How Japanese Anime is different from Western Animation

how Japanese anime different from western animation

There are mainly two styles of animations that are very popular among kids as well as adults these days. One is Western animation and the other is Japanese anime. In this article, we are going to compare these two animation styles in detail.

If you want to know more about animation, read my article in which I have covered the definition of animation, moreover, the science behind it. Furthermore, I have also explained how animation has evolved in the past few decades.

Now, I assume you all know what is animation. So, let us compare these two styles of animation in detail.

Are animation and anime different?

In countries like the US and UK, the anime word is referred to the Japanese animation. Since anime is a Japanese word, the western audience often uses it for the animation work of Japan. On the contrary, Japanese people use the ‘anime’ word for all kinds of animations.

There is a misconception that anime and animation are two different terms. However, both the terms are the same, except for the style of the animation and the pronunciation of the word ‘animation’ in the Japanese language.

The ‘anime’ word is inspired by an English word called ‘animation’. The word animation is difficult to pronounce in the Japanese language. Therefore, for the sake of simplicity, the term anime began to be used in Japan. This new word unintentionally created a whole new chapter in animation.

Now, let us compare these two styles in 3 different aspects.

1. Targeted age group:

I have seen a lot of western animated films as well as Japanese anime. Seeing the style of animation and analyzing the plot, I concluded that western animation mostly targets children.

On the other hand, anime does not specifically target any age group. Their work is not limited to just children. It mainly contains mature and complex plot themes. Therefore, along with the children, many adults prefer to watch it too.

Note: We will compare the style of animation in the article furthermore.

2. Variety in genres:

As the primary audience of western animation are children, they pick genres that a child would like to watch. For example comedy, fantasy, adventure, musical, drama, etc. These animations often follow a simple and easy-to-understand story, so that, a child would understand what is happening on the screen.

Since Japanese anime is not restricted to just kids, you will find thousands of anime in every genre. They majorly focus on the mature content. Their every plot is unique, moreover, follows a complex story that only a mature mind can understand.

3. The difference in style of animation:

This is the most important aspect when it comes to comparing anime and animation. As we discussed above, Japanese anime became famous because of its unique style of animation.

In western animation, animators do not focus on the physical sketch of the characters. Their characters are inspired by cartoons, hence the details are lesser. They mainly focus on the movement of the objects to get smooth and clean footage.

Unlike western animation, anime primarily give importance to the design of characters rather than their movement. Anime’s character design is close to reality. So, adults do not think of it as childish stuff. Their characters often have big eyes, detailed coloring, small nose, and mouth, etc. (Anime’s animators chiefly focus on the details of the physical sketch of the character.)


Is language a barrier for Anime?

Yes. As English is a global language, more than 50% of the world’s population speak the English language whereas, the Japanese language is only being spoken in Japan. As a result, English animation has a large audience compare to Japanese anime.
Although most anime is now officially dubbed in the English language, they are not available in most of the countries due to the low view count. Therefore, Japanese anime is still struggling to increase the audience count.

How Japanese anime is different from western animation?

1. Anime is not limited only to the kids
2. They mainly focus on the physical sketch of the character rather than their movement.
3. Variety in genres.

If this article was helpful for you, let me know in the comment section. Your comments will motivate me to write more.  If you want to watch some amazing anime, here is the list of best anime till 2021 from

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2 thoughts on “How Japanese Anime is different from Western Animation”

  1. Shreyash Janardan Rane

    Hi Abhishek,
    This is very informative article. So far, I felt that the anime was only for children. From now on I will consider watching Japanese anime.

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