24 Popular Anime Genres List Explained

How many anime genres do you know? The different types of anime are in the dozens. If you’re an avid watcher of the Big 3 Anime, you may have learned that every show is based on a specific anime genre list.

Lelouch Lamperouge Code Geass military anime genres

Today, anime art is available in a wide range of different anime genres, such as drama, action, supernatural, and horror, to mention a few. They are made for a young girl or young boy as well as adults. They feature tough female characters and handsome male characters.

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Below are the various types of anime genres and subgenres, including a detailed explanation and examples of each. It doesn’t matter if you’re an enthusiastic anime fan or merely an interested onlooker. 

This detailed list of common genres and subgenres will allow you to learn basic knowledge about anime style to enjoy the anime categories world.

24. Action Anime

A high level of rigorous action mainly characterizes the action anime genre list. Action is one of the most popular genres of anime. A good portion of action anime shows comprises action fight scenes and thrilling battles.

Gurren Lagann

It is not a wonder if you find yourself jumping off your seat while trying to imitate the stimulating fights in this genre. A considerable part of the action genre comprises fluid animation, battle scenes, and super-engaging elements that activate your adrenaline system.

Here are some famous examples of action anime.

  • Gurren Lagann
  • Kill la Kill
  • Darker than Black
  • Trigun
  • Fullmetal Alchemist

23. Adventure Animes

Typically, the adventure genre mainly focuses on undertaking epic quests and traveling around the world. Some adventure anime characters even escalate the experience by traveling to the entire universe or other unpopular dimensions. 

Fairy Tail Lucy and friends

Ideally, adventure anime characters keep moving from one place to another. Characters venture into various destinations with a specific goal to accomplish. 

For example, they are searching for hidden treasure worldwide, exploring new places, escaping from a heinous villain, and defeating a deadly villain that would otherwise become a global threat, among other goals in their mind. 

The adventure anime categories cover a wide range of shows and are also flexible enough to cover multiple episodes. They can also overlap with other popular genres, especially those involving action or love.

Popular adventure anime shows.

  • Fairy Tail
  • Kino’s Journey
  • Hunter X Hunter
  • One Piece
  • Hunter X Hunter
  • Spice and Wolf

22. Comedy Anime

The central theme of a typical comedy genre is to make the viewer laugh. However, humor is relative since what makes one person laugh doesn’t necessarily make someone else laugh. 

Gintama anime final season artwork with all characters

Although some comedy animations may not be as humorous as the popular TV shows, especially those in drama and action categories, at least a comedy anime should have no excuse for not making you laugh. 

A comedy anime that doesn’t make its watchers at least giggle, let alone laugh, has failed in its purpose. Expect to find numerous funny moments, wacky dialogue, hilarious scenes, and comical happenings in a comedy-themed anime genre.

Here are popular comedy anime shows.

  • Gintama
  • Nichijou
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys
  • The Haruhi Suzumiya Melancholy

21. Drama Anime

Have you ever watched an episode that left you in tears and a massive wave of emotions? Then you probably had been watching a drama-themed genre. A drama anime will try to connect you with the character’s experiences. 

Kanon anime with Mai and others playing in the snow

This connection is what makes the viewer feel in tune with what the anime character is experiencing. It could be an emotional experience or a barrage of feelings. The main goal of a drama anime is to influence the viewers’ hearts in a certain way.

Some drama anime are too arousing such that they can almost make you cry. A drama anime that succeeds in making you feel emotional can be said to have worked effectively in accomplishing its mission.

Some popular drama anime examples include…

  • Kanon
  • Clannad
  • Little Busters
  • Your Lies in April
  • Anohana: The flower we come across that day

20. Slice of Life Anime

Whenever you hear someone talking about a slice of life, they talk about the ordinary good life.

Non Non Biyori anime with Hotaru and friends

Stories featuring in a Slice of Life genre are based on the actual life setting domain. Everything is about what happens in the blues; that is the fundamental point of the cute anime genre, Slice of Life. 

Ordinary life is covered in a realistic dimension, with nothing supernatural taking a role in the show.

Here are famous examples of Slice of Life anime.

  • Non Non Biyori
  • Koufuku Graffiti
  • Lucky Star
  • Wagnaria
  • Barakamon
  • Nichijou
  • Great Teacher Onizuka
  • Angel Beats and
  • Little Busters

19. Fantasy Anime

The fantasy genre animes mainly cover themes of fantasy worlds, dreamlike locations, and magical events.

