Blog Carnival – What Makes a 10/10 Anime?

Time for some new anime blogger community fun! As a start, we try to find out what makes a perfect score anime.

What is this “Blog Carnival”?

The Blog Carnival is a project created by du5k from the blog One Minute of Dusk. The purpose is to create discussions around some specific topics and to do this a couple of bloggers have decided to participate (see below). But most of all, I believe it is to have fun and do something together. Hopefully it turns out well!

It starts with all of us participants creating our own post about the common topic we have been given and continues with us discussing it on each other’s blogs. On the 15th of January this project will come to an end with each of us doing our own roundup post, in which we do some kind of summary.

UPDATE! See my roundup post HERE.

So in short: be given a topic>write a post>discuss>roundup post. Simple.

List of participants – 14

Ace Railgun by AceRailgun
Anime B&B by Marina
Anime Viking by Marow
Draggle’s Anime Blog by Draggle
Ephemeral Dreams  by Ephemeral Dreamer
Hachimitsu by Mira
Leap250’s Blog by Leap250
Lemmas and Submodalities by SnippetTee
Listless Ink by Yi
Mainichi Anime Yume by Yumeka
Nopy’s Blog by Nopy
One Minute of Dusk by du5k
The Otaku’s Study by Sam
World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko by hoshiko

We also decided to participate – 6

Ambivalence, or is it ambiguity? by @fkeroge
Ambivalence, or is it ambiguity? by Valence
Blue Wave Network by Schultzz
deluscar by Kai
Flomu’s Blog by flomu
The G-Empire by Overlord-G

Late to the party – 1

Watashi wa bucho!! by Ty-chama

What Makes a Perfect Score Anime?

For starters, see how I slightly tweaked the title? There is a big reason to that which concerns the topic itself. You see, people tend to use a whole load of different scoring systems, which tends to create a mess of confusion. It could be letters, numbers, “avoid, you choose, great” or something completely else. The most common ones are the five- and ten-point scales, but even using them, the usage of scales is not crystal clear. Everyone will interpret them differently, some never using the lower half of a ten-point scale and so on. And while we are at it, how do you translate a 4/5 score to a ten-point scale?

As you can see, it is downright impossible to handle the scales alone in a universally accepted and fully understood way. This is why I brought this up, because it is the very basis of how you rate anime. To understand what makes a perfect score anime for someone, you first have to understand the scale that person is using. But more importantly, you have to understand how that person uses it.

My point is that even if both you and I rate a show 10/10, it will never be by the same reasons. You may rate solely on enjoyment or story, while I rate it as a whole. Which brings me to my next point: the perfect score anime is only based on your personal opinion. Yes, perhaps you try to stay objective, but in the end, it is unavoidable to let some of your own tastes affect the score. What you find to be enjoyable will be thrash to someone else! There is nothing that could be called a “completely perfect masterpiece” that should be given the highest possible score by everyone who has watched it. It is only a matter of personal taste.

With that said, let us get going to what makes a perfect score anime for me, which actually is a hard nut to crack. Out of currently 182 completed shows on MyAnimeList, I have only given 10/10 to eleven of them (see the list HERE). If it instead were a five-point scale they used, there would be a lot of more shows that would be given the ”perfect score”. What I mean by saying this, is that I will never save the highest score for the “omgsupermegalegendmasterpiece” anime like some elitist. I rate out of enjoyment and as a whole, with the former weighting a little bit more than the latter.

When I say “as a whole”, it is actually more like the question: “am I disturbed by anything?”. Let us take Aria the Natural as an example to easier explain what I mean. For me, Aria the Natural is an amazing show, something I would not hesitate to call one of my personal masterpieces. The setting is lovely, the atmosphere is on top, the characters are enjoyable and the music is nothing short of fantastic. I enjoyed, no, experienced it. But despite all this, there was one part it could not manage as good as the others; namely the art. There were occasional times every now and then when the characters could really look off model. But, I asked myself, did this bother or detract from the overall experience? Not in the slightest, was the answer. The sometimes wonky art did not disturb my journey with Aria the Natural at all. You could say that as a whole, it was good enough so those little mistakes could be overlooked. Only an elitist would be annoyed by them.

In the same way, I try to take the purpose of the show into consideration. The characters of Aria the Natural may be very far from underdeveloped, but they are nothing you could call deep. But then again, does this matter in this show? Is it trying to be deep? No, it is trying to make you feel harmonic, something it gracefully succeeds with.

