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The Difference Between Cartoons and Anime Explained!

We admins get this question asked to us every now and then about difference between the two and we decided to answer it publicly in depth. So for you people looking for some good grounded answers, this post should give you some good basis to distinguish the two.

Cartoon is a term that once referred to fine art during the Renaissance period. Somehow, though, the term changed meaning (or devolved, depending on how you look at it) to humorous and witty illustrations and, finally, animated programs meant to entertaining people, mostly children. For, clarity, the word''cartoon in this article refers to animated programs. Recently, however, a new term was coined: Anime. And the difference between the two has caused much confusion.

Strictly speaking though, there should be no difference between anime and cartoon. Anime is a term used by Japanese to refer to animated cartoons, from their own country and from others as well. Somehow, though, the world started using the term anime in reference to Japanese cartoons exclusively. Japanese animation was once called japanimation, but this term was aptly discarded when the term 'Anime' was put into use.

Many people, most grownups, say that they see absolutely no difference between two, even going so far as to classify both cartoons and anime as 'childish' because of the nature of how they are presented, many humble anime fans. Technically, there is no official distinction and the grownups are pretty correct. But you only have to watch a single episode of any anime series and anime you can see is much more than your usual slapstick comedy man-tripping-on-a-banana-peal early morning cartoons. There is a real and deep differences between the two besides their the spellings: Anime is so much more than 'just a cartoon.

Storylines / Plots

Cartoons usually have a simple and defined plot. And that They basically about the good guys fight the bad guys. Cartoons rarely passed the old cliche. Most Anime series, on the other hand, is also about the same good vs. evil stuff but the plots are rarely simple and rarely predictable. You will see an element of politics, religion, humanity, and a score several other abstract concepts within an anime. Because these cartoons cats just about 'evil' chasing 'innocent' mice or a hero defending himself and others from a very evil bully. Anime can blur the line between good and evil so much that you are left wondering if which side is really right. Search the plot of Gundam, there are not any good guys or bad guys. They are both fighting for a cause - a worthy one, and both sides are ready to take good and evil to achieve their goals. Look at Wave Country arc of Naruto . Zabuza, bad as he is, has evoked more sympathetic tears than any of the typical Disney antagonists. There are, however, some exceptions to the 'cartoons are simple' rule. There are cartoon series that are far advanced like X-men.

In terms of humor, anime goes beyond the slapstick comedy that cartoons offer. There is not any corny joke about chickens crossing the road with anime. There is not even the quintessential banana peal. Anime humor is deep and witty. However, it is known that cartoons are mostly for children. Anime can be for an adult audience, it is almost all, actually. There are even times when anime plots are hardly suited for children.


In cartoons, with a protagonist, an antagonist, and a damsel in distress. Their role is bright and clear and the characters always act according to their duties. Anime, however, the damsel in distress may very well be the opponent, leaving the protagonist in distress. Without knowing What to expect in anime.

In short, there are so many similarities between the two because fundamentally they are released but yet they are also very different in many ways. One thing is for certain is that both are gaining immense popularity among the elderly because of its evolutions through time. You'd be surprised at how many parents really know the existence of popular animes like Naruto Shippuden or Bleach today.

About the Author

This article is in Naruto Games section of Naruto Episode and Naruto Manga at Tailedfox.

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