Blog Carnival: What Makes a 10/10 Anime?

Come one, Come all!

Welcome readers, and welcome to my entry for the Blog Carnival. Yes, an Anime Blog Carnival. Orchestrated by du5k from One Minute of Dusk, the idea is that, du5k, and other fellow ani-bloggers (me included) write a post focusing on one uniform topic, which in this carnival, is about what makes a 10/10 anime – to create a widespread discussion among both the readers and the ani-blogging community.

So step right up, boys and girls, don’t be shy, and let’s get this carnival on the road.

I think of myself as a rather generous score giver on MAL. The lowest I’d give would probably be around 6 or 7 out of 10, while the rest would be mostly 8’s and 9’s. I once tried this graph rating equivalence that associates the scores you gave on your MAL account. My “unmodified” ratings at that time were criticized by the site, pointing out something like – “You either only watched godly anime, or are completely retarded. Please fix your ratings to make MAL a better place.” I have no good excuse really, because it was partly true. I give shows, that I enjoyed watching, good scores. I made it a rule to myself to never score shows that I dropped, simply because it would be unfair to the show, so I never really had to give a low score to a show.

Then came du5k’s invitation. It really piqued my interest because, I only gave a perfect score to four, maybe five shows. I tried thinking to myself “Why did I give this show a 10?” If I were to give the simplest answer I could, I’d just say “Because I enjoyed it”. I didn’t want to use those basic parameters used in MAL and other internet rating sites (like plot, characters, visuals, sound etc.), since those are what make an anime. But is that all that it takes to make a 10/10 Anime?

I went and thought of what I would use as parameters to discern whether a show is a “masterpiece”. I mean, don’t we all have our own way of telling if something is good? I didn’t know how to put it into words at first, but it all came around after overcoming my Physics 10 exam.

So yeah, these are more less, points I’d consider, aside from enjoyment.

“The same phenomenon is sought again, preferably by independent investigation, and the interpretation given to it is confirmed or discarded by means of novel analysis and experimentation.”

In terms of anime, repeatability would simply pertain to a trait of a great anime that, no matter if you re-watch it, you would still find it great.

“Scientists attempt to abstract the information into the form that is both simplest and aesthetically most pleasing – the combination called elegance – while yielding the largest amount of information with the least amount of effort.”

I liken this one to a show’s plot. A 10/10 show should have the ability to gently guide the viewer through its universe through the least amount of strain on the viewer’s side, but a great amount of plot dissemination from the show, while also managing the duration of a story arc. “Info-dump”, even if done justifiably, is still something I’d hold against a series.

“If something can be properly measured, using universally accepted scales, generalizations about it are rendered unambiguous.”

The viewer himself/herself has a part in this. If a show is a masterpiece, then there should be a definitive reason as to why, and that reason could more or less be the same for the viewer, and for others who liked that certain show. Of course “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and “everyone is entitled to their own opinion” still applies, but this is also a way to show that you liked that show for what it really was.

 ” The explanations most likely to survive of different phenomena are those that can be connected and proved consistent with one another.”

– This has to do with a show’s episodes and story arcs. Basically, it would have to feel like the flow of the story still goes well, despite the transition to a different arc, and/or the occasional “breather” episode. Bad fillers are the main target here. A loophole would be episodic anime, but the episodes should still hold some sort of plot development.

“The best science stimulates further discovery, often in unpredictable new directions; and the new knowledge provides an additional test of the original principles that led to its discovery.”

– For me, it means that a 10/10 show should always be considered “open” by viewers for discussion, possibly in the hopes of sequels, prequels, OVA’s, remakes, etc. The idea here is that, if it’s good, then you’d want more – that you would find yourself excited over a single OVA, or that you would hope and pray for a sequel, even though the odds are totally against it, or you just enjoy talking about the show with other people who feel the same.

So there you have it. In the end, enjoyment still plays the biggest part for me though. Of course, these are just my opinions, and my palate for good anime has yet to be tested thoroughly. I’ll just have to see if all I’ve said holds true in the future, but for now, I think the above are good enough ways to judge a show’s 10/10-ness.

So yeah,  thank you for visiting my booth, and by all means, share your thoughts and check out my fellow ani-bloggers’ posts. Spread the carnival guys ^^

Check out what makes a 10/10 anime for these guys: (links to follow)
Anime B&B
Ambivalence, or is it Ambiguity?
The Otaku’s Study
Anime Viking
Nopy’s Blog
Draggle’s Anime Blog
Ace Railgun
Mainichi Anime Yume
Lemmas and Submodalities
One Minute of Dusk
Ephemeral Dreams
World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko
Listless Ink

42 thoughts on “Blog Carnival: What Makes a 10/10 Anime?

  1. Pingback: Blog Carnival: What Makes A 10/10 Anime? « World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko

  2. Me too, my lowest score is 6. I didn’t give anything less than 6 because although the anime wasn’t as good as I hope it’d be, it’s still good enough to keep me around for the whole series, that has to mean it worth some value.

