Just a guy who enjoys watching anime and reading manga. Besides watching anime and reading manga I play the guitar, the bass, a bit of piano, volleyball and video games. My music interest is literally everything, much like for anime I'm open to everything but if I had to choose a few genre I mostly focus on it would be rock, metal and jazz, every subgenre included. Here is my rateyourmusic profile if you're interested in what I listen to. I mostly watch TV shows, very rarely movies, OVAs or specials. I do NOT rate specials and OVAs that have no quality of their own and/or are an extra to a TV show, for those I only use the tags in my anime list to show if I consider them to be worth watching or not.
My Anime and Manga List Design is by Valerio with my own customization to the tags. You can find it here. If you want to know what the tags stand for just hover over them or click them to see every anime with that specific tag. For more precise ratings visit my anilist profile by clicking >here<
My Rating and Art Philosophy
Below this spoiler box I roughly define what a certain numeral score entails in terms of quality. But before looking at those, as they are really only rough descriptions of my personal definition of a number, I really want to make my outlook on rating standards clear.
The most important thing to me is looking at the vision a show has and how well it accomplished it before rating every "category" (story, animation etc.) individually. A show is not always the sum of its parts and I try to detach myself from that kind of thinking when the show does not call for it. The artistic vision of the creator should always be the main focus when consuming what is presented, otherwise artistic vision is overshadowed by things that seem mostly superficial in a wider context. There's no point in trying to critique art for something it never tried to be. Of course here is where subjectivity and certain biases play important roles and instead of pretending those do not exist I feel like it should be more important to acknowledge them as important characteristics of rating because it is impossible to completely neglect them anyway. To clarify, it is important to me to be able to define why something has a certain merit to myself and critical discourse is the best way to achieve that, I feel like mindless consumption is not the solution. I also refrain from using words such as "overrated", "overhyped", "underrated" and "pretentious" since those do not add anything productive to any discourse whatsoever and instead hamper it. Additionally, the first three give the general consensus much more meaning than it deserves.
Valuing the artistic merit of something is, of course, based on the aforementioned subjective bias. Would I rate an ecchi show that accomplishes its goals as high as a drama that does the same? Most definitely not. I was generally never a big fan of sci-fi and I always liked art being experimental. Although these are generalized examples I value them a certain way due to my personal bias. There is no way to measure the correctness of someones impression nor how unbiased they are, because of that they can't possibly be objective, the best you can get is having a cohesive well structured opinion. To further clarify, pointing out objective flaws the art you want to critique might have holds in and of itself no value, you can certainly use those to piece together your own impression of the art and form your opinion but basing it on those objective flaws doesn't make your entire critique objective because the act of valuing how much importance each flaw holds for the bigger picture is in and of itself subjective. I am certain that there is no objectively correct way for something artistic to be, there is not the one right way to write a story. Despite all this I try to be open-minded to everything art has to offer because a lot of times what seems like a general distaste for characteristics that are part of something broader like a genre come from not having found the right thing that something has to offer.
10 - Perfect but not necessarily flawless
9 - Amazing on every level
8 - Very great to amazing
7 - Very good to great
6 - Genuinely Good
5 - Decent, above average
4 - Mediocre
3 - Subpar to pretty bad
2 - Really bad to pretty horrible
1 - Horrible to mindnumbingly atrocious
On the 31st December 2019 I decided to change my rating system to a more positive scale. Before, I used a somewhat basic scale, it went through multiple downshifts over the course of 3-4 years, the one I used for almost the entirety of 2019 was one in which a 5 was right around the middle point, the 5 being mediocre in this case. When converted to a 100 point scale like I do on my anilist profile for example a 4 would be 35-44, a 5 45-54 and so on and so forth. For the rating scale I use now I not only wanted to shift those conversions to a clear score (4 being 40-49, 5 being 50-59 etc.) but also a generally more positive scale. With that I mean having more scores for good shows and less for bad shows. My reasoning for this being that I don't see a point in using 4 scores to differentiate between different levels of bad. So instead I made more room for positive scores by making a 4 a mediocre score and giving myself six different levels of positive scores with a 10 being a clean 100/100. I might lower the threshold further as time passes if I still feel like I want more room for the top and put less emphasis on bad scores.
Eventually I will make this section more pleasing for the eyes and elaborate a bit on what each score entails although my approach will be different from my explanations in my old rating system below the next paragraph.
