Meaningful Name / Visual Novels

In Visual Novels, Meaningful Names are just as likely to appear as in Anime or Video Games.


  • Ace Attorney:
    • Every character in the series. Most of the names describe disposition or occupation, or give you a few hints as to the character's true nature. This is true of both the Japanese and the English versions, thanks to some Woolseyisms:
      • Detective Dick Gumshoe. As Edgeworth himself puts it, he's as troublesome as a gum in your shoe.
      • "(Private) Dick" and "Gumshoe" are also old terms for detective.
      • Redd White (of Blue Corp).
      • Wendy Oldbag, which is a wordplay on Old Windbag.
      • The clown Moe, whose real name is Lawrence Curls, as a Shout-Out to The Three Stooges.
      • Manfred von Karma, named after the Red Baron. They were both brought down by a single bullet. You could say that karma came back to bite him in the ass, fifteen years later. "Manfred" also means "one who brings peace," which is appropriate for a prosecutor and, in a twisted way, for a murderer as well. His Japanese surname, Karuma (狩魔), is written with the kanji for "hunt" and "demon" - a very appropriate name for a villain.
      • The original eponymous character, Phoenix Wright, who rises from the ashes and flies. Comes back from the dead. Has turnabout trials, and is nearly defeated seventy-three times every trial. His Japanese surname, Naruhodo, is a play on a phrase that means "Yes, I see."
      • Apollo Justice. Apollo was the god of the sun, truth and music (which is foreshadowing his mother and father being musicians), and in the Orestheia, Apollo was the first one who defended (for matricide, no less). His Japanese name essentially means 'A surprising man of law'.
      • Athena Cykes. Her namesake was the goddess of the clear sky, but especially of defence, wisdom and arts; pretty fitting for an intelligent defense attorney who knows martial arts. Her Japanese name consists of the words 'Hope Moon' (foreshadowing that her moon earring brings down the Big Bad of Dual Destinies) and 'Heart Sound' (which references her ability to listen to people's hearts, or rather, their hidden emotions).
      • Miles (Irish, meaning "warrior") Edgeworth and Reiji Mitsurugi ("honorable blade") are both references to the character's rapier wit and confrontational, sharp nature. 'Miles' also means 'Servant' in some languages, which was his treatment under von Karma. "Honorable blade" is also a hint at his Character Development.
      • Furio Tigre, the tiger to Phoenix/Ryuuichi's dragon, and his Japanese name literally means 'Tiger Boy'.
      • Calisto Yew—Calisto is a butterfly, yew is a kind of poisonous plant, referring to the butterfly/flower symbols of Cohdopia.
      • Quercus Alba's name in the Japanese version, Carnage Onred. His English name ties in to the one of Colias Palaeno, as 'Quercus Alba' is an old oak, while 'Colias Palaeno' is a butterfly.
      • Byrne Faraday. Byrne? Gaelic for raven... fitting for a man who was part of the Yatagarasu, a thief group whose symbol was a raven.
      • Trying to count the meanings in "Dahlia Hawthorne's" name would surely take a while, but the most important ones are the murder mystery The Black Dahlia, the Hawthorne Effect (of which she's a perfect example) and the fact that her name spoken out loud sounds like "The liar has thorns". To make it even more perfect, her sister's name, Iris, is, in fact, a direct translation from her Japanese name, so the whole flower-thing was partly a coincidence, which just happened to fit. On top of that, in the language of flowers, dahlias represent treachery. And 'Dahlia' sounds suspiciously like 'Delilah'.
      • The entire Fey family, a family of spirit mediums. The word 'Fey' means "Having or displaying an otherworldly, magical, or fairylike aspect or quality.", or 'Close to death'.
      • Matt Engarde's name seems a little off (he's a very easy-going person) until you realize that he's actually the man who hired a professional killer to murder the victim of the case in which he's introduced, and the gentle personality was an act.
      • Luke Atmey (look at me) wants to be seen.
    • Case three of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney features a fictional disease named "Incuritis" that is incurable. Well, save for an extremely hard to get drug that can only be brought into the country illegally.
    • In Investigations 2, you have two chemicals. Normallium is in normal everyday things such as paints and washing detergants and is not deadly at all on its own. The other, Fatallium, is only found in very select things such as powerful and fatal pesticides that aren't sold to the general public. Combining the two results in a chemical reason that forms a deadly poisonous gas.
  • From Fate/stay night:
    • The main character, Emiya Shirou. The first kanji in the name Emiya means "protection". Shirou is spelled with the kanji for "soldier" and "son". As a word, "shirou" means "white", and can carry connotations similar to the English phrase "white hat". All of these fit with Shirou's character and backstory.
    • Rin, the Tsundere, writes her name with the kanji for "cold". The word actually means an "official", fitting with Rin's role as administrator of the land used for the Grail War.
    • Sakura's name means "cherry blossom", which is significant for reasons explained on that page.
    • Having a name that means "beautiful" is a sick joke that life has played on Kotomine Kirei. It is also an appropriate reference to the prayer "Kýrie Eléison", meaning "Lord, have mercy!" (which, later in the story, is the prayer Kirei uses to exorcise Zouken).
      • Kirei's backstory reveals that his name actually invokes this trope; his father gave him this name specifically because of those two meanings, hoping they will affect who his son grows up to be. A sick joke, indeed.
    • Fujimura Taiga has much in common with tigers. She even wears a yellow and black striped shirt. She seems to acknowledge this (she's named her kendo stick Torashinai, "tora" being Japanese for tiger), but whatever you do, don't call her Tiger.
  • Mion in Higurashi: When They Cry. Her name includes the kanji for "oni," as is the tradition in the Sonozaki family. In keeping with this, Mion has an oni tattoo on her back; in general, oni are very significant throughout the question arcs of the series.
