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8 Most Misleading Anime Titles

by Lynzee Lamb, Oct 13th 2012

The use of foreign language in anime and manga titles can lead to interesting combinations, some more nonsensical than others. There are examples that draw up imagery relevant within the shows context, like Marmalade Boy or Noir, while others leave viewers scratching their heads. Not only do the eight entries on the list fail to adequately describe the show's purpose, the phrase itself is usually never addressed within the show.

The only way this list would be better is if it involved hentai titles, but we'll keep it PG for now.


8. Pumpkin Scissors Pumpkin Scissors seems an obvious choice as the anime neither features farming or home-made crafts. The odd title is explained later in the series as a choice made by 2nd Lieutenant Alice L. Malvin to describe the military unit's primary objective. According to Alice, corrupt individuals hide behind their power, money and lies like the rind of a pumpkin. To deliver their war relief, the unit must cut through the rind like a pair of scissors. Still, I've carved my share of pumpkins and I cannot recall a time where using scissors seemed like a viable tool for the job. "Pumpkin Carvers" or "Pumpkin Knives" or "Pumpkin Chainsaws" would make a lot more sense in Alice's analogy.




7. Zombie-Loan Peach Pit's Zombie-Loan manga does include half of the series' premise in the title. The addition of the world "Loan", however, is misleading. It invokes the image of some kind of bank or facility where characters can rent the undead to do menial tasks like mow the lawn, or something. What kind of interest would a zombie bank charge you for a zombie loan? Maybe, you'd have to turn several of your unsuspecting neighbors into the walking dead on top of returning the original animated corpse?




6. Tokyo Marble Chocolate Tokyo Marble Chocolate gives a couple clues about the premise. It starts out in Tokyo and chocolate is typically a gift given to a romantic interest. What about 'marble' though? Initially, I thought maybe it was meant to be MARBLED chocolate, a type of confection where milk chocolate and white chocolate are mixed together to look like stone. That might make sense, since the two protagonists want to be together but are also distinctly separate by their own personalities. Without the -d tacked on to the end, we're just left with an image of tiny chocolate balls rolling around the city.





5. Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE

CLAMP's catch-all series kind of makes sense. Tsubasa is the japanese word for "wings" and the protagonist Li Syaoran is trying to collect feathers representing Princess Sakura's memories. But why "Reservoir" and why the obnoxious twelve-year-old chat speak? Is could be alluding to the "reservoir" or collection of memories, but mostly it just draws up an idea of a giant lake or Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, another title, that on reflection, doesn't make a lot of sense either.




4. Lucky Star Lucky Star always seemed like a more fitting title for a romance series, a cute sci-fi series, or something involving wishes. Instead, the 4-koma based comedy follows the intelligent yet lazy Konata Izumi and her slice-of-life experiences with her friends. The title choice is a complete mystery to me, as the only thing 'lucky' in the series is Konata not flunking out of school.






3. I My Me! Strawberry Eggs In Japan, fruits have established associations. For instance, watermelon is associated with summer, oranges symbolize freshness, while strawberries represent innocence and burgeoning sexuality. Some other "strawberry" titles include Ichigo 100% and Strawberry Panic!. So what about "I My Me!" and the whole "eggs" business? The story focuses on a cross-dressing teacher looking to help the clumsy Fuko come out of her shell. Regardless, of the possible symbolic context of a "strawberry egg" the entire title sounds like an Easter special.






2. Bubblegum Crisis So we have four girls in powered armor fighting renegade robots in a futuristic setting, yet the title is Bubblegum Crisis? The word "bubblegum" in an American context is usually attached to shows or music that are catchy but lack substance, so the title certainly doesn't translate well over here for a gritty sci-fi series. I've heard that a "Bubblegum Crisis" is supposed to be a portmanteau for an entangling situation that only gets worse the more you struggle, similar to the American phrase "tar baby", but I've honestly never heard it actually used in that context anywhere.






1. Kiddy Grade Kiddy Grade is a title that should have been used by Kodomo no Jikan. It has nothing to do with the sci-fi action series' plot. The main characters are neither children nor are they graded in any manner. I could see it being better suited for a shonen tournament series where young kids duke it out to raise their "grade" and win a prize, or students are attempting to pass tests to get into some kind of elite school, or something. Instead, the show follows two space police agents around as they complete missions.




The new poll: Attack of the Nekomimis! Cat-girls are a long standing tradition in the anime medium. So which one would you like to give a scratch behind the ears? Which girl is totally the cat's meow? How many more cat puns can I make? Vote here!

The old poll: Here's the full results: Last week, I asked which of last season's anime offerings would you adapt into a live-action series or movie. The majority answered with Sword Art Online, probably one of the more difficult series to adapt, budget-wise. My vote would have went to Uta Koi or Natsuyuki Rendezvous, but I'm a sucker for romance.

  1. Sword Art Online 21.3%
  2. Natsuyuki Rendezvous 12.5%
  3. Kokoro Connect 11.5%
  4. Humanity Has Declined 9.2
  5. Tari Tari 9.1
  6. Binbō-gami ga! 3.9%
  7. Yuruyuri♪♪ 3.2%
  8. Hakuōki Reimeiroku 3.4%
  9. Joshiraku 2.8%
  10. La storia della Arcana Famiglia 2.7%
  11. Chōyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi 2.5%
  12. Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse 2.5%
  13. Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere 2.1%
  14. So, I Can't Play H! 2.1%
  15. Moyashimon Returns 2.0%
  16. Dog Days 1.8%
  17. NAKAIMO - My Little Sister Is Among Them! 1.5%
  18. The Ambition of Oda Nobuna 1.4%
  19. Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero 1.3%
  20. Lagrange - The Flower of Rin-ne 1.0%
  21. Love, Election, and Chocolate 1.0%
  22. Chitose Get You!! 0.4%
  23. Campione! 0.4%
  24. Yurumates3Dei Plus 0.3%
  25. Ebiten: Kōritsu Ebisugawa Kōkō Tenmon-Bu 0.1%


Alright everybody, see you all next week! I look forward to your input in the comments and feel free to follow me on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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