Anime For Adults – Exploring the Themes And Genres


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Adult Anime Genre

Adult animation, sometimes called mature animation, is a type of animated content created specifically for adults and teenagers rather than children or people of all ages. These animations are designed to cater to adult interests and are marketed toward adult audiences. They can be considered for adults for various reasons, such as including explicit or suggestive sexual content, violence, profanity, dark humor, or other themes that are not suitable for children or young viewers.

In addition to entertainment, adult animation may also explore deeper topics like philosophy, politics, or social issues.

Some of the adult anime genres are:

  • Seinen
  • Josei
  • Horror
  • Mature Romance
  • Gore
  • Psychological Thriller
  • Hentai
  • Ecchi


Seinen (青年漫画) is a specific category of manga/anime that primarily targets a young male audience. The term “Seinen” in Japanese refers to “young man” or “young men” and does not imply any sexual connotations. This genre is intended to cater to the interests and preferences of young adult males, offering content that resonates with their experiences and perspectives.

Here is a list of some recommended anime:


Josei anime is a type of animated show that focuses on romance, emotions, and the difficult aspects of being an adult. It tries to find a middle ground between being too optimistic and unrealistic and too pessimistic.

Although it is primarily made for women in their 30s and 40s, people of different ages also enjoy watching Josei anime.

These stories feature characters who face significant problems and have deep and complex experiences, making them appealing to anyone who likes well-developed characters dealing with tough challenges.

Some of the best examples of Josei anime are:

  • Chihayafuru
  • Yuri!!! On Ice
  • Nodame Cantabile
  • Honey And Clover
  • Shouwa Genroku Era Comic Storytelling
  • Bunny Drop
  • Kids On The Slope
  • Princess Jellyfish
  • Michiko & Hatchin
  • Ristorante Paradiso


Horror anime holds a special place among fans, offering various styles and tropes to explore. It caters to different preferences, providing mind-bending psychological horror, gruesome depictions of gore, or unsettling body horror.

Regardless of one’s specific tastes, there is bound to be a horror anime that suits their needs and delivers the desired thrills and chills.

Some of the best examples of Horror anime are:

Mature Romance

Mature romance anime often revolve around adult couples or college students. In contrast to high school romances, these narratives delve into more mature themes commonly encountered in adult relationships.

When you begin watching anime to understand romance, you might assume that only teenagers have new relationships. But that’s not true. Adults also have exciting and interesting love lives. While stories about teenage relationships can be great, sometimes viewers, especially adults who enjoy anime, want to see something they can connect with personally.

The good news is that a few excellent anime based on the genre “Mature Romance” mainly revolve around adult characters.

Some of the best examples of Mature Romance anime are:

  • Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku
  • Spice & Wolf
  • I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying
  • Josee, the Tiger and the Fish
  • Recovery Of An MMO Junkie
  • Clannad: After Story
  • My Senpai Is Annoying
  • The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague
  • Yuri!!! On ICE
  • Nodame Cantabile


Image credits.

Violent scenes in anime have become quite common, leading to the creation of a subgenre called “gore anime.” In these types of anime, there is a lot of focus on showing graphic and intense violence. They often include scenes with blood, body parts being cut off, and intense action.

These anime explore darker themes and are meant for viewers who enjoy intense and visually striking violence. While not everyone may like them, gore anime provides a unique and thrilling experience for those who want more intense and edgier entertainment.

Some of the best examples of Gore anime are:

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Terra Formars
  • Re: Zero, Starting Life In Another World
  • Deadman Wonderland
  • Blood-C
  • Chainsaw Man
  • Elfen lied

The anime series mentioned above explore dark topics and show intense violence. They contain graphic scenes that may not be suitable for everyone, so it’s important to be cautious when watching them.

Psychological Thriller

Psychological thriller anime combines elements from different genres like mystery, suspense, and horror. Unlike focusing on physical harm, these anime focus more on the mental state of the characters and the audience. There are several great psychological thrillers in the world of anime that can really mess with your mind.

Some of the best examples of Psychological Thriller anime are:

  • Psycho-Pass
  • Moriarty the Patriot
  • Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
  • Ergo Proxy
  • The Tatami Galaxy
  • Kakegurui
  • Tomodachi Game
  • B: The Beginning
  • Parasyte: The Maxim


The word “hentai” originally meant abnormality or perversion and can refer to someone who displays such characteristics. It has come to be commonly used as a general term for adult anime, although it is used more frequently outside of Japan than within the country itself.

In Japan, terms like “ero-anime” or “AV” (short for “adult video”) are used to describe adult animation. But as we see in the United States, fans often use the word “hentai” as a synonym for pornographic content. This confusion arises from loose translation efforts over time.

Consequently, fans in the West have divided hentai into two subcategories: softcore and hardcore. The term encompasses a wide range of pornography, regardless of the specific content or fetishes involved.

Some of the best examples of Hentai anime are:

  • Yokosou! Sukebe Elf no Mori e
  • Shoujo Ramune
  • Pretty x Cation the Animation
  • Dropout
  • Tsumamigui 3 the Animation (Wife Eater 3)
  • Baka Dakedo Chinchin Shaburu no dake wa Jouzu na Chii-chan
  • Kyonyuu Hitozuma Onna Kyoushi Saimin
  • Tamashii Insert
  • Amakano


Ecchi (エッチ) is a slang term in Japanese that refers to playful and slightly sexual actions. It can be used as an adjective to describe something as sexy, dirty, or naughty. When used as a verb, it means “to have sex,” and as a noun, it describes someone who behaves in a lascivious manner. Ecchi is milder than the term hentai, which is more explicitly erotic and implies a stronger level of perversion.

In Western culture, fans of Japanese media use the word “ecchi” to describe works that have sexual undertones. Unlike “hentai,” which implies perversion or fetishism, “ecchi” is associated with softcore or playful sexuality.

In these works, sexual themes are referenced, but they typically do not show explicit sexual intercourse or genitalia. Ecchi themes often serve as fan service and can be found in comedic shōnen, seinen manga, and harem anime.

Some of the best examples of Ecchi anime are:

  • High School DxD
  • Yosuga no Sora
  • Kanokon
  • To Love-Ru
  • Seitokai Yakuindomo
  • Prison School
  • Shimoneta
  • Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou (Everyday Life with Monster Girls)
  • Shinmai Maou no Testament (The Testament of Sister New Devil)
  • Shokugeki no Soma (Food Wars)

Feature image credits.



Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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