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Dec 7, 2019 9:02 AM
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marinara-sauce said:

For example, you can have a drama show with the most (objectively) incredible storyline and amazingly developed characters but if the person watching it just doesn't like drama shows they're obviously not going to enjoy it regardless of how objectively good it is.
That also works the other way around. You can have a series with an (objectively) bad story, terrible characters with no personality, and obvious plot holes but there is a decent chance that some people are still going to find it enjoyable.

So yes, anime can be objectively scored but I don't think it should be. I believe having separate objective and subjective scores is the best way to score anime


The thing is, such a thing doesn't exist. There are no objective factors that make, say, the story in My Hero Academia more interesting, compelling, and engaging than the story in, say, Pokemon, or vice versa.
 
Dec 7, 2019 9:39 AM

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One should seriously evaluate the anime one watch.
Enjoyment does not matter as an instrument to evaluate how good a show is, there are many things that are enjoyable that one do not think is good.
So there is a clear difference in judgement between enjoying something and believing it is good.

Judging if an anime is good is to contemplate the relation between one's experience watching that anime with the anime in itself.
What does this anime do that makes one feel this specific way?
Art does not have a clear purpose, but to be able to judge art one need to imagine it having a purpose. So it is this empty form of a purpose that one judges based on what that form does to one's experience of it.

In this sense there are more correct judgements than others. When judging a work of art, the more pure one's judgement is the more it is a about the art itself and not some other irrelevant interest. This judgement cannot be about simple enjoyment or pragmatic utility.
So a true subjective judgement of art from one's own biased position without any other interest than the pure judgement of art, is more correct than both arguments from simple enjoyment and objective utility. In art everything should be questioned based on a pure judgement of taste.
 
Dec 7, 2019 10:30 AM

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I don't believe in objectivity of anything outside of pure mathematical equations really, and that extends to all art.

Anime, cartoons, live action films and TV series, books, video games, music, paintings, the performance arts, and even architecture all ultimately come down to opinion as much as someone's favorite food or color. A building, for example, can be constructed to serve maximum utilitarian function, but maybe the municipal government which commissioned it or an individual resident doesn't prize and value utilitarianism nearly as much as some others, or at all. It can be a singular aesthetic showpiece, ornate from top to bottom and crafted from the finest and rarest materials, but maybe critics would condemn it as impractical, gaudy or reminiscent of a distant past or otherwise foreign era.

It's the same with media and entertainment as in all the arts. To have a truly objective metric would be to be able to ask and have answered the question "What purpose does this serve and how does it go about achieving said purpose?", presuming that it's at all universal for all people. For some, regardless of genre, age of the show, art style, or any other variable, whatever they watch is primarily to make them laugh. For others, to cry. For others, to frighten. For others, to arouse. For others yet still simply to make them feel any heightened emotional intensity to liven up their routine lives by living vicariously through the actions and adventure of a cypher/proxy character. And many other more personal, specific, idiosyncratic motivations beyond the basic.

And whether said viewer will be satisfied depends entirely on what they're looking for. And no one is in an impartial position of supreme authority to act as an arbiter determining what's right and wrong. If such a being existed, a lot in civilization would be simplified, descending from politics and law before the arts. It's irrational to believe an objective critique can exist here when no such thing is found in any other sphere of human life.

Technically a show can have errors in it - no deliberate artistic choices (whether you or I think think those choices good or bad is irrelevant), but errors akin to typos when someone is typing. The writing could have an enormous plot hole which was forgotten about/overlooked without intention. The animation could be on a cheap budget or be rushed and display some technical flaws as evidence. There could be incongruent animation and writing on-screen (where a script refers to a person, object, or other entity looking a certain way, but the animation contradicts it). If there's enough to love in any of those shows though, their fanbases will completely disregard them as a trivial total irrelevancy. They would say "Who cares?" And I'm inclined to agree.

I try to separate what I hold up to be my personal favorite shows from what I consider to be among the best shows due to writing, vocal performances/acting, music, and animation, but even then I recognize fully that my position on what is best and excels in those fields is still, just an opinion.

 
Dec 7, 2019 11:12 AM

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For that you'd need a baseline. Take that as yourself, and voila, your scores are objective now.
 
