No More Disclaimers!Posted: October 14, 2011 | |
Just a fair word of warning: these are all my own opinions so if you disagree, good for you.
I watched the first episode of Ben-To a couple of days ago, and I decided to check MAL and read the lame attempts at reviews people put up two minutes after the episode airs to get lots of likes.
At the end of the top rated, first review, the guy says:
Now reviewing a show that only has one episode out is a pretty dumb thing to do but the reason for me doing so was not to really “review” it, but to tell you to give it a chance.
Good for you! Don’t review it! Your review is dumb! I watched the first episode, dubbed it total shit, and now I think your review is completely wrong.
But wait – it gets better.
The second reviewer lays it out at the beginning of his review:
Its hard to write a “review” from the first episode of a series. but I’ll do my best
Then don’t write one! He goes on to talk about the show itself, strongly making his weak opinions known to the full five people who read his review:
So you could say (by the broadest definition) Ben-To is inspired by reality. Of course Ben-To takes it to the next level by adding a competition component to this.
Ben-To seems to be equal parts Bukatsu and fighting/martial arts with splashes of harem thrown in for good measure (as extrapolated by the intro).
Now, the big question. Is it any good?
As extrapolated by this review, the reviewer is cautious. He wants people to know his opinions. But by placing all of these distracting phrases in parentheses, who’s going to take him seriously?
I don’t understand what it is with people and feeling the need to tone down their opinions with pointless disclaimers that make their efforts look like total bullshit. “Oh, before you read my review, note that I suck and my reviews suck! I also hate Mexicans and Chinamen and Jews and everybody! Just click ‘Not Helpful’ and end my suffering already! …now let’s get on with the review!” Who in the right mind would want to read something that the reviewer himself says is terrible?
Granted, nobody’s actually saying something like that. But the point still stands. Most people tone down their arguments by adding little words here and there that just take all the opinions out of an inherently subjective review (or a blog post, or anything). Of course, not all people do this – some bloggers and reviewers and people who write stuff in general get it right. When they want to make a point (usually), they go ahead and let ‘err rip, devoid of any and all disclaimers.
Disclaimers can, however, be useful. You put them in to address another point or an important subtlety or argument that you’re glossing over in your opinions. You do it when you review Persona 4: the Animation, which you thought was average, and don’t bother talking about the main character’s extremely wordy and talkative nature. You don’t do it when you review Nichijou and really want to emphasize how big a fanboy you are of the series. Here, Nichijou can be replaced with your favorite series. If you like it, say it. If you don’t, don’t say it.
And if you’re writing a review of a first episode, please, please, PLEASE don’t say:
Reviews of shows that haven’t finished are utterly pointless. They are only good for a couple of weeks at most, and of no use to anyone once the show is finished.
Even if you follow that up with:
And yet I sit here, writing this review. I am fully aware that this review will become useless waste of space, it is inevitable, but having seen the series average MAL-score of 7.6, I decided to make a statetment:
Nichijou is fucking awesome.
And even if you spell “statement” wrong in your excitetment, DON’T USE DISCLAIMERS! Your point is lost on people like me who could care less about your philosophy on reviewing unfinished shows. And the tiny bit of interest I do have in the subject is blown away as I realize that you’re “[sitting] here, writing this review” because that just makes me want to scream, “WHY ARE YOU DOING IT, THEN?” Your response (“Nichijou is fucking awesome”) is not sufficient because you did not give Nichijou a 10/10.
On that note – oh wow, your rating scale must be really tough, huh? Why don’t you…
P.S.: Another notable area of DISCLAIMER MANIA is rating scales. If you think you rate anime lowly, you don’t. If you think your 8/10 should mean an anime is good, it doesn’t. And even if it does, nobody cares. And if I read one more review that has, in big, bold, red, underlined, italicized letters in 54-point font at the top saying “I RATE LOW SO THIS 9/10 IS REALLY DAMN GOOD,” I’ll… I’ll… I’ll KOROSU YOU!!!
P.P.S.: Just kidding, I wouldn’t do that. That’s a little violent for me!
P.P.P.S.: Yes, yes, I use “IMO” a lot. But for me, it’s a habit instead of a disclaimer. It originated from an anime forum I used to frequent where every member liked to nitpick and every member was a moefag. I sure am glad I’m out of that stage, IMO!