Important Documents
Style Guide

Names and Conventions

Name format

Use only MAL's naming conventions and not the official names. This includes both the name of the anime or manga as well as character names and other names. For characters, write their full name when you introduce them in your synopsis and then resort to addressing them by whichever name (first name, surname, or nickname) is used the most in the series. However, when you introduce a character as a family member of a previously introduced character (and they have the same surname), omit the newly introduced character's surname.
There are rare occasions when using a character's database name might be inappropriate (for example, if the character has a different name in a specific franchise entry). If you have a compelling reason to not use a character's full name, or to use a nickname without introducing the full name, you may do so. Make sure to leave a comment explaining your justification.


To find the full list of an anime's characters, navigate to the Characters & Staff tab; for a manga, go to the Characters tab. If a character you would like to introduce is not in that list, it means they are not in the MAL database. In such cases, you should generally try to figure out the character's name in Japanese (through official sites, Japanese Wikipedia, or raw scans of a manga) and adapt it to follow MAL's romanization guidelines. If you're not confident with this, or you have a case that is not covered above, feel free to contact Mythologically.

Placeholder names

Some unnamed characters are listed in the database under placeholder names such as "Watashi" and "Boku" (both Japanese personal pronouns). Do not use such placeholder names to refer to the characters. Instead, introduce the characters with a brief, context-appropriate description of who they are. When doing so, refrain from using meta words such as "protagonist."
Note that this does not include titles which are used as names, such as Priestess. These should be treated as regular names.



Write Japanese character names in the American order: First name Surname.


Historical Japanese names

A long time ago, Japanese names were read with the particle no between the surname and first name. When you come across a character whose database name includes this reading, write it in the following format: Surname no First name.


Chinese and Korean

When writing Chinese and Korean character names, use the Eastern order: Surname First name.



Introduce a nickname only when it is a character's most commonly used name. If you introduce a nickname, you must use it when referring to the character in subsequent mentions. Nicknames should generally be introduced in the following format: First name "Nickname" Surname. However, you may use alternative formats as long as it is clear who the nickname refers to, as in the example below. Note that in such cases the first mention of the nickname should still be in quotation marks.


    • Shigeo Kageyama, also known as "Mob," is an assistant.
  • Incorrect: Shigeo Kageyama aka Mob
    • Shigeo (Mob) Kageyama
    • Shigeo Kageyama is an assistant. Mob joins the Body Improvement Club.
Note that you may only introduce nicknames which appear under the nickname section of a character's page. The nickname section is the list of names in quotation marks at the top of a character page. For example, Subaru Natsuki's only nickname is "Barusu."
Occasionally, the nickname section contains names which are better thought of as "alternate names" rather than nicknames. For example, a character may use the main database name in one context and an alternate name in another context. In such cases, the alternate name need not be put in quotation marks and may be introduced on its own.


Do not use Japanese honorifics (e.g. -san, -kun, -senpai, -sensei, etc.) in character names unless a character has an honorific as part of their database name.


Anime and manga titles

Use only the main title: the one that appears at the top of the page. Do not use titles in the Alternative Titles section unless they are identical to the main title. Use any punctuation or symbols that appear in the main title.


See also