Is Anime Japanese or Chinese?


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Anime, as we know it, pertains to shows that are created and produced in Japan. Anime originated in Japan and is considered to have Japanese origins and art style from manga comics. Anime is a term used for animation, so in that sense, anime can be produced worldwide. 

Key Takeaways

  • Anime as a term originates from Japan in the 1970s and is said to be an abbreviation of the English word animation.
  • While anime originates from Japan, it’s not restricted to Japan.
  • In Japanese, anime describes all animated works, regardless of style or origin.
  • Anime is a form of animation that falls under 2D and 3D animation.

It wasn’t long before other countries attempted to replicate the medium like China, where the term donghua refers to Chinese animation. It is even mentioned in Wikipedia that Chinese animation impacted the godfather of manga, Osamu Tezuka.

You can also find Japanese-style animations in Korea, as well as in the USA and Britain. But because of fans turned amateur and individual artists, you can find unique anime from several countries worldwide.

Several great war and historical based animes from China are a must-see for anyone who appreciates anime.

Because of how quickly Japanese anime exploded into mainstream audiences, some might argue that today’s anime lacks the originality or individualism that it used to have.

Popular Chinese anime:

  • Mo Dao Zu Shi
  • Link Click
  • Heaven’s Official Blessing
  • The Daily Life of the Immortal King
  • Douluo Dalu
  • Lu Shidai
  • Xian Wang De Richang Shenghuo
  • Heibai Wushang
  • Shuangsheng Lingtan
  • Wangpai Yushi
  • Xie Wang Zhui Qi
  • Tong Ling Fei
  • Meng Qi Shi Shen

What Is Chinese Anime?

Anime is a form of Japanese animation, and when the animation is made in China, it’s called donghua. As a simplification, we could say that Chinese anime is donghua.

Chinese anime typically covers topics related to the country’s culture, whereas Japanese anime covers varied topics, such as pirate adventures, superpowers, demon-slaying, etc.

From an art and visual perspective, Chinese and Japanese anime looks the same. The only difference is usually the topics covered.

Feature image credits.



Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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