Anime vs Manga: What’s the Difference?

For those who aren’t very involved in the world of anime vs manga, the difference may not be obvious. Originating from Japan, both involve stories told in the form of illustrations.

They’re both very important to Japanese culture and have taken hold in the West too, but that doesn’t mean the terms can be used interchangeably — although people often do!

If you want to make sure you’re using each term in the right way, read on to find out the true difference between anime and manga and when it’s appropriate to use each word. That way, you can discuss each medium with confidence!

What is Anime?

In Japan, the word ‘anime’ is used for anything animated. It means an animated form of story-telling.

In the West, however, it’s used to specifically refer to a type of animation that comes from Japan. It usually is very visually bright and involves strong fantasy elements, along with other things that don’t have to be as integral to animation in other parts of the world.

Although it’s an animated form of story-telling, that doesn’t mean that it’s for children.

Anime often deals with very adult themes and can have gore, nudity, and other things that are often inappropriate for younger audiences.

What About Manga?

So if that’s anime, what is manga?

Manga has some things in common with anime. Fantasy elements are usually a pretty strong presence, and like anime, it can involve adult themes that should make any parent think twice about handing it over to a young child.

Manga, however, is not an animated medium. It’s a style of comic or graphic novel and involves reading rather than watching.

Anime vs Manga: So Which is Better?

When it comes to, which is better, many people have different opinions. It’s the same way that many consider movies better than books, or vice versa. It comes down to your preferred way of consuming a story.

Manga and anime often have similar fanbases since anime is often an adaptation of manga — again, the same way movies are often adaptations of books!

Manga is cheaper to produce and often admired more because the concepts tend to be more original, whereas anime is often based on other things. Not just manga — some anime can even be based on video games! An anime store will often also sell manga, which can make things even more confusing.

Ultimately, though, one isn’t better than the other by default.

Fans Do Tend to Collide, but Don’t Confuse Them Completely!

Because they often tell the same stories and anime is often an adaptation, the fanbases often cross when it comes to anime vs manga. Both are awesome, and you can explore each to find out which you prefer.

It’s up to you if you enjoy one more than the other. Just make sure you’re using the term for each correctly!

For more interesting facts and tips, check out the rest of our site.


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