My name's Sam. I really love watching anime. Been easing more into manga, and I just started playing visual novels. I'm also a computer scientist, philosopher, entrepreneur, amateur DM who definitely doesn't get enough sleep. My friend got me into anime in early 2014, and I've been hooked ever since. There are way too many shows I want to watch, and such little time to watch them.
I'm a President Emeritus of my college's AnimeClub.
Currently Playing: Devil on G-String
The information below should give you a little more information about me, and what I look for in anime.
What I like and dislike
Originality. For me, anime is a beautiful medium that can be used in a wide variety of ways to create a truly interesting and, perhaps unique, experience. Take advantage of that! I don’t want to spend my time watching something I’ve already seen before.
Catharsis/Feels. I love getting emotionally involved with what I’m watching. Make me feel for the characters; make me cry. Getting me to cry means you’ve done your job (that is, if that’s what you’re going for). Again, take this medium and create something beautiful with it. Examples: Anohana, Your Lie in April, Angel Beats!, 5 Centimeters per Second
Strong characterization. Your characters should be the driving force of the show. They are literally the vessel that allows the viewer to identify with what’s going on. So, if your characters suck, how can you expect someone to really get into everything? Now, granted, they don’t have to start out strong. In fact, I love watching them grow over time. If you’re going the route of the weak underdog, make them learn from their past, not keep slipping back into the b.s. from whence they came. (Side note: DON’T ABANDON YOUR CHARACTER ARCS, especially if you already build them up! Example: Durarara!) Examples: Baccano!, Code Geass
THE ENDING. In the words of Tristan Gallant, "the ending is paramount!". I can’t agree with this more. I want a satisfying conclusion to end everything that I’ve experienced. I’m not a fan of open endings, because they feel like a cop out. A conclusion fit to the world, characters and story that were created is key. Examples: Code Geass, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Planning/pacing and mind fucks. If you’re going to go down a path, make sure you can clearly see what lies in the future. Don’t drag things out too long, and don’t go too quickly. Give me just enough time to savor the current status of things before moving on. Especially if you’re going for a “mind fuck” ending, make me want to go back and re-watch key sequences, if not whole episodes, to pick up on things. Examples: Steins;Gate, Madoka Magica
Good voice acting. Poor acting or direction choices can pull a viewer out of the world they’re watching. Think about what everything entails, no matter how small the detail. Again: These characters are the driving force of the show. Make them come alive. (I watch dub whenever I can, generally.) Examples: Baccano!
Clean visuals. I'm becoming a broken record, but really, pull me into the world as much as you can. Now, this isn’t to say “old generation anime < new generation anime” thanks to better technology, but rather, I’d like to think that it just ups my expectations for newer series. 1080p is god. Examples: No Game, No Life
Stupidity for the sake of plot progression. Give a valid reason for what’s going on. If it doesn’t fit with the characters of the world that have been created, you’re doing it WRONG.
Cliches. Again, give me something original. Let your creativity flow. Examples (of shit): Sword Art Online
Mindless shit. Give what you have created purpose. If you give me the same shallow crap back and forth with no addition, it’s like using the same joke over and over again. It gets old, really fast. Examples: Sakura Trick
Ass pulls. Once again, give everything that happens meaning. That is all. Examples: Akuma no Riddle
Wasted potential. If a series seemed great but seriously fell short, I really look to the writing and directing. Examples: Durarara!
(Heavy reliance on) Melodrama. Don’t degrade the characters you’re creating to back-and-forth banter. If the majority of “conflict” comes from this, it’s shit.
My rating system
I used to use a rubric to grade anime, but that just got too complicated and didn't totally reflect my critical analysis of the show.
10 – The best of the best. Truly a masterpiece; the characters are relatable and have depth. The plot is well-written and clearly thought out. A great atmosphere and environment are created. Has at LEAST a satisfying conclusion, perhaps emotional, with a strong message backing it up.
9 – Epic in its own right. May have one or two minor flaws or annoyances, but the story is tight, and characters fit and are relatable. Great atmosphere.
8 – Great, very enjoyable. May have one or two major annoyances, perhaps dealing with characters. May have minor pacing issues, but ends up well-presented with a good plot, ultimately delivering a lot.
7 – Good. Has a few glaring issues, such has a few plot holes or some deus ex machina, but its forgivable based on the overall content of the show. Characters are good and have a clear reason for presence.
6 – (Somewhat) decent. Has at least a few major flaws that hold it back. It still holds potential, just could have been a lot better.
5 – Average. It wasn’t that interesting, or has potential but some major issues. Usually find entire parts (or even arcs) that I disliked. The show many have one or two great moments, but overall it’s not going to be remembered for anything.
4 – Mediocre at best. It was a pain to continue, with more than a few plot holes, deux ex machina, obnoxious and out of place characters, etc. Might just be generally boring. Perhaps a good moment here or there, but they are few and far between, and don’t save the show.
3 – Bad. Ill-conceived, with plot armor, multiple gaping plot-holes, and overall shitty characters. Nothing is gained from watching it, but there’s some sliver of progression when it comes to the overall idea.
2 – Terrible. There is nothing good about the show; no sense of purpose. It tries to continue along (or fix itself) with more bullshit, and just makes more of a mess as a result.
1 – Deplorable. More than likely impossible to continue. Why was this conceived? Everything about it is utterly incompetent.
I generally write a mini-review in the comments section of each show. For shows thoughts on the shows I’m currently watching or have on-hold, check the comments in the respective section of my Hummingbird anime list, or the tags section of my MAL list.
I try to be objective in my scoring, but obviously I have some degree of bias if I liked vs. disliked something. Doesn’t everyone?
Let's face it: It's impossible to choose your "top 5" anime. Seriously. Coming soon because I'm lazy busy.
(Eventual) rewatch list
To rewatch (in a somewhat specific order):
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Watched more than once:
Madoka Magica (2 times)
Spirited Away (2 times)
Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion (2 times)
Code Geass R1 (2 times)
Should have dropped list
Sword Art Online
Selector Infected WIXOSS
100 Days of Anime - xx.xx.xxxx
200 Days of Anime - xx.xx.xxxx
300 Days of Anime - xx.xx.xxxx
400 Days of Anime - xx.xx.xxxx
500 Days of Anime - xx.xx.xxxx
Top 100 Anime Challenge - xx.xx.xxxx
Completed all of MALs Top 100 Anime.
Guts, Bravery and Friendship - xx.xx.xxxx
Having completed all of Keys Anime: Clannad, Clannad Afterstory, Little Busters!, Little Busters! ~Refrain~, Little Busters! EX, Angel Beats, Kanon, Kanon Kazahana, Air and Air in Summer.
Urobutchers Requiem - xx.xx.xxxx
Having completed all of Urobuchi Gens Anime:
Aldnoah.Zero, Blassreiter, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Phantom, Psycho-Pass and Suisei no Gargantia
Reached Akasha - xx.xx.xxxx
Having completed all of Type-Moons Anime:
Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, Carnival Phantasm, Fate/Zero, Fate/kaleid liner, Kara no Kyoukai, Shingetsutan Tsukihime, Canaan
I hate you, Watanabe Shinichiro - xx.xx.xxxx
Having completed Watanabe Shinichiros Anime: Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Space Dandy, Zankyou no Terror and Sakimichi no Apollon.