Dec 7, 2019 11:12 AM

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Yes, anime can be objectively scored, just look at my list.
Life has no meaning.
 
Dec 7, 2019 12:36 PM

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WatchTillTandava said:

And whether said viewer will be satisfied depends entirely on what they're looking for. And no one is in an impartial position of supreme authority to act as an arbiter determining what's right and wrong. If such a being existed, a lot in civilization would be simplified, descending from politics and law before the arts. It's irrational to believe an objective critique can exist here when no such thing is found in any other sphere of human life.


Anything that have a fixed purpose can be objectively determined.
If clothes should protect against cold, then they are bad if they do not protect against the cold.
But art do not have a clear purpose, so one have to judge it as if it it had a purpose, just an unknown purpose.
Just because one enjoys something does not mean that it is tasteful.
A judgement based on reason is a moral judgement.
A judgement of taste is a free judgement without interest and reason.
One should make judgements even if there is no neutral position, only from one's biased position can one get a fragment of truth.

To prove that one likes/dislikes something based on a judgement of taste, one have to be able to show deep insight into the nature of the thing one is judging.
One's insight should therefor be scrutinized to see if it really is a judgement of taste or if it is for some other interest that is irrelevant for the art in itself.
 
Dec 7, 2019 12:39 PM

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You can start scoring "objectively" by using the ten-point scale instead of reducing it to a five-point scale, or god forbid, a two-point scale. (From 8-10)
 
Dec 7, 2019 6:50 PM

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No, there is no way to score that doesn't involve you as a human making a decision about something which results in subjectivity.
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Dec 7, 2019 7:01 PM

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No, it can't. Objectivism is an illusion. Next question, please.

 
Dec 7, 2019 7:28 PM

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The various aspects of anime cannot be measured objectively, and certainly not in a way that everyone could agree on. It's nothing like hard science, which is also merely a subjective attempt at objectivity. All we have at our disposal are varying degrees of subjectivity and objectivity.
 
Dec 7, 2019 7:30 PM
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Can we make a drinking game out of how many times I've seen this thread?
 
Dec 7, 2019 8:18 PM
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technically its not possible
but you can try to
before that you need to understand how techniques work, and how to critically interpret the structure/context of the story on top of its narrative complexity etc.
in short, you need to have a high level understanding of writing, techniques and aesthetics/art in order to strive for an objective overview.
 
Dec 7, 2019 9:03 PM

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RealTheAbsurdist said:
If you objectively evaluate something, then you have to apply a specific set of standards and rules to every piece of art, the way lawyers and judges do when trying to defend/imprison the defendant. Except if you do apply that way of objective thinking to art, then the critique can arguably miss the point. In fact, the word objective has nothing to do with art, as objective is defined in the dictionary as:

"(of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts."

Gravity exists. That's a fact.
Is a plot hole in a story a bad thing? Well, by some peoples' standards, it doesn't even matter.
When it comes to the art style of something, it gets even more subjective: what makes something look, without a doubt, "good" or "bad"?
There is no source that states using facts and science what makes a piece of art good/bad.
I don't know why people immediately jump to value judgments when someone says that we can objectively evaluate something.

For starters, your comparison isn't even a one to one. Gravity exists in the same way that Miyazaki's works provably exist, but it's not like gravity's existence necessitates that we then discuss whether gravity is "good" or "bad" in the same way we evaluate an anime director or a cartoonist.

And we do set specific sets of standards and rules to art, insofar as said knowledge about art is "knowable." That's why we can make objective statements about form, or whether a piece of music follows a certain time signature, or whether art styles in a particular anime pertain to a specific kind of style or period. Again, whether you think that's good or bad is a separate issue, but to say objectively evaluating art is impossible is pretty ignorant.
 
Dec 7, 2019 9:04 PM

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Of course it can't, objectivity doesn't fucking exist moron
 
Dec 7, 2019 11:20 PM
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My take is that reviews and associated scores will always be subjective and it is impossible to objectively rate something (unless you're scoring the number of episodes a character appears in or something else that can be stated factually).

