Wiki Headlines
It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Completely Different Title: English
Anime and Manga
  • ADV initially announced that Utawarerumono (roughly, "the one being sung" or perhaps more poetically "the one of whom songs are sung") would be released under the name "Shadow Warrior Chronicles". The huge uproar in anime-fandom that followed persuaded them to leave the title be.
  • Tokyo Pop originally translated the Kaitou Saint Tail manga and anime (yes, they used to do anime too!) as "Sweet Tales of Saint Tail". Apparently, the magic wand, pink flouncy skirt and sparkly logo were not enough to communicate that it was a shoujo series. They eventually renamed it "Saint Tail", taking slightly fewer liberties.
  • Tetsuwan Atom (which means "The Mighty Atom") became Astro Boy in English. This is possibly because there is already a character with that name in the USA.
  • Hokuto no Ken is officially translated as Fist of the North Star, when it really should be "Fist of the Big Dipper". The eponymous martial art is called Hokuto Shin Ken ("Northern Ladle God Fist"), while the rival school is known as Nanto Sei Ken ("Southern Ladle Saint Fist"), named after two dipper-shaped Chinese constellations roughly corresponding with the Big Dipper and the Milk Dipper respectively. When Viz translated the manga in 1989, instead of explaining what Hokuto and Nanto are to English readers, they renamed Hokuto Shin Ken into the Sacred Fist of the North Star (which is related to the Big Dipper, but not part of the constellation), while Nanto Sei Ken became the Sacred Fist of the Southern Cross (after the city that Shin built). Later translations stick to the styles' original names, but the English title of the franchise is pretty much stuck as it is for recognition purposes.
    • Toei actually intended to use Ken the Great Bear Fist as the official English title of the franchise and they almost released the NES game under that name until Viz picked up the rights to the manga and went with the current name.
    • The anime version of Ten no Haō ("The Conqueror of the Heavens"), the Raoh-centric Hokuto no Ken spinoff, was released in English as Legends of the Dark King.
  • The official English titles of the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z movies are very rarely exact translations of the original Japanese titles, which is arguably for the better, since the original excited titles only provided a vague description of the film's plot.
    • Shenlong no Densetsu ("The Legend of the Divine Dragon") became Curse of the Blood Rubies.
    • The first DBZ film was known simply as Dragon Ball Z during its Japanese theatrical release. The subtitle Ora no Gohan o Kaese!! ("Return My Gohan!") was appended for the home video release. The English title varies between region, with Dead Zone used for the American release, while the UK version uses The Pursuit of Garlic.
    • Kono yo de ichiban tsuyoi yatsu ("The Strongest Guy on This World") was simplified to The World's Strongest.
    • Chikyū Marugoto Chōkessen ("The Ultimate Battle for the Whole Earth") became The Tree Of Might.
    • Sūpā Saiyajin da Son Gokū ("Son Goku the Super Saiyan") is known as Lord Slug in America (the UK release did use Super Saiya Son Goku).
    • Tobikkiri no Saikyō tai Saikyō ("The Incredible Showndown Between the Mightiest") became Cooler's Revenge in America and Super Rivals in the UK.
    • Gekitotsu!! Hyaku-Oku Pawā no Senshi-tachi ("Clash! Ten Billion Power Warriors") became The Return of Cooler
    • Kyokugen Battle!! San Dai Super Saiyajin ("Extreme Batle!! The Three Great Super Saiyans") became Super Android 13
    • Moetsukiro!! Nessen Ressen Chō-Gekisen ("Burn Up!! A Close, Intense, Super-Fierce Battle") became Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan
    • Ginga Giri-Giri!! Butchigiri no Sugoi Yatsu ("The Milky Way at the Brink!! The Super Incredible Guy") became Bojack Unbound
    • Kiken na Futari! Sūpā Senshi wa Nemurena ("The Dangerous Duo! Super-Warriors Never Rest") became Broly - The Second Coming
    • Super Senshi Gekiha!! Katsu No wa Ore da ("Super Warrior Defeat!! I'm the One who'll Win") became Bio-Broly
    • Fukkatsu no Fyūjon!! Gokū to Vegeta ("The Rebirth of Fusion!! Gokū and Vegeta") was simplified to just Fusion Reborn
    • Ryū-Ken Bakuhatsu!! Gokū ga Yaraneba Dare ga Yaru ("Dragon Fist Explosion!! If Gokū Can't Do It, Who Will") became Wrath of the Dragon
  • Media Blasters brought Weiß Kreuz (White Cross) over to the US under the even more nonsensical name Knight Hunters (which is TMS Entertainment's international title for the series). Luckily, they used the series' original name as a subtitle. Elsewhere, the series kept its original name.
