* No character in ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' is actually named "Cowboy Bebop". "Cowboy" is an in-universe slang term for bounty hunters, and the ship used by the main group of hunters is named the ''[=Bebop=]''. See also CowboyBebopAtHisComputer.
** It also doesn't help considering names are rarely spoken.
** Many people confuse the name of the villain Mad Pierrot with the episode in which he appears ("Pierrot Le Fou"). Though since he appeared in one only episode, where his name is rarely mentioned, it's understandable. Particularly since "Pierrot le Fou" means "Mad Pierrot" in French...
** Even the back cover of the [=DVDs=] makes this mistake: "A new generation of outlaws came into being. People referred to them as ''Cowboy Bebops''."
* The heroine of ''VisionOfEscaflowne'' is named Hitomi, not Escaflowne. Escaflowne is, of course, a giant mecha. Escaflowne does not have the vision, the vision is depicting Escaflowne.
* The main character of ''Manga/{{Aria}}'' is Akari, and Aria is the name of the company she's working in (although it's a namesake of the president)
* The teacher/main character of ''SayonaraZetsubouSensei'' prefers to be called Itoshiki Nozomu. He freaks out when his name is written horizontally, however, because it spells out "Zetsubou", which means "despair".
* ''MagicKnightRayearth'' is not the name of the MagicalGirl team featured, who are just referred to as the Magic Knights (plural). It specifically refers to the lead GenkiGirl and her mashin named Rayearth.
** The {{OAV}} attempts to change this by changing the name of the Mashin to "Lexus" and Rayearth is all the knights' [[FusionDance fused]] Mashin.
* "Hina" in ''LoveHina'' doesn't refer to any of the main characters, but to the name of the inn where characters live, itself named after Keitaro's grandmother.
* Her name is Pastel Ink, not ''Moetan''
* The main character in the series ''TenchiMuyo'' is named Tenchi Masaki. The title of the series is a complicated Japanese pun (involving, among other things, the standard Japanese labeling for "This End Up!"), and ''not'' the name of the main character. This caused some confusion when the movie ''Tenchi Muyo! In Love'' came out, because misreading the title as the name of the main character implies that Tenchi falls in love in the movie, which he doesn't.
** Also, Ryoko has been called "Tokoton Ryoko" on at least one fan web site. ''Tokoton Ryoko'' is actually the title of a [[AllThereInTheManual book about her]], and means ''Thoroughly Ryoko''. Her name is in fact just Ryoko, although she is sometimes (but never to her face) called Ryoko Hakubi, due to her relationship with Washu in the [[{{OVA}} OVAs]].
* The title character of ''MythicalDetectiveLokiRagnarok'' is not named Loki Ragnarok; he's just Loki. In fact, the god Loki, from NorseMythology.
* The protagonist of ''{{Trigun}}'' is known as "Vash the Stampede". [[WordSaladTitle No one is certain what the title refers to]], the most popular idea being his three weapons: the silver revolver, the machine gun hidden within his prosthetic arm, and his Angel Arm.
** This confusion was lampshaded during the Adult Swim broadcast of the show. One of their bumper cards accidentally referred to Trigun, the show, as "he." This resulted in a ton of angry emails to AS about how the character's name is Vash, not Trigun. AS responded by creating a new card which intentionally confuses the two. "Can Trigun escape? Will his marksmanship be enough?"
* The main character of ''SumomoMoMomoMo'' is named Momoko, not Sumomo or Momomo. But most people are just lucky to say the tongue-twister title correctly, so try to cut them some slack on getting the characters right, too.
* The [[{{Hentai}} ero-manga and ero-OVA]] series, ''Strange Kind of Woman'' was beaten with this trope to the point of unconsciousness: most people know it by the name of "Hatsu Inu", which is the name of the ''mangaka'' that created it.
* When ''CityHunter'' was adapted to Italy, Ryo, the main character, had his name changed to... City Hunter (Hunter was the first name, City the surname, apparently).
** Of course by Manga/AngelHeart people who don't know Ryo very well are calling him "City Hunter" the same way people will call Hal Jordan or Allan Scott "Green Lantern".
*** This was also prevalent in the original ''CityHunter'' manga, where "City Hunter" (often rendered "CH" in English with Japanese furigana above it in dialogue balloons) was implied to be the name of Ryo and Kaori's organization.
* A lot of people who are not anime fans think ''DragonBall'' is the name of Son Goku.
