I'm your typical basement-dwelling mouth-breathing neckbeard who gets a laugh out of just about anything. You may have noticed that my anime rating scale is a little...generous. I could write for hours to justify why I rate the way I do. I could explain how I rate and weight certain categories, how even this simple rating scale I use has contradictions that stem from its dichotomies, as well as the semantics of the words associated with each numerical score (e.g. the definition of "masterpiece", etc.) and their variation from person to person. But to save your time (and mine) I'll explain it in the shortest way possible.
I simply prefer being an enthusiast to being a critic. I like to use the phrase "enthusiasts simply have more fun" to put things succinctly.
And while it's possible that I may be capable of a halfway decent critique, I'm not really interested in writing reviews. I actually have the tendency to be hypercritical when watching anime, ironically. (Just ask the people on my friends list.) My intentions are to bring to light a form of art that, through its increasing ubiquity, is often taken for granted despite the fact that it is just as labor intensive as it was during its genesis. Being an animator is not a high paying job, even Disney himself struggled with debt and bankruptcy all his life despite his popularity. It is something pursued out of a love for the art and born of creativity. In this sense, my rating scale gives credit to those works that show that creative ambition, while still acknowledging the hard work that goes into shows that may have lacked satisfactory execution.
My suggestion to those who would like to foster greater appreciation for animation is to go and watch some behind-the-scenes of your favorite shows. It's a good opportunity to learn how things work as well as get a feel for how labor-intensive the process actually is. I can guarantee that in doing this watching anime becomes even more enjoyable. There are quite a few on YouTube in addition to the ones often located in the special features section of DVD's and BD's.
I've also compiled a few writings from reliable sources for those interested in learning about what happens during the production process. If you write reviews or intend to write reviews in the future this knowledge is essential.
-seasoned studio AIC's firsthand account of the production process
*incomplete- only covers production up to storyboarding (leaving out a detailed explanation of the actual animation and other visuals,) but also covers all of preproduction in great detail Introduction to Anime Production
Unfortunately AIC's website has been shut down for some time meaning that the information that was previously accessible is no longer there. Luckily, one diligent blogger assembled that incomplete information with material from other sources to create a comprehensive guide to the production process, which can be found on their blog.