Aughhhhh, I’ve been dreading this post! It’s not so much that I didn’t have fun with this carnival, which I did, but I’m horrid with deadlines and don’t like summaries. So along with my thoughts on the whole affair of rating, I’ve also included my thoughts on the blog carnival experience.
Edit: In other news, THIS IS MY 100TH POST! ^_^
The Middle Ground
On the whole, it looks like most of the participants rate with a blend of what Yumeka aptly terms as “head and heart”, myself included. There’s the more rational way of creating a list of criteria for what makes a 10/10, and then there’s that moment where love for a setting, character, or idea is enough for you to overlook the flaws that would otherwise bring down the score.
Of the standards described by the participants, there were a few that stood out to me. Take for instance draggle’s insistence that watching an anime should never result in the viewer’s indifference. If, despite watching an entire anime, you have no feelings whatsoever for the characters and the story, then that show has failed. I view indifference worse than hatred, because then at least some part of me has reacted to what I’ve watched.
I very much agreed with Yi’s point that an a successful anime needs to relay the intended atmosphere and emotions. There’s something very wrong if an anime aiming to be taken seriously results in my laughing at almost every single cheesy attempt at conflict (Fractale, anyone?). An anime like Mushishi works beautifully because the intention blends perfectly with the final product.
Another area with which I agree concerns an anime’s repeatability, which Leap250 sums up in a nice and concise manner. This standard obviously takes time since some years will have had to pass before you can note if and how many times you have re-watched a show. Uchuu no Stellvia and ARIA are among those that I have watched at least once a year, and I can only commend their abilities to enchant me no matter how many times I watch them.
Hoshiko touches on a subject that I’ve never really before discussed, on how an anime ends. At first I thought that meant an ending that makes the viewer happy, but it’s more than that. The ending should fit everything that has led up to that point. I do appreciate a twist and prefer a surprise to the predictable, but it makes sense that the ending shouldn’t just come out of nowhere, or leave you at a loss. Although I have watched Bokura ga Ita numerous times, I’m always pissed off at where the ending leaves the viewer, with no inkling of what will happen to our characters (I’m a die hard Takeuchi supporter).
And then there’s SnippetTee, whose rubric made me giggle. Like many other bloggers, a breakdown for grading was made, only for the amorphous factor of the heart to undercut all the ratings. I very much like the point made that genre should really have no place in the grading of an anime’s quality. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve stumbled across MAL reviews condemning an anime for its boobs and butts…when the fan service is exactly what the whole anime is about. I may hate fan service, but I wouldn’t rate an anime like Rosario to Vampire low for it (though I would for other factors!).
As to be expected, the carnival’s founder–du5k of One Minute of Dusk–has one of the most interesting discussions. He points out that our own ideas of the “perfect” anime change over time the older we get and the more knowledge and experience we garner. I enjoyed reading how his own methods for rating have changed in his years as an anime fan and reviewer. And while I may not agree on the last method of rating by value (as how can you even begin to understand the target audience if it does not include you?), I can see how I, too, have changed over the years. I used to rate by enjoyment only, and have only recently turned to a checklist of sorts. Who knows what my reviews will be like in the future?
I want to take the time to thank du5k for inviting me to this carnival, as it was a fun and new experience collaborating with so many other great anime bloggers. If asked, I would definitely participate again. I do like keeping the participant list limited, though, since it’s a bit difficult to get around to reading and commenting on every one of the other entries. Perhaps the next one should only have 10 bloggers, at the maximum. I would stress the blogger list changing from carnival to carnival, so that different voices and styles can be featured.
Check out these other final impressions on the first carnival experience (links to pages to be added as they are written):