10 - Largely a rating based on personal taste, a 10 is reserved for those shows that are simply magic to me, and have forever changed the way I will view anime as a medium. 9 - I'll give a 9 to two kinds of shows: one that is technically awe-inspiring in every way but did not have the personal impact on me to warrant a ten, or one that would have been a ten but contained some flaw that held me back from giving it a perfect score. 8 - Anything I give an 8 or above can be counted as one of my "favorite" shows. 8s are the kind of shows I look for every season and often the best of each season. They're the ones that excel within their genre and are an all-around worthwhile watch. Often they contain some element that sets them apart from their peers, or are simply incredibly entertaining. 7 - Shows that I give a 7 or higher are the kind of shows that I will readily and easily recommend to anyone who asks. These shows are solid overall and can either excel in a niche or be good enough in all areas to appeal to a wide range of people, which is what makes them so recommendable. A 7 may have its flaws, but they are generally overlookable in favor of the good things the show brings forward. 6 - I'll give out 6s to shows that wind up being above-average but imperfect. While typically able to wow in some aspect, these shows contain unfortunate problems that interfere in some way with the show's good points. I'll usually give a 6 to two kinds of shows: one that aims high but doesn't fully reach its potential, or one that ends up being enjoyable despite itself. As negative as this all sounds, I do very much enjoy most 6s and find them to be worthwhile watches - they're just the shows I like but feel could be better. 5 - Just as it says in the MAL description, a 5 is average. Coming out of a five, I don't feel like I've really seen anything special, but I don't feel like I've seen something bad either. Alternatively, these can be shows which do good things so well and bad things so badly that I can't decide whether I like it or not. 4 - When things get below a 5, I start to question why people like a show and who thought its creation was a good idea. A 4 will often have some redeeming factor, but as a whole be boring and a chore to sit through. Many times these are the shows with good concepts that I feel like I could like but that frustrate me in their execution. 3 - These are shows that are mildly painful to watch. Usually 3s are the shows that look stupid or uninteresting from the get-go that I watch despite my better judgment, but occasionally there will be a show that looks appealing but is executed so appallingly badly that any trace of its original appeal vanishes. On the flip side, many 3s fall into the "terribad" category, meaning they are bad enough that they are quite enjoyable if watched ironically. 2 - 2s are an interesting bunch. They fall in that odd range between painful and laughable. Laughable shows often get a slight boost in rating because this causes them to be more entertaining, but a 2 sits snugly between comedically and unwatchably horrible, to the point where you want to laugh at it but feel bad about doing so. 1 - MAL's one-word description is really all that's needed to describe a 1. They are unwatchable. Somebody could tie you to a chair and place you in front of this anime and have a reasonably good chance of getting you to confess to just about anything. Thankfully, I have yet to encounter such a show, although I am fairly certain they exist somewhere out there.