Meaningful Names are quite common in Anime and Manga, since Japanese names have a lot of obvious literal meaning to start with.
Astro Boy in the English translations has several recurring characters with apt names...Dr. Pakadurmus J. Elefun, Percival Pompous, Inspector Gumshoe, Cacciotore the Great, Dr. Astor Boyton. These meaningful monikers are only found in the English versions...in the original Japanese, the characters are usually given common Japanese surnames.
Rosario + Vampire has a couple. Kurumu Kurono and her mother Ageha are both succubi. If you place "A" in front of Kurumu's name and drop the "ru" you get the word "Akumu" which is Japanese for "Nightmare". Succubi were known for invading the dreams of sleeping men and giving them nightmares. Similarly, Mizore and Tsurara Shirayuki are both Yuki-Onna or Snow Women. Mizore means Sleet and Tsurara means Icicle while their family name Shirayuki means Snow White. Also, Word of God says that the names Moka, Kokoa, and Kahlua all sound like things that are both sweet and bitter (mocha, cocoa, kahlua), symbolic of the three vampire sisters' split personalities.
Seto no Hanayome has some fun with this. Seeing as how it involves mermaids and yakuza, there's bound to be some.
The title of the series is Seto no Hanayome which can be read two ways. The first way is the literal title "The Inland Sea Bride" while reading it regularly is "The Bride of Seto" both of which are describing the female lead.
Sun Seto is the female lead and her first name should be obvious. In regards to this, Sun can also be seen as the "sun" in way since many of the characters "orbit" around her most notably Mikawa, Luna, Akeno, a good chunk of the male student body, her mother and father and Nagasumi. Her last name Seto refers to the place where she first met Nagasumi and her yakuza group.
Luna Edomae's first name is also obvious, being the opposite to Sun and using Lunar as her stage name. Her last name Edomae refers to Tokyo Bay since Tokyo was called Edo before the Meiji Restoration.
Mawari Zenigata is a member of the Disciplinary Committee. Her first name when read as "Omawari" is a polite term for a police officer which she aspires to become since her father is police chief. Her last name Zenigata is a reference to Heiji Zenigata the famous fictional police officer who Mawari claims to be related to.
Ren Seto's first name is a reference to the Siren which is sometimes depicted as similar to mermaids.
Sarutobi Hideyoshi is nicknamed Saru which is Japanese for monkey. The dub keeps this intact by calling him Chimp. In addition, his name also refrences Sarutobi Sasuke a ninja and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
KaiMikawa's first name is a reference to the planet Neptune which in Japanese is Kaiosei and his last name is a refrence to Mikawa Bay.
Sun's bodyguard Maki and her sister Fuki who appears later in the manga both have references in their names as well. Maki is known as Spiral Shell Maki and the word Uzumaki is Japanese for whirlpool. Fuki uses a fuki leaf as her weapon of choice.
Ichigo's name means "to protect one thing". It also creates various puns with similar words to mean "Number One", "15" and "strawberry" and his one sister combines his name with a pun for brother to give him the nickname "one-two". All the puns are used in the story but "strawberry" and "15" are the most significant. His hair is honey-coloured so he's grown up with strawberry jokes. He's 15 at the start of the story, his birthday is the 15th July, 15 is his favourite number (he has it pinned to his bedroom door and he wears t-shirts with the number on it). The creator also drew a picture of Ichigo, Orihime and Rukia as a rock band called "Jetscape 15" - a pun on the direct translation of his full name (Kurosaki Ichigo, where the surname means "black promontory").
Orihime is named after the celestial maiden in the Tanabata legend, who was the "weaving princess" and represented the star Vega. She's connected to the sky through her brother's name (Sora) and has had chapters dedicated to her with princess and sun themes. In the Arrancar Arc, the arrancar refer to her as the "princess" and nickname her "Princesa". In the final arc, some of the arrancar are still referring to her in this way. In the creators artwork of Ichigo's rock band Jetscape 15, Orihime is called Vega Highwell, a pun on the translation of her name, from the star Vega and her surname Inoue which means "upper/higher well".
Byakuya Kuchiki is Ichigo's first major antagonist and he is given a name that directly opposes Ichigo's black-themed surname (Kurosaki = black promontory). Byakuya comes from a word meaning "white" and his surname means "rotting wood". During the climactic battle between Ichigo and Byakuya, their clashing powers are jet black (Ichigo) and pure white (Byakuya) respectivelynote Less noticeable in the anime as the anime team changed most of his power to pink instead of the original white of the manga, and the fight itself occurs on a dark promontory that juts out from a forest of white, rotting trees.
Both Hitsugaya and Ukitake have white hair. Their personal names are "Toushirou" and "Juushirou" respectively. The word "shirou" means "white". Ukitake keeps trying to bond with Hitsugaya and when the irritated Hitsugaya finally loses patience with it and demands to know why Ukitake is always giving him gifts and sweets, Ukitake explains he feels they need to stick together due to both being "Shirou-chan". "Shirou-chan" is a nickname, its English equivalent would be "Whitey" or "Snowy". Hitsugaya hates this nickname as Hinamori used to call him it in their youth and still hasn't stopped even though he's now a captain.
Sado's first name is Yasutora ("peaceful tiger"). He is a fist-fighter with great strength who, to honour his grandfather, is also a pacifist. He will fight to protect others but he will never fight to protect himself.
The Ishida family all have first names that allude to their Quincy power.
Uryuu's name means "rain dragon". His signature technique is called "Licht Regen" ("Rain of Light"), where he rains 1200 arrows of light onto his enemy. He's talented enough to one-shot a captain and his bankai at the same time. In Chinese/Japanese mythology, dragons symbolise the emperor and rain symbolises the emperor's power: Uryuu's power has been revealed to hold the key to the Quincy King's end-game.
Ryuuken's name means "Dragon bowstring". He is very strongly hinted to possess immense power that could make or break the future of the Quincies, but he's refusing to get involved in the Quincy-Shinigami war due to an enigmatic Declaration of Protection (involving Uryuu's survival) made sometime in his Mysterious Past. The only time he does use his power, it's to restore Uryuu's lost power where he proves to be even more powerful than Uryuu.
Souken's name comprises kanji meaning "essence" and "bowstring" and loosely means "my soul is in my bow". He appears to be the source of, and key to, why the Ishida family has a different background to the rest of the Quincies and taught Uryuu techniques that the other Quincies don't use (and might not even know about). According to traditional aristocratic samurai traditions, Souken passed on the "bowstring" kanji to his son Ryuuken who passed on the "dragon" kanji to his son Uryuu.
The Italian dub of Saint Seiya had almost all of the original Japanese names replaced with names that fit this trope. Seiya was renamed "Pegasus (knight of Pegasus, incidentally)", Shun was "Andromeda" (knight of Andromeda, go figure) and Ikki was "Phoenix". Considering that the training location for each child is shown to be chosen randomly, it's funny that no one in the show notices that, say, the child named Pegasus gets to go to Greece to compete for the Pegasus cloth, etc. Also, none of the Gold Saints but Aiolia and Aiolos seemed to have a name at all: they were just called "The Knight of...", or they were simply referred to with the name of their constellation.
Some characters original names fall into this trope. Ikki means " one sparkle", for example. Others are based in mythology, such as Capricorn Shura, which comes from the Indian god of violence, Ashura.
Whether it's accidental or not, Kyon's name may actually be a good nickname for a Deadpan Snarker. Quoting The Other Wiki's entry about the Cynics: "Their name is thought to be derived either from the building in Athens called Cynosarges, the earliest home of the school, or from the Greek word for a dog, cyon (κύων,kýōn)". (Considering how Tanigawa Nagaru has referenced ancient Greece (amongst several other things) he might be fully aware of the multiple possible meanings.)
Haruhi loves the Tanabata festival, the myth behind which involves two lovers separated and only allowed to meet once a year. The Korean name for the man can be romanized as "Kyonu", which is pretty darn close.
The Kanji for "Mikuru" can also be read as "Mirai" - "future", while the kanji for "Asahina" can be translated as "time periods comparing" or "time periods race/competition" (in the latter case, it's giant foreshadowing for the last book and the events concerning Fujiwara.)
Everyone in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, in particular, the main character, Itoshiki Nozomu. When his name is compressed together, it resembles the kanji for zetsubou, or despair. Fitting, as the character is constantly in despair, sometimes over his own name. Ironically, his whole family has this issue but apart from the eponymous hero they don't always have the traits (his older brother (a doctor) is "death" and his younger sister is "(sexually) peerless"). However, the mentioned three make no small hint that they hate their names.
In Read or Die, superpowered bibliomaniac Yomiko Readman's name contains a double whammy. Immediately obvious to English speakers is her last name, but the kanji used for her first name mean "reading child". Unusually, her name is at least partially explained by the fact that she comes from a family of bibliomaniacs, which is also essentially the origin of her paper-related powers.
Simoun features a war between three countries: the Holy Land ("kyuukoku") of Simulacrum, the Argentum Archipelago ("shoukoku"), and the Plumbum Highlands ("reikoku"). Kyuukoku ("Holy Land" or "shrine nation"), written with different kanji, means "a patriot who saves her country." Shoukoku also means "one's own country" (i.e. Japan, an industrialized archipelago), and reikoku also means "cold-hearted ruthlessness." Simulacrum is the home of the series' protagonists, Argentum is an industrialized country with high technology, and Plumbum is a nation of ruthless religious fanatics. "Argentum" and "Plumbum" also mean "silver" and "lead" respectively in Latin, and "Simulacrum" means "an image, likeness or portrait", but in modern usage generally means a copy or simulation.
Frequently seen in Rumiko Takahashi's works. Takahashi is perhaps the master of the name with multiple levels of meaning. Very often her characters have ordinary-seeming names, but she uses kanji other than the usual ones to write them, setting up a punning conflict between what is heard and what is read.
For example, the annoying holy man in Urusei Yatsura has a name that is pronounced "Sakuranbou" (the Japanese word for the Cherry fruit), but is spelled the with the characters meaning "deranged priest". Just to add to the confusion, he usually goes by the nickname "Cherry" (in English). Moroboshi Ataru's name means "struck by a falling star", which not only describes his fate rather accurately, but is often visually punned on in the commercial bumpers (a star falls out of the show's logo and hits him in the head). Mendou's name is a fairly common surname, but here it's written with kanji that mean "annoying bastard". And "Lum" was Rumiko Takahashi's own nickname as a child (whether this means Lum is a Mary Sue is debatable); it was also the last name of Japan's first major bikini model, Agnes Lum, whose looks Lum was modeled after.
Characters in her most famous work, Ranma ˝, frequently have names that are puns in three or more languages including English and Chinese. The emotionally unstable patriarch of the Tendō family, Sōun, has a name that means "Fast Road to Heaven", but which can also be read as "weeping man" — describing him perfectly. There is also Ranma Saotome himself. His given name Ranma means "wild horse". Fitting, since the main plot is about several women attempting to "break" him and "saddle" him with marriage. His surname Saotome is written with kanji meaning "quick maiden/virgin," a rather apt description of his female form. On top of that, in his female form he sometimes uses the alias Ranko. It uses the same kanji ran, meaning "wild/rebellious," as his real name, followed by ko, meaning "child." Interestingly, ko, while a popular suffix for girls' names, actually carries masculine connotations (because Japanese word construction tends to presume masculinity when a gender-neutral kanji is used in a word). So, the name Ranko technically means "wild BOY." Finally (and this may be entirely coincidental), Ranko rhymes with bronco, an American (by way of Spanish) term for... a wild horse.
