‘Manga' vs 'Anime': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on December 8, 2022

‘Manga’ and ‘anime’ are often used interchangeably, but if you’re not familiar with either, you might be wondering what the difference is between the two. We’ll cover that in this article, plus teach you how to use both correctly in a sentence.

But if you’d rather not wait around for the long answer, here’s the short and skinny.

  • ‘Manga’ refers to Japanese comic books.
  • ‘Anime’ refers to Japanese animated cartoons.
  • Americans tend to consider them genres, but both terms just describe the way the content is produced.

Anime vs. Manga – What’s the Difference? 

As we just discussed, the difference between ‘anime’ and ‘manga’ is that the former is a Japanese animation, while the latter is a Japanese comic book. As you can see, you can’t use these terms interchangeably.

The Quick Guide to Manga vs. Anime

‘Manga’ can only be read, while ‘anime’ can only be watched. That’s the gist of the difference between the two and should make it easier for you to differentiate between the two.

Now let’s take a look at the definition and meaning of both words, so we know how to use them in a sentence correctly later on.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Manga’

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘manga’ is: “Japanese comic books and graphic novels considered collectively as a genre” and “an individual comic book or graphic novel of the manga genre.”

A Brief History

The first known use of the word ‘manga’ was in 1951, and the meaning remains unchanged.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Anime’

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘anime’ is: “a style of animation originating in Japan that is characterized by stark colorful graphics depicting vibrant characters in action-filled plots often with fantastic or futuristic themes.”

A Brief History

The first known use of the word ‘anime’ was in 1985. The meaning has remained unchanged.

How to Use Manga’ in a Sentence

Since we know the meaning of both words now, we can take a look at how to use them both in a sentence. Take a look at some examples:

  • I like manga better than comic books made in the U.S.
  • My fiancé is a huge fan of Japanese manga.
  • My little brother likes shonen manga, but my little sister likes shojo manga.
  • Brad’s favorite type of manga is Seinen.
  • Josei manga is the best kind for women.

How to Use ‘Anime’ in a Sentence

Now, let’s see some examples of how to use ‘anime’ in a sentence.

  • My little brother loves anime shows like Naruto.
  • Terry always has his anime blaring way too loudly. The whole building can hear it.
  • What’s your favorite anime show?
  • He and I watch anime together.

Final Thoughts on ‘Manga’ versus ‘Anime’ 

Now that you know the difference between ‘manga’ and ‘anime,’ you should have no issue using them both in a sentence. Use the above examples to help you formulate sentences of your own.

If you ever get stuck, you can always come back here and refresh your memory.

We’ve got a ton of other similar content for you to check out. In fact, we’ve created an entire library of content on confusing words and phrases specifically for people learning English for the first time. Don’t be afraid to come back and browse or search for something specific if you need to.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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