Beginner's Guide

Anime, A Beginner’s Guide: Chapter 12-B: Action

At a Glance

Corpse Princess (Shikabane Hime)

As the name implies, this genre places an emphasis on action. This is the genre that provides a haven for big explosions, bloody gunfights, and bad-ass main characters. Big, flashy fight scenes, adrenaline-fueled chases, and seemingly insurmountable challenges await at every turn. The stories are rarely complicated, but they don’t need to be when stuff starts blowing up.

In the west, action titles tend to be among the most popular, especially with males. As a result, the characters are usually buff or badass men, and weaker or sexualized women.

The Basics

Common Traits

  • Badass heroes
  • Fast pace
  • High energy
  • Lower emphasis on character development
  • Male-centric

Popular Sub-Genres

  • Adventure
  • Comedy
  • Horror
  • Sci-Fi



Black Lagoon: Rock, Revy, Benny, and Dutch make up the crew of a mercenary group based in Roanapur, Thailand. The four will smuggle, steal, salvage, and kill in the name of the almighty dollar as they take to the high seas on the PT boat Black Lagoon. Through their jobs, the group squares off against neo-Nazis, mercenary maids, and even Islamic extremists as the stakes grow higher and the trials get deadlier. Revy’s bloodlust fuels much of the action as bullets fly through the battlefields like a deadly rain, and she flips and bounds through the battlefield like a bloody ballerina.

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Fist of the North Star: At the end of the 20th century, the world is in ruin. Nuclear war reduced much of the world to desert, and those who have survived bande into tribes in order to survive. Clean water and food are a luxury that is fought and killed over, as the strong dominate the weak. Hokuto, successor to the North Star martial arts, wanders the wasteland alone in search of his own fate. His name is uttered in whispers among the weak and strong alike. Kenshiro’s ability is legendary. it is said that those who fight him will die, without question… and that those who feel his mighty Hundred Crack Fist will have their own heads explode. But, this is only legend. After all, those who have faced off against him, they’re already dead.

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Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal: When he was a child, Himura Kenshin was captured by slavers. As fortune may have it, a run-in with bandits saw that all but the lad were killed. He was found and taken in by a master of the Divine Justice school of swordsmanship. The Divine Justice arts are so lethal that to train in the art, either the master or the student will surely perish. Kenshin never finishes his training – he leaves to take part in the Meiji Restoration, so that none may suffer his fate. The boy, whose intentions were pure and arts were deadly, became known as the Hitokiri Battousai. One night, Kenshin encounters Tomoe – a mysterious woman that he must hide with whent he revolution hits a setback. The two marry, and fall in love. However, they can never stay togather. After all, the Battousai desires revenge, and revenge must be fed with the blood of the wicked.

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About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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