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The Japanese are famous for many different kinds of art. Traditional Japanese calligraphy and paintings are admired across the world but over the last hundred years we've seen the development of more modern artistic styles such as comic book art and animated cartoons. While these art forms are not unique to Japan, Japanese animation and storytelling has certainly had its own development journey and brings its own distinct flavour to the game. In this article we will explore the evolution and influence of Japanese animation, break down terminology and even make recommendations on what you can explore next!

What is Anime?

Broadly speaking, the term 'anime' is just the Japanese word for animation and includes animated art from all around the globe, from Disney to Digimon. 

However, in English, the term is often used the describe animation that specifically hails from Japan. For the purpose of this article, we will be defining anime as animation that was created in Japan.


Does Anime Have to be Japanese?

There is much debate over this amongst anime fans, with some suggesting that in order be be anime, the art must be developed in Japan. Others believe that anime can be used to define the style of art that originated in Japan but is now produced in other countries such as China and the US.

There is no right answer here but for the purpose of this article, anime will only be referring to Japanese art and we will also explore the influence anime has had on art from other countries.

What's the Difference Between Anime and Manga?

In broad terms 'anime' refers Japanese animation while 'manga' is a term reserved for still drawings, usually found in comic books. In this way one could say a popular manga comic has been approved for a new anime series on TV. 

While these styles of art certainly do have their own unique style, there aren't actually any visual rules that dictate whether something is categorised as anime or manga.


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Now you've had a solid introduction into all things anime, why not take your understanding to the next level by booking some Japanese lessons with one of our expert teachers?

Group and private lessons are available for all levels and we will be happy to discuss anime with you in person!