Anime vs. Cartoons: What Are the Differences?

Anime vs. Cartoons: What Are the Differences?

Two of the most popular media in today’s modern era of technology are anime and cartoons. Even though they are loved by different communities and types of people, they are quite similar at first glance… And, although both genres are very similar at the first glance, at the same time, there is one major difference “in the core” in each of them. That difference is in their process of creation and purpose:

Originally, Japanese anime is a visual format of entertainment, hand-drawn or computer-generated, strictly created only in Japan. A cartoon is an image, or series of images, typically illustrated(rarely animated) to portray something from real life in a satirical and/or unreal way.

Now, when we have covered the basics, let’s go into more detail! Keep reading!

What Is An Anime?

Anime vs. Cartoons: What Are the Differences?
An image from the popular anime in the 2000s titled “Yu-gi-oh!”

Original, Japanese anime is a visual format of entertainment, hand-drawn or computer-generated, strictly created only in Japan.

The first anime aired during the early 20th century in Japan and it was titled “Namakura Gatana” by Jun’ichi Kōuchi. It was a very early anime production, depicting only a few characters in a simple, motion way, with very limited facial expressions, background looks, following music, and color scheme.

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On the other hand, the first official, modern anime, which we know today, aired precisely in the 60s of the 20th century, with the appearance of the legendary Osamu Tezuka and its work in Japan! From there, anime rose to fame and spread all over the World(especially on the West-mostly in America)!

Although anime at that time was very limited with studios, animations, budget artwork, and music, Osamu Tezuka’s work has inspired much modern anime with its simple, yet detailed artwork and complex storyline!

Now, thanks to the internet and its community, modern anime holds a special place in the community as the most-watched animated format of art, holding first place with 60% of all the views from all over the World!

What Is a Cartoon?

Anime vs. Cartoons: What Are the Differences?
An image from the popular cartoon series in the 2000s titled “Ben 10”

A cartoon is an image, or series of images, typically illustrated(rarely animated) to portray something from real life in a satirical and/or unreal way.

It is presumed that the first cartoon aired in the late 19th century on the West side of America. It is still unknown by name, but there is proof that people in that era knew of the cartoon genre!

The first modern cartoon aired in the early 20th century when artist Emile Cohl first drew people right on the movie roll. It was called “Fantasmagorie” and it largely consisted of a simple drawing- a stick man moving about and encountering all manner of morphing objects. Nowadays it is considered a piece of visual art and the first cartoon ever made by film historians!

Even though cartoons then were very simple and restricted in illustrations, modern cartoons are more complex, less restricted in the illustrations and movement and they convey a modern-life message from which children and adults can learn!

With all that in mind, nowadays, the cartoon genre has evolved into a mass media that most kids(and some adults) enjoy worldwide!

Anime vs. Cartoons: What are the differences?

Now when we covered all the basics, let’s dive straight into the epic showdown- Anime vs. cartoons: What are the differences?

Besides the rich and very different histories, anime and cartoons have plenty more other different traits.

One of the first and most obvious different traits between the two is the way anime characters are animated. Anime characters are more detailed, more seriously portrayed, and have more diversity in their gestures and expressions.

RELATED: 20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Another different traits between an anime and the cartoon, in the genre itself, are the villains. Often, cartoon villains are one-dimensional and portrayed simply as evil(mostly for no reason)and disfigured(which is the sign of their evilness)… while anime villains are more complex, most of the time without a trace or a clue of being evil!… And that is precisely why we love anime! Being unpredictable in a popular genre of entertainment is the best concept!

And one of the last biggest differences between the two genres is the plot itself. In cartoons plot remains unspecified(there is usually no specific storyline) while in anime plot usually gets really complex(there are usually more specific genres combined in one storyline), so that is one more reason to love it even more!

Conclusion

In all, there are many big differences between anime and cartoons. Although they both come from different parts of the World and have different characters and different plots, they are both great media of entertainment!

  • A young writer with a big love for writing and delivering her articles to the audience... but that love fails to compare with a love for anime, manga and video games(and yes, in that order!)... Especially loves 86, Inuyasha, Noragami, Jujutsu Kaisen, The Witcher, Ori, Shadow of Colossus and Rhyme!;)