The Trope Namer is from Cowboy Bebop and a rather incorrect newspaper picture caption (see the page pic). In a similar manner to Harvard University's Statue of Three Lies, literally everything in the captionnote except the words 'at' and 'computer' is incorrect: The character pictured is not named "Cowboy Bebop" and is actually female. She goes by "Ed" for most of the show. "Bebop" in the anime's title refers to the main characters' ship, the Bebop, as well as the music style featured in the soundtrack. "Cowboy," the slang term for "bounty hunter" used in the world of the series, refers to the main characters' profession.
The back of another cassette described the situation the previous VHS left off as the protagonists being "surrounded by Akaka Booto". Akakabuto is a single bear and as such unable to surround anything by himself, large though he is. The protagonists are actually surrounded by a pack of enemy dogs whose motivations are completely unrelated to bears.
One gossip magazine during the 2003 Finnish accusations of pedophilic content in the recently arrived Dragon Ball manga (the usual story and accuracy). It opened by calling the comic Dragon Balls and went from there.
The most hilarious research failure was how the Moral Guardians commented how the neighbouring country of Sweden is free of such vile products... when their most sold comic that year was none other than Dragon Ball.
Speaking of Dragon Ball and pedophilia, there's the case of Lloyd de Mause and "psychohistory". In his attempt to prove that all human history has been cases of child abuse, he used the phallic humor in Dragon Ball ("That poor dragon...", Goku's tendency to "check" to make sure people are male or female, etc.) and the underage male nudity to somehow prove that all Japanese mothers masturbate their sons. Okay, that's all fine, but because of Goku's Noble Savage origins, he referred to Goku as Tarzan throughout!
TV Guide years ago that reported on the popularity of the anime at the time. While not negative in tone, the writer openly admits his bafflement, titling the article "Fusion Confusion" and claiming "It's harder to understand than computer schematics." He also credits Goku with protecting us from "the ferocious Saiyan", a statement that's not too wrong, per se. He then adds that he only understands as much from reading some fan sites. He lists Goku's sons as "Gohan and Gotan", and closes by saying that he watches the show for its "fantastic" animation. Well, there's far worse media coverage examples in this list, but this one is amusing as well as heartwarming in a "He's trying his best" sort of way. It also demonstrates the principle of the Generational Gap, where "grown-ups" just can't get "kid's stuff", something we see time and again in this list.
A French article about manga had a picture of Krillin/Kuririn from Dragon Ball Z with a legend along the lines of "When little Trunks goes mad, there's going to be hell to pay!".
An article from a Scandinavian country advertised Code Geass as a comedy series about a delightful youth named Rerouch who became the King of Britannia through use of his mystical Geass, which allowed him to gain control over any individual whose name he had written down in a black note book. Unfortunately Rerouch is countered by a revolutionary named Jeremiah Suzaku who fights against Rerouch by using a mecha named EVA. At some point, you have to wonder if they actually deliberately made this crap up because no sane human being could possibly get this much wrong if they had seen even 30 seconds of the show.
To make matters worse, it spelled the series' name as "Code Geese: Rerouch of the Reberrion". The "rebellion" part isn't even Gratuitous English in the Japanese original (the title uses the actual Japanese word for "rebellion"), leaving the misspelling just plain baffling.
They even have the phonetic spelling of Geass wrong.
That whole thing just screams trolling.
A newspaper article on Yu-Gi-Oh! confusingly stated that Joey had made the common mistake of using powerful cards. This was the only information on the character. In actuality, the problem was that Joey used powerful monsters and nothing to support them.
A review for The Movie said it was 11 years old. The 11-year-old movie never got to America, and this one (Pyramid of Light) is completely different.
The website of the German network that aired Yu-Gi-Oh provided us with hilariously ill-researched character descriptions. To provide a few examples: Yami was banned because he tried to seize the throne of the pharaoh with his shadow powers, Shizuka is blind, Anzu (Ms. Fanservice in the early manga) is eleven years old and has been the boss of a cheerleader-group for years, and Seto became the CEO of Kaiba Corp by beating Gozaburo at another game of chess, not to mention that he's two years older than everybody else. Suprisingly subverted with Bakura, whose sister Amane they mention.