** Even worse, Goku and his friends are sometimes referred to as "The Dragonballz".
** Another common mistake is referring to the Energy Blasts that became staples of the series as Dragon Balls
* When ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' came to Israel and was dubbed into Hebrew, Yusuke Urameshi's name was changed to...you guessed it... "Yu Yu Hakusho".
** The Netflix description of the movies is worse. One of the movies refers to him as Yu Yu Hakusho, the other Yu Yu Urameshi, and the series itself correctly identifies him as Yusuke Urameshi.
** Anime fans have a [[MemeticMutation meme]] from the period where {{WWE}} Smackdown advertised the ''Dark Tournament'' video game with color commentator Taz proclaiming "''Yu Yu Hakusho''! I love that guy!" in each and every ad.
* TokyoPop is guilty of this; in their translation of ''Manga/TokyoMewMew'', Mew Ichigo was initially referred to as if "Mew Mew" was her ''name''. In fact, "Mew Mew" is a title granted to all the series' {{Magical Girl}}s. When the group is given the name "Tokyo Mew Mew" in the second volume, the translators realized their mistake and started calling her Mew Ichigo. [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Too bad they didn't fix everything, though.]]
* Due to the title, there's confusion over the name of the protagonist in ''MahouSenseiNegima''. It's "Negi", not "Negima" (and as of this writing, the author has not given a reason why there is an extra "ma" in there). [[note]]Also, the extra "ma" is written with a ''hiragana'' character, while the protagonist's name is written with ''katakana'' characters "ne" and "gi", which further underlines the fact that this is actually a compound word.[[/note]]
** The only time it's mentioned is during a TitleDrop. Negi's friends briefly call themselves the "Negima Club" until Evangeline makes them change it.
*** see the manga's FridgeBrilliance page for a possible (spoilerific) reason for the -ma at the end
* The manga ''{{Rin}}'' isn't named after a character, but is a kanji used to refer to something that gives one shivers of awe.
* Tsukimiya Ayu's name is not ''{{Kanon}}'', nor is it the name of any other member of the UnwantedHarem. ''Kanon'' refers to ''Kanon D-dur'', a piece of German classical music known in English as "Canon in D" or "Pachelbel's Canon".
* ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' is not the name of the main character of the manga, he's named Kaneda. His best friend who gains superowers and goes insane also is not Akira, he's called Tetsuo. The strange creepy child that gives Tetsuo the superpowers? No, he's Takashi. In fact, Akira doesn't show up during the entire first volume and is more like a living MacGuffin.
* Nobody in ''{{Doctor Slump}}'' is named like this. It's a insulting nickname for {{Bungling Inventor}} Senbei Norimaki.
** The pilot of the failed Harmony Gold {{Macekre}} of ''Dr. Slump'' sometime back, indeed renamed Norimaki as "Dr. Slump".
* Before ''[[{{Yotsubato}} Yotsuba&!]]'' got its official translated name, a lot of folks thought the main character's name was Yotsubato. Despite the fact that the Japanese manga books say "Yotsuba&!" on the back cover.
* ''Manga/{{Chobits}}'' is not the name of the female lead of the series (of the same name). It's Chii. "Chobits" is the class of persocom that Chii is implied to belong to. [[spoiler: It turns out, she is one of them.]]
* ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' means "king of games" and would refer to the title [[ToBeAMaster everyone who plays the series' card game is trying to achieve]]. Although the English dub tosses around the term "king of games," it also has a scene where the (originally Nameless) Pharaoh tell Yugi he is known by many names, including Yugioh and [[FanNickname Yami]], a whole other kettle of fish.
** Knowing that Yu-Gi-Oh means "King of Games" it's not unreasonable to believe that it's one of the things he's known as. Since he is a Pharaoh, he likely has titles like this. In fact, the opening monologue in the Japanese version states "People refer to him as 'Yu-Gi-Oh'" (though presumably as a title rather than an actual name).
** Saying he's known as Yami could be FridgeBrilliance, in that he's correct: ''it's the name the fans use for him''. So, he's being meta.
* The Italian intro actually starts with the lyrics "Yu-Gi-Oh, Yu-Gi-Oh! That`s your name!", and a german kids magazine about Anime constantly called Yami Yugi "Yu Gi Oh" in their commercials.