She goes all out in Maison Ikkoku, which takes place at a boarding house with numbered rooms... and everyone living there has their room's number in their name. For example, Yotsuya's name translates as "four valleys" and it's the name of a famous district in Tokyo. Kyoko, the boarding house manager, has the character for "zero" in her name, and the non-boarder characters have number-themed names.
A couple of examples can be found in InuYasha. The "inu" of the eponymous character's name means "dog," while "yasha" is generally accepted to mean a type of friendly demon or forest spirit. "Naraku" is an archaic word for "hell."
A particularly strange case is the Shichinintai, all of whose names end in the character 骨 (kotsu), meanining bone, remains, or skeleton. Bankotsu's name can thus be translated as "barbarian bone" or "barbarian remains"; Jakotsu is "snake bone" (and his Whip Sword, the Jakotsu-to, is thus the "snake bone sword"); Renkotsu means "metalworking bone"; the name of Suikotsu, who has suppressed his Superpowered Evil Side, means "sleeping bone"; the cyborg Ginkotsu's name means "silver bone"; the poisoner Mukotsu's name means "fog/mist bone"; and the cannibal Kyokotsu's name means "misfortune/disaster/evil bone." The use of the "bone" character is appropriate given that all seven characters are undead, artificially restored to life by the Shikon Jewel, but their names were established prior to their deaths.
Bantarou, whose name comes from "Taro" (a common male name in Japanese) and "Banchou" (which means "boss" or "ringleader").
Bantarou's simian-like sidekicks Oozaru and Kozaru, whose names translate as "Big Monkey" and "Little Monkey" respectively.
Jiyu's name means "Spiritual Freedom" which is exactly the effect her sword has on the undead. (In fact, it brings them back to life.)
Her mother's name is "Makoto", which means "Truth". In the second series, it turns out that her previous incarnation was married to a woman named "Truesia" and had a daughter named "Freesia".
Almost all the characters on Eyeshield 21 have meaningful names. Some of these names are reflective of their abilities, which means they also count as Steven Ulysses Perhero. For example:
Sena Kobayakawa's last name means "small, swift river", while Word of God states that the first name comes from the late Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna (who won the F1 World Championship three times, and was renowned as one of the best in the sport of all time). And, since we know how fast Sena is...
Mamori Anezaki's first name means "protector" (and she's certainly protective of Sena early in the series), while her last name means "promontory sister".
Mamoru Banba's name also carries the protector, and he's part of the impenetrable Pyramid Line that never fails to protect the quarterback
Yoichi Hiruma's name means "daytime night market". Also, his last name is spelled with kanji meaning "leech demon" (since he clamps tightly onto any talented player he can get for his team), and his first name is spelled with kanji meaning "bewitching one" (because he's fairly persuasive). This also means that his last name can be read as "demon in broad daylight".
Ryokan Kurita's first name means "powerful" and is spelled with the kanji for "good" and "broad-minded" (sure enough, he's a certified Gentle Giant), and his last name means "field of chestnuts" (referring to the shape of his head).
Daikichi Komusubi's first name means "great amount of good fortune", and "komusubi" is a rank in sumo wrestling.
Manabu Yukimitsu's first name means "study" (since that's what his mother made him do since grade school).
Tetsuo Ishimaru's last name means "stone circle" or "great stone", possibly a reference to his stoic yet easygoing personality... and possibly the bland forgettableness that's become a running gag about him.
Natsuhiko Taki, the Devil Bats' blonde, dimwitted, and boastful tight end, has a first name meaning "prince of summer".
Joe Tetsuma, the powerhouse wide receiver for the Seibu Wild Gunmen who ploughs through the defense like a train and runs on his pass routes as if he were on tracks, has a last name that means "iron horse".
Shien Mushanokoji, the quarterback for the Seibu Wild Gunmen, has a last name that means "warrior's trail", but is spelled with the kanji for "child" (hence his frequently used nickname, "The Kid").
Ohira and Onishi Hiroshi, the linemen for the Kyoshin Poseidons, have names that mean "Pacific Ocean" and "Atlantic Ocean", respectively. The Poseidons also have Kengo Mizumachi, whose name means "strong waiting time in the water" (since he used to be on Kyoshin's swim team). Also Osamu Kobanzame; Osamu means "ruler" (he's the quarterback and technically the team captain, indecisive but respected by everyone) but Kobanzame means "remora", as in the fish that attaches itself to larger fish and eats what the bigger fish doesn't. Subverted a little since actual remora can be useful for fishing, as this page shows.
Kotaro Sasaki is the rival of Gen "Musashi" Takekura, just as Kojiro Sasaki was the rival of Miyamoto Musashi
Rikiya Gaoh, the beastly, carnivorous player killer from the Hakuushuu Dinosaurs; "Gaoh" is an onomatopoeia for a dinosaur's roar.
Donald Oberman's frequently used nickname Mr. Don is mostly used to illustrate how he's the boss wherever he goes, universally feared and respected, like a Don in the Mafia.
Similarly, Reiji Maruko's chosen nickname of "Marco" reflects his love of Italian suits and the general Mafia air around him.
Kiminari Harao's name is the Japanese pronunciation of "pharaoh", referring to both the fact that he rules his school like a king (even having his own harem) and that he's the leader of his team.
"Buffalo" Ujishima's real given name is "Baharou", which is the Japanese pronunciation of "Buffalo".
Daigo Ikari has a Hair-Trigger Temper; written with different characters, "Ikari" is the Japanese word for anger.
Yu-Gi-Oh! is notorious for giving its one-off and non-friendly recurring characters names that Anviliciously reflect the type of deck they play. Its sequel, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, has all but weaned itself off of this trope, but it still pops up sometimes (most notably with the Pro Duelists that show up in the second half of Season 2).
The protagonist Yugi's name means game, and "Yu-Gi-Oh" means King of Games. Appropriate thing to shout (and to name the series with) when summoning the spirit of the greatest Card Gamer in history.
GX's Jaden Yuki and 5D's' Yusei Fudo have the same character in their names as Yugi - the one meaning "play." This is probably on purpose to keep with the series name relevant.
In 5D's itself, Yusei's name comes from the "planetary particle" (Yusei Ryushi) that his father discovered. Like the particle, which bound every other particle together, Professor Fudo wished his son to be someone who could connect people through bonds - which is exactly what he grew up to be. Additionally, the 'Sei' part of Yusei's name means 'star', which perfectly fits one of his titles as 'The Shooting Star of Satellite' and his ace monster 'Stardust Dragon'. His last name 'Fudo' can be translated as 'Not moving', or context-wise, 'Indomitable'. The literal sense is ironic given he duels on top of moving motorcycles.
Mai Valentine's Japanese name is "Kujaku Mai", with Kujaku meaning "peahen" (or "peacock" for males), which fits her initially arrogant, self-obsessed personality. (Ironically, the female peahen is a rather plain-looking bird; the male peacock is the beautiful one.) About her English name: "It's not a very subtle pun, but then again, nothing about me is subtle."
Seto Kaiba's name is full of them. The characters of his last name translate to 'Sea Horse', and then take into account an old Japanese myth that says a sea horse will turn into a dragon if it lives for 100 years. His first name is the name of the Egyptian God 'Set' said in Japanese phonetics (i.e. with a vowel at the end, usually 'o'). (One monster he has been known to use is Kaiser Seahorse, which reflects this. It makes summoning his Blue-Eyes White Dragon easier; to emphasize this, "Kaiser" means "emperor', symbolizing majesty.)
Like his brother, the 'ba' part of Mokuba means 'horse' as well, and 'Moku' means wood, like the trademark rocking horse that young kids have played with at some point. It could also be for the Trojan Horse, since Mokuba is the storage keeper for all of their company's secrets.
The Pharaoh's real name Atem, is taken from one of the incarnations of Ra, the sun god Atem-Ra whose sole enemy was Set.
Pegasus's name is an oblique one, referring to a homonym of the Japanese translation. "Pegasus" translates into Japanese as "tenma", or "heavenly horse". The other "tenma" means "heavenly demon"—that is, "fallen angel".
The Dragon for the Big Bad of Season 4 in GX calls himself "Trueman", as he claims he always speaks the truth. He actually names himself, as he states during his second appearance that he has no name, but needs to be called something.
From the manga version of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX there's Seika Kohinata. (Her name sounds like the Japanese word for "snake", and she uses a snake-themed deck.)
In the second season, Judai faced a duelist named X; in the dub, his full name was expanded to "Howard X. Miller".
Professor Cobra's name is fitting, given that he's a Card-Carrying Villain, but he does play a snake-themed deck. (Of course, "Cobra" is his real name, so he probably adapted his deck to fit, not the other way around.)
In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXALMr. Heartland has two henchmen named Gauche and Droite. Their names are French for "left" and "right", respectively, with is fitting because Gauche is Heartland's "left hand" while Droite is his "right hand". It also reflects that they are opposite sides of the same coin; Gauche is fiery, energetic, and high-spirited, while Droite is calm, collected, and cold. Their dub names, Nistro and Dextra, also reflect this. "Nistro" is short for "sinistro", which is Italian for "left-handed", and "Dextra" comes from "dexter", means "female right-handed" in Portuguese.
In the manga Yu-Gi-Oh! D Team ZEXAL one villain is named Syndy Chross. The first syllable of her first and last names form the word "Synchro", referencing the theme of her Deck.
Though the kanji is off, the protagonist's name Kamiyama can be interpreted as God [is] Judge, and after transliterating it to Hebrew, you get Daniel. Fitting for him being in his situation of a note not-so nice guy in a delinquent high school.
To a lesser extent, Takeshi Hokuto. His first name is written with the same kanji as warrior, and he is an expert at several forms of martial arts. His last name is also the Japanese name of the constellation Big Dipper, which fits somebody who plans to rule all of Japan and would become (in)famous for this.
Everyone in Fruits Basket. Yuki - Snow, to match his nickname "Ice Prince". Kyo can mean ill fortune, ginger or turmoil. Shigure gets his name from the tenth month, which is the month of the dog, of the former Japanese lunar calendar, Shigurezuki, and so on and so forth with the rest of the Sohmas.
Momiji and Haru had their names mistakenly reversed, as Momiji stands for the month of the Cow and Haru the month of the rabbit. But since the names fit their characters so well they stuck
According to The Other Wiki, Natsuki Takaya said everyone outside of the Zodiac aren't supposed to have much meaning in their names. However the fact that Kyo's name is meaningful might indicate that Takaya herself believes the cat to be part of the zodiac.
In X1999, several of the Seals [and Angels] have names that nod to their powers:
Kamui's name means 'Power of God'.
Fuuma means 'true seal'.
Sorata's name reads 'selection of the sky'.
Karen's name means something like 'forge fire'.
Yuzuriha's first name is written 'protection sword.' Her family name, Nekoi, is a deliberate aversion - it references cats as a smokescreen for the fact that the family forms partnerships with spirit dogs.
