As you recall, I have shared my thoughts on scoring in the past. Sure, everyone has their own way of scoring things when it come to writing reviews. However, as time goes on and our opinion changes through experiences, you might look back at the list and wonder to yourself, why you gave a show a certain score. Moreover, scores usually do not tell whole story since it is just an arbitrary number. This makes me wonder why bother with them?
So why do anime reviewers tend to use scores? Scoring makes it simple for people to gauge the show’s quality. On anime listing sites like MyAnimeList, Hummingbird and Anime Planet, giving a score to a show you just completed is an easy and convenient way for viewers to share whether or not he or she enjoys a particular show without going through the effort of writing a review. Also, reviewers usually have them at the end of the review in order to give an overall impression to readers who might not want to read the full review.
Since everyone uses it, is it the best tool to determine if a show is good or not? To me, it is not a very good tool since a score is arbitrary. Sure, scoring is already highly subjective since not everyone will view the same show the same way, but it does not tell much on what aspects which makes a show good or bad. A score of seven out of ten does not tell me much about which aspects are flawed. Does this show did not give enough character development or the animation quality is questionable? Sure, some reviews break it down, but most people tend not to do that, let alone a review, which is why some people think scoring is lazy. It simply ties a show’s quality to the number instead of explaining what are the good and bad aspect that he or she liked. Not to mention, scoring is not always consistent since there are people who uses decimals, odd ratings, traditional scoring based on school grades, etc.
Therefore, this is why breaking down points on the things you liked or disliked about a particular show or any type of media at the end of the review is more useful in comparison. You can get a small gist from the review on what aspects of the show is bad or good. Let’s take Charlotte for example. I liked how the story stick to the overall premise along with Tomori Nao being a very enjoyable character. However, the story suffers the same mistakes like in Angel Beats.
By explaining the good and bad aspects briefly, it gives a reader a better idea of how good the show is from the points he or she made rather than looking at an 8.0 out of 10 rating at the end of the review. With this, you will not have readers questioning your review just because the score does not match your impressions or having readers complain about the score you gave. In most cases, this will force the reader to read the full review to see why you made these points instead of simply looking at a score. This is probably a reason I no longer give scores on video games since its interactive nature of the medium. Of course, you can say this about any medium since everyone will view it differently.
Scores, especially the average is a useless when determining the show’s quality. For example, there might be some viewers who does not enjoy a particular show and only give it a 1 out of 10 while there is good amount who enjoy it and gave it a 9 of 10, thus leaving a score of 7 out of 10 for the average score. Because of this, there is a reason why nobody should use average scores to determine if a show is good or not. It is because people’s tastes are different. There are going to be some that enjoy the show and those that will not. Moreover, there is going to be the so “bad it is good” types of shows, which of course can increase the average score and make an otherwise poor quality show be considered good. On the other hand, there might be people who are forced to review it and does not enjoy what he or she watch, thus bring down the score even if the show can be good. In short, everyone should just ignore them and just focus on the reviews or just try it out for yourself.
Lastly, scores are not always permanent as most people hoped to be. As the saying goes, a piece of work has to pass the passage of time to be considered good. Since our experiences and tastes changes as time goes on, we might view a show differently. Moreover, people might rewatch a show and change his or her mind from understanding the story more or finding more flaws that were not apparent in the initial viewing.
In most cases, people tend to change scores without any explanation. Sure, there are many reasons to change it, but most people do not tell why he or she viewed a show differently, especially if they changed the score on the list. It’s easier to change a score once the final review comes around, but generally the reviewer will explain what aspect that caused them to increase or decrease the score if its done after the review was published. As for changing a score on a list, not so much since most fans do not write reviews and therefore will not explain why.
As a whole, I do feel that scoring has outlived its usefulness and is not a very useful to determine the show’s quality, especially when users complain about reviewers giving a game, anime or any type of work a score, bad or good that it does not deserve for any reason ranging from political issues or being paid to give a good review.
To me, I feel that thoughts and impressions the reviewer shares in his or her review is more important in figuring out if an anime is worth your time or not. I think that reviewers should share the aspects that are bad and good briefly rather than just assigning a score. After all, entertainment is subjective and assigning an arbitrary number is not very helpful in explaining why you like or dislike a piece of work. Not to mention, they are not static as most people want to believe. With that, I will discontinue scoring and just share the aspects that I liked and disliked at the end of the review concisely rather than assigning a score.
What do you think? Do you think that anime scoring is useless and needs to go away or do you think that it still has some use? Feel free to share your thoughts about it.