What influences how you rate anime?

When it comes to us avid anime watchers/manga readers, most, if not all of us, are part of some sort of anime/manga community such as MyAnimeList, ANN, AniDB and so on. And each of these anime communities have top anime lists that are compiled by the people of each community. But what causes the people of each community to give a certain rating to each anime they watch? Is it personal preferences? Is it story? Is it the characters? Or is it something outside all of this? Well, lets get balls deep into this and see what really goes into ratings and rankings of the anime and manga we enjoy (or despise) everyday.

There are many different aspects to anime and manga that influence us when trying to give it just the right rating. The first aspect is  people’s personal preferences. Everyone has something that they like and not everyone likes the same things. If this were the case, there would be no such thing as top anime lists. Lets take some of us here at Anime Afterlife for example: King likes harems, Dave and I like romances, Vensito likes pretty much anything, and Gabe likes dramas and tan androgynous boys. And other people out there like other genres and character types like action, moe characters, cute girls, ecchi shows, comedy, etc. Personal preferences are one of the major aspects that get implemented into people’s ratings of animes/mangas. People can’t help but rate the things that they like the most higher than other anime and manga.

I will admit that I rated K-ON! high on MAL because I like moe/cute girls

Another aspect that has influences people’s ratings, including some of mine, is the way in which you watch anime. I’m talking about whether or not you watched the anime in question while it was airing, or you marathoned it all at once. These can either negatively or positively affect how you rate anime. When watching anime while its airing, for example a good anime, after each episode you get that anxious feeling just wanting to watch that next episode, but knowing you have to wait another week until you can get your fix for that next twist in the plot or next character development you have been hankering for. Or for a bad anime, you dread the next week when you realize that you have another episode of these terrible characters or a plot that just doesn’t go anywhere. And then there is marathoning anime. You get your anime Blu ray/DVD or video file ready, get yourself comfortable, and just spend the next however many hours just watching episode after episode of that one anime you have been wanting to watch knowing that after one episode is done, the next one is all ready just waiting to be watched. The way in which you watch anime may have some impact on how you score your anime.

Marathoning Clannad may not have had an impact on how I rated it, it still made it more enjoyable not having to have to wait a whole week for the next episode

But of course, there is the part of watching anime, and being apart of anime communities, that will always negatively affect they way you rate anime: trolls and spoilers. Sometimes it is almost inevitable while watching certain animes to be spoiled by outside sources. Whenever you are told of that certain plot twist, a character death, the ending to the series, etc., it completely ruins the experience of watching that anime that you have been watching for so long by some asshole troll or some forum or website giving away the more important aspects of anime. It may or may not affect the way you rate the anime in question, but it still takes away from the over arching experience you hoped to have while watching anime.

Because of a certain dumbass anime site for spoiling Code Geass R2 for me, it is going to take me a LONG time to finish Code Geass R2

And, of course, the biggest and most important part of how we rate anime is what makes up the anime itself: the characters, the story, the art style, the animation, and so on. These are the things that make us rate and score anime. Some people weigh character development over story, while others enjoy art styles and animations and have those elements steer how their ratings are dealt. There is really not a whole lot to get into when it comes to this aspect of rating anime. If its good, its good. If its shit, its shit.

As much as I enjoyed the story and characters in Mononoke, the art style is what really stood out to me and made me rate it higher.

Ratings do however, in most cases, change over time. Sometimes in the sense of how long it takes for a person to finish an anime, for example say a longer series like Fullmetal Alchemist or a really long series like Bleach, or an anime a person watched years ago and their tastes in anime have changed so the rating may raise or lower because of that. Some people, including myself, may have overrated/underrated an anime, re-think the rating and changed it accordingly. Time is another factor on how ratings of animes change.

