Manga and Light Novel Titles are Too Long. Can We Shorten Them?

Let’s play a game, shall we?

You’ve probably seen them around. Manga, light novels, and anime that put a summarizing sentence in place of their title. There are dozens of examples and counting. You could probably string these titles together and write a short novel out of them!

It wouldn’t make any sense, sure. But you could probably do it.

Personally, I’ve always loved writing titles for stories. Coming up with a fun name for a book has always been my favorite part of the writing process. You could put so much into a title. Subtle hints at the story’s contents, the characters, the world, or maybe all three at once. Maybe even more! Trying to condense them all into a fun one-to-six word title is a great time!

This brings us to the game. Can we take these sentence-long titles and condense them into something a little more… manageable? I call it: Condense a Title.

I might condense it, too, at some point.

To be clear: this is just for fun. I’m not saying that whatever I come up with is inherently better than the actual title. I’m calling this a game for a reason. So, please: don’t take this as some kind of attack or even as criticism.

With that said: let’s get started. First up: Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Starting off with a big one

It’s a long title, but a fitting one. For those unfamiliar: this story stars Bell, a young boy who meets a beautiful girl, Aiz, in a dungeon. In order to impress her, he works to become stronger and become an adventurer worth noting. He’s trying to pick up a girl in a dungeon.

It’s not just about that, though. There are several things occupying this world. The gods of different mythos have come to live alongside man and form groups called Familias. A giant tower stands at the center of the setting, one in which no one has managed to reach the deepest depths of. People gain power via skills, much like in a video game.

We’ve got no shortage of material to work with.

An easy one to go with is sitting right there on the poster. If we cut the long-winded sentence out, what’re we left with? ‘Familia Myth’. It rolls off the tongue, it hints at the whole Familia thing, which is extremely important to the plot, and it alludes to a fantastical setting. Or maybe we could be more specific; since the Hestia Familia are the main characters, maybe we can call it ‘Hestia Familia’.

But that’s the easy way out. What can we come up with on our own?

Let’s go back to the romantic angle, shall we? After all, that’s an equally important aspect of the story. How can we condense the current title? Well, the obvious pick would be to shorten it to ‘Picking Up Girls in a Dungeon’. It’s a bit easier on the tongue, though it does lose the uncertainty of it. It works, but it’s still a bit much. Not to mention that it, too, is rather lazy.

How about we work in the skill aspect of the story here? After all, the reason Bell becomes so strong so quickly is because of a skill connected to his feelings. How about something like ‘Skill of Love’? Or perhaps something a bit more mystical, like ‘Blessing of Love’?

But maybe that’s too romantic. This is still a fantasy-adventure story, after all. Maybe we could focus more on that?

Let’s try the tower aspect of it. Every adventurer in the world is trying to get to the bottom of this tower, after all. Must be pretty important to the plot. So… why not use that? We could call it ‘Babel’, after the name of the tower. Or maybe we could go a little deeper. Call it ‘Monsters of Babel’ or something like that.

Maybe we can combine some of those ideas. The Familia Myth line sounded decent. Maybe we could combine that with the tower idea. Call it ‘Familia Myth: Tower of Babel’. Or, if we wanted to go back to the romantic angle, we could go with ‘Familia Myth: Blessing of Love’ or something along those lines.

Alright. That’s all I’ve got right now. What do you guys have? Did you come up with something better than me? Probably! If so, I wanna hear it! How good are you guys at the game?

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