What’s in a name?

May 16, 2007

It didn’t take me long to realize that some manga titles sometimes have very little to do with their contents. Some are perfectly literal, obviously – Bambi and Her Pink Gun, Antique Bakery, Nana, etc. But some not only have little bearing on the series they represent, they actually suggest entirely different, perhaps equally or surpassingly entertaining alternatives.

Penguin Revolution: This one’s obvious. I love the series as it is, but I think the world is crying out for a comic that actually lives up to the promise of the title. I’m thinking something about a group of penguins who finally get sick of the research scientists and eco-tourists and cross-country para-skiers and decide to take back Antarctica… by any means necessary!

Ultra Maniac: Again, it’s a perfectly adorable story, but what the title has to do with the friendship between a popular schoolgirl and a magical exchange student is entirely beyond me. The title itself is versatile (or generic) enough to suggest any number of stories that practically write themselves, but I keep thinking “genetically modified, possibly bionic serial killer.”

Bleach: Slice-of-life drama set in an industrial laundry company. Or something about a private investigator with a really obvious dye-job. Or a combination of the two.