20+ Differences between Anime And Cartoon (Explained)

Anime and cartoons may appear identical at first look, yet they have significant traits that distinguish them.

Anime originated in Japan and frequently features complicated plots, exquisite artwork, and mature themes, catering to a wide range of consumers. Conversely, more prevalent in the West, cartoons generally present lighter narratives and simpler animation styles and target younger viewers.

Understanding these differences increases appreciation for the distinct aspects of both types of animation.

What Is The Difference Between Anime And Cartoon?

ParametersAnime Cartoon
Artistic StyleUnique and distinct art style.Varied art styles depending on the production.
Target DemographicWide range of target demographics.Primarily aimed at children.
Storytelling and ThemesCovers diverse genres and themes.Emphasis on humor and light-hearted stories.
Cultural InfluencesReflects Japanese culture and traditions.Reflects cultural influences of production country.
Animation TechniquesIncorporates detailed character designs.Varied animation techniques and styles.
Narrative ComplexityOften features complex and intricate plots.Simpler and straightforward storylines.
Length of Episodes/ShowsIncludes both short and long-running series.Primarily consists of shorter episodes.
Global PopularityEnjoys a significant global fanbase.Popularity varies by region and audience.
Adult-oriented ContentIncludes anime specifically for adult viewers.Cartoons primarily cater to a younger audience.
Industry AssociationPart of the larger anime industryPart of the broader animation industry.

What Is Anime?

Anime is a particular type of animation that started in Japan and has attained enormous global popularity. It includes various animated works, such as television programs, films, and web series.

Anime is distinguished by its distinct art style, which frequently features brilliant colors, exaggerated facial expressions, and meticulous craftsmanship.

Anime covers many themes, storytelling styles, and cultural components, enthralling audiences of all ages with sophisticated narratives and visually appealing animations.


  • The term “anime” is derived from the English word “animation” and is used to denote various animated works such as television programs, films, and even short videos.
  • Anime originates in the early twentieth century when Japanese artists began experimenting with animation techniques inspired by Western animations.
  • However, as we know it today, anime emerged in the 1960s and 1970s due to the popularity of popular programs such as “Astro Boy” and “Speed Racer.”
  • Anime evolved its distinct art styles and storytelling strategies over time, catering to a wide range of genres and target audiences.
  • It has achieved international acclaim and become an essential Japanese cultural component.
features of anime

Examples Of Anime

Examples of anime include popular series like “Naruto” and “Attack on Titan” which have captivated audiences worldwide with their compelling storylines, vibrant animation, and diverse characters.

Among countless others, these shows showcase the immense range of genres and themes that anime explores, making it a rich and dynamic form of entertainment.

  • 1 “Naruto” – A popular anime series about the exploits of Naruto Uzumaki, a teenage ninja who aspires to be the strongest in his community.
  • 2 “Attack on Titan” – A dark fantasy anime series set in a world where humanity must protect itself from Titans, enormous humanoid beings.
  • 3 “Sailor Moon” – A popular magical girl anime series about a group of adolescent girls who change into Sailor Guardians to protect Earth from evil powers.
  • 4 “Dragon Ball Z” – An action-packed anime series that follows Goku and his allies’ adventures as they save the Earth from terrible villains in spectacular battles.
  • 5 “Studio Ghibli Films” – A compilation of animated films directed by Hayao Miyazaki, including “Spirited Away,” “My Neighbour Totoro,” and “Princess Mononoke.”

What Is Cartoon?

A cartoon is an animated visual depiction or series of drawings that can be hand-drawn or made digitally.

Cartoons are often linked with hilarious and light-hearted themes and are frequently intended to delight youngsters.

They are available in various mediums, including television shows, films, comic books, and online series.

Cartoons use a variety of visual styles and storytelling strategies to create innovative and funny stories that appeal to a wide audience.


  • Cartoons, on the other hand, have a broader scope and include animated works from worldwide.
  • Originally, “cartoon” referred to amusing illustrations or comic strips.
  • However, it eventually expanded to encompass animated films and television shows.
  • Cartoons have a long history dating back to the early twentieth century when animation pioneers such as Winsor McCay and Max Fleischer made the first animated films in the United States.
  • These early cartoons, such as “Gertie the Dinosaur” and “Steamboat Willie” (which introduced Mickey Mouse), lay the groundwork for the animation industry’s growth. Cartoons evolved in style, storyline, and intended audience over time.
  • They were popular all throughout the world, with noteworthy examples including Walt Disney’s works and the Looney Tunes series.
features of cartoon

Example Of Cartoon

Examples of cartoons include beloved classics like “Tom and Jerry,” “The Simpsons,” and “Looney Tunes.” These animated series have entertained generations with their humor, colorful animation, and memorable characters.

Cartoons often cater to a younger audience, providing light-hearted and comedic narratives that bring joy and laughter to viewers of all ages.

