Sensationalism, misleading, and absurdity have a name
Everyone has a list of titles that don’t click right with them. That’s ok. That’s fine because titles have gotten crazy over the years and I wouldn’t be the first to think that. There’s certainly a sensationalism angle to the ritual to giving titles a name to get the attention from the audience. I’ll skip the popular what’s in a name question and tackle the reason behind it. Some titles are funny, cool, and others downright absurd. I often wonder what led the creators to name their stories by the names they are known today. At some point they must’ve had some temporary names for them then ultimately they picked one they liked the best. Most names fit perfectly with the story because they relate to the plot or the characters enough for anyone to grasp where the creators were going with this. On the other hand, we have these names, these odd names, peculiar enough to make a person wonder what went there when nobody was looking. These are the ones this list refers to.
Be it anime or manga, and whatever it could be applied to, it is intriguing what is the first idea that pops into a person’s mind from the titles alone. Is it the correct one or we just aren’t grasping what the author was hoping for like we should? Some do and other names don’t manage to cut it. Some of them you can tell they fit so perfectly, others fall into sheer sensationalism, inaccuracy, and absurdity that no one knows what was going through the creators’ mind when they came up with them. It’s not that you don’t like the story, it’s just that if you could you probably give the title a different spin. Here’s my personal list of those types of titles.
We start off with a title that has no bearing on the story. The deal with titles is that every now and then I’m reminded that when it comes to anime, manga and video games the creators really want to give the title a fancy cool name one way or another. The thing is that the title rarely comes close to what they thought the word meant or well, only the creators themselves are able to discern the true meaning behind it. Blame! is a double foul. It follows the mandatory “exclamation point” after a noun for greater impact which no longer makes a title cool like it used to and the second reason is its name. Well, is this manga about forgiveness? Nope. Is it about the act of blaming, perhaps? Negative. Then it has to do with someone named Blame? Not all at. I read the whole manga without finding a solid reason why the title was called that in the first place. Blame? Mmm, Ok!
So misleading. This is an example of name is opened for interpretation. What would anyone think Candy boy is about without looking at the synopsis? 1) Totally about a guy and some girls. 2) about someone who sells candy, 3) or someone who is treated like candy. 4) Many mores. Getting awfully off the track here. In reality, Candy Boy is all about girls who indulge into teasing acts of friendliness, onee-chan callings, and further indulging in more yuriness. Actually the last one is all conjuncture from the audience because nothing really happens. If there was a boy at all in Candy Boy he must’ve been kidnapped long before the show started to secure anime theme. My guess would be a certain crazed Kanade fan responsible for any criminal act. If Candy Boy is up your alley then you’re good to go, though expect the show to be only girl on girl action, and by that I mean talking and more talking. One final catch is that they’re both siblings. Oh, anime, you.
One of the things I’m peculiar about is the overused of “key” words in titles. To me limited and unlimited are sensationalistic words that scream the creators wanted their titles to gain attention badly.”Oh, it’s (un)limited.” “It must be cool.” Guys, it has to be awesome! After so many attempts to get the audience’s attention with similar methods which this list will only cover a few I’ve become immune to such methods of shameless advertising. “Hatsukoi” sounds right enough. But Limited? Yeah, this is one of those words which are used so often that one wonders if there is an equivalent to that word in Japanese or they really like them that much. I rather have anime drop the banal usage of foreign words to get attention in their title moreso when they don’t belong. Hey, they are still going to be called by their original names or their English equivalent.
Also, I’m sure that if the product is that good it will show no matter what.
The banality of the title of Ichigo 100% ought to speak for itself. Banality is a common theme in naming titles become they don’t always hold strong meanings behind them. Ichigo 100% is as any anime harem as it can get. Cute girls, indecisive male lead, funny situations meaning ecchi situations, boob grabbing action, cute girls, lame lead, cute gi- That’s the general idea. So we know what the ichigo is (see ep1) So we know who these characters and we can pretty much easily pick up the story from the get-go. In nowhere is to be found the reason behind said “ichigo” is considered a complete 100% and whether or not there were implications that could lead the number to be different. Why not go 10, 50, 99.9%? No, let’s go 100% people. Just in case anyone else thinks there could be less than a full 100% in that strawberry. And nope, that’s not the whole reason behind why Ichig0 100% is here other than adding % to a title is as sensationalist and redundant as it can get. Would you give your anime less than a full 100%? Isn’t it already clear? Yeah, percentages in anime. Crazy.
