It is difficult to remember a time when you could scroll through the feed or social media platform of your choice and rarely come across a hyperbolic headline:

Re:Creators Is A Classic Anime In The Making…

Eromanga Sensei: A Modern Masterpiece…

How Moe Is Saving Anime…

Top 10 Best Betrayal Anime Ever…

Four examples should suffice, and these are only a few of the headlines that I stumbled across over the last handful of days.

Some of them inflate their credibility, overreach, or hardly relate to the content at hand once you click – but their common essence is clear: Lure viewers to the site regardless of the quality or context of the content underneath.

And with that comes the heart of the issue with clickbait in our community: These type of headlines generally offer mismatched value with their expectations, while monopolizing the time and attention of people that could be otherwise spent on more worthwhile pursuits.

In short, they often end up as disappointments once clicked, rarely living up to their initial claims.

Despite this, clickbait does have its place within reason. Unfortunately, creators in our community seem to struggle finding this place with each passing day.

A Promise That’s Necessary & Can’t Be Easily Resisted

Mafia dons make offers that cannot be refused. Anime clickbaiting dons make promises that cannot be easily resisted.

And to a degree that’s necessary.

Anime content that wants to be seen has to equal or out-perform all the other content around it, clickbait content included.

So yes, from a creator perspective to some extent, it’s wise to create attractive headlines to standout among the sea of content out there.

However, there’s a fine line between captivating, relevant anime content and clickbait.

Anime content creators shouldn’t be coy about wanting to attract people onto their site with an alluring title, so long as the content delivers on their promises in reasonable fashion.

So before you publish that highly exaggerated headline, ask yourself: Do my superlatives over promise? Does this headline firmly match the content?  Will my viewers feel satisfied and not tricked?

Always keep in mind to put your audience’s value and integrity first, not dollar signs and faceless clicks.

If you have trouble coming up with a title that isn’t baity yet effective, let us lend you the best piece of headline advice that we know:

Is This Next Section Going To Be The Best Headline Advice Ever?

I’ll end the suspense: No, it’s surely not.

And I bet now you’re feeling a bit let down, like I overhyped this section with the subhead.

Well, I did. And if I had used a similar superlative laced subhead as the actual headline for this article, I bet a lot of your eyes would of rolled once you actually engaged with this content.

Over promising and not following through sucks, hopefully this take home message has been made clear.

That aside, we do actually have some decent advice for anime content creators looking for a headline:

As you know, your headline is a promise to viewers. Its job is to clearly communicate the benefit you’ll deliver to the viewer in exchange for their valuable time.

Promises tend to be made before being fulfilled. Writing your content first puts you in the position of having to reverse-engineer your promise.

Turn it around the other way and you have the benefit of expressly fulfilling the compelling promise you made with the headline, which ultimately helps to keep your content crisp and well-structured.

Trying to fulfill a promise you haven’t made yet is tough, and often leads to a marginal headline. And a poorly-crafted headline allows good deeds to go unnoticed.

So give it a shot, try coming up with your headline first before any other part of your content. Sure the idea is simple, and there’s likely to be some of you doing this already, but it’s effective nonetheless.

Over To You

Have you come across clickbait in the anime community recently? If so, do you find yourself ever taking the bait? Let me know in the comments below!

22 thoughts to ““Clickbait” – Why The Anime Community Still Can’t Have Nice Things

  • Izanaginookami

    Yep. That’s exactly why mine are totally bland if not generic. Yep Yep. That’s the reason, and not because my naming sense is bad or because I’m too lazy to come up with an interesting title.

    That aside, this kind of almost “false advertisement” (can’t find better words at the moment so bear with it) is a problem indeed, but with the incresingly shortening of attention span of people added to the huge… err competition (can we call it that way?), that’s inevitable, if one want more attention to his posts.

    To tell the truth though, I don’t really have too much problem with them, as most of the time I luckily get to read some very interesting posts thanks to them. So I can’t really understand how annoying it can be. I dislike false advertisement though, so I would probably dislike it very much if it were to happen… wait, nah. I would probaly just say “huh? Oh, ok” or at least that’s what happened for this post (really click-bait).

    • Prattle

      lol, I’m sure if you really wanted to you could come up with some solid titles 🙂

      False advertisement works and yeah we can call it competition.