Nanatsu no Taizai anime cover art with Meliodas and friends

The setting is often based on fantastical sites where the key characters start their adventures. In some shows, the characters begin their journey from a natural world setting and then transition to something out of this world. 

Magic is an excellent part of the fantasy genre. Fantasy animes feature phenomena that are beyond scientific explanations. Several mystical elements serve as fundamental building blocks of a fantasy show. 

Here are some famous examples of fantasy anime.

  • Nanatsu no Taizai
  • Fate night
  • Strike Witches
  • No Game, No Life
  • Inuyasha
  • Slayers

18. Magic Anime

Magic-themed anime categories involve and revolve around magical kinds of stuff such as incantations and spells. Some stories also cover places where characters can source magical powers and characters that can grant wishes.

Madoka Magica Main five female characters

Magical girls are the most common characters in these magic animes. These magical girls can become a whole new genre in the subsequent episodes.

Famous examples of magic-themed anime.

  • Puella Magica Magi Madoka
  • Magi: Labyrinth of Magic
  • Magical Doremi
  • The Virgin Maria Witch
  • Little Witch Academia
  • Sailor Moon
  • Cardcaptor Sakura

17. Supernatural Anime

Whenever you come across a supernatural anime, it involves events or stuff beyond ordinary scientific explanations.

Bakemonogatari five female characters

Magical-based animes may cover mythical, bizarre, and mystical things or something beyond the accepted reality. There are shadows of myths and mysteries found in this genre.

Here are some examples of popular supernatural-themed anime.

  • Bakemonogatari
  • Noragami
  • Blue Exorcist
  • Durarara!!
  • Mushishi

16. Horror Anime

It is easy to identify a horror genre in any anime. Typically, the main characters in horror anime are monsters, ghosts, creeps, and some gore. 

School-Live! anime cover art

It’s obvious to come across several incidences of bloody violence and heavy gore traits in these animes. The key distinguishing factor in horror animes is the ability to creep and scare you out. If you are watching horror anime types alone, it can be frightening, especially if it’s your first time.

Here are famous examples of horror anime.

  • School-Live!
  • Parasyte -the maxim
  • Hell Girl
  • Corpse Party
  • Junji Ito Collection

15. Mystery Anime

Mystery animes are a psychological-based genre that mainly focuses on mysterious places, items, or events. One common thing about mystery anime stories is the red herrings that keep fans guessing. 

Hyouka anime Houtarou reading a book with Chitanda looking over his shoulder

It could be a place, an event, or a specific item with some mysteries surrounding its existence and narrative. Many puzzle-based animes feature criminals and detectives.

Examples of Mystery anime shows.

  • Hyouka
  • Eden of the East
  • Detective Conan
  • Gosick
  • Tantei Opera Milky Holmes
  • Oshi no Ko

14. Psychological Anime

These animes mainly revolve around how the psyche and mind work. This genre mainly covers scenes touching psychological themes and rarely on philosophical levels. 

Paranoia Agent anime cast of characters cover art

Mind games and battles are standard here; the characters have to gauge their wits against the competitor. Psychological animes are designed to involve your mind by sharpening your critical thinking skills.

Examples of popular psychological anime.

  • Paranoia Agent
  • Future Diary
  • Zetsuen no Tempest
  • Monster
  • Death Note
  • Mirai Nikki

13. Romance Anime

Based on the name, you can tell that the romance genre mainly involves sweet moments of falling in love and passion.

There are several romance animes with romantic relationships, such as lovers who never settle until the show’s end, love triangles in which two characters fight over another character or a love square in which four or more characters are involved. 

ItaKiss Itazura na Kiss with Kotoko Aihara and Irie Kun

Ideally, romance is the key theme; the story will mainly focus on a realistic yet fictional setting. When comparing romance with other genres, the action involved is choppy, comedy is casual, drama is overemphasized, and psychological themes are complex.

A love story can tug at your heartstrings with tender moments and romantic scenes. You’ll often find romance anime featuring other anime genres such as drama, comedy, harem, and shoujo subgenres. 

The main focus in these animes is the love relationships between or among characters and sometimes complex romance incidences.

Famous romance anime.

  • Itazura na Kiss
  • Suki-little Li Nayo
  • Kare Kano
  • Isshukan Friends
  • Valkyria Chronicles
  • Golden Time
  • Honey and Clover
  • Special A
  • Lovely Complex
  • Kokoro Connect
  • Azumanga Daioh

12. Military Anime

The military genre mainly features uniformed military as the main characters. One common feature of military anime is that Mecha animes accompany it. In comparison, Mecha anime is characterized primarily by science fiction robots. 

