Difference Between Cartoon And Anime


When it comes to animated entertainment, two major types come to mind: cartoons and anime. The difference between these two forms may seem trivial to casual viewers, but they actually have significant distinctions that make them unique from each other. Let’s dive into the characteristics of cartoon and anime and determine what sets them apart.

Cartoons are traditionally associated with Western animation, particularly in the United States. They tend to feature exaggerated character designs and movements, with a focus on humor and slapstick comedy. Cartoons are animated in a 2D style, with characters drawn on cels and then photographed to create motion. While cartoons today can be both hand-drawn and computer-generated, the core concept behind animation remains the same. Cartoons usually have a short duration, around 5-15 minutes per episode, and are typically watched by children.

Anime, on the other hand, comes from Japan and features a more diverse range of genres, including action, romance, science fiction, and more. While anime also features exaggerated character designs, these tend to be more realistic than cartoons, with attention given to intricate details such as facial expressions, clothing, and hair. Anime is animated in a 2D or 3D style, with the latter becoming more prevalent in recent years due to advancements in technology. Anime episodes usually run around 20-30 minutes per episode, and the target audience can range from children to adults.

One major difference between cartoons and anime is the way the story is developed. Cartoons are often episodic, meaning that each episode can stand alone, and there is no overarching story that ties the episodes together. In contrast, anime generally follows a larger narrative, with characters evolving over a longer period of time. This allows anime to explore more complex themes and character development that cartoons may not be able to achieve.

Another distinction between the two is the age range of their target audiences. Cartoons generally aim to entertain children, while anime can be enjoyed by a range of audiences. Some anime’s themes and content may be too mature for younger viewers and may even contain graphic violence, language, and sexual situations. As mentioned earlier, anime can feature multiple genres that are aimed at teenagers and adults, such as the romance-based anime “Kimi ni Todoke”, which follows high school students’ attempts at romance but may be too mature for younger viewers.

Visually, cartoons are more focused on bright colors and simple character designs, while anime tends to have a broader range of colors, often using more muted tones to create a more realistic look. Additionally, anime is known to use many “camera” angles, with action or dramatic scenes often being portrayed through several different views to create a cinematic experience.

When it comes to animation style, cartoons generally feature more exaggerated movements and character designs, while anime tends to focus on more realistic movement, with special attention paid to detail such as hair and clothing movement. Anime also has an emphasis on character facial expressions.

In regards to the soundtrack, cartoons often use pop songs to give a fun and happy tone to the episodes. Whereas anime soundtracks often include Japanese pop music, instrumental classical music or orchestral pieces, or even heavy metal or rock.

Lastly, cartoons usually have a set of voice actors who do the voices of the same characters every episode. Comparatively, anime sees more variation, with characters’ voices being recasted with different actors in different chapters, though some iconic voices stick with a character for practically forever.

In conclusion, while both cartoons and anime are forms of animated entertainment, there are essential differences between them. Cartoons are usually geared towards children, with a focus on humor and episodic storytelling, while anime is designed more for teenagers and adults, with an emphasis on character development and long-form narrative. Cartoons have a bright and simplistic aesthetic, while anime uses intricate and detailed visuals with more realistic and nuanced designs. The soundtrack of cartoons relies on pop music, while anime employs a broader range of music styles. Understanding the differences between the two forms can help viewers make better-informed decisions on what type of media they enjoy watching.