Though its artistic style suggests otherwise, Inu x Boku SS is in fact “shounen”. Note the quotation marks. Originally targeted at male audiences interested in the romance genre without having to resort to the dramatic nature of shoujo anime – that, or the plenty of fan service that the show offers as lolis and a “big jug lesbian” are a big thumbs up – female fans have also grown to enjoy watching the series. After all, Inu x Boku SS incorporates a brilliant cast that’s sure to involve a variety of male and female characters in which both genders of the audience can see fit to their taste buds.
As a result, there have been arguments regarding the demography under which the series is classified. Is it shoujo or is it shounen? I’m not surprised that many fans tend to confuse the two since they can’t decide whether Inu x Boku SS is one or the other.
The original manga Youko x Boku SS, however, was published under the shounen magazine Gangan Joker, which is managed by Square Enix, and all of Fujiwara Cocoa’s works have been shounen thus far (which really doesn’t count towards anything but still).
While it is officially considered “shounen” despite its artwork and plot being exceedingly shoujo, Joker has become an androgynous manga magazine in the past few years. A trend had begun when Square Enix allowed a lot of female mangaka to publish their works on their shounen magazines, and most of them didn’t care to change their shoujo touch. Youko x Boku SS is one of the many series which demonstrate such overlapping features of shounen and shoujo.
Inu x Boku SS is “shounen” because its manga counterpart is serialized in a magazine supposedly aimed at males – it just happens to incorporate shoujo aspects. But following the great success of Kuroshitsuji, which even Enix has accepted that it is a “fujoshi” title and is hence aimed at females, other manga published by Square Enix have earned similar titles. In other words, there are in fact a few works targeted towards the female audience.
Unless Enix does the same for Youko x Boku SS, there’s no real distinction whether its anime follow up is in fact shounen or shoujo. Inu x Boku SS is categorized as shounen because Square Enix is such a classic shounen magazine and demography is determined by the magazine by which the manga is published. As a fellow fan had noted on the forums, the only way to differentiate what’s shounen and what’s shoujo would be to wait for the manga to be compiled into a tankoubon (its own book) and have Square Enix place imprints on the volumes. For example, Beans Ace, a magazine that serializes both shounen and shoujo works, has Asuka Comics DX, a comic imprint for girls under which all the shoujo titles are published, and Kadokawa Comics A, which is for the boys. Otherwise Inu x Boku SS will remain being “shounen”.
There’s yet to be a Japanese target demography which takes into account both females and males since series are classified as either: shoujo, shounen, seinen, josei or kodomo. But these are nothing but titles for the targeted audience – a shounen anime doesn’t necessarily mean females won’t enjoy watching its contents. On the contrary, there might be more of the opposite gender than the intended one. Imagine the irony.