At the end of my last post, I left you with this:
“the very evaluation of an entire anime as good or bad is at best a vast over-generalization of all the elements composing the anime. I do rate all my anime, and find it worthwhile to do so, but at the same time, I don’t feel like a number or word can possibly do it justice.”
Given that, why on Earth would I write an entry on how I like to rate my anime? It is for the benefit of you, dear reader, so that you we can avoid confusion in the future when I actually rate my anime on this blog.
4, 5, 10, 100
These are the most common scales on which anime are rated. The 4 and 5-point scales are often subdiviced in halfs, making them more like 8 or 10-point scales. They are all fine scales, don’t get me wrong here. I’m not going to assert the superiority of my scale here.
Not too coarse, not too fine. This number works for me. It is the maximum of precision I can offer. On a 5-point scale, two 3-point anime can be so far apart. On a 100-point scale, a 66 point anime and a 67 point anime are hardly any different from each other.
With a scale, I envision each number as a level. I can hold 15 levels in my head, but not 100, or even 20. This is why I say not too coarse, not too fine.
What do the Numbers Mean?
Neither quality nor enjoyment. I feel like ranking personal enjoyment is too capricious, whilst ranking quality is too pretentious. I can’t tell you whether an anime is objectively good or bad with any level of authority, and indeed the very idea of objective quality is one that is contested, to say the least.
If it were pure enjoyment, then Garzey’s Wing would get pretty close to the top of my list (I recommend it for those who seek out “so bad it’s good” titles). I don’t feel like a ranking system like that is terribly useful; I still want to communicate some concept of quality here, garbled as it may be by my subjective biases.
The best way to describe my ratings is that they denote respect and appreciation. They represent how much I got out of the show.
How is the Scale Calibrated?
In broad strokes:
15-14 = I consider it to be a masterpiece. I worship it.
12-13 = I really respect it a lot, but it is not a masterpiece.
10-11 = I think it’s great, but it’s either flawed or lacking in some (minor) regard.
8-9 = It’s generally a good show, but I find plenty of things that hamper my appreciation.
6-7 = It has some redeeming qualities, but I’m not about to praise it.
4-5 = I can’t appreciate a show with these scores. This is the level where bad habits might arise and I’ll call a show “bad”.
1-3 = A show down here has nothing for me. Don’t worry about what these scores mean, because I’d never watch, let alone be compelled to write a review, for a show with a score this low.
Using certain shows as reference:
15. Spirited Away, Samurai X-Trust and Betrayal
14. Evangelion, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Cowboy Bebop
13. Samurai Champloo, Mahou Shojo Madoka Magica, FLCL
12. Gurren Lagann, Nodame Cantabile, Infinite Ryvius
11. Last Exile, Shiki, Aria the Animation
10. Ore no Imouto, Kamisama Dolls, Senko no Night Raid
9. Fate/Stay Night, Shakugan No Shana, Deadman Wonderland
8. Fractale, Zero No Tsukaima, No. 6
7. Mashiroiro Symphony, Guilty Crown, Devil Hunter Yohko
6. Horizon In The Middle Of Nowhere, Garzey’s Wing, Girls’ Bravo
5. Canvas 2: Niji Iro no Sketch, Macademi Wasshoi, Kanokon
4. Mahou Shoujo Tai Arusu, X
I tried to pick a lot of well-known titles, but still, bonus points if you recognized all of them!