Yugioh is the name of main character of the original series by the same title, and I’m 100% (not Ichigo) A-o.K with it. The first series wraps up the story as nicely as it could, which was the least Yugioh could do after 224 episodes of playing monsters in atk mode and throwing face-downs while miraculously drawing pot of greed when they most need it. Goodbye to the show forever? Nope. It’s the year 2011 and the Yu-gi-oh franchise still lives. The series continues but with different characters, a new story, and more importantly new shiny cards to get your hands on and your game on. But Yugioh also happens to be a play on words that means king of games, right? Sure, but it stopped being “yugioh” after the first series ended and let’s just say that no matter what play on words there could be everyone will still think of Yugi when the title is ever mentioned. Ladies and gents it is not such a smart move to name your cashcow with such a restrictive name. Even if it fits sometimes you just have to learn you might be pushing it. And that’s why Yugioh is here.
Truth be told working is what they do for most part when they are slacking and the lead isn’t being punched in the face. The other part is divided between other activities and others not stipulated in their job contract (See. this is why you ought to read the fine print). Working!! is another “accurate title” I’m saying accurate because the word like in the case of Hatsukoi (not Blame!) isn’t what gets me. What gets me is what it is found at the end of the word. Yeah, it’s the double, the x2 exclamation point to put greater effect on the noun before it. From the creators’ perspective it was something like this, you see? It’s like Working, but not quite. It’s more like Working! but almost there… something is missing. I get it one exclamation doesn’t have the necessary impact. We need two of them! And that’s how Working!! came to be. A good anecdote to tell friends and acquaintances in a rainy day in case they ever wonder why working has a double exclamation point. This is one of the lessons we learn from anime titles. That sometimes there’s a need for more than one exclamation point in your title and having a double exclamation point makes it a lot cooler. Point taken. I mean, point taken!! Exclamation points. Very important. Double exclamation points. Very very important.
Here we go again with the English words. Let’s get this out of the way. Before any hardcore fan speaks up I think that Bleach is a cool name and works well as an attention grabber. I mean that is what most titles are, but I also believe titles should have some relevance to the story. I’m not too ok with what my other half thinks for there isn’t a good reason why a shounen show about fighting baddies with baddies ambitions, involves high school antics, and shinigami has to do with the word bleach. The thing is that the title and its significance don’t jump at you the way it should. It’s not like reflex where you hear a name and you instantly think of the show because the title represent the show so much you cannot possibly think of anything else. Dragon Ball was about the getting the dragon balls and One Piece is about the big treasure every pirate lusts after day and night which goes by the same title. After having watched more than 100+ eps of any show anyone would expect to have a better understanding as to why the show one is watching has the name of a chemical whitener. Aha! But there’s some possible answer since according to the author of the famous shounen title he picked the name because of his favorite band and partly to shinigami work. Well, there we go. Thing is that personally when it comes to naming my story I’d stick to something that strongly relates to the core of the story more than anything. Bleach is pushing it a bit much.
Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai. Anyone would be excused from misspelling one of the longest anime titles out there. Back on the day the title graced the world with innumerable numbers of entries with a similar combination of (cannot be + witty noun) transforming into one of the witless fads of the blogosphere that more than one is glad it is already behind us. Oi. My (his) sister cannot be this cute was an interesting show with attempts of being deep and exploring the otaku life of a young hipster, which pretty much turned into eroge otaku meets incest subtext instead. In reality, OreImo was about a brother who could stand damage like a tank and brotherly love with incest overtones. So far there hasn’t been much mention of why the title is here so here they are. The name is just ridiculously long. Too long to bother typing it the whole thing but that’s not as much the issue as it being unnecessarily long for the sake of it. Also becoming a rather lame meme after the 1000th time. Lastly, the million dollar question in OreImo world: Was this sister ever cute? Nope. Not one bit. When you have a supporting character that completely outshines the main lead in all positive aspects and said sister isn’t just not cutting it then maybe it’s time to throw in the towel and accept that sister was not really cute.
