AniDB Genre Definitions [outdated]

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AniDB Genre Definitions [outdated]

Post by egg » Sat Nov 27, 2004 6:31 pm

Genres have been replaced by Categories. See

What are Genres?

Genres are categories that are used to group similar animes. Genres are displayed in the property page for each anime, but you can also browse or search by genre. Please take look at the definitions, they may be slightly different than other those use elsewhere.

Assigning Genres
Genres should only be assigned when the genre plays a large role in the story. Just because a kid is dressed in a vampire costume and whistles while riding in a car on the way to school does not mean that anime should have the genres Vampire, Music, Cars or School selected. You can only directly add a genre to an anime if you added that anime. In all other cases, please post the genres to be added/removed/debated in the DB Change Request forum. Remember that genre settings have been refined over time, and many times have been discussed repeatedly for particular anime. In the case of Ecchi and Hentai, please see the note at the bottom.

AniDB Genre Definitions
Animes whose central struggle plays out mainly through a clash of physical forces. Frequently these stories have fast cuts, tough characters making quick decisions and usually a beautiful girl nearby. Anything quick and most likely a thin storyline.

Animes whose setting is exploring new places, environments or situations. This is often associated with people on long journeys to places far away encountering amazing things, usually not in an epic but in a rather gripping and interesting way.

Animes whose central theme revolves around cars and probably car races. A single character's obsession for cars does not mean that it should belong to this genre. Most of these stories also are in the action genre.

Animes whose central struggle causes hilarious results. These stories are built upon funny characters, situations and events.

Animes that have mind-twisting plots. According to wahaha, "When watching this anime, you'll quickly assume that either you or the storywriter are mad."

Animes that are set in a world where demons and other dark creatures play a significant role - the main character may even be one.

Animes that answer the question, "Who is the murderer?" These stories rely on the well-known detective themes. This is a sub-genre of mystery.

Animes that often show life or characters through conflict and emotions. In general, the different parts of the story tend to form a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. In other words, the story has a message that is bigger than just the story line itself.

Animes that contain a lot of sexual innuendo. The translation of this letter (Ecchi is the letter 'H' in Japanese) is pervert. Ecchi is about panties (pantsu) and bra/breast showing, situations with "sudden nudity" and of course, subtle hints or sexual thoughts. Ecchi does not describe actual sex acts or show any intimate body parts except for bare breasts and buttocks. Ecchi is almost always used for humor.

Animes that are set in a mythical world quite different from modern-day Earth. Frequently this world has magic and/or mythical creatures such as dragons and unicorns. These stories are sometimes based on real world legends and myths. Frequently fantasies describe tales featuring magic, brave knights, damsels in distress, and/or quests.

Animes whose central theme is based on a non-violent, non-sports game, like go, chess, trading card games or computer/video games. This can either be where the characters are involved in a game and/or the story is from a real world video or card game.

Animes created by Studio Ghibli. This is not really a traditional genre, but Studio Ghibli has proven to be very successful with their highly-rated and unique style of anime. In Japan they are the equivalent of Disney Studios.

Animes whose central theme is explicit sex. Hentai is sex with usually a very small storyline, comparable with normal porn. Hentai can range from normal couple's sexual relationship to a wide variety of fetishes and perversions.

Animes whose setting is in the past. Frequently these follow historical tales, sagas or facts.

Animes whose focus is to scare the audience.

Animes whose target audience is children. This does not necessarily mean that the character(s) are children or that an anime whose main character(s) are children is appropriate for this genre.

Animes whose central theme revolves around magic. Things that are "out of this world" happen - incidents that cannot be explained by the laws of nature or science. Usually wizards/witches indicate that it is of the "Magic" type. This is a sub-genre of fantasy.

Martial Arts:
Animes whose central theme revolves around martial arts. This includes all hand-to-hand fighting styles, including Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do and even Boxing. Weapons use, like Nunchaku and Shuriken are also indications of this genre. This is a sub-genre of action.

Animes whose central theme involves mechanical things. This genre is mainly used to point out when there are giant robots. Human size androids are in general not considered "Mecha" but "SciFi".

Animes whose central theme revolves around singers/idols or people playing instruments. This category is not intended for finding AMVs (Animated Music Videos).

Animes where characters reveal secrets that may lead a solution for a great mystery. This is not necessarily solving a crime, but can be a realization after a quest.

Animes that imitate other stories (can be from TV, film, books, historical events, ...) for comic effect by exaggerating the style and changing the content of the original. Also known as spoofs. This is a sub-genre of comedy.

Animes whose story is about two people who each want [sometimes unconciously] to win or keep the love of the other. This kind of anime might also fall in the "Ecchi" category, while "Romance" and "Hentai" generally contradict each other.

Animes whose main character(s) are samurai, the old, but not forgotten, warrior cast of medieval Japan.

Animes which are mainly set in a school environment.

Animes where the setting is based on the technology and tools of a scientifically imaginable world. The majority of technologies presented are not available in the present day and therefore the Science is Fiction. This incorporates any possible place (planets, space, underwater, you name it).

Animes that are targeted towards the "young girl" market. Usually the story is from the point of view of a girl and deals with romance, drama or magic.

Shoujo Ai:
Animes whose central theme is about a relationship (or strong affection, not usually sexual) between two girls or women. Shoujo Ai literally means "girl love".

Animes that are targeted towards the "young boy" market. The usual topics for this involve fighting, friendship and sometimes super powers.

Shounen Ai:
Animes whose central theme is about a relationship (or strong affection, not usually sexual) between two boys or men. Shounen Ai literally means "boy love", but could be expressed as "male bonding".

Animes whose setting is in outer space, not on another planet, nor in another dimension, but space. This is a sub-genre of scifi.

Animes whose central theme revolves around sports, examples are tennis, boxing and basketball.

Super Power:
Animes whose main character(s) have powers beyond normal humans. Often it looks like magic, but can't really be considered magic; usually ki-attacks, flying or superhuman strength.

Animes whose main character(s) are vampires or at least vampires play a significant role in the story.

Animes whose central theme is a sexual relationship between two boys or men. This implies Hentai.

Animes whose central theme is a sexual relationship between two girls or women. This implies Hentai.

Ecchi vs. Hentai
The distinction between ecchi and hentai is sometimes hard to differentiate, but ecchi would be something that would probably be rated 'R' in the USA, but hentai would frequently be 'X' rated. Just because there is a [usually carefully edited] sex scene in a series in an anime that does not necessarily make it hentai. Sometimes there will be a racier sequel to a popular ecchi series, but often the consensus is that these are also ecchi. If you find something that you think is hentai and is marked ecchi or vice versa, please do not make a request to change it unless you are really sure. Most of these have probably already been discussed thoroughly. We recommend changing the description and adding something like this:

[Although this has the genre ecchi selected, it has strong sexual content and some people may consider this hentai.]


[Although this has the genre hentai selected, it has minimal hentai content and some people may consider this ecchi.]