Every anime fan has come across it at some point: that weirdly specific title that is equal parts cringe and intriguing. Though it all may seem random and unnecessary to the casual viewer scrolling through their favorite streaming app, there is actually a very rational reason why this phenomenon has gained prominence in anime. Long story short, many of the newest anime series have been adapted from light novels, and the long title trope inherent in that medium has now followed them into the anime world.
The Japanese light novel industry is thoroughly over-saturated with competition, so many stories began using long, specific titles in order to stand out. By including the entire premise of the series in the title, authors can give a quick pitch to prospective readers while also giving the story a quirky feel. Whether it’s simply to cash in on the latest trend or to ensure that a great story sticks out of the pack, very long, oddly specific titles have become the new normal in anime.
10/10 The Over-Powered Main Character Trope Was Bound To Get Reversed At Some Point
The Greatest Demon Lord Is Reborn As A Typical Nobody
Isekai anime has become known for its overpowered protagonists that were reborn from their pathetic lives as weaklings. The Greatest Demon Lord turns this trope on its head by taking an overpowered protagonist and reincarnating him as an average human being.
The plot is humorous: Varvatos has become so strong that nobody understands him, so he decides to reincarnate himself as a regular boy with weak abilities. Though the title doesn’t appear to leave much to the imagination, there are lots of humorous implications to be explored in the demon lord’s newest incarnation.
9/10 Sometimes Embracing Fear Can Lead To The Greatest Strength
I Don’t Want To Get Hurt So I’ll Max Out My Defense
Maple is a casual gamer who isn’t very well-versed in the world of building RPG characters. However, that ends up working out to her advantage as her naive character build ends up becoming one of the most overpowered in the virtual reality MMORPG she plays.
Max Out My Defense is a light-hearted take on the isekai genre without any of the stressful, high-stakes drama of an actual isekai. The majority of the story takes place in a virtual reality world, yet the main character can log out at any time. This series keeps many isekai tropes intact while remaining silly and humorous enough to speak to the casual viewer — or gamer.
8/10 Nobody Goes Anywhere Without Their Phone Nowadays, Not Even Another World
In Another World With My Smartphone
While many of the characters in isekai anime get transported to another world with amazing powers, not many get to bring an item from their past life with them. As suggested by its highly specific title, In Another World With My Smartphone explores this kind of possibility as its main premise.
However, despite it being a main draw of the series, the whole smartphone thing is more of a passing notion in the show. Being that the God of the series feels bad for the main character’s accidental death, they reward him with a plethora of abilities, and the smartphone is only one such reward. Still, it’s an interesting take on the genre that’s worth a watch.
7/10 The Finest Assassin In One World Is The Finest Assassin In Them All
The World’s Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated In Another World As An Aristocrat
Even in death, Lugh won’t fail to carry out his mission. In The World’s Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World as an Aristocrat, he’s expected to do just that. After dying in a plane crash, a Goddess reincarnates Lugh under the condition that he complete one last assassination: the hero of another world.
Judging only by the story’s title, the uninitiated may see the assassin and aristocrat connection as coming off rather odd. However, the show makes it work in a way that makes sense. It’s all still pretty weird, but at the very least interesting to watch due to the likability of the main character. Audiences see him grow into a better person thanks to the more loving family he gains in his new life.
6/10 Dale Will Do Anything For His Daughter
If It’s For My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat A Demon Lord
As far as specific anime titles go, a lot of parents would likely agree with If It’s For My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord. Of course, not all dads are seasoned adventurers like Dale, but nonetheless, it’s the thought that counts.
While Demon Lord’s Latina isn’t Dale’s biological daughter, he still treats her like his own. Demon Lord is a heartwarming series about paternal love whose essence is perfectly captured in its title.
5/10 After 300 Years Of Grinding, Anybody Would Be Overpowered
I’ve Been Killing Slimes For 300 Years And Maxed Out My Level
Three hundred years is a long time to gain experience, even against the weakest monsters out there. I’ve Been Killing Slimes For 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level is part slice-of-life, part isekai, and part lighthearted comedy.
The show’s overall vibe matches up perfectly with its main character’s general life philosophy: Azusa just wants to live a relaxing life in the countryside. She appreciates the solitude and peace restarting in a fantasy world can give her and doesn’t take it for granted. As long as the viewer doesn’t wish for more, Killing Slimes might not sound so bad.
4/10 Spiders Can Be People, Too
So I’m A Spider, So What?
Sometimes a show’s title doesn’t have to be the longest to get the point across in the most direct way possible. In fact, not only is Kumoko direct, but she’s pretty snarky about it too, which is demonstrated in the title’s matter-of-fact tone.
Making a teenage girl into a creepy crawly insect leads to many of the comedic moments that viewers might expect, but Kumoko’s strong will makes her an admirable main character. So I’m A Spider, So What? succinctly makes the case that the coincidence of birth doesn’t define who they are.
3/10 Gamers Definitely Know That Villainesses Are Doomed
My Next Life As A Villainess: All Routes Lead To Doom!
The protagonist dying and getting reincarnated into their favorite video game isn’t exactly something new. However, My Next Life as a Villainess adds its own flavor to this tried and true anime scenario, which makes it fun to watch.
My Next Life as a Villainess has a degree of self-awareness that shows itself in a couple of ways. First, the self-awareness in the writing allows for the comedic parody of the isekai genre as a whole. Second, the main character’s awareness of her doomed ending in the videogame she’s trapped in makes for a unique plot element that keeps things interesting.
2/10 The Devil Is More Than Just A Part-Timer
The Devil Is A Part-Timer
While it may certainly be true that The Devil is a Part-Timer, the Devil is not merely a part-timer. He is also a multi-layered character with an interesting backstory. The backdrop of the story is simple: in order to escape the hero of his world, the devil enters a portal to another world and is reborn in the heart of modern-day Tokyo with little to no powers.
Being stuck in the dog-eat-dog world of modern-day capitalism is enough to break anyone’s spirit, but the Devil is not just anybody. The Devil is a Part-Timer does more than just make the Devil a part-timer. It also explores the attitude and disposition that resulted in him being the all-powerful being he was in his own time.
1/10 Everybody’s Got That One Slime Reincarnation Story
That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is just as lighthearted and fun as its title suggests. Rimuru suffers the same fate as many isekai antagonists: he is killed in his own world and reincarnated into another one. Being the most notoriously weak of all RPG monsters doesn’t stop the hero, however, and fans get to watch the strange tale of how a slime slowly moves up the ranks to become the leader of one of the most powerful nations in the world.
Instead of glossing over his overpowered nature, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime‘s story makes his ascension to power its central plot point. This gives the series a level of depth that is not normally seen in the average isekai anime.
NEXT: 10 Best Fights In Isekai Anime, Ranked