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View Poll Results: How does long titles in light novels affect your anticipation in its story?
Very much, positively. 1 0.91%
Not much, but it makes the series interesting. 9 8.18%
It doesn't bother me at all. 59 53.64%
Not much, but worries me a bit. 26 23.64%
Very much, negatively. 15 13.64%
Voters: 110. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2013-01-16, 22:10   Link #1
Marcus H.
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"I can't possibly believe that this light novel series' title is so long!"

With the release of the light novel series Yusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shushoku wo Ketsui Shimashita. (lit., "I reluctantly decided to find a job because I couldn't become Yusha."), I finally realized that this is the era of light novels with excessively long titles (and anime series with long titles too, by extension). I'm sure that most of us had our first encounter with long titles (subtitles not included) with Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai (or Oreimo), which seems like the light novel series that spearheaded the "long title movement", and light novels with mile-long titles like in Oreimo have started to sprout like mushrooms after that.

I have to admit that these long titles make me wonder about what happened to the "Titles should be easy to remember" part in naming a literary work. Most light novel series are much better titled using their shortcuts a that mess of words which is basically a whole sentence with the basic premise of the series (see OreShura, which is the shortcut for "Ore no... ah, crap, I forgot.)

Ah, it's "Ore no somethingsomething Shuraba Sugiru". I'm so sorry.

Well, you get my point. They are difficult to memorize.

Anyway, with the sudden increase of light novels with these, one has to wonder if the quality of these works are just the same as that of more conventionally-titled works like Spice and Wolf and Kino no Tabi. I feel that some of them have a less spectacular plot and using the title as some kind of hook to get some readers, but I don't think it's working for me.

How about you? Does the marathon-of-a-title in some light novels these days contribute to how you anticipate its plot?

EDIT:
Extra question: Do you think that a book with the title "I Kicked A Burning Terrorist So Hard in the Balls that I Tore a Tendon in My Foot!" would sell decent overseas?
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Old 2013-01-16, 22:17   Link #2
Midonin
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Not necessarily. While extra long titles are often associated with novelty works, I don't believe the title is always going to be a reflection of quality. It's very likely that the author may not have decided on the title themselves, as I know that marketing sometimes has a habit of renaming things in ways that don't make sense at first glance. (Like stripping the "Green" out of Arrow or the "of Mars" from John Carter. This is like that, but in reverse.)

A long title usually indicates a comedy (or an attempt at one), and almost all of these do try for some laughs, though even that has exceptions. (AnoHana comes to mind, as does Moshidora.) What I'm saying is, it's no one thing. I believe there's the old adage of not judging a book by its cover? That's the short version for here.
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Old 2013-01-16, 22:18   Link #3
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Infinite Stratos must be brilliant then
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Old 2013-01-16, 22:18   Link #4
relentlessflame
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I tend to think this is sort of an internal joke among authors and publishers that became a "trend". It's difficult to pick a good, short, memorable, and unique title these days given the sea of other works out there, and in the end it always gets abbreviated to a short form by the fans anyway. So this way the authors and publishers can make a title that verbosely describes the premise, and let the fans shorten it in common speech. It's not like people are going to be writing out the title by hand anyway and on computers you can either use the "slang" title, or just Google it.

I don't think the "less-spectacular" plot necessarily has anything to do with the name, but many of these works are being published in the same or similar publications with similar themes and designed to appeal to similar target audiences... so they often have more in common than just the titles. Having similar titles may also be designed in small part to help connect fans of one work to other similar works they may enjoy... but that's not necessarily always the case either.
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Old 2013-01-16, 22:26   Link #5
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It's been going on for quite some time, I think.

And I seem to remember reading an article or an interview with an author regarding this long titles, but I can't for the life of me remember where I read it or what the detail contents were

And if I may, I seem to see this trend going on in the galge world too (that galge about time traveling baby is a recent example).
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Old 2013-01-16, 22:27   Link #6
Marcus H.
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Quote:
Infinite Stratos must be brilliant then
Oh you.

Quote:
It's difficult to pick a good, short, memorable, and unique title these days given the sea of other works out there, and in the end it always gets abbreviated to a short form by the fans anyway.
This is probably the problem that light novels often face even before being published, but yeah, I see that it is more of a viewership-fueled approach and is quite unique to Japan due to the close ties between light novels and anime. That's the reason why this doesn't happen elsewhere in full-on novels.

