Anime versus…

As an anime fan, there’s one thing that annoys me above all else. Something so incredibly annoying, so anger provoking time and time again that it makes you feel like duct-taping anyone who says so to a chair so they understand. That’s right folks, the every so annoying question is going to be asked today:

“Isn’t anime just cartoons?”

I’ll tell you right now: NO. It is NOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM a cartoon. Although you may think they are similar, they are extremely different. Here i’ll remain, sitting in this spot until I lay down the lines. Anime is not a cartoon, and here’s a few reasons why!


  1. History

Cartoon: Taking a closer look at the history of the concept of the cartoon, we have to go back to the middle ages, where the idea was first introduced, but then more recently, the 19th century. During this time period it was used mostly in paintings and stained glass. The idea was just growing into what it is today, so they were just starting to create different ‘looks’ for people, nothing. When in the 20th century newspapers became more prominent, people started using cartoons for humor, satire, and propaganda. From then on, it started making its way into animation and later theaters. Today, it is used more for children, but originally it was meant for adults.

Anime: Now, let’s take a look at anime. anime is definitely the younger of the two, branching away from western culture in 1917. It was really coming around during World War 2. Soon enough, with the release of the movie Akira in 1999, it really started to build up in America, as well as Japan. It was an influential move and paved the way for many series such as Dragon Ball Z, Ghost in the Shell, and many many more. Now in the 2000’s it’s burning hot in the lives of many around the world.

2. Art Style and Plot

Cartoon: Cartoon art styles usually defined by a few simple things: over-exaggerated or under-exaggerated features, two dimensional, and lacking color in the eyes. Plot lines usually involve quirky quick plots so you can understand what’s going on even without starting at the first episode. They can be picked up pretty quickly and the characters are usually iconic to the series.

Anime: Anime on the other hand, has different distinguishing features. The characters have defining eyes, hairstyles, and body types. Most of the characters fit into unique personalities. Girls in anime usually have overly large chests and guys tend to fit a more heroic or dorky role. To catch on the plot, you usually have to start from the beginning; most of the background story telling and character development is near there and defines the characters choices and roles. There are a variety of arcs that occur and “filler episodes” which have nothing to do with the story but tend to have a comedic relief of some sort.

Now, I know some of you will think that I didn’t fill most of the bases, but to me, I did. I set down the minimum understanding of the difference, and that’s what I set out to do. So have no fear anime nerds. Next time you want to rant to someone about the differences, do so. Use these points to back your claims and use so many of your own. Keep fighting the good fight, because that’s all you need to win this battle in the role of many. So good luck! We’ll all need it in the days to come!


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