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Changing the Title of an Anime
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19 / M / United States
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Posted 3/17/14
I'm curious to know what people think when an anime gets licensed and its title is altered or swapped out for something completely new.

I'm not referring to when titles are translated (example: Shingeki no Kyojin -> Attack On Titan, Kore wa Zombie desu ka? -> Is This A Zombie?, etc).

Some examples of what I'm talking about: Binbougami ga! ("The Poverty God is...!") -> Good Luck Girl, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun ("The Monster Next to Me") -> My Little Monster

Personally, I don't have a problem when companies do this to the point that it enrages me, but I do find it rather annoying as well as... unnecessary. I think that licensing an anime simply means having the right to distribute and provide accessibility through translation - whether it be dubbing or subtitles, and that a show should have as little changed as possible in order to preserve what the creators have made. I may think this way just because I see the title of a work to be a big part of what makes it itself, as well as something the original creators decided to call their work.

So what does everyone else think about this? Do you agree that titles should be kept and translated at the most, or do you think that changing the name of an anime is OK if the licencors think it makes it more appealing?
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44 / M / Canada
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Posted 3/17/14
Chuunibyo 2 "Heart Throb" is the worst.
CaelK 
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Posted 3/17/14 , edited 3/17/14

hpulley wrote:

Chuunibyo 2 "Heart Throb" is the worst.


Something within me is telling me that there is indeed something worse from like, the 80's or 90's back when no one knew how best to localize things but still tried. Like, a title whose name was changed to something that didn't even fit the anime, and aired on 4Kids or something.

I mean, shoot, we had stupid name changes, and people being sent to the next dimension, I'm sure some of that spilled over into a title at one point in time...

EDIT: Oh, I remembered the one that gets me!
Rurouni Kenshin -> Samurai X. It sounds so generic. I mean, you wanna localize, more power to you, but at least come up with something that sounds cool!
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Posted 3/17/14
Karin getting changed to Chibi Vampire still pisses me off ever time I see it in the store. >.<

Just leave the title as it is, there is literally no need to rename a series at all. I think it should be against copyright law to change a series title when licensing it in a different country. Translation of a title is one thing, but when you change the name you're basically telling some one their title wasn't good enough, or that the consumers of the title in that country are too stupid to understand it.

You wouldn't change a title of a famous opera or novel from a famous writer when bringing it to another country, why do anime and manga have to suffer this indignity?

I also hate it when companies change the names of characters to western names, they dont seem to do this anymore, but it pissed me off more than the title changes back then.

I want to watch anime, not some slop-artist who thinks they are being clever.
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Posted 3/17/14
I believe a more direct translation of Shingeki no Kyojin would be Advancing Titans, which makes more sense. Attack on Titan sounds like they're assaulting the Titan home world(A moon orbiting Saturn) with Spaceships made out of Chogokin.

Some titles don't translate well, or don't sounda as nice. B Gata H Kei was translated into "Yamads's First Time" Since the tile essentially means B-cup Pervert, but that doesn't flow as well as B Gata H kei did, and you can't just un-translate the title!

One specific title that angers me is "Kingdom" which might sound foreign and awesome in Japan, is so generically bad in English, I want them to add something to it. At least call it "Qin's Kingdom" or "Rise of Qin" or SOMETHING that makes more sense. Kingdom is just too banal.

Changing the title doesn't always matter to me, but sometimes they pull it off poorly. I believe Funimation is the worst at it, they tend to sell to a larger audience and need to market the title a lot, so they use less offensive/perverted names for show's that are more perverted. Funimation likes their Ecchi titles, but dear god don't translate it too well!
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Posted 3/17/14
As long as it's not like how they changed Tokyo Mew Mew into Mew Mew Power.
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44 / M / Canada
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Posted 3/17/14 , edited 3/17/14

CaelK wrote:


hpulley wrote:

Chuunibyo 2 "Heart Throb" is the worst.


Something within me is telling me that there is indeed something worse from like, the 80's or 90's back when no one knew how best to localize things but still tried. Like, a title whose name was changed to something that didn't even fit the anime, and aired on 4Kids or something.

I mean, shoot, we had stupid name changes, and people being sent to the next dimension, I'm sure some of that spilled over into a title at one point in time...
Well, the worst IMO is probably the manga Ganmu becoming "Battle Angel Alita" mostly because they changed the main character's name to Alita from Gally (Gary) because they (Viz) thought no one would buy a book with a girl main character named Gary. But she was named after a male cat so she was supposed to have a boy's name! It is too funny that later in a "world snake eatings its own tail" dream the Japanese author Kishiro used Alita as the name of the cat and Gally and Alita merged, into Gally in Japanese or Alita in English. Quite funny.