  • Ojamajo Doremi is known as Magical DoReMi in numerous other dubs as the word "ojamajo" is an untranslatable pun on the words "Ojama" (something/someone who gets in the way and is useless) and "Majo" (a witch). However, 4Kids changed Doremi's name to Dorie, thus changing the meaning of the title from a description of the main character into a combined pun of the first two letters of the new names the gave the main characters; Dorie, Reanne and Mirabelle.
  • Another 4Kids example: Tokyo Mew Mew was initially going to be called "Hollywood Mew Mew" but was changed to "Mew Mew Power".
  • Mahha Go Go Go ("mahha" being the Japanese transliteration for "mach"; the "Go"s are written in romaji) is Speed Racer in English.
  • The Sailor Moon movie for the SuperS season had the extreamly long title of Sailor Moon SuperS the Movie: The 9 Sailor Soldiers Get Together! Miracle in the Black Dream Hole. The intial dub simply titled It Sailor Moon Supers the Movie: Black Dream Hole, while unedited releases simply dropped the subtitle altogether. The R and S movies didn't have subtitles in the orginal so The Nineties dub tacked on "The Promise of the Rose" and "Hearts in Ice" resepctivly. Also worth noteing is the names of individual episodes. The first DiC episode had "A Moon Star Is Born" and "Crybaby Usagi's Magnificent Transformation" for the English and Japanese versions respectively.
  • Detective Conan is called Case Closed in the U.S, due to trademark issues involving a certain other "Conan"... In other countries they leave the original name intact.
  • In 1997, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing got a manga spinoff called G-Unit ("G" being a shorthand for "Gundam"). When it was brought to America in 2002, the manga had to be renamed The Last Outpost because a rap group named "G-Unit" came into existence earlier that same year.
    • A slight variation in that the original Gundam Wing had the prefix "New Mobile Report" in Japan, but reverted to "Mobile Suit" (like the original series) for the English dub.
  • 666 Satan was retitled O-Parts Hunter in English-speaking countries (though it is otherwise uncensored), presumably to avoid protests about a manga title promoting Satanism.
  • The Japanese titles of the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Compilation Movies are simply Gurren-hen and Lagann-hen ("hen" basically means "chapter"), but the American release called the first Childhood's End and the second The Lights in the Sky Are Stars (a reference to the final line of the series).
  • Hajime No Ippo (The First Step) became Fighting Spirit in the U.S.
  • The anime Neon Genesis Evangelion was originally Shin Seiki Evangelion. The original Japanese title means "Gospel of the New Century", while the new English title means "Gospel of the New Beginning". Neon Genesis Evangelion is the official English title chosen by Gainax, creator of the show, and not an adaptation by the English-language distributors. Presumably they wanted a title where all the words were in Greek, a relatively familiar language to English speakers, rather than a mixture of Greek and Japanese.
  • The Getter Robo OVA series Getter Robo Armageddon is... odd. The original title translated to Shin (CHANGE!!) Getter Robo: Last Days of the Earth. When it was brought to America, the box covers had the more simplistic Getter Robo Armageddon. Though the opening titles went with New!! Getter Robo: Getter Robo Armageddon. What?
  • When FUNimation licensed Isekai No Seikishi Monogatari, they retitled it as Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar to directly link it to the series universe that it takes place in. Pioneer/Geneon, the company who first licensed Tenchi in the US, did something similar with other releases.
    • The first two OVAs, collectively titled Tenchi Muyo: Ryo-Ohki, was named simply Tenchi Muyo upon its US release. The third OVA, however, retains the Ryo-Ohki subtitle to distinguish it from the first two.
    • Tenchi Universe was originally named Tenchi Muyo! Uchuu-hen, or ''Space Chapter".
    • The film Tenchi Muyo in Love 2: Distant Memories was renamed Tenchi Forever! in its US release due to it concluding the storyline of Tenchi Universe.
    • Tenchi in Tokyo was originally named Shin Tenchi Muyo!, or New Tenchi Muyo! in Japan. It was likely changed in its English release to distinguish it from the similarly-named All-New Tenchi Muyo manga released around the same time, which was part of the OVA continuity. All-New Tenchi Muyo!, coincidentally, was also named Shin Tenchi Muyo in its Japanese release.