One of the few animes that I have overrated and changed over time is Otome Youkai Zakuro

So I know this isn’t as in depth, long winded and boring as some of Dave’s previous posts, but I just wanted to put something out other than an AMF post and something quick and simple that relates to everyone in the anime world. Having said that and to reiterate my question; what influences how you rate anime? Is it something I’ve mentioned or is there something I’ve left out that influences you? This of course is not the end all and be all of how to rate anime, but it does touch on some aspects on how people who avidly watch anime rate and consider rating anime what they watch everyday. So let us know how you all, my fellow anime watches, rate anime. Who knows, what you say might even influence my ratings and others in the future.

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About lerxst2112
Former blog writer/podcast personality for Anime Afterlife Podcast and Desu Ex Machina and head writer for The Anime Kid. I've been watching anime consistently for 4 years now and see no end in sight. I love anything from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, to Love Live, to Precure, and everything else in between. I also partake in video games, Magic: The Gathering, and sports (primarily American Football). I started writing back in 2011 when my friends over at Anime Afterlife Podcast decided to bring me on as a writer and podcast host. But once things started to fall apart there, I was brought on as a writer for Desu Ex Machina. But my time there ended and I decided to take a break from blogging to not only relax from blogging for a while, but to also sort out my personal life as well. Now I'm getting the itch to write again, and so The Anime Kid was born.

4 Responses to What influences how you rate anime?

  1. catchercatch says:

    I find that anime, for the most part, is largely a medium that I determine quality for by virtue of its plot progression and characters. What I look for in an anime is that the plot is completed, and that the characters are completed. I do not want any aspect of the two to be brushed off to the side. As to this, plot holes and character inconsistencies heavily weigh down a rating I assume to a show.

    Art style and quality of animation, for me, only increases the rating I give to an anime that was mediocre. It never matters for extremely well-written shows, such as Kaiba or Tatami Galaxy.

    A last, major consideration is purpose. For example, slice of life series rarely ever have a good plot progression, as that’s almost a staple of the genre. Comedy anime, as well (such as Nichijou). At this point, I only look that the anime fulfills my expectations and doesn’t try to be more than it is. Nichijou is, in my books, a great anime as it actually makes me laugh.

  2. I do take all those aspects you listed and weigh them on how well they are done in the show. Overall though, for me, it just boils down to how much I enjoy the series. A show can be as artistic as it wants to be, but if I can’t enjoy it, there’s not much point to it.

    I also try to avoid what people say about a show, as I’ve noticed it may affect how you yourself think of the show. I know ven kinda has an issue with this. Like when you see a low rated show, and think that it was actually pretty good, then you hear how people talk about how poor it is, then you may think, “WELLLL, maybe it wasn’t that great.” Little bits like that.

  3. joseqq says:

    I think that what causes conflict between a persons view and another is not so much why you differ from others but rather how well you explain why your rating is different.

    Ratings on such list are garbage due to the simple fact that there is not much detail on why something is good. One does know that when something is really bad or really annoying for one, one will make a big deal out of it, one will make sure everyone knows how bad certain thing is. Good things on the other hand do not need of the few to express how well they feel about it, when something is “good” it is approved by a much larger mass. This is not really defined by what one likes but rather by what is likable. Keep in mind though that the mass is not always right at all times.

    When a review does not mention all aspects that there are to review on something, that is when for me the review becomes the most boring and/or redundant thing. From the few times that I have been present in the podcast, perhaps only 3 of them have I taken notes and attempted to make a very detailed explanation of what I want people to understand about the anime/manga.

    Misinterpretations are so common, while sometimes being too analytical on a subject is bad.. not discussing enough of it is worse.

    One of the things I do listen to perhaps more than any person I know is the music and SFX, I do take that into consideration, having music or no music during a dialogue can change the pace and mood of a scene so easily. Combining all the elements together even more so, in all honesty most of the anime in my MAL should be 1 or 2 ratings lower if not 3 if i were to consider 10 perfection.

    • lerxst2112 says:

      Yeah I did forget to mention about soundtracks and the like in this post. I always feel that a soundtrack, whether it be in games or anime, can only add to a series and not detract from it. Although one exception to this rule is Mars of Destruction. Adding Moonlight Sonata to the end of that OVA was so dumb I can’t even wrap my head around what they were thinking doing that.

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