 
Dec 8, 2019 12:31 AM

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Yudina said:

And we do set specific sets of standards and rules to art, insofar as said knowledge about art is "knowable." That's why we can make objective statements about form, or whether a piece of music follows a certain time signature, or whether art styles in a particular anime pertain to a specific kind of style or period. Again, whether you think that's good or bad is a separate issue, but to say objectively evaluating art is impossible is pretty ignorant.


I have no clue what time signatures are, so I won't comment on that.

Yes, we do apply standards to art, but they have to be flexible standards, but by being flexible, they're not objective. For example, BlackCriticGuy criticized Serial Experiments Lain for not having much character development. From what I've watched of Lain years ago, I agree. It is universally agreed that a lack of character development is not a good thing.
However, the difference between my opinion on Lain and BlackCriticGuy's, is that I don't think Lain's lack of character development is detrimental the way BlackCriticGuy thought it was, because Lain isn't built around its characters, but rather the atmosphere, visuals, and story. So basically, while two people can agree that something is a flaw in an anime, they can disagree on how big of a flaw it is.
Many people will say an anime like Steins; Gate is slow. I watched Steins; Gate a few years back, and it didn't feel it was slow at all. Because whether the pacing of a story is fast or slow depends entirely on our personnel sense of time and patience. When I watched One Piece years ago, I found to be the slowest piece of storytelling in existence. But, the fact that many people love the One Piece anime proves that it's not nearly as slow for them, as it was for me.
If a child, let's say, 10 years old, watched Monster, they'd think it is extremely slow, while for many older people like us, an anime like Monster may be slow, but not as slow as it was for the 10 year old.
Many people loved Subaru from Re: Zero. Some people like me, thought he was absolutely obnoxious. But nobody unanimously agrees that Subaru is obnoxious or not obnoxious. His quirky, loud, eccentric, awkward personality may be enduring to some, but annoying to others like me.
So if a critic describes Subaru as being "obnoxious" but the viewer who read the critic's opinion on Re: Zero, watches Re: Zero and doesn't find Subaru obnoxious, then the critic's opinion doesn't really mean anything to that viewer.

I feel like your post is vague: first off, it doesn't address dictionary's definition of "objective": that being (of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts. This is a trend I've noticed for a while on the internet: whenever 2 people debate, when one makes a bunch of arguments, the other person will address the arguments that they can counter.
It is impossible to judge something without being influenced by personnel feelings or opinions. The point of a critique is to give your opinion.
Second, HOW do you "objectively" evaluate art?

"What would a review free of “bias” even look like? Could I say that the special effects were poor? Nope, because that’s an opinion, not a statement of truth. Could I say all the actors were top-notch? Nope. Could I say a film’s themes were muddled? Nope. What if, God forbid, I said its moral implications troubled me?

If the “anti-critical bias” crowd had their way, then reviews would simply look like a laundry list of credits. The film was directed by this guy, the visual effects were done in this workshop, it was produced by this studio and here’s the year the studio released it. Real scintillating analysis right there. But hey, it’s objectively true."
https://dailycollegian.com/2016/04/theres-no-such-thing-as-objective-criticism/
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Dec 8, 2019 12:34 AM

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Only totally objective score would be viewership and proffits because it's just straight data. This is not a measure of quality just a measure of success.
 
Dec 8, 2019 5:56 AM

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RealTheAbsurdist said:
I have no clue what time signatures are, so I won't comment on that.

Yes, we do apply standards to art, but they have to be flexible standards, but by being flexible, they're not objective. For example, BlackCriticGuy criticized Serial Experiments Lain for not having much character development. From what I've watched of Lain years ago, I agree. It is universally agreed that a lack of character development is not a good thing. [...]
None of this has to do with what I'm talking so I won't go too into it, but needless to say you're missing the point. You don't need to make a value judgment when you evaluate something. For whatever reason you're hung up on critique and praise when neither have anything to do with looking at something objectively.

I also don't understand this idea that just because a standard is "flexible," it is suddenly not objective. It's not like science doesn't have numerous exceptions to biological principles or mathematical principles. Does that make science subjective? Of course not, it just means we have to shift our focus or slightly change our lens with which we're looking at things. What I'm mostly talking about is the common language with which we can describe art, not a sort of standard for critique, that's just not what I'm getting at.

