Anime Series Titles and First Impressions | 12 Days of Aniblogging (Day 1)

It’s probably been lurking inside my mind for years, but I became particularly cognizant of this phenomenon during the Summer 2017 anime season. I realized that a lot of viewers seemingly draw premature conclusions based on the titles of anime series. In other words, their first impressions are influenced by their perception of these titles for better or for worse.

For example, Knight’s & Magic received a lot of flak for the extraneous apostrophe. Even before the show started airing, you could see people mocking the unnecessary diacritical mark as proof the show was trying to be extraHumorously enough, Karandi likened the unneeded punctuation mark as being emblematic of the series’ tendency to go abandon moderation for the sake of being cool. And I find myself feeling the same way after tolerating 13 episodes of a mediocre series that neglected pacing and characterization in order to focus on flashy robot battles. So in a way, this particular first impression based on a title was actually accurate! Imagine that!

10-shining

The same can’t be said for Tsurezure Children and Princess Principal, however. I came across several individuals who had mistaken the title as “Tsundere Children” and who refused to watch the series until they became aware of their error. In their minds, the fact that a series was (not) titled after an extremely common character archetype made them assume that the series in turn would just be another common, dime-a-dozen series that lacked any sense of nuance. They reached that conclusion just from one word that wasn’t actually there!

And then Tsurezure Children turns out to be one of the most memorable modern rom-com series in recent times due to making good use of its episode length as an anime short, featuring hilarious reactions as well as situations, and for portraying couples who actually get to confessing early on instead of dragging it out for an entire cour (well, that wasn’t the case for every couple in Tsurezure Children, but the go-getters were definitely the majority). Talk about a misleading first impression!

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Similarly, Princess Principal looks and sounds like a title that was chosen just because the two words formed an elementary level alliteration. I saw individuals admit that the title led them to think it would be a typical “Cute Girls Doing Cute Things” show (and indirectly revealing that they didn’t actually read the summary or watch the trailer before starting the series).

To be fair, however, the tag #PriPri is pretty great. Furthermore, the series was actually awesome with steampunk, spies, ninjas, political drama, AND princesses despite the anachronic episode order which seemed to do little for Princess Principal as a whole. Yes, I’ve gone back and forth on that last bit several times to the point that I’m about as flip-floppity as a pancake, but I’m resting my case here until someone else can convince me. The important point, however, is that this first impression, which was based on a less than impressive title, was also hilariously incorrect!

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In the service industry (according to Gordon Ramsay, at least), first impressions are everything. It’s hard to deny the impact first impressions have on anime viewers, too. Just take a look at the examples I’ve brought up in which viewers start assuming before they even start viewing just because of their opinions of a show’s title.

This tendency may be difficult to stop for some. In fact, maybe it’s preferable to not stop assuming based off a title since it could make for an amusing anecdote to tell others later on. I just thought this whole business was rather entertaining.

30 thoughts on “Anime Series Titles and First Impressions | 12 Days of Aniblogging (Day 1)

  1. Now I finally get a chance to read one of your posts remy. Sorry I have not commented for a while, I always love your reading stuff and alway miss your post when they come out. This was a funny post to me as I had no idea people were leading those assumptions towards these seasonal shows. especially “Tsurezure Children” where did Tsundere Children come from LOL haha jezz. This is leads back to a peeve I have people when pushing series under the rug of the things they’ve heard from others or reading the plot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Personally, I think the people who thought Princess Principal was a CGDCT show and didn’t watch it are closer to the mark than those who actually watched it and thought it was a thrilling spy show. Apparently, I live in the bizzarro universe.

    I never read “Tsundere Children”, mostly because the version I always read had a “z” in there, instead of a “d”: “Tsurezure Children”. I still wonder what’s up with that particular variation.

    A title I had to have explained to me is “To-Love-Ru”. I mistakenly thought it was an hommage to RuPaul, which would have made no sense, but the show could have easily had a title that made no sense. Instead, it’s a pun that doesn’t translate (Trouble –> To Ra Bu Ru). You live and learn.

    And finally, Keijo!!!!!!!! deserves all those exclamation marks. How else would you know the show’s almost three times better than Yuri!!! on Ice, which aired in the same season? I personally think it’s time to revive the interrobang. It’d be perfect for mock self-irony.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup. But there’s such a thing as consensus, which is never perfect, but it’s there, and exactly how it matters I don’t know, but matter it does. It’s interesting to note that consensus isn’t exactly on my side here.

        For what it’s worth, my above post is mostly hyperbole, but it does reflect what I think about the shows in question. So: Princess Principal worked better for me when it was trying to be cute and funny, then when it was trying to move me or make me worry about the girls’ safety. And I do feel Keijo!!!!! is a better anime than Yuri!!! on Ice when it comes to “being what it wants to be”, because the YoI’s balance between sports and romance didn’t really work out for me, so it half-assed both (meanwhile Keijo aspires to nothing but stupid fun, which is exactly what it ended up being – only falling apart near the very end).

        I don’t actually really think that people who haven’t seen a show can be “closer to the mark”, or that the number of exclamationmarks in a title is in any way significant. (I’m pointing it out, just to be on the safe side.)

        Btw, I’m actually really curious about the difference between “Tsurezure Children” and “Tsuredure Children”. I tried to research that once (not all that hard, I admit), but I ran out of ideas. Is that a systematic issue like “wa/ha” or “wo/o”? Is there some sort of strange synonym/wordplay? Does anyone who knows Japanese know why there are romaji variants with “d” and with “z”?

        Like

  3. I tend to look more at the art and synopsis than the title given how many anime titles end up just being completely random even after you watch the show. Still the use of additional punctuation in English titles always strikes me as odd and I sometimes find it really hard to write my review titles because adding in that apostrophe, those random punctuation marks or this season brings us a tilde with Code:Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ sometimes that just hurts.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Count me among those who initially misread Tsurezure Children… But one of my commenters turned me onto the series. On the other hand, I was into #PriPri right from the trailer…

    There’s so many shows, ya gotta filter on *something*. But the community (bloggers, commenters, twitter) does a pretty good job of correcting my initial errors.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Honestly, I don’t even really look at titles when I’m browsing for something new to watch. When I look at for instance, Chrunchyroll, I usually look at the pictures for a show, and when they attract, I read the synopsis for it 😊 (Yeah I guess I’m weird like that lol). As Auri said, great start: looking forward to the rest of your posts 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I never did understand the seemingly pointless use of punctuation marks in titles (most commonly, the exclamation point). Like, is Keijo!!!!!!!! really excitingly enough to use EIGHT exclamation marks or do the authors just want it to stand out? Talk about annoying marketing strategies that need to go (!!!!!!!!).

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Good topic! I initially misread it as Tsundere Children too, although that was just for a few seconds until I looked at the word more closely. My brain still wants to end that word in -dere instead of -dure though, just because it’s what I’m always used to seeing.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Ah interesting guesses Remy-nii!
    Also cool start~
    Until now I had the same impression on Tsuruzere Children (I haven’t watched it yet).

    Ahhh!!! This is so exciting!!! It’s so cool that so many of us are doing this~

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, I didn’t do any of these guesses. I was basically paraphrasing other people. In other words, this post was heavily influenced by others’ opinions. As usual.

      Mmm it’s a nice show (in my opinion).

      Yeaaaaaah it’s great!

      Liked by 1 person

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