      Well it’s nice to know that you don’t have too much of an issue with them. Personally I don’t mind clickbait if it actually delivers on the bait, but if it doesn’t I do feel kind of deceived and like I wasted my time.

      Thanks for commenting!

  • marthaurion

    you won’t believe this comment’s point! —> it doesn’t have one. eh, i just stick with either descriptive titles or making a joke. im guilty of clicking the bait, though. might as well know what im dealing with, i guess? id probably say im more bothered by articles that gain popularity by virtue of stating a safe opinion on a popular topic to get a bunch of people to agree, regardless of title.

    • Prattle

      I’m guilty of that too. Sometimes I click on clickbait titles even if it’s ridiculously obvious that it’s bait…I need help.

      Yeah, that can be pretty annoying

  • Karandi

    I hate writing titles though given the feedback I got the other day apparently when I get back from my short break one of the things I have to work on for my posts is actually giving them titles other than the series and episode number. Thanks for sharing some advice on this.
    In terms of clicking on click bait, generally I’ll click on anything that seems anime related but I won’t hang around long if the article is not well written. So, probably not the most discerning viewer given I’ll give almost any anime content a go.

    • Prattle

      Hmmm, I always thought your titles were pretty nice. Sure they’re just the series and episode number, but it works. I guess changing it up wouldn’t hurt.
      No problem!

      Gotcha, so you might take the bait initially but will move on pretty quickly if needed.

  • Anonymous

    This pretty much covers the angle I’m coming from, where there is a distinction between something being “clickbait”, as in a video or article with an exaggerated headline or thumbnail that doesn’t have any relevant content to back up its promise vs. one that is interesting or eye-catching and does match with the content without it feeling like you were deceived in anyway.

    • Prattle

      Exactly, the distinction is important to consider.

  • Jester Monocle

    If I may ask, what is the clickbait in these titles? You see, I have a hard time really seeing what “clickbait” IS. And I think people have just stretched the meaning of it. Because back in my hayday, clickbait was a thumbnail or a title stating that the viewer will be given something that clearly isn’t in the video. Like a random picture of a half-naked woman. Or a title stating: “25 KILLSTREAK IN COD!”. And the idea back then was just that those videos didn’t give us what the title or picture said it would.

    But to my understanding, the title: “25 KILLSTREAK IN COD” is subjected to delivery. When I click on a video like that and the guy actually gets a 25 killstreak, is it REALLY clickbait? No, it shouldn’t be. Now, the examples you have are completely different. They are entirely subjective which is why I don’t think they are clickbait at all.

    Like, “RE: Creators is A Classic In The Making” he titled it because this person legitimately thinks this is the case and his video is him presenting his perspective and thoughts on the show. And I am inclined to disagree with him but that doesn’t mean I think his video is clickbait or it didn’t deliver. I came to see his perspective on a show he wanted to talk about. And the same could be said for some of the other examples here too.

    As for “Eromanga Sensei: A Modern Masterpiece…” the title is a satirical joke that plays with the audience mentally and Gigguk is known for this kind of humor all throughout his time on Youtube. The joke was that Eromanga Sensei was so trash it was the trashiest of trash. It’s just a style Gigguk has always used to make people laugh and that’s really all there is to it.

    Sorry I just think you’re stretchin’ it a bit.

    • Prattle

      I’m guessing you want to know specifically for the examples that you addressed in your comment? I won’t pour on to keep this concise, but both the titles in question are knee-jerk, superlative charged titles bound to catch attention.

      Some may be in a joking manner, or actually make a reasonable effort to back their claims – but that doesn’t make the title any less baitiy. The alignment of the content with the title is only half the battle here. The title in its own rights can still be overly dramatized and stretched to make it baity.

      I hope this clears things up!

      • Jester Monocle

        To my understanding, you think that because the words expressed in these titles are ‘hyperbolic’ that makes it clickbait? It still sounds like a stretch. Again, clickbait is when you are told there is certain content in the video but doesn’t appear.

        None of these titles align with that. They are a summarized writing of the person’s ideas. Or in Gigguk’s case, a joke.

        • Prattle

          Yes. Something being (or not being) clickbait has nothing to do with the actual content itself, but rather the headline (and or other cover elements such as a thumbnail).

          For example, you can have a video called “Re:Creators Is The Greatest Anime Of The Last Decade” and have that video reasonably explain why you believe it to be that, but the headline would still be clickbait because it’s a grossly charged claim.

