Titles can be deceiving – especially in anime. Many of the most popular, phenomenal shows have boring titles that don’t match the great stories behind them. These matte titles are usually the name of the main character or the name of their profession. Sometimes even a color works as the anime name.
While names can sometimes make for obvious title choices, they aren’t the most representative of their shows. Titles are meant to draw people into the story. Therefore, many titles can make or break a series. Fortunately for these shows, the storylines surpassed the titles and became hits on their own.
10/10 Ouran High School Host Club is about a host club
Ouran High School Host Club is – just as the title suggests – about a host club inside Ouran Academy. Although the members of the titular club are the main players in the anime, the story is much more nuanced.
Haruhi Fujioka’s experiences at the host club help open her eyes to the beauty of love and romance. Likewise, her practicality and honesty seem to rub off on every single member of the host club. Additionally, the entire show is a satire of the shojo anime genre. This anime is a fun reverse harem that many people like, but the boring title failed to describe the story accurately.
9/10 Sasaki and Miyano is about two teenagers
Sasaki ond Miyano is about two boys named Shuumei Sasaki and Yoshikazu Miyano who form an unconventional friendship. The two bond over a shared interest in BL manga, but the more they bond, the more complicated their relationship seems.
This anime is an endearing slice-of-life show about two people who get to know each other and fall in love. With all the complicated emotions that play into this story, a title that just names the two main characters lacks the proper poignancy that the anime deserves.
8/10 K has only one letter
K is the thrilling story of Yashiro Isana who becomes embroiled in a murder investigation and a vengeful plot when someone who looks just like him kills an important figure in a neighboring clan. Isana then embarks on a journey to prove his innocence, learning of his true identity along the way.
Despite the exciting plot, this anime has a very boring title. The letter K does not let the audience know the high-stakes plot that awaits them in this beautifully animated series. Viewers would be forgiven for passing on this series because of its short title.
7/10 Sailor Moon is about more than Usagi
Sailor Moon is another anime whose title is the name of the main character. However, the eponymous character is joined by her friends and comrades as they fight to protect the galaxy from evil. Sailor Scouts are just as important as Sailor Moon, and usually do most of the fighting.
Sailor Moon may be the ethereal Queen Serenity of the Moon Kingdom, but there are so many parts to the series that it deserves to be called something beyond the main character’s name. Although Sailor Moon brought everyone together, they all fight and have their important story beats in this anime.
6/10 Fruit basket has little to do with the plot
Fruit basket is the title of a dramatic romance anime about a family cursed to transform into the zodiac sign of the zodiac when they are hugged by the opposite sex. The story mainly focuses on the thirteen Zodiac members as they strive to break free from their curse – hopefully with the help of a kind girl named Tohru Honda.
Although the term Fruit basket is mentioned in the story, it only stands for one story beat that has little to do with the rest of the show. “Fruits Basket” is the name of a game Tohru was excluded from as a child, and she initially did not realize the deception. The anecdote is tangentially related, but it has little to do with the intense story of generational trauma and romantic tension.
5/10 Snow White with red hair tells the audience exactly what it is
Snow white with the red hair is another variant of the classic Snow white fairytale. However, unlike the original story, the main character has red hair instead of black. This change in function is apparently the only reason for the title on the nose. Although Shirayuki’s red hair causes waves in the anime, it never goes beyond getting her recognized and getting people to admire it.
Audiences may have thought that giving the main character red hair would have more impact, but the anime ended before the rest of the manga’s story could be told. Nevertheless, this anime is a fun and deeply romantic series about two people who fall in love, regardless of their status.
4/10 Bleach has nothing to do with the story
Bleach was justified as such after the creator decided that “White” was too generic a name. While many would agree that this was a good decision, there seems to be no other reason why this anime is called Bleach.
Ichigo Kurosaki and his fellow Soul Reapers have usually gone all black when they go out to fight the Hollows, which makes the title even more confusing. Despite this, Bleach is a great shonen anime that is full of action as the Soul Reapers work to keep the world in balance.
3/10 Pokémon are named after their creatures
Pokémon is a show named after its creatures. The animals in question are (mostly) small creatures that people capture to use in competitive matches. While the entire premise is for the characters to encounter and catch Pokémon, there is much more to the show.
The series follows Ash Ketchum’s coming-of-age tale as he learns many of life’s virtues while striving to become a Pokémon master. Not only does he compete with his Pokémon, but he also becomes their friend, creating many touching moments. While each series has the name of the league or region attached to it, this family-friendly series deserved to have a more creative title.
2/10 Goblin Slayer does its story a disservice
Goblin Slayer is another anime title named after the main character. Although the titular Goblin Slayer has no real name, fans can pretty much get the idea of what this story is going to be about from the simple moniker.
That said, it’s a pretty uninspired name for such a brutal show. The first episode is one of the most gut-wrenching episodes in anime, and things tend to get more action-oriented as they go along. Goblin Slayer vaguely letting the audience know what will happen, but not enough to describe the true nature of the show.
1/10 Demon Slayer is the characters profession
Demon Slaughter is an anime named after an occupation in history. The entire premise surrounds Tanjiro Kamado as he becomes a Demon Slayer to avenge the death of his family and find a cure for his sister. Along the way, he is met by other Demon Slayers who help him in his noble quest.
However, this heart-pounding shonen series deserves more than a running title. Not only is the animation gorgeous, but the story is a harrowing tale of the importance of family, and one boy’s mission to do whatever it takes to keep his sister (and others) safe. This anime may not be for everyone, but many feel it’s too good to have such a simple name.
NEXT: 15 Anime That Don’t Look Like Their Titles