    • The stand-alone film Tenchi Muyo! Daughter of Darkness was originally known as Tenchi Muyo! Manatsu no Eve, or Midsummer's Eve. There was actually a large outcry over Daughter of Darkness since the original title was symbolic to the plot and the new title spoils a plot point that isn't revealed until late in the film. Pioneer compromised by not altering the title in the film itself, but still marketing it under the new name.
    • Supposedly, the English release of Magical Girl Pretty Sammy TV was renamed to Magical Project S to distance it from the OVA series, which did extremely poorly in both sales and general reception.
  • Asobi ni Iku yo! (meaning "Let's go play!" or "We're coming to play!") has two different English titles, Bombshells from the Sky (Crunchyroll's title) and Cat Planet Cuties (FUNimation's title), neither of which is a translation of the original.
  • Rurouni Kenshin ("Kenshin the Wanderer") was given the more familiar-sounding and X-equipped title Samurai X when the anime was broadcast abroad.
  • For a BBC Gag Dub in the '90s, Urusei Yatsura was re-titled Lum the Invader Girl after its main character.
  • Before Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru ("My youth romantic comedy is wrong, as I expected") even started airing, it was re-titled for the English crowd: "My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU." It's not clear if this was to avoid naughty interpretations of the word "wrong," shorten the Long Title, or both.
  • Amaenaide yo!!!! had its title changed to Ah My Buddha for its U.S. release; this was partly to circumvent the untranslatable pun in the title on "amae", meaning a lack of self-reliance/"ama", the word for a Buddhist nun (which most of the girls in the series' harem are), and partly to evoke the more well-known and successful Ah! My Goddess.
  • Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind) was originally dubbed poorly under the title Warriors Of The Wind.
  • The Studio Ghibli classic Laputa: Castle in the Sky was renamed Castle in the Sky because "laputa" sounds like "la puta" which meant "the whore" in Spanish, though the name is still used in-film (albeit pronounced differently). Hayao Miyazaki mentioned in an interview that if he knew earlier, he would have dropped "Laputa" from the original title.
  • Kiki's Delivery Service was known as Majo no Takkyūbin (Witch's Delivery Service) originally in Japan.
  • Ghibli's Kurenai no Buta (literally "Crimson Pig") was renamed Porco Rosso in many (but not all) overseas markets, probably because the Italian title sounds better—and makes more sense in context—then most literal translations of "crimson pig". It helps that the title character is Italian and was always referred to as "Porco Rosso" within the film itself.
  • Likewise, the Disney dub of Mimi wo Sumaseba ("If You Listen Closely") was retitled Whisper of the Heart because that title comes closer to expressing the allegorical meaning of the original Japanese title than a literal translation would have done.
  • Ged Senki (Ged's War Chronicles) became Tales from Earthsea, in order to make the connection to the Earthsea Trilogy clearer.
  • Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Sen and Chihiro's Spiriting Away) was simplified to just Spirited Away.
  • Gake no Ue no Ponyo (Ponyo on The Cliff by The Sea) became known simply as Ponyo.
  • Kari-gurashi no Arrietty (The Borrower Arrietty) was known simply as Arrietty in its UK release and The Secret World of Arrietty in its US release.
  • Coquelicot-zaka Kara (From Coquelicot Hill, Coquelicot being a shade of red as well as vernacular French for a certain species of poppy) was titled From Up on Poppy Hill in English to make it easier for people to understand what the title referred to.
  • Depending on the source, the English release of the BECK either adds "Mongolian Chop Squad" as a subtitle or makes it the entire title, because of the prominent musician of the same name. Interestingly, this is exactly what happened in-universe to the fictional band the series follows and is named for: BECK is their original name, but they go by the name "Mongolian Chop Squad" outside of Japan for exactly the same reason.
  • The four-episode anime series of Teito Monogatari became Doomed Megalopolis in English. It may be because "Tale of the Imperial Capital" didn't sound menacing enough.
  • The anime of the visual novel Kimi ga Nozomu Eien got retitled Rumbling Hearts for its Western release. A lot of fans hate the name, but it's plausibly official, having been used for the all-ages PS2 version of the game, as well as one of its songs.

  • Tintin:
    • Coke en stock ("Coke On Board") was translated into English as The Red Sea Sharks, perhaps because the first word in the title might be taken to mean Coca-Cola (the story reveals it to be a code word for slaves). "Coke" can of course mean "Cocaine" and the original intended meaning of a kind of coal.
    • Explorers on the Moon was originally titled On a marché sur la Lune which means "We've walked on the moon".
    • Prisoners of the Sun was originally Le temple du Soleil, or The Temple of the Sun.
