How is Anime different from Cartoons?

Entertainment has always been an integral part of our lives, which always brings joy and happiness to us. Entertaining activities can refresh our minds and preserve our mental health by any means, like playing games or sports, reading books, watching TV shows or movies, etc. Some of them engage people of all age groups, while others are specifically for children and younger adults.

Watching cartoons and anime is the best form of entertainment for children and young adults because it provides them with emotional and social satisfaction.They may seem to be the same, but they vary in several aspects, such as visual effects, emotional essence, plots, and character design.

The majority of parents show cartoons to their children to demonstrate how things work in real life and to explain feelings and relationships in a way that they can easily understand. Anime is another form of entertainment that has a significant impact on human psychology. Its contents can influence a person’s attitudes and behavior. 

It’s difficult to say which is better between anime and cartoons. Both of them demonstrate how to deal with difficult situations in our lives and inspire us with their content. However, we can honestly state that anime is in no way comparable to cartoons. 

Here are some major aspects that distinguish anime from cartoons.

What are Anime?

what is anime

Anime is a japanese word for “animation.” So anime literally mean “animated series.” However, they are rarely classified as cartoons due to their many differences. This is the topic of this article. Popular anime include Naruto, My Hero Academia, Attack On Titan, and One Piece. One other thing to notice is that anime fans have named themselves “Otakus” and “weebs” and form one of the largest community on the internet.

Related >> History Of Anime – 100+ Years Of Greatness!

What are Cartoons?

what are cartoons

Everyone knows what cartoons are. They’re western animated content aimed at a younger audience. Of course, there are exceptions like Family Guy that are not for children. Cartoons are popular and loved by all. Famous cartoons include Adventure Time, Spongebob, and Tom & Jerry.

Difference between Anime and Cartoon

1. Anime Vs Cartoon: Diversity in Genre 

Anime has a wide variety of genres and themes that target people of all ages.

It includes all of the content that any type of person might want. It focuses primarily on life issues and human emotions. 

anime genre list
Some popular Anime genres

There are also some violent and adult themes in anime because they are targeted at mature audience, and they don’t censor much as they believe that art should never be restricted, which is one of the biggest differences between anime and cartoons.

Anime includes a variety of genres such as slice of life, romance, psychology, drama, ecchi/adult and many others that are not found in cartoons. Romance is a genre that can only be perfectly expressed in anime.

On the other hand, cartoons have simple and satirical stories that are mostly for children. Cartoons are typically created to make people laugh and to entertain them. It also contains romantic development, but it is not usually explored so much. 

2. Anime Vs Cartoon: Plot and Storyline

Anime is well known for its excellent stories and incredible plots, and many anime are full of both harsh and uplifting life lessons. Some of them have the potential to make your life better. It can sometimes help you find inspiration when you need it the most.

However, it is essential for every platform to follow a consistent storyline and plot, which anime excels at over cartoons, because anime shows are well built and become even more amazing as they go on. Where as cartoon episodes are not always continual. Each episode has a separtate goal that doesn’t continue to the next one.

Anime precisely depicts most human emotions such as fear, sadness, anger, surprise, and happiness, whereas cartoons primarily depict humor and satire.

Anime also portrays complex issues such as trauma, death, morality, sadness, and so on, whereas cartoons avoid killing their characters since it is too disturbing for youngsters to watch.

3. Anime Vs Cartoon: Animation and Art Style 

anime vs cartoon animation style
Source: 9GAG

There are significant stylistic differences between anime and cartoons. Anime employs advanced animation techniques with a variety of art styles and designs.

Character designs in anime are quite realistic, resembling real humans with typical skin tones and amazing hairstyles.

Anime has realistic backgrounds and beautiful scenery.

Cartoons are a non-realistic kind of visual art with light storylines, but anime is a semi-realistic form of animation with a much deeper meaning.

The design and animation of cartoons are often ironic and rarely realistic. In cartoons, the scenery is simplistic and the background is always the same. Character designs in cartoons are overly dramatic, with three or four fingers, a strange skin tone, and a unique face form.

4. Anime Vs Cartoon: Relatablity

Anime is highly relatable to a general audience, making it great for both children and adults. It depicts a variety of cultures that teach us about moral and social issues in society. Real-world locations such as Japan, Egypt, the USA, and Africa are featured in anime.

anime and real locations
Anime vs Reality Comparison

Characters in anime grow and change over time, making them more realistic. They also frequently change their clothes and accessories, which are excessively glamorous and fashionable.

On the other hand, cartoons make it difficult to empathize with reality. They are mostly comical and funny, and they serve as mood elevators. Their characters don’t grow or change, and they’re mostly seen wearing the same outfit. The locations in the cartoons are simple and straightforward.

5. Anime Vs Cartoon: Soundtrack and Voice Acting 

voice acting

The main reasons that anime differs from cartoons are its amazing soundtrack and incredible voice acting.

Voice actors are highly crucial in anime.

Because Japanese voice actors are among the world’s most talented and skilled actors. They have the potential to transform fictional characters into real people.

Anime spends a lot of money on the soundtrack to make it wonderful and enjoyable for the audience. Every anime series, movie, and short film has its own opening song because it sets the mood and informs the audience about what they are about to watch.

Cartoons, on the other hand, don’t give much importance to their voice actors and don’t spend a lot of money on soundtracks.

That’s why their characters’ voiceovers are not very natural or fluent, and also, their opening song and soundtrack aren’t much better than anime.


Simply, we can say that anime and cartoons are the best forms of entertainment, but they are very different.

It’s difficult to say which is better because they’re aimed at different audiences with different tastes.

That’s it for this post. These were the differences between cartoons and anime.

Hope you found this article useful and enjoyable. Stay tuned for more amazing content. 

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