I know that every anime (and manga) has a different drawing style depending on who drew it.


Special A

Clearly these aren't drawn by the same person. However, are there any set or common differences in drawing or animation styles between those targeting different demographics (shoujo, shonen, seinen, josei)?

  • This question is a bit too broad in my opinion. And anime usually follows the original source (if any) quite closely for most of the cases.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Apr 21, 2013 at 9:04
  • @nhahtdh Any suggestions for how to make it less vague?
    – kuwaly
    Commented Apr 21, 2013 at 19:11
  • Probably narrow down to only 2 demographic? Actually, I don't know. The current question is not vague; just that it is too broad, which leaves you with less detailed answer.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Apr 21, 2013 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


As @nhahtdh said, this is very broad, but I'll try give an overview.

Shoujo contains a lot of flowery imagery and tends to emphasise the figures of genders - broad, manly shoulders for guys; short,slim, long-legged girls. Many of the female characters have huge eyes with eyelashes that stand out. Usually, colors used in shoujo are lighter. Many times, colors like pink, light brown, yellow and light blue are used.

Typical shoujo scene

Shounen art is usually sharper and more defined than shoujo art. Obviously, there will be more action sequences with many dynamic angles and poses. Shounen tends to use more darker colors such as black and dark blue.

Bleach promotional art

Josei characters are more realistically proportioned than the exaggerated shoujo artwork.

Josei example

Seinen manga is a similar contrast from shounen, being more realistically proportioned. As seinen caters for the older males, a lot of seinen targeted material is ecchi or H, so this can vary quite a bit.

Sprite (manga)

Within genres, styles can change also. 4koma manga consists of 4 panels and is usually comedy-oriented. Because of the lack of space, usually the artists prefer to use simpler-designed characters. This is similar to many comedy-based shows that concentrate on the jokes rather than detailed, deep characters.


Obviously, the manga is very much artist-dependent, but I hope this gives a rough outline.

I think it's worth noting that sometimes shows can parody the art styles of other genres - like this scene from Kore wa zombie desu ka? with a stereotypical shoujo scene.

enter image description here

Reference - Shounen Vs Shoujo Art Styles

  • 3
    IMO, 4coma is a style of manga, rather than a "demographic". the question asks about difference between manga of different demographic, though.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 7:24
  • that's true, the rest is relevant though. I'll edit it so that it's more clear Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 8:15

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