In simple terms, Anime is a Japanese animation used in films or TV series that are hand-drawn. Anime is derived from the English word animation and refers to animation produced in Japan. However, the term describes all kinds of animation in Japan, regardless of origin.
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What is the difference between Anime & Cartoon?
The popularity of this niche medium has been on the rise for a couple of years. You might have heard your friends, kids, or even coworkers mention it once or twice. But don’t think of it as just a cartoon as the main demographic for Anime is somewhere between 18 to 40 (seinen).
It is different from typical cartoons as artistically, it tries to be a semi-realistic form of animation. On the other hand, cartoons are non-realistic forms of energy used for satire and humor.
Why is it so popular?
Most of the Anime produced nowadays are for mature audiences, which is one reason for its recent popularity. The other factor for its popularity is that this medium can grow with its audience after seeing their reaction.
Anime producers have started to make content more suited to western tastes appealing to a broader audience. Due to this, shows like Attack on Titan, One-Punch Man, Dragon Ball, and many more have been top-rated in the international market.
Most Popular Anime
Throughout the years, there have been many anime films and series that have become quite popular. With changing trends, new series keep coming on top of each other every year. Some shows like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, and One-Piece have become household names, with their stories continuing even decades later.
One-Piece, in particular, has over 1000 episodes. If this doesn’t tell you how beloved the series is, you can look at the video below to see the most popular Anime from 2004-2020.
No series is better than the rest as even old shows can compete with the new ones. As a veteran Otaku myself, I would recommend finding the genre you like and exploring it as much as possible (more on that down below).
What is Manga?
Most anime movies and series are inspired/adapted by manga (Japanese comics). Like Anime, manga is used to describe all comics regardless of origin. However, many international fans use ‘manga’ to describe Japanese comics, which are pretty different in their style and origin.
Anime genres explained
If you are getting into Anime, there are a lot of genres to look out for. In addition to typical categories like romance and adventure, Anime has quite a diverse and different roster of genres. This can get confusing as the names are all Japanese and are even divided based on the age group and the target audience. So here is a quick explanation of all anime genres.
- Shōnen- Stories geared toward teenage boys filled with adventure and challenges.
- Shoujo- Stories aimed towards teenage girls filled with romance.
- Seinen- Stories geared towards young adult men between the ages of 18 and 40.
- Josei- Stories aimed towards older teenage girls and adult women (more sexually explicit and mature storytelling).
- Isekai- A popular anime genre which involves a person transported to another world (such as a fantasy world, virtual world, planet or parallel universe).
- Mecha- Sci-Fi genre centered around giant robots. Eg – Gundam, Evangalion, etc
- Harem- Romantic comedies where the protagonist is subject to multiple romance partners.
- Ecchi- Refers to a subgenre found in most comedy, shōnen, seinen manga, and harem anime (light, playful sexual themes and imagery).
- Yuri- Romance stories about love between girls
- Yaoi- Romance stories about love between boys. It is popularly known as BL or boys love.
- Kodomomuke- Stories for children 10 years and under. It is made for educating children about morals.
- Slice of life- Stories that feature day to day life of a character (including comedy in most cases).
What’s the difference between dubbed and subbed anime?
Subbed Anime has the original Japanese audio but comes with subtitles (in preferred languages). This helps foreign audiences connect and understand the mood, even if the viewer cannot understand the words. On the other hand, dubbed Anime uses voice actors speaking in English (or any preferred language).
The debate/war on which format is better has been going on for quite a few years. What do you think is the better format, dubbed or subbed? Let us know in the comment section below.
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