Meaning Behind the Madness


There are some animation titles you simply have to love. They don’t follow strict standards of English grammar, nor do people who create them mind leaving an impression of a non native English speaker who knows just enough English to be able to butcher it with a bad choice of words or phrases. It reminds me of people who don’t read Chinese script but they still tattoo symbols with a “deep meaning” such as love or life because even simple words sound exotic when wrapped into something from a distant, mysterious culture.

animation titles

These animation titles are usually easily recognizable. They are characterized by the use of Latin or Greek words no one would ever think of in combination with random English words (Chrono Cross, Xenosaga, Xenoblade Chronicles, Dragonball Xeno Verse etc.), and names taken out of popular European mythology. Norse mythology might be the most popular name source of all (Ragnarok, Odin Sphere, Valhalla Knights, Valkyria Chronicles…), along with classical Greek and Roman mythology (Rage of Bahamut, Pandora’s Tower, Siren…). Sometimes the authors will even create their own mythological sounding phrase which has to end in –ia or –ion.

Put some Love into your Animation Titles

Emotional, sensitive words are another favorite. Phrases coined with “memories” (Chain of Memories, Seeds of memories, Ys: Memories of Celceta), “hearts” (Kingdom Hearts, Tales of Hearts, Shining Hearts, Shadow Hearts), “fate” (Fire Emblem Fates, Mirror of Fate, Resonance of Fate), “soul” (Dark Souls, Soul Sacrifice, Soulcalibur), “shadow” (Tower of Shadows, Shadow of Memories, Lords of Shadow), “fantasies” and “symphonies” (Final Fantasy, Tales of Phantasia, Phantasy Star, Fantasy Life, Symphony of the Night, Tales of Symphonia, Bubble Symphony), or “dreams” (D4:Dark dreams don’t die, Azure Dreams, Onimusha Dawn of Dreams). The list could go on further, but what all of these phrases have in common is that they all sound mysterious, dark, magical, or the author might have just imagined that. Sometimes emotions aren’t enough, and you have to resort to using aggressive or dangerous sounding words like “burst” (After Burst, Dariusburst, God Eater Burst), “metal” (Fullmetal alchemist, Metal Gear, Metal Wolf Chaos, Metal Slug, Metal Storm), or “blade” (Bushido Blade, Xenoblade, Unlimited Blade Works, Asura Blade, Shining Blade). Zero must also be a rather mystical word, hence the titles like F-Zero, Project Zero etc.; and the names of some dark or negative characters.

There is a lot of turbos, ultimates, advances, towers, oceans, gears, drops, seeds, crosses (probably because they look similar to X, and X is a cool letter) and many other completely random words. Other random letters and numbers can be seen as well (but X and Z seem to be the most common ones) in names like Beatmania IIDX, 3×3 Eyes, Monster Hunter X, Dragonball Z, Gundam ZZ, 187 Ride or Die and countless others.

If nothing of the above works, it’s enough to simply glue a bunch of words together without considering whether the word or phrase that came out has any meaning at all; Metal Gear Solid, Solid State Society, Bravely Default, Bravely Second: End Layer, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, Infinite Undiscovery, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, Silhouette Mirage: Reprogrammed Hope, Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late etc.

by: Idbo

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