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Fun With Acronyms / Anime & Manga

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  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has this all over the place. While some of the abbreviations have definite meanings (i.e. "N2" = "Non-Nuclear, "S2" = "Super Solenoid"), many words are unexplained acronyms (i.e. "LCL") or are capitalized for no particular reason (i.e. "NERV", "SEELE").
  • The yaoi manga All Nippon Air Lines. 'nuff said.
    • And its name is derived from the actual All Nippon Airways, which is abbreviated as ANA.
    • Which is Hilarious in Hindsight, since "ana" is Japanese for "hole". Yeah, don't think about it too much.
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  • Speaking of yaoi, it stands for "yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi" (no highs, no lows, no point), but among fans, there's a joke that it stands for "Yamete! Oshiri ga itai!" (Stop! My ass hurts!)
  • Pokémon:
  • The name "HiME" in My-HiME means "Highly Advanced Materializing Equipment", as explained in the opening sequence; this is a play on the Japanese honorific "hime", used to address someone as "princess", and refers to the titular HiMEs' ability to materialize objects out of hammerspace (or, as Techno Babble holds it, out of photons). While the acronym may seem forced, being part of a much more convoluted, five-part bilingual pun certainly redeems it.
    • Fun with Acronyms is even more evident in the My-HiME manga, which introduces two additional types of HiMEs: Perfect Realization of Independent Access (PRINCESS) and Quaint Elemental Enchantress (QUEEN).
    • Let us not forget Miyu Greer: Multiple, or Merciful for her My-Otome counterpart, Intelligencial Yggdrasil Unit.
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  • And while on the subject of robots, how about the Boomers from Bubblegum Crisis? Originally this wasn't an acronym, but the term VOOMER (which is pronounced the same in Japanese) was an acronym in Bubblegum Crisis 2040.
  • RahXephon gave us Tereno Empireo Rapidmova Reakcii Armeo. It appears to be Esperanto for "Earth Federation Rapid Reaction Force", judging from the context.note 
  • Fairy Tail has the demon E.N.D. What's hiding behind the acronym is a massive spoiler. It stands for Etherious Natsu Dragneel.
  • Various Gundam series, ordered by appearance.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam start with only AMBAC (Active Mass Balance Auto Control), but Retcon add Mobile SUIT (Mobile Space Utility Instrument Tatical) and Mobile ARMOUR (Mobile All Range Maneuverability Offence Utility Reinforcement).
    • GM Quel from Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, with QUEL stand for Qualified to Use Earthly Law.
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    • The GM itself in all likelihood, standing for Gundam Mass-production, as it was a mass-produced, scaled-down version of the original Gundam.
    • Gundam Sentinel novel also has computer call ALICE (Advanced Logistic & Inconsequence Cognizing Equipment)
      • Sentinel also features the 2XX series equipment version of the Superior Gundam called the Extra-Superior Gundam. It is pronounced as Excess, and yes, it is hideously overbuilt.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn give us ReZEL (Refine Zeta Gundam Escort Leader ).
    • From Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, we have GUNDAM (GUNDAnium Mobile suit), MOBILE Suit (Manipulative Order Build and Industrial Labors Extended Suit), Mobile DOLL (Mobile Direct Opertional Leaded Labor) and ZERO system (Zoning and Emotional Range Omited system).
    • ∀ Gundam has mobile suit call SUMO (Strike Unit for Maneuver Operation) and FLAT (Flexible Ladder Actuator Technology).
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED's creators had a heyday with their acronyms:
      • GUNDAM, for instance, is not the name of the unit (except as a nickname), but of the operating system, which goes through several variations. Examples include:
      • General Unilateral Neuro-link Dispersive Autonomic Maneuver
      • Generation Unsubdued Nuclear Drive Assault Module
      • General-purpose Utility Non-Discontinuity Augmentation Maneuvering
      • Generation Unrestricted Network Drive Assault Module
      • Gigantic Unilateral Numerous Dominating AMmunition
      • Gunnery United Nuclear Deutrion Advanced Maneuver
      • Guider UNmanned Deployment Autonomic Manipulation.
