How Anime Reviews & Recommendations Work – 2017 Revision

Hello Folks!

This is an updated version of how my anime reviews and recommendations work. You can see the old one here as it is still relevant for all reviews from 2015 to mid 2017. Lately, as you may have noticed, I have moved away from a score format (something out of ten). The purpose of this document is to explain the new format and why I moved away from the old system.

The Old System

Under the old system, I provided a score out of ten and an additional recommendation. The score was an “at-a-glance” rating for people to look at to avoid spoilers, set a base line with my opinions, etc… However, my scores are a bit flexible and were never meant to be taken on their own. They were always meant to be coupled with a recommendation (pass, try, buy, and seal of excellence).

For awhile, this made sense and I did that. As time moved on, however, I found this format to be tedious. I was having to alter my writing to work in a score and recommendation that ended up feeling redundant. Additionally, I have dramatically changed how I write about anime now, so this outdated system isn’t really working as intended any way.

Scores are Gone

So what’s changing? Not a lot actually. Firstly, I’ll be removing scores. If you’d like my at-a-glance opinion, feel free to check my My Anime List account for a (mostly) comprehensive record of everything I’ve watched. Note that these scores may not perfectly match what I have on the site here.

I’ll briefly explain my MAL scores here as they are organized in a particular way for real life categorization and organization. There is a bit more going on than this, so feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Scores aren’t really that important, it’s more my actual thoughts.

  1. I see no reason why this needed to be made. Could even be competent for all extents and purposes. Waste of resources, talent, and time. A rare score for me.
  2. Garbage with no redeemable qualities. Rare score.
  3. Has some competency but was crippled by a glaring flaw or flaws. Generally boring and not something that interests me.
  4. I was bored more than half the time I viewed this show. Has some stuff going for it, generally competent visually or musically. Maybe enjoyed an arc or two at most.
  5. The bare minimum of what I consider to be a decent show. Has flaws or lacks enough purpose but had at least one aspect that kept me engaged for most of the runtime. Competent anime, but still generally flawed. Would recommend, but only to people I know really well that have specific tastes.
  6.  Eh, it was ok. These are shows I might recommend to folks I know pretty well with niche tastes. They may have some historical or cultural importance as well. Generally, shows that I know are flawed but still had a good time with any way.
  7. My personal average. This anime hits most of the boxes I look for in a show (regarding the specific genre). Again, still flawed but I had a pretty good time watching. Would safely recommend these titles to people, but not super enthusiastically.
  8. I really enjoyed these anime. I thought about them for awhile and would gladly recommend these titles to most people. There are some minor issues present in the anime for me, but some other aspect(s) made up for them.
  9. Excellent shows that I consider to be near-perfect. I thought about these shows a lot and would enthusiastically recommend most of these titles. These anime usually resonated with me emotionally or intellectually. In some cases, I found these titles to be so entertaining that flaws were largely ignored. However, there was at least one thing that nagged me about any of these shows that prevented a 10.
  10. The weirdest score. These could either be:  shows I think are fantastic and must watches or shows I would recommend to just about everybody despite my actual opinions. It is usually pretty obvious which is which. For example, Clannad falls into the latter category while Penguindrum falls into first.

The New System

Beyond removing scores, I will no longer be adding a specific recommendation at the end. These used to be try, buy, etc… Instead, the article on the whole should be more than enough to go on. I will still provide a concluding paragraph where my general feelings can be quickly surmised.

These changes are made to more accurately reflect my opinions and writing style. Additionally, I was forgetting to use the old system fairly regularly anyway. This change is just a natural progression as a result. If you have any questions/concerns, feel free to voice them by posting a comment or emailing me at:  jonspencerreviews@gmail.com

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16 thoughts on “How Anime Reviews & Recommendations Work – 2017 Revision

    1. I do, didn’t realize you had one. I’ll happily accept that once I’m home a little later today 🙂 that’s surprisingly low for comparability, we seem to be on similar pages usually.

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  1. I have been thinking about doing away with rating things myself for a while now. I have honestly been doing it since starting my blog, so I guess it would for me feel strange to stop doing it. But honestly for me both systems are cool. The reviews are what matter the most in the end, and your reviews are always very interesting and informative 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good on ya, for moving to this system. To be honest, I am still enjoying my own point-based approach, but the idea that each point is directly proportional to the value of an anime…well, overall, it feels a tad strict, and I can see your writing style moving beyond such a system!
    I guess I still feel comfortable with doing out-of-ten ratings, just because I enjoy the process of breaking down a series to its base parts… but the recommendation, the ending conclusion, is definitely still necessary.
    Well, I don’t know for sure. Perhaps I’ll change it up in the future…but yeah man, i can see this decision working out great for ya 🙂 Hope it goes well!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Even though I use scores for Iridium Eye, I find the argument to not use them to be very defensible. It was a great explanation for your writing style and ideology of rating anime. An over-reliance on scores can really bug me especially if the reviews aren’t written well or are unintelligent. For my scoring system, I use the 10-point model, but as you know, I have the Adjustable Point System which allows any viewer to change my score if they have different tastes than mine that would make sense with whatever movie, anime, doc, or short film I critiqued. Also, I’m not a fan of Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, but that’s a conversation for another time. Hahahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good move. Scores are ultimately fairly meaningless to anyone except the person who gives them because everyone measures stuff by a different metric. The only real reason big sites use scores these days is to get traffic from sites like Metacritic, since that is still a significant source of clicks for sites like that.

    For smaller-scale, more “personal” (for want of a better term) sites, it makes much more sense to take this approach. Chances are if someone has sought out a blog rather than a big commercial site they’re looking for more in-depth and honest opinions than “8/10, it was all right, needs more graphics”. In other words, they’re more likely to read your text anyway 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad when I started reviewing I decided not to try and give things a score. I would never have been consitent and my scores would never have meant much anyway. Besides, as you said, after reading the review you more or less know whether the person liked it or not (or you should if they’ve actually reviewed it) so the score becomes pretty much superfluous.

    Liked by 1 person

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