Arbitrary Music Video:only 3 years late
Currently co-oping at Ottawa. Anyone else here? (it's freezing)
Aspiring geographic surveyor, quant, and computer scientist (in a nutshell, CS and Geomatics as back-up). Former and returning student of the Faculty of Mathematics, I can't seem to stop switching into different programs. In a nutshell, I like geography, statistics, finance and computing enough to strive for a degree in each of the fields. Although not part of my academic pursuit, historical, political, and commerce topics generally grab my interest, so feel free to to discuss about any of the few above; skip the philosophy please.
I play video games, watch TV shows and anime, etc. etc. and am always working on my portfolio in the works of CS and GIS. And do university student things, but that's not important. I also do resume critique for people on the forums. I'm always prepared to head to the next hackathon or competitive programming live-site accessible for me, so if you're interested in programming and live in Ontario, I'll see you there. Apparently since personality charts and the MBTI define me, see the figure below. Apparently they must be true, since being an INTP explains my inconsistency and inability to focus on a single area of study.
Backstory of my life: (not all posts are up-to-date)
My Childhood Aspirations
University, Depression, and Recovery
How I Got My First Internship (in University) & Social Tips in University
Too lazy to dig through my other posts, but if anyone finds something of high narcissistic capacity, feel free to jerk off to it and become a better person.
In a nutshell, I was curious about a lot of things as a child, but I never settled in one. In high school, I found interest in CS, and I wanted to pursue it in university, but my (Canadian) dream school deferred me, so I was stuck doing math. Being an idiot, I thought I was smart enough for pure math, and fucked up, but I got my shit together, left future pure math pursuits for geomatics for a temporary amount of time, and eventually switching into my dream program; I'm feeling good. Lesson here is to not take things that will overload you, and second is to never lose your way.
I'll write an autobiography called "Laziness is not Inspiration: University Guide to Getting Internships" if I continue to write more life stories. It will most likely act as a UW survival guide for BCS/BBA students. It will likely teach students to engage in stock pitches and hackathons so they could pay off their OSAP and potential get a job at a Big 4 or a company at Palo Alto. Let's be real though, just learn to suck dick.
Current Goals in Life:
Conquer The Art of Computer Programming - Volume I completed
Particpate in the ACM-ICPC before I graduate - 5% chance
Obtain a co-op position at Google, Facebook, or any of the top CS-related firms - 10% chance
Explanation of how I rate anime:
Anything less than 50% is a complete fail. 75% is benchmark for being good in terms of averageness, so a 7/10 by MAL score either suffers from being generic, slightly weak in plot or character, or being below or around average, while 8/10 is above average in terms of overall anime and American cartoons I have watch, or outstanding in a way while suffering generic flaws from your average anime. 90%+ is outstanding, and grasps a strong concept and follows through. Some ratings may be skewed due to focus on one arc being better than the others (ex. Death Note, Kotoura-san), and can be/are bias. I rate movies much more harshly than regular anime, and I do believe it is possible to rate things 3/10 even if 50% is the borderline of failing to be recognized as a properly formatted anime. The Yu-Gi-Oh: Pyramid of Light movie for example was beyond bad; it was awful, and the only reason for it's 30% is because it's animated, and I don't add animation quality into my scores. If YGO:PoL was an OVA and not a movie, it would probably be a 50% at best. I only rate an anime once I have watched 5 or more episodes in the series. I do not rate 1-2 episode OVAs unless they are a stand-alone series like Voices of a Distant Star. Yes Inferno Cop is that good.
It may sound contradictory to not factor in enjoyment but do account for emotion, but I will define "pure enjoyment" and compare it to feels. Pure enjoyment is bias I hold because of the genre, or the lack of expectations due to various factors (unless it is a parody or deconstruction). Like said above, Baka and Test; it didn't score bad by any stretch of the imagination, but despite it being one of my favourite anime, it's not a 90/100 because of it's generic characters. I probably liked it even more than the average anime because it didn't take itself seriously one bit, something I can find easier to get into compared to a dark and grimy anime, and it was stupidly funny at moments.