      • Not to be outdone, ZAFT (Zodiac Alliance of Freeedom Treaty), the military arm of PLANT (People Liberation Acting Nation of Technology, formerly Productive Location Ally on Nexus Technology), seems to name almost all of their high end mobile suits as acronyms, featuring the ZAKU (ZAFT Armored Keeper of Unity), the GOUF (Guardian Of Unity Forerunner) Ignited, and the DOM (Defensive Obliterator Magnificent) — note that all of these are acronym-ized versions of the Zeon suits from Mobile Suit Gundam. Even more confusingly, almost all their other mobile suits (GINN, BuCUE, LaGOWE, BABI, DINN, GOOhN, ZnO, CGUE, GuAIZ, etc.) seem to be acronyms that have no actual meaning. One of aforemention variant of CGUE is call DEEP Arms ( Directional Energy Emission exPerimental Arms). Their special forces group is also known as FAITH (Fast Acting Integrated Tactical Headquarters).
      • In a possible subversion, the military forces of Earth are officially known as Oppose Militancy & Neutralize Invasion (OMNI) Enforcer, but no one ever refers to them as such, usually settling for Earth Alliance Forces or simply Earth Forces. Similarly, the Earth Alliance's shadowy secret controlling organization LOGOS is always capitalized, but apparently stands for nothing (like Evangelion, it's actually a reference to a theological concept). However, their main headquarters of JOSH-A (JOint Supreme Headquarters Alaska) is potentially an extreme case of this trope, as, despite its spelling, everyone pronounces it as "Joshua".
      • Weapons systems acronyms in the series include the DRAGOON (Disconnected Rapid Armament Group Overlook Operation Network) system, the METEOR (Mobile-suit Enabled Tactical EnfORcer) support system, and the GENESIS (Gamma Emission by Nuclear Explosion Stimulate Inducing System) superlaser.
      • Finally, the title itself refers to Superior Evolutionary Element Destined-factor (SEED factor), which apparently gives a person the abilities needed to advance the evolution of mankind.
    • Gundam 00V has GRM (Generation of Reborns Mobile suit - pronoun as "Garm") Gundam and Cherudim Gundam SAGA (Special Assault Gundam Arms)
    • The movie has the aliens classified as Extraterrestrial Livingmetal Shapeshifters. The acronym is pronounced "Else", as in "Other". which they certainly are.
  • The original Japanese version of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has SAL (Super Animal Le(a)rning), a monkey that was being trained to duel using technology. It should be noted that it is pronounced "saru", which is Japanese for "monkey".
  • The main Macguffin in the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga is a card capable of rewriting time and space named Genesis Omega Dragon.
  • The names of the mecha and tools in Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry are:
    • STRategic Armored INfantry, the titular mecha.
    • Tactical Unmanned Maneuver ORb, the Mecha-Mooks.
    • General Axis Motorized Battle Exoskeleton Equipment. The weaker mecha of the grunt soldiers that Sara must join for a few episodes.
    • Ministerial Instrument of Mercurion Interface Core, the plot's Human Resources and the device that allows Strains to operate.
  • Gao Gai Gar's GGG (organization defending humanity from Zonders) stood for Gutsy Geoid Guard. In season 2, it received a new name(as well as an orbital base): Gutsy Galaxy Guard.
  • Though it was almost certainly unintentional, Ghost in the Shell has the rather unfortunate acronym "GITS"; by way of explanation, git is a coarse British insult. The fact that Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex changes this acronym to GITS SAC does not help matters...
  • MÄR: Maerchen Awakens Romance, though why they kept the dieresis on the A of "Awakens" is anyone's guess.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, Nanoha's Chekhov's Skill in the finishing episodes was acronymed in the Japanese subtitle (as Raising Heart was talking) as "WAS". It stood for Wide Area Search.
    • Averted by the Time-Space Administration Bureau, or TSAB; if it were the Space-Time Administration Bureau, the acronym would be STAB.
    • The sequel to A's Portable: The Battle of Aces is called Gears of Destiny. The name of the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition? "GOD BOX".
  • Gate Keepers had A.E.G.I.S., which stood for Alien Exterminating Global Intercept System. Interestingly, the shape of the badge was half a world, and half a shield shape with an atom symbol on it.
  • Welcome to the N.H.K.: In the real world, NHK stands for "Nippon Housou Kyoukai" (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). Tatsuhiro Satou, the series protagonist and Conspiracy Theorist, thinks it really stands for "Nihon Hikikomori Kyoukai" (Japan Shut-in Society).
  • Psychic Squad features the BAse of Backing Esp. Laboratory. Gratuitous English and the oddity of having the acronym standing for an abbreviation.
