Shōnen, Shōjo, and Toxic Masculinity?

 (Fist of the North Star)

Well-known gendered categories within anime/manga include Shōnen (少年 – targeted towards teenage boys), Seinen (成年 – targeted towards adult men), Shōjo (少女 – targeted towards young girls), and Josei (女性 – targeted towards adult women). Simply put, anime and manga often feed off of gendered biases and stereotypes in order to make the big bucks $$$. In recent years, more and more anime fans have worked to dilute the barriers between “for men” and “for women” anime and manga. However, I want to argue that female-identifying fans are more likely and willing to become fans of “for men” anime than male-identifying fans are towards “for women” anime, even though the Seinen and Shōnen categories often have fewer fully-developed female characters. Continue reading