Blog Carnival is an organized project created by du5k of One Minute of Dusk, discussing and blogging something regarding about a common topic. I’m glad to participate on this together with my other fellow anibloggers. So just like what other had already said, let the carnival begin!
Perfection irritates as well as it attracts, in fiction as in life.
First off, reviewing an anime is highly subjective no matter how objective we claimed to be. But if you have been watching for a long time, you need some sort of a marking scale on how you would rank what you had seen and how you would justify the differences. I’m a huge believer of numbers because I view it purer than any other word if being used correctly. Say for instance with words you can have excellent, superb, brilliant and outstanding but how would you know which is the best of the best through these? Take note, we are reviewing and evaluating, we want to be as accurate as much as possible—of course we don’t have to show this, and I do believe that we have our own mental calculators (to those who insist they don’t have, I deeply apologize).
I do acknowledged the fact that numbers would never mean a thing unless it’s being explained. But come on, we are anibloggers—that’s why we have that huge white space to fill-in. That being said, neither I’m implying that numbers is superior to words, nor words are superior to numbers. But whatever vagueness and broadness of words have can be reduced through the use of numbers. Likewise with numbers, it will forever remain as a plain figure unless words will breathe some life into it.
So, here’s a rough idea on how I would score an anime. I came up with these numbers to at least accurately express to my readers WHAT weighs the most when I’m watching anime and WHY I’m entertained in a GENERAL SENSE and SIMPLEST way. If I’m not blogging or reviewing publicly, there’s no point of doing this because I know exactly what I want.
0. Genre (0%) – I don’t score the genre. But to capture my attention, an anime should fall under the category that I’m interested at—how can I start evaluating if I’m not even touching them. By most part, I choose shows that are mainly categorized as slice-of-life, psychological, yuri, romance, and comedy. But of course, there are always exceptions. If the anime is well-recommended by a friend then, I’ll definitely give it a shot.
1. Animation (30%) – Animation is always the first to capture my eyes whenever I look for an anime to watch and most of my first impression depended on it. After all, were watching anime—animated stuff.
a. Eye-candy characters
b. Painstaking architecture and vibrant aesthetics
c. Consistency of the artwork
Examples: Chihayafuru, Bakemonogatari, 5cm Per Second
2. Characters (20%) – how the characters deeply impacted and made me think
a. Lovely character artwork that someone I can fangirl with.
b. Character development
c. Dynamicity and characterization
d. Convincing Dialogues
Examples: Hitagi Senjougahara (Bakemonogatari), Kyuubey (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica ), and Rinroku Kaishou (Un-Go)
3. Musicality (10%) – these are sound and music that will put you into the appropriate mood. I prefer something that has captivating Opening and Ending songs, refreshing background music which is consistent with the atmosphere and emotion of the scene, and meaningful lyrics
Examples: Noruniro (Mawaru Penguindrum’s OP), Fantasy (Un-Go’s ED), and Storywriter (Eureka Seven)
4. Plot (30%) – how artistic, profound, non-deceptive, emotional is the sequence and pattern of events.
a. Striking Introduction
b. Moving and profound plotline
c. Astounding climax
d. non-gimmicky but twisted conflict
Examples: Clannad After Story, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and Mahou Shoujo Madoka
5. Memorable Ending (10%) – usually, I like an ending that is still packed with mystery because I believed that some things are always better left unsaid. But, that being said, the mystery should never be greater than the revelation.
Examples: Clannad After Story, Eureka Seven, and Revolutionary Girl Utena
Although I came up with this system, I’m not really fond of reviewing and scoring an anime because writing this is boring and tedious. Not that I have anything against with it–it’s just not my thing. Also, I mentioned on my last posts that the only anime that I gave a ten on MAL is The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. If I’m going to use my own marking system, I doubt that it would get a 100%, however, it’s good enough to be called as a masterpiece.
And of course, it’s really up to us on how we’re going to measure the level of our enjoyment. After all, judging an anime is just all about our own preferences.
Also, check out what others have to say.
