Monday, January 25, 2010

What's the Difference Between Manga & Anime?

“What is the difference between manga and anime?”

You may have your own explanation ready, but the answer isn’t so cut and dry: The difference between “manga” and “anime” depends on where you live! In Japan, “manga”(漫画/まんが)is a very broad term that applies to anything that is drawn in a cartoon-style, whether it be animation, print, or interactive. Even American cartoons shown on Japanese TV (“Powerpuff Girls,” Disney movies, etc.) can be called “manga” in Japanese, because they aren’t live-action.

“Anime”(アニメ)is a Japanese word that’s an abbreviation of the English cognate “animeeshyon”(アニメーション). Anime, which translates literally to “animation” in English, can only be ascribed to things that are animated. A manga comic book that you would find in the bookstore would never be called anime in Japan.

In other parts of the world, however, the popularity of Japanese animated movies and TV shows in turn helped make manga in its print form so trendy. Therefore, outside Japan pretty much anything that’s drawn in a Japanese cartoon style can be called “anime” or “anime style.” However, very few people outside of Japan would ever use the word “manga” to describe anything but Japanese-style comic books.

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