Subaru means the Pleiades, a group of seven stars.
His sister Hokuto is another constellation of seven stars (the big dipper). The big dipper is the constellation used to represent the Seals.
Seishiro's first name is related to the belt of Orion, keeping up with the themednaming of Hokuto and Subaru in Tokyo Babylon. His last name, Sakurazuka, is also directly in his "harbinger" title - Sakurazukamori: the gaurdian of the cherry blossom burial mount.
The various Gundam series are not shy about using meaningful names.
In the original Mobile Suit Gundam, some characters who are Newtypes are given names of Japanese vehicles and historical figures:
Amuro Ray = Rei (Zero), the Mitsubishi Zero.
Kai Shiden, the Kawanishi N1K-J.
The war orphan Kikka is named after the Nakajima J9Y.
The older Mirai Yashima is named after a Japanese battleship of 1894.
Hayato Kobayashi, who is not a Newtype, is named after a medal-winning Japanese infantryman.
The Englishman Ensign Bright is named after an English ambassador who helped the Japanese in the nineteenth century.
Four Murasame is named meaningfully. "Four" is clearly a number: not something usually used as a name. Four is the fourth test subject of the Murasame laboratory.
Rau Le Creuset of Gundam SEED, whose assumed last name is French for "The Crucible", a reference to the play of the same name about the Puritan witch hunts, which in turn refers to both prejudiced sides of the Natural/Coordinator conflict (which plan to wipe the other side out for being what they are), and to Rau's belief in his worthiness to judge all of humanity with a sentence of death.
Muruta Azrael is named for the Angel of Death.
And his successor Lord Djibril continues the theme: "Djibril" is a variant of "Jibril", the Arabic name for the Archangel Gabriel.
A number of characters in the MSV sidestories have interesting nicknames. For instance, Edward Harrison is known as "Ed the Ripper", both a play on Jack the Ripper and the fact that, when he goes out into battle with the Sword Calamity, he comes back with the suit covered in oil.
Athrun is Arabic, derived from the Greek erythron, which means red. He is a CHAR after all.
In Gundam SEED Destiny: Neo Roanoke is actually Mu La Flaga with amnesia. Roanoke was an island that was the first American English colony where everyone disappeared; Neo means new.
Lacus Clyne isn't very meaningful, but the spelling is close to Lac des Cygnes (French for Swan Lake), and "Lacus" is Latin for "lake".
Her Body Double is named "Meer," which is also a word for "lake" (more commonly spelled "mere"). Also, Meer is the phonetic spelling of the English word "mirror", to enforce that she is Lacus's body double.
The specific meanings of their names are not too important, but Shinn has two important (living) girls - Stella and Lunamaria - whose names have a similar theme. As Shinn is someone who ascended from Earth to live in space, and Stella and Luna mean "star" and "moon", there can be said that there is meaning there. Specifically, Stella, the stars, are not in reach, and so she dies. Luna, the moon, is, and she becomes his girlfriend.
The five pilots Heero, Duo, Trowa, Quatre, and Wufei names are derived from the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 respectively in various languages.
Heero, pronounced as "hiiro", can also be a pun for hero. It has been said that his name is spelled this way to avoid the sort of mispronunciation that made Shiro, the hero of X-Bomber, get called "Shire-O" in the English dub instead of "sheero".
There is also Noin (9), Lady Une (1), Treize (13) and Zechs (6)/Milliardo (1,000,000,000).
Additionally, the Peacecraft line were pacifists. After she learns she's a Peacecraft, Relena adopts the philosophy as well.
Lockon Stratos from Gundam 00 is said to be an expert marksman. This is Justified, by the fact that all the original Gundam Meisters' names are Code Names.
Well, except for Tieria and Allelujah, who use the first names they were ever given, as opposed to designations.
Setsuna's first and last names in Japanese mean "Moment" and "Holy Eternity". The F in the middle stands for "From", put it all together (Setsuna F Seiei) and you get "A Moment from the Holy Eternity", which refers to times of great revolution.
Setsuna's real name, however, Soran Ibrahim has some very interesting connotations. Specifically, [[spoiler: his first name, "Soran" could be taken from the Danish name meaning "Stern, severe" or in some cases "extreme," which Setsuna certainly is in everything he does or believes. And "Ibrahim" being a Hebrew name meaning "God of many nations," denoting a person of high stature who could bring together people of different regions and/or beliefs.
Marina Ismail's surname, too, has quite the poignant meaning relating to her role in the story, "God will listen."
G Gundam has Schwarz Bruder, whose name is ungrammatical German for "black brother" and thus a dead giveaway to his true identity. This is played with a bit in the series, as although it is indeed an alias used by the main character's seemingly rogue older brother, it was also the name of a real person who's body and identity said brother jacked in a spur of the moment thing- meaning, although its the most blatantly obvious alias since "Darth Vader", its also a complete coincidence.
Gundam Unicorn has Full Frontal, whose name refers to "full frontal assault", a Shout-Out to the missing-in-action Char Aznable's combat style.
The Neo Zeon remnants are called "the Sleeves" due to the decorative patterns on the forearms of their mobile suits, on the other end the ECOAS are referred to as the "Manhunter unit" due to their stated mission of hunting down the Neo Zeon remnants.
The Unicorn is named after the mythical creature, who's name means The Beast of Possibilities (something that Banagher does comment on).
The Kshatriya is named for the military and ruling order of one of the four social classes of Hinduism.
The Sinanju is named for a fictional style of martial arts from a paperback book series known as The Destroyer.
The Banshee is named after a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld.
In ∀ Gundam, Dianna Soreil's name comes from the following: Diana, the Roman goddess of the moon, while "Soreil" is a derivative of "Soleil", the French word for "sun".
The title character from the manga Yotsuba&!, who shares a name with her distinctive four-ponytail hairstyle (yotsuba is Japanese for "four-leaf" as in "four-leaf clover").
Magic Knight Rayearth - CLAMP makes it too obvious which of the three protagonists go with which Rune God, and which element obviously, from moment one (at least for those who are Japanese natives).
Shidou Hikaru means "Light of the Lion Shrine" (Hikaru = light, Shi = lion, Dou is kanji for hall or, in this case, shrine).
Ryuuzaki Umi means "Dragon of the Sea" (Umi = sea, Ryuu = dragon)
Hououji Fuu is more complicated but equally glaring really - "Wind of the Phoenix King Shrine" (Fuu = wind, Hou = phoenix, Ou = king and Ji = temple/shrine)
Add that every other character in this manga (sans Mokona who is named after Mokona Appapa) takes his/her name from one car or another and you end up with a show chock-full of Meaningful Names.
Mamoru means "to protect". His full name translates as "protector of the Earth". The US dub of the anime managed to somewhat retain the pun by giving him the surname Shields.
Tsukino Usagi's name is pronounced the same as Rabbit of the Moon (and they then had trouble finding the moon princess.) All the sailor senshi have names that reflect their specific elements.
The outer Senshi (sans saturn) take their family names directly from their planet. Haruka Tenoh represents Uranus, or Tenohsei. They also reference their powers. Tenoh = Sky King, Kaioh = Sea King, Meioh = Dark King.
Completing the set is Tomoe Hotaru; "Tomoe" = "earthnote dirt, not the planet sprout," "Hotaru" = "firefly." Besides Saturn's Japanese name being "Dosei" (earth star), the firefly's primary mystical significance in Japan is carrying the souls of the dead.
Luna means moon in Latin (and other languages).
There's also Queen Serenity, referring to both her personality and the Mare Serenitatis, or Sea of Serenity, a lunar landmark.
Metaria (which is the correct spelling as confirmed by Word of God) means "of boundaries" or "belonging to boundaries", referring to how she was sealed.
The Shitennou are all named after minerals (beryllium in Queen Beryl's case).
All the Ayakashi Sisters and Witches 5 are named after minerals (including Koan; kōan is the Japanese name of kermesite, and in this case has nothing to do with Zen).
CereCere, VesVes, PallaPalla and JunJun are named after Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Juno, names of Roman goddesses and asteroids. which is fitting as they become Sailors Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Juno later on
Endymion was a character from Greek mythology who was in love with Seléne, the Greek goddess of the moon and Serenity's pre-incarnation.
Artemis was a Greek goddess who was identified with Seléne - the Roman equivalent of Seléne was Luna. Diana, their daughter, was another Roman goddess of the moon, who was the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Artemis.
The name "Three Lights" comes from an English translation of "san hikari", something from Shinto mythology (the "san hikari" were believed to be the sun, moon and stars, represented by Seiya, Taiki and Yaten respectively).
Kakyuu means fireball, probably referencing the fact that she hid in an incense burner.
In the SuperS Movie Perle, Poupelin, Banane, Orangeat, Madame Badiane and the Marzipannu Castle are all named after French (or German in Orangeat's case) sweets and desserts, except for Perle, whose name means "pearl" in French, like the stone, or like tapioca pearls.
In addition, the names Seiya, Taiki and Yaten are meaningful names themselves. Seiya's name means "field of stars" and is a homophone of "starry night." Taiki means "atmosphere," and Yaten means "night sky."
The names of the sailor forms (and other alter-egos).
Sailor Jupiter, who uses lightning-based attacks, one of which is combined with Petal Power (Specifically, oak leaves). Jupiter is the Roman name for Zeus, god of thunder and lightning. The oak tree was sacred to him. Also, the planet Jupiter is connected to Plants in Japan.
Sailor Mars, who uses fire-based attacks. The planet Mars is associated with fire in Japan.
Sailor Venus... All the inner Sailor Soldiers have an individual "For Love and x". In her case, it's "For love and beauty". Both of these are domains of the goddess Venus, AKA Aphrodite. Also Venus-Love-Me-Chain and it's upgrades have a metal theme. The planet Venus is connected to metal (mostly gold) in Japan.
Sailor Mercury is the most intelligent and quick-thinking. Again with the Greek/Roman god thing. Domain of Mercury, AKA Hermes. The Water comes from the planet Mercury's water connections in Japan.
Tuxedo Mask should be self explanatory, but just in case it isn't, he wears a tuxedo accessorized with a top hat, a cape, a cane, and a domino mask with one-way-transparency film in the eyeholes.
Sailor Uranus, Soldier of the sky. Ouranos/Uranos/Uranus was the sky itself (including space) in Greek myth and the first husband of the earth.
Sailor Neptune, Soldier of the sea. Neptune/Poseidon, Roman/Greek god whose domain is the ocean.
A lot of names in YuYu Hakusho are of this type. "Yuusuke" means "ghost helper;" "Urameshi" is what Japanese ghosts who are haunting a house wail; "Kuwabara kuwabara" is a charm against lightning (Kuwabara himself actually chants this at one point); "Kurama" and "Hiei" are Japanese mountains said to be sites of high demon activity, though the kanji used are different (Hiei's mean "flying shadow" for a double whammy); Ice Maiden Yukina's name means "snow flower," while the "Hi" in "Hiei" sounds like a word for fire (bringing him to triple); "Yukimura Keiko" means "snow village firefly child," and refers to a Chinese folk tale about a poor child who studied diligently by the light of fireflies reflected in the snow; all of the ferry girlshave names associated with flowers and plants ("Botan"=peony; "Ayame"=iris; "Hinageshi"="poppy"). This plant naming even goes for Sensui (whose name is a kanji anagram of "suisen", "daffodil") and Itsuki ("flowering tree"), perhaps to note the severity of their Face-Heel Turn.
