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What is a Cour vs a Season in Anime? Differences and Terminology Explained

What is a Cour vs a Season in Anime? Differences and Terminology Explained
Credit: MAPPA

To date, there are still a lot of anime fans who are confused about the difference between a cour and a season. Both terminologies are used to measure the length of a series but they are not the same when it comes to usage. Here's how a cour and a season in anime differ!

Related: Anime Canon Vs Filler: What’s the Difference?

Anime Cour vs Season
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Credit: TMS Entertainment

There are a lot of terms in anime that require an explanation or further elaboration. Cour and season can sometimes be confusing as some terminologies coincide with each other.

This is especially for those fans who are just starting into anime to help you further understand the terms that are used and, hopefully, help you appreciate anime more.

What is a Cour in Anime?

Anime Cour vs Season 1
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A cour is a three-month period of television broadcasting where an anime is aired on a portion of a television program throughout one period.

A cour is used to determine the measurement of the length of the anime series. It is based on the French term 'cours' which roughly translates into 'course'.

Episodic anime shows are often either:

  • single cour,
  • split-cour,
  • or double cour.

A single cour is an anime spanning around 12 episodes in total. A split-cour anime spans from 24 to 26 episodes (two cours long) with the broadcast divided into two and at least one season in between.

As for a double cour, that has 24 to 26 episodes but airs in two consecutive seasons.

To illustrate it better, here are examples.

For a single cour, an example could be the Quintessential Quintuplets which had 13 episodes in one season and aired continuously.

For a double cour, a great example could be Jujutsu Kaisen. The anime series had 24 episodes and continuously aired for two consecutive seasons, from Fall to Winter, with no three-month break or hiatus.

For a split-cour, an example could be Re:Zero and Mushoku Tensei. Both anime had two parts to complete their episodes and in between, they took a break for three months (or one whole cour).

What is an Anime Season?

Anime seasons usually relate to the specific times in the year – Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall – when the series air. The season can also mean the whole run of the anime series from its first episode to its last.

Here are the months that fall into each season:

  • Winter Season: January, February, March
  • Spring Season: April, May, June
  • Summer Season: July, August, September
  • Fall Season: October, November, December

Related: Anime Seasons Explained

How is a Cour Different From a Season?

Anime Cour vs Season 3
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Credit: Bones

A cour measures the length of the anime and determines to which season a run of consecutive episodes belongs. On the other hand, a season determines when in the year the anime's cour will be appearing.

A season can also indicate the first and last episode of the anime and can contain multiple cours.

ALSO READ: Is HIDIVE Worth It? HIDIVE vs Crunchyroll Comparison

Why is There a Cour and a Season in Anime?

Anime Cour vs Season 4
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Credit: Studio Orange

Cours and seasons are determinants of how the anime series will run throughout the time frame it has been given.

It is confusing if shows just run randomly and have a break during the height of the story unless there is some valid reason for the show to stop, like how shows were halted in 2020 during the global pandemic.

More than that, it gives the viewers a perspective of the length of the show, from when it starts to when it ends, and whether the anime will have a break in between or not.

It can also help streaming sites like Crunchyroll to determine whether the show would be feasible for an English dubbed version. Some anime shows have their English versions falling behind a few episodes and could take up the time of the break airing the dubbed version.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Anime and Queries page.