    • The Shooting Star was originally L'étoile mystérieuse, or The Mysterious Star.
    • The Castafiore Emerald was originally Les bijoux de la Castafiore, or The Jewels of la Castafiore.
    • Flight 714 was originally Flight 714 to Sydney (Vol 714 pour Sydney); but the extra bit has been added back to recent editions of the comic printed in Britain.
  • Astérix:
    • Le tour de Gaule d'Astérix became Asterix and the Banquet. The translators probably assumed ignorant readers would never have heard of the Tour de France, or they simply couldn't keep the meaning in English.
    • L'Odyssée d'Astérix (The Odyssey of Asterix) = Asterix and the Black Gold
    • La rose et le glaive (The Rose and the Blade) = Asterix and the Secret Weapon
    • La Galère d'Obélix (Obelix's Galley) = Asterix and Obelix All at Sea
    • Le ciel lui tombe sur la tête (The sky is falling on his head) = Asterix and the Falling Sky
    • La zizanie (The Feud) = Asterix and the Roman Agent.
    • And other Viewers Are Morons examples, Asterix in Switzerland instead of "in Helvetica" (how the country was called in that time, and also through the book itself).
    • Asterix in Spain instead of "in Hispania" (again, how the country was called in that time, and also through the book itself).
    • Astérix chez Rahàzade (Asterix visits Rahàzade) was a pun on "Scheherazade". The English version is called Asterix and the Magic Carpet, and the princess's name was changed from "Rahàzade" to "Orinjade".
  • Koukaku Kidoutai (meaning "Mobile Armored Riot Police") is better known to English-speakers as Ghost in the Shell.

Film (Animation)
  • The third Yu-Gi-Oh! movie's original title translates to "Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Super Fusion! Bonds That Transcended Time". The English version is simply Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time.

Film (Live-Action)
  • French romance Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain ("The fabulous destiny of Amelie Poulain") was released in the English-speaking world as Amélie.
  • Italian drama Ladri di biciclette ("Bicycle Thieves") was released in the United States with the title made singular: The Bicycle Thief. The ending to the movie reflects why this is important.
Conversely, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a word-for-word translation of the Spaghetti Western's original title Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo ... except that in Italian, the three adjectives are singular, referring to three individual men. In English it sounds collective ("The few, the proud").
  • The film Ebirah Horror Of The Deep is known in the US as Godzilla VS The Sea Monster.
  • Tang Shan Da Xiong (Big Brother From China) was retitled The Big Boss for its UK release and Fists of Fury in the US - that last one is rather unfortunate, because it is easily confused with Fist of Fury, another film starring Bruce Lee.
  • John Woo's break-out movie was known in the original Chinese as Lashou Shentan, roughly "hot-handed police god." In English, it's known as Hard Boiled.
    • John Woo's breakout movie in Hong Kong was known in the original Chinese as Ying Huang Boon Sik, or "True Colors of a Hero." In English, it's known as A Better Tomorrow.
    • And then there's Die Xue Shuang Xiong (Bloodshed of Two Heroes), better known in English and internationally as The Killer.
  • Werner Herzog's award winning film known as The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser has the original German title of Jeder für Sich und Gott Gegen Alle (Each [man] for themselves and God against all).
  • Los Nuevos Extraterrestres (The New Extraterrestrials, which makes pretty clear what movie they were trying to rip off) was initially renamed The Unearthling for its English dub. Then when the distribution rights changed hands, it was renamed again to Pod People.
  • Leprechaun 2 was released as 1 Wedding and A Lot of Funerals in Ireland.
  • C'est arrivé près de chez vous (It Happened in Your Neighborhood) became Man Bites Dog in America.
  • Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa (The legend of Merong Mahawangsa), a Malaysian film is distributed to other countries as The Malay Chronicles: Bloodlines.
  • Italian Neorealist comedy I soliti ignoti ("The Usual Unknowns") was given the weird title "Big Deal on Madonna Street".
  • The Spanish film Mala uva is known as The Hit Man in English-speaking markets. While still accurate, this kills the joke embedded in the title: the hit man in question owns a vineyard ravaged by worms, and "mala uva" can mean either "bad grape" or "ill-tempered." Sour Grapes might have worked, except that it was already the name of a film directed by Larry David so they couldn't use it.
  • Rue Cases-Nègres is a French film based on an autobiographical novel by Joseph Zobel about growing up among poor sharecroppers in Martinique. The title for translations of the novel is the fairly accurate Black Shack Alley, and could be loosely translated as something like Nigger Street (the title refers to the nickname of the street where the sharecroppers, who picked sugarcane, lived). The movie's international title is Sugarcane Alley.
