Anime Classics Groupwatch Coordinator (2011-present)
R.I.P. Anime Power Rankings (2013-2015)
R.I.P. Terribad (2011-2015)
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300th anime completed: Ponyo
400th: Darker than Black
500th: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
600th: Oh! Edo Rocket
700th: Mawaru Penguindrum
800th: Dog of Flanders
900th: Clannad: After Story 1000th: Pokemon
1100th: Monogatari Series: Second Season
1300th: The Night is Short, Walk on Girl
Anime Rating Distribution
My MAL rating system:
"I’m a critic – I believe in the power of objective standards filtered through subjective experiences." NovaJinx
Breakdown of categories I consider when rating anime (inspired by tj_han):
Premise, Setting, and Story Does the premise capture interest? Does its universe work sensibly?
Is this anime exciting in terms of plotting and pace?
Does the story progress logically and retain its focus?
Characters and Themes Do the characters' actions and motivations make sense? Are they emotionally complex or empathetic?
Do the characters grow or learn lessons about life?
Does this anime touch on elements of the human condition?
Production Values Does this anime have beautiful designs and consistent animation?
Is the music suitable and is the voice acting effective?
Do the aesthetic qualities aid the atmosphere and tone?
Originality and Style Is this anime groundbreaking in some form? Does it display uncommon style?
Does it subvert expectations or use innovative presentation?
Audience Engagement and Appeal Does this anime prompt critical analysis and interpretation?
Does it challenge me to think or perceive in ways I hadn't previously?
Does it resonate with an audience outside of its genre niche?
Can non-anime fans understand this?
Purpose and Fulfillment Does this anime achieve what it sets out to do (e.g. make us laugh, have erections etc)?
How ambitious is it? Could it have done more?
These considerations articulate an approach that fairly weighs the merits of every anime series despite differences in genre and style, though personal tastes and standards will always influence my evaluation. If you don't agree with me, that's perfectly fine. After all, you should "Watch, listen, and think for yourself."
The rating scale:
10 - Masterpiece: Transcendent of age, genre, and the medium itself. Appreciable on nearly every technical and artistic level. A singularly unique experience. A very strong recommendation.
9 - Amazing: It consistently grasps the highest forms of intellectual and emotional expression. It speaks to universal themes. Inspired. A very strong recommendation.
8 - Excellent: Superior concept and execution. Clearly a step above, setting a high standard within its genre. Its pros significantly outweigh its cons. A strong recommendation.
7 - Good: A well done work that succeeds at its primary goals. Has broad general appeal or excels at core storytelling elements. Its strengths are considerable. A sound recommendation.
6 - Decent: Either entertaining but lacks drive or ambitious but lacks refinement. Enjoyable, but not outstanding as a whole. Has noticeable flaws or only for a limited audience. A weak or qualified recommendation.
5 - So-So: Middling quality. Highlights and low points weigh evenly. Aspects appeal to pre-existing fans of its genre, but won't win over new converts. Watchable, but unessential. A weak or qualified recommendation.
4 - Bad: Fails to deliver on at least one major promise. Good points are uncommon and storytelling is marred by significant flaws that are hard to overlook. Generic, repetitive, lazy, or unmemorable. Do not recommend.
3 - Terrible: Recognizing faults dominates the viewing experience. Major holes in writing and/or technical production. Insulting to intelligence. Lacks significant merit. Do not recommend.
2 - Soul-Crushing: A joyless experience. Repulsive and incomprehensible. It inspires aggressive hatred and effigy. Has no redemptive value.
1 - Disgrace to Humanity: Anyone who was ever involved in this production or witness to this abomination are worse for it. The scum of the medium, remembered for all the wrong reasons. We have no recourse but to wonder why this was visited upon us. Disgraceful... to everyone.
My favorite anime:
My favorites list is NOT a list of my top rated anime, you can figure that out simply by looking at my MAL entries. These are titles of significant personal value to me, embodiments of what I love about anime, things that made me a fan. Using quotes from friends, acquaintances, and inspirations I've come across in my years wandering this online community, they remind me of the particular qualities that endear these shows to me.
