On how I rate anime

Obligatory random picture of Mikoto and/or imouto.

Now if you haven’t seen the review format on MAL, here it is:

Yes, this is a post on how I rate, not on how I review anime (I’m saving that for a later post), but it’s basically the same here.  Those people over at MAL (Xyxil or something?) assume that as you rate/review an anime, you rate it on Story, Art, Sound, Character, and Enjoyment before giving it a final Overall grade.

Now this is all fine and dandy, but this is totally the opposite of how I rate anime.  This is some weird, systematic… system that forces you to take in every aspect of the anime before giving it a score.

I can’t possibly be that objective.

Because I believe that visuals are much more helpful than anything else, here’s a picture of what really contributes to my score for an anime (though of course, this is subject to change for every single anime):

Take Eureka Seven for example.  I like the music, the art is pretty badly done in some parts, and although there is no tsundere character, Eureka is the next best thing.  My gut feeling tells me that Eureka Seven is a 10/10.  Therefore nothing really matters except for my gut feeling and if there is a cute and/or weird female character in the series.

There are, of course, wild cards.  These include things like “how much slice-of-life is there?” and “is this a slice-of-life comedy?” and “is this slice-of-life?”

In any case, I do not understand how people can think that so many anime can be considered “perfect” 10s.  Many MAL users do something like this:

When it’s obviously just to spike scores up.  I don’t understand why people don’t think that things like Isshoni Training are worth more than a 2 out of 10.  Is it that they’re too scared to give anything lower than a 9?  Bah.

Though I complain about people claiming that every single anime can be rated a perfect 10, I’m not much better myself.  Due to the nature of my rating system, “gut feeling” takes anime like Kannagi and puts them onto pedestals to be worshiped.

I try hard to make my group of “perfect” anime really small, though.  Out of the 130 some series I have finished or dropped, I have only given out seven 10s:

  1. Mushishi
  2. Kannagi
  3. true tears
  4. ef – a tale of melodies
  5. Hayate no Gotoku!
  6. CLANNAD ~After Story~
  7. La Maison en Petits Cubes

Of these seven anime, five of them were given automatic 10s out of my gut feeling.  Mushishi was given a ten because it’s just too damn good to be a mere “9,” and La Maison en Petits Cubes was given a ten based on its runtime handicap.  But whenever I feel like giving a 10, I resort to a second rating system, which considers things beyond my gut feeling:

  • Anticipation of newer episodes
  • Something incredibly outstanding that’s almost specific to the anime
  • Kannagi

Now although I love Hatsukoi Limited and all, in my “On how I categorize anime” post, I placed it under category 3, the “I must be an idiot to put this off” category.  Basically that means that even as I type this now, I have no real motivation to go watch episode 11 of Hatsukoi, which has been gathering dust, dust bunnies, and more dust in my Anime folder for almost a week.  Since it has not interested me enough for me to go crazy if I can’t watch a new episode, Hatsukoi can’t get a 10 from me.

Now I once thought that anime like Hatsukoi should deserve a 10 even if I don’t feel like watching another episode.  And then I watched Mushishi.  Foranime like Hatsukoi (well, the first half at least) and Mushishi that tell different stories with each episode, there’s an incredibly thick line between “awesome” and “masterpiece.”  Though each episode was separate, Mushishi drew me in, and made me thirst for new episodes with a thirst never before seen in regards to this type of anime.

In the case of mecha/action anime, I can’t count on “anticipation of newer episodes” to pull through.  The job of a mecha/action show is to suck the viewer in so that he/she wants to see the next episode so bad, he/she doesn’t really care if Suzaku turns out a shitty character other aspects of the show are thoroughly trashed to the point of no return.  Maybe that’s why I have no mecha or action in my top seven.

In regards to the second point… CLANNAD ~After Story~ certainly was not a perfect anime.  It had a very shitty and very predictable and very spoilered ending that made me question the meaning of life.  But that’s beside the point.  After Story had the most dramatic five or so episodes that I’ve ever seen.  Their level of drama and ability to induce tears transcended normal anime and entered the realm of godly anime.

Artist's rendition of the situation.

Since this is a quality unmatched by any other anime that I’ve ever seen and because After Story was pretty damn good up until sudden snowfall/ballsoflightfall came and failure set in, CLANNAD ~After Story~ received a ten.

I think that’s enough with the perfect score topic.  Let’s move on to the rating of “2.”  This is probably the hardest score for me to give, even more so than the incredibly difficult decision of “9 or 8?”  This is because “2” signifies an anime that is merely horrible, extremely bad, and painful to watch.  A “3” is all that minus the painful part, and a “1” is all that plus an extra factor of “not designed with a goal of success in mind.”   In other words, a “1” is given to an anime that I feel was designed to be one of the shittiest things ever shown to human beings, and succeeded in that aspect.