Oh, and in the same manga they changed Zalem because they thought it sounded too much like Salem and witches, but they changed it to the names of a nodes in the Kabbalah! Talk about just switching one incorrect mystical word for another. Ridiculous!

Robotech from Superdimensional Fortress Macross was also horrible. Turned "early culture" into an energy source. Locked Harmony Gold out of future Macross seasons, stupidest thing they ever did. All they can do now is sue Hasbro for toys that look similar.

And Space Battleship Yamato becoming Star Blazers... and... yes indeed, the '80s were a horrible time to be a western anime fan.

Felstalker wrote:

I believe a more direct translation of Shingeki no Kyojin would be Advancing Titans, which makes more sense. Attack on Titan sounds like they're assaulting the Titan home world(A moon orbiting Saturn) with Spaceships made out of Chogokin....

But "attack on titan" is the official Engrish title of Shingeki no Kyojin. And "Shingeki no Kyojin" itself is bizarre Japanese...

http://www.shingeki.tv/
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Posted 3/17/14 , edited 3/17/14
There are some shows whose English name is written on the Japanese source material, so of course that title is going to be used. Attack on Titan is written on the manga covers, and so that's the name that is used. Then there are translations that totally miss the mark. The worst one I would say is My Teen Romantic Comedy Snafu for Oregairu. The show's full name in Japanese is Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabu Kome wa Machigatteiru, but it also has the English translation on the source material in My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected. But for some reason, Sentai is using the Snafu name even though a proper English translation is already provided.
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Posted 3/17/14
I hate the title "My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU"

I've brought it up before in that show's thread but my god, no.
xxJing 
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Posted 3/17/14
One I don't understand : Kamisama Hajimemashita -> Kamisama Kiss. What a half-assed name change.

I was expecting something cheesy like "New Goddess in Town" or something along those lines.
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27 / F / NJ
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Posted 3/17/14

Rito2Ru wrote:

I hate the title "My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU"

I've brought it up before in that show's thread but my god, no.


Pardon my random intrusion here. But, I just started this anime - does it remain good throughout?
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Posted 3/17/14
Another thing that drives me up the wall is when they flip the names around, and I am listening to them talk and they say (for example) Hanazawa Kana, but the subtitles read Kana Hanazawa. These are not western names you don't need to westernize them, just stop already.
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Posted 3/17/14

Sacae89 wrote:


Rito2Ru wrote:

I hate the title "My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU"

I've brought it up before in that show's thread but my god, no.


Pardon my random intrusion here. But, I just started this anime - does it remain good throughout?


Do you like Hachiman and his personality? Because he IS the whole show. Like compared to him, the other characters might as well not be there. If you don't like him, it'll be hard going for you through the rest of the show. If you like him, this show will be a blast to watch. I found his dry and more pessimistic approach intriguing and gave the show a 9 out of 10 by the end of it because of him.

Also Hachiman x Totsuka
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Posted 3/17/14

kitsuneshoujo wrote:

Another thing that drives me up the wall is when they flip the names around, and I am listening to them talk and they say (for example) Hanazawa Kana, but the subtitles read Kana Hanazawa. These are not western names you don't need to westernize them, just stop already.


A little off-topic, but not all westerners will understand the whole surname then first name thing. I know I much rather prefer first name then surname.
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Posted 3/17/14 , edited 3/17/14

Rito2Ru wrote:Also Hachiman x Totsuka


This, so much this. I love that pairing, just cause its so hilariously awkward (and cute too).


shirayukiIce wrote:


kitsuneshoujo wrote:

Another thing that drives me up the wall is when they flip the names around, and I am listening to them talk and they say (for example) Hanazawa Kana, but the subtitles read Kana Hanazawa. These are not western names you don't need to westernize them, just stop already.


A little off-topic, but not all westerners will understand the whole surname then first name thing. I know I much rather prefer first name then surname.


That's debatable... this isn't the 80s or even the 90s. I'm not saying everyone knows how this works, but the internet exists, and most everyone in the west who is really into anime and manga are going to know it works like that (or they don't they will soon enough).

Also just to point out, if I went to Japan and watched an american movie subtitled in Japan, I'd find it just as obnoxious if they flipped the names around.
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