The Anime Rating System

Mine and yours. It’s like an opinion. Everyone has one.

Rate this. Rated that. For all the anime we’ve watched there’s a system that works, sometimes similar but not always the different from everyone. Some people rate their shows with numbers others give them grades, while others don’t rate them at all, and even others have a totally different system. Here’s mine, I use numbers to rate what I watch and I’m peculiar about it.  Who doesn’t love great anime?

……. guys, nothing to see here …….

1-4 – “The Void”

There aren’t many pics out there to fit this category and totally nail it. The image here is is like the very beginning of everything where there’s not much going on. There’s almost absolutely nothing happening in here. Where did this show go wrong? Well, there wasn’t much in the first place as we can see above.

I don’t often rate anything below a 5 because I don’t often get to finish those shows in the first place but sometimes I do, and those are the shows that makes me want not to watch anime again, of course, that’s only temporary. OK, let’s go graphic. One to four scale is like being scratched by a stray cat or being punched in the middle of the face by someone wearing knuckles. Not a pretty sight. That’s how I’d picture an awful anime to be. Such dreadful creation that negative adjectives shouldn’t do enough for a show that didn’t try at all. This is the end of the stick, the very bottom of a 100m barrel, a name you don’t normally utter, otherwise an insult exaggerating a bit. Just real chilling terrible show that anyone would pity whoever has experienced these shows. Shows like this should have a big neon “keep out” sign around them as a warning so we don’t fall into the big void they are. I’m not kidding around.


Still in shambles. Getting there. Uh, *eventually*

5 – “The Just bad”

It’s half of everything.  It can’t that good. No, sir.

A.K.A “quality” anime. Only by 1 point it managed to jump to the next category of being “just bad”. This still isn’t a nice score to get, really, far from it. This is a show that only made it half way where it should which is the same as a getting only halfway in a marathon. A 5 score means for me that roughly 60% was bad and a 40% of the show was good. Unluckily, barely little was redeemable and I possibly feel that my time was wasted when I could be watching better anime. Doesn’t that happen often sometimes?

The just bad is one of those show that screams let’s get it over with after the first eps so is usually easy to tell it from the beginning.  The animation department is having a fierce competition with the plot for which one is worse than the other. Unlike 1-4 rating which would be remembered from being obscenely bad, a show ranting a 5 has neither negative or positive elements to be memorable for either reason so it’s just there being bad and nothing else. There are, of course, small positive things about the show but in a nutshell it it couldn’t have managed to be better even if it tried. Was the plot the problem? Were the characters at fault? Hmm… I’d say a bit of everything went wrong on this one that felt like a bunch of cars crashing after another and not a single one of them had insurance. I usually skip these shows whenever is possible.

A cluster of ideas thrown around. So close yet so far away.

6 – “Fine, let’s go with that”

Greetings, lazy and complaisant. Hello butchered VN adaptations. Hello, lazy industry.

A six is an example of a relatively decent show. Aha! Don’t let it fool you. Despite being only one point higher than a five a six is way better than a five. See? From here on out it starts what I’d be willing to roll with but not quite. A six sets the standard to the very  (very) basic of what I watch. It’s not completely a bad show or something reaching masterpiece  level either. A 6 is the slightly better than a bad anime. A small but noticeable improvement Let’s say so-so. Let’s say average. I can still sense a strong sense of blandness deeply rooted on the show but also slightly positive elements in the anime. Whenever I say, meh I usually refer to a let’s go with that time of show.

Personally, I don’t see a six as something too positive. I see it as getting a C- when you needed a B or higher to pass. In other words, a six is basically “dropped shows” land for me but here’s the thing, I don’t realize it just yet. I believed the show was going to end up being a 7 (even if shaky seven) but there’s the, Oh surprise! Either the directing or how the show progressed wasn’t significantly satisfactory enough or many things just went wrong in the worst moments. VN adaptations which suffered from all types of butchering usually may find themselves in this category for a ton of reasons. They just do.