    • Let's not forget "P.A.N.D.R.A." and whatever it stood for again. Note that when the Japanese pronounce it they normally insert an (unstressed) "o" between "d" and "r", thus "pandora".
  • Digimon has DORUmon which stands for Digital OR Unknown monster
  • Code Geass gives us the rather unintuitive acronym, "F.L.E.I.J.A", which stands for Field Limitary Effective Implosion Armament. The "J" doesn't stand for anything; it is only there to facilitate the word's pronunciation as "Freya". If the reference to the Norse goddess was intentional, one wonders why they didn't just call it the Fission Reaction-Enhanced Yield Armament.
    • There's also the Superlative Extruder Interlocked Technology Exclusive Nexus, which is the Guren SEITEN. Of course, SEITEN isn't a word in English, but in Japanese, it means Eight Elements... which is what the start-up screen calls it. In English. That's a surprisingly high-level of knowledge of Japanese language from a Britannian engineer.
  • Macross:
    • The original Super Dimension Fortress Macross gives us the variable fighter's half-jet-half-humanoid-mecha GERWALK mode - Ground Effective Reinforcement of Winged Armament with Locomotive Knee-joint. This actually makes a bit more sense than most of the other examples - until you look up the very first proposal involving VF-esque mechas done by Shoji Kawamori, involving non-transforming half-plane-half-mechas called "Ga-Walk"...
      • Not to mention the fact that the SDF-1 Macross itself was formerly known as Alien Space Ship One.
      • The novels of the original English dub Robotech give a backronym for Veritech: Variable Engineering and Robotic Integration Technology.
    • Macross Zero gives us AFOS, which, presumably, stands for Artifact From Outer Space
    • The United Nations Space Navy is abbreviated as UN "Spacy". By the time of Macross Frontier, a "New" has been appended to it. Therefore, people make a habit of calling it NUNS.
    • Though it's not mentioned in the shows themselves, the FAST Pack is actually a real-life acronym for aerodynamic external fuel tanks used by the F-15C (an F-15 variant that came out around the same time the first Macross series was made): Fuel And Sensor Tactical Pack.
  • Darker Than Black has PANDORA, the Physicalquantity Alternation Natural Deconstruction Organized Research Agency.
  • The mecha from The Girl Who Leapt Through Space are called QT Arms (which is a cheesy enough name in itself); the name is also an acronym for Quantum Technology Advanced Reinforced Maneuvering Shroud.
    • The same series' Latex Space Suits are called Q-Tectors; their acronym being Quantum Transducing Environment Crosslink Terrain Operational Reinforcer.
  • Chirality has main character Carol, whose name stands for Chirality Artificial Recombine of Life.
  • Armored Trooper VOTOMS, the armored trooper is result from project call Vertical One-man Tank for Offense & ManeuverS.
  • In Full Metal Panic! Tuatha Dé Danann has system call TAROS for Transfer And Response Omni-Sphere.
  • In Android Announcer Maico 2010, Maico's name is short for Multi-Artificial Intelligence Computer Organism.
  • Australian anime convention organisers seem fond of these:
    • Melbourne Anime Festival
    • Sydney Manga and Anime Show.
    • Perth Anime Convention, although that's more commonly known as Wai-con.
  • Mazinger Z gets this treatment in Shin Mazinger Zero, in typical Gratuitous English style.
  • In Funimation's Gag Dub of Sgt. Frog, Keroro is leader of "the Advanced Recon Mission Prepatory Invasion Terror Platoon", whose acronym is unfortunate, but is nonetheless intentional on Funimation's partnote .
  • In Naruto, the ANBU, or Ansatsu Senjutsu Tokushu Butai (Special Assasination and Tactics Squad)are elite "black-ops" ninja in porcelain masks. ANBU is also Japanese for Dark Side, which makes sense given the fact that they carry out the missions for which Konoha will accept no official responsibility.
  • Not exactly derived from a word, but definitely a backronym, is the edited Dragon Ball Z dub's HFIL (HELL in the uncut version). They got it by removing the bottoms of the E and first L and claim that it stands for the Home For Infinite Losers. The original name is not an acronym, however, and is exactly what you think it is.
  • The English dub of Dragon Ball GT invokes this trope stealthily in the names of the Shadow Dragons. From one star to seven stars, their names were Syn Shenron, Haze Shenron, Eis Shenron, Nuova Shenron, Rage Shenron, Oceanus Shenron, and Naturon Shenron. Take the first letter of each name, and what does it spell? SHENRON.
