They’re huge!  Anime and Manga have taken swept the world off their feet and the popularity of both are rising every day.  But what’s the difference between the two?

Anime is, by definition, Japanese animation with either computer generated or drawn-by-hand artwork.  The artwork is a style all its own with fantasy characters in vivid colors, sporting huge emotion-filled eyes and soul-filled expressions of either good or evil.  It is seen in films, theater and even in video games.

Manga, however, is the word for Japanese comics.  The cartoons, or comics, are in a vibrant style all their own that comes down from the late 19th century and are an important part of Japanese historical art.  When manga is popular enough, it too is often put into productions like movies.

Arguably, both anime and manga are only authentic when produced in Japan.  But many fans stray from that rule.  Regardless, there is a distinct style to both and no matter where it originates, the style is never compromised.

Chances are, if you are like me, if you’re a fan of one, you’re a fan of the other.  They go together like ham and eggs or peanut butter and jam.  And, likewise, when you’re hooked on one, you’re hooked on both…like me.

In general, anime is likely to be done in a higher quality than manga is because it runs many frames per second while manga relies on panels for images.  Manga is apt to have less pages and less action and movement.  Anime is strong on background details.

Both anime and manga have vivid, vibrant colours and are captivation to look at.  The also both share the emphasis on physical features like huge eyes and oversized heads.  Anime colour is oftentimes more keen but manga may have more details in the characters.

There are times when manga is actually turned in to anime.  When that happens, the manga is modified to fit into full-length films and usually the content is changed about a bit too so that it includes a wider audience as manga is even more niche-based than anime.  Some find little differences at all and get them confused but once you know what you are looking for, it’s easy to distinguish them.

Both anime and manga are wildly popular in Japan.  In fact, it would be hard to find a Japanese person who has not been exposed to one or the other, or both.  It has become part of the Japanese heritage and something the rest of the world notes them for.

The Western World has caught on to the craze too.  There has become quite a following for both anime and manga, so much so, it’s thought of as a cult by some.  Of the people who do get into one or the other, some like a broad genre and others find a niche that tickles their fancy.

So whether you are one who group anime and manga as one and the same, or feel each has a place all its own, you ‘ve got to love and respect each in their own rights.  In many ways they are as similar as can be and in other ways, they are as different as night and day.  But no matter how you slice it, anime and manga are expressive and impressive Japanese art that many, like myself, cannot get enough of.