Said German network, RTL 2, never really seemed to cared too much about their animes anyway. When Attack No. 1 (Mila Superstar in Germany) aired, the summary on their webpage was actually for Attacker You (Mila e Shiro in Italy! The show never even made it to Germany) and the summary for Captain Tsubasa used the names from the Italian translation. Really makes you wonder what the heck was going on there.
An interesting example here. If the link is broken (or you don't speak Swedish at all), it talks about Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, in which Yugi's grandfather is kidnapped by Pegasus...Which was the plot of Yu-Gi-Oh: Duel Monsters, not of GX.
The recaps of the various Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL episodes found on Italian TV Guides (as in, the one you find on the TV, not magazines) are well done. Except that sometimes they give wrong names to charactersnote The Italian dub is based on the Japanese version, but using the 4Kids names for characters introduced before the World Duel Carnival. After that, new characters use the Japanese names, but the TV Guide keeps using 4Kids names for everyone. And they sometimes call Astral a female.
In March of 2008, a ten-year-old boy died from being buried alive in his sandbox. The news claimed this happened by him and his friends imitating "Narutu", which the news described as a television show where samurai use sand as a tool and to kill each other. It's also been called "Narutu Sand Ninjas". This story in particular has several major mistakes.
Mispronouncing "Naruto", despite featuring clips with the correct pronunciation "Nah-Ru-Toe". What's worse is that the person reporting the story was Japanese-American Akiko Fujita.
Despite avoiding calling it "Sand Ninjas", the reporter says that it is ABOUT Sand Ninjas.
Suggesting Gaara buries himself in sand, when showing him doing his Armor of Sand Jutsu. The only legitimate "sand burial" techniques are used against enemies and are explicitly intended to be fatal.
Relying on Youtube clips to inform themselves about the show.
An infamous article◊ by The Edmonton Journal from Canada features gems such as "Hentae" and that all hentai is essentially lolicon-BDSM-rape.
TV Guide once described Tenchi Muyo! in Love as "Police partners hunt an escaped convict," which is technically accurate, but didn't even bother mentioning that they're Space Police, or that there's time travel, alien princes, or any other elements that are fundamental to the plot.
TV program guides seem to suffer from this a lot. While describing Rurouni Kenshin (which was being aired on Animax), they said Kaoru was a guy, indirectly calling Kenshin gay, and mixing her up with the other Kaoru whose show was airing on the same channel.
Also, the Murakami sculpture is intended as satire.“Americans are not there yet, but at the rate things are going, we are going to be seeing that.”
A reviewer of the Digimon movie apparently never actually saw it, as she claimed that "the original Digidestined children are abducted by Diaboromon, and a new group of kids must save them". The same malicious lie was perpetrated by the back of the VHS and Fox Kids' official site. Diaboromon never abducted anyone. He just stalked a twelve-year old boy and then tried to blow up the world. Then, when the new kids get involved, it isn't even to deal with Diaboromon. It's to deal with Antylamon/Kerpymon.
Not to mention the fact that Antylamon/Kerpymon only abducted anyone in the Japanese version, and that particular plot was completely cut out of the American version. Which may make this a case of someone doing too much research?
When Nicktoons started streaming the series on their website, they started using the character models of the Digidestined in their Digimon Adventure 02 attire while still streaming episodes of the original Digimon Adventure. Not as bad as some of the other examples on this page, but still glaring enough to notice.
Even magazines dedicated to anime itself wind up making these mistakes:
Protoculture Addicts is particularly guilty of this. When reporting on Gundam Wing, PA decided to completely ignore most "r" and "l" translation conventions and generally go with "it's always l," giving us characters like "Heelo Yuy" and "Lelena Peacelaft."
