One thing about anime that never ceases to impress me is how very global the allusions and references are, given the status of the medium as primarily Japanese. It’s often very easy to miss these though due to slightly garbled transliteration, however, but a couple of recent shows this season show a lot of care in their titling.
Durarara!‘s title is an oddity in English, until one realizes the L and R sounds in Japanese are identical. As “Dulalala!” the title makes some more sense as an illusion to the Irish faerie Dullahan – a headless horseman, modernized in this anime as a headless motorcyclist.
Dance in the Vampire Bund – what is a “bund-o”, anyway? Followers of the manga likely already know that “The Bund” refers to the special vampire district that is set up by Mina to promote human-vampire relations. Outside of anime conversation, however, “The Bund” refers more likely to the real-world Shanghai Bund, the main foreign district for the city of Shanghai during the early modern period – where traders from the West would do business and stay while in the city. The Bund was (and perhaps still is) one of the biggest symbols of the Chinese humiliation (both perceived at actual) at the hands of the West: a splendid empire in isolation suddenly wrenched into a new world order filled with alien beings from a completely different cultural background – a situation perhaps not very different from the emergence of vampires into modern human civilization in Dance in the Vampire Bund.