Difference Between Anime And Cartoon

Anime and cartoons are two distinct forms of animation that have gained a large following around the world. Although both anime and cartoons are visually animated, there are many differences in their storylines, animation style, and appeal. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between anime and cartoons.

Anime, the Japanese Style of Animation

Anime is a term used to describe animated content that originates from Japan. The word “anime” is actually an abbreviation of the word “animation.” Anime is known for its unique style, which features detailed, colorful characters and backgrounds, dynamic camera angles, and exaggerated expressions. Anime often covers a wide range of genres, including action, romance, drama, comedy, and horror.

Anime first became popular in Japan in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that anime began to gain popularity outside of Japan. Today, anime has become a global phenomenon, with millions of fans around the world tuning in to watch the latest releases.

Cartoons, the American Style of Animation

Cartoons, on the other hand, are a type of animated content that originated in North America. The term “cartoon” is often used to describe both animated shows and comic strips. Cartoons are known for their exaggerated, often slapstick comedy, and they are typically geared toward children. However, there are many cartoons that are enjoyed by both adults and children.

Cartoons have been around since the early 1900s and have undergone significant changes over the years. Today, cartoons encompass a wide range of styles and formats, from classic Looney Tunes cartoons to modern shows like Adventure Time.

Differences Between Anime and Cartoons

There are several key differences between anime and cartoons that set them apart from one another.

Animation Style

One of the most significant differences between anime and cartoons is their animation style. Anime has a distinct style that is characterized by bold lines, bright colors, and expressive facial features. Characters in anime are often drawn with large, exaggerated eyes, and their movements are fluid and dynamic.

Cartoons, on the other hand, often have simpler animation styles. Characters are typically drawn with less detail, and their movements are less fluid. While cartoons can be just as colorful as anime, they often have a more limited color palette.

Target Audience

Another significant difference between anime and cartoons is their target audience. Anime is often targeted at teenagers and adults, with themes and storylines that tackle complex issues like love, death, and social commentary. Cartoons, on the other hand, are typically geared toward children, with storylines that are simpler and more lighthearted.

Themes and Storylines

The themes and storylines of anime and cartoons are also quite different. Anime often deals with mature themes like death, love, and war. Many anime shows also have intricate plots and nuanced characters that go through significant emotional growth over the course of the series.

Cartoons, on the other hand, often have simpler storylines that are geared toward younger audiences. While there are cartoons that deal with serious topics, they are generally presented in a way that is more accessible to children.

Cultural Differences

Another significant difference between anime and cartoons is their cultural context. Anime is deeply rooted in Japanese culture, with many shows featuring themes and storylines that are unique to Japan. Cartoons, on the other hand, are often more universal in their appeal and are designed to be enjoyed by audiences around the world.


Q: Can anime be considered a type of cartoon?

A: While anime and cartoons share some similarities, they are generally considered to be distinct forms of animation. While both are visually animated, the themes, animation style, and target audiences of anime and cartoons are quite different.

Q: Why are anime characters drawn with such large eyes?

A: The large, expressive eyes of anime characters are often seen as a way to convey emotion and make characters more relatable to audiences. Many animators feel that larger eyes allow them to show more subtle expressions and emotions than is possible with smaller eyes.

Q: Are all anime shows violent or sexual?

A: Despite the reputation that some anime shows have for being violent or sexual, there are many anime shows that are appropriate for all ages. As with any form of media, it’s important to research an anime show before watching it to ensure that it is appropriate for your audience.


While anime and cartoons share some similarities, there are many differences between these two forms of animation. From their animation style to their target audiences and themes, anime and cartoons are distinct art forms that appeal to different audiences. Whether you prefer the mature themes and intricate storylines of anime or the lighthearted comedy of cartoons, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the world of animation.