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Presentation of the seinen manga

Considered an important category of manga in Japan, seinen targets an audience of mainly young adult men. The typical age range is between 16 and 40. The topics covered are very diverse, not just romance or science fiction, but also politics, sports or even the office world.

Differences between seinen and other categories of manga

In Japan, manga has become such an important part of entertainment and culture that it adopts very advanced marketing techniques. As a result, the market has been highly segmented and specific styles of manga are aimed at each segment. Breasten is aimed at the young adult male segment, or those coming out of adolescence.

Young adult women, on the other hand, are targeted by josei manga, while young teenage boys (8 to 18 years old) are concerned by shōnen manga.

It is important to note that the manga in question do not have to conform to strict rules. Their style and content are simply adapted to the target audience, and other audiences are not necessarily excluded. A young woman or a 14 year old may well be interested in seinen manga such as Trigun, Tokyo Ghoul or The House of Ikkaku - the latter having been adapted for television in the anime series 'Juliet, I love you'.

Discover all our collections in our manga shop

The origins of seinen

It is commonly accepted that the first manga magazine aimed at the "seinen" public was the Weekly Manga Times, launched in 1956. It should also be noted that the term "seinen" in Japanese translates as "youth". By the end of the 1960s, the target audience could enjoy three immensely popular magazines:

  • The Weekly Manga Times, published by the publisher Houbunsha, and sometimes also called Shūman. It still exists today and sells nearly four hundred thousand copies a week.
  • Weekly Manga Sunday, published by the publisher Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha from 1959, and also called Mansun. The inclusion of "Sunday" served to distinguish it from the Weekly Manga Times, which was always published on Fridays. This magazine ceased to exist in 2013.
  • Weekly Manga Goraku, published by Nihon Bungeisha from 1968 onwards and also published on Fridays in direct competition with Weekly Manga Times.

The diverse subjects of seinen

In reality, there is no specific subject for seinen. This category is really very broad and we can find action series like One Punch Man, or science fiction with very advanced philosophical reflections like Ghost in the Shell. We also find medieval stories like Vagabond, set in the early 17th century. The Berserk series, on the other hand, is more akin to the fantasy genre, taking place in a fictional and magical version of medieval Europe.

We can also mention the Yuri sub-genre, which is intended to be the lesbian equivalent of the Yaoi sub-genre, taking place within the shōjo. Yuri focuses on lesbian romantic stories, and while it started out targeting a female audience, it was able to bridge the gap to seinen.

All of these sub-categories can be explored in our geek shop, as well as those in other manga categories.

Interesting detail about seinen

For an observer unfamiliar with the genre, there is a detail that helps identify seinen titles, besides those of magazines containing the English word "young". The titles are usually written in Kanji characters (from Chinese script), but as they are not necessarily intelligible to young adults, they are 'subtitled' in Furigana. This is a form of reading aid, located above the text in Kanji and giving indications on pronunciation.

We also offer shonen manga!