          Any situation were the content doesn’t match the cover elements is just insult to injury, but it’s by no means the parameters of clickbait alone.

          • Jester Monocle

            But the content DOES match the cover elements. The cover elements is just the person’s perspective lol. And it’s not a claim, because ‘claiming’ something is “greatest of the last decade” would incline that they are saying something objectively without any evidence or proof when you know that is wrong.
            It’s just a summary of the person’s thoughts. The video is the in- depth reasoning for why they think it is.
            And I really don’t like this because your way of thinking sounds like you want people to restrain what they think so that title sounds less flamboyant.

          • Prattle

            Again, the content matching the cover elements doesn’t make those cover elements any less clickbait as outlined in my Re:Creator example.

            When you’re just talking about the headline like we are, yes, it is indeed a claim. With context from the video in this situation(or piece of content in general) you can see where it’s just someone’s reasoning. Initially however, pre-click the headline is just in a vacuum and thus comes off as such.

            I don’t want you to misunderstand my intentions. I want people to frame their headlines more appropriately – hit the breaks a little bit on the superlatives and reachy exaggerations to provide a more accurate description of what’s actually happening. If you truly believe an anime is “the best” then you’re more than welcome to feel that way and express that, just try to frame that in a way that’s true to you rather than a title that reads like an objective piece.

  • Videogamep

    I don’t have a problem with flamboyant titles as long as they’re accurate. Attention getting titles are important for getting noticed, but I’ve seen plenty that overreach or promise something that the content doesn’t deliver. I don’t actually see that too much in the anime community, though. Most of the worst clickbait titles are on those news websites that tease a big reveal but are just summarizing old news. Most titles I see for anime articles and videos are fairly accurate as to the content, even if they’re meant to get attention.

    • Prattle

      That’s pretty understandable, and I don’t have an issue with them either when they’re accurate to the actual content.

  • Anonymous

    While I’m not very creative with titles, I will admit I put some borderline clickbait-y titles for various posts. I try my best to not go that route when trying to get people to read my posts but sometimes you can’t help yourself. But, I’d like to think that I can back my post titles up with the actual content inside. And I have definitely been baited by clickbait a lot, which I need to learn not to keep getting tempted haha. Interesting read!

    • Prattle

      I appreciate your honesty.

      Like I said in the OP, clickbait within reason is pretty necessary and it does help to actually deliver on your headlines.

      It’s good to know that you’re backing your post titles up 🙂

  • Amari

    Title wise I’m quite bland, but for meta-descriptions I will admit I can get click baitey. However, with others, I find it more alluring when they are critiquing than praising. I’d rather read someone poking at something, trying to peel back the layers or scream out people are blind to an obvious fault. In that, there is less of a bandwagon feel.

    Though, when I think about it, the same thing would go for when something is getting trashed by most but this one person is praising a show. I remember Karandi reviewing some anime I dropped. I could not wrap my head around how someone could enjoy it, yet week to week she was finding positive things to say. Something which, with what I guess could be considered click bait titles or the summaries we get in e-mail subscriptions, kept me coming back. I won’t say it ever pushed me to continue the show, but it did lead me to want to see that shoe drop.

    Which I think is the big to do about click bait stuff. You want that, for a lack of a better term, awe-inspiring moment. You want to understand why this person, especially if they have been writing about anime, or what have you, for awhile, feel this one thing is so special.

    • Prattle

      Honestly, I like your titles. Just like I said to Karandi here – your titles may be simpler or straightforward but they’re rather effective. I would take efficiency over style any day.

  • Bruno de Mattos

    To be frank, I don’t believe there was a time when the internet wasn’t hyperbolic. This is the arena where extreme thought as anarcho-capitalism and virulent racism can become normal.

    However, it may not be only the internet that became like this. People speak in hyperbole noawadays even in person. I keep thinking that if I wrote some blog, or had a Youtube vlog, I could make my content distinct merely by eliminating the exaggeration that comes natural as I write, in addition to constantly clarifying what is opinion from what is claim of fact, which is usually clear enough.

    • Prattle

      You’re completely right on both lines of thought, and honestly, I would love to see a vlog/blog that eliminated the exaggerations and added more clarity to what is and isn’t fact. It would be interesting to see how successful that content can be.


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