So what about written anime reviews? I don't take them seriously enough to express my opinion in the form of an honours thesis. I'll probably make a sarcastic/satirical joke review that some people might take too seriously (my Oreimo anti-incest review).
When rating anime, I divide anime into one of the 8 types:
Analytical (focus on details that make the viewer analyze the show more, themes, psychology, a mix of anything excluding Dramatic, ex. Death Note)
Plotcentric (focus on the plot, politics, narrative settings, pacing, ex. Gundam 00)
Characteristic (focus on character development, psyche, back-story for empathy, etc., ex. Bleach)
Universality (focus on details on settings, society, character back-story for atmosphere, history, ex. One Piece)
Materialistic (focus on plot devices and the elements of settings)
Dramatic (focus on emotions, flow between drama and comedy, ex. Clannad)
Balanced (score all equally, ex. Sword Art Online and Naruto)
Sitcom (no consistent plot, more comedy, can have elements of any of the top, ex. Gintama)
I then focus on the elements of the anime and it's respective classification, so for a dramatic anime, I will score more based on the emotions conveyed and the psyche and connections of each individual characters rather than plot. For example, some anime focus more on the character than the plot, others focus on the drama, and some have no plot, but are still good.
Here are the elements I look at in an anime, the weight of each element depends on the category of the anime:
Consistency (Plot, Devices, and Characters) - Accuracy of detail related to the world and logic presented
Complexity (Plot) - The use of additional detail and how well it is used
Flow and Pacing (Plot and Drama) - How well scenes are timed to provide enough emotion for the watcher
Originality (Plot, Devices, Characters, Drama and Settings) - How well different tropes are used to create a story that does not bore the viewer from watching essentially the same thing
Politics, Society and Economics (Plot and Settings) - The society and system the world creates and how it incorporates it throughout
Development (Character) - The emotional and psychological changes of the dynamic characters presented
Relationships (Character and Drama) - The bonds and connections between each character or group
Dialogue (Character and Drama) - Shit they say and how well it individuate each character or move the plot or scenes
Backstory (Character and Drama) - Past story of a character to increase empathy
Individuality (Character) - How differentiable, non-cliche, or similar each character has to separate each one
Psychology (Character) - The psyche and characteristic consistency with each character
Empathy (Character and Drama) - The relatability or empathy we feel with certain important characters
Motifs (Plot, Character and Devices) - The driving force that causes a character or characters to do something
Environment (Settings) - The use of the setting to develop the plot
Time and Place (Settings) - Consistency of technology or art to the estimated date provided
Compatibility of Place to Mood (Settings) - Use of environment to portray the emotion of a scene
Size:Exploration Ratio (Plot and Settings) - The size of the world presented and how much of it was explored to quench the viewer's curiosity of the world
History (Settings and Plot) - Like backstory, but storytelling to describe a society or setting
Conflict (Plot, Characters, and Drama) - CvC, CvS, CvT, etc.
Music (Drama and Devices) - Immersion with the music in a scene or event
Emotional Immersion (Drama) - How well a scene can emotionally affect the viewer
Compatibility with Western Culture (Plot, Characters, Settings) - ALWAYS worth 10% of an anime's overall score
Plot: The execution and narration.
Characters: The attributes of the characters.
Drama: The emotional impact.
Devices: The elements that drive the plot.
Settings: The atmosphere.
Here is the categorization rating split:
The missing 10% goes to cultural dissonance for me as a Canadian a western viewer. If the new system were to be implemented, I may add 10% in the personal enjoyment category.
As such, Plotcentric anime will have the following elements in the "Plot" category analyzed and weighted more, as such with the others, with Balanced being equal in all aspects. That however does not mean all Plotcentric anime with no political system will be scored worse, it just means if the anime does have a form of politics that can be focused on, I will focus on it with more or less scaling to other elements.