My aim with writing this is basically to clarify any misconceptions other people might get from my scores as they aren't exactly commonly used in that way on this site. A number for a score alone is at its core only an arbitrary number that doesn't hold any meaning unless you give it one.
Old Rating System
10 My absolute favourites. A show that received this score has a very strong personal connection to me and I will always come back to it even after several years. Not without it's flaws but differentiates itself by such a margin that it needs a special score. I don't think it's possible to direct/write a story with depth and no flaws therefore it doesn't need to be a clean 10.
9 An amazing show, it had nearly no flaws and the only bad aspects were overshadowed by the good ones. The story didn't only keep me interested but used its whole potential and often overwhelmed my expectations. I often can't name flaws if asked because I have purely positive memories of it. Finishing a show like this leaves an almost empty although positive feeling behind.
8 A great show, it was very entertaining and the good aspects overshadowed most of the bad aspects. Almost everything about it was done right and there were only some moments were it didn't quite held up to the rest. It set itself a goal and met it without overbearing it's themes or drifting away from it's initial goal too often. Didn't necessarily connect to me on a very personal level but still remains very memorable to me. Everything at this score and higher is highly recommended to anyone even if you dislike the genre. I keep these shows in very high regards and consider them must watch for every casual or experienced fan of anime.
7 A really good show, it kept my interest throughout the whole series and entertained me most of the time. It was positively consistent but may have had some hiccups. It presented a well rounded story, a likeable cast of characters and good writing that fit the tone of the show well. It may have included some tropes that hindered it from fully convincing me of what it wanted to do. It might also have had some minor plot holes or a conclusion that wasn't fully satisfying. Most of the shortcomings weren't major in any way though and it was definitely an applaudable effort. Could also have been a show that didn't have high ambitions but reached what it wanted to be in a way that set it apart from similar shows. Easily recommended if you don't mind certain genre or themes. I would also consider these as must watch if you aren't watching anime only casually.
6 A decent show, some of these are shows that didn't have high ambitions but were executed well and others had higher ambitions but had one too many shortcomings for me to consider them really good. One reason could have been that the story met it's goal but had a rocky path along the way. It stayed negatively consistent in the way that it might have had the opportunity to grow but didn't take the step. A lot of these shows had a fair amount of missed potential. It didn't fulfill me to the degree that I could call it good although it comes close in many ways and it most definitely took steps in the right direction. Shows with this score mostly displayed the means to be something worthwhile. Although they have noticeable shortcomings I still like these shows because they had more going for them than against them and I would still recommend them to a certain degree especially if you like the shows genre or theme. I still consider this a good score.
5 A show that was equally bad as it was good. Every decent aspect was counterbalanced by a subpar aspect and every good one by a bad one, some shows might even go the middle road in almost everything. The story might have had a good start but if it did it continuously got worse until it was just mediocre at best. After a few episodes the story started to drag often not bringing anything new to the table. It wasn't enough to be called bad but the writing was at times noticeably off and although it might have covered one part well it neglected another equally as important part. It most likely didn't stand out from the sheer amount of shows in it's medium. The entertainment value wasn't high enough to justify the issues at hand. The most fitting title for it would be an easy-to-forget show. I wouldn't recommend these shows if you don't want to waste your time but if you are really bored and interested you might get enjoyment out of it. This score just means I'm indifferent toward it.
4 A subpar show, there may have been some chance that it might be good but it didn't take long until it mostly fell apart. The story was often times riddled with sub-par writing and the cast most likely consisted primarly of two dimensional characters. The story might have had too many elements that I would consider too illogical to let them slip and scenes that could have been decent were mediocre at best. It missed the themes it tried to tackle and couldn't convince me of a lot of things it tried to do. This show had issues in a lot of aspects, the ones where it didn't were most likely decent at best. Note that I don't consider these shows as bad but mostly just really lackluster. A show that received this score or lower is not recommended.
3 A bad show. This is basically the point where I can hardly name even one redeeming quality a show with this score might have. Everything was done badly expect for maybe one thing that was at least somewhat average. One dimensional character, a nonsensical plot without any payoff, big production issues could have been some of the reasons why I would call it "bad". It most likely was an amalgamation of not even subpar but just bad qualities. When I think back on a show with this score I just think "Man, that was bad". Avoid it actively.
2 A very bad show, shows I awarded with this score have reached the point where I start losing hope how anybody could produce this, see it and feel anything other than it being a mistake. The biggest difference between a very bad and just a bad show is my iniability to even point out anything that wasn't bad or horrific in its own way. It's stupidity can't even be enjoyed because it's so horrendous.