* The heroine of ''PrincessMononoke'' is named San, not Mononoke. Mononoke is just the type of demon that the residents of Irontown believe her to be. Additionally, she's not actually a princess, either. In fact, ''Mononoke Hime'' started as a very old and [[InNameOnly completely different]] story concept in the 80s in which the title character ''was'' referred to as "Mononoke Hime" because she would be marrying a mononoke. The title was retained on the film that eventually became the one we have today, but since it was so radically different and centered around a different character, Miyazaki wanted to change it to "The Legend of Ashitaka". He was convinced not to over some superstition at Studio Ghibli -- all of his films, in Japanese, contain the character for "no". "The Legend of Ashitaka" was "Ashitaka Sekki". The studio didn't want to ruin their good luck with his films by not maintaining the "no" tradition.
** Perhaps to avoid this confusion, the English dub mentions "Mononoke" only once in dialogue. A few other instances seem to have been glossed as "wolf girl."
*** The back of the 2010 box refers to her as "the brave Princess Mononoke", however. Oops.
* Lum and the other Onis in ''UruseiYatsura'' come from the planet Oniboshi. The title is a complicated Japanese pun that is partly based on "urusai" and "-sei" (meaning star or planet, the same kanji used for -hoshi/-boshi). The meaning of the title was explained in the Viz manga, so it became widely known, and fans have misinterpreted that as meaning that Urusei is the actual name of the planet. {{Fanfic}} then spread it further.
** ''UruseiYatsura'' means literally "those noisy guys", but idiomatically refers to annoying next-door neighbors. Combining the idiom with "sei" makes it something like "those noisy other-planet neighbors".
*** You could do roughly the same gag in English with "Annoyliens".
**** Or as Creator/AnimEigo puts it, "Those Obnoxious Aliens", which also has the fun of sounding like a '50s sitcom.
* A misconception about ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' is that Alphonse Elric is the character referenced in the title (since he is literally "full metal"), when it is actually Ed who is the Fullmetal Alchemist. The fact that in the actual series [[ActuallyThatsMyAssistant this frequently happens as a]] RunningGag doesn't help.
** Fullmetal is a pun in the original language. "Hagane" was translated to "Fullmetal" when it came to America, and in the original language it means both "steel" and "stubborn", referring to his limbs, his brother and his personality at the same time.[[note]]Unfortunately, something like "Steelborn", while sounding cool, wouldn't have gotten the "stubborn" part across well either, so there's not much they could've done for this one. "Fullmetal" does sound kinda hardcore, though, which you'd have to be to go through TrainingFromHell to learn to use human transmutation while still a kid, so it works in its own way.[[/note]]
** There's also confusion as to the title of their state's leader, Bradley, who is called both "The Führer" and "King Bradley". The thing is, "President" is his governmental title, "Führer" is his military title, and "King" is ''his first name''.
*** Notably, when Ling is told Bradley's name, he tells him that a real king wouldn't act like he does; it's unknown whether he was just being dramatic, or made that mistake himself.
*** The English dub of [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the first anime]] briefly made this mistake itself; in the eighth episode, Roy refers to Bradley as "the king" as if it were his title. This was fixed in later episodes.
** The name of the country it takes place in is not "Shamballa", despite the name of the film for the first anime; it's "Amestris". Dietlinde Eckhart only thinks that Amestris is Shamballa because... well... no apparent reason, but considering she'd never actually been there, she had no idea what to expect. But really, a Buddhist paradise located in Asia where everyone is enlightened has nothing in common with a heavily militarized nation based off of Europe that [[spoiler:you access by a dimensional portal]].
* A similar confusion to Bradley is the name/title of the Spiral King in ''TengenToppaGurrenLagann''. Most English speakers hear his name and think it's "Lord Genome" with "Genome" being his name and "Lord" being his title. The thing is, Gainax thought that would confuse Japanese viewers, so they combined it so that "Lordgenome" (one word) is his actual name. Thus the dub always pronounces it as one word.
* A common source of confusion in translated anime is the fact that family names are given first in Japanese, and many Japanese will call each other by their family names as a form of respect. Mildly confusing in itself, but add to this the fact that different translators will handle this differently (some reverse the order to English standard, some keep it the way it is), the occasional last name that sounds like a first name in English (Lynn Minmay, which is Chinese to boot), and a general inconsistency in which name to use (Seto Kaiba is usually called Kaiba, Mokuba Kaiba is usually called Mokuba), and the fact that the Japanese are just as confused about Western names...
** In the English dub of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'', everyone seems to refer to each other in a first name basis, except for Li Syaoran. In the Japanese version, every calls him Li because the Japanese usually call people they are not really close to by their last name. Regardless of whether the English dubbers actually knew that Li was his last name or not, this led many Westerners to think that Li was his first name. In fact, they never even learn his first name until they watched the sub or read the manga. Don't know how the English dub handled it when Sakura finally asked Syaoran if she could call him by his first name.