If you thought the physics of High School of the Dead were ridiculous as it could get you have another thing coming. Grenadier is about a gun expert with a goal to save people and keep peace in the chaotic world. That’s good and all if the show was as serious as the premise implies. Instead Grenadier is a mixed of fanservice in which the lead gets a massive advantage on others gun experts by reloading her pistol with her knockers. That’s right. The would-be show with life lessons goes down the drain with some fanservice just as easy. Grenadier comes off as a poor man’s Trigun only with a too busty lead. The creators should’ve gone for ridiculously gigantic rack who saves people or a more comical fitting name if they got the guts. I’m thinking Reload – Double G or something similar. Compared to the other examples Grenadier isn’t such a silly name as it should be and that’s why it is here.
I stayed away from Bobobobo for my own sanity and so I did my best to stayed away from Sumomosomething. Well, Sumo+ (x4)mo, Bobobo did it first so there I don’t think you should have pick up some lessons from Bobobo. Let’s keep the deliberate stuttering to a bare minimum anime. Reason why it is here? The name the name. It looks like the word sumo got attacked by a gang of momos.
Type Moon’s biggest title franchise next to Tsukihime. This is actually a good name and I like it, but since this is my list I’m calling the shots. One of them being that the name doesn’t quite work out unless you fill in the missing words. Fate relates to the fate of humanity and the uncertainty of who will be the winner of the Holy Grail battle I gather. Stay Night relates to.. the battles taking place at night? F/SN was fairly close. So here’s my idea of how it went, the creators wanted to separate themselves from the other titles by making a original title so they thought of adding a “/” in the middle of it. Cool. First there’s that idea then we have this other idea we combined by adding a / symbol. I see some good points in their defense though. 1st Plus: It wouldn’t be as ridiculous as a semicolon. 2nd Plus: It’s not ambiguous as a question mark. 3rd Plus: in no way they’re hyping up the name by using an exclamation point. Actually, that doesn’t sound so bad compared to other titles. My take is that the TypeMoon had a tough time getting those thoughts connected and threw in a /. Ok, first I have this Fate word then 1.. 2.. 3… then let’s add Stay Night. Success! Admittedly, it does sound pretty cool.
Translated into Is this a zombie? Speaking of ambiguity, here is the truth that it’s been hidden from the industry. Adding question marks to a title doesn’t make it any more mysterious than it could be. Is this a Zombie is divided into those who liked it and abhorred it. Well that’s not really the point because even those who found KoreZo to be either funny or unfunny have to concur that the question in the title is a rhetoric question. I mean, it either is or it isn’t a zombie, right? I don’t see the point of the question. The show has the zombie part right. I don’t know who KoreZo is asking this question to but I’m pretty positive he is a zombie no matter how we look at him. Any takers eager to argue that he wasn’t a zombie? I dunno he looks pretty dead to me. Reason? Too ridiculous to be taken seriously, then again they got that right.
That awkward moment you’re forced to explain that in no way the anime you’re watching it is an x-rated flick. Some shows are shameless about their ecchi content where some of them can be thought to be nearly reaching x-rated levels. Now, xxxHOLIC for anyone not familiar with the title sounds like something not meant minors, which it isn’t so other than it is a strangely odd name. It’s still fairly amusing how the title always manages to raise some eyebrows from newcomers.
And we reach the final title in this list which has got to be ChaoS;HEAd. Why is it even here? Chaos;Head is such a fitting title for the series I agree. The main character is a guy who suffers of massive delusions which happens to be the premise of the show – delusions becoming reality is an intriguing plot only that it was crappily animated by Madhouse and not that great about it in the tv version. Reason why is it here? Come on, it is ChaoS:HEAd where the person who gave it a name had probably too many drinks and the caps key was malfunctioning. I want to badly have to talk with the Nitro+ guy in charge of naming their titles so we can go over the ABCs and how we should only capitalize names, countries, the first letter of a title, among others, and no matter how tricky semicolons rules are we can be positive they don’t usually go in the middle of a word. Chaos;head I’m so writing you without that crazy upper and lower case letter combination you deviant, you.
There it is. Chaos;head leading the list being one of the best prime examples of how crazy this naming titles business has gotten when we mix upper and lower cases, punctuations mark, and umlaut. Go crazy titles. You are so crazy.