  • The 1968 and 2013 movie adaptations of Boris Vian's Froth On The Daydream, both titled L'ecume des jours (literally "foam of the days"), were released in the English-speaking world as Spray of the Days and Mood Indigo, respectively.
  • Jean-Pierre Melville's French crime movie Le Samourai was retitled The Godson in America by distributors in order to cash in on the gangster craze started by The Godfather. Anybody who's see the movie knows The Godson is a totally Non-Indicative Name.
  • The Hong Kong-produced film 龍兄虎弟 was also called by the alternate English title The Armour of God by the original studio. In the US, its sequel was released first, so it was retitled Operation Condor 2: the Armor of the Gods there. And in France, it went by yet another English-language title: Mister Dynamite (apparently because of the scene featured on the film poster).
  • The French movie Entre les murs (literally "Between the walls" in English) was released as The Class in the U.S.
  • The Adventures of Milo and Otis was originally titled Koneko Monogatari ("A Kitten's Story") in Japan.
  • Luc Besson's Arthur et les Minimoys (Arthur and the Minimoys) became Arthur and the Invisibles in most English-speaking countries.
  • The Swedish movie Fucking Åmål was retitled Show Me Love in English, for presumably obvious reasons. The renaming, that is from the song played at the film's end, performed by Swedish singer Robyn.
  • French Western Les Petroleuses is known as The Legend of Frenchie King or simply Frenchie King, depending on which English-speaking country one is talking about. The original title translates into the rather clunky-sounding "Petrol Women".
  • Korea romantic comedy Gyeolhonjeonya, "The Night Before the Wedding", was marketed in English as Marriage Blue.
  • Like its Animated Adaptation, the live-action movie of Teito Monogatari had its named changed to Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis in English.
  • The Czech filmmaker Karel Zeman got this a lot: for example, his Vynález zkázy ("The Deadly Invention") was released in America as The Fabulous World of Jules Verne.

  • Older literary example- Victor Hugo's novel, Notre Dame de Paris is invariably published in English as The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
    • Proof that an alternate title as opposed to a literally translated title is not necessarily a bad thing.
  • In a classic literary example, Proust's seminal À la recherche du temps perdu was titled Remembrance of Things Past by its English translator C.K. Scott Moncrieff, in reference to a line from William Shakespeare. Proust grumbled about how this took away the meaning from the title of his final volume, Le Temps retrouve ("Time Regained"); one version retitled the final volume The Past Recaptured in an attempt to restore the correspondence between the titles. New English versions have been using the literal translation of the title: In Search of Lost Time.
  • The Swedish novel and film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was originally titled Män som hatar kvinnor or Men Who Hate Women.
    • The third book in the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, was originally called Luftslottet som sprängdes, or The Air Castle That Exploded. (Strangely, the US edition has the apostrophe moved to Hornet's, implying a nest belonging to only one hornet).
    • The second book, The Girl Who Played With Fire, actually is the correct translation. This title may have inspired the new titles for the other two.
  • The classic Japanese novel A Fool's Love was retitled to simply Naomi for English release.
  • The original title All Quiet on the Western Front is Im Westen nichts Neues, "Nothing New in the West", it actually does not say that things were quiet and more indicates "no change in the West". The English title quite likely was modeled on a well-known repeated bulletin passage from The American Civil War, "All quiet on the Potomac", while Remarque's original title resembles an often repeated bulletin phrase from the siege of Paris in 1870/71, "Vor Paris nichts Neues" - "nothing new before Paris" - which merely indicated that although the two sides were still blasting away at each other with rifles and artillery, there had been no major attempt by either side to take an enemy position by assault or offers of surrender etc.
    • During the Russo-Japanese War, the German satirist Julius Stettenheim, who created the persona of Wippchen to parody the war correspondents of his day, wrote about the siege of Port Arthur: "Nothing new before Port Arthur. The old is bad enough."
  • A lot of the Moomins novels have been given English names that make it clear they're about The Moomins. Sometimes it's just the word "moomin" added to a rough translation of the original title, but in particular "Finn Family Moomintroll" has nothing to do with the original "Trollkarlens hatt" ("The Wizard's Hat", or if you go by the name given to the eponymous character in the translation, "The Hobgoblin's Hat").
  • Gabriel García Márquez wrote a collection of short stories called Doce Cuentos Peregrinos, or Twelve Pilgrim Stories. For the English translation, it was changed to Strange Pilgrims.
