Today, I decided to fire up Inkscape [kinda like to Illustrator as GIMP is to Photoshop] and try an "anime" style for a change. I've never been too much of an anime fan, but I'll let you in on saying that there are a few anime shows that actually appeal to me, and no they don't include Naruto and Bleach. When I was younger I had tried to copy its attributes, but it often led to some disastrous results.
I'll have to be honest, I'm surprised with the results here - it amazes me how simple things like shading and highlights really bring such a picture to life. I've studied a few anime shows, and most of the time the lineart is done with think lines, so I tried that.
Inkscape is a nice alternative to Illustrator once you get the hang of the most important too of all - the bezier. It works completely differently to Flash, Paint Shop Pro, PaintBBS and Photoshop, but it doesn't take long to get used to. I've used it to make my hand drawn lineart smoother and more crisp with a feature called POTrace, before importing it back to Photoshop, and what's nice is how it can export a lovely PNG file that's ready for colouring elsewhere. You can colour in this as well, which I've done apart from the blush, but if you want to go beyond cell shading, then plonk it into Painter or something.
I suppose turning a non-Japanese product into this is just pot luck - some top-end American, British etc cartoons might work, others won't, and vice versa.