As someone who is fairly oblivious to the anime community I rarely hear about the pre-season hype. As such, I tend to base a lot of my expectations of any given anime on the cover image and title. Imagine my disappointment at the utter lack of fruit and serious basket under-representation in Fruits Basket… And with the rise of the super long Light Novel titles, things have only gotten even more frustrating, if a lot more fun!

I’ve grown pretty accustomed to anime titles by now mind you, and most of them are in fact rather standard or at least representative in hindsight. However, once in a while, I still get the completely wrong idea from an anime title and this can lead to some pretty hilarious personal subversions.

Here are the top 5 anime titles that mislead me:

I think this is a promotional image…

5) Mekakucity Actors

Granted Makaucity was a mixed media project so the anime was part of a greater whole. Maybe that title made sense in the grand scheme. But I was personally very ready to watch a slice of life about a local amateur theatre troupe. Maybe and after school acting club. It was pretty clear in my head exactly what type of anime this was going to be.

After having watched the show, I can’t really tell you what kind of anime Mekakucity Actors is at all except that it is NOT a slice of life about aspiring young actors. I actually really do want to see a show about a theatre troupe. Theatre kids are already extra so I can only imagine what their anime counterparts are going to be like!
by 1000marie

4) Kill la Kill

Most people know Kill la Kill. It’s a weird title but it’s so popular in the anime community that most fans don’t really give it a second thought. But I didn’t know about it. I thought it was going to be an ultraviolent blood bath revenge story that would make Kill Bill look like a CGDCT. Arguably it is a revenge-based action anime but that’s just the text. Pretty much all the story is subtext and thirst for revenge doesn’t factor in much.

There’s also no real blood to speak of and I’m not sure there’s an actual confirmed kill in the entire series. It just wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. To be fair, no title would really have prepared me for Kill la Kill so it’s as accurate as anything.

by Honya Lala 

3) DRAMatical Murder

That title sort of sounds like Engrish that makes it even more charming. I did not enjoy the DRAMatical Murder anime much, but I did like the Visual Novel. In both cases, the title is just not representative.

Aside from the fact that there is no murder and pretty much no drama to speak of, the words sort of invoke a gritty noir detective story which couldn’t be further from the candy coloured, sexy sci fi adventure we were delivered. I have to say, even when I was fully engrossed in playing the game, I kept wondering hat the heck the title was alluding to. Apparently, nothing….

Yuri on Ice
by Pixiv Id 4498384 

2) Yuri!! On Ice

I will freely admit that I am not always up to date with the kids’ new fangled words but I am pretty sure that was not yuri… Not at all. Arguably the exact opposite of yuri.

I guess the cover art makes it pretty clear although I occasionally hear fans that have such deep-rooted vitriol for this show that I have to believe someone got tricked along the way and was NOT prepared.

Honorable mentions:

I figured it would be way more fun to throw a few extra titles in here without any context and let you guys try to guess what they’re about. They’re actually pretty popular shows so you probably already know what their about but if you didn’t….

  • –          Princess Principal
  • –          Happy Sugar Life
  • –          Days
  • –          Bungo Stray Dogs
by  Nami / ナミ 

 1) Neon Genesis Evangelion

 Ok fine, it’s not that misleading a title, but I refuse to let this one go. Neon means something. Something specific! It’s either an inert gaseous element of the noble gas group, one that was not mentioned in the series as far as I can remember. Or it referred to a particular range of the colour spectrum. And there was nothing neon about Evangelion’s palette. Ok… maybe the green shoulders of Shinji’s Eva were kind of neon but that’s it!

I think my personal grudge is really that for years I thought the title was Neo Genesis Evangelion and that made perfect sense in my head. I took it as an affront when I realized I had misheard the title, something like 5 years down the line. And I’m still annoyed by it. Is it anyone’s fault? Not at all (o.k. maybe mine a little). But I’m still going to be petty about it and put Eva on top of this list!

There you go, 5 titles that mislead me, occasionally only through my own ineptitude!

Are there any anime you thought would be about something completely different based on the title? Maybe there are anime you are avoiding based on title only. Let me know!

Rini 2020 (8)


35 thoughts

  1. For theater anime revue starlight could kinda be that in a way

    For a misleading title, maybe Charlotte could fit cause in the end, there wasn’t any character called charlotte there…

    1. Oh yeah, Charlotte. I mean they did end up explaining it but I was also waiting for them to introduce Charlotte for a long time.