Quote:
And I seem to remember reading an article or an interview with an author regarding this long titles, but I can't for the life of me remember where I read it or what the detail contents were
It would be interesting to know what someone from the industry has to say about this new "trend".
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Old 2013-01-16, 22:29   Link #7
Midonin
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
And if I may, I seem to see this trend going on in the galge world too (that galge about time traveling baby is a recent example).
I have noticed that the longer a VN's title is, the more likely it is that it's going to be depraved. Like everything, this isn't always a constant (like the example you gave), but it's a good rule of thumb. I am glad Japan is keeping the "long title" thing alive, though. Just saying them makes me smile, for some reason.
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Old 2013-01-16, 23:08   Link #8
SilverSyko
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I'm not a light novel enthusiast, in fact I dislike novels in general, but I do understand your sentiments. More often than not when an anime with an awfully long title is announced it does tend to be an adaptation of a light novel, and usually those with said long titles appear to be very below-average to un-likeable material for me, but I think that's just a coincidence. The only personal exception I've found to this so far is I Don't Have Many Friends.

A short title doesn't really equate to quality, it's all subjective really. A Certain Magical Index and Sword Art Online are decent from what I've seen of them, but then at the other end of the spectrum I've found much crummier works like Infinite Stratos and The Familiar of Zero.

In the end, I think it's just a lack of creativity and thought. I imagine sometimes it can be difficult to come up with distinct title representing your work that everyone can remember easily, and it may not necessarily include any elements that are worth naming your work after either. I suppose the next best thing after that is just to describe the concept of the work right in the title itself.

Heck, manga is starting to succumb to it too lately. It's not just limited to light novels. Not quite as bad though I believe.
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Old 2013-01-16, 23:17   Link #9
Chiibi
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I don't think it matters that much since everyone is going to give it a nickname or abbreviation anyway....
It's only a burden when you're asking a dealer at a con if they have any merchandise from "BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-BLABLAHBLAH"
And they go "..........sorry, what?"

Quote:
Extra question: Do you think that a book with the title "I Kicked A Burning Terrorist So Hard in the Balls that I Tore a Tendon in My Foot!" would sell decent overseas?
Yes, I think it would.
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Old 2013-01-16, 23:20   Link #10
Akito Kinomoto
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"I welcome our Excessively Titled Overlords of the New Age who can't come up with anything creative." XD

It doesn't affect my expectations of the plot but it is going to get me to watch it eventually moreso than other things. I'd share my joke with more people but I don't have many friends.

The BokuTomo opening is playing on my mp3 player right now. Go figure.
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Old 2013-01-16, 23:21   Link #11
Obelisk ze Tormentor
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Originally Posted by SilverSyko View Post
Heck, manga is starting to succumb to it too lately. It's not just limited to light novels. Not quite as bad though I believe.
When you said manga, I suddenly remember Onii-chan no Koto nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!. *phew*
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Old 2013-01-16, 23:25   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto View Post

The BokuTomo opening is playing on my mp3 player right now. Go figure.
LOLZ
I have that song on CD and listen to it almost every other day.

It annoys other people in my car.
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Old 2013-01-16, 23:25   Link #13
Master_Yoma
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Well I geass it look better in Kanji then in engilsh Well all they have to do is change the title to make it shorter if it was to make it overseas but manga proves the title have no meaning to it such as I Don't Like You at All, Big Brother!! released by seven seas

It would be nice if they would release more lite novel in the US
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Old 2013-01-17, 00:03   Link #14
Kakkou
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It doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I sometimes have fun making English equivalents to call them by, like "There's Incest To Be Had In Here!" and "He's My Brother But It Doesn't Matter As Long As I Get In His Pants"
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Old 2013-01-17, 00:10   Link #15
Marcus H.
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^ Now that you've reminded me, my main concern with long titles is how so many light novel series with incest or suggestive incest themes are coming up. Well, I can't blame them since Oreimo did earn a lot.
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Old 2013-01-17, 01:01   Link #16
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Well considering how many of them have very similar settings/themes, I'm guessing all the short titles would have already been taken.
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Old 2013-01-17, 01:05   Link #17
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Long ass titles are most likely an ego thing in the industry, trying to imply something like "I got a bigger penis than you"
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Old 2013-01-17, 01:55   Link #18
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What about "The curious incident of the dog in the night-time"
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Old 2013-01-17, 02:01   Link #19
SuzushinaYuriko
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I feel like this Twitter feed is relevant: https://mobile.twitter.com/ln_title_bot/tweets

Lately, it seems like the light novel industry are confusing titles with plot summaries. I remember an UN-GO Inga Nikki special that poked fun at this.
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Old 2013-01-17, 02:54   Link #20
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It's just really hard to come up with a unique title. I think they should be granted some leeway.
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