Difference Between Anime And Cartoons

The world of animation has a vast array of genres, each with its own unique style and culture. Two of the most popular animation styles are anime and cartoons. There has been a long-standing debate regarding the differences between the two types of animation styles. Some say anime is just another type of cartoon, while others argue that anime is entirely different from cartoons. In this article, we will examine the differences between anime and cartoons and explore their origins, styles, and themes, which have contributed to their popularity worldwide.

Definition of animation styles:

Before we delve into the differences between the two styles, let’s clarify what they are. Cartoons are defined as short or long-form animated stories, typically humorous in nature, aimed at children and adults. They have clear-cut storylines and are produced primarily for entertainment purposes. On the other hand, anime is a term used to describe Japanese cartoons, which are often characterized by their complex storylines, mature themes, and distinct visual style.


Anime and cartoons both have roots in the early days of animation, with cartoons originating in the United States in the early 1900s and anime emerging in Japan in the 1960s. Cartoons were often produced by major studios such as Walt Disney and Warner Bros, while anime was typically produced by smaller Japanese studios. Over time, both kinds of animation have grown in popularity and have become global phenomena.

Visual Style:

One of the most apparent differences between anime and cartoons is their respective visual style. Cartoons are known for their exaggerated and often comical character designs, while anime features more detailed and stylized character designs. Anime also tends to use a limited color palette, with a focus on creating a specific mood through the use of color gradients and lighting. Another significant aspect of anime is its use of a variety of camera angles, which can help bring a dynamic and cinematographic feel to the animation.

Themes and Storylines:

Another major difference between anime and cartoons is the type of themes and storylines they explore. Cartoons often focus on humor and light-hearted subject matters, such as slapstick comedy or superhero adventures. On the other hand, anime deals with more complex themes, such as identity, mortality, and existentialism, often with a much darker and more mature tone. Anime is also known for its range of genres, including action, drama, romance, horror, and science fiction, to name a few.

Target Audience:

The target audience for cartoons is usually children or families looking for light-hearted entertainment. Cartoons are often broadcast on traditional television channels or streaming services such as Netflix or Disney+. Anime, on the other hand, has a broader target audience, including teenagers and young adults who appreciate more mature themes and sophisticated storytelling. Anime is often available on specialized streaming sites and stores, such as Crunchyroll, Funimation, or Blu-ray movie releases.


In summary, the differences between anime and cartoons can be seen in their origins, visual style, themes, and target audience. Cartoons are typically simple in design, humor-focused, and aimed at children, while anime is more complex, artistic, and often tackles darker and more mature themes. Both types of animations have their place in the world of entertainment, and there is a growing global demand for both. Regardless of your preference or age, there is an animation style and genre that caters to your interests and offers a unique entertainment experience that keeps you hooked.