  2. I’ve never seen Kill la Kill, but that definitely sounds like the most misleading to me. I would have assumed that it would have a ton of kills and violence. Even the posters for it always gave me that feel.

    A misleading one for me would be Bleach I suppose as that title never really came into play. Maybe it’s because Hollows are partially white as if they’ve been bleached a bit but even that would be a stretch. I certainly woudn’t have known it was about slaying demons and such

      1. Oh, nice that does seem to be it. I did a quick google and you’re right, it’s a pretty similar shade of orange so that’s almost definitely what the series is going for. So much for the Bleach pick D:

  3. You know, I think a well written slice of life about the drama club – typical school club – could be great fun. You could have a whole new story arc for each play they plan and put on what with all the hashing out who gets to play what. Now that I know more about Kill la Kill I might actually give it a try. I’m afraid I assumed it was just a bunch of fighting. Same for Ramen Fighter Miki. Now i want to see that one, too. Geez, I can’t even read comments without adding to my watch list.

  4. I’m kinda cheating here, but my first encounter with danganronpa was a plush of a cute black and white bear. You can probably guess my surprise when I actually looked up the games & Anime, Monokuma was from.

    1. I’m a simple soul…I thought there would be dragons or daggers,,, cause both sort of sound a little ik Dagan… I love those games

  5. Of the ones on your list I’ve only seen Kill La Kill and Eva. Kill La Kill didn’t surprise me to much because I knew going in that it would be weird. While EVA was a bit of a surprise with how crazy it got towards the end.

  6. Mekakushi means “blindfold” and city is…er, city, plus the term “actors” would be more akin to how I’d use the word in politics class – namely, it’s people/groups who are involved in stuff. By the way, A3! from winter 2020 is about actual actors (the title stands for Act! Addict! Actors!), but I didn’t take to it myself because the first episode was trying to convince the audience the guys had passion for acting (which they mostly conveyed using Shakespeare, so I could care less) and trying to convince the yakuza not to demolish their theatre, which…wasn’t particularly convincing…(Spoiler alert: If you wonder why the yakuza looks like he’s too pretty for his job, that’s because he’ll eventually act in the Mankai Theatre too.)

    Also from this season is Toilet-bound Hanako-kun…the title character is found in the girl’s toilets but is fine without the toilet (and would be better off without it, that title was one reason why I was so wary of the anime in the first place!). The show isn’t actually about just him, it’s also about a girl called Nene.

    I think I remember reading a list along these lines at one point and one of the top entries was Pumpkin Scissors, which is apparently a war anime a la To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts (haven’t watched it though). I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (mentioned in another commenter’s reply) is also a weird one, but it’s contextualised as being a “if you eat this body part, your own body part will get better” thing.

    1. I played A3, sounds like they kept the premise intact. Hanako is about the urban legend I figure so the toilet makes sense. I really wanted to see that show.
      ost titles do make at least some sense in hindsight, the misleading part is really mostly in my flawed interpretation on first sight, you know?

    1. Oh yeah – I haven’t seen it but I remember being really intrigued by the title. Then I found out it was just another romantic drama and I was super disappointed. I’m sure it’s great but I have seen so many of those movies lately and it has never been my jam

  7. *sees a manga at the bookstore on the shelves called Banana Fish*
    *pulls it out thinking it may involve the ocean or something along those lines*
    *is very confused when she sees a half-naked man on a bed holding a gun*

  8. Ramen Fighter Miki, which doesn’t really have much to do with fighting with ramen, or fighting without ramen – it’s basically a pure comedy series about this hyperactive girl who makes deliveries for her parents’ ramen shop. There are a few humorous “fights,” but definitely not the kind of shonen-style brawling action the title teases. The original Japanese title (“The Unbeatable Delivery Girl”) makes much more sense.

    Girls Beyond the Wasteland sounds like it should be some post-apocalyptic sci-fi story about an isolated village somewhere, but is actually about a group of high schoolers making a visual novel.

    And I have to admit that I did a serious double-rake the first time I saw the poster for Dr. Stone with the kid holding what looked like a bong (especially knowing how conservative Japan is about recreational drugs).

    1. Is Girls Beyond the Wasteland any good. I like the premise a lot and I haven’t watched anything like that

  9. I thought Kill la Kill was going to be something like Akame ga Kill.

    AOT left me thinking that Titan was where they lived and they were being attacked. Change the name of the city (or country or continent or planet) to Titan and it works perfectly.

