Is anime haram
Is watching cartoons / anime for entertainment haram?
First of all, I would say what matters in any matter is intent.
Then when it comes to drawings and pictures etc. I think that our dear brother @ American-Muslim Gave you a couple of helpful links and an answer, but I want to clarify my point:
In my opinion, there are some facts to consider, for example, when our envoy died, there were many pagans in the Arabian Peninsula and there are still many in some of the "Muslim countries" today. But the most important fact for me is that our envoy (peace be upon him) banned them because a lot of people have just converted to Islam and have rejected their idols (after long adoring them) so it's one more or less There was little chance that they would have a relapse on their former idolatry. So it makes sense to ban them - in this case!
But today you can find some (more or less modern) statues even in many Muslim countries, but no one thinks of worshiping them, even if these statues are placed in some cases and in some public places, etc., and the person who represents them admire could at least be seen as something close to worship!
Finally I come to cartoons:
The first television and everything that could be considered a waste of time always has a touch of makroh, if we take it very strictly and precisely. But we should keep in mind that we are not angels and we need to relieve stress from time to time, so watching TV etc. could be a way to do this. So I can't see any harm in it unless what you see is in some way contrary to the rules of Islam, or in that case it is considered a sinful act, at least you will do a sin!
Well like you said you don't believe in what you see and personally I can't see a link to elude yourself in cartoons (in general). I can't see why this should make you shy in the first place, or why you should be punished for looking. But you still need to be aware that the question of whether or not the act of observation is considered sinful depends on what you are observing and your intention and true faith and how you interact / react with it ( see also this hadith, which has this) some relevance)!
In conclusion, I would give you the same advice that @ American-Muslim mentioned. If you believe that an act would be sinful, stay away and turn away from it!
And here are some more or less related fatwas 12 in English and one in Arabic / Turkish for some more details and a more rigorous (salafi) point of view.
And Allah knows best!
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