  • Boris Vian's ''L'ecume des jours'' (literally Foam of the days) has been trabslated as Foam of the Daze and, most famously, Froth on the Daydream. See also the entry in the movie section.
  • Erich von Däniken's Chariots of The Gods?, the book that popularized the Ancient Astronauts theory, was originally published in Germany as Erinnerungen an die Zukunft ("Memories of The Future").

Live-Action TV

  • Pekka Pohjola's 1977 solo album Keesojen lehto was initially retitled The Consequences of Indecisions in the UK (and Skuggornas Tjuvstart in Sweden); then three years later, in a case of Billing Displacement, it was reissued in the US and the Benelux countries as an apparently-untitled album credited to Mike Oldfield, Sally Oldfield, and Pekka Pohjola (in that order), despite the fact that Mike Oldfield wasn't present on one of the songs and Sally Oldfield was present on only two of the songs.

  • The first two Cirque du Soleil shows to tour the U.S. were given new English titles when filmed and aired as TV specials. Le Cirque Réinventé became Cirque du Soleil: We Reinvent the Circus and Nouvelle Experience became Cirque du Soleil II: A New Experience. The shows are actually the third and fourth in the company's lineup; the second tour La Magie Continue was filmed as a Canada-only special. The DVD releases use the original titles.
  • Ze života hmyzu (The Insect Play) by Josef and Karel Čapek was first presented in Britain and the U.S. in "adaptations" (i.e. slightly loose translations), respectively And so ad infinitum by Nigel Playfair and The World We Live In by Owen Davis.

Video Games
  • The second Bleach DS fighting game has Colon Cancer subtitling that basically translates to (DS Second: The Black-Clothed Flickering Requiem), which could be understood to mean one of of the main character's super modes. The English title, Dark Souls makes a LOT more sense than the Japanese one.
  • Quite a few SNK fighting games got their titles changed for their overseas releases
    • Garō Densetsu (Legend of the Hungry Wolf) became Fatal Fury. However, there was a pachinko-slot spin-off game is titled Garō Densetsu: Legend of Wild Wolf.
    • Ryūko no Ken (Fist of Dragon and Tiger) became Art of Fighting. The third game was known as Art of Fighting: Ryukō no Ken Gaiden though.
    • Fū-un Mokushiroku ("Apocalypse of the Wind and Clouds") became Savage Reign. The sequel Fū-un Super Tag Battle was retitled Kizuna Encounter.
    • Bakumatsu Roman Gekka no Kenshi ("Romance of the Bakumatsu: Swordsman of the Moonlight") became The Last Blade.
  • Tsūkai GANGAN Koushinkyoku (which loosely translates to "Thrilling Intense March") became Aggressors of Dark Kombat ("Combat" is spelled with an "K", just so that it conveniently shares the same initials as its developer, ADK).
  • Hikari Shinwa: Parutena no Kagami (Myth of Light: Mirror of Palutena) became Kid Icarus.
  • The original Rockman became Mega Man to avoid copyright conflicts with an identically-named brand of guitar amplifiers. Later on, Rockman DASH became Mega Man Legends, Rockman.EXE became Mega Man Battle Network, and Ryusei no Rockman (lit. "Meteor Rockman" or "Rockman of the Shooting Star") became Mega Man Star Force.
  • The World Ends with You was known in Japan as Subarashiki kono sekai, translated in English on the packaging as It's a Wonderful World. However, all the variations on that phrase Square Enix could come up with were unusable outside of Japan due to legal issues.
  • Dobutsu no Mori, the Japanese title of the Animal Crossing series translates to Animal Forest. On that note, the Wii installment of the series has a different Market-Based Title in English depending on the region, with North America having the subtitle City Folk and PAL regions having Let's Go to the City, with the latter being more or less literally translated from the Japanese version's subtitle and the former being an example of this trope.
  • The Akumajō Dracula ("Demon Castle Dracula") series is known as Castlevania internationally.
  • The Legend of Zelda series has usually averted this by using direct translations of the Japanese titles, starting with the first two NES games, or having the Japanese title using English words in the first place, as with Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, but there have been exceptions:
  • Like the Zelda series, the Fire Emblem games have different subtitles between regions.
    • Rekka no Ken (officially translated as Blazing Sword) drops the subtitle completely, being the first installment to get an international release.
    • Seima no Kōseki ("The Shining Stone of Good and Evil") became The Sacred Stones.
    • Sōen no Kiseki ("Trail of the Blue Flame") became Path of Radiance.