Being in one of these categories I sort the anime in does not make an anime good, nor does an anime only fit into one of these genres. SAO has all the elements of plot, characters, romance, so it is catagorized as Balanced but as much as it balances each, it's not an amazing anime. Code Geass can be watched analytically and is balanced in every element of plot, drama and characters.
Enjoyability and it's factor on it's "raw score"
To eliminate as much bias as much as possible, if I find that an anime is weak in plot and shallow in characters while failing to explain anything on the screen yet I find myself enjoying every moment of it NOT due to it's drama, epicness or thrill which these fall under the Emotional Reactions (Drama) factor, then I will not shove extra points for being able to entertain. At the same time, the feeling of boredom and lack of immersion in an immediate thought will not factor in as well. Essentially it's like rating an essay based on it's grammar accuracy and strength of arguments, and not on if I agree or disagree with what the essay is trying to argue. (Actually, I lied. There is the Compatibility with Western Culture (Plot, Characters, Settings) factor which puts into account if your average Western viewer agrees with the theme or the daily lives of the characters the anime is trying to portray.)
The reason for this is all due to the mood in which I sit or stand watching; when I'm not bored out of my mind, I might enjoy something or not be as annoyed as I should be. Take Eden of the East for example, I found it to be really boring, but the plot itself, the characters being not being a stock of rocks and the world presented was well planned and scripted. It would have at best mid-70s if I did not factor out my pure enjoyability, and at the same time, I was watching it at work just to kill time. MM! on the other hand was quite enjoyable for me, yet let's be honest, the characters are your generic dense nice guy chick magnet MC with a flaw to differentiate things, a sadistic tsundere, and a shy girl who is in love with the MC, and his harem only grows to a loli and a perverted scientist (both done multiple times). It was more sitcom than plot, but the character dialogue is nothing more than cliche. It was aiming for a mid-higher-70s, but no, from all the factors that kept the anime pretty generic and weak for a harem, it stayed at a high-60 for not being garbage.
To separate the two, I will give a RAW score and an ENJ (enjoyability) score. RAW is scored based on what I have mentioned before, and ENJ is obvious. ENJ will not be factored in the RAW score, so it's really just trivial to knowing if I liked it or not. ENJ will be out of 10. Example of high RAW but (very) low ENJ: Bakemonogatari. I thought it was incredibly boring, but the characters, how they change, the analytical aspects of it make it very good in terms. It even has me thrilled and empathetic at times, but I just cannot like the anime as a whole. If the anime does not have a RAW and is out of 100, then it's RAW, I just haven't spent the time to fix it yet.
The Feeling of HATRED
The feeling of rage when immersing yourself can be a good and bad thing. If I have to rage at a character because of their crappy judgement by dropping the idiot ball, then that's a bad thing. If I feel a burning hatred for a devious villain who just killed the MC's brother, raped his GF, and turned the world against him, then as an intentional reaction, that's generally a good thing. Dragging it on too much however is not a good thing, it shows that the arc is either dragged on too long, or people get really pissed off.
Lenience on Fanservice and Ecchi
Fanservice in most cases makes anime worse off than it should have been, ex. SAO. Examples of it being done right would be Mondaiji-tachi and Seitokai no Ichizon; anime that don't take themselves seriously and use it for comic relief or parody. Ecchi anime ratings are bell curved upwards due to their use of nudity, and lack of seriousness when using fanservice; in reality they deserve a lower rating if their plot or character development (ahem, Highschool DxD) is underwhelming. If I gave an ecchi genre anime a 70/100, it would probably deserve more of a 66/100.
Deconstructions and Self-Awareness
Light novels since 2014 seem to play on to recycling the same ecchi and SoL tropes over and over again, and they play it out like it's trying to make a statement about how other anime are guilty of pandering. Self-awareness takes away the seriousness, but it has to be done right. There's taking it too seriously, and then there's trying not to try.
MAL scores are given according like this:
93-99/100 = 10/10 - It's nearly impossible to get here. Plot has to be nearly perfectly consistent.
85-92/100 = 9/10 - Better to some of the best of the best anime.
76-84/100 = 8/10 - Great characters, good to great plot, above average to great anime.
