I love both shounen and shoujo anime. Truthfully, I do watch more shounen, but then I read a lot of shoujo.
For those that don’t know, shounen is anime/manga aimed for young boys (examples are: Naruto, Bleach, Attack on Titan), whereas shoujo is the opposite and is anime/manga aimed for young girls (examples are: Fruits Basket, Ouran High School Host Club, Kaichou Wa Maid Sama).
So what are the big differences between the two? The biggest difference is that shoujo tends to center around a main female character and romance is very common. Shounen tends to feature main male characters and tends to be very action based and involves content that is appealing for male audiences (large breasts, lots of fighting etc.).
The art styles are very different, as shoujo tends to be very cute, and the characters have more realistic bodies. Shounen tends to include unrealistic body types (especially in ecchi series) as well as characters tend to have smaller and less rounded eyes (this isn’t always the case, but is quite common).
Shoujo tends to have an equal amount of male and female characters (again, this isn’t always the case and really depends on the genre. Anime like Sailor Moon has more female characters, whereas Fruits Basket is a mixture). Shounen is mainly made up of male characters, but some have an equal amount of both genders. Also, the main characters for shoujo tend to be female, whereas main characters for shounen tend to be male – there are obviously anime for either demographic that has the opposite gender main character, an example is Kill La Kill, which is Shounen but the main character is female.
Another difference is the storylines. Shoujo tends to lack a serious storyline, as it tends to be slice of life and very relaxing. I haven’t read or seen a shoujo that has been action-packed like a shounen series. Shounen tends to have a wider range of storylines, anything from slice of life of action, which is a huge reason why I mainly watch shounen. The storylines tend to be a lot more complex, like Code Geass, Death Note, Steins;Gate etc. but they can be relaxing to watch like Heaven’s Lost Property and Toradora.
Shoujo tends to stick to the romance genre, and very rarely does a shoujo series not have any romance at all. However, this is the reason why I love shoujo so much, since nothing beats a good shoujo manga about love.
I prefer shoujo manga over shounen manga (I struggle to read fight scenes and shoujo manga has more content compared to its anime adaptation), but I prefer shounen anime to shoujo anime.
What do you prefer? Leave a comment below!