Being a viewer and a member of many anime groups on Facebook, I've come across multiple instances where an argument starts over the difference between anime and cartoon. Most of the time the argument concludes with the result being "anime are just Japanese cartoon". While there is truth in that to some extent, there are many differences as well.
Considering one of the main consents of Indian parents, the show should not contain any violence or any kind of explicit content. While there are many cartoons which are action genre, but they still follow some set of rules and do not cross a bar set for the level of violence which can be allowed for underage audience. But that might not be the case with anime. I can give you uncountable examples of anime which have such high level and intensity of violence that it sometimes even gives me chills. And believe me, being an adult, getting scared of violence in anime isn't a small deal. Specifically speaking some of the most famous animes like Parasyte, Elfen lied, Blood-C, Mirai Nikki ( a.k.a. Future Diary ), Akame Ga Kill, Kill La Kill, and many more such anime which have proved that there is no limit to violence in anime. But even though they have such high level of violence, they are still loved by their audience. It all comes
down to storyline. If the story isn't interesting, the viewers will start to doubt the handiwork of the production team.
The second point to be put into consideration is nudity. While all America made cartoons are passed by censor board, they do not contain any explicit content at all. But if we talk about anime, even the most mainstream animes like Fairy Tail, and Shokugeki No Soma have atleast the minimum level of explicit content to keep the viewer's interest in mind. But then again, there is always a fine line between explicit and completely messed up things. Yepp that's right, I'm talking about hentai. Even though hentai is considered a genre of anime only, it's content can be referred to as "anime porn" in simple words. So yes even though anime showcase such
things as well, they have categorized them so that viewers can know what kind of content they will get.
So these were the two biggest differences between anime and cartoon. Hope it helps you people get your thoughts clear about the topic and win the argument next time you join one.