There sure are some weird anime titles out there. And with the popularity of light novels getting adapted, we’re getting more and more paragraph-long titles to choose from. But occasionally, there are titles that make it seem like you’re about to watch a completely different show and that’s what I want to talk about today.
Granted, this is a personal experience. Maybe you guys didn’t interpret things the same way. But when I first read these titles, I had a very clear image of the anime I would be watching and it turned out completely different.
In no particular order, here are 5 anime titles that confused me when I first saw them!
5. Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?
I was thinking that DanMachi was going to be some sort of isekai harem and to be fair, it’s exactly what it is. But the devil is in the details. The title Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (great title by the way) makes it sound like some lecherous adventurer is ignoring dangerous mobs in order to go chat up a local elf or something. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Bell Cranel may have all the ladies pining for him but that’s through no doing of his own. I have never seen him do anything close to hitting on a girl, in a dungeon or otherwise. He is a chaste and pure puppy who would never do anything that might inconvenience a lady. This makes me think that maybe the title question was answered before the start of the series, and the answer was YES. No one ever hits on girls in dungeons in this show.
Durarara isn’t even a word! So clearly it must be a name. Like a character’s name or maybe a team name. Since we all know that titles with exclamation points mean that it’s a sports anime! Ha, my detective skills are on point, aren’t they? It’s clearly a sports anime about a rambunctious team called Durarara!
Since the name is so forceful and a little unrefined, I have to assume it’s not one of those stuffy sports like ballet, golf or anything of that sort. Even soccer seems a bit too fancy. So I’m going to say it’s either baseball or racing. Maybe a made-up sport but one where people can get very hurt. Look at me being all smart and deducing everything.
3. Humanity has Declined
I can’t deny the sombre reality of that title. And something as clear-eyed and to the point as that must indicate a serious show that doesn’t shy away from discussing the issues within our society. If I’m lucky, it has an optimistic outlook and hopes that Humanity will once again grow and evolve into something better.
Either that or it’s a gritty political drama that exposes the corrupt underbelly of our institutions. There aren’t that many of those in anime so I’m bound to like it!
I was right about exactly one thing, I do in fact quite like Humanity has Declined.
2. Angelic Layer
Oh, I know that one. It’s about students in purgatory right? They have to figure themselves out before they can move on! The Angelic part is hinting at well, angels the afterlife and all that. Obviously. And the layer part is because they are on a layer between two worlds.
It’s not a bad title. It’s kind of evocative and you can read it in many ways. We all have a small layer within us that is angelic and might cover the rest but there’s more to it than that. The word is made up of many layers, some demonic, some angelic and some just normal. I can see it all. There are so many ways you can go with that title for an anime that explores themes of existential angst or grey morality.
What do you mean it’s a sports anime with little robots?
1. I Want to Eat your Pancreas
So this is a Zombie anime, right? I mean it can’t really be anything else. Oh if I’m lucky it’s a hybrid cooking/zombie anime. There’s this plucky cute little zombie girl and every week she comes up with new and fun ways to prepare humans for a lavish meal with she shares with her cute little zombie friends!
It’s probably full of CGDCT tropes but then once in a while, it’s a bloodbath since she needs to get more “ingredients”. That would be awesome. Sign me up for that anime! Ok, realistically it’s probably not that. It’s most likely just your standard zombie apocalypse movie. But that could be fun as well. Maybe I can add it to my Halloween lineup! Anime zombies are always way cuter than live-action ones! Oh, they could do a crossover with Zombieland Saga!
Yup, that’s definitely what I want to eat your pancreas is!
I guess you shouldn’t always judge an anime by its title. Maybe I personally shouldn’t do that at least. But it can also be a lot of confusing fun!
Are there any anime that turned out to be way different than what the title led you to believe? Tell me about it. I always find weird titles hilarious for some reason.
22 thoughts on “5 Anime Titles that Confused Me”
You probably already know this, but “Durarara!!” I believe is actually onomatopoeic for sort of bludgeoning, drilling sound: “Drrr” (just like how the series itself is headache inducing) only spelled out via the Japanese phonetic representations of the syllables.
I read somewhere that it was an onomatopoea for the sound of a motorcycle engine reving up.
That’s it, a sort of persistent driving sound.
5 sounds like somebody who created this knows what happens in every comedy with dungeons. Ie some guy will try to puck up any woman no matter what the setting or circumstances.
I used to review CLAMP. So dontvwuote me but Angelic Layer is related to the fighting tournament league. Mainly… If I remember right… It’s associated with how the fighting dolls work. I haven’t seen this one in forever so my memories are not clear. Anyway that’s what Wikis are for. To help you understand titles meanings.
1 is probably a Silence Of The Lambs reference. Which makes the lead Anime Manga Hannibal Lecter.
xxxHolics is another good confusing title.
My candidate for the LEAST confusing title is, “Irina: the Vampire Cosmonaut.” Which is EXACTLY what the show is about. (That is, if you don’t think a vampire cosmonaut is confusing in itself. It’s actually a pretty good show.)
True. It made me uneasy because when people were reviewing it, I always thought they were talking to me but otherwise, clear title.
One that really confused me was Farewell My Dear Cramer…I was like, Who the heck is Cramer?? I know now because I looked it up, but it made no sense to me when I was starting to read it.
Oh yeah!!! Who is Cramer!!!! I don’t think I ever fund out. That’s a really confusing title.
I’ve been confused about To Love Ru for quite a long time. I never really thought it had anything to do with Ru Paul, but it would have been cool. At some point someone explained the title to me: “Trouble” in katakana is “Toraburu” and it contains “Love” (“Rabu”).
Another show that confused me was “Mangirl”. No gender bending at all, instead girls writing manga. At some point someone told me, and I thought I should have figured it out myself: Manga + Garu = Mangaru. It’s a Japanese contraction of manga-girl.
Puns can be confusing if you don’t get them.
Mangirl is a fantastic anime name. Why have I never heard of it.
It’s a mediocre short. The name’s the only thing memorable.
I heard someone justifying long titles, stating that it helps the reader decide whether they want to get in to this story or not.
But as you have clearly demonstrated, these titles don’t help in the slightest.
Well long title are just a LN standard. There ae a few reasons for them and I’m sure one of them is clarity.
I know exactly what you mean! There are some anime that I just wonder why it’s named that. Some times I even like try to backwards translate it to see if maybe the Japanese title was just translated into English poorly, but usually that’s not the case. Another anime that I’m still a little confused about it’s title is School Rumble, I thought it was a shonen school fighting anime, but it’s actually a comedy romance.
Oh wow – I also thought it was a fighting anime…
Ah! I’m so excited to see someone mention Humanity Has Declined and even more excited to find you have a whole review of it! :3
I love that show so much. I recommend it to people irl al the time and so far, they all hated it… I can’t understand
People hating this show is proof that humanity has declined. (Since this is the internet: I’m not serious; I just couldn’t resist saying that. I do love the show.)