Many people confuse Anime with Manga which is understandable since they are visually very similar, both art forms are from Japan (often presented in the Japanese language even), they even often feature the same characters and titles!!
The major difference is easy to remember though…Anime is animated! It moves!
There are often other differences that can be seen too even when the same characters or even the same titles are converted from the static printed manga form into the dynamic moving anime form (which is usually the order of production, though sometimes an original anime series may be made into printed manga after the fact.)
Because Anime usually involves the efforts of a whole team of creators, there are inevitably creative compromises which take place in the story line. This can cause the plot to take very different turns from what happened to the characters in the original version (manga version) of the story. Manga on the other hand is often created by only a pair or even one lone “manga-ka”. This usually results in the creators becoming more attached to the characters because they have spent a long time and much energy creating and directing them. Manga often follows a less risky plot line because the creators (and hopefully the readers) become so much more invested in the lives of the characters in the relatively few series they read than a production team (and the TV viewers) do in one of the many shows they are involved with.
The quality of the art work is often different as well. Anime is drawn to be shown at 24 frames per second whereas manga is drawn to have each and every picture static on the page to be examined by the reader for as long as they like. While many of us see the 24 frames per second of anime as slow and the picture a bit choppier than we are used to seeing on TV, it is still going by much quicker than the images on the page in a printed manga book and can therefore be of lower quality or less detailed.
Because there are so many frames required for each anime episode and the production schedules are often very tight in order to get them on the air quickly before the demand passes, there are often glaring errors in the frames which are simply left in rather than spending the time and effort to fix them. Other “tricks” are used by the artists drawing the anime frames to give them the desired appearance when played together but which make them look wrong when viewed alone or out of sequence. Through time this has actually become part of the quirky appeal of anime and for some viewers is considered integral to the style so that many shows are still made to look this way even though through technology they no longer need to be.
This image shows a technique used in anime called “blur” used to show fast movement.
This image shows a technique called “multiples” which is also used to show very fast movement in anime.