I briefly delved into what Shounen means in one of my recent posts. I thought it would be the perfect time to take a step back and really look at and define what shounen means in relation to anime and mang.
It also gave me a chance to recommend and mention a few more shounen titles I could not fit in the post, 10 Popular Shounen Anime.
Definition of Shounen
Shounen refers to a genre or more specifically, the audience demographic. If an anime is tagged with the shounen tag it means that the ideal target audience is male preteens and male teenagers between 10-years of age and 18-years of age.
Shounen does not dictate what type of story the anime or manga will be, like action or horror tags would. Instead, shounen indicates that the anime or manga was made with a set audience demographic in mind. Using Google translate, shounen translates directly to the word boy.
That said, most shounen plots are action based. Not only do they usually consist of a lot of action they also tend to quite humorous and have more direct plot lines and goals. Often shounen slip in fanservice with and their animation styles are bolder and less sparkley than anime directed at girls.
Examples of Sounen:
Full Metal Alchemist
The Seven Deadly Sins