I’ll post my own thoughts at a later time. Maybe.
23 Favorite Anime
23. Heartcatch Precure!
“Most importantly, it’s just a magical girl show. It isn’t magical girl with lasers. It isn’t magical girl with zombies. It is what it is and it stands toe to toe with all of those magical girl and x shows, where x is something that makes it more palatable to people who need an excuse for why they’re watching shows for little girls.” blkmage, blackmage shooter
22. Alien Nine
“Kasumi, on the other hand, is much like the series itself: Putting on a cheerful outer face while being unbelievably fucked up beneath the surface.” Shinmaru, Unmei Kaihen
20. Magnetic Rose
“Despite the science-fiction stage, it’s steeped in the same sense of magic realism and surreal chaos that proved so unnerving in Perfect Blue and so magnificent in Paprika.” Todd Ciolek, Anime News Network
19. Revolutionary Girl Utena
"This is repetition with variation, and IMHO it works. The structure is the same, but the function is totally different. For the moment, thus, the structure looks to be as solid as that castle in the sky.” animekritik, kritik der animationskraft
18. Azumanga Daioh
"I still reminisce about some of its jokes years after seeing it, but when I first watched it, I was reminded of so many of the silly and pointless conversations I had back in high school." Sorrow-kun, Behind the Nihon Review
17. School Rumble
“All you needed was for something to happen… And so you get Harima being hit in the face with a mop.” Scamp, The Cart Driver
16. Mind Game
"A great example of artistry, fusing stories of love, self worth and other qualities of life, without forcing conclusions or values." Marcello, Japan Cinema
15. Someday’s Dreamers: Summer Skies
“Magic is not a miracle maker. It can’t solve all problems. And even when giving all your heart, it’s probably still not enough. But as long as those feelings flow within it, magic can still be both meaningful and wonderful.” Justin, Lost My Thesis
14. Hikaru no Go
“When outliers become outliers it is not just because of their own efforts. It's because of the contributions of lots of different people and lots of different circumstances." Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers
12. Summer Wars
“About yourself, about all of us, your immediate environment, and the entire world all at the same time.” Narutaki, Reverse Thieves
“Things like this remind us that we always need a little epic win in our lives, that we should go about our business with guts and effort and buster machines in our hearts, because there isn’t anything that can’t be done in a magnificent way.” Pontifus, Super Fanicom
8. Kino's Journey
“Such is the beautifully grim nature... utterly thought-provoking and enchanting journey into celebrating our imperfections.” gaguri, Ha Neul Seom
7. Macross: Do You Remember Love?
“Humanity was saved from complete extinction, and culture was brought back to an entire race that lost it, by what is for all intents and purposes an illegal fansub/translation of the Protoculture pop song.” ghostlightning, We Remember Love
6. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
“Create hope in the hearts of men. Change despair into strength. Strength into spirit. Spirit into victory. There is no limit for those with the spiral, the drill, the point of concentrated force that tears through the very fabric of time and space and bores through any and all obstacles.” God Len, Japanator
5. Cowboy Bebop
“I started listening to this song as a boy. And I finished it as a man.” xaqwais, Tank!
4. Crest of the Stars
"Even among the huge story line of interstellar war and culture clashes, it was quiet, budding romance that endeared the show so much to me. No big grandiose confessions or overt romantic gestures, just a couple gradually growing closer and enjoying each others company." Caraniel, Caraniel's Ramblings
2. Haibane Renmei
“It’s that indescribable something special that makes you feel like you’re the only person who’s ever watched this, regardless of how many other people you know who find it wonderful.” otou-san, Shameful Otaku Secret
1. Kare Kano
“Everyone held their breath in the right places, burst out laughing in the right places, and (or so I like to imagine) smiled wistfully in all the right places.” Christian Nutt, Anime Jump