  • In Halloween Otome: Emma Cee's name was chosen of its similarity to MC (Main Character). Mr. Wolf's real name Tyler is a reference to the singer and composer of much of the game's music.
  • In Katawa Shoujo:
    • Hisao is written as "long time [of absence]" (久) + "man/husband" (夫), the former being a reference to his months-long hospitalization, and the latter meaning of the latter being what he could become to the girls.
    • Emi means "Smiling Beauty", which fits her cheerful, energetic personality which turns out to be a more of a facade.
    • Hanako means "flower child" or "blooming child", possibly a reference to her opening up in her and Lilly's routes.
    • Lilly's name apparently comes from the lily (百合), or yuri. She has a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with her best friend Hanako, and it is implied that she has received love confessions from girls in the past. Her last name "Satou" is pronounced the same as the Japanese word for "sugar".
    • Rin's family name Tezuka is [手塚] has (hand + mound), and is also a Shout-Out to the famous Ozamu Tezuka, which is fitting because Rin is an artist.
    • Shizune[静音] has (quiet + sound). Her original development name was "Rosa", partially from the Japanese word for "deaf" (rousha).
    • While Iwanako's name is not quite a Japanese name, it contains the kanji for "fish", possibly a reference to her being "the one who got away".
  • Little Busters!: 'Rin' is the onomatopoeia for a bell ringing, in keeping with Rin's cat theme. And fittingly, she also wears a bell in her hair.
  • Possibly a coincidence, but a very dark one if not. Ririka/Lyrica, female lead of the obscure Chubby Chaser Dating Sim Debu Plus, shares her name with a brand of diabetes medication.
  • In Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!, "Kawakami" uses the kanji for "God" as opposed to the more commonplace "Above" - a fitting name for the fighting style known as Japan's ultimate secret weapon.
  • Quite a few of the names in the Starry Sky series are references to astronomy, the season, or their relevant zodiac sign:
    • The protagonist is Yasahisa(夜久) Tsukiko (月子), which means "long night" and "moon child" respectively
    • From the spring edition, the Pisces character Nanami Kanata has the kanji for sea in his name, the Capricorn is Tomoe (土萌) Yoh(羊), Tomoe is written with the kanji for "earth bud" and Yoh means "sheep, ram", and Cancer is Touzuki Suzuya, Touzuki means "Eastern Moon".
    • The autumn edition features the Leo, Haruki(陽日) Naoshi(直獅). Haruki means "Sunny day" (a reference to his personality) and Naoshi includes the kanji for lion, the school doctor (Libra) is Hoshizuki (星月), meaning "Star Moon"
    • In winter, there's Aozora(青空) Hayato(颯斗), Aozora meaning "blue sky" and Hayato has the kanji for the Big Dipper constellation.
  • Sunrider:
    • Icari’s name may be derived from the Japanese word Ikari, which can mean “anger”. This would fit with both her hatred of PACT and her nature as a Type-A Tsundere.
    • Sola di Ryuvia’s first name means “alone” in Spanish, befitting her solitary nature and her status as a Living Relic.
    • Admiral Grey may be helping you to liberate the Neutral Rim from PACT, but he’s not doing so out of the goodness of his heart and he’s willing to do some morally dubious things in the name of victory and good PR.
      • Grey’s flagship is called the Machiavelli Actual, reinforcing his morally ambiguous character.
    • Veniczar Arcadius’s flagship is called the Legion, foreshadowing his true nature.
  • Umineko: When They Cry:
    • There's a certain amount of Theme Naming going on with the witches; Beatrice, Virgilia and Clair Vauxof Bernard are named for characters in Dante's The Divine Comedy. Maria, the Witch of Origins has the power to create a soul out of the void.
    • The Seven Sisters of Purgatory. All named various names of The Devil, the most obvious being Satan and Lucifer. Rather brilliantly, their "sins" are all related to that particular name, such as Lucifer being Pride: in the Bible, The Devil was known as Lucifer as an Angel who fell from Heaven because of pride. Mammon is used to refer to greed, etc.
    • Despite Battler's name not being a plausible one in real life, it relates quite well to his personality; the kanji in his name literally mean "fighting person".
  • In-universe in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, the cast's names are all based on their bracelet numbers, self-assigned, apart from Junpei and the 9th man: Ace, 1, from the ace in a pack; Snake, 2, from snake eyes in dice; Santa, 3, as in "san", the Japanese word for "three"; Clover, 4, based on a 4-leaf clover; June, 6, because June is the sixth month; Seven is 7 because... seven. Finally, Lotus is 8, and is based on the number of leafs a Lotus flower is depicted as having in Eastern religions.
  • Virtue's Last Reward:
    • Luna is a robot that was made on the moon, tying her into both the Latin and Spanish name for the Moon, as well as Luna, the Roman Goodess.
    • Dio means "God" in Italian which ties into his role as Left, the leader of the Myrmidons, and therefore the self-entitled "God" of the new human race.
    • In-universe, Quark was named after the quark proton, due to how small he is.
    • The name that the amnesic man in a suit of armour gives to himself is "K". This refers to either "Kyle" or "Klim", the respective first and last name of the person in the suit in some timelines, or "Kurashiki", the last name of the person in the suit in the other timelines.
  • War: 13th Day takes place on Virgo Island, where everyone earns their name through their actions and/or personality traits. Each clan favors certain names as well.
    Ambrosia: On Virgo Island, we earn our names through our characteristics, deeds, and accomplishments. It is common for us to have more than one name throughout our life.
  • The House In Fata Morgana:
    • Michel is named after the archangel Michael. This is brought up several times.
    • The Witch Morgana presumably refers to Morgan Le Fey.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/MeaningfulName/VisualNovels