In the end, my perfect score anime is a mixture of my overall enjoyment and the whole. It is something so gripping that I cannot stop watching and at the same time something I am not bothered with. Everything simply works. Usually, if it manages to create a special feeling inside of me, saying that this was damn good, it is considered a plus. But how I explain that feeling beats me. You will most likely understand it yourselves, if you know what I mean!

What makes your perfect score anime?

58 thoughts on “Blog Carnival – What Makes a 10/10 Anime?

  1. Hurvilo says:

    For me, perfection is unattainable. I sometimes SAY something is perfect, but I never truly mean it. Every series – no matter how good – has SOME niggles that could be ironed out, like that one lackluster episode or minor plot holes.

    So how do I decide which series are tuly worth those fabled 10/10:s? I FEEL it. I can’t describe it any better. If I feel a series is 10/10, it will get 10/10. Simple. Then it really doesn’t matter if the animation is wonky, or if the music is soulless. Not in the sligtest.

    • du5k says:

      You know, after writing 200+ reviews, giving scores based on feelings makes the scores very unclear.

      Just a thought.

      • Marow says:

        Not sure what you mean by that? Would you mind developing it?

      • du5k says:

        Well, when someone look at a whole list of stuff you’ve rated, they would think about the difference that separates a 8 and a 7, for example. If you always go by the feelings, it makes it hard to make that distinction, no?

      • Marow says:

        I’m not sure I agree with that, why would it be harder to make distinctions between how much you liked it than, say, the music? But if we are serious for a moment, I doubt anyone purely rate out of enjoyment, but instead add is a very important factor. And with enjoyment often comes a good story and so, no? I think you’re misunderstanding to some degree.

        I read you post, which was interesting! But for some reason I can’t comment on it, as I don’t see the comments. I see them on every other post though.

    • Marow says:

      I know what you mean by feeling it. 🙂

  2. AceRailgun says:

    If the anime accomplishes what it set out to achieve then I believe you can consider it a success and if it was very successful then it is understandable that you can give it a 10.

    I hate it when someones opinion on animation or music quality effects there outlook on an anime. If these things are appropriated then more attention should be focused on the story that is trying to be told instead instead of nitpicking in fine details of the artist choices.

    Everything in ratings is personal opinion so nothing is wrong. Some opinions are better however. 😛

    • Marow says:

      Yes, I agree what you say by “nitpicking” (isn’t there a more fitting word?) on some specific thing. Most of the times I wonder if people even notice the things that they say bother them.
      Speaking of music, a lot of people have said that Kill Me Baby lacked music. Honestly, I don’t remember that at all! I wasn’t even bothered by the silence, haha.

      Depends on how you formulate your thoughts. As long as they seem valid and not unnecessary ranting, I don’t mind other opinions. That doesn’t mean I always agree with them, however!

      • AceRailgun says:

        I’m the same with music. I don’t even notice it unless it’s really bad, I didn’t realize Kill me baby lacked music until I was told.

        It’s the same with animation quality too. I read blog posts about an episode I’ve just watched and the person will say the animation was bad this episode. I wonder to myself why I didn’t notice.

        I studied animation for three years at university so maybe I’ve built up a tolerance to bad animation as I appreciate how hard animation is to create.

      • Marow says:

        Perhaps that is the reason, but sometimes I can’t help but think it all boils down to luck. Sometimes I notice derpy animation all the time when others don’t and vice versa.

  3. Nopy says:

    Oh crap, I knew I was forgetting something, guess I should get started soon.

    I think you’re right that a score has no meaning if the scoring system means something different to everyone else. Before someone gives a score, they really should indicate what each level means to them. As for what makes the perfect anime, I also think that enjoyability it the big one. There could be one or two small things that other people might pick at, but if you found it overall enjoyable, then there’s no reason not to give it a perfect score.

    • Marow says:

      You say that you should get started and you post it I don’t know how fast… guess I’m a slow writer. 😛

      When you think about it, isn’t saying that enjoyability is one of the biggest reasons when creating something good a bit fussy? How would you even try to explain it and express your thoughts in a proper way?

      • Nopy says:

        That was one of the fastest posts I’ve written recently 🙂

        I guess most reviewers will try to explain why they enjoyed a series along with giving a 10/10, at least I try to. This could include describing why the story was so captivating or why the characters were so likeable. That way, you can say more than “it was very enjoyable”.

      • Marow says:

        Oh, that’s right, why did i forget about that? ^^’
        Still, there will always be times when you can’t motivate or focus your thoughts.