The early issues of Anime Insider. Particularly horrible errors include listing the character of Lacus Clyne from Gundam Seed as "Fllay Allster" (another character from the same show, who doesn't even share the same hair color). Their entire article on G Gundam reached levels of CBAHC that must be seen to be believed — things such as listing Schwartz Bruder as Domon's Master and the previous King of Hearts (Master Asia is both) and giving the Master Gundam the profile of the Dark/Devil Gundam.
One of the first AI issues captioned a picture of Ashitaka from Princess Mononoke by identifying him as "Mononoke".
Anime Insider's sister magazine Wizard once ran a review of The Slayers saying Lina Inverse traveled with the sorceress Naga and "a girl named Gourry".
There was an AI issue with an article about the (development hell-induced) live action Evangelion adaptation that said Shinji was a girl.
One issue had an article about Trinity Blood with an aside picture that incorrectly identified Count Gyula as Cain.
There was one issue that showed fanart. One picture is from Wolf's Rain, and it incorrectly identifies Hige as Toboe.
An article on the Oregon Daily Emerald criticizing anime for destroying American society says that Pokémon, Digimon, and Yu-Gi-Oh! (which at first is spelled "Yugio", but after that, "sorry, Yu-Gi-Oh!") all began life as trading card games. In reality, while they all have had card games, none of them started out as that. Pokémon began life as a pair of Game Boy games created by Game Freak (and the card game came to the U.S. just a few months after the video game was released there), Digimon was originally a virtual pet (hence "Digimon", or Digital Monsters), and Yu-Gi-Oh! started out as a manga written by Kazuki Takahashi.
And funnily enough, Yu-Gi-Oh! wasn't actually about a card game - it was about gaming in general.
While reviewing a Ranma ½ fighting game for the PC Engine, GamePro Magazine must have thought Ranma to be some sort of transforming superhero, having summarized the title character's background thus:
An issue of Game Players Magazine did something similar when previewing the Ranma SNES game. They said the series was about "a family of fighters where the kids are trained by their parents. The kids become masters and beat up would-be bullies."
During a Trainer's Choice quiz during the Hoenn season of the Pokemon anime, they asked which Pokémon evolved into Seviper. The answer was Arbok. Arbok doesn't evolve at all, and Seviper doesn't evolve from anything, so breeding Seviper doesn't get an Ekans (which evolves into Arbok). While this was quickly picked up as ammo against 4Kids (who, as in the movie example below, either didn't notice or didn't change the mistake) it later turned out that they got quiz questions and answers from Pokémon USA — the company in charge of the franchise in the United States. Apparently, the employee they stuck with that role hadn't paid enough attention to the episodes in early Hoenn where Jessie releases her Arbok and then catches a Seviper.
Issues of the now-defunct SCRYE magazine had a list of Japanese Pokémon cards that had yet to be released in America, and helpfully included descriptions of the cards for those who couldn't read Japanese. In one issue, they included a picture of the Here Comes Team Rocket!◊ card, with the description "Two girls and a Meowth stare at you". Granted, James DOES dress like a girl pretty often...
The anime's dubbers themselves totally misnamed the Pokémon that appear in the 'Who's that Pokémon?' section of the first movie. Granted, it was the Team Rocket trio naming the Pokémon, but those mistakes weren't present in the original Japanese version and the dubbers just made the Rockets look like idiots as an excuse to leave the errors in. Doesn't excuse the "Sandshrew" and "Pidgeotto" bits elsewhere, either.
According to TV Guide and the Comcast information guides, the plot of Pokémon: The First Movie has Ash and friends battling Mewtwo and the scientist that created him — despite the fact that Mewtwo killed said scientist within the first few minutes of the film.
Also, some information guides describe Lucario and the Mystery of Mew with, "The Pokémon must rescue Pikachu from the clutches of evil Mew."
