Welcome to my MAL page. I'm Patrick, 29 years old as of now, and I've been in love with anime since I discovered their existence in 2008. I'm a psychologist and media scientist, which is why I find anime to be highly interesting regarding their ability to convey and carry messages and emotions despite their (sometimes) childish appearance. I am very fond of storytelling and currently writing my own novel. I've also been a game designer for several years.
Two years ago, I started to develop my own anime rating system that is meant to be more accurate and useful than the MAL system and gives more insights into which strengths and weaknesses an anime has. First and foremost, I did that for myself to gain more knowledge on my taste in anime, but now I'm trying to give others better fitting anime recommendations, backed up by the data I have gathered. Although it might seem pretty complex at first glance, it is fairly easy to explain, and that is what I'm going to do in the following. If you are interested, read on.
AE Score is the first rather objective and comparable rating system for anime. It accounts for a vast variety of different quality indicators and is based on careful evaluation of every episode. My purpose was to provide an unbiased source for anime recommendations to help others find shows they might like.
My basic definition of quality comprises the three distinct element categories associated with the content of an anime, its technical execution, and the intensity of the show. In the case you're wondering about the intensity being a subjective factor, I can reassure you that it's not the emotional impact that the anime had on me or the tension I felt while watching it that I evaluate with AE Score, but rather the intention of the show to induce these feelings. This intention becomes visible by the means of various stylistic patterns in storytelling and technical execution. Thus, it can be said that the quality value in AE Score is kept free from almost all subjectivity and is based on reliable, standardized, and comparable aspects of the three categories mentioned. The following diagram shows you the single factors of the AE Score rating system with their respective weight.
>> Click image to enlarge
AE Score 2 (Quality & Soul)
Final score of the anime, includes 70% Quality Rating and 30% Soul Value.
AE Score (Quality only)
Quality rating of the anime, includes 45% Content Quality, 30% Technical Execution, and 25% Intensity. Might as well include a slight bonus in case the categories Plot/Story, Characters, Audio, Visuals, Genre and Grip are rated > 7.0.
Value that represents the degree of 'identity' that the anime has. Anime mostly base on manga, and mangaka often have aspirations and personal issues that they incorporate in the stories and characters they create. If it becomes apparent that an anime provides for such an identity and doesn't just focus on commercially successful patterns in order to increase the viewership, the soul value rises. Beneficial for a high soul value are deep and original characters that have their very own credible personality, meaningful dialogues, straightforward happenings, a remarkable atmosphere, and the attempt to convey messages to the viewer.
Quality and Bonus Scales can be seen here:
Click here to see how the system works in detail (how the data is gathered):
For every episode of an anime, the following data is raised. Of course the genre types vary with different anime:
Then, according to the intensity ratings of the various genre that are inherent to the anime, a genre value is calculated. A good genre value signals that the two most dominating genre are properly represented in the anime:
From the raw data, plot quality indicators are calculated and weighted towards a story/plot value:
Same happens with the characters, however, there are some additional information needed, which are shown below. The side characters are weighted as one additional main character:
The technical aspect is evaluated according to its fit, not how much I liked it. The focus lies always on the intended atmosphere of the anime and its technical execution, not on my taste.
At the end, I have a holistic evaluation of the anime with all its quality aspects. This AE Score comes together with the Soul Value of the anime I described above, which then ultimately leads to the final AE Score 2.
[color=darkblue]RANKING SCALE AND INTERPRETATION[/color]
You can interpret the AE Score ranking as follows: The higher the AE Score 2 value is, the more can you expect from the anime in terms of quality and identity. A very high AE Score 2 value doesn't necessarily mean you will like the series, though. Ultimately, it all comes down to taste and what one seeks in anime. For example: I like anime very much that are intent on conveying feelings of beauty, but some of them are not actually well made. This means, I would clearly prefer these anime over others that maybe provide for a higher overall quality. Therefore, the AE Score ranking gives you insights into which anime have high quality standards and base on a well-developed concept. If you want to find a new series to watch, you should be aware of your taste and search the ranking for anime that are high-ranked AND comply with your taste (in genre). Anyway, to potentially discover a new taste in anime, you should check out the series that are rated >8.0, even if they don't match what you look for. It may be worth it.
Generally, all anime rated >5.0 are enjoyable to a certain extent, but those rated <5.0 have more downsides that anything else. This doesn't mean you wouldn't enjoy a series rated <5.0, because if you like the genre, you can easily overlook major quality flaws.
To get a good impression on the anime's atmospheric direction, I defined the following categories to emphasize similarities within the identity concept of all the shows I evaluated with AE Score.
The Meaningful Shallowness category describes mostly lighthearted, easy-to-comprehend stuff. Typical anime are romcoms and slice of life series.
The Ingenuity category describes stuff with deeper meaning that often carries one or multiple messages. Typical anime are dramas, some shoujo, and intelligent shounen.
The Dreamful Spirit category describes dreamy stuff with characters that have high ideals. Typical anime are non-battle focused shounen, sports series, and some dramas.
Power & Intelligence
The Power & Intelligence category describes shounen-like stuff with a focus on battles and wits. Typical anime are battle-oriented shounen and dark sci-fi series.
The Beautiful World category describes stuff that targets at presenting beauty in life. There are no typical anime for this category.
The Relaxing Deepness category describes highly soothing and calming stuff. Typical anime are slice of life-oriented.
The Enchanting Love category describes an extreme focus on elaborated romance throughout the entire show (example: Kimi no Todoke). Typical anime are romantic dramas.
The Miraculous Reality category describes stuff that is mostly realistic but incorporates some meaningful supernatural elements. There are no typical anime for this category.
✱: This can be enjoyed without thinking about it at all. ✱✱: This can be enjoyed by reflecting on some parts of the story or characters. ✱✱✱: To enjoy this, you are forced to think about it to a considerable degree. ✱✱✱✱: This can become really complex and hard to follow without you focusing on it. ✱✱✱✱✱: Don't expect to fully understand and enjoy it unless you are a thinker-type.
Fanservice, action, childish comedy and such don't usually require you to think to enjoy it, whereas dramatic, romantic, ethical/political/philosophical, or mysterious anime are more demanding.