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☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃

Why do some shows have the star ☆ in them? I understand it makes it look cool, but it seems to be the only non-standard character that's used in titles?

For example - you don't see Christmas specials with a unicode snowman in them ☃

Some examples of shows using ☆:

  • Lucky☆Star

  • Rolling☆Girls

  • Space☆Dandy

  • Puni Puni☆Poemy

  • Fuuun Ishin Dai☆Shogun

  • Miami☆Guns

☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃

  • 7
    And you shouldn't miss 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ – nhahtdh Jan 3 '15 at 20:02
  • It makes some sense with Lucky Star, and maybe a little with Space Dandy, but the rest of them... – Torisuda Jul 6 '15 at 4:42
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TVTropes calls adding non-pronounceable characters to a works title a "Lucky Charms Title" and as you can see from the example list, it is not a purely Japanese phenomenon. However, the Japanese are generally more adventurous with this. An explanation could be that because of the huge amount of Kanji the Japanese written language contains, being suddenly confronted with a character you can not immediately identify is not as jarring for a Japanese reader as it is for a Western reader.

Why is the Unicode character WHITE STAR (☆) so popular? Because it is a natural eye-catcher. When looking at a list of works, like a TV program for example, the ☆ character immediately stands out, even among the huge number of characters the Japanese language is using.

By the way: Official releases in English often drop the lucky charms from the title. Amazon sells Lucky☆Star and Puni Puni☆Poemy sans ☆'s (although the star usually still appears as a decorative element in the lettering on the cover to reproduce the original typography as faithfully as possible).

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This happens with a lot of other titles, and it's neither limited to Anime/Manga, nor is it limited to stars.

A partial list:

  • .hack//SIGN (read "dot-hack sign", leaving the slashes unread)
  • Yotsuba& (the ampersand provides a more accurate transliteration of よつばと!)
  • The iDOLM@STER (at-sign is pronounced like the letter "A")
  • ∀ Gundam (contains the universal quantification symbol, but is read "turn-A Gundam")
  • Saiki Kusuo no Ψ Nan (the Greek letter Ψ (psi) is used for both phonetic purposes and for deeper meaning; this particular letter has roots in psychology and related fields)

From what I've observed, the context used for those titles is generally emphasis, tone, or for stylistic purposes. You're likely correct in that a symbol like this is meant to be there to look cool. But, if you come across a symbol stranger than a star, there might be more to it.

  • 2
    There's also the new season of Tokyo Ghoul, titled Tokyo Ghoul √A. – Killua Jan 4 '15 at 18:16

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