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Is Pokemon an Anime or Cartoon?

Is Pokemon an Anime or Cartoon?

It’s been more than 26 years since the Pokemon animated series started.

Ash’s Pokemon journey and Pikachu’s adorableness have become a huge part of many people’s childhood.

The show’s worldwide popularity likely confuses many fans about its specific animation label.

Is Pokemon an anime or cartoon? Does the show’s origins matter or is it dependent on where it got its worldwide fame?

Well, we’re here to set the record straight: Pokemon is actually both an anime and a cartoon!

Read on to know why and learn the reason behind the category confusion.

Pokemon collage: Ash and his friends
Source: Bulbapedia

Is Pokemon an Anime?

Yes, Pokemon is considered an anime.

Pokemon’s animated series comes from Japan, thus making it anime.

The typical art style used in its numerous Pokemon shows (25 seasons, 23 movies, 7 miniseries, and counting) also depicts the classic anime look.

Is Pokemon a Cartoon?

Yes, Pokemon is also a cartoon.

It is an animated show, making it technically a cartoon. It also got its worldwide fame as a Saturday-morning cartoon, particularly in the US.

Difference Between an Anime and Cartoon

Despite countless debates on these two terms, there is a simple explanation of their definitions and differences.

Anime (or アニメ) is Japan’s term for animation. It is the short form of animeeshon (or アニメーション) and is used as a word or category for all animated works.

People call Western animated shows “overseas anime,” and many even refer to Disney’s works as Disney anime.

But outside Japan, the word anime has become a specific term used to describe animated works from Japan or animation that have styles commonly seen in Japanese animation.

It has become its own brand, and when you see the word anime you probably immediately have a vivid idea of what it is. Dragonball, Sailor Moon, Attack on Titan, and yes, Pokemon, are just some examples.

Meanwhile, a cartoon is technically a term used for any drawn visual art, sometimes animated, having unrealistic or exaggerated styles.

When you see the word cartoon, you often think of Western-style cartoons, like The Simpsons or Adventure Time.

So while the words anime and cartoon both describe a form of drawn or animated visual art, there is some nuance to their use and history.

You should know that “anime” refers to Japanese animated shows and their styles, while “cartoon” refers to Western animated shows.

Ash Snorlax background
Source: Bulbapedia

That should clear up the Pokemon anime vs cartoon debate!

For more Pokemon anime reading material, take a trip down memory lane and see how Ash caught all his Pokemon.

Or treat your Pokeshipping heart with the love story of Ash and Misty. But if you’re more into Jessie and James, we’ve got that covered too.