The different anime genres

When it comes to getting into the various anime genres and shows out there, it can seem like a daunting task. While every anime is different, they all also take on their genres differently, as two romance anime shows can be extremely different in theme and tone.

With the sheer number of shows already putting off most viewers, even more are put off when a western anime that they delved into turns out to be far too silly, or serious or has an off-putting art style. Having the understanding of different genres can often be a great weapon in finding a series and sticking with it.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but can hopefully give new viewers a place to start before delving into anime themselves.

A genre for every fan


This genre has the characters traveling across the world/universe/dimension and very rarely has them stay in one place for more than an episode. This allows adventure shows to meld into every genre, including action and romance.

Because of this they are often very long, and are an adventure of their own to get through!


This genre has characters playing a card or board game, and revolves around tournaments, winning games, and some pretty epic duels. The characters play the game and whole story arcs can revolve around a tournament or having certain characters duel one another for high stakes.

Magic can also be brought in to help raise the stakes, often making the board game, and its consequences real and deadly. Yu-Gi-Oh is one of the most popular examples of this genre.


There’s always a good time to send in the demons and hellfire, and these shows bring in demons, monsters, and other supernatural creatures. They aren’t always evil or designed to scare the audience though, and some can even be comedic or slice of life!

Martial Arts

While almost anime has some form of magic or combat, whether that is sword duels, gunfights, magic battles, or a good old fistfight these anime choose to focus on them. The plots of these anime normally see warriors training for a battle before the battle itself is shown, coupled with some slice of life in between.

Combinations are king

All of the above genres, as well as the genres that haven’t been mentioned, all can be combined with one other. A romance can be a part of a martial arts anime, and an Adventure amine can also contain some slice of life. Anime is like interchangeable parts, where every genre can be mashed and thrown together to create something new.

So if you love martial arts, be sure to keep an eye on any genre tags or sub-genres so you can find the perfect combination, because trust me – it exists. Same with any other genre, or a combination. Then give it a few episodes and see if this is the one if it isn’t then go somewhere else.

With an understanding of anime’s various types and genres, discovering the one that works for you will be easy. Then you can spend less time looking and more time watching!