōjo, although this varies greatly from artist to artist, and some artists draw both shōnen and shōjo.

In contrast to shōnen, anime and manga for men (university age and up) is called seinen. Despite a number of significant differences, many Western fans don't make a distinction between shōnen and seinen. This is due to the fact that very few seinen manga have been published outside of Japan. On the other hand, many older men in Japan read shōnen magazines because of their ease of reading during commutes to and from work on trains. Consequently shōnen magazines (including Shonen Jump) are the most popular manga magazines in Japan.

Several series have notorious female audiences, who predominantly included them in non-canonical yaoi (and even shota-con) fanwork and dōjinshi.

See also

Home | Up | Harem anime | H dōjinshi | Josei | Magical girl | Mecha anime | Seinen | Shōjo | Shōnen

Movies, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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