Italian DVD listings for Zoroark Master Of Illusions states that Zoroark is "a terrible 3rd Generation Pokémon who came back on Earth searching his beloved son Zorua, lost into an astral accident". Well... first thing, Zoroark is a 5th Generation Pokémon. Second, she doesn't come from space. Third, the Zoroark in the film isa mom. Are you confusing Zoroark with Deoxys, maybe?
In the months leading up to the release of Red and Blue, an issue of Disney Adventures gave an extremely vague description of a "fuzzy yellow creature named Pokémon."
Disney Adventures also made the mistake of labeling Tracey as Brock in a blurb for the second movie.
The same magazine has also labeled a picture of Anubis (from the first Yu-Gi-Oh! movie) as "Seto Kaiba". (They apologized for the mistake in a later issue.)
Also in regards to the second movie: A Pokémon-centric magazine ran an article summarizing the second movie, and even though they clearly knew Brock wasn't going to be in it (at least not the main plot), they somehow did not mention Tracey alongside Ash and Misty throughout the entire article. To be fair, though, the only thing Tracey did that had an impact was when he stopped Ash at one point.
An early VHS promo for the show listed Sabrina as one of Ash's companions.
In the Magazyn Plus's (the magazine for Cyfra+'s subscribers) Polish information guide◊ of Diamond and Pearl season, they described Ash as a Pokemon; fortunately, this was the only thing that they screwed up.
A caption on this names the green-haired girl in the picture (from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni) "Rena", who is actually a different girl with orange hair; the girl in the picture is Mion. Also, she doesn't have a split personality; you could say that it's slightly implied at first, but those implications were dashed against the rocks in the arc before the DVD being advertised.
While in that arc she probably doesn't have a legitimate split personality, she acts in accordance with a different personality (the "demon"), so the label can still apply in a colloquial sense.
Only... the arc described does not have Mion act crazy in any sense. Besides, it is Shion with the "demon" personality, not Mion.
Back when Sailor Moon was still airing in Russia, a local newspaper containing TV program guides would occasionally write something about it in the kids' section. This sometimes resulted in the Sailor Moon-themed mini-articles mixing up the timeline (i.e., calling the Crystal Tokyo the capital of the destroyed Moon Kingdom) and/or mixing up the continuity (calling Anime!ChibiChibi Sailor Cosmos). One would think they could've at least visited one of the local fan websites or ask somebody familiar with the show.
DVD Talk's reviews of DiC Sailor Moon DVDs constantly call Tuxedo Mask, "Tuxedo Max," despite his name appearing on the front cover of one of the volumes discussed ("The Man in the Tuxedo Mask").
A columnist◊ for the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet described Sailor Moon as a nine-year-old in a "fully developed adult body" who was dressed "in a skirt so short you see her panties all the time" and passive-aggressively reflected on how no one questioned the "horny pedophile's wet dream". While she later apologized to the fans for getting the age wrong, it was obvious she still thought of Sailor Moon as a typical "extreme [sexual] object".
Naruto Forever: The Unofficial Guiderepeatedly refers to Hinata Hyuga as "Hina" (possibly the result of her abbreviation in pairings like Portmanteau Couple Names like "NaruHina"), only getting it correct in the character index, and even refer to "Hina" as him.
An article in a Swedish newspaper about a comics/art workshop or somesuch being hosted at a local library featured a most amusing comment about how "Jolina Homlström, [class] 8E has chosen to draw the motives the way the Japanese Asian comic artist Manga does them."
The Yahoo TV summary of Fullmetal Alchemist seems to have swapped around its anime: "While playing a game, brothers Alphonse and Edward Elric get transported to another dimension where Alphonse is trapped in a robotic body and Edward has become the Fullmetal Alchemist."
A library posted a description of "Fullmetal Alchemist: Profiles" on their website. The description included lines like "fighting the evil alchemists called the Seven Deadly Sins." The homunculi were not alchemists. And the description misspells the main characters name as "Edward Alric".
