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Post Reply The "Anime is a Cartoon" Argument.
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Posted 6/17/13
I have seen multiple things all over the internet, I've even argued with people offline, that anime is indeed a cartoon. Anime was pretty much deprived from the word "animation." Cartoons are also animation.
My opinion is neutral on this. I think anime and cartoons are severely similar, all because they're roots of animation, but I will always refer to anime as anime, so people will know what I'm talking about.
But think about this; there are cartoons in other countries, not just America. Is it the way it looks, animation-wise, that it's the reason it's called "anime?"

What do you think?
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17 / Morioh-cho
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Posted 6/17/13
Anime is a cartoon. Like you said, anime is short hand for animation back in japan. Cartoon is also animation,ergo the same. THE DIFFERENCE is style. Anime is eastern style (sometimes can cross western like PSG) and Cartoon is western style (sometimes cross with eastern like the Avatar series)

But bottom lime, they are still on the confines of animation.
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20 / M / Norway, Oslo
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Posted 6/17/13
Also anime has a bigger numbers of categories compared to cartoon.
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Posted 6/17/13
Like how other have said, the difference between Anime and Cartoons are the style. Of course, there are other differences:

1) Animes are typically aimed towards teenagers or older (14-15+) whereas cartoons are aimed towards a younger audience. Of course, that is not always the case for animes and cartoons but most of the time and from what I've seen, it usually is.
2) Reinforcing my 1st point, anime usually has more mature content such as having a "Dark" atmosphere (violence, gore, really strong negative emotions, etc) or even sexual contents. In cartoons, you will almost never see those sort of things (Family Guy and simpsons aren't cartoons, they're animated sitcoms if you wanted to use it as an example)
3) Most animes have a much more complex and deep plot whereas most cartoons have either a very simple plot or no actual plot (in this case, each episode would be like a short story about something different)

Those are the differences I noticed so far.
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Posted 6/17/13
Anime is simply what the Japanese call animation of any type. To the Japanese every cartoon in the world is considered an anime. Its only in the minds of the western audience that there is any difference. Sure its handy to use the word anime from our perspectives, especially as watchers and fans of Japanese animation, to mean animation that comes from japan, but there isn't any fundamental difference between an anime or a cartoon other than where it comes from. Sure the styles may vary, but they also vary between works within the same country.
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17 / M / Coventry, UK
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Posted 6/17/13
The word 'anime' in Japanese does refer to animation in general, but that same word in English is actually defined as 'Japanese-style animation', so they're not utterly equivalent.

Technically, 'cartoon' refers to 'drawing in a simplified/exaggerated way' (not even necessarily animated). I don't think anyone could argue that anime isn't 'drawing in a simplified/exaggerated way'; technically, describing anime as a 'cartoon' would be accurate.

But 'cartoon' does have very Western connotations as opposed to 'anime', and that's the important thing. Personally, I distinguish between the two simply for convenience's sake, but technically 'cartoon' would be an umbrella term.
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Posted 6/17/13

DarkRequiem1 wrote:

Like how other have said, the difference between Anime and Cartoons are the style. Of course, there are other differences:

1) Animes are typically aimed towards teenagers or older (14-15+) whereas cartoons are aimed towards a younger audience. Of course, that is not always the case for animes and cartoons but most of the time and from what I've seen, it usually is.
2) Reinforcing my 1st point, anime usually has more mature content such as having a "Dark" atmosphere (violence, gore, really strong negative emotions, etc) or even sexual contents. In cartoons, you will almost never see those sort of things (Family Guy and simpsons aren't cartoons, they're animated sitcoms if you wanted to use it as an example)
3) Most animes have a much more complex and deep plot whereas most cartoons have either a very simple plot or no actual plot (in this case, each episode would be like a short story about something different)

Those are the differences I noticed so far.


All of those points listed are subjective.

Symbiotic Titan, Thundercats reboot, and TMNT (the new one on Nick) are three cartoons that fit those descriptions off the top of my head. Select episodes of AT work as well.

The only reason anime may seem like what you're envisioning is because it's more common (common =/= exclusive) and even then, the highest rated animes are usually more in line with the criteria you assign to cartoons (Doraemon, Pokemon, etc.)
Cased Closed, Hunter x Hunter, and the serious arcs for One Piece are exceptions (and they're still aimed toward children [shonen])

As previously mentioned, anime is just a style.
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Posted 6/17/13 , edited 6/17/13

TheJudged wrote:


DarkRequiem1 wrote:

Like how other have said, the difference between Anime and Cartoons are the style. Of course, there are other differences:

1) Animes are typically aimed towards teenagers or older (14-15+) whereas cartoons are aimed towards a younger audience. Of course, that is not always the case for animes and cartoons but most of the time and from what I've seen, it usually is.
2) Reinforcing my 1st point, anime usually has more mature content such as having a "Dark" atmosphere (violence, gore, really strong negative emotions, etc) or even sexual contents. In cartoons, you will almost never see those sort of things (Family Guy and simpsons aren't cartoons, they're animated sitcoms if you wanted to use it as an example)
3) Most animes have a much more complex and deep plot whereas most cartoons have either a very simple plot or no actual plot (in this case, each episode would be like a short story about something different)

Those are the differences I noticed so far.


