So, I came across these comments in an r/manga post:

KibaTeo: Even a short series became an isekai

MonochromeGuy: That statement itself just sounds like a LN title.

in0ri: Gotta triple the length of the title, bro

Irru: Even Though This Was Supposed To Be A Generic Romantic Comedy, I Somehow Got Transported To A Different World!

KibaTeo: . . . is that an actual series tho? cause it sounds way too plausible

CelioHogane: He just tripled the lenght as it was asked.


I was wondering... why is this a thing, though? It seems that lots of series these days (especially light novels) are given very long and descriptive titles. Some classic examples include:

  • Oreimo
    • short for: Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai
    • translation: My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute
  • Watamote
    • short for: Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!
    • translation: No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!

And here's a more recent series (that doesn't seem to have a shortened nickname yet):

One would think that having super long titles would be a disadvantage because they'd be difficult to remember :P So, my question is, why is this style of title so common? Is this a recent thing? How did this trend of super long titles come about?

  • I'm not sure about longer means harder to remember. I for one remembers people better if I know their full name than if I only know their first name or their nickname. This is because full name means greater chance of it being unique. Same thing as experience. Unique experience is memorable. Normal, daily experience is not. – 絢瀬絵里 Sep 19 at 8:39
  • Good question, but I think the answer will just turn out to be "that's the style". Acceptable forms for titles are part of the stylistic conventions for genre and medium. That's part of the reason why the title "Snakes on a Plane" is funny--because it breaks the conventions of its genre by being too long and too literal, where you'd expect something more like the Japanese title, "Snakeflight". Light novels just developed a convention that titles can be long, rambling sentences that describe the premise, seemingly after OreImo did it, and now they battle to be the longest and most rambling. – Torisuda Sep 19 at 15:50
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    @絢瀬絵里 Even though I regularly read Watamote, I don't think I'd be able to type out the full title from memory without making some mistakes, at least. I agree that longer titles are more memorable in that you can probably go "oh, that one", but I think they are harder to remember in the sense that if you're presented with an empty search engine box and you're told "go find the MAL page for that LN" you would completely blank out because too... many... words!... I'm entirely dependent on the shortened nickname versions of the titles when finding relevant content on the internet. – ahiijny Sep 19 at 17:47

(speculation, but I think of the common sense sort)

When standing in a bookstore crowded with light novels, what is the main thing a prospective buyer wants to know? "What is it about?" They are scanning through dozens if not hundreds of titles. Two things are available to quickly help the buyer know what each book might be about.

  1. cover (and back cover) art
  2. title

The title is visible on the book spines, so, depending on how books are stacked/shelved, is often visible before the art. Good, attractive titles would be evocative, funny, and/or descriptive. With a long title like That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, one knows immediately what the book will likely be about. Plus in this case the title is both funny and descriptive. I would even argue that this title is more informative than the cover art.

Thus long titles are likely viewed as sales aids, providing a summary of what to expect and often the tone of what will be found inside.

To be honest, it just depends on the artist. I don't know if or what they were smoking when they made it, but there are some longer title out there.

Perhaps the author is trying to give it a title that is catchy, or that they want to summarize the title. I don't know. I'd ask them.

To be honest, I'm just rambling, but I hope this is useful.

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