Head's up on that: None of them are spelled that way. Except Keiko and (sort of) Yukina's given names. And Kuwabara, straightforward mulberry-field it is. 'Urameshi Yusuke' is a made-up name, although the auditory pun is perfectly real.
Kurama's is for some reason written 'have-horse.' He does not appear to ever have had a horse or any interest in doing so, rendering it an anti-meaningful name. 'Minamino Shuichi' is written with characters that can be read half a dozen other ways for equally common names. (These include 'Akeno Suiro' and 'Nouchi Hidekatsu.')
Sensui Shinobu's given name is written with the same kanji for 'hide, conceal' used in the synonymous words 'shinobi no mono' and 'ninja.'
The names Kyou and Asu of the sisters in Binbou Shimai Monogatari mean "today" and "tomorrow", respectively. It signifies the moments one should concentrate on in life and also gets mention in the opening theme.
Keroro comes from "kerokero", the Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound a frog makes.
Tamama comes from "otamajakushi", which is Japanese for "tadpole". It can also be linked to "tamatama", which means "unexpected" (referring to his fierce mood swings).
Giroro comes from "girogiro", which means "sharp-eyed".
Kururu comes from "kurukuru", which means "spinning" or "wound up" (referring to his whorl mark and the spirals on his Opaque Nerd Glasses). It can also be linked to "kuru", which means "hunchback" (referring to Kururu's stooped posture). The "Ku" in his "ku,ku,ku" laughs is also another way of saying "9", which is considered unlucky as it's a synonym for "suffering", referring to his lack of concern for the well-being of his test subjects.
Dororo comes from "doron", which is onomatopoeia for a Ninja vanishing. It can also be linked to "dorodoro", which means "syrupy" (which describes Dororo's sentimental and emotional tendencies).
The Villain Protagonist of the series has the properly ironic name of "Light". To top it off, it's spelled with the character for "moon" and his last name "Yagami" also means "night god." His pseudonym, "Kira," is "killer" in Gratuitous English.
Combined with Dante's allegory with likening God to the Sun and sunlight (which is used often in the Bible, a name that is written as 'Moon' but read as 'Light' (so, 'moonlight') holds a particularly excellent piece of Fridge Brilliance - it symbolises that Light is not only borrowing a Shinigami's power as the moon will 'borrow' sunlight to make himself a god (shinigami being the closest thing to gods in the series), but that he is also, in reality, an imitation, a false god after all (making his accusing Near of being an imitation of L hypocritical). Combined with his surname Yagami, meaning 'Night-God', he is essentially a god with borrowed power in the right circumstance (a 'dark' world), as the moon is only a 'god' at night.
Since the Japanese reading is Raito, even though it is usually translated as Light, it could also mean Right — as in, righteous. Alternatively, it could be read as "write" — like the director's cuts, which are called "riraito" in the original, but became "Re-Light" in the official translation, after being universally known as "Rewrite".
Light-spelt-as-moon is also not a name anyone would ever have — it has a stroke count of four. In Japanese numerology, this equates to making his adult life all about death. So much for modern parenting.
L's successors also do this ironically. Mello is a loose cannon and Near spends most of his time in the story in another country from the protagonists. Also, the first letter in their names refers to their status as L's successors. Think alphabetics.
"How to Read 13" notes that Near's real name, "Nate River", is supposed to symbolize that his talents flow from L, therefore he is L's natural successor.
By contrast to Light, another Yagami with a little black book Of Doom is the Anti-Villain of the series, whose book is called the "Tome of the Night Sky". She uses the standard spelling of Eight Gods (八神), rather than Night God.
The Big Bad and Mad Scientist Jail Scaglietti. Naturally, he was eventually defeated and imprisoned.
Fate Testarossa wins by having been named after the project that created her in the first place. That, and being an expendable clone designed for the singular purpose of reviving your original without even being aware of it.
Subaru is a model-0 combat cyborg, the first of what was going to be a mass produced model. Most of the cast is named after cars, but Subaru? Named after a company. Her family name, Nakajima, is seemingly based off of the former name of the company that makes Subaru automobiles.
Another famous Yagami is Iori Yagami, whose name (again written 八神) means "Eight Gods Retreat". His family serves the eight-headed snake, Orochi.
The first character in Taichi's (Tai) name, ta (太), is the same character as the first in "Taiyou (Sun)". His crest is the shape of a sun, and this is semi used as a device in his character song "Atarashii Taiyou (New Sun)", speaking about Daisuke (Davis) being the new leader.
Hikari (Kari) means "light" (though her name is written in katakana, not kanji), and not only is she the bearer of the Crest of Lightnote they play with the identical meaning/pronunciation when Wizardmon appears before Takeru (T.K.) and Jou (Joe) looking for her - carrying the Crest of Light, no less - and they get a little confused, her partner evolves into an angel.
Taichi (Tai) and Hikari's (Kari) surname, Yagami (八神), is spelled with kanji which mean "eight gods". Indeed, there are eight Chosen Children in Adventure, and Kari is the eighth.
Sora means "sky", and she is partnered with a Piyomon (Biyomon) , a bird Digimon who becomes a Giant Flyer and serves as a common means of transport for everyone. Additionally, her surname is "Takenouchi", which my translator assures me means "home of the warrior", as in, the place he goes when he needs a break from fighting.
The first character in Daisuke's (Davis) name, dai, can be pronounced as tai (though it's a different character than in Taichi's name.) Taken together, "Daisuke" means "big help". Which he really was. Just ask Ken! In the dub, Tai's surname "Kamiya" is very similar to Daisuke's (Davis) "Motomiya" (which seems to be coincidence since this parallel doesn't exist in the Japanese version and the Adventure dub aired before 02 was a thing that happened in Japan).
Ken's name is written with the character for "intelligence", since he's a boy genius. Additionally, the "ichi" in his last name means first, while "jouji" means usually, so it becomes "usually first." Sounds right for the kid.
The "kou" in Kouji and Kouichi's name means "shine" in reference to the former's light element, and "ichi" and "ji" in their names use the characters "one" and "two", because Kouichi is the "older" twin. (Though naming twins with a common radical for both and numbers to separate them is common practice in Japan, so it may not be as meaningful so much as it is a practical standard)
The first character in Tomoki's family name, Himi, uses the character for "ice". Fittingly, Tomoki's powers are ice related.
Zenjiro Tsurugi is a practitioner of kendo who often used swords throughout the series.
Kiriha's surname, Aonuma (蒼沼), translates to "blue swamp". He's clearly associated with the colour blue - blue Digimon, blue X Loader, blue flag, blue jacket, etc.
Tagiru's name is pronounced the same way as (滚), meaning "to boil". Much as you'd expect, he's a Hot-BloodedKeet. The name of his insert song plays with this - "Tagiru Chikara" (spelled in katakana only) can accordingly be taken to meaning "boiling power".
Riza Hawkeye is a sharpshooter. In a flashback in the manga, one military man in her area tells another not to worry because "we have a hawk's eye on us". The name however seems to mean nothing for her father, who is never seen handling firearms or practicing any sort of aiming-based activity.
In old French as well as Celtic and Gaelic, Roi/Roy meant King, and Colonel Roy Mustang is a man who wants to become ruler of Amestris. This one might be accidental, as Roy is a common English name. Mustang, besides being an airplane name, is also a breed of horse, and horses are known as being overly proud and affectionate of the females.
There's also Alex-Louis Armstrong, who is incredibly strong and uses alchemy to gain incredible super-strength. His state alchemist title is practically a Lampshade Hanging in itself — the Strong Arm Alchemist, just his last name reversed.
Then there's Fuhrer/President Bradley, whose first name just happens to be "King". This is given an in-universe explanation in the manga, which reveals that Bradley was actually given the name "King" after being selected by Father to be the next dictator of Amestris.
Also, most of the members of the military are named after WWII military vehicles; explanations for Bradley, Fury, Havoc, Hawkeye, Hayate, Hughes and Mustang can be found at the bottom of this page. Also, the P-51 Mustang was considered "the best fighter aircraft of WWII" and the Grumman E-2 Hawkeye was a reconnaissance plane. (Grumman is also Hawkeye's grandfather.)
The Homunculi are obviously named after the Seven Deadly Sins.
"Alphonse" is derived from German and means both "noble" and "ready for battle"; two fitting adjectives for the innocent yet awesome Al. The name could also be a play on words, as in Japanese it is pronounced Aru, which is also the verb "to be" for living things.
Bonus points for Riza: Lieutenant Hawkeye acts as Roy's aiming system after he gets blinded.
Miles, of the Briggs Army, whose name means "soldier".
Ed practically hates his father for abandoning him, and the Big Bad he fights at the end is named Father.
Olivier's name comes from "olive", sacred to Athena, Greek Goddess of War and Strategy.
In Neon Genesis Evangelion, there's Rei Ayanami, whose given name is written in katakana (as is everyone else's given names), leaving it a mystery as to what it could mean. One possible meaning is the number zero; the kanji for zero can be pronounced as "rei," and she pilots Evangelion Unit-00. It puns on the Japanese word for "bow," as in, "bow down," mirroring her generally self-effacing attitude towards life. However, the Japanese word for soul is also pronounced rei. Make of that what you will.
Also, her surname has the character 'nami' meaning 'wave' (as in tsunami). In Rebuild, there's Asuka's name changed to Shikinami, and new pilot Mari Makinami. Shinji's family name, Ikari, means 'anchor', but one different spelling is 'wrath'. Kinda appropriate.
In the English dub of episode 1, Ritsuko referred to Unit 01 as the "Oni system" for two reasons: the chance of it activating for a random person (0.000000001%, that's nine zeroes over there) and it's appearance (the Oni is a demon in Japanese mythology). She took her time to explain it in detail.
Saito Hiraga from Zero no Tsukaima is named after Gennai Hiraga (Scientist from Edo period) and his name is written as "ability man." Quite fitting considering that his power is to use any weapon in existence.
In Haibane Renmei, every Haibane is given a Meaningful Name based on their dreams (which may or may not represent how they died) when they first appear.
Katou Yue in Angel Sanctuary was given his first name Yue by his father, because his wife cheated on him and so Yue obviously wasn't his child, always reminding him of the incident. Yue is a term used for children born dead or dying shortly after birth. (Generally it means something like tragic accident, lethal occurrence etc) The name didn't work as a bad omen, as Katou was able to grow into a annoying teenager, but while the manga goes on, he gets killed once and sacrifices himself three times getting always beyond the border of death... before jumping right back into action, always more killing and slashing. In the end, he uses a doomsday device too summon a meteor smashing heaven saving Setsuna a third time and ultimately leaving Yuki no time to resurrect him before the series ending
St. Lobelia Academy, home of the Zuka Club, may or may not be another intentional case. The lobelia flower is traditionally used medically as an emetic or purgative, and it can be dangerous in large doses. In floriography, lobelia also means malevolence.
The protagonists of are known as Kuro and Shiro — "Black" and "White". "White" is innocent and untouched by the evil that surrounds him, while "Black" is malicious and violent. Because this is a Taoist fable, Black and White complement and complete each other (ŕ la Yin and Yang).