    • Akatsuki no Megami ("Goddess of Dawn") became Radiant Dawn.
    • Shin Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Ken ("The New Dark Dragon and Sword of Light"), a remake of the Famicom original, became Shadow Dragon.
    • When it came time for Super Smash Bros.. Brawl to mention the earlier games in the series:
      • Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Ken ("The Dark Dragon and Sword of Light"), the Famicom original, became Shadow Dragons and the Blade of Light.
      • Fūin no Tsurugi became The Binding Blade, a direct (though technically incorrect) translation of the original title.
      • Fire Emblem Gaiden and Monshō no Nazo ("Mystery of the Emblem") went unchanged.
      • Seisen no Keifu ("Genealogy of the Holy War") and Thracia 776 were not brought up in the game, though later on they are referred to by a literal translation of their titles in Fire Emblem Awakening, which keeps the above titles (except for referencing characters from the original as being from Shadow Dragon).
  • Shiritsu Justice Gakuen (Private Justice Academy) became Rival Schools: United By Fate outside of Japan. The sequel combined this with Oddly Named Sequel, with Moero! Justice Gakuen (Burn! Justice Academy) becoming Project Justice in North America and Project Justice: Rival Schools 2 everywhere else.
  • Taiyou No Shinden Asteka II (Azteca II: Temple of the Sun) was named Tombs & Treasure in its English version. (Presumably the "II" was dropped because the first game was never translated to English.)
  • Unusual temporary aversion: when the early 80s sliding-block-railway-track arcade game Loco Motion first appeared in Western arcades, it bore a phonetic transliteration of the original Japanese name: Guttang Gottong.
  • Gouketsuji Ichizoku ("The Gouketsuji Family") became Power Instinct.
  • Some Squaresoft RPGs were rebranded as Final Fantasy titles, in fear that the games wouldn't stand on their own. Namely, Seiken Densetsu (meaning Legend of the Holy Sword) became Final Fantasy Adventure, and the first three SaGa games became the Final Fantasy Legend series. Like the main FF games, later releases in these series regained their real titles (such as the remake of Final Fantasy Adventure localized as Sword of Mana).
    • Then again, the full title of Seiken Densetsu is Seiken Densetsu Final Fantasy Gaiden, so the Final Fantasy link exists even in Japan. In contrast, the Japanese title for the Sword of Mana remake lacks the Final Fantasy name.
    • The Mana games themselves are an example of this trope, as all titles in the series are known as Seiken Densetsu (with a subtitle or number after the name) in Japan. Meanwhile, to build on the success of Secret of Mana, all the English titles include "of Mana". However, Secret of Mana is the localized title of Seiken Densetsu II — the second game in the series. The third game was never released outside Japan.
  • The Gyakuten Saiban series ("Turnabout Trials") is known as Ace Attorney outside Japan. Interestingly, the word "Turnabout" is still used as part of an Idiosyncratic Episode Naming theme for the cases in each game (i.e. "Turnabout Sisters", "Reunion and Turnabout").
  • Rockman.EXE's anime adaptation ignored both the obvious name (MegaMan.EXE) and the existing English name for the original games (Mega Man Battle Network) in favor of a wholly nonsensical and oft-reviled name, Mega Man NT Warrior.
  • Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom became Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure for the English market. No word on what they would have done if the other games, which all played on the original title, had been translated.
  • Cubivore was originally released in Japan as Dobutsu Banchou ("Animal Ringleader")
  • Rayforce was called Layer Section in Japan, Gunlock in Europe, and Galactic Attack on the Sega Saturn.
  • Sunsoft's Battle Formula was retitled Super Spy Hunter for the US, also an example of Translation Matchmaking and Dolled-Up Installment.
  • Taito's Fudo Myouoden became Demon Sword.
  • Both the arcade and NES versions of Astyanax were originally titled The Lord of King in Japan.
  • Deadly Towers was originally titled Mashō ("Evil Bell") in Japan. This change can be blamed on Nintendo's Censorship Bureau, as its English title was supposed to be Hell's Bells, closer in meaning to the original title.
  • In an unusual case, MOTHER 2: Gyiyg no Gyakushuu (already a title spelled in English, subtitle aside) became EarthBound when brought over to America. The series' preceding entry, MOTHER, would also have been renamed Earth Bound in America had the translation not been canned.
  • Altered Beast was originally titled Jūōki (Beast King Chronicles) in Japan.
  • WarioWare is called Made in Wario in Japanese.