Ace Railgun by AceRailgun
Anime B&B by Marina
Anime Viking by Marow
Draggle’s Anime Blog by Draggle
Ephemeral Dreams by Ephemeral Dreamer
Hachimitsu by Mira
Leap250’s Blog by Leap250
Listless Ink by Yi
Mainichi Anime Yume by Yumeka
Nopy’s Blog by Nopy
One Minute of Dusk by du5k
The Otaku’s Study by Sam
World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko by hoshiko
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It’s been a while since I stopped by here so allow me to share my thoughts.
My reviews have always been based on personal entertainment value over everything else.
Animation is my least favored part of an evaluation. After all, I have as much for art as I have fashion sense…which isn’t much. If I’m not getting paid, what’s the point of doing in depth artistic criticism?
Characters are very important for me. I rate based on personality,
Music, it helps if it’s catchy.
Plot only matters if the story it’s either serious or essential to the show.
Ending…same as plot.
I guess I’ll write my own rating system…again. I forgot when I wrote it last time.
I give importance to animation because I really like seeing cute stuff. For me, it’s more important than the personality because the character’s personality is actually being delivered by the quality of the animation. But of course, we have our own approach and how we see the characters.
Oh and btw, you’re always welcome to share your thoughts here, OG.
The difficulty with giving out scores is that no matter how well thought out the scoring system is, you’re always judging based on your own opinion, and what the proper weight of any element of a series is will always be up for debate. You probably remember this, but if you took everything you thought about the writing and characterization from Madoka and INVERT it, you’ll get what I thought of it, and that would come across in the scoring.
There will always be various elements of a series that some people consider positive and others don’t. Two of my favourite series are One Piece and Kimi ni Todoke, but I know for a fact that some people would dislike them for the same qualities I enjoy them for. That’s why it’s good for scores to be personal and not general, because you’ll never find an opinion everyone can agree on.
That’s why it’s good for scores to be personal and not general, because you’ll never find an opinion everyone can agree on.
I agreed. And yes, I remembered discussing this on your post. When I said in general sense, I’m still implying what I generally consider not really what the public thinks. Also, I think anyone can always have their own marking scales and I believed everyone knows what they want. With that, we can easily hand-pick what we immediately search for or emphasize what we value the most when watching anime or reading manga.
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The first three columns of your scoring table are exactly the same as mine. But the makeup is 100%: how much did I like it. :)
Thank you, you’re the only one who agreed on this scoring table. Now, I’m thinking perhaps we have, not really exactly but, a similar source. ^^
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I’m not too fond of rating either. I also think rating an anime should be independent of its genre.
I have a question -Would you rate an anime you’ve not completed?
It depends, if I haven’t completed it yet because I placed it on hold, I won’t rate it. But, if it’s something that I dropped, I would rate it just to finalize my verdict.
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Patches (@the_patches) said:
I find it’s possible sometimes that a show plucks your heartstrings in ways that just makes objectivity hard. Chihayafuru is that way for me (I love Hikaru no Go, there was no way I wasn’t going to love that one). Similarly, K-On!/Lucky Star/Nichijou aren’t terribly GOOD in the sense of masterworks, but they fill me with warm fuzzies and I love them as a result.
In the end, I’m of two minds about many shows. I feel that anything above 9/10 is either empirically excellent (Grave of the Fireflies) or hit you so hard that you’re not sure that you can separate the good from the bad (Toradora!). Oddly enough, the things I’ve watched that have come closest to topping both scales are Summer Wars and Katanagatari.
The purpose of a having a number is to just actually to rank shows and to simply justify why you love it. Say, I can love a bunch of shows but to precisely express to my readers which is the best, I believe having some sort of a system would be a neat way to communicate it. To be honest, I didn’t really find hard giving a score breakdown because for me it’s just like shopping. At some point, if your budget isn’t enough, you have to choose which one you’re going to take even though both dresses are lovely.
Also, I think separating the good from the bad depends on who your audience is. But if you’re just speaking solely for yourself again is to think that you’re shopping with a limited budget.
Btw, I haven’t heard Grave of the Fireflies, thanks for mentioning that it’s an excellent film, I’m always in search of a good watch.