Also significant in the story are Rat, an old yakuza, and Serpent, who may or may not be an alien. Kuro and Shiro call themselves "Neko", or the Cats. There are many cats, snakes and rats that feature prominently in the background in the manga. The Minotaur, who knows the labyrinth.
Maka is an anagram of kama, the Japanese name for a scythe. It also means "earth" or "soil" in Lakota, possibly a reflection of her down-to-earth personality.
Then there's the aptly-named Eruka Frog, who can turn into a frog. In addition, her given name is an anagram of kaeru, which means frog.
Among the other witches are the snake-themed Medusa, her sister and fellow Greek Mythology-named Arachne, the mouse-themed Mizune sisters (mouse is "nezumi" in Japanese), the chameleon-themed Angela Leon, and the head of the witches, Mabaa ("old witch lady" in Japanese). And Blair, who was only thought to be a witch. All the witches are theme named.
Dr Franken Stein, who is covered all over with stitches.
An awful lot of the Weapons have names relating to their form or attributes: Jackie is a flamethrowing lantern, for example.
Her full name is Jacqueline O. Lantern.
Crona's Japanese name is Kurona, which translates into "dark one". S/he's extremely depressed and lonely in personality, goes by the nickname "Demon Swordmaster" and Medusa filled his/her body with black blood, and tempts his/her insanity with her magic so s/he'll slaughter people for the sake of their souls.
The eponymous character eats souls. Corrupted, evil souls, but still. And then it's revealed that is a name he choose, as they can register with any name they want in the academy. His name is actually Soul Evans.
Black☆Star, has a huge ego and believes the world revolves around him, like how the earth revolves around its own star the sun. He also calls himself "the star of the show." This also extends to his powers, all of which end with the word "Star". It counts double time when he and Tsubaki receive the Shadow Star.
Death the Kid is the son of Lord Death. Effectively, it's like calling him "Death Jr." His name is also meant to be a homage to "Billy the Kid", hence the bolo tie and his weapons' cowgirl-like outfits.
Kid's weapons, Demon Pistol sisters Liz and Patty, have the last name Thompson, coming from John T. Thompson- the inventor of the Tommy Submachine Gun. Their name could also be a reference to the 80s band Thompson Twins (who weren't actually twins, just like Liz and Patty), which fits with the many musical references of the series.
Badass Bookworm Ox Ford is named after Oxford University. His weapon, Harvar, is named for Harvard, another very prestigious school.
Kirikou Rung (Kilik in the English dub) is named after the main character from Kirikou and the Sorceress, a West African folk tale about a boy who battles a beautiful witch. Fitting given that witches are the primary enemies of most of the students.
Zoids: Chaotic Century has a few Meaningful Names. Like a lot of anime, Zoids is fond of its Gratuitous German: examples include the hero, Ban Freiheit ("freedom"); his Organoid, Seig (Sieg "victory"); and Karl Schwarz ("black"), who has a fondness for black lilies. More notably, there's the Oracular Urchin Fine - Italian for "the end" - who has the power to destroy all Zoids in order to save the world. Unfortunately, the significance of these names is obscured by apparent mistranslation in the English dub: Freiheit becomes Flyheight, Seig becomes Zeke, Schwarz becomes Shubaltz, and Fine is renamed Fiona. This becomes somewhat awkward when a line is retained from the original script wherein another character remarks upon the fatalistic connotations of Fine's name, something that obviously doesn't apply to the name "Fiona" (Wikipedia: "white, pale or fair").
Zoids: New Century uses Gratuitous German in its names for the Liger Zero's three armor units, each designed for a specific purpose: Jaeger (Jäger "hunter"), for speed; Schneider ("tailor", "cutter"), equipped with numerous blades; and Panzer ("tank"), loaded with missiles and heavy artillery. Bit Cloud's surname may refer to his carefree, wandering nature; Vega Obscura's to the fact that little is known about him; Jamie Hemeros' surname may be derived from the Greek word for "tame" or "mild," particularly fitting in contrast with the nature of his alter-ego, Wild Eagle.
Most of the characters from Naruto are affected by this. In the Rookie 9 alone:
Naruto Uzumaki: Uzumaki means "spiral" or "whirlpool". There's a famous whirlpool in Japan near the city of Naruto — and it's given its name to those spirally pink things you sometimes see on ramen, which is Naruto's favourite food. (They're called naruto kamaboko, and if you're wondering, they're made of processed fish.) The spiral motif is all over the manga, especially where Naruto himself is concerned. The Leaf Village symbol, the seal on Naruto's chest, his graffiti stylings... just look at the first page!
Given that Naruto can mean both Maelstrom as well as Fishcake his full name can be translated as Maelstrom Whirlpool. Fitting for someone whose ancestors came from a place called the Village Hidden Among The Whirling Tides in The Land Of Whirlpools.
Sasuke Uchiha: "Uchiha" being a type of Japanese fan and the clan symbol, and "Sasuke" being a stock name for a ninja character. The third Hokage's family name is Sarutobi, which sets up the name Sarutobi Sasuke, which is the name of a popular fictional ninja. They also gave said Sarutobi Hiruzen (no personal name given until well after his death) the ability to summon monkeys. Or at least the monkey king, who given he had the perpetually-expanding rod was clearly intended as a Son Goku pastiche.
Sakura Haruno: "Sakura" being a reference to her hair colour, and the phrase "Haru no sakura" meaning "spring's cherry blossoms". This works only if you say her name out loud, though. Sakura's last name is actually written with the kanji for "spring" and "field" (not the possessive "no") so her full name really translates out to "Spring Field Cherry Blossom". Naoko Takeuchi pulled the same thing with the kanji in the name of the Inner Senshi in Sailor Moon.
Hinata Hyuuga: Her names forming a pun around the sun, linked to the Hyuuga clan symbol. The pun being that her first and last name can both be read as the same thing, "into the sun", or "facing the sun". She also happens to have a massive crush on the sunny personality and blond hair that is Naruto who eventually gets lit up like the sun when he uses his controlled Nine Tails Mode.
Kiba Inuzuka: As a dog ninja, his first name means fang, also a reference to his Facial Markings, and his family name means, well, dog. Furthermore, his mother is named Tsume which means claw, and his big sister is named Hana which means nose (this too is a double pun as it also means flower and she's the most civilized of the family). The Inuzuka historically were a clan of Samurai who trained dogs.
Shino Aburame: In Japan, the last name comes first, so "Aburame Shino" resembles "Aburamashi", the Japanese word for cockroach.
Additionally Kiba and Shino's names play off of each other: the main character of the early 19th century epic novel Nansō Satomi Hakkenden (which you might remember for being adapted into the OVA series The Hakkenden) had "Shino" and "Inuzuka" as part of his name.
Chouji Akimichi: "Chouji" referring both to the butterfly-form of his chakra, and his caterpillar-like eating habits.
Shikamaru Nara: A reference to his clan's deer-rearing, "shika" meaning deer and Nara being a city known for its free-roaming deer.
Ino Yamanaka: "Ino" means pig or boar for some arbitrary reason.
These characters names form Ino-Shika-Cho, a combo in a card game, in much the same way as their techniques mesh together for a combo. Their parents share these name similarities, and they are in fact the second Ino-Shika-Cho trio.
A fairly subtle instance of this is in the Immortals Arc, in which shogi is a recurring theme (especially when Asuma initially thinks the "king" is the Hokage, but realizes that it's the next generation). As such, the antagonists of the arc, Akatsuki members Hidan and Kakuzu, have the kanji for the rook and bishop in their names, respectively, and a panel near the end of Chapter 332 shows a knight (representing Shikamaru's fighting style) prepared to capture an enemy rook and bishop.
Thanks to the subtelties and complexities of the Japanese Language, Gaara's name is actually a mutated acronym. It's short for "a self-loving carnage" (我を愛する修羅, Ware wo ai suru shura). Gaara (我愛羅) The kanji taken from the phrase mean Self, Love, and the second half of Carnage or Demon. His title Sabaku is a double pun as well. Sabaku 砂瀑 means Sand Waterfall, but the pronunciation also means desert which is also accurate.
Jiraiya's name means "comes and goes as he pleases", which is just as accurate if not more than Ero-sennin ("Perverted Hermit"). According to him, the only reason he was in the village in the month between the preliminaries and final round of the Chunin Exam was "research".
Itatchi's name means weasel, which is considered a bad omen. This sums up Itachi, until later in Part II.
On that note, weasels are also famed for being utterly viciousMama Bears.
Itachi's partner Kisame Hoshigake's first name means Demon Shark. His sword Samehada means Shark Skin...but for his last name it goes a little deeper. It means dried persimmon. All known family names from Kirigakure are related to fruits: Momochi ("peach ground"), Hoshigaki ("dried persimmons"), Hozuki "demon lantern", and Chōjūrō "Asian Pear").
The "shark" part goes deeper when you consider his backstory. He killed all his squadmates to prevent them from being captured and interrogated, then killed Samehada's former wielder. Upon being paired with Itachi, he comments that they were likely paired together because they killed their comrades like how sharks devour the others they were born with.
Rock Lee's sensei Might Guy. It speaks for itself.
All subtlety is thrown out the window with Pain, which Nagato took on along with his mission to educate the world about the pain war brings to people. His individual bodies are named after the places people can reincarnate to, with their abilities corresponding somewhat to their names.
Sasori's name means scorpion, referring to the scorpion-like tail on the puppet he always wears and the poison he puts on his weapons. He even has a red scorpion logo on the puppets he makes.
Umino Iruka is a pun on "umi no iruka," or "sea dolphin." In the non-canon anime fillers, he has the ability to use echolocation.
Kira (from Death Note) is to Killer as Madara is to Murderer. Just sayin'.
Tobi is a pun of 10 Tails. It also means Kite.
Also, Tobi is more or less Obito with the syllables reversed. Tying into his backstory: The once idealistic Obito became the nihilistic Tobi after witnessing the death of his beloved friend/crush Rin. Tobi is literally the reverse of everything Obito used to be.
The "Shishioh" in Shishioh Guy means "Lion King." Lions are synonymous with courage, and Guy pilots a robot nicknamed "Brave King" which also has an actual (giant robot) lion at its core. Also, the kanji used for "Gai" is used in constructs to mean "victory."
There is also Amami Mamoru ("mamoru" as before meaning "to protect"), whose Meaningful Name was acknowledged in the show itself.
His original Japanese name was Mifune Gou (Hibiki Gou in the '80s remake), with the given name being a pun on the English word "go." Go is also Japanese for 'five,' so the Mach 5 (and the title of the series, Mach Go Go Go) are the same pun again. The Masked Racer X, however, didn't get a pun.
Just to make matters worse, there is his older brother Rex. Who is believed dead in a racing accident and then comes back as (wait for it)... Racer X.
In Kure-nai, Murasaki Kuhouin is believed to have been named after Murasaki from the Tale of Genji. Both characters are kidnapped as little girls and develop a relationship of sorts with their caretaker. However, Kure-nai sports inverted Wife Husbandry.