  • In Ultimate Girls, the source of the girl's energy is 'Maiden, Oh don't look at me please, Energy' or M.O.E. It is also produced by Masters Of Entertainment.
  • The Guest-Star Party Member of the fourth and fifth seasons of Slayers is a young prince named Pokota, which is actually an acronym of his real name, Posel Korba Taforashia.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: And how could we possibly forget the "Sekai wo Ooi ni Moriageru tame no Suzumiya Haruhi no Dan"?
    • There are two English translations: "Spreading Excitement All Over the World with Haruhi Suzumiya Brigade", used by the anime, or the Ascended Fansub "Save the World by Overloading it with Fun: Haruhi Suzumiya Brigade", used by the manga and light novels.
    • Meanwhile, fans have decided to backronym it into "Slaves Of Suzumiya Brigade".
    • Koizumi refers to Yuki and the other aliens present as "TFEI Terminals", though he refuses to elaborate on exactly what that stands for. Mikuru also refers to her time machine as the "TPDD", which is eventually revealed to stand for "Time Plane Destruction Device".
  • In Tiger & Bunny, NEXT is short for Noted Entities with eXtraordinary Talents.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!! had "Nightmare Enterprises", or NME for short. Try reading that out loud. In the original Japanese, the company was simply called "Holy Nightmare".
  • The GA in GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class stands for "Geijutsuka (Art Department) Class A", though Tomokane's guess, "Graphic Arts Design Class is pretty reasonable. Kisaragi's (albeit that was Tomokane messing with her) "Go for it, Artists!", not so much.
  • Episode 9A of Sakura Trick is titled The SBJK of New Year Debuts. So what is SBJK? "Shitto Bukai Joshi Kousei", or "Deeply Jealous High School Girl. Some fansubbing groups translated to "Super Berserk Jealous Kid" or "Super-Begrudging Juvenile Kitten" to keep the acronym.
  • In Cross Ange the enemy dragons are actually Dimension Rift Attuned Gargantuan Organic Neototypes.
  • Monster Musume has MON, which stands for either the Engrish-y "Monsters Of a Neuro" (in the original manga), "Monster Ops: Neutralization" (in the translated edition), or MONster's New Law" (in the anime), which is not an acronym anymore. Either way, it's a special squad of Cute Monster Girls that acts beyond the law.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula:
    • In the series, there's the governing body of the Federation International Cruise of Cyber Formula, or FICCY for short.
    • The Asurada models of AKF in the OVAs are made up of the initials of Asurada, Kazami and Fortran. Similarly, the Stil and Speigel cars has "HG" on them, which stands for Heinel and Gudelhian.
  • Frame Arms Girls: The anime of the action figure series has the very unfortunate acronym FAG.
  • Don't Meddle with My Daughter!: N.U.D.E. stands for: "Next Ultimate Defense Exports". Though in chapter 1, Risa agrees with Athena that it's an embarrassing name for a military organization.
  • Duel Masters: In an American-only season, the villains were an organization called the Powerful Loyal Order Of Princes or PLOOP.
  • In the Assassination Classroom anime, the Anti-Sensei BB pellets, airguns, and knives have the acronym S.A.A.U.S.O. (Special Arms Against Unidentified Slimy Octopus) imprinted on them. In Japanese, it roughly means "hey, that's a lie".
  • The title of EDENS ZERO refers to a space battleship used by the main characters. The "Edens" part of its name is short for "Ether Drive Eternal Navigation Ship".
  • Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?: The video game the characters become trapped in is called a MMMMMORPG, which means "Mom's Massively Maternal Multiplayer Making-up-with Offspring Role Playing Game".
  • A rather unintentional one in Dr. Stone, where Chrome comes up with an invention that helps dig tunnels by turning and pushing away dirt, which he calls the "Diggerific Rotating Impelling Land-Eating Loop-Knife", or "DRILL" for short. Of course, those from the 21st century point out that not only that it exists in their time, but it was also called a drill.
  • Asteroid in Love: When the Earth Sciences club arrives at Endou's grandparents' home in the eleventh chapter, animated in the fourth episode, Ao notices the grandfather wears a cap with the letters JAXA (Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency) on it. The gang first thought he is a retiree of JAXA's, but it turns out he's a farmer who is also a space nut—he added the letters "XA" on a cap provided by JA, or Japan Agricultual Cooperatives.

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