These days, weird anime titles are pretty par for the course. We’re used to long, descriptive light novel titles, for a start. Or multilingual mash-ups that may or may not reflect on the plot. But once in a while, a title still comes through that seems too cutesy, too threatening, or too… something… even for us.
In the case of these three shows, though, we promise it’s worth looking past the name and diving into the series. Just trust us. Seriously. You won’t be sorry.
We’ll start off gentle. In terms of weird anime titles, Princess Tutu isn’t so much off-putting as it is overly fluffy. Unless you’re predisposed to very fluffy saccharine titles, this one may look like a series you can afford to skip out on. But I promise, it belongs on your list — because this is the show that actually does what everyone claims Madoka Magica did. That’s right: this is the godmother of 21st century magical girl angst.
Released in 2002, Princess Tutu starts off looking like a sweet fairy tale magical girl series. But it quickly dives into meta narrative, existentialism, and dark subject matter. “Good” and “evil” are up in the air. What’s real and what’s made up change at any given moment. And everything from how important someone is to whether or not they die falls to the whim of one man. It’s got the flavor of Revolutionary Girl Utena with ballet choreography. There are cute moments, yes, but the deceptively fluffy title hides a lot of drama.
Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel
With a weird anime title that sounds more like a hentai than a children’s show, it’s no wonder people sidestep Creamy Mami when they see it. But there’s a perfectly innocent reason for the name. Not only that, it’s a fantastic piece of 80s nostalgia that’s still good to this day.
One night, 10-year-old heroine Yuu Morisawa helps a lost alien find his way home to the world of Feather Star. For her kindness, she gets an alien magic wand, which she can use for one year. She uses the wand to turn into a purple-haired teenage pop star. “Creamy Mami” is a line-of-sight alias: when pressed for her name, she happens to be looking at the sign for her parents’ shop, Creamy Crepe. From there, magical antics and idol matters ensue. Oh, and a love triangle consisting of Yuu’s crush and her two identities. Whoops.
Yoru Sumino’s 2014 novel definitely has an eye-catching title, but the story (and its anime adaptation) are anything but weird. Rather, it’s a heartfelt and tragic high school drama, about a girl with a fatal pancreatic illness and the boy who befriends her.
The title refers to an entry in lead girl Sakura’s diary, concerning her wishes to be as healthy as her friend. The story itself bridges not only their friendship, but the lives of the narrator and Sakura’s family after her passing. It was also made into a live-action film, similarly titled Let me eat your pancreas.
Remember, you can’t judge a book by its cover, and you can’t judge an anime by its title… unless it’s two sentences long and tells you exactly what it’s about. Then you might be able to.
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