1 Shows that have this score are very rare, but a good kind of rare. Reaching this point is only possible if not only everything about the shows was horrific in and of itself but goes a step further and somehow manages to leave the most bitter taste.
I thought about giving an anime that was mediocre/average a 4 since you really don't need 4 scores that indicate different levels of shit but then I decided to just say 4 isn't bad like the MAL rating indicates but really just below average much like a mirrored score to a 6. I want to give the words bad (3) and good (7) more meaning again and not just throw it around.
These are of course only general outlines. It's important to me that I can almost always give reasons to why I liked/disliked something, these being more than just "It was entertaining". The only times I can't give much reasoning is when I don't remember anything about the anime, which is, except for some shows I watched around 2013/2014, almost never the case.
My View on Critiquing Anime
First of all I want to note here where I'm coming from and how my view on this changed completely since 2014.
About late 2012 to very early 2013 I started getting into anime with the knowledge of what it actually is unlike the time when I was a kid. The first anime I watched with this knowledge was, as cliché as it may seem, Sword Art Online. The reason for that was that I made my first twitter account, followed my favourite youtuber and saw one of them mentioning it and I got intrigued. For the record I was 13 years old at the time.
I loved it so I started watching more without even knowing what seasonal shows are and the whole community behind it. For example a show I adored immensely and on which my opinion changed drastically was Fairy Tail. After watching a lot more anime I started, much like many other people, to achieve a certain affection. And I honestly think that this was the moment were I gradually got more intrigued in being critical.
A lot of people nowadays seem to get very defensive when somebody starts critiquing shows they like often just throwing out the buzzword "elitist" calling a certain taste "elitistic" and being convinced that somebody actually hates anime if they give relatively low ratings or thinks he or she is a better person for liking the "good" shows. Although there certainly are people that fall under some of these characteristics a big part of the community is exaggerating throwing out labels left and right without giving solid arguments for these claims.
For me personally starting to critique came without even changing myself, much rather being myself was the key to this development. Because my affection grew with the medium, I wanted to know why I like or dislike certain things and I wanted to be able to give reasons. The first few anime are for almost every young person or most new viewer the time of not caring what they are watching and just mindlessly enjoying it. I think a lot of people stay at this point not because they are stupid but because they don't take as much value in the medium or have other personal reasoning. But once anime grew to be more than just a way to entertain myself from boredom and I started gaining experience by just watching more it wasn't possible for me to just ignore glaring problems with SAO and Fairy Tail anymore. The entertainment level of the show was replaced by the entertainment I got from exposing myself to this more critical way of thinking. Now thinking back, my affection to my favourite shows at that time were extremly superficial and I feel like by looking behind that surface I can now appreciate my current favourite shows so much more that my whole affection to the medium is higher than ever. Even watching "bad" shows is fun because they make you appreciate the "good" shows even more, but can be overbearing more easily.
The reason why I put bad and good in quotation marks was because I am aware that the shows I like aren't objectively the best shows and people who like SAO and Fairy Tail don't have "bad" taste. I'm convinced that there is no possibility of anybody ever rating shows objectively but that isn't needed to critique, in my eyes critiquing is just another way of expressing ones opinion, looking behind the surface of the show and because of this there should always be more to your reasoning than your surface-level impression. There doesn't need to only be an extreme, being able to seperate from a sole emotional response while not disregarding the idea of subjectivity entirely and furthermore not basing the whole reasoning on one site is more than enough to start critiquing. So from personal experience I can say: being critical does NOT disconnect you from the medium it does exactly the opposite.
I really hope this weird mindset of people that automatically think you feel superior by rating lower than the average user in this community changes, because it is just as ignorant and toxic as people telling others they have shit taste for liking what they like.
Anime watched per year
*I put childhood TV shows that I have seen in its entirety 100% to an estimated year when I've seen it, this is only based on memories so it might be inaccurate.
Here I link all my lists in which I rank anime and manga. I use this mostly to motivate myself not only to watch more anime but also from all years between 1970 and today. Some years are not yet on this list due to me not having seen one anime from that year.
291 volumes from 34 different series.
Started collecting: Mid 2014; first volume of Fairy Tail. Really started to collect: June 2015.
Note: I buy the first few volumes of every Manga that is licensed in Germany and still available. It really depends on how much I enjoy a series in the decision of how many volumes I buy (Fairy Tail not included). (Except for Elfen Lied, because I'd rather throw my money directly in the trash instead of getting trash in return.)