Its been a while since I’ve done a rant post…right? And of course it wouldn’t be one of my signature rant posts unless it was a topic that 99% of people don’t really seem to care about or even think about. So today I’m going to bring up the issue about how to rate a show. Mostly I want this to be helpful, since I think that if you know where you rate something it can make it easier to talk about it to other people and share that kind of stuff. So before I get into how I think you can more accurately score your favorite and least favorite anime, let me give a little context as to why I felt the need to even talk about this stupid topic.
I was listening to a podcast I hate (because I just do things like that). They ended up scoring a show and I heard one of the reviewers talk about how when they score based on objective things from the show and don’t really compare it to other shows. This is completely the wrong way to score something and you won’t get anything out of scoring something this way. I was so mad that someone with a fair bit of influence would say something that no reviewer or critic would ever say. So I felt the need to contact them and get a little more context (still waiting on a response though).
First of all, scores are entirely personal. When you score something it doesn’t have to do with anyone else receiving that piece of work. A score is a personal decision you make to give something you viewed. Of course scores can change over time for good or bad depending on how your viewpoint changes. But there should never be another person trying to influence you scoring something if that isn’t indeed the way you feel about it. Of course someone can argue your views and maybe influence you otherwise, but thats something different entirely. One of the biggest thing I think is bad about people scoring these days is giving things high scores because everyone else thinks it’s a masterpiece except the one scoring it. That’s bullshit, why would you give something you didn’t like a high score? Some would say objective qualities, but I think that holds little value in a review/score.
They always bring up objectivity on that aforementioned podcast, and it sickens me every time. Everything is subjective to a certain extent and art is “almost” always going to get different opinions on what works for different people. Since there are so many different types of people there are countless things that will work or not work for a person when it comes to art/entertainment. So talking about things that are subjective and making them sound objective won’t help anyone who watches your review (except for the extremely gullible and sheepish type). People respond to emotion and tend to connect with other people’s similar emotions. When your review/score something, it’s better to talk about how something made you feel and why it made you feel that way. Then someone can better understand why you would feel that way and may even realize a shared opinion. Any person can read and understand a book on storytelling and blurt out formula’s on what a show succeeded in or not. It takes a true reviewer/critic to understand why something made them feel a certain way. These are the most important reviews and you will find you get more out of these. How a show makes you feel is the only thing that should drive you to watch it. Hence the way a show made you feel should be the biggest consideration when scoring something. Now of course there are a lot of variables when considering how something made you feel and some of it has to do with why. But if you aren’t being true to your feeling about a show, you might as well not score it at all.
Another thing is that an Anime, or any piece of media for that matter, doesn’t exist in a bubble. Some like to act like they don’t compare things when taking into consideration a score or how to feel about a show. This is a lie and nonsense. Scores mean nothing if you don’t have something to compare it to. It doesn’t matter if a show is the worst thing ever to be made, if it exists in this bubble that some people pretend to use, then its always going to be the best. It has to be, because the only thing it has to stand up to is itself. An easier way to look at this is to think of scoring as giving value to shows on a personal level. It’s in out nature to give value to things and not to other things. Because somethings make us feel better than other things, and we are smart enough to tell the difference between those things. Were not monkeys like those people on said podcast that just forget what they’ve watched previously and try to blindly score something with no compass. We have a compass that remembers what we like and why we like, so we should use it.
Like I said before, this topic is completely ridiculous and petty and wont really enhance your anime viewing experience. But I think that if you are more true to the things you like and show that when you talk to other people, the conversations will be better. There will be better understanding of viewpoints, and empathizing, and maybe a little bit of influence towards something you like. Like scores, anime/art is meaningless if we can’t share it with others, and being able to share your opinions honestly is an important tool when you enjoy that art.