While manga come in many different genres, there is no definitive list.  The following is a synthesis of the most prominent genres proposed by specialists, library catalogers, and manga fans. It is a work in progress, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or suggestions for improvement.

Note: The terms below are in English, but they can be used to find Japanese and other foreign language manga in WorldCat and university catalogs (simply check “Japanese” or other preferred language(s) in the advanced search options, as applicable) in North America. In addition to the list of popular genres, further below we have provided a list of major manga demographies, or intended audiences (usually categorized by age groups and gender), which are sometimes seen as genres too.

Popular Manga Genres

Action / Adventure

Adult

Adventure

Bisexual

Comedy 

Comics adaptations

Coming-of-age

Detective / Mystery 

Dōjinshi (Self-published)

Drama

Ecchi / Erotic

Fantasy (includes Isekai)

Gender Bender

Graphic Novels

Harem

Historical / Historical Fiction / Alternative Histories

Horror

How-to / Gakushu

Humorous 

Legal

Medical

Magical / Magical Girl

Martial Arts

Mecha (Machines and Robots)

Monster / Kaiju

Nonfiction

Paranormal

Parody

Pornographic

Psychological

Queer

Religious

Romance

Romantic Comedy

Samurai

School

Science Fiction (includes Cyberpunk)

Shōjo-ai (Girls’ Love)

Shōnen-ai (Boys’ Love, or BL)

Slice of Life

Social issue

Sports

Spy

Superhero

Supernatural

Thriller

Tragedy

Transgender

Underground

War

Wordless

Yaoi 

Yuri

Major Manga Demographics

Shonen: For young teenage boys, roughly between 12-18.

Kodomo: For little kids or young children, under about 8.

Seinen: For young adult males or younger men, roughly between 18-40.

Shōjo: For young teenage girls, roughly between 8-18.

Josei: For adult females or younger women, roughly between 18-40

Seijin/Ero Manga: Adult manga for males.

Redisu/Lady’s MangaManga for young adult females.

Dōjinshi MangaManga publication by amateurs.

Gekiga: Focusing on serious topics geared toward mature audiences.

Silver & GoldenManga for older readers.

Sources

Kalen, Elizabeth. Mostly Manga : a Genre Guide to Popular Manga, Manhwa, Manhua, and Anime. Santa Barbara, Ca : Libraries Unlimited, 2012.

Pawuk, Michael. Graphic Novels : a Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More. Westport, Conn. :Libraries Unlimited, 2007.