  10. Neon Genesis Evangelion could actually be about the genesis of neon colours. It would make sense that the colours don’t show up in the show, and we’d be able to guess with a high degree of confidence why Asuka says “kimochi warui” at the end of End. Hmm…

    Yep, Mekaku City Actors confused me, too – and I definitely had that association for Yuri on Ice. But Kill la Kill came with no associations at all for me (just your avarage anime nonsense name).

    Shows of my own? Hm…

    Log Horizon, oddly, wasn’t about opportunities in the wood processing industry (“I’m going to be the best lumberjack in the world. I shall reach the log horizon!”)

    To Love Ru isn’t an hommage to RuPaul (… probably).

    And there’s this little remembered short called Mangirl, a show that’s not at all about gender (manga girl –> mangirl; it works better in katakana, I suppose).

  11. I’m still a little frustrated that the movie, Paprika, isn’t at all about spice. There’s prolly some subtext to the title but C’MON. This petty little thing has got me around the neck I tell ya

    1. I just talked about Paprika in a different comment section today. Haha! Well, Paprika is the name of Dr. Chiba’s alter-ego and there’s dialogue of there being a “spice” to solve the whole DC-Mini problem when everyone is in the dreams within dreams (Inception ripped off this movie and I will not be convinced otherwise!), so the title does make sense in the context of that film.

  12. Maybe it’s just from all the religious schooling I had when I was younger but I always thought the title Neon Genesis Evangelion made perfect sense, and was actually pretty clever. It’s Greek for “Gospel of the new Genesis”, or new beginning. Considering how the series eventually ends, and all the religious symbolism throughout the series, it makes sense why they would want to choose that as the title.

    The anime that confused me the most with its title, weirdly enough, is Attack on Titan. Why is it called that if the Titans are the ones attacking? Even worse, it’s name is different in Japanese, where it’s called Shingeki no Kyojin, or The Attack Titan. It fits a bit better but also kinda gives away the twist of Season 1, so… I don’t know 😣

    1. “Attack on Titan” is a good one. When I heard that title, I imagined SF show (most likely mecha) set on a Jupiter moon. I would have been wrong anyway, because Titan is actually orbiting Saturn, and not Jupiter. (Oddly enough the “mecha” part wasn’t entirely wrong, if you take liberties with interpretation.)

    2. Hit reply too hard. Neo from neos is the common prefix for new and what I thought the title was for years Neo Genesis as in new birth. That made sense.

  13. Those are all good choices. The Evangelion one is weird since the original Japanese title is Shin Seiki Evangelion which translates to New Century Gospel. How did they come up with Neon when it’s a different word than New or even Neo? Some misleading/confusing titles I can think of for anime…

    I’ll/CKBC: Why the name “I’ll”?
    Kurogane Communication: Okay, there’s lots of robots so kurogane kind of makes sense, but why communication?
    Legend of the Last Labyrinth: Where’s the labyrinth?
    Bleach: What does that have to do with fighting hollows and other shinigami? I’m with you there, Pinkie!
    RErideD: The title makes no sense. The only thing that does was the random capitalization because Yoshitoshi ABe.

    1. ABe is always a goid reson i thought it meant. Something that was rode twice? I think I made it make less sense…

      1. Yeah, besides the fact that ABe was a co-creator in addition to the director of Steins;Gate, I seriously can’t think of the reason for that title. What is being ridden twice? It can’t be the time machine since Derrida does those “time leaps” without it. I’m so confused! @_____@

  14. I was told School Live would be about a Moe kid living in a school.

    Katekyo Hitman Reborn isn’t really about Reborn.. or hitman at all! Nor is anyone ever really reborn.

    And the one that confused me the most! Bleach!
    There clothes are almost always dirty! The only one who should use bleach is Ishida. It could totally ruin soul reaper outfits.

    Fruits baskets is pretty misleading as well.

    Hunter X Hunter also has basicly no relationships between any of the hunters. No Yaoi between Gon and Killua, no Kurapika chewing on some bungee gum after snogging with Hisoka. X should imply a ship! And we do not get any! As Kevin Sorbo would shout! Dissapointed!!

    1. I always took Hunter x Hunter to be about Gon’s quest to find his dad. He is a Hunter who is hunting another Hunter… ergo, Hunter x Hunter. 😛

      As for no yaoi… well, I think Gon and Kil are too young for there to be anything like that on TV, but they do kiss in one of the post-credits scenes.

    2. I like your doujib HxH version. I gave KHR a pass since the deuteroginist is named Reborn and he is a hitman tutor. That show makes no sense and I love it

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