  • 1 “The Simpsons” – An iconic American animated sitcom that follows the lives of the Simpson family, known for its humor and satirical take on everyday life.
  • 2 “Tom and Jerry” – A classic cartoon series featuring the comedic rivalry between the mischievous mouse, Jerry, and the determined cat, Tom.
  • 3 “Adventure Time” – A whimsical and imaginative cartoon series that follows the adventures of Finn, a human boy, and his magical dog, Jake, in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo.
  • 4 “SpongeBob SquarePants” – A beloved cartoon series set in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom, featuring the escapades of the cheerful sea sponge, SpongeBob, and his friends.
  • 5 “Looney Tunes” – A collection of animated shorts featuring iconic characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig, known for their slapstick humor and witty dialogue.

Anime vs Cartoon: Explanation

Visual Characteristics:

  • Anime: Anime is often regarded as a distinct form of visual art, especially when compared to cartoons. One noticeable difference lies in the facial expressions of anime characters, which tend to be more exaggerated.

    With larger eyes and smaller mouths, anime characters have a more fantastical appearance compared to their cartoon counterparts. These unique features contribute to the distinctiveness of anime as a visual medium.
  • Cartoon: Cartoons, as a form of visual art, offer a wide range of facial expressions that vary from creator to creator, giving them a distinct structure. In contrast, anime characters often have a more stylized appearance with exaggerated features.

    Additionally, cartoon characters display more realistic and human expressions than their anime counterparts.


  • Anime: Anime episode runs for about 22-25 minutes, varying depending on the type of episode. However, full-action anime movies often exceed this duration, offering a more extensive viewing experience.
  • Cartoon: Cartoons as a type of show run for approximately half an hour to an hour, varying depending on the specific episode being considered. This distinction highlights the contrasting lengths between the two forms of animated entertainment.


  • Anime: Anime is often regarded as a diverse form of artistic expression. It encompasses a distinct structure that sets it apart from other mediums.

    Furthermore, anime is recognized as a unique style of motion-picture animation, commonly associated with Japan, as defined by the latest edition of the English dictionary.

    Its visual artistry and storytelling make anime a fascinating and distinct form of creative representation.
  • Cartoon: Cartoons, in their essence, are considered a distinct form of visual art, initially used as models or studies for paintings. Over time, cartoons have evolved into humorous caricatures that serve to express satire.

    The structural evolution of cartoons reflects their transformation from artistic studies to vehicles of entertainment and social commentary.


  • Anime: Anime is often associated with deep, thought-provoking themes and intense human emotions, making it distinct from cartoons.

    It tackles complex issues related to life and often incorporates more violent elements compared to the typically lighter and less mature themes found in cartoons
  • Cartoon: Cartoons are often associated with humor and satire, intended to entertain and uplift viewers through comical storylines.

    The primary focus of cartoons is to make people laugh and improve their mood, emphasizing light-hearted themes and comedic elements throughout the show.

First Streamed On:

  • Anime: Anime emerged as a significant form of Japanese cartoon during the 1980s when it started being streamed on television.

    With growing audience support, the anime industry flourished, resulting in a well-developed and distinct form of Japanese animation. Today, anime has become a popular and recognized medium worldwide.
  • Cartoon: The concept of cartoons as entertainment can be traced back to the Middle Ages when two-dimensional drawings and sketches were discovered on cave walls and other structures.

    As technology advanced, the cartoon industry underwent modernization and is now widely streamed worldwide on television channels and OTT platforms.

Reference :

  • Anime: Anime is a distinguished form of visual art known for its unique structure and semi-realistic animation style.

    It represents another art form extensively utilized in creating movies, series, and various other mediums. With its distinct characteristics, anime stands out as a significant artistic expression in the realm of storytelling and entertainment.
  • Cartoon: Cartoons are a distinct form of visual art that primarily relies on non-realistic animation, differentiating them from anime.

    They excel at conveying humor and satire through their structures, while anime offers a different approach to storytelling and visual representation. The contrasting structures of cartoons and anime contribute to their unique artistic qualities.

Fan Reference:

  • Anime: Fans who passionately dedicate their time and energy to the anime world have a distinct label – they are known as “otakus.”

    United by their shared love for the anime industry, otakus form a vibrant community that fervently supports and celebrates this unique form of entertainment.
  • Cartoon: Unlike anime, which has a dedicated fanbase, there is no specific term to refer to fans who deeply engage with the concept of cartoons.

    This distinction highlights anime’s unique cultural significance and passionate following, setting it apart from its Western counterpart.
difference between anime and cartoons

Read More Related Articles.. 👇

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it possible for anime and cartoons to be based on the same source material?

Yes, anime and cartoons can be adapted from various source materials, including manga (Japanese comics), comic strips, books, and movies.

On the other hand, anime is best known for converting manga and light novels into animated shows.

Do anime and cartoons have a large fan base?

Yes, both anime and cartoons have devoted fan bases around the world.

Anime, in particular, has a sizable and devoted fan base, with conventions, fan clubs, and online communities devoted to discussing and praising anime programs and films.

Can anime and cartoons have an impact on each other?

Yes, anime and cartoons can have an impact on each other.

Throughout the years, the art styles, storytelling approaches, and even thematic components of anime and cartoons have inspired and affected one another.

Similar Posts:

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment