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DALL-E 3 vs. Midjourney Niji 6: Which Produces Better Anime?

Anime art has never been this accessible thanks to AI art generators. But, with so many out there, how can you pick the right one? To be more specific, can Niji 6 and DALL-E 3 match up against actual animators?
Updated April 19, 2024
A woman holding an anime painting of herself, generated with Midjourney
A woman holding an anime painting of herself, generated with Midjourney

Anime has been around a long time and there’s no signs of stopping. 

It almost seems like there’s a new anime series released every day. However, for those who are still unsatisfied like me, we often turn to looking for specific anime artwork-inspired  ones we like. Now, with AI image generators, we can make anime art even without knowing how to draw or paint.

DALL-E 3 and Midjourney (particularly, its Niji 6 model) are popular go-tos when it comes to AI art. But how do they fare with anime? Let’s find out.

What are DALL-E 3 and Midjourney Niji 6?

DALL-E 3 is OpenAI’s latest image generation model. It’s the third iteration of the DALL-E line, pledging to have better nuance and creativity than its previous model. Suffice to say, it delivered on most of its promises — you can read more about it in our full review here.

On the other hand, Niji 6 is Midjourney’s hypertuned model of anime art, made in collaboration with Spellbrush. It can be enabled using the “--niji 6” parameter in Discord, or by simply choosing “Niji 6” in the new Midjourney web application. Since it’s built on top of Midjourney V6, it also borrows its newest features such as text generation and improved nuance.

DALL-E 3 vs. Midjourney Niji 6: Anime Comparison

Superhero Shonen

Prompt: still from a superhero shonen anime, main character has pyrokinesis, urban setting

Prompt: woman waterbender, shonen anime, futuristic tundra city, modern style clothing

Sports Anime

Prompt: still from a sports anime, tennis, action shot, man preparing for a serve, sweat dripping from his forehead

Prompt: medium shot of a woman spiking a volleyball, modern sports anime

Fantasy Anime

Prompt: a mage casting a spell, ruins of a castle, dawn, wide shot, dark fantasy anime still

Prompt: a centaur with a longsword, fantasy anime, open field backdrop

Mecha

Prompt: a giant robot rampaging through the city, mecha anime, night

Slice of Life

Prompt: a club room with a group of teenagers, slice of life anime, minimalist, comfy

Prompt: a group of friends in a beach watching the sunset, slice of life anime, golden hour, purple-ish skies

Horror

Prompt: a creepy woman peeking from the stairs, horror anime, creepy

Prompt: zombie apocalypse, horror anime still, night, urban, rooftop

Overall Thoughts

I sometimes have a little bias towards Midjourney when doing these comparisons. But it’s nice that, every once in a while, I’m pleasantly surprised at the outcome. I expected Niji 6 to perform better than DALL-E 3. However, I didn’t expect the latter to perform this well, especially considering how poor it is with realism and other forms of art.

The biggest issue with DALL-E 3, in my opinion, is how generic it appears. The artwork itself is good, but it can sometimes look like fanart from DeviantArt. Whereas Midjourney Niji creates art that passes as an actual still from an anime. DALL-E has a couple standouts though, particularly the tennis image and flame hero anime art.

You also have another hurdle with DALL-E 3, and it’s one I can’t bypass. I always believed that the best way to generate the images you want is through referencing previous works or artists. Most of the time, due to the strict copyright rules, DALL-E 3 won’t generate an image for you if you provided a name.

For instance, I can easily create something that resembles a Studio Ghibli or Makoto Shinkai anime in Midjourney, but I’ll often get a copyright wall in DALL-E. This alone, in my opinion, makes Midjourney better at imitating and creating specific artwork. That said, I do completely agree with OpenAI’s censorship, especially with the ethical issues of AI art.

But since this is a comparison article, I have no choice but to hand Midjourney Niji 6 the win.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, DALL-E 3 is simply too inconsistent to recommend. It’s definitely better than its previous iteration, but it’s still not close to Midjourney’s level of creativity. Still, they went out swinging, and there are some instances where I did prefer their art.

On top of creativity, Midjourney Niji 6 is also built with extra functionalities. These include things such as region variations, upscaling, aspect ratio control, panning, and zooming — all of which are unavailable in DALL-E. 

Midjourney Niji 6 wins this, no doubt. If you’re interested in learning more about Niji 6, I highly recommend our articles such as this one. Have fun!

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Written by John Angelo Yap
Hi, I'm Angelo. I'm currently an undergraduate student studying Software Engineering. Now, you might be wondering, what is a computer science student doing writing for Gold Penguin? I took up studying computer science because it was practical and because I was good at it. But, if I had the chance, I'd be writing for a career. Building worlds and adjectivizing nouns for no other reason other than they sound good. And that's why I'm here.
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