*** This was in fact a conscious decision by the dub committee, because Lee is an actual given name in English. Everybody else got a complete name changeover, and they attempted to call the protagonist 'Nikki', but huge fandom backlash caused them to retain the name in fear of an uproar despite the trouble for the unpronounceable-to-Westerners lead. To soothe the audience, they kept Syaoran's name and merely reversed it.
*** The german edition of the manga had Sakura call Syaoran by this name during the first volumes and Syaoran tended to avoid using her name. In volume 6, Sakura suddenly calls him Li and the previously mentioned May-I-Call-You-Syaoran scene was thrown in.
* In the ''ViolinistOfHameln'' manga, the hero's name is Hamel, and he is going north to the Mazoku city Hameln (the name of which comes from the fairy tale about the Pied Piper of Hamelin). The anime never told us the name of the Mazoku capital, but kept the title ''ViolinistOfHameln'', making it seem like Hamel's name was actually Hameln.
* The main character of ''DaphneInTheBrilliantBlue'' is called Maia. "Daphne" refers to a subplot involving her grandfather's last words.
* Creator/StreamlinePictures' dub of the ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' movie made it seem as if "Fist of the North Star" was a title that Kenshiro and his brothers were fighting for rather than the name of their martial art style ''Hokuto Shin Ken'' (The Divine Fist of the North Star), which can only have one successor per master.
** It should be noted that the Japanese title, ''Hokuto no Ken'', is an EpunymousTitle. The name "Ken" is a homophone for the Japanese word for "fist" or "martial art". Thus, ''Hokuto no Ken'' can refer to the martial art of Hokuto Shinken (as in the "martial art of Hokuto") or the main character himself, who is named Ken (as in "Ken of the Hokuto school"). This play on words is lost on the English title.
* In the Brazilian dub of ''KaleidoStar'', the dubbers for some reason decided to change the name of the Kaleido Stage to Kaleido Star, most likely for easier recognition. The term "Kaleido Star" is used in-show as the title to the best artist of the circus. In the Brazilian dub, this term became "Estrela do Kaleido Star" (literally, "[[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment The Star of the Kaleido Star]]").
* In ''{{Franken Fran}}'', the title character's name is Fran Madaraki. The series name comes from how she's an ArtificialHuman in the vein of FrankensteinsMonster.
* [[RurouniKenshin Kenshin's family name is not Rurouni.]] (For that matter, "Rurouni" is a {{Neologism}} for {{Ronin}} that never really caught on.)
** When the series first came out in America, the title was often pronounced "Ronin Kenshin". Cue countless newbies asking which one is Roan.
* Not a character, but similar, is a situation with ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' and the Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken. This is a type of TrainingFromHell in which the trainee attempts to pluck chestnuts from amidst open flames in order to boost their speed, and Ranma later uses this training to develop a RapidFireFisticuffs attack that becomes the keystone of his subsequent battles. He never actually names this in the manga, but the anime and video games evidently mistook the training for the technique and, thanks to CallingYourAttacks, it became an established part of {{Fanon}}.
** There's also the awkward case of Pantyhose Taro. Just like more traditional names like Ken'''taro''', Ryu'''taro''', Sen'''taro''', or Yo'''taro''', his full Japanese name would be "Pantsuto'''taro'''" as '''one word''' (thanks to the perverted Happosai, who baptized him, replacing an ordinary prefix with something more to his tastes.) However, "pantsuto" literally means "pantyhose," making it awkward at best to transliterate his name into "Pantyhosetaro." Thus, for the sake of aesthetics, his name is typically displayed in English (both in official translations as well as Japanese materials) as "Pantyhose Taro." Fans, however, took to referring him by his "first name" Pantyhose or his "last name" Taro, which would be akin to calling some one "first name Ro, last name Bert."
* This happens often with ''{{Hellsing}}''. The title refers to the vampire hunting organization which is named "Hellsing" after the family who founded and runs it. The current head of the Organization is named "Integra Hellsing" and she employs a vampire who hunts other vampires named "Alucard". He's the main character who is featured most on book and DVD covers. Almost always, when someone with no knowledge of the series takes a look at it or comments on it, they tend to call Alucard "Hellsing".