They could be “fine” but they still lack in substance too much to dismiss. Lazy and complaisant sounds about right here because there’s much that the Studio and staff could’ve improved on but they did a poorly made show and only met their  most very basic goals in the end. Whoever said all anime had to be good, huh? Well, I was kinda hoping for that..

because there are better anime out there

7 – “Significantly better”

The “I like this”, the thumbs up, the “good stuff”.  My personal idea of anime is this. Each season I pick up a number of shows and I get to keep a couple of them, when I do this I expect them to obtain a 7+ rating as a minimum requirement. It’s healthy to expect them to be relatively that good if you ask me, but that’s a personal opinion. So far I’m pleased with the progress.

Same as I like 7 shows I don’t recommend anything below a 7. In my case if I recommend any anime it must at least has a rating of 7 (and possibly higher) to make the cut. Significantly better means that it is different than the first three categories which aren’t exactly work of art and is considerably to be a good anime without giving it too little or too much credit. The 7 rating category is for shows that I enjoyed  without much explanation, I just do and I’m totally aware of its flaws as well as what I liked about it. Shows like these you can see me saying good things about but don’t go overboard about them too much.

For some reason cookie-cutter shows lurk this category plenty for me. They just do. To me they’re considered to be good enough to be deemed decent. In many cases, 7 shows end up a “let’s go with that” because of an underwhelming finale or a show losing its edge halfway, which it does happen a lot. I don’t rate them negatively I guess I just “like” these shows and that’s about it. I am strict about rating but there’s always some who make the cut because of how enjoyable they were and that were their greatest merits.

Then there is the amazing anime

8 – “Great”

If “6” opened the way to the very basic and “7” to better shows then “8” is level where great shows should be at. Who wouldn’t like for all their anime to reach the “great” status? That’s right. Everyone would love that. I’d totally would vote for shows to be always reach  an 8 and higher if it were possible.

Looking at my MAL list there’s a reasonable number of 8 around (then there’s the large numbers of seven) those are the shows that I had a blast watching them. Why do they get this rating? They have solid animation, solid VAs, and a solid plot. We could say that most elements work in harmony. At this point I don’t focus on critizing whatever it did wrong  (I reserve that for 7’s and below) what I do is focus on what it did well instead. Most flaws are overlooked because how the anime played out and it showed how professionally handled it was. A product that is executed and satisfactory. Sure, there must be things that could’ve been done better so that it’d reach an even higher rating but they don’t overshadow how well the final product turned out. They’re just good anime

A round of applauds for proving that there’s still good anime around and not your usual so-so stuff. It’s always a pleasant surprise to have them. This is what I’d define as “good” anime as the universal standard where I can see they had a well idea of what they were doing the whole time.

applauds and cheering follow these shows

9 – “Outstanding”

What’s not to like? I sincerely tip my hat to you, good sir.

Now, now, what’s even better than an 8? A 9, of course! Just add what I just said about “Great” and multiple it by 2 or more. That’s how awesome a 9 is. It’s just not better, it’s better than better. It’s simply positively magnificent in the land of magnificence. Positively 95% of everything went right in this project. From the animation to the directing to even the music they all were superb. A memorable experience that is easily be the topic of many conversations all around. Outstanding shows such as these are never to be overlooked and be referenced as possible when the there’s the chance. Why? Because they made enough impact.

Even looking with at it with a critical eye a 9 could just as well as a 10. It’s a close call like a referee not sure what the verdict really is. It could be or it could not. Just a slight difference could separate an outstanding 9 from a perfect 10. Because there’s only a slight between a nine and a ten, an outstanding show meets most of the criteria fit to become number #1 it is usually a matter of preference deciding what the final score will be.  Any 9 nine deserves outright respect from my part because one is able to completely see the effort put on the project and how well executed it was reaching almost flawless level.

It’s like good and great anime only even better.

and then there was epicness

10 – “Masterpiece”

This is what anime is all about.

Or rather what it should be about. A perfect 10 is like the culmination of everything right almost bringing a nirvana effect. Hear that? These guys should get an award for making such masterpieces. These are the type of shows you just don’t forget no matter how many years passes. Memorable experiences deeply engraved reminding you what anime should be about and it isn’t so great lately. The type you can’t help but recommend it to others and this is the anime you should be purchasing for yourself if you can.

Reaching masterpiece level means that the show did everything right as it could humanly could and even if there existed flaws I got around accepting them. No show is without its small flaws but simply the final outcome and the experience make up for everything. Because they’re so difficult to find, masterpieces are scare in their variety for me but that’s what makes them stand out. Because they’re something I don’t normally see in each season or even year(s). Getting a perfect score is such feat that only a few can accomplish. Coming across them is what makes the anime experience the best. Are there more out there? Yes, I’d like to believe that to be the case.

