Cartoons are the best entertainment that children all around the world desire in their free times. Normally children who are most interested in cartoons are usually between 3 and 15. However, there are no age limits to watching cartoons and even young men find themselves interested is some that have been all time favorites such as Tom and Jerry etc. Cartoons are of various types, some that stress too much on detail and some that exaggerate reality. A recent development in cartoons has seen a new form of entertainment that has originated from Japan and is commonly known as Japanese Anime. Although it is common for people to use the word cartoon to describe all sorts of animations, including the Japanese Anime, there are some distinctive features between the two, some of which are very obvious even at first sight.
To begin with, let us compare the definitions of the words themselves. Cartoons are usually described as illustrated visual art that is two-dimensional. It is normally a depiction of a painting or drawing in a semi-realistic manner in a way that intends either one or all of humor, satire, sarcasm and/or caricature. The word anime, on the other hand is just a short word for animation and it normally refers to all animations. The productions of Japanese Anime feature computer or hand-drawn animations.
One of the most noticeable ways in which the two differ is visually. The feel of Japanese animations and the visual look that they exhibit is a very improved form of how the same is exhibited in traditional cartoons. The facial expressions of the characters in Japanese anime are very distinct and closer to reality than cartoons. Whereas cartoon characters most of the times have features that are not complimentary to the rest of the body which makes it seem more like a fictional depiction, Japanese Anime shows greater detail in how their characters look and dress and are more realistic due to the fact that all features of their body complement each other and in some cases resemble actual human beings in a better way better than cartoons. The extra details offered by Japanese Anime include large eyes with reflective highlights. The noses are usually small and together with mouths, the two are denoted by small lines. This is quite different to cartoon characters that have large noses and considerably smaller eyes comparatively giving a more comical look. Other features such as hair, eyelashes etc. are also shown in greater details and the color variants and shades used are of a wider range in Japanese Anime.
The amount of animation presented is however greater in American cartoons. There is original animated motion of a far greater extent in these cartoons compared to anime which can have considerably long scenes in which key information is delivered but only the hair or mouth shows any movement. So the amount of animation is actually less in Anime. This makes for one reason American cartoonists label their Japanese counterparts and their production ‘lazy’!
The most important differences are those of content, theme and audience. The cartoons made in America usually target children as their audience whereas anime can be for adults as well as children. In fact, it has been proven by surveys that Japanese parents have found their children to develop a more mature nature than they expected. This is hugely because of the cultural differences from where these two forms of entertainment originate namely America and Japan. The difference in theme is also important. Whereas anime depicts actual life issues and usually goes to further levels to show human emotions as well as violent and sexual themes, American cartoons remain a bit conserved in this regard and are usually comical.
Summary of differences expressed in points:
1. Cartoons-illustrated visual art; Japanese anime-animations of usually all types
2. Visual differences
- Anime closer to reality than cartoons
- Anime offers greater detail of face structure, body, dressing etc.
- Color variants and shades used are of a wider range in anime
3. Amount of animation-greater in American cartoons; Anime can have info delivered with minimal animation
4. Theme and content: Cartoons usually comical and thrilling; anime normally show life issues and human emotions
5. Target audience: Cartoons-children; anime-adults and children(more mature depictions like violence, sexual themes etc.)