Manga Vs Anime – Understanding The Difference

There are many different types of comic books in the world. Some of them feature superheroes, whereas others will take a person on an adventure using different creatures, people, or other worldly settings. One of the most popular types of comics are called Anime and Manga, both of which originate from Japan. There is a definite distinction between these two types of comics, one that can be easily defined. Let’s take a look at how these differ, and also how they are similar, beginning with how they tell a story.


Why The Debate?

girl in anime

Before explaining why there is a debate, it begs the question of why does a debate exist in the first place? Why is it so important for some people to be very definitive about Japanese Anime and Manga in comparison to all other forms of cartoons and comic books that are made worldwide. This level of fanaticism has created a unique brand for any animated cartoon series that originates from Japan, as well as the comic books that are produced. They do have a very distinctive appearance and flow, one that is unique to the rest of the world, but this is certainly not the perspective of those that create cartoons hand comic books in Japan. This level of fanaticism is why the debate exists, and there are actual distinctions between Anime and Manga that are more obvious than you would think.

Different Ways That Stories Are Presented

Japanese anime

The first distinction between the two is that Anime tells a story in the form of a video or cartoon, a word that literally derives itself from animation. You have probably seen many of these cartoons online, or even on your television, such as the popular Avatar series. This is a huge undertaking for any company that does this because you are actually creating a video cartoon series. There are an enormous amounts of people that are responsible for every aspect of the film, and it can be a multi million dollar project. In contrast, Manga are definitively Japanese comics, and are primarily in black and white. There are some that are in color which is how there is a crossover between Manga and Anime, but that really is the only connection. Therefore, the way that they tell stories differs only in the medium by which they are conveyed.

Anime is in an animated cartoon format, and Manga is just like a comic book, one that is read from right to left.

Does One Originate From The Other?

Japanese manga

Before this question can be answered, it should be stated that the perceptions of Anime and Manga are often very different depending upon the country that this question is asked in. For example, if you were to talk to Japanese people in Japan about what qualifies as an Anime cartoon, they would literally include any type of cartoon that is made. The same is true for Manga comic books. People in Japan would consider any comic book to be Manga. However, outside of Japan, especially in the United States, there are definite distinctions and lines drawn in terms of what qualifies for either Anime or Manga. For example, Anime to a Western person would be cartoons that are made in Japan, and not any other place in the world. Manga to a Westerner is also considered official only if it originates from Japanese comic book creators. Getting back to the original question, does one originate from the other, the answer is actually very simple. Manga represents the still form of any comic that is made, some of which are made into Anime cartoons. On the other hand, Anime cartoons are not typically the inspiration for Manga comic books that are created. From a Western perspective, if you think about the history of comic books and the origins of superheroes such as Superman or Spiderman, these comics were subsequently made into cartoons and then movies. The same is true in Japan.

Although these terms are often interchanged, they do referred to completely distinct ideas. It would be the same as referring to cartoons and comics when talking about Anime and Manga, respectively. The main difference that you will find in the opinions of many people that are fanatical about Japanese comics and cartoons is that those in Japan use these terms to describe the cartoons and comic books that they create. In the rest of the world, they are definitively of Japanese origin, with no other cartoon or comic book associated, making them very distinct if not elite.

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