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Anime Vs. Cartoon

Anime vs cartoons

Anime Vs. Cartoon

!! Difference between Anime and Cartoon !!



Well many people think that Anime and Cartoons are actually the same thing. Every anime fan goes through the same problem. Non –anime fans or cartoon fans are always saying “Are you still a kid! You are watching cartoons!” . Sad but it’s true that most of them don’t know the difference between Anime and Cartoon. Am telling this from my personal experience. To tell the truth I still face the same problem in my own family :p . Unfortunately, even with anime’s rising popularity outside Japan, most Americans and others are still ignorant about what anime really is. Many still call it “that Pokeman stuff” and consider allanime to be kiddy shows like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!. Others think that anime is mostly violent and pornographic cartoons (though there is pornographic anime, most anime is not).

I know that every person who will read this will most likely know how to distinguish, but I felt the urge to write this to show to all, once and for all, that it’s normal to watch anime no matter how old you are, and there is a huge difference between Anime and Cartoon 🙂


Anime in short definition 

The word “anime” is the Japanese word for “animation” or “cartoons,” adapted from the English word “animation.” In Japan, the word is used to refer to any cartoon or animation, whether it be from Japan or another country. But ever since Japanese animation became widespread throughout the world, the word “anime” has developed a different meaning in other countries. In America and most other non-Japanese countries, “anime” is used to refer to any form of animation exclusively from Japan such as animated TV shows and animated movies. However, unlike America’s attitude towards animation – that it’s only for children with the exception of a few adult comedies – the Japanese consider animation to be an acceptable form of entertainment and storytelling for all kinds of people. Thus, anime is aimed at a variety of audiences and is enjoyed by Japanese, as well as American fans, of all ages and tastes.


~~Difference between Anime and Cartoon~~


1. Differences in Visual Characteristics


Anime illustrations are known to be exaggerated as far as physical features are concerned. Usually, one can differentiate an anime by observing the physical traits of the characters which would include “large eyes, big hair and elongated limbs”, and “dramatically shaped speech bubbles, speed lines and onomatopoeic, exclamatory typography.”


Cartoons however, approximate reality a little more compared to anime and carry traces of day to day life in them. Striking resemblances to humans can be spotted in various cartoons. However, cartoons are still caricatures; so they often diverge from reality e.g. Marge Simpson’s hair.



I think that the first thing a person would notice in an anime is the “eyes”, which really stand out. Actually almost every anime has it’s own unique drawn eyes.  To be honest I first look into the character’s eyes and see if they appeal to me. The problem is that I haven’t managed to find an anime that has “ugly” drawn eyes 😛 . On the other hand, cartoons often show us the same old characters, with non unique personalities. Also the drawing is often kind of dull.


2. Subject Matter


Cartoons are usually intended to induce laughter, thus revolve around humorous concepts. There are some cartoons in the market that are educational in nature whilst retaining their amusing qualities that are generally targeted towards toddlers and kids.

Anime movies don’t always follow a general concept. Their stories can range from pirate attacks to humorous adventures to tales of samurais. The majority of anime movies and shows differentiate themselves from their American counterparts by creating a plot that stays in place through out the entire series, showing viewers morals and a certain level of complexity. In short, Anime is aimed at people with longer attention spans who like to see a plot unravel over multiple episodes.


3. Realism


Not only does anime cover a much more variety of themes and genres than typical American shows, it always keeps a steady devotion to reality. Even the most fantastic and out-of-this-world anime adventures place a strong emphasis on keeping their characters and situations believable. Many anime shows feature extremely complex fantasy settings that have their own unique and intricately woven history, politics, and complex backgrounds for each character. Anime shows like Code GeassBleach, or Eureka 7 will show the excessive detail that is put into creating the complicated settings and characters for these shows and thus making them seem realistic and believable even if they are total fantasy.