  4. Ty-chama says:

    Times like this I wish I were a blogger myself, sounds like an awesome project to take part in!

    Hurvilo’s right, for a show to be a 10/10 you’ve just got to feel it! It’s gotta have that special something, and that something’s hard to define. Usually if a show’s gonna be a 10/10, you know right from the outset, or it’s gotta make some sort of impact…

    I’ve watched 171 shows and 55 movies and have only handed out 16 10/10’s:
    Pokemon, Spirited Away, Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Blood+, Baccano, Mushishi, Clannad: After Story, Howl’s Moving Castle, Samurai Champloo, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Durarara!!, Bakemonogatari, Kuragehime, Usagi Drop and Kino’s Journey

    • Marow says:

      You should start one, I would love reading your thoughts!

      When you say impact, I cannot help but think of last year’s Madoka Magica, with all of its episodes making some kind of impact on me. 🙂

      I have watched nine of those and Spirited Away is the one I also gave a 10/10.
      Interesting list! I know I will be watching Baccano and Mushishi someday.

  5. […] what makes a 10/10 anime for these guys: (links to follow) Anime B&B The Otaku’s Study Anime Viking Nopy’s Blog Draggle’s Anime Blog Hachimitsu Ace Railgun Mainichi Anime Yume Lemmas and […]

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  7. Yumeka says:

    What you mentioned about the need to understand how someone reviews things before taking their scoring to heart is very important. Like you mentioned, someone rating something as 10/10 could be for entirely different reasons than someone else who gives the same rating (hence, why we’re doing posts like this XD) I realized that a while back and actually wrote a post explaining exactly what my MAL scores mean (though they have changed a bit over time).

    Just as you can forgive a few flaws in the art of Aria, it’s true that we’re willing to forgive certain minor flaws in a show if its more important aspects are flawless. Like I mentioned in my carnival post, story and characters are what’s most important to me while things like art aren’t as important if the former things are already 10/10 quality.

    • Marow says:

      MAL scores are a bit weird for me at least. 4/10 means bad? I thought it meant below average. Which brings me back to my post: everyone got their own way of rating, which is why it is so important to fully explain your thoughts. Of course, it will not always be possible due to certain reasons, but you have to at least try. Sometimes I feel sad that the score of a review tells me more than the review itself.

      As you say, characters and story weights a bit heavier than the art or music. But I don’t mind shallow characters or a “boring” story (slice of life?), as long as it servers its purpose. Since you like Pokemon (<3), it is a good example. It is not deep or anything, because that would clash with what it stands for.

      (personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a serious Pokemon story though, haha :P)

  8. […] B&B (Article) The Otaku’s Study (Article) Anime Viking (Article) Nopy’s Blog (Article) Draggle’s Anime Blog (Article) Ace […]

  9. Leap250 says:

    “It is only a matter of personal taste.”

    Yep, in the end, we all tend to become a little biased, like how not matter how much I love the series, Ookami-san, a lot would still view it as too lame.

    I’d have to agree that enjoyment plays a crucial factor in rating an anime. Because if you don’t enjoy it, visuals, music, characters, and even the story won’t matter.

  10. Mira says:

    What I mean by saying this, is that I will never save the highest score for the “omgsupermegalegendmasterpiece” anime like some elitist.

    Ow. I don’t see myself as an elitist at all, but I guess to me that essentially how I’d want to give my 10/10. You and I actually have a lot of similarities on considering what anime is ‘good’ but it’s interesting to see how people would give their 10/10 to an anime.

    • Marow says:

      I wonder why many people hesitate to give out the highest score? It just like they want to give it to the “perfect anime” that will never come.

  11. Yerocha says:

    There’s a good reason I don’t give out numbered scores in my reviews, since any score would be based only on what I think, and that may not be how another person experiences the work.

    On a site like MAL, though, I don’t think it’s as important to consider other people’s opinion in your scores. It’s specifically meant to be your own score and opinion, so that’s how I grade shows there.

    • Marow says:

      I see a lot of people joining the trend of not giving out scores, which I can understand the reasons for. But sometimes it makes it even worse, actually. As I said to Yumeka, reviews sometimes tend to be very hollow. Then a score of some kind can help, as you will have some sort of idea how much (s)he appreciated it.

