Themes that represents
Japanese manga/anime have a very huge market (domestically
and internationally), and this leads to the segmentations
of the contents into 7 themes; 4 main themes and 3 minor
themes, listed below.
Sports - One of the 4 main themes.
Titles under this genre deal with sports of course,
either Japanese modern martial arts like karate and
judo or Western sports like soccer and baseball. Example:
Captain Tsubasa and Slamdunk.
Judaimono - One of the 3 minor
themes. Contents usually deals with historical facts
of Japan or other places. Example: Kazure Okami.
Animals - One of the 4 main themes,
and the most popular amongst all 7 themes. Manga under
this genre will usually feature an animal(s) (or animal-like
creatures) as the main character or as companions to
the human characters. Example: Doraemon and Pokemon,
Cops, spies, thief - One of the
3 minor themes. Contents usually ranged from a detective
with knacks of solving ridiculously hard mysteries to
smart thiefs with golden hearts that likes to annoy
the authorities. Manga under this genre can be insanely
popular, but there are not very many of them who does
compared to the 4 main themes. Example: Kindaichi
Shonen No Jikembo and Detective Conan.
Shonen (adventure) - One of the
4 main themes, also very popular especially for teenage
boys. Contents for this genre vary widely, but basically
the plot revolves around single or a bunch of teenagers
(with some guidance/help/participation from adults or
senior citizens) battling against a single (or more)
common enemy (enemies), with various ways like using
mechanical robots, magical artifacts and superpowers.
Example: DragonBall and Sailormoon.
Jobs - One of the 3 minor themes.
Main character in the manga under this genre is usually
a master in their profession. Example: Great Teacher
Shoujo (love comedies) - One
of the 4 main themes, popular amongst teenage girls.
Contents are rarely confined to this genre only, because
from my observations, shoujo materials have the highest
probability to be influenced by other genres, especially
shonen and sport themes. Personally, this is my favorite
genre outright. Example: Ah! My Goddess, Video Girl
Ai and Ranma 1/2
Anyway, just because a manga/anime falls into
any of the category above, it doesn't mean that that manga
is not influenced by other themes. Most of the time, a good
title is actually an emphasize of any of the themes above,
supported by elements from at least one or more different
themes. For example, Ranma 1/2 is basically a shoujo manga,
but some martial arts and shonen elements were thrown in for
good measure too. Another example is Kindaichi Shonen No Jikembo,
a spy/cop manga touched with shoujo elements.