    Hmmm…I have a few shows that I’ll re-watch for a few times but I didn’t give them the full score for a reason or two. I’ve pointed out one reason in my own post.

    I have a question since you mentioned something about “ability to gently guide the viewer through its universe through the least amount of strain on the viewer’s side” – Would you consider giving shows similar to Mawaru Penguindrum a 10/10? It plays with the audience a bit too much sometimes.

    • Yeah, I mean, it’s not that I don’t think there are shows that don’t deserve a 5 or lower, but then again, why would go about finishing it, lol

      Hmm, that’s something I’d have to hold against those shows like Mawaru Penguindrum. Although I highly praise it, in that area, they really picked on the viewer with their intentional ambiguity, and although it was the selling point of the series, some won’t deny that it was also a “turn down”.

  3. Pingback: Blog Carnival – What Makes a 10/10 Anime? « Anime Viking

  4. My lowest is 1 and has only been given once, to the Highschool of the Dead OVA. I will probably never give out 1 ever again. ^^’


    I don’t think this is needed actually. Yes, if you feel like you want to rewatch it, it is always a plus. But, it will always be your first viewing that truly says what you feel about it. Nothing will be new anymore and conflicts and the likes will lose its shock factor.

    “The idea here is that, if it’s good, then you’d want more – that you would find yourself excited over a single OVA, or that you would hope and pray for a sequel, even though the odds are totally against it, or you just enjoy talking about the show with other people who feel the same.”

    I’m more of the opposite! If something is finished (truly finished, not lacking another season such as Spice and Wolf) it is over. Nothing more should be added. Perhaps an OVA or a movie, depending on how it is created.

    With that said, I have to admit I was very hyped for the new Toradora Special though… which delivered.

    • I shall never touch HoTD ^^

      Yeah, the idea there is that if you happen to watch it again, after watching other shows, you’d still think it was better than the rest. But I do have to agree that the value of the show decreases once you’ve watched it once.

      Can’t argue there since maybe I’ve yet to find that one Anime with the perfect end for me, though and OVA or two won’t hurt, like the Toradora! OVA. It “ended”, but we still want a little more.

  5. I too tend to rate most anime I watch highly and I got that exact same (insulting) message when I tried MAL’s graph scoring. Apparently they want anime critics on their site, not anime lovers.

    Anyway, interesting use of physics terms for anime rating criteria XD I agree with your Consilience idea that filler/breather episodes aren’t necessarily bad if handled right, and a series’ flow and pacing is just as important as the story/plot itself. For Economy though, I actually don’t mind if a series challenges my commitment to follow all its details and doesn’t “gently” give me the answers. It shouldn’t be a total mess of course, but I enjoy a little brain-strain from anime now and then. And for your last point, I do like when series are left “open” in terms of how we can interpret their endings and themes, but I don’t necessarily want sequels or side stories for my highly rated anime. For many of my favorites, their stories are so near perfection in my eyes that I don’t want that image I have of them to be potentially ruined by added OVAs or sequels. But that’s just me of course.

    • I think they went a little overboard with the whole “retarded” thing

      It was a spur of the moment idea ^^
      Yeah, shows like say, Utena, or Evangelion, and even Penguindrum do tend to throw of their viewers, plot-wise, but they all ended up awesome, so I guess it’s more on the viewer’s side, whether he/she feels how gentle should gentle guidance be.

      I guess it could go either ways – either you just want to keep it “open” for speculation and discussion, or “open” for sequels and/or potentially bad OVA’s. The important thing is that, it doesn’t completely stop at the ending. Then again, I haven’t seen that perfect ending yet.

  6. Pingback: Blog Carnival – What Makes a 10/10 Anime and Why Rating an Anime is Hard. | Hachimitsu – An Anime Blog

  7. I’ve stopped trying to rate anime nowadays, if I ever write reviews it’d probably end with things like “Watch it!” or “Don’t even bother.” I do agree with each point presented as a way to gauge an anime’s 10/10-ness (lol). I’m not sure I agree with “A 10/10 show should have the ability to gently guide the viewer through its universe through the least amount of strain on the viewer’s side,” a 100% but it’s certainly a valid point, but as some people have said above me– there are shows like Evangelion that aren’t entirely comprehensible but damn, I’d be glad to give my 10/10 to that mindfuck any day.

    • Yeah, “Watch it!” or “Don’t even bother” are more accurate and straight to the point, than a rating like a say a 7/10, lol

      Yep, like I said above, shows like Eva do mess with you, but it did slowly introduce you, or rather unravel to you some key aspects, rather than blurting it all out in one episode. Though, I do enjoy the occasional mindfuck, or in Eva’s case mindrape, as well ^^

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  11. “I made it a rule to myself to never score shows that I dropped, simply because it would be unfair to the show, so I never really had to give a low score to a show.”
    It’s really nice of you not to score something that you dropped, but that sort of contradicts when you mentioned that rating is like a guide to your readers. Don’t you want your readers to avoid what you didn’t enjoy? I mean you don’t have to review it, but at least your reader knows what you didn’t like.

    But anyway, I do agree with you points especially heuristics. I really enjoy shows that provoked me to think and brought new information that I haven’t heard of. Discovery is always nice and fascinating.

    • Yeah, guess I did kinda catch myself there. But then again, I could say that a show I dropped and rated a 4/10, could’ve suited someone’s tastes but got turned down by the low scores.

      “I mean you don’t have to review it, but at least your reader knows what you didn’t like.”
      – I’d rather do this actually, and it seems more fair to the series.

      Glad you liked it ^^

  12. Pingback: Anime Carnival: What Makes an A+ Anime | Draggle's Anime Blog

  13. Thanks for the link to the graphing website! I have a nice bell curve, although I’m too nice and haven’t given any ones.

    What they don’t mention in the physics books is that 95% of science is heuristics, and I think that holds for anime ratings as well. 🙂

    • You’re welcome ^^
      Looks like it wasn’t as rude to you as it did to me the first time around, lol

      Yep, as long as “Why?” can be asked, science probably won’t stop
      In relation to anime, it’s more of a personal series of discoveries for the viewer, I guess

  14. I basically do the same thing as you, I don’t rate anime that I don’t finish, which causes me to end up with a lot of highly-rated anime.

    The two points I like most out of your list of parameters is repeatability and heuristics. All of the anime that I’ve ranked 10/10 have gotten at least several episodes rewatched from me, and I would be super happy if any of them got a sequel or OVA.

    • Good to know I’m not the only one doing it then ^^

      Yep, have to agree with heuristics. I mean, you know a series is epic if it’s still being talked about (well, its either that, or the the show is very, infamously bad) and then a sequel/OVA comes and everyone freaks out. That’s awesome. Till then though…I await Spice and Wolf S3 *sigh*

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  17. I really like how you break down your way of evaluating an anime, points that you eloquently describe in such a nice, concise way. Repeatability is definitely something I consider for an anime, usually more when rating off of feeling alone, but there really are few anime that I’ve come across recently that I want to watch over and over again…even less so ones that I’ll rate the same no matter how many times I watch them.

    I found your other areas of consideration very helpful, and may have to take a lesson from you for future reviews :p

    • Thank you very much Marina! (if I may call you that, lol) and yeah, I tend to favor shows that have those memorable, epic, or just downright funny scenes that, even if its just an episode or two, it’d make make me watch the whole series.

      Aww, then in exchange…teach me your secrets in cooking! ^^
      but really, thanks, and I guess half of the credit goes to my Physics reviewer

  18. Pingback: Anime Blog Carnival – So What Makes a 10/10 Anime? | The Otaku's Study

  19. The lowest score I ever gave was a four, since I can always find at least one good aspect about even the worst series. I’m optimistic most of the time, ahaha. And I also don’t rate any anime that I haven’t finished yet. It’s the journey that counts, not the end!

    Love the way you broke down your scoring system, and I especially think that repeatability and heuristics are good points. Any fan would be overjoyed and shrieking to hear that his/her favorite anime is getting a sequel/OVA/movie, as is the case when I heard that there was not only a sequel, but also a movie prequel to my favorite all-time anime series, Bakemonogatari, ahem.

    • Same here, though my optimism might be a teeny bit higher, considering my lowest score being 5, lol, and it was one of my most dreaded genres that flipped me off. Also, yeah, It wouldn’t seem fair to judge a series halfway, the build up to the end is just as awesome as the end some cases I guess ^^

      Thanks! and yeah, repeatability is a nice trait to have for an anime, since it’s fun to just go back to that series you love when you have nothing else to do. Thinking about how to lay out heuristics was a fun experience, which was basically me thinking about Spice and Wolf S3

      Oh and Kizumonogatari and Nisemonogatari animated is definitely overkill of awesome ^^

  20. I guess this is a very logical way to look at the subject. You seem to have combined personal, social and statistical factors into determining what makes the perfect anime, and I see your point.

    About the consilience part, I think you just saw one of the ways I judge an anime’s entertainment value. I mean, I would really be annoyed if I come to a realization that this certain anime was just playing me for a fool, looking grand with it’s layering of plots and subplots, but ultimately missing the point (the case of Mawaru Penguindrum for me), so I think that one is kind of a double-edged sword.

    • Thanks, and yeah, it was a bit of a stretch but I wanted a different take on the rating scheme. ^^

      Yeah, I think no one would want a sea full of red herrings. I would really reconsider watching a series if it started going haywire with the story’s flow (though, that wasn’t the case for Penguindrum for me). Then again, like you said, it’s a double-edged sword, in that, some people like being played, in the hopes of winning over the story, if that makes sense.

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