In participation with du5k’s carnival, I and a good handful of other bloggers will be taking a single topic and discussing it individually on our own blogs. You’ll be seeing these posts pop up anytime between today, the 9th, and the 15th. During that period, we invite you to take a look at each of our blogs and see how differently we handle the topic. At the end of the carnival, bloggers will then write a follow up post summarizing and evaluating the opinions of the others. We hope this will create a nice, lively discussion among both writers and readers, If all goes well, this event may be held again.
The chosen topic for this cycle is, “What makes a 10/10 anime?”
Simply put, I have two ways of rating an anime a 10. The anime may earn it the more publicly legit way through a list of criteria covering such areas as plot, character, setting, and voice. It may also receive it in a less official manner, being that it is an anime that I “love”. An anime that may rate an 8 or a 9 after evaluation may be given a 10 once I put on my nostalgia glasses.
Criteria [examples: Gankutsuou, Monster, Steins;Gate]
Very few of my blog reviews actually show my whole breakdown of an anime, but I do usually have a checklist under consideration every time I rate a completed anime. One of the major points is plot, and is where anime most often falls short. The original concept may have been the most creative idea ever, but if the story fails to follow through, the shot goes wide and we have no goal. Fractale is a good example of this, since the opening episode had my hopes up extremely high for an anime that would become a classic adventure. However, the plot decided to go willy nilly and run everywhere attempting to pick up every trope from every adventure anime. In the end, we had a mess of a story with no clear conclusion to the multiple raised conflicts. I don’t care how simple or complex a story may be, only that every one is well grounded, believable, and that they are all concluded to a certain degree. Open conclusions work, as long as it fits the overall atmosphere of the anime.
My second most important area covers character. If I do not care about the characters I watch from start until finish, then we have a very serious problem. Too many anime neglect character and focus solely on the story. Who cares of Boy A is set against a world he must save because of some traumatic childhood experience. If I haven’t been given time to see as he does and sympathize with him, then my connection to the plot, as great as it may be, weakens. Take a look at Guilty Crown, whose cast list fails to bring even one person of interest. They are all cardboard cut outs of either moe archetypes or characters of other anime of a similar genre. We’re already halfway through the 2-cour season and I still could care less about any of them.
Setting is perhaps one of the easiest criteria to fulfill, at least for me, since a good majority of anime I watch ends up being fantastical in some way. We either have other worlds or super high-tech future worlds, or more rural magical worlds. As long as the anime is not just another school anime whose classmates and teachers could be clones of a plethora of other shows, then we’re good. I’m not against all school anime, per se, as long as the anime gives the setting some type of twist.
And last, but not least, voice. For me, this includes dialogue, narration, even atmosphere. I look at how the anime speaks to me, the type of aura is gives off. Are the lines between characters natural, or do they feel forced? Does the anime choose to use dialogue or voice over to tell me what I should think, as opposed to showing it to me? I always prefer showing instead of telling.
Nostalgia [examples: Uchuu no Stellvia, ARIA, Nodame Cantabile]
All too often, my ratings reflect the nostalgia I have for any given anime. The story may have not been perfect, with one too many plot holes, or the cast list may have been too long for me to get a feel for all the characters, and yet I still give the anime a 10. Ever since blogging, I’ve lessened this method of rating, but I still notice myself giving in now and then when an anime of exceptional personality makes me fall in love with its story, its setting, the characters, and the feelings I have during and after watching it. A good example of an anime that does this to me is Azumanga Daioh. It was one of the very first anime I ever watched, and I love it now almost as much as I loved it back then. The transitions were a bit sloppy due to the adaptation from a 4-koma manga, and the characters were extreme in their one-dimensionality, but I laughed harder than I had for any cartoons, tv shows, or movies that I remember seeing growing up, before I stumbled across anime. These types of shows, ones that steal my heart, are the ones I can re-watch over and over again, and they stand out against the slew of anime that pop up every season. Their colors never fade, and their characters never grow old. With their imperfections, they are still loved.
ABC Participants (Please allow time for the bloggers to get their posts up throughout the week!):
- The Otaku’s Study (http://www.otakustudy.com/) by Sam
- Anime Viking (http://animeviking.wordpress.com/) by Marow
- Nopy’s Blog (http://nopybot.com/) by Nopy
- Draggle’s Anime Blog (http://blog.draggle.org/) by draggle
- Hachimitsu (http://blog.hachimitsu.org/) by Mira
- Ace Railgun (http://acerailgun.wordpress.com/) by AceRailgun
- Leap250’s Blog (http://leap250.wordpress.com/) by Leap250
- Mainichi Anime Yume (http://animeyume.com/blog/) by Yumeka
- Lemmas and Submodalities (http://snippettee.wordpress.com/) by SnippetTee
- Ephemeral Dreams (http://ephemeraldreamer.wordpress.com/) by Ephemeral Dreamer
- World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko (http://yamaguchihoshiko.wordpress.com/) by hoshiko
- One Minute of Dusk (http://oneminuteofdusk.blogspot.com/) by du5k
- Listless Ink (http://listlessink.wordpress.com/) by Yi
- Ambivalence, or is it ambiguity? (http://ambivalen.wordpress.com/)
- The G-Empire (http://ogmansblog.wordpress.com/) by Overlord-G
- deluscar (http://deluscar.wordpress.com/) by Kai
- flomu (http://flomu.wordpress.com/) by flomu
- Watashi wa bucho! by Ty-chama