Anime vs Cartoons (The Unofficial comparison)

It does get on our nerves when some people refer to Anime as Cartoons. Remember that time when the elderly would tell you  “aren’t you too old to be watching cartoons?”. That statement makes me semi-angry, but what ticks me off is when someone who does not know Anime and yet he/she will question why i am watching it with sarcasm and a bit of mocking.  Indeed they are made the same way, they are Animations, 2D animations but what makes the Animation an Anime or a Cartoon? cartoon_vs__anime___roster_by_juanito316ss-d50m1pfLets start off with the basics. What is Anime(to me) ? is an Animation called Anime if its made in Japan? does having Japanese reference in the Animation’s background make it an Anime? if so then how do you explain Japanese Cartoons. Believe it or not not every 2D animation in Japan are called Anime, some cater to the development of the child’s brain these are Educational Cartoons. So if the Animation’s target audience are children is what what makes it cartoons? To be honest I am baffled by having this in my head.


Lets take a look at the Similarities of Anime and Cartoons, both are made in the same way, either drawn or processed on today’s technology advances for entertainment, both may or may not have a stable storyline wherein either could be random every episode or follows a plot, Romantic development between characters can be found in either Anime and Cartoons and i am sure there are a lot more my point is that both are fairly similar but not entirely the same. Take a stab at the genres of Cartoons and Anime. Anime clearly has more variations than cartoons due to Japan’s genre list additions. such as Shoujo, Shounen… you know what i’ll just make a table.





Adventure Adventure
Comedy Comedy
Drama Drama
Hentai Fantasy
Fantasy Horror
Horror Magic
Josei Psychological
Magic Romance
Mystery Science-Fiction

(Not the complete set of Genres these are all from the top of my head)

As you can see I colored the text of the Japanese genres which is absent on the Cartoon column. Now I know what you are thinking, Where is Ecchi, Harem, Loli, Yuri, Yaoi… etc?? well those are Tags that are present in the Animation but i don’t think those are genres so I excluded them. Some of you are probably like “What about Josei, Seinen, Shoujo and shounen? they aren’t genres they aren’t tags either they are but indications of the target audience.” Yes, yes they are. But are now refered to Anime series as a genre. Most of the time we classify Anime based on its tags and the genre’s come in second,  Yuru Yuri is a  Yuri, Comedy anime. something like that.

Its not only the Japanese genre additions that gives the difference of Anime and Cartoons.Back in the day, cartoons were made for the purpose of entertainment in terms of comedy. While Anime made its first line of Drama filled sci-fi, mecha aspect. The first cartoon was indeed in the older days, Anime was influenced by it but Anime wanted to be better. Anime wanted something realistic (in a sense) what live action cannot do before, Anime was there to compensate. That’s how Anime grew, Rise of Gundam, Dragon Ball Z and so much more. While cartoons are left to be comedic and slapstick, Anime took the world by storm with its concept of the future along with an action-packed, drama-filled storylines.

Cartoons didn’t remain of slapstick comedy alone, It also grasp the concept of taking advantage of what live action cannot do though it took quite sometime before they were at par with Anime, 90’s and early 21st century Cartoons manage to give us slapstick Comedy still with a bit of context, Dexter’s Lab, Johnny Bravo. Although some have a story to tell but mostly the series are Episodic, which means that they have a different story per episode and its not continuous. New scenarios every episode.

There has been some great strides of Cartoons nowadays, with the ever popular Adventure Time, Its random its hilarious and quite successful cartoon that appeals not only to children but everybody!

hi_hihi_puffy_amiyumiso what about those collaborations of western cartoonist and Japanese Anime-ist? is the product they made considered an Anime, or Cartoon? It depends. To answer that question we take a look at this basic concept.

Anime is Japanese. Anime was made with the people of Japan as the target audience. Anime come down with puns, jokes and work ethics that you can relate to if you have experience in Japan. So my point is Anime circles around Japan. Japanese made cartoons are cartoons. Collaborations of Western and Japanese cartoonists makes Cartoons and Anime depending on its content.

Its kinda sad to say but slowly Anime and Cartoons are being united, DC, Marvel and Anime are being gathered yearly at Comic con and other cosplay events. Its only a matter of time before this distinction of Anime and cartoons fade into the past. One thing is for sure Today Anime and Cartoons are still different in my eyes so nobody could change that. Unless of course the Japanese industry declared it to be. In that case i’d be pretty sad…

If you have anything to share on whether or not you think ANime and Cartoons are the same feel free to leave a comment and we’ll try to convince each other ^_^


2 Responses to “Anime vs Cartoons (The Unofficial comparison)”
  1. Overlord-G says:

    Cartoons have more anthropomorphic talking animals and anime has more girls of different shapes, sizes, ages, species etc. There, debate solved. NEXT TOPIC!

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