And there it is how I rate anime. It’s really like an opinion. Everyone has one.

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13 thoughts on “The Anime Rating System

  1. I just use numbers. In my case I have plenty of shows rating 8 and higher. No particular reason I can give.

  2. Great rating system! You’ve inspired me to write my own post about it…eventually =D

    The one thing I find tricky with rating anime with numbers like on MAL is the conflict between how much I personally like it versus how good I think it is from an objective perspective (“heart score” vs “head score,” as I wrote about in a previous post). I usually just average these two scores to form an overall opinion when it comes to rating.

    • I do too sometimes. It gets trickier with older series you never got around rating them for x reasons. The animation wasn’t great but the experience was superb so there’s a conflict on what grade it deserves in the end.

  3. My shows usually get a 7 rating. Sometimes lower but not too low. The reason for this is that I enjoy whatever I watch even if not too much. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever rated anything lower than a six. It’ll be nice to keep it that way =D

  4. I usually rate between 6-10 with 6 being the Just bad ones that I struggled to finish (lately I have started dropping stuff for a couple of years if I started something I had “suffered till the end”).
    7s are the “meh” stuff that I may have enjoyed parts of it but thought they were ok.
    8s, which plenty of stuff on my list has it, is for stuff I didn’t find amazing or “epic” but enjoyed all the way.
    9s are for anime I truly enjoyed all the way but maybe had something that maybe made wish it was just a little better (hard to explain).
    The 10s on my list are the anime that as you said felt like nirvana and for anime that kept me wanting to pop the next episode (or if its a weekly show agonize for the whole week when is the next episode), these are the stuff that is memorable.

    I have one show that has a “1” grade on my list because of how angry, mad and raging it made me at the end of it and that anime is……………………………Clannad ~After Story~

    • There’s a degree of meh’ness about 7’s. I mean they aren’t bad bad but not really great. I used to (and still do) give lots of 7s to many shows then I opted the 6 policy for those anime that barely made the cut. Of course then the 5’s category showed up making 6’s shows look slightly better all of the sudden.

      Eh, Anime needs more 8+ shows.

  5. I have six grades: ~~~/~~/~/+/++/+++. My idea was that three degrees of good and three degrees of bad are as specific as you can get while still being intuitive.

    By your system, they’d fall something like this:

    ~~~ = the void
    ~~ = the just bad
    ~ = fine, let’s go with that
    + = significantly better; lower half of great
    ++ = upper half of great; outstanding
    +++ = masterpiece

    I don’t have a grading distinction between great and outstanding, though once in a while I’m tempted.

    • Interesting system where great and outstanding are mixed in there. Sort of like maybe those shows are good or maybe even better.

  6. Nice rating system.
    I generally give grades from 7 to 10. 7 is something that was okay, decent, but not something I would rewatch. 8 is for good anime. Perhaps they aren’t the most innovating thing ever, and they might be your typical anime, but they are interesting and they are fulfilling their job to entertain me. 9 is for greater works that are on their way to become epic, but they are lacking something. 10 is simply for something awesome that keeps me on the edge the whole time and did it’s job more than right.

    It’s been a while since I’ve commented. :/
    Sorry about that, though school isn’t really helping me with reading blogs or watching anime at all. >_>
    I’m supposedly trying to find out information about “Propionilcholine”, except that no one knows anything about that… Talk about some intelligent homework…

  7. I’ve noticed when it comes to anime ratings that some people rate high, some people rate low. I’m with you on 1-4. Those are all anime I think should be skipped.

    4 for me is like “get this over with, already…” 5 is okay (as in “watchable”). 6 is fine.

    Anything 7+ I really like: 7 is good. 8 is great (as in “worth buying”). 9 is excellent. And 10 is perfect.

  8. I’ve generally preferred not numbers, but a descriptor like average, good, great, masterpiece, etc mostly because it’s easier for people to get an idea what the rating constitutes rather than a numeric system where people have to look up what a number means so that they can prime their expectations appropriately.

  9. Pingback: Rating anime | 毎日アニメ夢

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