Traditionally, we know anime as a Japanese animation which is typically based on manga, or a Japanese comic of some nature.
It may not always be based on manga, but anime was always a solid staple from Japan. In recent years, the Japanese anime industry has been struggling. Artists are not making enough money to make ends meet, and constant demand is putting more pressure on than ever before.
To alleviate some extra pressure, many Japanese anime producers have been contracting out the actual animation to Chinese firms and contractors. This subcontracting started a movement of more Chinese firms making their own anime, known better as donghua.
Donghua has been around for as long as Japanese anime, but it seems the recent boom coincides well with the anime boom and the outsourcing of Japanese anime work to China.
Sub Or Dub
While the sub or dub debate lives on furiously in Japanese anime circles, with Chinese anime it’s a little less prevalent. Chinese anime has proven to be an incredible success, but it still not big enough to always justifying the additional costs and potential storyline changes involved with dubbing.
There are some great Chinese anime series which have been dubbed, but don’t expect every show to have a dubbed version. To really enjoy donghua, subtitles will be required in most instances.
From the limited amount of Chinese anime available on streaming services, one can clearly see a fundamental difference as to how the cultures approach anime differently.
For the most part, Japanese anime tends to focus on the wild and creative, thinking outside the box with mythical beasts, fantasy, and anything else the creator can imagine. It’s just like the variety of slots themes you’ll find at online casinos in Canada.
On the contrary, the majority of Chinese anime tends to focus more on real life issues that most people may experience. The real-life issues can make for a darker story but will definitely leave a lasting impression.
It’s worth noting that this is not always the case, some Chinese anime can be just as action packed, funny or heartfelt as Japanese anime. The real-world theme of Chinese anime is not consistent but has been the case in many Chinese anime series released.
When comparing Japanese anime to Chinese donghua, it is usually easy to tell between them from simply the art style used. As much as donghua has grown in the last few years, it is still clear that the budgets for donghua are generally smaller than that of Japanese anime.
From art styles to frame rates, there is generally a noticeable drop in quality when compared to that of modern Japanese anime offerings. This is not to say all donghua looks bad, there are some visually stunning examples, but this is generally not the norm.
Should You Watch Donghua?
With all the potential flaws that can be pointed out with donghua, yes, you should absolutely watch donghua. There isn’t much dubbed donghua available, but if you are comfortable with subtitles, there are some incredible stories told with Chinese donghua.