Anime and Manga: there is a difference


Many of my close friends and family members associate me as a specific type of food: an egg. Although I would have preferred being associated with a Hershey’s Kiss or even a strawberry, they still call me an egg.

Why an egg?
Is it because I am boring on the outside and cool and bright on the inside? I eat a lot of eggs?

Even though the answers to these questions should be a yes, they are not the reason. It is because I have a slight obsession with Asian culture. I’m “white” on the outside and “asian” on the inside and that’s where the egg comes in.

This obsession started in middle school, when I received my first packs of ProMarkers and two books about drawing manga and making anime. While I started sketching out my own characters and achieving a graphic look, I also began watching many anime shows some of my friends recommended, like Death Note, Lucky Star, DearS, and many others. My three sisters took notice of this and, besides teasing me, think that manga and anime are synonyms, and practically the same thing. This has always bothered me, being the egg that I am, because there is in fact distinct differences between the two.

Death Note Anime

Death Note Manga

Manga is Japanese for comic, and anime is Japanese for animation. Often, manga and anime are so closely related that they will have the same series in both versions, like the series Death Note. When you study the both together more closely, the are differences in their art quality, the quantity, and the styles between them.

A normal animation runs for about 24 frames a second, making an anime quite demanding in art quantity. Therefore, an anime usually has about several million images. Obviously a manga has fewer images and are drawn in panels. As well, more space is used for the speech bubbles for the words in the story. So, manga uses much less space and pages than an anime and are usually drawn in black and white from top to bottom, right to left, whereas animes are done in colour.

Also, having a background is a crucial feature, especially in animes, to emphasize a place of action, the movements a character makes, and even to reflect a character’s thoughts. On the other hand, manga can get away with no background, following the motto “less is in fact more.” Not every panel requires a background, so more emphasis can be placed on the characters.

From these points, there are differences between anime and manga, strictly on the artistic content of each. Although they are both Japanese and influence each other heavily, they can never be the same concept. Each one has unique qualities, often resulting in people preferring one over the other. For example, I do enjoy the action portrayed in anime but am also interested in the simple beauty manga has to offer.

I am glad that I have this obsession with Asian culture because it creates a unique aspect of myself I can share with other people with similar interests. My sisters should read this so they can understand that anime and manga are not the same thing the next time they decide to tease me about my “egg” personality.