So far, I have given only three anime the score of “2:”

  1. Hetalia Axis Powers
  2. True Tears DVD Specials
  3. Toradora SOS!

Let me begin at the bottom.

Toradora SOS! was undoubtedly painful to watch.  The second episode hasn’t been subbed in almost two months, and it’s only a few minutes long.  I can safely assume that fansubbing groups were hospitalized due to overexposure to failure.  I only pulled through the first episode because of my then-devotion to Minorin.  Yet even while my eyes throbbed from the failure rays emanating from the screen, I still knew that J.C.Staff hadn’t made the special to screw viewers over.  No.  It was made for more profits, so there was no reason to purposely viciously attack viewers, even if that was the end result.

The True Tears DVD Specials were a collection of seven or so ten-second-long to half-minute-long clips of random gags.  These clips were almost stick-figure quality, and the gags were so bad that I didn’t laugh at all.  True tears ran down my face.  From the pain.  It was like watching anime in a room full of peeled onions while somebody was squeezing lemons at my eyes.  Yet even so, I doubt that these short clips were designed to attack me.  Because they’re shorter than just about every other type of anime I’ve watched, I can only assume that the guys over at P.A. Works thought that it was impossible to do so much harm in such a short time span.  Sadly, they were wrong.

Finally, Hetalia.  There was a lot of hype going on before this show started airing, mostly from some unneeded Korean drama.  At first, I thought that this was going to turn out pretty funny.  Episode one parodied the major world powers pretty well, and the humor was only bad, not disgusting and horrible.  And then came the shota.  I believe that this was both one of the most painful experiences I have ever been through in regards to anime and a misguided approach.  In any case, I blew some chunks, cried bitter tears, and blew some more chunks before I decided to hand down a 2 and get it over with.

Now since talking about all the anime in between “10” and “2” is pretty boring, I’m going to talk about the worst anime I have ever seen – the anime that I’ve given 1s to.  These are the lowest of the low, so low that normally I would have barfed upon hearing their repulsive names.  I must have been insane when I sat through these.

So far, I have given out four scores of 1:

  1. Eiken
  2. Isshoni Training
  3. Mecha Mote Iinchou
  4. Mars of Destruction

I’m going to skip over my rant on Eiken because if I said anything more than this, it would be totally NSFW.  Yes, there would be no pictures, but if I said anything about the anime, you would probably receive a mental image via unintentional telepathy on my part and then this image would be broadcast from your mind onto the computer screen in front of you through your foaming mouth.  You would probably have to have surgery to remove the part of your brain that was corrupted by the one sentence that you read on this page.  Thankfully, I had Mikoto smiling over me when I watched this anime, and I somehow managed to survive the hour-long fest of oversized breas- OH SHIT, I said something.  Hold on, I’ll call an ambulance for you!

But in any case, I can’t even see Eiken as appealing to people with fetishes for this kind of stuff.  It’s ecchi done wrong.  Horribly wrong.  So wrong that I still have nightmares of it to this day.  Whenever I see a spherical object, I scream and run for my life.

Isshoni Training, or Training with Hinako, was a lot better in regards to monsters breast size.  It was a failed attempt to get otaku to exercise, and failed more than I thought it would fail.  The fanservice was so fail that I had to stop the video every few minutes and think of normal-shaped legs and arms to keep my sanity.  Yes, I sat through the entire thing.  And that’s probably the best thing I could do to boost my e-peen.  Tomorrow, you’ll check this blog out and see my “1,000,000 hits” post and see all 10,000 comments about “that blogger superhuman who sat through all of Isshoni Training.”

But sadly, I can’t say the same for Mecha Mote Iinchou.  This show was so damn bad… too damn bad.  I watched the fifteen seconds or so of footage before the OP, skipped the OP, and watched about ten seconds more before my eyes gave up, hopped out of my head, and dialed 9-1-1 for me.  I should’ve known better.

The title Mecha Mote Iinchou is basically another way of saying “failure.”

Mecha – enormous mechanical fighting things
Mote – wrong spelling of “moat”

So in other words, “Mecha Mote Iinchou” is “We need more mecha over here to prevent the shitty anime from crossing over the moat and defecating on our brains!”

I try.  But in all seriousness, this was one bad anime.  I didn’t even bother to stay beyond half a minute to check out the storyline or the characters.  One scene was enough for me.

