What Does Shonen Mean in Anime | Get The List of Anime For You

What does Shonen mean in anime is one of the questions that has haunted the minds of many manga and anime fans. There are many mangas and anime dedicated especially to the Shonen genre. Some of them have been able to captivate the audience the world over.

Here in this blog, I will explain the meaning of the word shonen. How the word came into being and its application in the Japanese manga and anime. After you have read the blog you will have all the information about shonen manga and anime.

Hence, let us delve deep into the meaning of the word and understand its usage. I am sure after learning about the types of shonen anime you would love to watch or read the related animes and mangas. They are quite captivating and interesting to know those kind of stories.

Origin of The Word Shonen

The word Shonen in the Japanese language means boy or Juvenile when translated into English. It generally refers to boys between the ages of 12 to 18.  They are considered minor in Japan. The legal age in Japan is 20 years.

In Japan when you do not know the name of a kid and wish to call out to them, you can use the word Shonen. Such words are not so much in use in the real colloquial language of Japan. But in anime, you would come across such words a lot. These are used to address young boys when their name is unknown.

The word is also used to send a warning to a young boy anyone can come across. They can be addressed as watch out you young boy or something of that sort. That can sometimes sound very rude but that is how it is used.

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What Does Shonen Mean in Anime?

Shonen is used to specify a particular genre of manga or anime. Some refer to shonen anime for young adults in English but it majorly refers to only the young boys and not to girls. There is a particular age group to which shonen anime caters. Hence, we can say that shonen anime is not for any anime lover but for specific audiences only. Children below the age group of 12 cannot get aligned with the kind of content provided in this type of anime. And children above this age group might find the content boring or too childish to watch. 

Boys who are above the age of 18 seinen anime would be more appropriate for them. The main character or the protagonist is the major reason for shonen animes are so popular. The story is even drawn around the characters and how they move ahead in their life.

The bond of friendship and how it influences the character is a major influence in any shonen anime. It also deals with how the main character deals with the people around him and how he can go to any limits to save his friendship. Such influences are majorly found in the Shonen anime.

Some of the best examples of Shonen anime are Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, Mu Hero Academia, and more. And yes! As this anime caters to young boys, action is a must in these anime. Without action, such anime are not easily accepted by the audience of that particular age group.

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How is Shonen Used in Manga?

In almost all the cases the anime is adapted from the Shonen manga and the major portion is not changed a bit at all. Sometimes little changes are introduced in the anime as per the demand of the situation or the way it is depicted. Little changes are made to make the anime appeal more to its audience. This helps to increase the popularity of the manga. Even the audience can connect and understand the manga better through such anime.

In the Shonen manga, there are female characters where girls are depicted playing roles where they challenge the boys in any battle or other form of action. These adventurous moves help to increase the enthusiasm of the boys and they are influenced to work on their skills. Such storylines are highly appreciated by the audience of the Shonen age group.

In the anime version of the Shonen, the percentage of explicit content in terms of dialogues or action is quite more in the anime than in the manga. One thing I can assure you is that if you start liking the Shonen anime then you would like reading manga of the same genre.

List of Shonen Anime

There are various platforms on the internet where you can find the list of the best Shonen anime. They include Shonen anime which are old and also new. You can buy a copy of the manga or get a link to watch the anime. You even get the option to read the digital version of the manga. Some of them are free and some need a paid subscription.

You might come across stories that are interesting and they might excite you and you might even grow an interest in reading or watching mangas and animes of the shonen category respectively.

You can even look for the animes on the Crunchyroll or Funimation streaming platforms. All the popular animes are available on streaming platforms for the global audience to enjoy.


So, I hope your understanding of what does shonen mean in anime has provided you with a lot of clarity. Personally, I have a special place in my heart for shonen animes and mangas. They provide interesting storylines and are always a good read during travel. So, which is your favorite shonen anime or manga? And why is it so close to your heart? Do share your thoughts and views through the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Shonen Mean in Anime?

Shonen refers to the genre of anime or manga that caters to the young male audience. They are generally of the age group of 12 to 18.

Name a few Shonen anime.

Some of the best examples of Shonen anime are Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, My Hero Academia, and more.

Where can we find Shonen anime?

Shonen anime is available on the official website of the production. Apart from that you will be able to find them on streaming platforms like Crunchyroll, Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime.

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