All of those points listed are subjective.

Symbiotic Titan, Thundercats reboot, and TMNT (the new one on Nick) are three cartoons that fit those descriptions off the top of my head. Select episodes of AT work as well.

The only reason anime may seem like what you're envisioning is because it's more common (common =/= exclusive) and even then, the highest rated animes are usually more in line with the criteria you assign to cartoons (Doraemon, Pokemon, etc.)
Cased Closed, Hunter x Hunter, and the serious arcs for One Piece are exceptions (and they're still aimed toward children [shonen])

As previously mentioned, anime is just a style.


Yeah I'm aware of what you said. I tried to stretch that point by saying "MOST Animes" and "Most Cartoons" to show that amongst those genre's, the points that I stated are more or less common.
But I actually should have been more explicit with my points and said that what I described in those 3 comments are not EXCLUSIVE but rather COMMON.
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Posted 6/17/13 , edited 6/17/13
I tend to use "animation" to encompass all things animated, and that includes CG (like Pixar).

As for anime itself, there's a certain style to anime; just as there is a certain style to cartoons. Likewise, they both follow a different set of rules, especially when it comes to designing characters.
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Posted 6/17/13 , edited 11/6/13
I generally use "anime" to specify that the cartoon is Japanese. I also loosely use the term to describe artworks that are apparently influenced by styles associated with anime, manga, and manhua. I'm not familiar with a noun or adjective that covers the very distinctive trends of manga/manhua and anime art, so I'm forced to settle with "anime."
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33 / M / The Netherlands
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Posted 6/17/13 , edited 6/17/13
To me it's both the same, in a social aspect it depends on who I speak to.

To a lot of people these days the word anime is undeniably bound to Japanese cartoons and I am not going to argue against that.
Especially now at least here in the Netherlands people are starting to lose the habbit of referring to anime as manga films.
(Courtesy of the tapes released in the early to mid 90's under the Manga label...)

For those unaware of the word anime (usually elderly people) I still use cartoons from Japan.

People that say that Anime is not a cartoon are usually the people I try to avoid or very casually try to get away from if I find myself in a debate with them.
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21 / M / England
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Posted 6/17/13
anime has a plot and a story to follow such as beyblades and dragonball z (chose these specifically because i watched them as a child growing up) they would count as anime.

such shows like courage the cowardly dog code name kids next door have basically no plot what so ever and just do random stuff for the episodes.. they would be classed as cartoons in my opinion
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Posted 6/17/13
Anime is cartoons, BUT I'll never call Donald Duck or Avatar anime.
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Posted 6/17/13 , edited 6/17/13

maffayoo wrote:

anime has a plot and a story to follow such as beyblades and dragonball z (chose these specifically because i watched them as a child growing up) they would count as anime.

such shows like courage the cowardly dog code name kids next door have basically no plot what so ever and just do random stuff for the episodes.. they would be classed as cartoons in my opinion


And there's one example on the dificulty of debating the definition of Anime.

By your definition quite a few western cartoon series would also fall under that as many shows do have a storyline going through them.
And plenty of those come from times even before I was born.
Aside from that, there are many Japanese cartoon shows that have the same concept as for example "Courage the cowardly dog", short gag cartoons with no plot nor storyline to follow.

To me it needs to be simple as I also have to communicate about my hobby to the outside world fairly often.
"Anime are cartoons that come from Japan, what attracts me to anime and manga you ask? It's not just anime, I like cartoons and comics in general but there happens to be coming a lot more interesting stuff from Asia"
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Posted 6/17/13

Des85 wrote:

Anime is cartoons, BUT I'll never call Donald Duck or Avatar anime.


Now there's a whole other aspect to it, considering that Avatar is directly inspired by Japanese-style animation. If done by the style, as is the general consensus on here, couldn't it be called anime? Or is it excluded from that term simply by its country of origin?

Although I wouldn't call it anime, everyone here seems to be differentiating between 'cartoon' and 'anime' by their drawing style, plot format etc., which leads to some dissonance in cases such as these.
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