Otaku USA Magazine
The Everyday Inspirations Behind Some of Our Favorite Anime Names

Weird anime names on a theme, as in Sorcerer Hunters

When it comes to creating new characters, anime names are all over the map. Some are, of course, just common names. Others are completely new and fanciful. And then sometimes, someone opens up a cookbook and just goes to town.

Some of our favorite inspirations for character names come from extremely everyday things. Here are three ensemble casts for whom that inspiration is pretty clear:


Magic Knight Rayearth Has a World of Car People

Geo Metro. Yes, that's his name.

Mix giant robots, magical girls, and isekai, and you get Magic Knight Rayearthone of CLAMP’s most beloved and action-packed series. Three normal Japanese high-schoolers are transported to the world of Cephiro, where they pilot mecha known as Rune Gods to save the world. That’s already a lot to cope with, before you even figure in the fact that Cephiro — and everyone and everything in it — is named after cars.

And we don’t just mean obscure car names that sound a bit nice, though “Emeraude” and “Aska” fall under that heading. We’re talking characters straight up named “Eagle Vision” and “Geo Metro,” and a planet called “Autozam.” Rayearth isn’t the only anime to use car names for its characters (that could be a whole separate article), but it’s one of the most unabashed about it.


Sorcerer Hunters Has a Tasty Naming System

The Misu sisters, Chocolate and Tira

As cheesecake as Sorcerer Hunters is, it’s unsurprising that this anime’s names turn to food — especially dessert. Our heroes take their names from confectionary: Carrot Glacé and his brother Marron, Gateau Mocha, and the Misu sisters Tira and Chocola. You’ll find other sorts of names scattered around; but, like the best conversations, it always comes back to food.

Look into the manga and light novel for even more delicious naming conventions. Cinnamon Tea and Chiffon Cake make an appearance, as does a young man simply named Potato Chips.


Excel Saga Has No Reservations

Il Palazzo, Excel Saga

There was nothing normal about Excel Saga, weird anime names or no. The series spun off from an adult dojinshi, itself featuring characters named after department stores in downtown Fukuoka. But the world-conquering members of Across take their names from hotel chains.

This is probably most evident thanks to Hyatt, Excel’s weak-constitutioned sidekick. But Excel herself, and their boss Il Palazzo, take their names from hotel chains as well. Even Elgala, a character never seen in the anime, appears to be a throwback to the El Galaa chain.

Wherever their names come from, these anime characters are unforgettable. What are some of your favorite oddly-inspired anime names?

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.