An Anime News Network review of Overman King Gainer criticizes the opening for being silly in a series that has a "High serious nature". King Gainer is a comedy which just happens to have been made by Yoshiyuki Tomino, who is best known for his serious anime like the Gundam franchise.
An Anime News Network writer also commented in a review for Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's that the songs were a good indication of why Yukari Tamura and Nana Mizuki hadn't hit the big time as singers. One little problem: Mizuki Nana at the time of the review had already achieved mainstream success in Japan as a musician, with all of her music singles and albums appearing in the Top 10 of the Weekly Oricon charts (Japan's equivalent of the Billboard Charts) for nearly half a decade since 2005. And what's more, guess which song started this long string of hits by making her the first Seiyuu to debut a music single at no. 2 of the weekly charts? Can you say "Eternal Blaze", the opening song of A's?
A Hungarian TV spot for D.Gray-Man began summarizing the story along the lines of "Under the spreading darkness of the evil god Akuma..." According to the channel's forum, the producer doesn't speak Japanese but still had the promo made before a single episode was translated. The error was later fixed, though.
Interestingly, the article itself avoids this entirely; the caption in question, however...
It was probably a mix up because the caption for the Naruto picture describes him as a "ninja in training"
When Spanish network La Sexta gave the news on the failure of the lolicon pornography ban, they somehow decided that "loli" meant "schoolgirl", so they talked about the "ban on schoolgirls"... which wouldn't have been THAT bad if all the clips they used were of hentai movies with busty schoolgirls (Except one, which did have a little girl in Hadaka Apron).
And before that, La Sexta used to show hentai movies, but had to stop because (ironically) some movies had little girl and people complained. When they gave the news on that, they started claiming "manga" meant "erotic animation" and it went downhill from there.
There was an article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune about how the rising popularity of anime was due in part to its depictions of strong female characters. The article featured a picture of Inuyasha. Uh...
Back in 2005, a mother looked through a volume of the Peach Girl manga, which happened to have a date rape scene. Cue an article claiming that Peach Girl is about girls being drugged and gang-raped and that Tokyopop only publishes porn comics marketed toward children.
And the other Tokyopop series about "swingers" referenced in that article is obviously Marmalade Boy.
A store in Amazon.com sells JoJo's Bizarre Adventuregashapon (small collectible figurines) of some stands from Part 3 (Hierophant Green, Silver Chariot and The World to be specific). But what makes them an example of this trope? Their names. Respectively are now Green character, Silver Villain and Johnny Joestar.
There are character figurines from shows like Sailor Moon, Tokyo Mew Mew, and Ojamajo Doremi being sold as "Pink one, Blue one, Yellow one, Green one, Orange one, Purple one, etc." with "one" sometimes replaced by "character" , "girl" , etc. VERY rarely they may say "Sailor", "Mew Mew" or "Ojamajo," but one wonders why, if they knew that much, why they wouldn't just use the character's names.
When Sonic X premiered on CITV in the UK, the presenters repeatedly referred to the main character as, you guessed it, "Sonic X". This was carried on by Fox Kids/Jetix, who also referred to the bad guy as "Dr. Egg" in one promo.
Same goes for a Singaporean magazine called Kids Company, which is kinda sad, seeing as they probably had prior footage and ample time to do research. They started showing the show on Singaporean airwaves a year late.
Italian press releases for the series state that Sonic is a cyborg and Knuckles is a female. Both of these statements are wrong.
A relatively minor one, a video by TIME Magazine interviewing female fans at Comicon mentioned an anime/ manga called Access Powers Hitalia. The misspelling is made more confusing because they showed official images, such as the cover of the English release of the DVD, with the title spelled out right on them.
And then there was the The New York Times' coverage of Comic-Con, where an England cosplayer was referred to as "the character Hetalia in 'Axis Powers,' a popular video game."
The article now features a correction, getting its facts right.
A book that listed the main protagonists and antagonists of well-known manga claimed that the main-character of XXX Holic was Yuka Ichihara, a fifteen year-old part-timer at the magic shop who despite her age drank a lot of alcohol. Although they got her being a Hard-Drinking Party Girl right, Yuko, is in fact the fully mature owner of the shop.
