Feel like light novel titles are getting ridiculously long? You’re not alone. Fans in China are feeling it, too — especially the translators who work to bring the titles over.
In the wake of the release of the impressively titled “Nuiage! Nugashite? Kise kaeru! ! Kanojo ga kōkō debut ni shippai shite hikikomori to kashita no de, ore ga seishun (fashion) o coordinate suru koto ni.”, there has been backlash from Chinese translators and book dealers who are finding the ever increasing title lengths counterproductive in a variety of ways.
At 68 characters long, the new title is the longest yet for a light novel — and causing problems both at home and overseas. It’s been pointed out that the longer the title is, the more difficult the book becomes to catalog in a database, where space is at a premium. With a 68-character-long title, there may end up not even being room for a description of the book… which is a big problem if it’s a new release that needs extra information added to its entry.
Meanwhile, Chinese translators are fed up with the extra work of translating the titles — which are practically stories in and of themselves — and then trying to fit them on the cover.
Light novel fans have offered counter-arguments defending the long titles. Some say they’re an attention-getter, bringing eyes and possible readers to new series in an already overcrowded market. Others says title length is irrelevant since the books end up getting known by their abbreviations — Oreimo and Danmachi, for example. And others still say that it doesn’t matter how long a title is so long as it’s stylish.
There’s no knowing yet whether we’ve hit peak light novel title length yet, or if “Nuiage! Nugashite? Kise kaeru! ! Kanojo ga kōkō debut ni shippai shite hikikomori to kashita no de, ore ga seishun (fashion) o coordinate suru koto ni.” is just the next step. Either way, it seems it’s gotten bad enough to frustrate the market, at least a bit.
Source: Excite JP News
Kara Dennison is responsible for multiple webcomics, blogs and runs interviews for (Re)Generation Who and PotterVerse, and is half the creative team behind the OEL light novel series Owl’s Flower. She blogs at karadennison.com and tweets @RubyCosmos.