  • The Touhou games do this on purpose. Each title is listed in both Japanese and English. For example Touhou Koumakyou ~The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (the Japanese would mean Eastern Lands of the Scarlet Devil) in Japan it's known simply by the Japanese in the title Touhou Koumakyou and in English, not surprisingly by it's English title The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. This is an odd example because both titles exist in the original games and the Japanese and English titles are not translations of each other. Yup, Zun did that on purpose for some inane reason. The notable exceptions are Touhou Hisoutensoku ~Choudokyuu Ginyoru no Nazo wo Oe (Lacking Perception of the Rule of Heaven in the East" ~ Chase the Enigma of the Superdreadnought Guignol) which is known simply as Hisoutensoku even in English and Fairy Wars which also has no English in the original title and the direct translation of Yousei Daisensou ~ Touhou Sangetsusei would mean Great Fairy Wars ~ Eastern Three Fairies and not simply Fairy Wars
  • Kickle Cubicle was originally Meikyū-jima (Mystery Island) in Japan.
  • Hudson Soft's Stop The Express was originally Bōsō Tokkyū SOS (Runaway Special Express SOS) in Japan. Interestingly, Hudson reused the game's international title when recycling it as the first stage of Challenger, a Famicom game released only in Japan.
  • Capcom's early hit Senjō no Ōkami (Wolf of the Battlefield) was exported as Commando, and its sequel (Senjō no Ōkami II) became Mercs. Wolf of the Battlefield has been used on some of the more recent re-releases.
  • Wizards And Warriors was released in Japan as Densetsu no Kishi Elrond (The Legend of Knight Elrond).
  • Amagon was titled Totsuzen! Macho Man in Japan.
  • It's something of a tradition for Shoot Em Ups to have meaningless titles, but Xexyz had a more meaningful title in Japan: Kame no Ongaeshi: Urashima Densetsu (Turtle's Recompense: Legend of Urashima).
  • The localized titles in the Hiryu No Ken series were Shanghai Kid, Flying Dragon (the literal translation of "hiryu"), Flying Warriors, Fighting Simulator: 2-in-1 Flying Warriors, Ultimate Fighter, Galactic Defender (US release canceled), and Flying Dragon (not the same as the earlier game). Confusing, no?
  • When Pangya was brought to the US, it was originally titled Albatross18. It was later renamed back to Pangya.
  • Sokoban was retitled in several ways for various versions released internationally in 1990: Boxxle on the Game Boy, Shove It! The Warehouse Game on the Sega Genesis, and Boxyboy on the TurboGrafx-16 and in arcades. All these came after the game had been brought to Western computers by Spectrum Holobyte with an Untranslated Title.
  • Twin Cobra was originally titled Kyūkyoku Tiger ("Ultimate Tiger") in Japan.
  • Fire Shark was originally titled Same! Same! Same! ("Shark! Shark! Shark!") in Japan.
  • Truxton's original title was Tatsujin, which means "expert" in Japanese.
  • River City Ransom was originally titled Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari ("Downtown Hot-Blooded Story") in Japan.
  • Chuka Taisen ("Chinese Great Wizard") became Cloud Master on the Sega Master System. The remake Shin Chuka Taisen: Michael to Meimei no Bouken ("New Chinese Great Wizard: Michael & Meimei's Adventure") became The Monkey King: The Legend Begins.
  • The Japanese series Ryu Ga Gotoku ("Like a Dragon") is translated as Yakuza in North America.
  • Acclaim's Star Voyager was originally titled Cosmo Genesis in Japan.
  • Mischief Makers was originally titled Yuke Yuke!! Troublemakers in Japan.
  • Coq-Inn, an old French computer game set in a henhouse, had to be retitled Chickin' Chase (or Chicken Chase) for English-speaking audiences to avoid Accidental Innuendo. Titling one Commodore 64 version Cock'In was definitely the wrong idea. It doesn't help that it features G-Rated Sex as a game mechanic.

  • The Korean antivirus program ALYac (the title is a pun based on the ALTools branding prefix, the Korean word for "medicinal pill", and the function of the program) was released for English-speaking audiences as Roboscan. Though ALYac is part of the ALTools line in Korea, Roboscan is not associated with ALTools in any way, even though the rest of the ALTools line had been released in English with the original titles. The company that produces ALYac, ESTsoft (more famous for the MMORPG CABAL Online and the archiving utility ALZip) even renamed itself Roboscan specifically for the English release of ALYac. Oddly, the mobile version of ALYac is offered with the original name and company.
    Completely Different TitleFrench

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy