Posted by: AceRailgun | January 9, 2012

Anime Blog Carnival – What Makes 10/10 anime

So as part of the anime blog carnival organised by anime and manga blogger du5k I will be posting my thoughts on the idea of what makes an anime 10/10.

I don’t usually rate anime or manga with a simple 9/10 or a 10/10 but I see it all over the place. My scoring system is a bit different from the norm, I tend to add something to my top anime list and depending on how high it gets compared to other anime will determine it’s rating and the amount I recommend it to other people.

You might say that is a bit unfair especially if something is good or unique but doesn’t appeal to me as I may not be the target audience and that’s when I tell you you are wrong. If something is good or unique it will appeal to me even if it isn’t my favorite genre. Take my top 10 for example they are all different genres but because they are genuinely entertaining I would easily reccommend them even though they are flawed in many ways. Things tend to end up on the bottom of my list because they suck or aren’t entertaining, what  I am saying is watch everything above it first. If it wasn’t entertaining then obviously it’s going to end up lower even if it has good art and music. Guilty Crown.

Take Angel Beats for example. I really enjoyed it and it kept me entertained the entire time, sure the story was a bit dodgy and the Yuri’s ending was a silly but the main thing is it hooked me in, made me love the characters and then made me cry. If I was to rate the Angel Beats it wouldn’t get any tens but it would probably get a nine for the characters. Steins;Gate my number 2 had a much better story, better art and great characters but it was missing something in the entertainment which put it below Angel Beats on the list. After all we want to be entertained right?

The last thing i’ll say before I shut up is that you never seen anything with a 4’s, 5’s or 6’s and that is because for some reason people always give 7’s, 8’s, 9’s and 10’s Plus people only give out 0 through 3 if they hate it.

If you ever see scoring out of 10 online follow this logic if there is no explanation accompanying the score.

0 = I hate the anime in question and am trying to piss off the fanboys. Typically applies to mainstream anime and those under 16 years of age.

1 = Same as above

2 = Same as above

3 = Same as above

4 = I didn’t like it but I watched it for some reason, probably trust this person if they have never handed out something lower then a 7.

5 = I review stuff a lot because only pro’s are allowed to use 5’s. Trust this guy.

6 = I didn’t like it but I am nice and don’t understand that I should be using a 0 instead of a 6.

7 = Most people use this as a it’s okay if you are a fan of the genre. It’s probably okay to trust this with that in mind.

8 = Generally used as I liked it but didn’t love it. Most common online and should be disregarded especially if there is no text explaining why the 8 was given

9 = Also very common, generally given to popular stuff again don’t trust this unless you are a fan of the genre or there is text explaining the 9.

10 = I loved the show and am a fan boy, should not be trusted under any circumstances.

I don’t know if I’d be willing to give something 10/10 because that is pretty much say it is perfect and nothing can be better. Even my top anime of all time are flawed in ways that make them less then perfect. I might give something 10/10 for art style, character design, music or immusrsion but I don’t think anything does all these things perfectly.

Other bloggers participating in the carnival, all of them will have a post on the same topic

One Minute of Dusk

Anime B&B

The Otaku’s Study

Anime Viking

Nopy’s Blog

Draggle’s Blog


Leap250’s Blog

Listless Ink

Mainichi Anime Yume

Lemmas and Submodalities

Ephemeral Dreams

World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko


  1. The way you rate your anime is pretty familiar. I remember the times when I was like that, refusing to give out 10s and rating anything lower than 5, for the same reasons as you mentioned. Now, I give out 2s and 3s like there’s no tomorrow. According to MAL, 3 corresponds to “very bad” and 2 for “horrible.” I don’t want to sound like a prick, but there are a lot of shows that fit those descriptions. A 10 (“masterpiece”) doesn’t necessarily mean that the show is perfect, just like how the Mona Lisa is a masterpiece but isn’t perfect (she doesn’t have eyebrows!), but is something indicative of one’s love towards the anime in question.

