外国人のマンガオタクたち - Love and Hate At Comic Con
Many people might say "Manga are Japanese comics, and Anime is the Japanese version of animation. Anime is usually, but not always, the animated version of popular manga.
That's partially true, but it can be misleading. (Note that "anime" in Japan technically means any animated film, and "manga" is any printed cartoon, but people in the rest of the world take them to mean animated films or comics from Japan.)
Even in worlds that exist in the far future, or long ago, the reader is drawn into a 3-dimensional character, one who is far from perfect, one who has stupid little habits or major character flaws --- and who has hopes and dreams that the reader can sympathize with.
Unlike some American super heroes, who often seem to just go around defeating Evil (as wonderfully spoofed in American comic "The Tick"), Japanese characters usually have other goals in life that play large themes within their lives.
I heard recently the characterization that manga and anime are "character oriented." The more I think about, the more I think this is the right description. Characters aren't forced into plots, like a foot into a too-tight shoe; instead, stories grow out of the characters. The heart of manga and anime is in the hearts of the characters.