Yet I managed to go through Mars of Destruction.  I’m not trying to compliment myself, but that was truly a superhuman feat – something that only the bravest of souls would ever even dare think about.  The title says it all – there’s a Mars worth of destruction going on in your head when you watch this.  The only way to save yourself from the clutches of evil is to pray to the almighty Haruhi in the sky and hope for a miracle.  Hell, this anime was so bad that I’ll probably go crazy one day after posting up two posts about i-

Don’t mind me, I’m just a blogger who forgot what his post was supposed to be about.  In other news, this is the longest post I have ever typed [1999 words].

More biribiri

11 Comments on “On how I rate anime”

  1. Michael Flux says:

    I’m confused sir, how is K-ON ‘theoretically perfect’? :/ I found it to be quite a trainwreck in both theory and practice :p

  2. 53RG10 says:

    Whut!? There were True Tears DVD Specials? O_o

    Rating anime by anything other than gut feeling is a pain…I just go by whatever I’m feeling as I’m writing the review [if my reviews can be called reviews] and call it a day.

    Luckily, I don’t think I have seen such bad anime as you have…or maybe they were so bad I erased them from my memories to protect myself…

  3. tj han says:

    This is really long, but I appreciate the detail. You look like a somewhat objective reviewer open to many genres, so I feel the need to recommend you stuff on my top top list. LOL.

    Have you seen Planetes, Gintama, Gits: SAC, Last Exile?

  4. […] The rest is here:  On how I rate anime « Mikotoism […]

  5. Roy Mustang says:

    Yet even while my eyes throbbed from the failure rays emanating from the screen, I still knew that J.C.Staff hadn’t made the special to screw viewers over. No. It was made for more profits, so there was no reason to purposely viciously attack viewers, even if that was the end result.

    Actually, all JC Staff animators were devoted to the superior Toaru Majutsu No Index-tan and production was left up to the people who also animated Kannagi 14. So did they leave for Profit? No, they left for Love. Love of Index.

    Have you seen Planetes
    Interesting story. But I hated the characters. The main male and female leads are my #1 and #2 most hated characters of all time in anime.

    It’s good. But definitely not light and fluffy anime K-ON. Sometimes suffers from the lack of pants phenomena similar to Strike Witches.

    Last Exile
    Poor man’s Evangelion with a loli.

  6. sunshinesan says:

    ^ Planetes is win (although I don’t agree with the notion of Hachi and Ai being hate worthy)
    Anyway, unlike you I try to stay away from the “gut feeling” rating system, even though I often succumb to it. Because most of the time, I give out a “10” out of gut feeling, only to revert it back to a “9” or “8” in some extreme cases after my obsession has settled and rational thinking starts up again.
    I guess the way I rate a newly watched series is how is it relative to the series I’ve already watched, which in itself leads to a lot of problems, but whatever.

  7. OneSin says:

    I am just glad Shinigami no ballad get a 8/10

    and Clannad AS was really tear-inducing show

  8. jerseyse410 says:

    episode 11 of hatsukoi was boring, i fast forwarded hoping to get my keixkusuda only having to wait until ep 12. you can skip that and really not miss anything.

  9. TJ says:

    How come To Aru Majutsu no Index isn’t on your scale?

  10. fangzhao says:

    @Michael Flux
    Ah, you didn’t read the entire thing! D:<
    That first chart is my perception of the standard MAL user's ratings, while the second one is my personalized scores!

    The DVD Specials were pretty damn bad – nothing more than maybe five separate pictures for every thirty seconds, and they’re not even picture dramas like the ones for CG.

    And I pretty much feel the same way. I can’t be arsed to go more in-depth (or I’d probably be forced to give Kannagi a 8 or so for its flaws).

    Bad anime might attack you any day. Be careful!

    I’ve actually yet to see any of those anime. I’ll try and get to them once I finish up with all the series I’m watching right now.
    And objectiveness is subjective! I’m pretty subjective, IMO.

    @Roy Mustang
    WHAT? I didn’t quite hear you, but did you say something about MIKOTO MISAKA?

    Ah, the changing of scores. I do that so much, it’s not even funny. Just about every day, one anime or another on my anime list gets its score changed.

    Shinigami no Ballad is way too underrated. It’s a great series, and should’ve been longer.

    Eh, that’s the case with most Hatsukoi episodes. Each episode tells a different story, so there’s no use waiting on a specific relationship if you really want to soak all of the win in.

    Hey, that anime actually kind of sucked. I love Mikoto, but To Aru Majutsu no Index is borderline-7 for me (6/7). Anyway, I probably forgot to put it on there – I only put a few anime from each score group onto that chart!

  11. moritheil says:

    Hahahahaha. This is the best post I’ve read in weeks! Not only do you go in-depth in terms of your rating process (133%), you do it with style and panache. Thanks for an enjoyable look at the process.

    Of course, it helps that I agree fully with your assessment: in the end, a rating is subjective, not objective.

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