Wow, what a brutal breakdown on the percentages.
Personally, I don’t have any distinction between characters and plot. What if the anime is totally character driven or plot driven? Would it ever had a chance to score high?
I don’t really think it’s a brutal breakdown, to be honest, I didn’t really find it hard to come up with this. I’m just cutting the chase and trying to straightforwardly tell how I value the elements of what a 10/10 anime for me should look like.
Characters and plot for me blend and intersect. I can only love the plot as much as I love the characters. So characters for me as the storytellers of the plot. For instance, Eureka 7 has a very lovely plot, however the characters for me are quite forgettable because I wasn’t too impressed of the artwork.
What if the anime is totally character driven or plot driven? Would it ever had a chance to score high?
I don’t think you can totally have a character driven or plot driven anime. These are two separate entities but dependent of each other. That’s why given that you have a good plot, chances of giving a good mark to the character are also high. For instance, Madoka. I didn’t exactly like the characters but because of the plot I learned how to enjoy the characters, and vice versa for some instances.
Since I don’t separate the two, I can’t really give good examples but… how about slice-of-life anime? Take Sketchbook for example, it’s almost totally character driven with no story. Plot-driven stories with less emphasis on the characters are rare in anime, but maybe Bokurano is one.
…that’s beside the point, really. I’m just wondering if that means your scoring system prevents any one segment, say character or animation, to push the anime title to a 10/10 despite not getting a near perfect score on the other segment.
The problem with 1,2,3… 8,9,10 system is it’s being looked upon so numerically, instead of the definition attached on it.
To simplify your question, this is how I understand what you want me to justify:
Why would you give a 10/10 on a near perfect score?–very numerical-like / objective type of question.
Mathematically, you round-up decimal numbers to the nearest tens to get the equivalent whole number, e.g. 9.5, … , 9.9 are all rounded up to 10. Hence, every number on a whole number system, isn’t just perceived as plain a whole number because for instance 10 is also equivalent to 9.9, 9.8 etc. Now, do you think it’s mathematically fair for me to conclude a seemingly 9.9 rate is equivalent to 9?
Like what I already said on my comments, I didn’t hesitate to give a ten to The Girl Who Leapt Through time on MAL because it’s defined as “masterpiece” and not “perfect/flawless”.
That’s why on my chart, I made sure that I defined everything as much as I can. And tbh, the numerical value out there is just to show that there are ways how to rank your favourites (and to show it mathematically is the neatest way to do it).
Just to add, do I claim my chart objective? No because it’s so bias to my taste and statistically speaking, I need to have a minimum of 30 participants in order to lessen the bias-ness of my table, and the more participants I have agreeing with me, the less bias my table is going to be.
I really do apologize for my long response. I enjoyed writing this because mathematics and statistics are close to my heart. And, I really insisted using numbers on this post because that is your main topic from what I understand, What Makes a 10/10 Anime? A lot of bloggers answered this philosophically but the essence of math or the numbers wasn’t really covered–which what most bloggers are disputing with MAL ranking system.
Quite the opposite, really, My 10/10 never means perfect, but having a percentage system often makes it so, if not close. I was wondering if, for example, a anime with a lame plot would ever get a A+
Don’t worry, I agree that a 9.5 should get a 10 instead of a 9, but let me make a more drastic example. Hidamari sketch season 1 doesn’t have eye-candy characters, vibrant animation, character development, dynamism, convincing dialogues, profound plotlines, climaxes, conflicts, ending. Yet I gave it a 10. I’m not sure you would…
The big bulk of my appreciation goes to the plot and animation. If an anime lack good qualities on these, I highly doubt that I will give a 10.
For instance, Bakemonogatari has an amazing animation, but I’m not satisfied with the plot that’s why I didn’t give a 10 on MAL. YuruYuri, has a yuri genre and an OK animation, but the plot failed to convince me and the comedy failed to make me laugh, that’s why I dropped it.
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I like how you give animation a 30% weighting. I actually put some emphasis on animation too, but people have told me that they think it shouldn’t matter as long as the story is good.
