7 More Nonsensical Anime Titles
by Lynzee Loveridge,
We've all heard nonsensical English lyrics getting thrown around in Japanese pop music, and when that same principle, a sort of 'coolness' factor, also bleeds over into anime titles, this can result in some interesting combos. I picked eight examples in 2012, but this trend has hardly diminished. Here are eight more series whose titles give an entirely different impression from whatever the plot is supposed to be about.
Some Letter of the English Alphabet (K, [C] - Control, X, F, Big O, etc.) Some letters of the English alphabet have obvious connotations. V for victory, X for mysteriousness, Z for "the end" and A for "the beginning." CLAMP's X may have been looking to tap into some of those meanings for its super-powered apocalypse story. Meanwhile, other shows seem to pick letters at random. GoHand's K franchise is so named because of its inclusion of Kings but that's not evident from the title alone. And I somehow doubt that The Big O was trying to invoke thoughts of the female orgasm. The anime F is about Formula One racing although I don't think the sport is ever casually referred to as "F". Then there's C, which is centered on money—so, currency maybe? B the Beginning was at least hiding something in its title, and it referred to a character within the show. But at the rate anime is going, we're bound to run out of letters.
Caligula A science fiction anime starring a misguided virtual idol has little to nothing in common with the depraved Roman Emperor. Caligula's name draws up a lot of very specific images on self-absorption and sexual perversion, so I'm not sure why the original game decided to go with that as their selling point. It's true that the idol does lock up quite a few people leading to a rebellion of sorts, but that comparison skips over the whole "murdering people for entertainment" and "spending all the money on a public works project just to cause them to starve" elements of its chosen reference.
Fate/Stay Night This title sounds really horny and to be fair, the original game was really horny. It's like the opposite of hiding a porn mag inside a real magazine; Nasu hid a complicated novel inside a porn game. Dick worms and mana transfusions aside, what about "Fate/Stay Night" says this story is about the spirits of dead heroes battling one another for mages in order to have a wish granted by the Holy Grail?
Silent Mobius My guess is this was a title picked for its mood more than anything. There's no one-sided dimension-warping looped shape in the story. Instead it's about a group of sci-fi police women battling monsters with another silly English name: Lucifer Hawks. That just sounds like Satan's baseball team to me.
Myriad Colors Phantom World This is really a mouthful for a show with such a simple premise. So the "Phantom World" part makes sense—there are literal otherworldly beings appearing around Haruhiko—but the first part though isn't so explicit. Is it because the Phantom World is colorful? Myriad Colors is just an overly frilly way of saying "colorful" anyway. Or maybe it's supposed to imply that the phantoms themselves are colorful, or maybe it refers to the colorful cast of characters! Who knows!
Bakuen Campus Guardress I really love that this translates to "Exploding Campus Guardress". This is one of those over-the-top action shows where everyone's yelling at each other while monsters splatter all over the place. I also like that you get the sense that there's probably heroines in this show from the word "Guardress", since it's the feminine version of Guard, like Actress, but it also sounds like guards wearing dresses. Whatever went into the word's creation (some of have argued that it's a mistake and should be 'Guardless'), it sounds extremely silly when said aloud.
Symphogear's Subtitles The subtitles on Symphogear are magic, because they're always in questionable English but still manage to invoke some kind of feeling through their sheer power. There's "Believe in Justice and Hold a Determination to Fist", which gets kinda awkward when "fist" is rendered as a verb, but you still know the intended impression is powerful and heroic. Then there's "By shedding many tears, the reality you face is" which is all kinds of cheese. The series' other sub-titles, "Meteoroid-falling, burning, and disappear, then..." and "In the distance, that day, when the star became music..." are both ominous and eternally cheesy.
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- My Hero Academia: ODD FUTURE by Uverworld
- Golden Kamuy: Winding Road by Man with a Mission
- Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii: Fiction by sumika
- PERSONA 5 the Animation: BREAK IN TO BREAK OUT by Lyn
- Steins;Gate 0: Fatima by Kanako Itou
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These: Binary Star by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:Uru
- Tokyo Ghoul:re: asphyxia by Cö shu Nie
- Megalobox: Bite by LEO Imai
- Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory: Even...if by Tamaru Yamada
- Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online: RYUSEI by Eir Aoi
When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as Managing Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her sons on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.
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