My thoughts and reactions to the current review system.
The current review system is definitely inadequate. I could care less what other sites employ, but I think recent events and experiences have made it clear that mixing critical reviews and normal reviews is a very bad idea. And yes, I know that the basic form of a review is that which tries to explain to someone why he should or shouldn't watch/read an entry. Critical reviews are really important to me though, especially after watching/reading something, they would at times give you a better overview of an entry. I wouldn't be so quick as to say "all reviews should be strictly spoiler-free" or else it won't qualify as a review, and it seems the current guidelines are going to that direction, but of course they'd have a hard time sorting it out because A LOT of reviews here are actually critical ones... what are you going to do? delete them?
The problem is, due to the limited nature of reviews, people would often mix a critical and a normal review, meaning some would include borderline to major spoilers. I think that defeats the purpose of a basic review, it might have been better for you to have created a critical review instead.
While there is a temporary solution to this (e.g. indicators such as "this is a spoiler-free review" and "warning: this review contains spoilers"), it would still result in an inevitable mess, it would be so much better to categorize reviews into the two that I've been elaborating on. This could also potentially allow a filter for each category for ease (e.g. negative review, positive review, neutral review, long review, short review, blah blah blah).
My aim in writing this is spread my idea that the review system is inadequate and can be dramatically systematized and simplified through my suggestion. I'd find it hard to believe that I'm the only one getting annoyed by having to nitpick reviews just because of the constant fear of getting spoiled.
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How I watch/How I rate
My ratings are primarily objective with 5 as my baseline average. My subjective taste accounts for minute differences (around 0.5 to 1 point). That means I'm neither cynical nor fanboyish.
I don't try too hard when watching a series, I WILL drop a series which doesn't show any signs of potential, continuing would be a waste of time for me.
I usually don't rate specials which are simply fillers/for the lulz (that might change though if it takes itself too seriously). I think of most specials as extra franchise merchandise (similar to figurines, posters, etc.) but in the form of media, they're not really meant for critical scrutiny from my perspective. They are impossible to rate objectively.
There are obvious exceptions though.
Before I decide to which specific rating an entry belongs, I first classify it as below average, average or above average, it's after doing so that I would decide what specific rating to choose.
10 - A masterpiece. Obviously, you won't find anything that is impeccable in every respect, this means that the entry's flaws were very minor or the people attempting to enlarge them have a nitpicking fetish. I rarely give a 10, I'll only give it to an entry that is both a 10 objectively and subjectively, anyway I haven't come across an objective 10 which isn't a 10 subjectively.
LoGH - the prime example of an objective masterpiece, though not extremely complex as it is commonly mistaken for one. It is most remarkable for its depth and grandiose scale.
Hakomari - it is a masterpiece for me as it is the consummation (so far) of the mystery genre. When laid side-by-side with common mystery literature it infallibly puts them to shame since Hakomari does a very good job at explaining everything within its context.
9 - Astounding. Has a fair share of flaws, but still a very rare score.
8 - Delighting. Has adequately explored, expanded and elaborated its premises and concepts. Same goes for 9 and 10, except they do a better job at it.
example: NGE [EoE to be specific] (although my score for this one ranges from 8-9).
exception/s: Death Note - has quite the cliched premise (watch the ending) however I do not see the premise as the main point of the story, it is the plot rather. I appraise Death Note based on that, NOT on its depth. Besides, I see no point as to why every series has to contain considerable amount of depth, as long as it is NOT without depth it should be fine. A series that has an exceptional premise and concept and exceptional depth with a paramount execution is another story though.
7 - Good. Cut-off score for most rom-com and generically-themed entries, if it does an exceptional job at it, it MIGHT get an 8. This is also a cut-off score for entries which haven't adequately and/or profoundly expound on its premise. That is to say; even if an entry does a great job on execution, that alone does not qualify for it to garner more than 7. The entry has to state something more than the obvious. Even entries with a profound premise will not get an 8 if all it does is simply reiterate what the premise is. Most of my 7s are such.
6 - Above average. Contains nuances that made it slightly above average.
5 - Strictly average. Since this is the average rating, probability dictates that a majority of entries are to be awarded this score and this is reflected in my scores. This means that a series hasn't shown anything particularly noteworthy, or if it might have (because almost every series would attempt to do something amazing), it fails to become something objectively worthwhile. In order to maintain objectivity, I always compare an entry to everything I have watched. In my opinion Death Note definitely isn't an average entry (strictly speaking), it has an atypical setting and is fairly able to achieve its premise.
4 - Below Average. Since 5 is strictly average, a series that acquires a 4 must have messed up somewhere to break that normalcy.
3 - Mediocre. Probably clichéd.
2 - ???? Full of clichés, plot-holes, inconsistencies and poor execution.
1 - Atrocious. wut ._.
Working on: premise vs theme vs concept
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Kaze no Tani
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