"Come forth Lazarus! And he came fifth and lost the job."
The thing I look for in anime is not perfection, but ambition. The out-there stuff, the weird and the creative. Shows with these qualities will get higher scores from me than "well made standard" more often than not.
5: Five is the absolute average, not good, not bad. Everything I have not yet seen is automatically a five and I will increase or decrease the score while I watch something.
4: Below average show. Not too bad, but fails to meet the standard I set.
3: Really not good. Pretty bad, actually. Not many redeeming qualities.
2: No redeeming qualities, hardly entertaining, probably has something I find hateful.
1: Offensively bad.
6: Slightly above average. It is not hard to get a 6, I basically just need to like one little thing about the show to bump it from 5 to 6 (art style, well written dialogue, authentic characters, etc).
7: The jump from 6 to 7 is a lot bigger than from 5 to 6. Seven and above are scores for shows I consider genuinely "good".
8: Well and competently made AND manages to be up my alley.
9: Best of the best, basically perfect.(by some arbitrary definition of "perfect", of course)
10: Not just the best of the best, but ambitious and/or eccentric, too.
Why I don't rate most shorts:
I mostly look for creativity and experimental stuff in anime; as such shorts -especially short films- have an unfair advantage over most longer running series and would inflate my score disproportionately, so I seldom rate them at all. Notable comments may be in the tags section.