Memorability and longevity is something I would like to consider when I do my reviews, but honestly, only time can tell if an anime will be long-lasting for me. Some series I think I’ll love forever I end up forgetting about in a few years whereas others I do love forever.
Animation is really important for me. It’s the most significant thing that separates from reading a novel and listening to a drama CD. Also, I guess you’re right memorability can be best measure by time. But, I have a few anime that before I watch the last series, it already created that lasting impression in me.
Cave Story said:
Nice post. You made me think about the review system for anime.
The simplest I have seen is like in anime newsnetwork. You just give it an overall rating. And this overall rating is compiled with the masses to give an overall feel of whether the anime is interest or crappy.
For individual reviews, your listing of 0-5 made me thought of the areas that could be rated.
In general, I think these are the few main areas that could be considered:
A) Environment (the land and structures, trees, skies, rivers, clouds, lighting, weather… how it response when it “breaks up” because of a mech “tears” thru it, or, how it sets the scenic for the anime)
B) Characters (designs when static, personality when in motion)
C) Logic (music, sound, story ingredients, pacing, surprises)
D) Charm (non-visual factors that charms u)
I was thinking of these areas being rated and they should be left on its own without being added together and averaged out…meaning, someone could just gauge an anime with one of the points below:
A) Environment & Characters (combined just to make up 3 for each section)
1. Settings (artwork of landscapes or rooms in general and the “extras” in the background)
2. Characters (character designs)
3. Stylish (how captivating are the traits and quirks are the characters when put into motion)
4. Music (does the music support the anime settings most of the time? does the music suck you into the setting? *might need a earphone to notice the subtle sounds for some animes*)
5. Sound FX (does that sound suit the ultimate move being used? Are the techno sounds suitable for that sequence change?)
6. Physics (be it magic, mecha, guns or fighting sequences, does the unworldly moves seem visually right to you based on the “race” or “role” of the characters?…like do clothes wear a bit when character was sent tumbling on the ground. And fluidity of movements or action sequences…some animes with loads of episodes can be very inconsistent in this aspect…action type of anime might benefit more from this rating)
7. Story (is the plot or genre mixed to your taste? Do the events seem to have unfolded naturally?)
8. Ending (do you like the ending?)
9. Surprise (any elements that threw you off the setting that the anime seem to be on? Like, in episode one, were you able to think it would have led to the last few episodes? Also, how consistent were these “surprises” compared to with the setting of the whole anime in the first place?)
10. Recommended? (YES, yes, no, NO – some anime will suck in art but the story is actually pretty interesting, thus it’s still a recommended…this portion is likely affected by the epicness of one or two of point…usually point 9 will be involved…but of course, there are titles that are consistent throughout with no surprises and they are still extremely solid)
Well, just my sudden thoughts on the areas that could be rated :D
Pretty much you summed up what I also enjoy about an anime. I’m not really looking for the big ideas, but more on the small and intricate ones. Like the trees, skies, buildings, clothes etc. Characters are also big for me because they are my bridge to the story. And, if the artwork as a whole should be appealing. If not it would be hard for me to like what I’m watching.
Btw, I like how you have a charm section. Anime plots and how they unfold is being taken differently by everybody because we have our own version of understanding. What is charming for Person A might not be charming for Person B. Definitely depends how surprising an anime can be.
And yes, recommendation… I think it’s the simplest way to answer whether we like the anime or not. Even though we don’t know whether if the other person will like it or not. The way we promote it clearly reflects on the enjoyment factor of what we had seen.
Cave Story said:
oops, just a small typo here: “usually point 6 will be involved”
should read as: “usually point 9 will be involved”
No worries… it’s now corrected. ;)
Very nice, and fair, breakdown of criteria, in my opinion, considering how the bulk of the score comes from Animation and Plot. Question though; would you make considerations for “older” anime with, when compared to what is seen now, older visuals?
It’s nice that you don’t use genre as a basis, though I don’t think I could pull that off, for now at least.