The main characters of Wolf's Rain are all named after aspects of a wolf. Kiba = fang, Hige = whisker, Tsume = claw, and Toboe = howl. (Blue also has blue eyes.) Their powers correspond with their name as well. Kiba can bend steel with his jaws; Tsume is the second-best fighter and early on tends to "use" a switchblade while fighting; Toboe often howls to get help or find someone; and Hige has the best sense of smell. Cher Degré also has a meaningful name — cher is French for "dear," although the correct feminine form is chčre. Her ex-husband Hubb Lebowski constantly tries to get back together with her, to the point of abandoning his job to find her when she goes off in search of Cheza and when she dies, she is quite painfully mourned by him.
Grenadier actually has a little wit with regards to the main character's name: Her given name, Rushuna, is a play on a Rushana Buddha, a statue exemplifying the essence of the Buddha, while her surname, Tendou, translates to "Heavenly Path." Her espousal of the Ultimate Strategy ("ending a fight gently and without fighting"), her almost unrelentingly kind and chipper demeanor, and her honest, unironic caring for everyone she meets makes her name almost as accurate as she is. It also makes sense that she finds her way to Tenshi ("angel").
The magical owl Ikebukuro from Cosplay Complex gets its name from a commercial district in Tokyo, which is known for "Otome Road", a street with otaku shops aimed at a female audience. The district also has a statue of an owl behind the station.
In Doujin Work, Najimi's full name is a play on "Osananajimi" which means "childhood friend", a character type that is a staple of hentai games. She also is another character's childhood friend in the series.
Maria Graceburt from Mai-Otome tries to hold herself and her students up to a high standard of discipline and dignity. She herself comments that all she wanted to do after retiring from her old life as a Lady of War was to age gracefully. Also, most of the Childs' names, as well as some of the Himes' are chosen for their symbolism in various myths. This video contains quite a bit of information on them.
Many characters have names that represent some aspect of their existence. In fact, the title itself gives a clear indicator of its musical theme.
The titular character's own name translates as "Spring Breeze Doremi", marking her as gentle and the best representative of the show itself.
Hana got her name due to having been born from a large flower. Justified as it was Doremi who named her.
One Piece author Eiichiro Oda does this all the time. Some obvious ones are Zoro (a swordsman) and Usopp (playing off Aesop and the Japanese "Uso" meaning "to lie"). Played with in the case of Donquixote Doflamingo, named after(duh) Don Quixote who is famous for being a dreamer, oblivious to the fact that his dreams are nothing but his own madness while Doflamingo believes in a world with no dreams, oblivious to the fact that the One Piece world doesn't work like that.
Almost every character in Princess Tutu has a name that means something:
Ahiru means "duck" in Japanese (and was translated in the dub), which makes sense because she is a duck. Most of the animals in the series follow suit.
Mytho's name comes from the greek word "Mythos" which means "story"—a fitting name for a prince from a Story. His true name, Siegfried, is also the name of the prince from Swan Lake.
A fakir is a type of mystic, so given Fakir's story-spinning powers it makes sense. One of the last episodes of season 1 uses music from ''Scheherazade'', and Fakir features prominently in the "Kalendar Prince" sequence. The Kalendar Prince is a fakir who turns out to be more than he appears...
Rue has quite a few things going for her. "Rue" means "to regret" or "bitter", which give the negative connotations needed for The Rival. It's also the herb of grace, which suits her position as "best dancer in the school".
Her other name, "Kraehe", on the other hand, is the German word for crow (Krähe).
"Autor" is the German word for "author" and the character with the name is a scholar and wannabe Story-Spinner.
Femio may or may not be a subversion — in one of the series DVD's special features, it was stated that they just wanted a "femmy-sounding name" for him.
Even the minor characters have pretty meaningful names—"Karon" is very close to "Charon", the ferryman of the afterlife in Greek mythology, which is fitting since Karon is the guardian of Fakir, who is supposedly fated to die protecting the Prince. Fakir's childhood friend's name, Raetsel, is the German word for "puzzle", which is fitting since she's confused about her feelings and is desperately trying to find someone she "fits" with. Hermia and Lysander come from A Midsummer Night's Dream, the theme of their episode. And so on.
Chrono Crusade has a few meaningful names in the series. The most obvious is Chrono, whose name comes from the greek for "time". Aion's name, in contrast, means "forever". And then there's Joshua Christopher's name — "Christopher" means "bearing Christ", and Joshua is from the same name that we get the name "Jesus" from.
Vinland Saga: Askeladd means 'boy born amongst ashes', kind of a male, Norse, macho version of Cinderella. Askeladd was the son of a slave, and worked a smithy as a child. Hence he was called Askeladd. Bjorn is a border-line example, it means Bear, and while he is a berserker, but it's also a rather common name, even in modern times. Also, Askeladd is also a protagonist in several Scandinavian folk tales, all of which have two similarities: Askeladd always starts out as The Unfavourite and goes from Rags to Riches, and he always does so by being cleverer than his competitors and thinking outside the box — exactly as the manga character. As revealed later, Askeladd's not his real name. But his true name, Lucius Artorius Castus, holds meaning as well, being the name of the military commander now thought to be King Arthur's historical basis. As Askeladd is a descendent of Arthur, being named for his ancestor is a mark of his bloodline.
Strike Witches: the characters in this alternate history based series are real world military pilots twisted into magical lolis. Their names are gender-reversed versions of the originals (Erich Hartmann - Erica Hartmann, Pierre Clostermann - Perrine Clostermann etc.).
A particularly clever touch is Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen, the gender-swapped version of the Finnish WW2 pilot Eino Ilmari Juutilainen. Ilmatar is the name of an ancient Finnish sky goddess. "Ilmari" is in 'modern' Finnic folklore a cultural hero/smith god, but he used to be the sky god. The names Ilmari and Ilmatar are both derived from ilma 'air'.
Planetes: Hachimaki's surname, Hoshino, means of the stars, and sure enough, he's an astronaut who aspires to own his own ship. Tanabe's given name means love, and she believes that love can solve everything.
Dennou Coil quickly establishes the two Yuukos with very different personalities. They quickly gain nicknames from another character, both based on the alternate readings assigned to the different kanji their names are written with. The kind-hearted, more passive Okonogi Yuuko (Yasako) is read as "Gentle Girl," while the more driven, determined Amasawa Yuuko (Isako) is read as "Brave Girl."
Shikabane Hime has a group of villains called the Seven Stars, which is also one of the Japanese names for The Plough. Their deadliest and most important member is an Evil Albino named Hokuto, whose name is another word for the same constellation.
The title of Ai Yori Aoshi is taken from the proverb "Ao wa ai yori idete ai yori aoshi", meaning "Blue comes from indigo, yet it is bluer than indigo". (It's about students surpassing their teachers.) The main character's name is Aoi, a variant of that word for blue — the sneaky part is that it's only pronounced that way. The kanji for her name actually means "hollyhock". Many other names in the series are meaningful:
Aoi's family name is Sakuraba, which means "cherry blossom garden" — a good match with Kaoru, which means "fragrant".
Miyabi, who's been training Aoi all her life in the ways of the Yamato Nadeshiko, has a name that means "refinement".
Taeko, the Dojikko, has a name meaning "delicate child".
Mayu's name means "cocoon", and she's both a sheltered rich girl and a silk heiress.
The Hard-Drinking Party Girl's name is Tina Foster, though this may actually be a reference to the dissonance between her caucasian (American) ethnicity and her Japanese cultural identity, as in a foster child.
There's also a pun in the title, since another word pronounced "ai" means "love" and it's a romantic show. To imitate this effect, the manga translation keeps the title Ai Yori Aoshi but adds "True Blue Love" as a subtitle.
Remember the flower garden that's so important to Shizuma in Strawberry Panic!? Her last name, Hanazono, means exactly that.
Hell Girl's Enma Ai looks like a beautiful young girl but sends people to hell, and she has a name to match that dual nature. Enma is the Buddhist god who rules the underworld (you may know him from Dragon Ball under his Japanese name, King Yama). Ai is that word for love again — probably. It's deliberately always written in kana, so we can't be sure which meaning of ai her parents had in mind. Ai can also mean both sorrow and indigo. There are hints that the "indigo" meaning is significant: the second season finale is called "Aizome" ("dyed in indigo"), as is the end theme, which Mamiko Noto herself sings.
Two more kana-only first names in the series: Tsugumi and Yuzuki, who are both protagonists and foils for Ai. Yuzuki's family name is Mikage, which means "spirit of the dead"... and once you know why, you'll wish you didn't.
Every proper noun in Gurren Lagann. The show's nature being what it is, a lot of it is just for kicks rather than thoughtful.
The human cast is named after directions/relative positions or their main characteristic. If most characters seemed simple enough to sum up in a single word, now you know why.
Kamina. "Kami" in this case means "up". His very first line in the show is, "Keep your head up when you walk, Simon." He has a signature pose pointing in this direction, carries ambitions of reaching the heavens, and embodies the show's theme of endlessly upping the scales to insane heights. While his age isn't mentioned he's likely pretty tall for it. His father's name has been revealed to be Joe or Jou, which has the same meaning.
Kamina is 17.
Simon. "Shimo" meaning "under", works better with the Japanese pronunciation of his name. He starts the show as Kamina's foil, being short, depressive, and having a reflexive need to dig a hole and hide below ground level. A turning point occurs when he makes his oft mistranslated speech, "It doesn't matter whether I dig my own grave. So long as I break through, I'm the one on top!" His being taller than Kamina by the end of the story is an indicator of how far he's come in the opposite direction.
Rossiu is "ushiro", or "back". He represents the characters who don't believe in blindly charging forwards and is ultimately shackled by his origins.
"Yoko" is "side" while Nia is "near." Gimmy and Darry are "migi" and "hidari," or "right" and "left" respectively. These are probably just to be cute.
The second season is essentially a massive Passing of the Torch to Gimmy and Darry.
Dayakka. "Odayaka," for "gentle."
Leeron is either "riron" for "theory," or "ronri" for "logic".
Lordgenome's four generals take their names from a mix of nucleobases and elementals.
Lordgenome himself. According to That Other Wiki, the genome of an organism is its hereditary information encoded in DNA. Mix that with Lord, since he's the Spiral King.
Thymilph is mix of thymine and sylph. Despite his girth he is wind-themed.
Adiane is adenine and undine.
Guame is guanine and gnome.
Cytomander is cytosine and salamander. Him being a flashy peacock parodying Japanese glam rock has more to do with his mecha's theme.
Locations are named for their bare bones roles. Think quest progression in cliche RPGs.
Jiha Village is "the starting village" ("hajimari" = "begining")
Littner Village is "the next village" ("tonari" = "next one over")
The never-shown Bachika Village is a convenient "nearby village" the Black Siblings showed up from (chikaba = "nearby place")
Adai Village fills the role of "some village along the way" ("aida" = "interval")
Teppelin is "the very top" where the journey ends ("teppen" = "summit"). Or so you'd think.
Rinkane Jail. It may be based on "reincarnation", or the word "rinkan" which means "grand, splendid building". It is hopefully NOT based on the other, differently spelled "rinkan" which means "gangrape", or the cockblock jokes will never end◊.
