Yes, they are. The reason they're animating so much in the first place is to save money over live action.
Good point! IMO the bulk of the effort goes into the stories and characters (something Hollywood misses on a lot) rather than just visual production “value.“
I hated the Anime style so much that I refused to watch any for about 35 years until someone insisted that I watch “Cowboy Bebop.” That’s when I thought duh, it’s the story and the character interaction that matter. Funny because I’ve always loved radio dramas and audio books.
Some directors/producers have been trying to upgrade to CGI graphics but many anime fans don’t like it. So you end up with hybrids like Appleseed and Vandread where much of the backgrounds are CGI but the characters are still anime style. Also in more recently produced anime frame rates are better.
One of the best things I like about anime being made or updated (English tracks) today is that they often put a lot of effort into the 5.1 soundtracks with the resulting surround sound often better than most movies. Also, even though anime has it’s motifs for me they are a refreshing change from Hollywood.