  12. […] Railgun by AceRailgun Anime B&B by Marina Anime Viking by Marow Draggle’s Anime Blog by Draggle Ephemeral Dreams by Ephemeral Dreamer Hachimitsu by Mira […]

  13. Marina says:

    I love how easily you describe that rating by feelings has a lot to do with ignoring the flaws, or not expecting something out of a show that never had those intentions. Like you, I absolutely love ARIA the Natural; in fact, it’s my favorite of the three seasons. I come across a lot of fans who consider it the slowest and least focused, but I find that to be its charm. Plot was never really its focus, but character and setting instead. It’s because of the 2nd season that I completely fell head over heels for Akari and Aqua.

    • Marow says:

      I tend to become very annoyed whenever I see people hating a show because they want something completely else out of it. If it was something they believe would make it better while still not drastically changing the focus of the show, then I can accept it (I wanted Usagi Drop to be a bit more daring with the relationships, as an example). But otherwise, I can’t. (“Aria sucks, no action”).

      Aria the Natural really was great in that sense, as it fleshed out the setting in a lovely way. You felt like you wandered down the streets. But in the end, this is my order: Origination>Natural>Animation. Origination became better with each episode and had some of the best ones in the whole series in my opinion. Oh, and I was emotionally attached too. 😀

  14. Nopy's Blog says:

    […] Anime Viking – Read Marow’s article […]

  15. hoshiko says:

    Definitely. How a person rates an anime is highly subjective. What works for you might not work for me. I’m also not too bothered with art and stuff.

  16. inushinde says:

    Not really any way to rate anime other than subjectively. A 10/10 is something that I give to series that induce that “Just one more episode” mindset, or touch me in a profound way. A few of these shows have considerable flaws, but they aren’t really that detracting when compared to the overall experience.

    Summed up, that’s what a 10/10 show is to me.

    • Marow says:

      “Just one more episode” is actually something I find important too (gosh, there’s so much that it’s impossible to remember it all!). But sometimes I find the opposite to be just as great, when you feel “satisfied” and don’t want anymore. And if it’s a mix between the two, then oh boy!

  17. Scoring is a purely subjective art, I agree.

    A good point brought up when I was reading the other carnival posts was whether watching an anime weekly or in one sitting would affect scoring. I wonder if this would have affected your score for Aria if you marathoned it? I don’t think I would be able to keep up a marathon of Aria, lest should I fall asleep because of the soothing atmosphere. ^_^

    • Kai says:

      Interesting point, as I haven’t watch Aria yet (I know I missed out ;x) I plan to marathon it soon. I guess I can experiment myself if I can survive the peaceful onslaught 😀 Probably this would effect my Aria scoring as well, who knows lol.

      • Marow says:

        I am sure that your appreciation will reflect how you watch it to some degree. I could never imagine watching Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann on a weekly basis, but doing a marathon over two days made it the most epic thing ever created.

        I might be wrong of course, since it will never be possible to compare a weekly basis with marathoning (since you will have watched it one time before), but really, it’s not hard to imagine how it would affect your opinion.

        Speaking of Aria, you could say that I didn’t marathon it, but I watched perhaps 3-4 a day at most. I tried watching more once, but it was like taking sleeping pills, haha 😛
        I believe 2-3 episodes a day would be a proper pace. Perhaps 4 if you really want to.

  18. […] Marow brought up the idea that establishing exactly how a reviewer uses scoring is essential. After all, two people’s 10/10 scoring, or even 9/10, 8/10, etc., could be for very different reasons and mean very different things. He also brought up a great distinction in one’s viewing experience that could determine an anime’s rating – whether one simply watches an anime or experiences it. I’ve found that for all of my highly rated series, I did indeed experience them and was not simply entertained by them. […]

  19. […] from Anime Viking provided a view that it is not necessarily possible to consider a 10/10 the same for every person […]

  20. […] Marrow EphemeralDreamer Yi @fkeroge Valence […]

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  22. […] anime series as a guide to what he believes that he will know what an A+ anime is when he sees it. Marow gives the perfect score to those that are a mixture of pure enjoyment and the whole overall feel […]

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  25. […] Comments « Blog Carnival – What Makes a 10/10 Anime? […]

  26. […] Railgun by AceRailgun Anime B&B by Marina Anime Viking by Marow Draggle’s Anime Blog by draggle Ephemeral Dreams by Ephemeral Dreamer Hachimitsu by Mira […]

  27. Yi says:

    I think my way of scoring anime leans closer to yours. I look at an anime holistically and just base it on overall feeling mostly. It’s only when I’m unsure between numbers that I try to look at individual elements.

    p.s. Love Aria!!

  28. […] all fairness, blog carnivals, blogger interrogations, questionnaires, and the like are all time-honored methods for […]

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