Tsukihime's badass Tohno Shiki becomes the Future Badass Satsujinki, whose mystic eyes have gone out of control, forcing him to cover them with bandages, and past physical limitations surpassed. Satsujinki means something around "bloodthirsty murderer" (quite ironic considering his personality, but somehow fitting) except it has part of his name replacing the kanji, making it roughly equivalent to "Shikiller." Fans prefer "Satsujinki."
Strawberry Marshmallow: Chika's name is said in the manga to mean "a thousand good things" or "honorable mention" or even "the sound a light switch makes", but another couple of more fitting meanings is "wisdom" or "intelligence". She's certainly one of the more studious and sensible of the group, and less likely to fall for Miu's claims than, say, Matsuri. Speaking of Miu, the manga says her name means "beautiful wings", but another meaning is "beautiful feather"... which is interesting considering that the example she gives of something that makes her happy is "making Chika collapse from laughter."
The eponymous Negi, Japanese for "Spring Onion", is a reference to the Welsh Onion, Negi's home being Wales. Interestingly, his nickname "bozu" (roughly translated to "kid" or "brat") in context with the word "Negi" means "onion-head".
The series also has Chachamaru with at least two: her first name is written with the Kanji for "Tea", a reference to her main function as a tea-serving robot. Her last name, "Karakuri", refers to the karakuri ningyō (traditional Japanese dolls) used in 18th and 19th century Japan as automated puppets for entertainment and at festivals, referring to Chachamaru's funtion as Evangeline's "Doll" of sorts (the vampire goes by the title "Doll/Puppet Master"). Powered by a mechanism of gears and springs (Chachamaru herself is "wound" this way by a magic-user), these dolls modernly are used as a more traditional means of serving tea to guests; they move/walk in a straight path for a set distance when a cup of tea is placed in their hands/plate, afterwhich bowing deeply. This again refers to Chachamaru's function as a tea-serving robot while also referring to her polite mannerisms. Just for reference, karakuri itself means "mechanical device to take someone by surprise".
Then, there is Asuna's full name: Asuna Vesperina Theothanasia Enteofushia. Her third name could be roughly translated as either "god of death" or "godslayer", with the rest of the story hinting for the latter.
"Vesperina" also is related to her nickname, "Twilight Imperial Princess".
Nodoka's name fits her to perfectly, given how the name is a Japanese term for "quiet", and she herself is a shy library girl (and usually one of the tamer students in Negi's class).
Kotarou's family name, Inugami, is Japanese for "dog spirits", thus reflecting how he's part dog demon.
Most of the aliases used by Fate's Ministra are references to the abilities that they have:
Shirabe = tune (her artifact is a fiddle that emits sound waves that can destroy building)
Homura = flame (she is capable of using fire-based attacks)
Shiori = bookmark (when she reverts to her regular body after being disguised as someone, the disguise turns into a bookmark)
Koyomi = calendar (her artifact is a hourglass that affects time and space)
Fate himself; aside from the whole Fate/predestined purpose thing, his last name, Averruncus, is the Roman god of Disaster Aversion. Fitting, given that Fate's stated goal is supposedly to save the people of Mundus Magicus...
Eva's middle name "Athanasia" means "the quality of being deathless; immortality".
Code Geass has Nina Einstein, who goes on to invent the Fleiya Warhead, the in-universe equivalent of nukes.
And Lelouch Lamperouge, who's first name roughly translates to "The Suspicious" in French, which is fairly on the mark (though somewhat mangled). Lamperouge translates into "red lamp" or "red light"... since his eye(s) glow red when he uses his Geass, this one should be pretty obvious.
And Kaguya, named after a fabled moon princess, who falls in love with the Japanese Emperor, and asks impossible tasks of her undesired suitors, including acquiring a jewelled branch from the Chinese island of Penglai, and when she rejects him and leaves for her home on the moon, leaving him a pot containing immortality elixir, he burns it atop Mount Fuji, from which they declare the smoke that rises from Fuji (due to it's volcanic nature, which has settled since) is from that burning. Compare and contrast to Code Geass's Kaguya, who falls in love with Zero, Saviour of the Japanese, who eventually moves her and his army to the artificial island Horai, which is the alternate Japanese reading of the same Chinese characters, then when they are parted, he gives up on immortality, despite it being in his reach, and detonates Fuji, sending it's smoke high into the air.
Then there's Kallen, which means beautiful in Japanese. She is not only the series most common source of fanservice, but the most major member of Lelouch's romantic interests... who doesn't suffer a fate worse than death by the end of the first season.
C.C.'s name is chosen for the opposite reason: It has no particular relationship to anything. As Lelouch points out, it's not a human name... and C.C. only barely classifies as human. It may have something to do with her real name, which is known by Lelouch, but never revealed.
Ninja Nonsense has a couple of these. Shinobu is a joke on shinobi, which means ninja. Onsokumaru's name means "speed-of-sound ball", and he's a madcap shapeshifter whose usual form is spherical.
Gintama: Sakata Gintoki the silverhaired natural-perm samurai. Obviously a pun.
Each of the Seishi is named after a constellation to which a particular deity is assigned, e.g. the Suzaku Seishi being named after Suzaku's constellations, the Seiryuu Seishi being named after Seiryuu's constellations, and so on. Yuu Watase, however, didn't know what the characters' names actually meant when she made them, and upon finishing the series, she looked up their definitions. Most of the time, they suited the characters' personalities so well that it was eerie.
Miaka's name means "beautiful red", and she's the priestess of the Vermillion Bird.
On the subject of Yuu Watase, Tooya from Ayashi no Ceres is another example. His growth to his adult physical build took only ten nights, and he even explains this whenever someone asks him his name. "From 'ten' and 'night', Tooya."
Ichinose Kai from Piano No Mori. His name can alternatively be read as "ichi no sekai" or "world's number one", a . . . not so subtle allusion to Kai's development into a musical genius.
Basquash! has Iceman Hotty. Outside a Bigfoot, he is has a calm, cool demeanor. Inside one, he goes into a frenzy while hurling balls with great force and shouting "DESTROY!!!"
The perpetually calm Grimmer's name comes from the Czech name Jaromir which means "fierceness and peace". This reflects that Grimmer has a brutally violent alternate personality called Steiner (which happens to mean peace). Come to think of it, the name Grimmer is quite ironic as well.
Big Bad Johann's name means "God is gracious" and he survives being shot in the head, twice. Though the second time might have left him brain dead. Maybe.
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle has Tsubasa and Tsubasa as the real names of Sakura and Syaoran. Tsubasa means wing, and wings come in pairs. The "wings come in pairs" thing is complicated somewhat by "Kimihiro Watanuki", who, as a time-travel duplicate of Tsubasa, was also technically named Tsubasa before his name was changed. His connection to the name "Tsubasa" does however still have a presence, as he selects the bird to be his symbol, with his signature in the shape of a wing. "Watanuki", made up of the characters for "April 1st" (his birthday), is a term that refers to the practice of creating a substitute (generally in the form of a doll) for a child that would theoretically take all of the sickness and misfortune in the child's place, which reflects Watanuki's unfortunate condition of being a Weirdness Magnet to malignant spirits.
Aiko, the gynoid from Magical Pokaan, has her name spelled 鉄子 which would normally be read as Tetsuko or "Iron child".
From Hellsing, there's Schrödinger, the catboy, and Alucard, which is likely a little more obvious. And there's also the Scottish priest Alexander Anderson, whose first name means "Protector of Men" while his last name is likely a reference to St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland.
Shizuo Heiwajima's name is a Double Subversion: "Quiet Man, Peaceful Island" seems to be completely inappropriate for a violent, hot-tempered berserker until one gets to understand his true nature, self-image and motivations. His name doesn't refer to his character so much as it stands for what he desperately wants to be, which he points out in volume 5.
There's a family of this in Katekyo Hitman Reborn!: The Founder of the Vongola, Giotto, whose Japanese name is Ieyatsu, the prominent father Iemitsu, and the young successor Tsunayoshi. Replace their collective last name 'Sawada' with 'Tokugawa', and you have the historical Japanese Shogunate line.
HeartCatch Pretty Cure!: One of the main characters is named Hanasaki Tsubomi. Hanasaki means blooming flowers, Tsubomi means bud. Her grandma runs a flower shop, and oh yeah, she turns into Cure Blossom.
Black Butler's Grell Sutcliffe, co-Jack the Ripper with Ciel's aunt Angelina "Madame Red" Durless, shares her surname with Peter Sutcliffe, the original Jack the Ripoff
In Sentou Yousei Yukikaze the kanji for the nihilistic and antisocial main character's first name, Rei, means "drop" (of water/rain), "cipher" and "zero." His surname, Fukai, is derived from the word "deep" and is written the same way as the name of this noh mask.
Meanwhile, the planet's name of "Faery" reflects the fact that it is surprisingly similar to the Land of Faerie found in many folk tales. Simply being on the planet feels unreal and bizarre.
7 Seeds should take first prize. When choosing the 35 people who shall repopulate the world after a meteorite obliterates everyone else, the Japanese decide to pick only people whose names refer to the seasonal name of the group. This is because there won't be seasons after the End of the World as We Know It. Examples include the Spring Group (Hana: "flower"), Summer Group A (Nijiko: "rainbow"), Summer Group B (Natsu: "summer". Yeah, they did that.) Fall Group (Ryoya, the Mid-Autumn Fall Festival), and Winter Group (Fubuki:"snow storm"). Face Palm.
In Mythic Quest, John's name illustrates just how bland and normal he is. On the other hand, his more common alias, Tragic, is completely unsymbolic. He's not inclined to emo, perfectly aware he's much better off than many people, and despite a touch of Honor Before Reason flaw is definitely not a tragic hero.
In Baby Steps, Eiichirou's nickname of "All-A" not only refers to the Japanese pronunciation of the first letter of his name, but also to his impeccable grades in every school subject.
Alto Saotome in Macross Frontier, particularly his first name, as Alto is derived from the latin for 'high', and he always has his head up in the clouds and goes on about how much he likes the sky and wants to fly. Further, Alto is the low range for female singing, and he's constantly mocked for it. Saotome itself is also a name meaningful in Kabuki, which Alto used to do, and, driving the point home, Alto played female roles in Kabuki. Oddly his voice is actually relatively manly, presumably because of puberty. His name becomes a bit prophetic when he actually does become a pilot and turns out to be quite good at it.
Both the heroes of Yumekui Merry have names related to dreaming. Yumeji's name could be translated "dream path" (which is very appropriate to his abilities), and Merry Nightmare requires no explanation.
In Bakuman。, the main characters do this on two occasions. Their pseudonym, "Muto Ashirogi," has its surname as a combination of "A" from "Azuki," "shiro" from "Mashiro" and "gi" from Takagi, and their given name, "Muto" is derived from the kanji for "dreams" and "coming true", symbolizing their desire for Mashiro and Takagi to succeed as mangaka and Mashiro to fulfill his promise and marry Azuki. The names of the main characters for Perfect Crime Party's are derived from "justice" and "truth," when in fact they are two kids who enjoy doing "perfect crimes," (albeit harmless pranks).
Manatsu and Ichika from Uta Kata both have names with the kanji for "summer" in them, the season in which they met.
The final witch of the series is named "Walpurgisnacht", which is the name of an Eastern European festival during which it is said that witches gather together. Walpurgisnacht is a combination of many different witches, hence her extreme power.
