Seinen manga

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Seinen manga (青年漫画?) is a subset of manga that is generally targeted at men from ages 17 on into their 40's. In Japanese, the word seinen means "young man" or "young men." Seinen manga are distinguished from the more sex-focused seijin-muke manga (成人向け漫画 often classed in western fandom as 'hentai') although there is sexual content of a softcore nature in some of the seinen strips. The female equivalent to seinen manga is josei manga.

Seinen manga have a wide variety of art styles and variation in subject matter, ranging from the avant-garde through sports, games, business or action/adventure on to the erotic. Examples of seinen strips include: Akira, Berserk, Battle Royale, Ghost in the Shell, Hellsing, Battle Angel Alita and Maison Ikkoku.

A common way to tell if a manga is seinen is by looking at whether or not furigana is used over the original kanji text: if there are furigana on all kanji, the title is generally aimed at a younger audience. The title of the magazine it was published in is also an important indicator. Usually Japanese manga magazines with the word "young" in the title (Weekly Young Jump for instance) are seinen. There are also mix shōnen/seinen magazines like Champion Red, Gangan Powered and Comp Ace. Other popular seinen manga magazines include Young Magazine, Weekly Young Sunday, Big Comic Spirits, Business Jump, Ultra Jump, and Afternoon.


One of the earliest manga magazines published in Japan was a seinen manga: Weekly Manga Times first released in 1956. It was aimed squarely at middle-aged men with erotic fiction and manga and tales of yakuza. It was only in 1959, that two of the main shounen manga titles appeared, Weekly Shōnen Magazine and Weekly Shōnen Sunday. Then in 1967, the first of the magazines aimed at younger men appeared Weekly Manga Action appeared scoring big hits with its Lupin III and Lone Wolf and Cub strips and later Crayon Shin-chan. Big Comic followed in 1968, perhaps best known for its Golgo 13 strip. 1972 saw the addition of Big Comic Original which featured the Tsuribaka Nisshi strip about two older men who enjoy fishing which was made into a series of popular movies. In 1979, the publisher Shueisha known for its Ribon and Margaret girls comics and Weekly Shonen Jump for boys, entered the seinen market with Weekly Young Jump. Many of the Young Jump strips have been adapted into anime or live action TV programs, eg. Elfen Lied, Gantz, Hen, Kirara, Liar Game, Oku-sama wa Joshi Kōsei and Zetman.

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