Before we end off the season, I wanted to share my thoughts about reviewing Anime and grading since they are highly subjective. In general, people will have different opinions based on personal experiences and tastes. While people on Social Networking and Anime Forums tends to share a few thoughts on what they saw, Anime Bloggers are different as we tend to be more critical on what we see. This is because we take the time to share our thoughts to make a more detailed review and for the fact that opinions aren’t necessarily the same. Because of this, I like to share how I write reviews and go into a few scoring systems Anime bloggers use. (Image Source)
How do I write Reviews?
For me, depending on the show I watch determines how easy is it to write a review and how long it takes to write it. Writing a review can take hours or a few days to get done. But typically, romantic comedies or slice of life shows like K-ON, Natsuiro Kiseki, and Dog Days are easy to write about since it’s based more on enjoyment. Likewise, there are shows that I need to gather my thoughts about before I can actually write about it takes some time to complete. An example of this is Madoka Magica as I wrote a review a few months later after it finished airing. But usually, I don’t like writing reviews after I finish watching the show, so I wait a few days before I write and publish it.
Compared to other bloggers, I usually get a bit detailed with my reviews. First, I give a short synopsis of what the show is about before sharing my thoughts such as what moments I liked/disliked, the characters, animation and other things. I’m not as critical compared to other critics in the blogosphere and view shows positively while pointing out its flaws. However, if there is something I didn’t like, I will point out its flaws more harshly like I did in my Shining Hearts Anime review. But, pretty much I go by what I have said in my previous editorial, “What Makes a Good Anime” to base my opinion about the show.
From a glimpse of various reviews I seen on forums and Anime Blogs, people mostly go by the scoring system that MyAnimeList came up with. The problem is that it’s pretty restrictive and in academic standards, anything rated a 1 to a 5 is basically a failure although the ratings don’t necessarily say so. This is why I came up with my score with decimals, which will equate to a letter grade. This is what I use for all Anime Reviews (which is usually placed at the end instead at the title so people won’t be filled with rage). However, I don’t use it on other things like video games since the experience would differ every time one plays it. Still, a few people have criticized about how I scored things in the past, but I will use what works best.
As for how other people score, here are some examples from other Anime Bloggers…
Anime Instrumentality Blog– Uses a scale of Bad to Masterpiece
Baka-Raptor – Uses a grade scale ranging from +++ and ~~~ (I saw a chart of how this grading scale works, but I couldn’t find it)
Draggle: Gives a letter grade for 5 criteria and then gives an average grade as the overall score
Kai: Uses letter grades for certain criteria and then assigns a grade of 1 to 10.
As you see, each blogger’s way of scoring differs and it’s not necessarily the same. This is what makes each blogger unique. Like writing a review, there is no right or wrong way to do this since it’s just an easy indicator of how good it is.
In closing, it’s interesting to see that Anime Bloggers have different ways of reviewing things on their blogs and that it’s not necessarily the same. Some people just want to share their thoughts in a short post while others write long reviews sharing every aspect to what they saw. Unlike episodic posts, which tend to share a similar format of episodic posts consisting of thoughts, screenshots and/or synopsis, it’s nice to see that everyone has a unique style of reviewing things.
With that, I leave this question to you: How do you review and score a particular show, book, or video game? Do you go into detail or you just share your thoughts briefly? Also, how do you determine your score?