Oct 9 / Sozoroo TEAM

The Evolution and Transformation of Japan's Manga and Anime Culture

Japan's manga and anime culture has long been categorized based on age and gender, evolving into a medium with distinct characteristics. However, in recent years, significant changes have emerged within this culture. This article explores these characteristics and evolutions.

Evolution of Genre Classification
In the past, manga culture was strictly divided into categories such as "shonen" (targeted at boys), "shojo" (targeted at girls), "seinen" (targeted at adult men), and "josei" (targeted at adult women), all based on age and gender. Similarly, television anime also had target demographics defined by age and gender. However, amidst these predefined categories, significant changes have been occurring among the audience.

Changes on the Audience Side
Recently, we have witnessed phenomena such as "women reading shonen manga," "adults enjoying shonen manga," and "men watching shojo anime." As a result, authors of shonen manga have started to consider female readers, leading to an increase in female authors transitioning from shojo manga to seinen manga and female manga artists debuting in shonen magazines. Thus, changes are occurring not only on the audience side but also among the creators.

Expansion of Media Mix
Furthermore, the concept of "media mix," where a single original work is simultaneously adapted into manga, anime, novels, movies, games, and more, has gained popularity. This has led to an increase in late-night television anime slots, offering content that doesn't restrict itself to specific genders and appeals to a wider age range.
As a result of these changes, the themes and artistic expressions found in manga and anime have diversified, causing the traditional genre classifications like "shonen" and "shojo" to undergo transformations. This cultural evolution is influencing society, businesses, creative expressions, and consumer behaviors. By examining its multifaceted aspects, we gain insight into how Japan's manga and anime culture has evolved and continues to change.