Is Manga And Anime The Same? (Helpful Answer)

Anime and manga, pretty sure nearly everyone has heard of them before, but what are they really? Manga and anime can be quite confusing if it is your first time getting into Japanese media, and it's understandable; there is so much information to try and get through when you first enter this rabbit hole. So, is manga and anime the same thing?

As a whole, Manga and Anime are not the same. Manga and Anime are forms of Japanese storytelling media that have received global recognization. Manga is Japanese graphic novels and comic books that are in black and white. Anime is a specific style of animation art, typically for TV or film.

So, manga and anime are different, but what are they exactly? Do they cater for all genres and ages, or are they solely meant for adults? Where can you access manga and anime legally and at a reasonable price?

We go through all these in this article.  


Is Anime The Same As Manga?

Some people tend to use the terms anime and manga interchangeably; however, this is not right as manga and anime are not the same things. 

Both manga and anime originate from Japan, and both of them are very fascinating forms of storytelling media that get used all over Japan and have now made their way to western societies as a form of entertainment. 

For animation and cartoon fans, they may know these two terms very well, but even though these two forms of storytelling media seem quite similar, even to their fans, they do actually have distinct differences between them that are good to know about. 

So, let us get into it; what do these two forms of storytelling media entail?


What Is Anime?

Anime is the Japanese art style just in an animated form that is usually hand-drawn animated forms that are then computer-animated, meaning that they have an audio-visual quality.

Anime is generally characterized by vibrant characters, colorful graphics, and fantastical themes.

Anime is the shortened or informal way of saying animation, and the most authentic way to pronounce it is "ah-knee-may."

This artistic media is kind of like a cartoon of sorts, except it is more artistic and intelligent compared to most' cartoons' of the present day. 

This form of Japanese art is just one other depiction of the great technological advancements in the graphical story illustrations in the present day. 

Japanese anime dates back to the 1960s thanks to the pioneering publication of Osamu Tezuka; after his work was published, the Japanese anime industry became internationally renowned and loved.

This being the case, Japanese anime is no longer only being produced in Japan; it is now being produced by many other countries around the world.

However, authentic Japanese animation has a very unique and tell-tale look to it which means that you can usually determine right away if the animation is anime or not.

Anime consists of audio-visual aspects of the animated form of the Japanese arts and stories; they combine cinematography, characterization, graphic art, and many other forms of individualistic and imaginative techniques, rather than just a drawing style. 

In Japan, the word anime refers to all types of animation, whether they are from Japan, western societies, or any other country.

For western society, though, the term "anime" only refers to the Japanese animation style. 

Producing an anime is a rather large undertaking, and it can take hundreds of people to get just one series out. This is a huge industry as there are thousands of different anime out there that are still being produced. 

There are about 430 production studios that have been specifically created for the production of anime, with Gainax, Studio Ghibli, and Toei Animation being a few of the leading studios for anime production at present. 

Even though anime takes a long time and a large number of people to produce it, it does cater to all audiences, no matter the age of the person, and it has multiple different genres that you can choose from.  

Some of these genres include:

  • horror
  • action
  • mecha
  • adventure
  • comedy
  • romance

and many more.

Some examples of anime include:

  • Naruto
  • Death Note
  • Spirited Away
  • Dragon Ball
  • Natsume Youjinchou
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Tokyo Ghoul
  • Attack On Titan   


What Is Manga?

Manga is actually a specific style of Japanese graphic novels and comic books that have been created for the entertainment of adults as well as children. The term manga refers to the hand-drawings in comic books.

Manga has quite a long and complex history in the earlier stages of Japanese art from about the 12th century. The manga that we have in the present day can be traced back to a specific Japanese art that was conformed around the late 19th century. 

The popularity of manga began to grow among western societies after World War 1; this was mainly from the manga story Astro Boy, which was written by Osamu Tezuka, that made its way around western cultures at a fast pace. 

Usually, the term "manga", when used in western societies, refers to comics that have originated in Japan, when in Japanese culture and language, the term manga is in reference to comics as well as cartooning. 

Manga stories are generally drawn in monochrome (black and white); however, there are some specific ones that are drawn in color.

The fact that most of them are monochrome does put a lot of people off from reading them, but some people prefer this style as it gives the comic a unique vibe and tone that cannot be replicated very well in colored stories. 

Manga generally tries to cater to all audiences, no matter gender or age, so there is a wide variety of manga out there. Some of the categories are

  • Shonen (Young boy series)
  • Shoujo (Young girl series)
  • Kodomo (Kid's series)
  • Josei (Females from 18 to 30+)
  • Seinen (Males from 18 to 30+)




Manga has a varying selection of genres, too; you can get manga in action, science fiction, comedy, horror, mecha, romance genres, just to name a few. 

In Japan, they do not tend to read any western forms of comic books too often, manga is usually their first choice of reading entertainment, but this form of storytelling has started growing immensely within the western societies, and it seems like its popularity is not going to slow down any time soon. 

Some examples of manga include:

  • One Piece
  • Case Closed
  • Naruto
  • Golgo 13
  • Astro Boy
  • Death Note
  • Natsume Youjinchou
  • Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
  • Doraemon




How is Manga And Anime Related?

In most cases, manga forms a basis for an anime story to be produced, which results in the same storyline having both a manga as well as an anime version to it, just like the Marvel movies have comic books that they are based on. 

However, this is not how it is for all anime and manga; there are some anime that have been produced that do not have a manga origin, which means that they are completely original. 

Similarly, not all manga has an anime; this could be for various reasons, including that the manga might not have enough traction, or fans yet to warrant an anime, or the story might need to be changed a lot to create a good story in anime, so it's better to leave it as a manga where the story is portrayed better. 

As with most books that are turned into movies or TV series, sometimes the anime does leave out certain things from the manga; even if the production studio tries their best to stick to their source material, there will always be something left out.

So, make sure to read the manga of your favorite anime, too, if it has one. 


Where To Get Manga And Anime

Luckily, for manga and anime lovers out there and for people who want to give these two storytelling media a try, there are multiple legal places where you can access them easily.  

With these sources, you can be sure that the manga and anime that you are getting is of good quality and has the official English translations and not fan-made translations, which could be wrong and detract from the story. 




Some websites where you can access manga and anime include:

  • Shonen Jump. Here you can access some content for free; otherwise, you can create an account for $1.99 per month. This website is only for manga.
  • ComicWalker. This website allows you to access different manga for free; however, you may not find all your favorites on this site. This website is for manga only. 
  • Crunchyroll. This is a website where you can access a wide variety of both anime and manga; it has been depicted as the Netflix for manga and anime, it costs $6.95 per month. 




Both anime and manga are a medium for storytelling, and they are both generally in the Japanese art style, but they are defiantly not the same thing. Anime is an animated TV series or film, while manga is a comic book or graphic novel. 

Both of them are a very interesting and unique way of storytelling, and they are both worth a try as you can very easily find a genre that you will enjoy and begin to love in both forms. 

If you're a Manga fan, and you can't get enough of all things Japanese manga, but live outside of Japan, it can be hard to find a way to get a hold of copies of your favorite series.

We've made it easy for fans to buy official Japanese manga with our showcase page featuring series from some of Japan's most popular anime and manga series. You'll be able to get your hands on any manga you want with our worldwide shipping!

Check out the new ZenMarket Showcase Page today and browse through manga only available from Japan!


Article| 21/04/2021 | Anime/Manga