Saga of Tanya the Evil anime Yojo Senki

The Mecha and Military genres often feature together, as seen in shows like Macross and Gundam. As the name suggests, military animes may involve war as the central theme.

Examples of popular military anime.

  • The saga of Tanya the Evil
  • GATE
  • Kantai Collection
  • Fullmetal Panic
  • Code Geass

11. Mecha Anime

Mecha is an abbreviation for mechanical and robot units. Mecha animes must include an automated or robotic unit as a character. Indeed, this is the most distinguishing feature in the Mecha animes. 

Code Geass anime Lelouch and cast characters cover art

As mentioned above, Mecha animes go hand in hand with the military, action genre, and sci-fi anime genres. Mecha animes are among the most famous Japanese exports.

Examples of popular Mecha anime types.

  • Code Geass
  • Mobile Suit Gundam
  • Patlabor
  • Lagrange
  • Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion

10. History Anime

History anime genre focuses on past time settings. They are usually ideal for helping viewers study history much more excitingly. Also, viewers can use these animes to learn a new skill, like learning a new language.

Popular history anime genre setting includes those covering Japanese histories like the Edo Period and Warring States Period. Others cover foreign nations’ history, such as the Chinese History book The Journey to the West. 

Dog of Flanders anime boy girl and dog

France-based history animes include Le Chevalier D’Eon and The Rose of Versailles. Most history-based anime genres tend to emphasize superpowers action, or both. 

Live-action dramas are good examples of the history anime genre focusing on activities and superpowers. Dramas come in a more realistic image of history.

Examples of popular history anime. 

  • Dog of Flanders
  • Junketsu no MariaSamurai Champloo
  • The Rose of Versailles
  • Rurouni Kenshin
  • Fushigi Yugi

9. Kids Anime

Although some people claim that anime is just meant for kids, that is not true. Several animes are created for kids. These anime types fall under the subgenre of kid’s anime. 

All Digimon characters

They are typically light, mild, and insightful, thus making them ideal for kids under 12 years. Kid’s anime face challenges from Japanese culture, mainly because Western cultures differ from Japanese cultures in unique ways.

Examples of Kids Anime. 

  • Digimon
  • Doraemon
  • Pokémon
  • Chi’s Sweet Home
  • Machine Robo Rescue

8. Sci-Fi Anime

Sci-fi is an abbreviation for science fiction. These anime showcase technological and scientific elements in their shows. Machines could be the main characters, such as robots of various technological advancements. 

Space Dandy anime with Dandy in a black and white jacket with a gold star

Sci-fi anime genres focus on advances in technology and science. Indeed, this is the reason why you’ll come across sci-fi anime featuring subgenres such as Space and Mecha.

Examples of Sci-Fi anime. 

  • Space Dandy
  • Evangelion
  • Outlaw Star
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Knights of Sidonia

7. Game Anime

These anime encompass shows that mainly focus on gaming and playing themes. For instance, anime may include characters playing board games, card games, puzzle games, and virtual online games. 

Sword Are Online anime four characters with swords

Game anime concerns playable games of various types of anime, including video game-based animes.

Examples of Game anime.

  • Sword Art Online
  • Cardfight!! Vanguard
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
  • Selector infected WIXOSS
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V

6. Martial Arts Anime

Martial arts are critical features in battle and fighting anime. Martial arts may involve swordplay, hand-to-hand combat, armed combat, and gun fighting. It’s equally important to note that there are types of martial arts that mainly focus on battle techniques and the martial arts themselves. 

Dragon Ball anime characters artwork

The martial arts subgenre is quite popular in action-themed anime. An iconic example of this anime is Dragon Ball Z. This show was responsible for familiarizing manga and anime in the mainstream Western world.

Here are examples of popular martial arts anime.

  • Dragon Ball
  • Baki the Grappler
  • Hajime no Ippo
  • Katanagatari

5. Post-apocalyptic anime

The post-apocalyptic anime mainly involves typical shows of how the world would look at the end of the world. For instance, how would the world look if it had been destroyed with only a few humans surviving the apocalypse? 

Shin Sekai Yori anime characters

Most post-apocalyptic settings are set based on past themes. However, these anime are becoming more popular today, mainly due to the influence of global pandemics.

Famous examples of post-apocalyptic anime.

  • Shin Sekai Yori
  • Attack on Titan
  • Sound of the Sky
  • Sidonia no Kishi
  • Iron Fortress Kabaneri

4. Sports anime

These are shows whose characters mainly participate in athletic competitions. Popular choices of sports anime include tennis, basketball anime, baseball, and soccer. 

