The "Anime" called "Torkaizer" which will be created in Alter Ego Productions animation studio in Abu Dhabi is created outside Japan but is called Anime officially, can a cartoonic show created outside Japan be called anime?

This is the official trailer by the official account of the studio on YouTube, in the description it officially states that it is an Anime.


4 Answers 4


Anime is a Japanese loanword used to refer to any sort of animation. Outside of Japan, in other countries, anime is generally considered to be a type of a cartoon.

You can make a cartoon in a style similar to anime, but it can't truly be considered an anime. Why not, you ask? Animation differs by region. This can be because of the different techniques used, ideologies present, and resources available to each production or studio.

Sure, anime can have various different styles and also emulate styles of other countries, and lines might sometimes be blurred when there are collaborations between studios from different countries. What makes them unique is the efforts of people, the people that come together to make them. Anime is what it is today thanks to the efforts made in Japan for the sake of the genre.

It's just like having your ethnic food in a foreign country. Some times it gets close but most of the time it'll have to acknowledge that it's not the same as if you had it in your home country. This may be due to a variety of reasons, like the availability of ingredients, skill of the chef, or even the recipe. While you can say it's ethnic food, it's just not the same.

  • Korean anime is still anime, no? Particularly since most Japanese anime is drawn by Korean animators.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 8, 2015 at 16:55
  • american pizza is still pizza, no? classifying something with region sounds dumb..
    – Esqarrouth
    Commented Feb 22, 2015 at 14:02
  • 2
    @Esq There exists a distinct difference between Korean animation (aeni), Chinese animation (donghua). Just like you don't call all cars "car". You refer to them by their make (and model). What's to differentiate American pizza, from Greek pizza, Italian pizza, Chinese "pizza," or even Japanese "pizza?" What's to differentiate different sausages from one another? Why bother calling someone American or European? I mean they're all human. Aside from their skin and hair color, they all look alike anyway.
    – кяαzєя
    Commented Feb 22, 2015 at 15:14
  • 1
    @Catija the tween animation are outsourced to many Asian countries such as Vietnam, Korea, and China, but the primary production, such as the source material, character design, script, key animation, etc are still Japanese. While some parts of Apple products are manufactured and assembled in other countries like China or Japan, the design implementation are all done in California. While not entirely American made. The products are considered American rather than Chinese, because the primary idea, production, and marketing all products of America. Only the labor is outsourced.
    – кяαzєя
    Commented Feb 22, 2015 at 15:24
  • And what about educating animation or manga to foreigners in japan?(that is happening today)The teachers are japanese,but you'II have to learn japanese first,who would teach all that to foreigners in that country so if foreigners who get educated to animate or work in manga they'd be able to make anime or manga authentically just like the japanese do isnt that right?
    – user25750
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:42

Strictly speaking, 'anime' is just animations produced within Japan, as it's the Japanese word for cartoons/animations, but their distinctive style sometimes dictates how people define them term 'anime'.

For example, Avatar:The Last Airbender is produced in America, but takes on a lot of the distinctive characteristics of anime: enter image description here

Conversely, Panty & Stocking looks a lot like some western animation and is produced in Japan. enter image description here

The definition of anime is a topic that is frequently debated, so there seems to be no finalized answer. It's probably best to describe shows outside Japan as 'anime-styled' rather than as 'anime'.

Also, this question might be of interest: What differentiates anime from regular cartoons?

  • So that Panty & Stocking has that american esque to it as you say but all of it was done by japanese?
    – user25750
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 20:46
  • 1
    @user25750 yes, it's animated by Gainax, a Japanese anime studio.
    – Aki Tanaka
    Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 7:48

To the Japanese, it's still considered anime. This is because, for Japanese, anime refers to any work that is animated.

To anyone outside of Japan, it gets murkier. Americans specifically use the noun to mean "animation created within Japan". So, since it wasn't created in Japan, it's not an anime as Americans would recognize it.

There are certainly other schools of thought on it being more an art form than a genre, but that's a different matter.

Ultimately, the answer depends on what dictionary you're looking at, but if separate the actual meaning of the word from the use, then yes, a work can be called anime even if it wasn't made in Japan.


"Anime" was actually ORIGINALLY meant to describe animation, but that used a particular number of frames per second, before becoming a term just for animations in general. Anime doesn't HAVE to be strictly Japanese, but some rules have to be followed for this (the same applies to "manga," the comic book version of anime).

If an anime is made in Japan (especially if the original language of creation is Japanese) then it is free to be called anime. Same goes for manga. However, if it has the same or a similar enough style to anime or manga but is made OUTSIDE of Japan (for a good example, see the Korean-made "March Story" series) then two actions could be taken; calling it either a "cartoon" or "graphic novel" depending on the medium, to differentiate it; OR, you may call it anime or manga, if the country or origin/main release is SPECIFIED (so March Story would be Korean Manga, and Avatar would be American Anime). This implies that it looks like anime, maybe even has similar themes or stereotypes as anime, or manga, but that it ISN'T because of the country of origin. This appeases everybody, and makes sense.

  • Look at manga ''Kurokami'' its a korean made manga it even got published in Japan and got an anime adaptation
    – user25750
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 21:07

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