RealTheAbsurdist said:
I feel like your post is vague: first off, it doesn't address dictionary's definition of "objective": that being (of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts. This is a trend I've noticed for a while on the internet: whenever 2 people debate, when one makes a bunch of arguments, the other person will address the arguments that they can counter.
It is impossible to judge something without being influenced by personnel feelings or opinions. The point of a critique is to give your opinion.
Second, HOW do you "objectively" evaluate art?
Again, you make it sound like I'm talking about critique here. I'm not really interested in addressing these dictionary definitions everyone brings up because at the end of the date the debate is settled in art theory and not what Merriam Webster tells you. But, regardless, what I said does address the general point. We can make objective statements about art. What they look like, what they sound like, how they're composed, how they're composed relative to other things that we've seen.

Would it be subjective to say that, to use an example above, Serial Experiments Lain employs electronic and static noise as a means to convey to the audience the omniscient presence of The Wired, that its the primary basis of the show's sound design? I don't think so. Now, whether or not that's a good thing is really up to you, but most people would then extrapolate that Lain's approach in this sense is unique with respect to other anime. Uniqueness is prized by some, not all, but it allows to us to make an informed value judgment based on the show's general design.

If someone writes a piece of music, we can objectively evaluate it because the sheet music is available, because we have a shared language with which we can use the umbrella term of "music" to describe. Sawano always writes in this kind of time signature, he does these key switches with some sort of frequency, he has a tendency to be bombastic with brass instruments and percussion. All of these are just undeniable statements we can use to evaluate Sawano as a composer, because it's laid out bare in the music. Does this make Sawano a good or bad composer? I don't know, everyone has different preferences for music, but that doesn't stop us from being able to make objective statements about him.

RealTheAbsurdist said:
"What would a review free of “bias” even look like? Could I say that the special effects were poor? Nope, because that’s an opinion, not a statement of truth. Could I say all the actors were top-notch? Nope. Could I say a film’s themes were muddled? Nope. What if, God forbid, I said its moral implications troubled me?
I don't know. That's not my problem lol

RealTheAbsurdist said:
If the “anti-critical bias” crowd had their way, then reviews would simply look like a laundry list of credits. The film was directed by this guy, the visual effects were done in this workshop, it was produced by this studio and here’s the year the studio released it. Real scintillating analysis right there. But hey, it’s objectively true."
https://dailycollegian.com/2016/04/theres-no-such-thing-as-objective-criticism/
I don't know why you're linking some random blog by a film student, but they are by far the least well read on criticism and the most likely to jump on the bandwagon that criticism cannot be objective. Anyway, I disagree. Insofar as any knowledge can be real, so too can we make strong objective statements that can inform value judgments. The very fact that the blogger cites famous film critics and not some literally who schmucks in his program is a sign that even on an implicit level they know that some value judgments bear more weight than others. I don't really see why people have a hard time getting this.
 
Dec 8, 2019 8:59 AM

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@Yudina

Okay, you're right about the flexible thing.

It seems we were not on the same page here. If objectively evaluating art has nothing to do with critiquing or praising it, then what is its worth? Anybody can objectively evaluate art: "The color blue is used in this painting here," for example. Regarding music, maybe a few people would care to know the kind of time signatures, instruments, etc, that the composer uses?

"Serial Experiments Lain employs electronic and static noise as a means to convey to the audience the omniscient presence of The Wired, that its the primary basis of the show's sound design?"
I don't understand. Probably because I don't know The Wired.

The topic of the thread is, "Can anime be objectively scored?" Meaning can we objectively evaluate the quality of an anime. Which we both seem to agree: no.
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Dec 8, 2019 9:10 AM

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RealTheAbsurdist said:
@Yudina

Okay, you're right about the flexible thing.