In the end, I agree – It’s all about our respective preferences ^^
Yes, I would definitely make considerations for “older” but that would not mean that I’m going to take away what I first said about it. I believe my judgement is purely a product of my own time. It would be interesting to see the changes and how much my taste evolved.
Genre for me is just a window, something that will invite me based on my preference whether I’m going to pick an anime or not. So I don’t really know how to judge it that’s why I couldn’t put a rate on it, but I know it’s important for me.
After thinking about those percentages for a but I tend to agree with them. It seems that I use those sort of percentage subconsciously to rate anime. I wouldn’t have the patients to sit down and give a score for each of those things and then mathematically work out a score however.
In the past, I tend to provide scores for various criteria as well and actually calculated the score mathematically. After like three reviews, the task became too troublesome and annoying, lol. Ironically enough, I also used the A+, A, B, C system Snip uses too (no! I’m not copying anyone!). I used the A, B, C for my criteria ratings and for overall ratings, I didn’t calculate them, I just gives an overall score for how much I enjoyed the anime. Basically a “overall enjoyment” score so to speak.
Cave Story said:
Maybe you can have a S rank and a SSS rank for grades above A ;)
I don’t think I will go as far as doing the math in reviewing. I think I can just pull out a number off the top of my head and justify the math only if I’m asked (which I don’t think anyone would care about). The percentage that I showed is just for me to answer what makes my 10/10 anime. A lot of misunderstanding with numbers is it’s always being associated with objectivity, but actually rating is purely subjective… As you mentioned, the score so to speak is just the “overall enjoyment.” I think we really both agreed on this. ^^
Cave Story said:
Yeah, reviews are never objective. And objective reviews are boring because it will probably be like an academic checklist of sorts, e.g.,
256 colors used>>> animation: B (because now there’s 65536 colors??)
Revealing clothes used>>> character design: A
Techno used>>> music: B (only classical music for the A??)
I cringe when people say their review is objective, not biased, done in the name of true art, and other blabla.
Lol, I hear your words. ^^
But statistically speaking, we can lessen the bias-ness iff we will have more than 30 participants agreeing on the same table. But anyone who claims that his/her numbers aren’t bias with only him/her as the participant is ridiculously bias, as you said. ^^
Yes, exactly these are just subconscious rating. I think we can give a figure without computing everything. If we do our own calculation, surely more or less the result will be similar to what we gave.
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Very nice breakdown. Sort of closely to how I would of did mine, but not exactly that precise. Just looking at the calculation of percentages makes me feel sort of inferior, lol.
Although as I stated before, not sure why, but the term “masterpiece” is not one I feel comfortable branding a series. MAL tends to make it worse with its mechanical style of grading and making it sound superior; especially with the lack of ways you can explain it on its site. So you do make fine point of numbers having a specific useless quality when it comes to the actually written material. Exactly why I spend time grading – even if I do produce a amateur written review. Always best to explain your reasoning.
Just looking at the calculation of percentages makes me feel sort of inferior, lol.
Please don’t feel that way, I never meant to intimidate when I wrote this. ^^
Exactly why I spend time grading – even if I do produce a amateur written review. Always best to explain your reasoning.
Indeed… I believe producing amateurish reviews is okay. I don’t think there’s anything wrong if we try to pattern our reviews based on how the major reviewers do theirs such as the Oscars, Rolling Stones etc, at the end of the day we can always customize this based on our perceptions. As for MAL, not that I’m defending it, but to be fair I believe you can also write a review and justify why you gave such mark. But just like you, what I find restricting with is is the definition that they attached on the numbers.
Apologies for taking so long to read your post! It’s kind of overwhelming participating in the carnival and having to read up on all the entries and comment. I’m champion of the lurkers!
On to your discussion: my goodness, you are very thorough in your breakdown! It looks similar to they way I used to grade my old students’ essays. I also like that you mark the importance of genre, despite not letting it affect your grading. But then again, I am always so appreciative when I do stumble across something of quality in a genre that I wouldn’t normally give the time of day.
Your section on “Musicality” is interesting in its specificity. I just lump mine in with sound effects and call the overall section “Voice”. This evaluates the tone and style of any given anime.