Kyubey also points out a double meaning in the words "magical girl" and "witch". In Japanese, "witch" is "majo", while "magical girl" is "mahou shoujo".
The series' English name ("Puella Magi" as opposed to "Magical Girl") also has a significant double meaning. "Puella Magi" can be translated as "Magical Girl", but it can also be translated as "Young Slave of the Deceiver".
"Akai" from Kite means "red" in Japanese, and Sawa's flashback sequences of him often involve red (and sometimes blood-related) imagery.
In Axis Powers Hetalia, a few of the "human names" are significant. Feliciano (North Italy) means "joyful," Ludwig (Germany) means "glorious victories," Arthur (England) and Heracles (Greece) are obvious mythological references (Greece has also been implied a few times to have a strength fitting his namesake), Kiku (Japan) means "chrysanthemum," the emblem of Japanese royalty (his Nyotalia name is Sakura, another well-known Japanese flower symbol), North Italy is also called Veniciano, a surname that meant the person was from Venice (located in North Italy). On the other hand, Romano is for someone from Rome, located in South Italy.
In the series A Certain Magical Index the main character, Kamijou Touma, is a major user of this trope. His last name Kamijou has three significant meanings. It is mainly translated to "La Persona Superiore a Dio" in Italian, meaning "The One Who is Superior to God", another translation is "The One who Cleanses God and Purifies the Devil", many characters take these meanings literally because his Imagine Breaker negates everything his right hand touches. The significance of the right arm is the fact that "God's Right Seat" is considered a position higher than God himself. The third translation is taken quite literally, it can also be translated to "The Invisible Demon", alluding to the demonic-looking entity being restrained by Imagine Breaker inside Touma's body, with said entity manifesting every time Touma's right arm is cut off.
The Cutesy Dwarf teacher Komoe-sensei is another example, in that 'ko' means 'small' and Moe...
Local Anti-Hero Accelerator. His name is spelled in kanji reading Ippōtsūkō which means "one-way road", alluding to his esper power of vector manipulation subconsciously repelling all inbound projectiles right back at their source, making him Nigh Invulnerable unless his attacker knows how to abuse it (Kihara), can cancel it out (Touma) or can simply prevent him activating it (Last Order).
His spoken name "Accelerator" refers to the primary offensive application of his powers: anything he touches he can accelerate to any speed he wishes. Even a small stone can be devastating when moving at Mach 2.
We still don't know the true name of the "frog-faced doctor", but the title he goes by among Academy City's elite is Heaven Canceller. It refers to his seemingly limitless ability to heal people no matter how damaged they are... he "cancels trips to Heaven".
Husky and Medley: Both of the main characters' "names" are chosen by the 2ch anons following the story, mostly for ease of reference. "Medley" likely refers to the fact that the text messages she sends to Husky are often randomly selected from among the anons' suggestions, making her part of the conversation a medley of various forum users.
Kotetsu's first name contains the kanji for "tiger" (which inspired his superhero name) and "thorough," "relentless," or "complete." Kotetsu is often described as being persistent in his duties as a hero.
While Barnaby's name doesn't seem to have much direct significance, in America it is often associated with the higher-class business scene (which makes sense when you know his background).
Then again, "Barnaby" is also the only American male name that sounds even remotely close to "bunny," so that could be another reason.
The main character's codename, "Hei", is Chinese for "Black" (黑). His sister's codename is "Bai", which is "White" (白); and her real name is revealed to be "Xing", "Star" (星). Huang is "Yellow" (黄), Yin is "Silver" (银). Many of the other characters have colors as codenames or names, such as Havoc, also known as Carmine, a shade of Red, or Amber, which is a yellow-orange. Counts as a Bilingual Bonus for anyone who knows basic Chinese.
Hei's normal alias, "Li Shun Shen" is synonymous with the words for Mr. Lee, the Chinese equivalent of a Mr. Jones, or a Mr. Smith in terms of name obscurity.
"Mao" (猫), the Human-Contractor trapped in the body of a cat.
Many names in the movie Appleseed are references to Greek mythology. Most notably, General Uranus is named after the titan who devours his own children, and his goal is to destroy the Bioroids who can be considered children of humanity. Furthermore, his plan would inadvertently cause the whole mankind to become infertile. There's also Colonel Hades, whose name has more to do with Satan than the Greek god of the Underworld. Finally, Prime Minister Athena is named after the goddess of wisdom.
All the future diary owners in Mirai Nikki have names corresponding to the Roman gods.
Blue Exorcist protagonist Rin translates to phosphorus, which not only refers to his temperament but also phosphorus is named after Lucifer. Considering his biological father...
Mephisto Pheles is a play on Mephistopheles, the devil from Faust. His alias, Johann Faust, comes from the protagonist
In Kurosagi, Kurosaki's choice of 'Kurosagi' for his swindling alias is a pun on his real name mixed with the japanese word for swindler, so it translates to "Black Swindler"
Aside from the stuff mentioned in the Video Games area, Pokémon does it in the anime as well. One really blatant example was Madam Muchmoney, the rich woman with the Snubbull from the Johto portion of the series.
The protagonist of Arata Kangatari, Hinohara, practically spells this out when he first introduces himself to Suguru - His given name, Arata, uses the kanji for "revolution." He basically receives his Hayagami to do just that.
Mashiro Shiina, the female protagonist of Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo. "Mashiro" means "pure white." Not only she has a fairer skin than the rest of the cast, it is pretty clear that Sorata eventually thought she is "pure to a fault," being an Idiot Savant.
The manga Tista is set in the urban U.S., and the male lead is a young aspiring artist named Artie Drawer.
The Fire Sisters take their nickname from the fact that the kanji used in their given names both have the character for fire [火]
Mayoi Hachikuji means "Lost Temple Eightynine" giving a bit more meaning to the fact that she was a lost spirit.
Senjougahara means "First Battlefield", as in the first person Araragi helps or the First Girl we see.
Kiss-Shot Acerola Orion Heart-Under-Blade is kind of a hard name to say, regardless of your spoken language, Meme then took the character for heart [心] and then put it under the character for blade [刃] giving her the fairly common name of Shinobu [忍].
The original name is meaningful in its own right, as her heart is literally under blade, a magical sword that she preserves inside her body.
Hanekawa Tsubasa is likely an ironic name, it means Feather River Wing and evokes bird imagery, which is funny for someone who is possessed by the spirit of a cat.
The Kanji used in Nadeko's given name is the exact same kanji (and has the same meaning as) the characters for Nadeshiko while her family name Sengoku translates, more or less, to civil war. Her name means the Maiden who is at war with herself. Think about that for a moment.
Dera Mochimazzui, meaning 'mochi tastes horrible'. Tamako's dad keeps insisting he change it to Mochiunmai, 'mochi tastes awesome'.
Tamako is named after the name of the family business—"-ya" is a business suffix and "-ko" is a feminine name suffix. Her sister Anko is named after the red bean paste filling.
As for Mochizou Ooji—his given name is a case of His Name Really Is Barkeep (mochi-maker), while his surname is most typically means "prince", though the name is actually spelled 'large road' note hence 'ouji' for 'prince' and 'ooji' for the name.
Himura Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin. Written in kanji, his name is read as 剣心, with the character 剣 (ken) meaning "sword" and 心 (shin) meaning "heart." So his name literally means "heart of the sword." Furthermore, Kenshin's last name of Himura is written as 緋村, which can be potentially be interpreted as "red village" or even "bloody village," which carries significant meaning considering his former status as an assassin and the fact that the slave traders he was sold to when he was a child all get slaughtered by bandits.
One of the ending songs to the anime was even titled "Heart of Sword."
As for his assassin name of Battousai (抜刀済), it literally means "one that has mastered Battoujutsu." Battoujutsu is a technique in which one draws his sword from its sheath fast enough to strike his opponent first, and Kenshin demonstrates his mastry of this technique several times in the manga and anime.
In Pandora Hearts, Lacie is an anagram of Alice, which later makes sense because she is Alice’s mother.
Echo, the more quiet and submissive, is named Echo, while her alter ego, the more aggressive and violent, is named Noise.
Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara: Most characters have a last name (or middle name in Nanami's case) that shows what role they have in the story.
The "Hata"(旗) in Souta Hatate's last name means "flag''.
Nanami Knight Bladefield is well... a knight.
Akane's last name, Mahougasawa, has "mahou"(魔), which means magic. It's indicative of her role as a magician.
Megumu's last name, Touzokuyama, contains "touzoku"(盗賊) which means thief.
Ruri Ninjabayashi is the shinobi of the group.
The "Eiyuu" (英雄) in Rin Eiyuuzaki's last name means hero.
And the same thing holds for a number of other characters.
The main character from Berserk is called Guts, which is English for well...a case of Fridge Brilliance when you realize not only does the character constantly spill them, the one thing you could say Guts has had since his birth is guts.
In Attack on Titan, main protagonist Eren Yeager/Jaeger can be translated from Turkish and German into "Holy Hunter" or "Righteous Hunter".
Mikasa Ackerman is named after IJN Mikasa, a Japanese pre-dreadnought battleship that contributed to the defeat of the then-invincible Russian Baltic fleet. It also is the only remaining pre-dreadnought battleship in existence, similar to how Mikasa is the last Asian. Levi's surname is also Ackerman, however, the meaning behind this has yet to be revealed.
Annie's surname is Leonheart or "Lion heart", fitting that the female lioness is More Deadly Than The Male and she is one of the best fighters. But for irony, lionesses often work in tandem with others and Annie has the second lowest teamwork score among the 104th.
Krista Lenz sounds a lot like "crystal lens" which can magnify objects or make things appear clearer. Her real name Historia means history or "knowledge acquired from inquiry". Both names make sense since she has the authority to speak freely about the truth of the walls, which is why the heroes are told to ask her about.
Ymir is a reference to Norse mythology. Specifically, the mythical Ymir was ancestor to all giants and Ymir is hinted to have an elite status among titans, to the point where a Titan refers to her as "Ymir-sama".
Bertholdt's surname is "Fubar". Coincidentally, he is the Colossal Titan, and FUBAR is military slang for "fucked up beyond all recognition/reason/repair. Isayama seems to have a thing for naming characters literally.
The all-time queen of this trope is Ryuko from Kill la Kill. According to Word of God (see this Tumblr post), her name has no less than EIGHT different meanings, all thematically appropriate, such as "hero", "abandoned child", "fashion" and "two rivals"
Mokuzu's name from A Lollipop Or A Bullet stands out from the moment she transfers. To quote the light novel: "It was a name no one would give to someone with the last name Umino, I mean, I wouldn't want to be named it no matter what my last name." Her first name refers to death by sea and her full name essentially means "scraps of seaweed from the sea".
The protagonist's surname Kurokami(黑神） means black god, which reflects the powerful and fear-inducing nature of her abilities. Her given name Medaka(killfish) also produce theme-naming with her siblings Kujira(whale) and Maguro(tuna). In addition， her name can be read as 目(me) 高(daka) or "tall eyes" which can reflect her status of looking from above.
Several other characters have names which are fairly indicative of their personalities. Hitoyoshi (人吉）meaning "good person"， Kouki（高貴） means "noble，high class" which certainly fits Akune, Oudo (王土） meaning "king's earth".