Welcome to the first ever Blog Carnival! The Blog Carnival is a project created by du5k of the anime blog One Minute of Dusk in order to generate discussion between a number of sites who post news about and review anime titles. This also sets out to showcase the diverse opinions between the 14 writers (14+ hopefully in future events) in participation in terms of many topics. The first topic at hand will cover just what makes an anime 10/10 or in the case of this site, an S Rank. As what I might consider a D is someone else’s 10/10 while what I consider and S is someone elses 2/10, I encourage to check out the other participants posts on their respective site:
Ace Railgun by AceRailgun (Article)
Anime B&B by Marina (Article)
Anime Viking by Marow (Article)
Draggle’s Anime Blog by Draggle (Article)
Ephemeral Dreams by Ephemeral Dreamer (Article)
Hachimitsu by Mira (Article)
Leap250’s Blog by Leap250 (Article)
Lemmas and Submodalities by SnippetTee (Article)
Listless Ink by Yi
Mainichi Anime Yume by Yumeka (Article)
Nopy’s Blog by Nopy (Article)
One Minute of Dusk by du5k (Article)
The Otaku’s Study by Sam (You are Reading it!)
World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko by hoshiko (Article)
All the posts should be going up today in the bloggers respective time-zone and I encourage you to get involved. After discussion for a couple of days, this installment will be concluded with a summary post on the 15th January 2012. Without further delay, I shall now present to you my justification for what I would consider the perfect anime series.
Get the juice ready because this carnival is about serious discussion!
As of May 2006, I have been writing reviews in a many different styles, originally starting with episodic anime reviews which sometimes worked and sometimes failed miserably, then not reviewing any anime at all and then finally in 2011 began reviewing quite frequently entire seasons of anime, mostly those released in Australia by Madman Entertainment or Siren Visual. I have also noticed that my standards and ideals about the perfect anime have shifted over the year as my repertoire of different genres in anime have expanded and new releases have pushed the boundaries of the older releases. Therefore I have come to my first conclusion about reviewing anime and determining if it deserves a 10/10 or not:
#1 – The criteria to review anime needs to be extended as the seasons progress, especially as one becomes more knowledgable in other genres of anime they might not have watched before. Considerations also need to be taken into account for older series. For example, Figure 17 might not have the most visually impressive designs, but given the year it was released and the work taken in detailing the environments… it is something worth considering.
So that might have been a factor to determine a scale… but what exactly is a 10/10 anime? For the series plot, it has to contribute to the genre and deliver a unique viewing experience. This goes double for series that fall under the “action” or “harem” genres which already heavily saturate the market without delivering something special. Take DuRaRaRa!! for example which won third place in my Australian Anime Release of the Year Awards. We have seen several animes following gangs in the city – to various degrees of success but adding in some unique elements including Celty, a multi-perspective plot which intermingle with each other and several more supernatural elements… really worked well. Whereas no matter how many guys get punched up into the sky Team Rocket style by a bunch of well endowed females, it just isn’t the same as something fresh!
#2 – The plot must improve upon the genre and not rely on too many of the same old gimmicks to push the story forward or get some laughs from the viewer. Don’t get me wrong… a series could still get reviewed high for things like that, but not up to the “10/10 standard”.
This holds true to games and manga as much as it does anime…. but I do not care if there is eroge, heavy fanservice, controversial topics or the like in the animes I watch. I will even go the same way and say that I don’t care how child-oriented the series is…. either way it all comes down to how good the writing is for the target audience and how they implement it. As the above image may suggest (As well as it being carnival themed) I will use Shugo Chara as one of my examples. I have watched and read both the anime and manga for the series and while neither is perhaps to the standard of a “10/10″, it is creatively written for the intended audience (Youth) and creates that colorful and happy vibe that not all anime series targeted towards children seem to do (Though this holds true to a number of animes I seem to have watched as a kid). On the other side of the spectrum, I really did enjoy watching Kodomo no Jikan and laugh at anyone who thinks it is just a show for those who like “that” sort of fanservice. The psychological aspects of the anime and manga were brilliantly planned out and focused on the development of emotions, friendships and well… I suppose all the other stuff that came included.
#3 – Who cares if it is too childish or too adult? A proper reviewer looks at the series as a whole rather than taking everything as being aimed at their age and gender group.
Obviously I like some good designs, a decent soundtrack and a half-decent at least opening and ending sequence – as do most people, although unlike plot… I am a bit laxer with these three as no matter how good the designs are, you will not watch a 26 episode season for just them.
#4 – Design, Sound and Opening/Ending Sequences at least decent.
Perhaps the most important element to any decision for any review score is enjoyability. It is hard to pin-point an exact definition of how enjoyable a series is as it varies between series, but I would define it as getting what I would expect out of the series and more. A series such as Moon Phase was enjoyable because it offered exactly what it promised on the box “A lighthearted and spunky tale full of endearing and silly characters. This series flaunts a style of tongue-in-cheek comedy that you can really sink your fangs into.” and sure there were a few dry jokes here and there but it kept to what it did best while providing an interesting plot and characters. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Ghost Hound provided an intellectually stimulating plot that was enjoyable in a completely non-Haha funny way. There is a risk of series taking it too far and becoming too reliant on their promoted features such as Needless (Action and Fanservice) which failed to deliver even a basic well planned plot over 26 episodes of non-stop over the top action.
Another way to look at it – is if I come out of it feeling hyped and perhaps even wanting to re-watch it straight away, hound the licensor for the next season or email the studio behind the series to “Get their backsides into making a new season”.. than this is what I would consider a 10/10 or at least a 9/10 title. How to tell if I enjoyed a title? I always include a Personal Opinion score and comment in my reviews regardless of what any other criteria were scored.
#5 – At all costs… it must be enjoyable.
! BUT YOU KNOW WHAT !
While I think numbered or letter scores are great means of getting someones opinion in the matter of seconds, you will find that most reviewers really do put the time and effort into writing considerably long posts detailing everything you would need to know about your purchase decision that cannot be summarized in one letter or number. Otherwise my criteria really depends on the series but the five above points are a basis on how I review in general. As I wrote most of this while doing some work on my laptop at uni, there might be a few things I will change over the next day or two, but please read the other participants websites and comment on their articles!
Thank you for reading my submission for the first ever Anime Blog Carnival, and hope you will read any future installments.