Tuesday’s Top 5: Weird Episode Titles

Frequently you don’t really know what an individual episode is called but when you buy the DVD or start searching for a particular episode online you suddenly realise the title and you are thinking… what the? Some anime go for thematic titles whereas others just go for long and strange. Here are my top 5 weird episode titles.

Share some of your favourite weird episode titles below.

Please Note – There are spoilers below. You have been warned.

Honourable mentions this week go Akame ga Kill and Black Butler for their thematic episode naming. That wasn’t enough to get them onto the list but it was enough for them to be considered.

Number 5: Not Enough Pool Safety (Amagi Brilliant Park)

Not Enough Pool Safety is a weird episode title that comes to us via Amagi Brilliant Park.

Amagi also went with thematic naming (for most of the series) with episode titles such as ‘Not Enough Time’ and ‘Not Enough Money’. While those are pretty straight forward, I pulled out episode 7’s ‘Not Enough Pool Safety’ because of the episode content. While the title seems straight forward you aren’t really expecting magical pirate invaders to take control of the theme park’s pool area. The title is descriptive but deceptive and certainly caught my interest.

It also helps that this weird episode title is attached to one of the more action packed stories in the series that is also pretty hilarious as it goes very over the top.

Number 4: From Dusk Till Dawn (Dance in the Vampire Bund)

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Horror references abound in the episode titles of Dance in the Vampire Bund. ‘Interview with the Vampire’, ‘Teen Wolf’ and ‘Howling’ all feature in the line up. ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’, episode 6, kind of feels like a turning point for the series in terms of atmosphere and the character arcs which is why I liked the reference.

Seriously, this is one series that almost as fun to watch for the various references to horror movies as it is for the story it is delivering and the story kind of works.

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Number 3: The First Semicolon (Astarotte’s Toy)

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All of the episode titles in Astarotte’s Toy seem to use punctuation and none of it seems to make a lot of sense. ‘Ampersand of the Party’ and ‘Secret Apostrophe’ feature, but I chose ‘The First Semicolon’ because mostly no-one really knows how to use a semicolon and because it is the second episode of the series which is where I noticed what they were doing with these titles. The first episode uses exclamation but I didn’t realise why they had used that word until the rest of the episode titles were revealed.

Number 2: My Cell Phone Doesn’t Get Many Calls (Haganai)

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Again, all of the episode titles in this series are kind of long and descriptive. I just find this one amusing because it is understating a situation and leads us into quite an amusing episode where are characters realise they can use their phones to call places other than home and they can add numbers and emails to their phones. While there are other anime out there that do similar things with their titles, I just find this one particularly funny.



Number 1: Czeslaw Meyer is Forced to Rework His Tremble-Before-the-Specter-of-Immortals Strategy (Baccano)

Baccano

I could have chosen any of the episode titles from Baccano but this one really resonated. Each title starts with a character name and then reveals something fundamental about the character and the plot, only you won’t really realise it until after you have watched the series and really gone back and looked at how it all lines up.

In this episode (part of it at least) Czeslaw attempts to convince Ladd to kill the other passengers but miscalculates his approach and is shot himself. This moment is more revealing than it seems at first and as you learn more about Czeslw you start to get a really interesting picture of his character and motives. That said, it is just a funny title. Seriously, say it three times fast.

What episode titles have caught your eye? Share them below.


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Karandi James


7 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Top 5: Weird Episode Titles

  1. Those are fun! Yeah, I definitely enjoyed the theming of Amagi’s episode titles.

    A few other ones I remember.

    Excel Saga as a comedy series deliberately jumped across different genres from week to week as a running joke. One of the episodes was a classic beach/pool fanservice episode, which was simply titled, “Increase Ratings Week.”

    Kanon 2006 had a theme of titling each episode after various types of classical music compositions (waltz, fugue, sonata, etc.). My favorite of those titles, and not coincidentally also one of my favorite episodes in the series, was episode 14, “A Cracked Concerto.” There’s also the amazing “Lieder ohne Worte of an Elder Sister and a Younger Sister” – I took seven years of classical piano lessons, and that reference was so esoteric even I had to look it up.

    A first episode should be both attention-grabbing and indicative of what the viewer can expect. And as far as first-episode titles go, in an anime world where so many first episodes have very unimaginative titles like “Open” or “Beginning” or even just the name of the series itself, one that’s always stood out to me as an instant tone-setter is Noir’s first episode, “Maidens with Black Hands.”

    1. Increase Ratings Week sounds like a very honest episode title if nothing else.

      I hadn’t thought specifically about first episodes but you are right in that they do tend to have fairly unimaginative names. Might have to do a list of best first episodes at some point.

  2. Yeah, I dig those lengthy Baccano! titles too.

    There’s a lot of episode titles that I like, but the one series that immediately came to mind is Gintama, which made an art of making ep titles that often has nothing to do with the episodes themselves. Some of my favorites:

    -“Stress Makes You Bald, But It’s Stressful To Avoid Stress, So You End Up Stressed Out Anyway, So In The End There’s Nothing You Can Do”

    -“People Who Say That Santa Doesn’t Really Exist Actually Want To Believe In Him”

    -“You Say Kawaii So Often, You Must Really Think You’re Cute Stuff”

    -“Boys Have A Weird Ritual That Makes Them Think They Turn Into Men When They Touch A Frog”

    1. See, I only watched the first season of Gintama and I’ve never known what the episode titles were (they may have come up but I didn’t pay attention). Some of those are pretty amazing though, thanks for sharing.

  3. Interesting post! Episode titles are something often overlooked and forgotten, so it’s interesting to see someone giving them some attention!

    My favorite kind of episode titles are ones that have a sort of theme throughout each of their episodes, similar to the Amagi or Baccano! ones that you mentioned. Some of the more creative and memorable episode titles come from shows that use that sort of structure, and there are plenty of shows that do it.

    For example, Haganai S2 used almost every episode title to reference another light novel in the same genre as Haganai, which I found to be entertaining. Kill la Kill is also another great example of thematic titles, with each episode being a song title in Japanese. Although, I haven’t looked into the titles enough to know if they were just referential jokes or if they could be tied back to the actual themes and progression of the shows.

    I rarely pay attention to episode titles, but I’ll have to keep in mind to give them a closer look!

    1. I just find it interesting when wanting to discuss an episode and you look up what it was called and you have to do a double take. Some are really clever and interesting and add just a bit more to the show.

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