66-75/100 = 7/10 - Average to not so good plot, generic characters, etc. All anime should be at least here.
56-65/100 = 6/10 - Weak consistency and characters to crappy plots.
45-55/100 = 5/10 - What the fuck.
Enjoyment scores are calculated by the following:
10/10 - More addictive than crack. Can't stop watching.
9/10 - I would invest to get a sequel. Really enjoyable.
8/10 - Quite enjoyable.
7/10 - Pretty enjoyable.
6/10 - Decent watch.
5/10 - It has it's ups and downs. Not too bad.
4/10 - I could be watching something better...
3/10 - Getting really boring or pissed off. Really want to drop this.
2/10 - I would have to force myself only for the purpose for watching its sequel.
1/10 - Dropped. No reason to watch this. Not going to bother with the three episode rule.
0/10 - Didn't even pass the first episode (all dropped anime at first episode).
I have planned however to enforce this newer system instead:
90-99/100 = 10/10 - The best of the best, anything here demonstrates strong themes and [i[feels under it's narrative
85-89/100 = 9/10 - Excellence starts here, and only goes up
80-84/100 = 8/10 - Great anime, makes up for it with solid plot if not enjoyed
------ Personal enjoyability will be factored if raw score reaches above 80% --------
75-79/100 = 7/10 - Above average
70-74/100 = 6/10 - About average
66-69/100 = 5/10 - Below average
61-65/100 = 4/10 - Mediocre at best
50-60/100 = 3/10 - Watchable garbage
-------- Line of pass and fail --------
40-49/100 = 2/10 - Realistically would fail Writing 101
<40/100 = 1/10
To be fair, receiving a 7 is average for an anime. 8 means enjoyable or well done. I may hand out 6 much too often to generic anime just for the sakes of being generic. A generic typical anime should receive mid-70s (ex. Railgun), while generic boring anime (ex. Index, Highschool DxD, Hiden no Aria) with missed elements like character development and depth of settings will be getting mid-60s. I rarely consider art style and animation in a rating, unless it really bugs the sh!t out of me that it causes the anime to suck more.
I want to bell curve the average to at least 7/10, indicating your typical anime with generic plot ideas, some amount of character development, and average enjoyability.
MAL-PS Critical Conjecture (work in progress)
To Ahegyao, one of my MAL academic advisers.
Abstract: The MAL-PS Critical Conjecture is a function that is asymptotic to the generally acceptable score when account for critical and enjoyment by an average consensus of anime viewers with a PCC over 0.75, or within bounds of two unknown functions.
Theorem 1 (MAL-PS Limit Law): MAL ratings under 6 are not scored by PS (PerfectScore).
Theorem 2 (MAL-PS Bell Curve Function): The MAL Bell Curve function is x^2 which accounts for the inflation of MAL scores between 7 and 8 but are more deserving of a lower critical rating, but also severely reduces anime with MAL scores under 7 which is arbitrary due to the MAL-PS Limit Law. It uses PS average ratings per score division and adjusts a bell curve based on the anime scores and provides a asymptotic relation between MAL vs. PS RAW scores and x^2.
Proof: None, it's a work in progress.
Corollary: No MAL rating modestly rated can be over 9.5 and below 2. Function when inputting MAL scores with over 100 votes is asymptotic or correlated to my scores.
This is where I tell you that unless you have debated with me about some stupid anime crap in the Supreme Court of Japan and have a compatibility rating of over 1000% that then you can bother to add me to your friends list. No I don't really care, cause I only use this website to store the anime I have finished watching and express the opinion of one with a fraction out of 10, a string with a categorization I made up, a percentage, and maybe a stupid comment.
Basically, I pretend to know how to rate anime like I'm a fucking cold-hearted calculated teacher or something who has a degree in film criticism. Fortunately I'm not, I'll probably graduate with a Geomatics and CS degree. Hope you are entertained with reading over 2000 words of how I manage my account and assess anime arbitrary ratings. I enjoy writing this stuff up.
Last updated Feb 30, 2015.
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