On to your discussion: my goodness, you are very thorough in your breakdown! It looks similar to they way I used to grade my old students’ essays.
Lol, I just tried to answer what I was asked in a very concise and straightforward way that I can. Actually, I got my table’s idea from my university’s grading system. As for the breakdown, I just made that up. 1-5 are what specifically I’m looking for on an anime regardless of the genre.
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This is a very well thought out breakdown, though it’s kind of complicated. =)
But what I really liked about your hypothetical system is the genre part. Like what Marina said above, you put importance in genre, while not letting it affect your overall ratings. Recently, I have seen myself loving anime that I don’t think I would normally due to the genre, like Code Geass or FMA: Brotherhood, but I still try to stick with genres that I have tried and tested to work for me.
Thank you, it’s just that for me, there’s always an exception when it comes to genre. I just don’t want to close my doors because I always like to see something new.
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Hehehehe. I just read on the anime blog carnival that of all the bloggers who review a show based on their head rather than their heart, you were voted the one with the biggest head. That is awesome and hilarious at the same time.
Haha, I already have the feeling that there’s a huge possibility that I would be mocked on how I wrote this, but I still want to insist my thoughts. Also, I do believe that everything is just mental whether you’re being objective or subjective.
Nah, you’re too cute to be mocked. It’s just you had the most in depth analysis of all of us I reckon. You’re still cute nevertheless.
You are so kind, OG.
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Although du5k asked this earlier, the discussion moved in a different direction. And yet I’m still curious. You give a very strong weighting to plot, so how do you evaluate a programme which has little emphasis on external actions and events to drive a story? Aria is an excellent example — three series and an OVA, over 50 episodes, and while it tells a “story”, still, much (indeed, most) of its charm comes simply from watching characters exist in their environment and interact with each other in subtle ways which only produce story development in the most gradual sense. Can such a tale ever achieve high marks by your standards?
Can such a tale ever achieve high marks by your standards?
Actually, I haven’t seen Aria. But as long as an anime has a nice animation that I would really enjoy, characters that would vastly grow in me, captivating music, and heart-warming ending, certainly how I view the plot would be different. Instead of viewing it as a story being narrated to me, it would emerge into something that I am part of. And usually, this is something I find unique with the slice-of-life characters, simply because I can relate to the simplest and littlest things that the characters are presenting to me.
Let’s take for instance K-On. It has a very mundane plot and nothing mind-boggling, but I love it because the characters made me feel nostalgic and re-lived the fun moments that I experienced in the past. Hence, the simplest mundane everyday story with believable characterization becomes so tangent to reality giving me the feeling that I can deeply relate and enjoy. Hence, K-On’s simplicity made it extraordinary for me.
How would I rate K-On: 83% = (25+19+8+23+8). If you’re going to look at my chart the way I described an 83% and a 90% are no different–I loved them both regardless of my reasons. But with the numerical values, it’s easier to communicate which one I enjoyed the most.
Btw, I noticed that it’s your first time commenting on my post. Thank you. ^^
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John Sato said:
It’s kind of interesting to see this, because I just made a post a few days ago about rating anime on a 10/10 scale. The timing was just kind of interesting.
Anyways, I like your breakdown, and I think it’s cool that you were able to figure out just what about animes you like and how much they weigh into your overall enjoyment.
Thank you. I may have this breakdown but I doubt I will ever use this on my site. This is just for me to explain my thoughts easily.
Btw, I actually read your articles after reading your comment. ^^
John Sato said:
Regardless, I just think it’s cool that you were able to figure out what figures into how much you like (or critically approve of) an anime, and how much they figure in. Even if it’s only rough and you don’t use it, the ability to analyze oneself is really pretty rare, so I’m pretty impressed that you could do it so well. Anyway.
I saw that, thanks! I appreciate you taking the time, I feel like a celebrity came up to me and shook my hand. :)
Thank you. I’m really flattered by your words. But please, I don’t think I’m any different from any others. I also get excited when new readers pop-in and care to leave some thoughtful comments on my posts–which is really one way to fuel my curiosity and captivate my attention. ^^