Kuroko's Basketball anime characters in their team uniform

One of the most popular sports anime is Slam Dunk. Indeed, most modern sports anime imitated this anime. The sport eliminated the belief that only the protagonist should become the instant expert in the sport. 

The main character is seen learning basketball skills, and the audience also catches up with these techniques.

Examples of popular sports anime.

  • Kuroko’s Basketball
  • Yowamushi Pedal
  • Haikyuu!!
  • Ace of Diamond

3. Police Anime

As the name suggests, these anime emphasize ordinary law enforcers’ challenges and struggles in their work. Police-based characters are featured in various shows, and some emerge as police procedurals. 

Lupin the Third anime characters

The main characters in police anime are police offers, investigators, detectives, and law enforcement of various ranks.

Examples of popular police anime.

  • Lupin the Third
  • Psycho-Pass
  • Case Closed
  • You’re Under Arrest
  • Beautiful Bones, the Sakurako’s Investigation

2. Super Power anime

When you come across numerous explosives of superpowers blasting on your screen, then your show is probably a superpower-themed anime. 

Akira anime

In a superpower anime genre, you won’t miss seeing bursts of death-resistance attacks, energy balls, and substantial opposing forces fighting for control, among other powers. 

Ideally, the superpower subgenre falls under the category of action and fantasy anime genres.

Famous examples of superpower anime.

  • Akira
  • Tiger & Bunny
  • Toriko
  • Dragon Ball
  • My Hero Academia

1. Hentai Anime

Anime hentai refers to a subgenre of Japanese animation that incorporates explicit sexual content. It gained popularity in the late 20th century and continues to be a prominent category within the anime industry.

The term “anime hentai” is a combination of the English word “anime” and the Japanese word “hentai,” which translates to “perverted” or “abnormal” in English.

Despite its explicit nature, anime hentai has amassed a dedicated fanbase in Japan and internationally, with numerous websites, streaming platforms, and conventions catering to this specific genre.

It is important to note that due to its explicit content, anime hentai is intended for adult audiences only.

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Popular Anime Subgenres

  • Game
  • Cyberpunk
  • Demons
  • Harem
  • Kids 
  • Martial Arts 
  • Historical 
  • Josei 
  • Hentai 
  • Mecha
  • Music 
  • Parody
  • Police 
  • Military 
  • Post-Apocalyptic 
  • School 
  • Sports 
  • Super Power 
  • Vampire 
  • Tragedy 
  • Yuri
  • Josei Anime
  • Seinen Genre
  • Shonen Anime
Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist

Also, check out 191 Miraculous Ladybug characters, Crunchyroll, and stream anime shows. Some fans also stream anime on Kissanime. For anime news try the Anime News Network.

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Popular Anime Genres Questions

What are the five main types of anime?

The five most popular genres of anime are shonen, shojo, seinen, slice of life, and kodomomuke.

What are the types of genres in anime?

The main types if genre in anime are shonen, shojo, seinen, josei, and kodomomuke.

What is the biggest genre of anime?

Shonen is the biggest genre of anime and features some of the most popular anime of all time like Dargon Ball Z, Naruto, and One Piece.

What is the opposite of shonen?

Shojo is the opposite of shonen and when translated means young girl.

What are the three most popular anime?

The most popular anime is Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z.

What is anime in English called?

Anime in English is Animation.

What is the number 1 longest anime?

Sazae-San is the longest-running anime with 7,920 episodes.

What is the rarest anime genre?

Historically accurate drama is considered by many to be the rarest anime genre.

What was the first anime genre?

Talkie anime was the first genre created by Masaoka in 1933.

What is mature anime genre called?

The seinen anime genre is targeted toward older males and contains mature content.

Is anime a genre?

Yes, anime is considered a genre in English. Originating from Japan, anime refers to a specific style of animated storytelling characterized by its unique art style and cultural influences. It encompasses various genres such as action, romance, fantasy, and more, making it a popular and diverse form of entertainment worldwide.

How many types of anime are there?

There are 24 major types of anime and dozens of subcategories. These can include popular genres like action, romance, comedy, fantasy, sci-fi, and more. With a wide range of themes and storytelling styles, anime offers something for every taste and preference.

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Brandon Crombar

Brandon Crombar

Editor In Chief / Founder

Brandon is an animation enthusiast and animated film critic. He has been writing about animation since 2013 to celebrate animated movies, characters, and songs. His favorite animated movies include Finding Nemo, Aladdin, and The Lion King.


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