(American) Cartoons, on the other hand, don’t try to stimulate this degree of realism in their audience or make their audience believe that what they’re seeing could possibly be more than just cartoon characters. Even serious and dramatic American cartoons such as Disney movies like Mulan and The Lion King still present their characters mainly as fictional beings. Also, the seriousness of these movies is often interrupted by exaggerated cartoonish verbal cracks, songs, and gags, solely there to remind the audience that what they’re watching is a fictional cartoon. That’s not to say that anime doesn’t have moments of hyperbolic and cartoonish humor, but most anime with a serious and dramatic storyline such as Death Noteand Mushishi would never have random cartoon gags or sarcastic jokes to break away from the realism of the show. Even if serious anime does have characters who portray cartoon-style humor, these gags are often initiated to show a humorous aspect of the character’s personality rather than just as a distraction from the show’s realism.


4. Character development


While anime strives to keep its stories believable, probably the main distinction that separates it from American cartoons is its deep involvement in its characters and its strong emphasis on their characterization. Anime places situations around characters. Many anime shows have a continuing story, while very nearly all (American) Cartoons are episodic, created specifically to be a series of individual, stand-alone stories rather than small pieces of a whole. Even in the case of anime series that are episodic, the characters develop and change from episode to episode. Even anime characters who seem stereotypical or one-sided in their personalities often exhibit feelings of love, hate, fear, yearning, and other such human emotions

Not only do American cartoons such as Looney ToonsTom and JerryFamily Guy, andScooby Doo have stand-alone, individual episodes that usually have no connection to one another, the characters in these shows remain basically the same throughout all the episodes, never developing or changing consistently as the episodes go by. Most anime, on the other hand, has practically all of its characters change episode by episode as a result of their situations and their relationships with other characters, and even the most detestable character can show an endearing side as the anime progresses.


5. Intimacy with the audience


As a result of keeping its stories and characters very detailed and realistic, no matter how fantastical they may seem, anime is able to create a strong feeling of intimacy between itself and its audience that American cartoons, or even most American TV shows, do not have. Another thing that keeps this intimacy strong is, as John pointed out, the fact that most anime shows are thoroughly contrived stories with a beginning, middle, and end in which the characters develop and move towards their goals throughout the episodes, as opposed to the stand-alone, disconnected episodes of many American shows. Nearly all anime shows with a progressing storyline will present the audience with a number of questions and subplots that will only be solved if they continue to watch the episodes in order from beginning to end. Most anime fans will agree that for a lot of anime shows, unless you start watching from the first episode onward, you will not be able to effectively follow the story.


{{Some might argue that there are many American live-action movies and shows that feature a continuing story and developing characters!!!!,  So why do a lot of people still prefer anime over live-action or Cartoon? The answer to that is that anime can provide more involvement and interaction between itself and its viewer 😀 }}


6. Examples


Death Note, Bleach and One Piece are examples of famous anime shows.


Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny and Superman are examples of famous cartoons.

( Finally )


American animation or Cartoon is capable of rivaling Japanese animation, but it doesn’t try to rival Japanese animation because that’s not what the majority of American consumers want. Anime seems more mature, more developed, and more adult than American animation because anime has a different goal and a different audience than American animation has. Anime fandom in Japan and anime fandom in America are two very different things, mostly because Americans have this one-sided view about cartoons that many of them are stubborn to change. Luckily, anime is becoming more and more immersed into American culture as the years go by so hopefully one day the majority of Americans will learn that anime is not just “Pokemon and pornography.” I don’t know if the American preconception that all animation has to be either kid stuff or adult comedies will ever completely fade away. But hopefully, some of them will understand the difference between these two in mare future. Most anime fans begin their anime journey with cartoons. It’s not that they (or us) hate cartoons. It’s just that we want people to understand the difference 🙂


This document is written to change the view of the Non-anime fan society and encourage our anime fans in this site . We have no intention of hurting others. So please don’t get offended by any of these. Some info was copied from other source for the document to be more accurate and forceful. Also “Feel free to share any opinion you have. We are always open to new ideas (as told in group description as well )” . Don’t forget to cooperate 😀 . We are anime family after-all 🙂




Please don’t copy this doc. At-least don’t try to :p

Kisuke Urahara

I like myself. I have never once hated myself. My high specs, my half-decent looks, my pessimistic, realist point of view... I don't hate any of it at all! Why ? Because I don't care how I am to you :)

  • Megurine Luka
    Posted at 21:16h, 22 July

    much awsome :3
    its a fact anyways….

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