Definition of shonen in English:

shonen

(also shounen)

noun

  • [mass noun] A genre of Japanese comics and animated films aimed primarily at a young male audience, typically characterized by action-filled plots:

    [as modifier] ‘manga artists use the eyes to indicate emotions and sensitivity, not a high priority in early shonen manga’
    • ‘It is based on a manga originally serialized in the Weekly Shonen Magazine (available in the US in serialized book form).’
    • ‘This one is a shonen.’
    • ‘It has been able to carve a niche, largely because it specializes specifically in shonen publications, aimed specifically at boys.’
    • ‘It represents a nice turning point in the series, easing out from its inaugural season into one of the finer shonen anime series in recent memory.’
    • ‘The story revolves around his teen years as a wannabe yankee sent to public school after being inspired into delinquency by the shonen manga, "Be-Bop High School" in the early 80s.’
    • ‘1952: Astro Boy gets his own solo series in the Manga Shonen anthology, which runs for an amazing 18 years as Japan's most popular comic strip.’
    • ‘It seems a fitting enough place for the program to start considering the cartoons' roots in shonen, or stories mostly intended for adolescent boys.’
    • ‘Titles are created for children (kodomo manga), for tween and teen girls (shojo manga), for tween and teen boys (shonen manga), for women (josei manga), and for men (seinen manga).’
    • ‘Viz had been planning for some time to do a mainstream shonen manga magazine.’
    • ‘In Japan's top-selling shonen (boys' weeklies), even the most populist and mainstream serials will happily acknowledge these sources.’
    • ‘Some of the 22-year-old's favorite Japanese comic titles are those aimed at male readers, or shonen manga.’
    • ‘Boys' comics (shonen manga) and men's comics (seinen manga) contain a lot of elements that appeal to their target audience.’

Origin

1980s: from Japanese shōnen boy. Compare with shojo.

Pronunciation:

shonen

/ˈʃəʊnən/