Japanese Anime vs. American Anime

Japanese anime and American anime are very different in their method of production and storytelling. This difference has constantly dwindled due to the inspiration each style takes from the other while still maintaining their differences. Many factors play a role in shaping the styles. Here are five factors that distinguish the two forms of animation and their method of storytelling.


Storytelling in Japanese anime is quite complex. A lot of themes and ideas are used as foundations for each anime. They deal with life, death, love, and many other philosophical ideas, making each story go beyond mere entertainment. American anime has a very linear form of storytelling.

The audience is carried through the story and is given perspectives that influence their outlook. There is no exploration but a more relaxed and entertaining experience for the audience. Japanese anime is also based on manga or Japanese comics.

While Japanese anime can be highly engaging, filler episodes can stray away from the original story. If you’re planning on watching Boruto, you should know that almost 30% of it is fillers and can be skipped. NoFillerAnime.com has a list of all the episodes that are fillers and should be skipped for a proper manga-derived experience. Visit https://www.nofilleranime.com/filler-guides/boruto/ for the complete list.

Character depiction

Characters are created very differently when it comes to Japanese anime. American anime follows the conventional style of animated cartoons, creating characters with very little story and a clear distinction between good characters and bad characters. It’s easier for the audience to tell the difference between the two as the common ideas of what is good and what is bad are used while creating characters in American anime.

On the other hand, Japanese anime’s characters have a lot of backstory along with engaging character development. Each character has flaws and it’s very hard to distinguish between who is good and who is bad. The audience connects more intimately with characters in Japanese anime.

Animation style

The animation used in American anime is not as creative as its Japanese counterpart. American anime features animation that looks fictional and cartoonish. It is meant to not be realistic as it aims to deliver an entertaining experience to its audience that does not relate to everyday life.

Japanese anime stands in contrast to this, with the environment and characters created to embody a more realistic feel. Even if the characters have superpowers, they struggle with their thoughts and suffer repercussions of mistakes, just like normal people. Japanese anime aims to deliver a realistic story while creatively designing each shot to produce the maximum impact possible.

Camera angles

American anime don’t intend on using different angles in their storytelling. The audience, as mentioned earlier, is given a linear story with a linear visual expression as well. Creative cinematography used in live-action films doesn’t influence American anime. Some exceptions like Toy Story 3 exist.

Japanese anime use a lot of different angles and creative shots to deliver a scene. The intention of anime producers is to make each shot as immersive as possible. Angles are chosen according to the emotions of the character or the pace of the scene. Creativity in animation drives Japanese anime, something which American anime fails to do.


American anime tends to serve a common audience, with almost all films and series delivering to an audience that wants something different from live-action films. Japanese anime has dozens of different genres and storytelling styles, with each style catering to a different audience.

No two stories are different and the audience is made to evolve with the anime. The audience revolves around the creative animation and storytelling in Japanese anime, while it’s the other way around when it comes to American anime.


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