If you’ve been around the anime and light novel block before, you probably notice that we occasionally get series that have really long, descriptive titles. Usually something along the lines of, “I’ve Been Teleported Into This World with Only *Insert Object* To My Name,” Or “I’m Just Trying to be Peaceful and Do This Thing, But Something Keeps Trying to Stop Me From…” whatever, you get the point.
Some people think these names are just stupid, and some people get a lot of joy from reading them. I’m on both sides. I think they’re dumb as hell, but they’re some of my favorite things about light novels, which is the worst offender of this. Every week I seem to see a new light novel with some overly convoluted name telling me exactly who this guy ends up, who’s standing in his way, or how many sisters he’s in love with. It’s pretty funny to me.
Let me share with you a few of my favorites, just from last year on the anime side of things. I’d be here all day if I didn’t limit myself.
Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside
Osamake: A Romantic Comedy Where the Childhood Friend Absolutely Will Not Lose
Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway
The World’s Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World as an Aristocrat
These are some examples, just from last year, of anime series that aired that fit this description of absurdly long titles explaining exactly what the plot is about. What all of these things have in common is that they all come from light novels. Of course, that doesn’t always have to be the case, but generally, 99% of all anime you see with stupid titles like these come from light novels, and there is a very valid, albeit upsetting, reason.
For as dumb as it looks, and as dumb as it actually is, it isn’t just some weird trend that these authors are doing. It’s actually a proven strategy to get more people to read and care about your book. A strategy specifically good for our current goldfish brain society.
So you need to ask yourself, what makes people want to read a book first? Well, my lucky reader, I already made a post on that here. The truth is, there are a lot of things that initially get your attention, but keeping it for long enough to actually read the book itself is an entirely different story.
After your attention has been grabbed, you need something that makes you want to actually read the book itself. What part of a book serves just that purpose? That’s right, the synopsis. The neat little bit on the back of most books telling you what it’s about.
But light novel authors have caught onto something. Some people never even make it to the synopsis. If the title doesn’t sound interesting to them, they leave before ever knowing what the story is about. Horrible, right? How unfair.
To combat that, light novel author’s figured they could just put the synopsis in the titles themselves. That way, there’s one less thing to read, and most everyone will read at least the title of a book when deciding whether to read it. You’ll likely stumble across the title for books you have no intention of looking at too.
So the simple and kind of sad for the future of our species reason that so many anime have long, descriptive titles is because the authors of the original light novels are catering to those that don’t feel like reading their book’s synopsis.
And as much as you can and will make fun of the names, they do get you interested in things you wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. Osamake is one example for me, even though it ended up pretty bad.
And hey, I likely wouldn’t care about “Why Is the Prettiest Girl in School Trying to Talk to a Loner Like Me during Lunch Break?” if I didn’t already know about the aforementioned lunch break. And “I Became Friends with the Second Cutest Girl in My Class” has me curious because I don’t see how that would make an interesting story. Couldn’t even get number 1?
Hey, guys, I want you to check out my new light novel I just finished writing. Uh, it’s called “I Once Held the Door Open for This Pretty Girl and She Said Thank You to Me, and I Never Saw Her Again After That.” It’s about this one time I held a door open for a girl. It’s really dumb, yes, but it is humorous.
So basically, these titles exist so there’s less work for readers to do and more chances an author’s work will get recognized, and it has the positive effect of getting people interested that wouldn’t have been otherwise just for the stupid name. It’s the perfect storm, really, and it does work.
I assume most people already knew this, but I figured there might be a few people curious as to why this is, and I already talked about something similar in that earlier post.
That’s pretty much it. Tell me your favorite light novel/anime titles below, if you want. Or don’t. It’s up to you. Moral of the story is we’re devolving as a species, but at least it’s funny.
Thank you very much for reading
Sad, but funny.