Despite being mistaken for a genre, anime fans love seinen series. These are works that are marketed towards males between 18 to 40 and can encompass a variety of genres. The stories can be morally gray, romances are more pragmatic, the action is more graphic, and the humor is more adult.
Let’s look at some of the more popular modern seinen anime. To be considered modern, it has to have premiered sometime since 2010.
1. One Punch Man
Genre: Action / Comedy / Parody / Super Hero
Episodes: 12 + 6 OVAs
Quick Pitch: Saitama has a unique hobby: being a hero. After training for three years, he has developed an incredibly powerful punch that defeats enemies in one hit. In fact, this power leads to great boredom in Saitama’s life, as he is no longer thrilled when fighting.
2. ERASED (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Fantasy / Mystery / Thriller
Quick Pitch: atoru Fujinumais a 29-year-old manga artist who possesses an uncontrollable ability that turns back time before a life-threatening accident occurs. When his mom is murdered, Satoru’s ability takes him 18 years in the past, just before a life altering event happened to him. He believes stopping the kidnapping and murder of classmate Kayo Hinazuki will right the timeline.
3. Parasyte -the maxim- (Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu)
Genre: Action / Horror / Psychological / Science Fiction / Thriller
Quick Pitch: Parasitic aliens invade Earth and are able to blend into society by burrowing into the brains of human hosts. Once they gain full control, they are able to feed on unsuspecting humans. However, a parasite fails to invade teenager Shinichi’s brain and instead controls his right hand. The two are forced into an uneasy partnership as they fend off hostile parasites and avoid the gaze of society.
4. Prison School
Studio: J.C. Staff
Genre: Comedy / Ecchi
Episodes: 12 + 1 OVA
Quick Pitch: The prestigious Hachimitsu Private Academy has become a co-ed school and will receive male students for the first time. Only five boys are accepted, but they are treated as castaways. With nothing to lose, they decide to peep into the girls’ bath. But their plan quickly lands them into a “prison” with a sentence of one month of punishment.
5. Bungou Stray Dogs
Genre: Action / Comedy / Mystery / Supernatural
Episodes: 24 + 1 OVA
Quick Pitch: Atsushi Nakajima is an orphan that was brought to the Armed Detective Agency after foiling Daizai’s suicide attempt. Nakajima is unaware of an underworld of superpowered people but learns to control his own powers while taken on missions for the Armed Detective Agency.
6. Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto (Sakamoto desu ga?)
Studio: Studio Deen
Genre: Comedy / Slice of Life
Episodes: 12 + 1 OVA
Quick Pitch: Sakamoto is suave beyond words. His near perfection causes his female classmates to swoon and fills his male classmates with envy, but none of that stops Sakamoto from living life how he sees fit.
7. Arakawa Under the Bridge
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Quick Pitch: Kou Ichinomiya is an arrogant business man with one life goal: never be indebted to another person. After a run-in with some kids, Kou accidentally falls into the Arakawa River and nearly drowns, but is saved by a homeless girl named Nino. Unable to accept the fact he owes Nino his life, he demands to know how to repay her. Nino’s request is simple: be her boyfriend and live with her under the Arakawa Bridge.
8. Scum’s Wish
Genre: Drama / Romance
Quick Pitch: Hanabi and Mugi look like the perfect couple, but they are both harboring a dark secret: they love other people who are beyond their reach.
Hanabi has been in love with Narumi since she was a child, and was excited to learn that he is her homeroom teacher. Things source after Hanabi learns that Narumi and Akane, the music teacher, have a blossoming relationship.
Mugi has been in love with Akane ever since she tutored him in middle school. Now, Mugi and Hanabi enter a fake relationship as a way to satisfy their lust. But this simple deed slowly turns into a dark, manipulative fight to stave off loneliness.
9.Non Non Biyori
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Comedy / Slice of Life
Episodes: 24 + 2 OVAs
Quick Pitch: The small village of Asahigaoka lacks the conveniences of the city: their school only has a single classroom! But the five girls of different grades never fail to find and adventure in their rural community.
10. Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin
Genre: Drama / Historical
Quick Pitch: Six delinquents are sent to the Shounen Special Reform School due to committing serious crimes. They meet a former boxer named Rokurouta Sakuragi, who offers them survival guidance.
11. Sweetness & Lightning (Amaama to Inazuma)
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Genre: Comedy / Drama / Slice of Life
Quick Pitch: Kouhei has been doing his best to take care of his daughter following the death of his wife. His lack of cooking ability and busy teaching career leads to the pair eating ready-made meals from convenience stores. However, he accepts an offer from one his students to visit her family’s restaurant so they can share meals together.
12. Ping Pong the Animation
Studio: Tatsunoko Production
Genre: Coming-of-Age / Sports
Quick Pitch: Peco and Smile are childhood friends who share an interest in ping pong. Their lives change after Peco loses a match and decides to quit practicing. Smile, due to his own issues, can’t find it in himself to beat Peco in a match. However, a coach sees great potential in Smile.
13. March Comes in Like a Lion (3-gatsu no Lion)
Genre: Comedy / Drama / Sports
Quick Pitch: Rei is a 17-year-old professional shogi player who lives on his own. With an estranged relationship with his adoptive family and little friends, but he decides to attend a high school to fill a void in his heart. He’s been facing a losing streak and has failed to surpass the 5th Dan rank. However, his relationship with the Kawamoto family and his peers may help him rediscover his passion for shogi.
14. Mysterious Girlfriend X
Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Genre: Comedy / Romance / Slice of Life / Supernatural
Episodes: 13 + 1 OVA
Quick Pitch: Mikoto is a transfer student, and for some bizarre reasons, decides to taste the drool of a girl in his class. This event leads to Urabe to become Mikoto’s “mysterious girlfriend” to save him from drool withdrawals as they both learn how to communicate in a romantic relationship.
15. Space Brothers
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Comedy / Drama
Episodes: 99 + 1 Movie
Quick Pitch: One night in 2006, brothers Mutta and Hibito saw what they believed to be a UFO heading to the moon. This event inspired them to become astronauts.
In 2025, Hibito becomes an astronaut and is heading to the moon. Mutta, on the other hand, chose to work in the auto industry. But, a violent altercation with his boss may have destroyed Mutta’s career. He takes this as a sign to chase his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut, just like his younger brother.
16. Girl Demon Zakuro (Otome Youkai Zakuro)
Genre: Comedy / Historical / Romance / Supernatural
Quick Pitch: In Meiji era Japan, humans and youkai live side-by-side. Japan has begun opening up to Western culture and people are starting to convert to Western religions. The Ministry of Spirits is established to help ease tensions between Eastern and Western faiths.
Human male soldiers and female youkai are paired up to help keep the peace, but the ministry has a slight problem. Kei Agemaki is terrified of youkai and Zakuro has a strong hatred towards Western culture.
17. Knights of Sidonia
Studio: Polygon Pictures
Genre: Action / Drama / Mecha
Episodes: 24 + 1 Compilation Movie
Quick Pitch: Nagate has been living in seclusion in the lower depths of the Sidonia for his entire life. After surfacing in search of food, he finds himself thrown into events that he can’t comprehend. Shortly after a failed attempt to steal rice, Nagate is told to become a Garde pilot and to combat the Gauna.
Studio: Studio Pierrot
Genre: Action / Drama / Historical
Quick Pitch: Xin Li is an orphaned slave living in the kingdom of Qin. Together with his friend Pao, Xin dreams of becoming a great general. However, he is recruited to work as a retainer of the king. Afte a fierce coup d’état, Xin is given a mission that will set him on his path to becoming a great general.
19. ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.
Genre: Drama / Mystery
Quick Pitch: The kingdom of Dowa is divided into 13 states and the citizens are enjoying an era of peace. Without any threats, the central government no longer feels the ACCA inspection agency is necessary. However, there are whispers that a coup d’état is under way. Jean Otus, the second-in-command of the agency, is given the task of discovering the truth behind it, all the while trying to maintain his innocence.
What are your favorite modern seinen anime?