It seems we were not on the same page here. If objectively evaluating art has nothing to do with critiquing or praising it, then what is its worth? Anybody can objectively evaluate art: "The color blue is used in this painting here," for example. Regarding music, maybe a few people would care to know the kind of time signatures, instruments, etc, that the composer uses?
That's unfair. I don't think just anyone can do it. In the same way that practicing an instrument, or learning to do complex mathematics is a skill, evaluating art and its intricacies is just as bunch of a skill as anything else. You wouldn't expect a layman to come across a difficult poem and be able to perform a scansion of it the way maybe a professor would, and I'm sure few people would argue that all the great animators don't have a much better understanding of evaluating each other than someone who has only dabbled in it.
 
Dec 8, 2019 12:41 PM

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No because objective opinion doesn't exist.
 
Dec 8, 2019 1:09 PM

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No, but the most objective score is the majority score.
 
Dec 8, 2019 1:59 PM

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The way I see it is that not only can it not be scored objectively, but it can't be scored subjectively either. At least not consistently. All the different factors that a show gets judged by have different levels of importance compared to each other from person to person. Not only that, but these levels of importance change over time. That's just my 2 cents of course.
 
Dec 8, 2019 2:22 PM

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Can you objectively look at an anime, and represent its quality with a number? No, not really.

Can you base your opinions on an anime in actual facts? Yes, very much so.

Here are a few examples of things that would be flaws with a show:

1) A character is shown to care for his sister to the point of being willing to die for her, then he pushes her off a cliff halfway through for no reason that is ever stated.
2) A character with no superpowers is shown to be New York, but suddenly in Tokoyo 5 minutes later to save the MC.
3) The visuals give a majority of the audience seizures.
4) The MC just has six fingers on his left hand for no reason in one episode.

Now, I'm not going to say you have to care about these things, because that would be stupid. But they are aspects of a show that we can all agree exist, and debate over how they affect the rest of the show's quality. The end conclusion we come to maybe an opinion, but there's a huge difference between "how I feel about a show" and "how I feel, plus references that show why I feel that way."
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Dec 9, 2019 2:46 AM

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Probably. But while I rate anime with a criteria in mind, I'm not exactly trying to be objective either. Overall the rating represents how well it did in satisfying my personal criteria (what I think makes a show that I like). So when I see others with a high affinity, I assume we have similar taste, not that we can both rate things properly. I also change ratings en-masse sometimes, when a standout show forces me to re-evaluate everything else in comparison.
 
Dec 9, 2019 4:56 AM
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I suppose if you measure an anime by the average amount of unique bytes of information per second, you'd get objectively best anime. How people interpret that information is subjective but, the anime with the most data would theoretically be the most likeable.
 
Dec 9, 2019 7:53 AM
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Anime is an art form. And art is subject. People have different preferences when it comes to art and, thus, they have difference subjective opinions on art. While there are shows that are considered to be “universally acclaimed” or “universally hated”, there will always be those who beg to disagree based on their own preferences. Although, one could objectively critique the techniques to go into the art - in anime’s case that would be animation, musical score, etc. These techniques usually have rules that are learned by those in the field and there are specific and pre-defined ways to use these “tools” to create art. But, even then, the misuse of these tools can still result in some people liking the outcome. That’s why shitposting is a thing. But largely, no, anime (and any form of creative entertainment) can’t be scored objectively.
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Dec 9, 2019 8:19 AM

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Yes thy god Right here ft. Big Sean says that FMA is the holiest thing ever made by humans. And Eva is homosexual propaganda and nothing more.

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Dec 9, 2019 8:24 AM
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Rate how ever you want. It's called myanimelist for reason,
 
Dec 9, 2019 8:34 AM

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Freshell said:
And if you believe it can, what's your affinity percentage with other people who objectively score things?
Which objective scorer is objectively more correct? How do we determine this?


I dunno if this question has some hidden depth in it, or m just stupid to not understand. I'm also surprised that m answering this, but so be it.

Anime can be scored objectively, if u want to do it, go on, but the problem is, what's the point in scoring it objectively?
Don't tell me u watching anime for others and score anime for others aswell.
I think I don't need to remind you that everyone has different tastes and that people are different in general? If some1 rated shitty anime 10/10 and because of that this anime is in #top50, even if u bleed by seeing it everytime scrolling through the page, u have to endure, because u r not the center of the world, and your path is not the only true path.

 
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