* "Blackbird" (or sometimes "The Blackbird") is the extensively-tuned Porche driven by Tatsuya Shima, not the doctor himself. However, his identity is so tied to that vehicle and street racing (Akio and Reina at least ''occasionally'' hang loose and have some fun) that a lot of readers and Maximum Tune players now call both entities Blackbird. This was [[AscendedFanon adopted in the anime adaptation]].
* Many people believe that CodeGeass R2 has a character named Tianzi. "Tianzi" is actually a Romanization of a title for the Emperor or Empress of China. The Empress' name in the show is Jiang Lihua (which can also be Romanized as Jiang Reika). This name is never actually used in the show, where she is always referred to as "Tianzi," leading to the mistake among fans.
* Manga/{{Bleach}}: Kenpachi Zaraki confuses some members of the fandom because he actually has no name and one day decided to name himself after the district he comes from (Zaraki district) and, because of his strength, he decided to give himself the shinigami title "Kenpachi" which is the title of the strongest shinigami (usually the 11th division captain). Kenpachi eventually earned his self-imposed title by killing the official shinigami Kenpachi and [[KlingonPromotion replacing him]] as 11th division captain.
** Likewise, "Soi Fon" is a code name inherited from her grandmother, not her actual name which is Shaolin.
** Uryuu Ishida did not defeat Kamaitachi. He defeated Ikkanzaka Jiroubou. "Kamaitachi" was the title given to the strongest wind-type [[EmpathicWeapon zanpakatou]] user in the Gotei 13.
* In a rather odd variant, [[Manga/AxisPowersHetalia Italy]] refers to himself as Hetalia in the credit song.
** This is likely because since "Hetalia" is a portmanteau of "''hetare''" (lovable idiot) and "Italia", he meant something along the lines of "I'm Idiot Italy!" However, his name is still Italy and not Hetalia.
* The first cover image of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'''s SpinOff manga ''Manga/PuellaMagiOrikoMagica'' showed Mami, Kyouko, and an unknown green-haired girl. It was initially believed that this girl was the title character. [[CoversAlwaysLie It turns out Oriko is someone else]] and the green-haired girl's name is Yuma.
** The English name of the series is an odd example. It's actually an AltumVidetur subtitle/translation of the Japanese title, "Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica" ("Magical Girl Madoka Magica"). "Puella Magi" appears exactly zero times in both the original Japanese track and English dub; the heroines are always referred to as {{Magical Girl}}s. Nonetheless, this term is often used in the fandom as an alternate name for the heroines, since it's a convenient way to distinguish them from {{Magical Girl}}s in general.
* {{Kanamemo}} lampshades its title on an omake in the manga, also referring to infamous examples such as the ''Film/DieHard'' and ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' examples:
-->'''Kana''': Supposedly it's a pun on the word memorandum, since "Kanadiary" wouldn't catch on, wouldn't you agree, Yume?
-->'''Yume''': I'm just worried that it's gonna have the John [=McClane=] or Na'vi effect.
-->'''Saki''': Ugh, I ''hate'' that.
* PaniPoniDash is not the name of the school that Becky teaches at. The school is called Momotsuki Academy. The term "paniponi" is used in-show, but it's unclear exactly ''what'' it means.
* ''Koharu Biyori'' is not anyone's name in the series. It translates into "''Indian Summer''" which it was retitled for its North American release.
* ''{{InuYasha}}'': Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru's father is known as "Inu no Taishou". A lot of fans think this is his name but it's simply a title roughly equivalent to "the Dog General". His name is never revealed.
* The usual Frankenstein flub is parodied in ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'', where Isaac corrects Miria for making the error: Frankenstein was the ''scientist'' -- The ''monster'''s name was Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelly.
* A Norwegian boy wanted to change his name to [[http://www.destructoid.com/six-year-old-boy-asks-king-to-change-his-name-to-sonic-x-129705.phtml Sonic X]] after the character from [[SonicX the anime of the same name]]. The problem...Sonic doesn't really have a surname, and it certainly isn't X.
** Then again he's SIX and little kids especially are prone to falling to IAMNOTShazam and calling characters by the title of their series.
* Has anyone ever actually referred to him as [[Manga/AstroBoy Astro]] ''[[Anime/AstroBoy BOY]]'' in-universe?
* In the aborted ''[[{{Robotech}} Robotech II: The Sentinels]]'', the Sentinels doesn't really refer to the members of the Robotech Expeditionary Force. It refers to a multiracial group of aliens form Invid occupied planets. The REF assists them in liberating their worlds. Some of the REF members do end up fighting alongside the Sentinels but they were not charter members and were still mostly associates.