According to the Verizon television listings, one of the shows on the current Funimation Channel lineup is "Dr. Gray Man."
An in-media example for Gundam Sousei: a newspaper announcing the release of the Gundam movie features a picture of Sayla, while captioning it as "the hero, Amuron".
The American Family Association wrote an article on the dangers of video games and this somehow segued into h-games. This would've been fine and all....except the article misspelled it as 'hentia'. Again, wouldn't have been a problem except the article KEPT ON spelling it in that manner.
Although this example has nothing to do with journalism, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Potential" had Andrew say "But, I'm reformed. I'm like Vegeta on Dragon Ball Z. I used to be a pure Saiyan and now, I fight on the side of Goku." Apparently in both cases, they seem to think that "Saiyan" is a catch-all term for any evil alien warrior, but in reality, it refers to a member of a particular alien race.
Bleeding Cool, a comic book news website, has an article called "Swap File", where they show different background items being used in two separate comics. A recent one showed that a Clow Reed circle was used in one of the Brightest Day spin-off covers. Not so bad. The bad part is when they show clips and pictures from Cardcaptor Sakura and kept saying it was from Tsubasa. Readers were quick to correct them on their mistake.
There have been some articles on anime sites that refer to Chiba from Wandering Son as "Saorin Chiba". "Saorin" is a nickname, as putting -rin to the back of a name is common for girls in Japan; her name's just "Saori".
The Amazon editorial review for the One Piece movie that remade the Alabasta arc calls the film "recut footage from the "Alabasta" story arc of the TV series with some bits of additional animation." Movie 8 was a complete remake from scratch (the higher quality wide screen animation featuring slightly alternate character designs and should have given it away), but this reviewer seems to mistake it for a Compilation Movie.
The Secret World of Arrietty was slammed on Lou Dobbs Tonight for being made to be pro Occupy Wallstreet ... wait, what? Considering the book it was based on was written in the 1960s and the film itself is now 2 years old the complaint was rather ... awkward.
Whoever was in charge of translating the summary for the Rave Master manga on the back of the books didn't bother to actually read the series, or even skim through. Otherwise he may have known the main villain's gender.
Anime News Network did a review of the Bleach movie Diamond Dust Rebellion, and cited Toshihiro Hitsugaya as a popular character. While this is true in Japan and some countries in Europe, most countries in Europe and the bulk of the United States are indifferent to Hitsugaya at best and consider him The Scrappy at worst.
Almost every Mexican newspaper misread the name of the Gundam franchise in many hilarious ways: Gandamu (phonetic), Gondam (spelling), Gandam, etc.
The Robotech commercials and ads sometimes referred to the Robotech Masters as if they were a force of good in the universe. This may be because most cartoons titles are named after the heroic forces, not the villains. This misinformation is especially explicit on the packaging for the Exosquad/Robotech toyline.
"Consider Gundam, the iconic Japanese robot character. In the ’70s, a large Japanese toymaker, Clover, created Gundam and sponsored an anime series to market him."
They're only half right — Gundam is iconic, and the original series was in fact sponsored by the toymaker Clover. However, it would take about five minutes on Wikipedia to realize that Gundam was created by Yoshiyuki Tomino, and that the titular machine isn't a robot in the R2-D2 sense but rather a Humongous Mecha.
Ads for the AIR and Kanon anime adaptations in the English market claimed that they were both "from the creators of Hurai Suzumiya". Even if they meant to type HaruhiSuzumiya, "from the same animation studio" doesn't mean "from the creators" — Haruhi is based on a series of light novels by an author who has nothing to do with Key Visual Arts, creators of AIR and Kanon.
Ads also claimed that Kanon was a prequel to AIR; the series are implied to share the same universe (and it's outright stated in a non-canonical side manga), but they take place in different towns and do not share characters aside from a brief cameo in the AIR anime.