    I think people should just rate their anime according to their own taste with complete disregard for what others may think. There will always be some degree of subjectivity when it comes to rating anime. It simply is impossible to be completely objective. For example, two of the shows I watched last year were Madoka Magica and AnoHana. I loved the former and gave it a 10 while I really didn’t like AnoHana’s way of handling its drama and I gave it a 4. If I remember correctly, Madoka and AnoHana are next to each other in the top anime section of MAL, with AnoHana at 22 and Madoka at 23. It just goes to show that I have my own set of standards, and those standards define my taste in anime, which, I think, is better than sticking to the boring crowd that only gives out safe scores.

    • There is plenty of shows that deserve 1-4′s and you aren’t a prick for rating something poorly as long as you can back up your thoughts with solid reasoning.

      A score should always reflect the reviewers thoughts. If someone is gives something a higher score then they believe it deserves simply because they knew it wasn’t a there type of anime then that reviewer isn’t doing it right.

      The Madoka AnoHana situation is the perfect example of how different tastes in drama can effect a shows global rating and appeal. MAL has a diverse selection of anime in it’s top 30 which is great to see.

  2. 10/10, I think I never gave such a big score to be honest. It’s hard for me to find something flawless…:P

    • I honestly doubt I’ll ever give anything a ten. I know if I did something better would come along and I’d be all like “Damn now that thing i gave a ten looks like rubbish compared to this.”

      I have an old version of my top anime from 3 years ago on my computer and I know the stuff I liked back then isn’t hardly as good as I thought at the time. Funny how that works.

  3. Giving a 10/10 is not something I find all that difficult, since I know the scores on MAL are supposed to be personal. Any series could be potentially improved upon, but it’s the experience they provide that determines how I score them.

    I also tend not to give scores that are too low. I only have a single 3 and 4 on my account, and while they’re both series I think deserve such low scores, I also know my experiences could be considerably worse than they were.

    • You can probably treat anything i give a 9 as a 10 because I’m just crazy and don’t use the 10.
      Your approach to rating stuff seem a lot more appropriate then my way.

      I have a tonne of things near the bottom of my list that probably would earn themselves 1 and 2. I’d sooner recommend listening to a 30 second song for 24 non stop then some of those bad anime I’ve seen.

  4. I mentioned it at the bottom of my article but….. my reviews come in at 1,500 – 2,000 words each…. base more weighting on the 2,000 words over the one letter… although I understand the convenience of using a single letter or number or represent your thoughts on the series.

    • It may be convenient but having just a rating and nothing more is almost pointless. For example I could rate an anime 10/10 because the girl I really liked in it got naked in the last episode even though the story was rubbish. If I don’t write that accompanying the score of ten then someone who likes good stories and not pointless nudity would watch the series thinking it was going to be good.

      Ramblings aside I would only watch something new if someone recommend it in an intelligent manner, it could be 200 words it could be 5000 words but as long as the reasons why it was good are explained and I agree with those reason then I would become interested and try it out.

  5. I’d agree that appeal is very important. Without it, it’s pretty difficult for audience to be interested, let alone giving a perfect score. And you’re right, it doesn’t have to be our favorite genre for an anime to be appealing to us. Also, I don’t think good music and art contribute much to the overall rating. It’s not to say they are not important factors. But I’ve seen good anime with unattractive designs and such and still find myself enjoying them and has no effect on my overall experience.

    Giving an anime a 10/10 doesn’t necessarily mean the said title is flawless. I don’t think there’s an anime that is flawless to be honest, but then again whether or not it is flawed is also subjective to each individual. Reading your article here, sounds like your 9 is very close to my 10.

    • Yeah my nine may as well be a 10 but rarely see me actually rate an anime. I only noticed recently but I usually just blab on about my impressions instead of actually reviewing anime.

      Pretty much anything in my top 30 I would highly recommend and judging by what a particular person likes there is pretty much something from every genre in there.

  6. “My scoring system is a bit different from the norm, I tend to add something to my top anime list and depending on how high it gets compared to other anime will determine it’s rating and the amount I recommend it to other people.”

    Am I misunderstanging you, or do you mean that you try to compare shows to each other? For example:

    “I really like Squid Girl, I’ll give it a 9/10.
    But oh, I have also rated Cowboy Bebop 9/10 which is almost a pure masterpiece.
    Guess I’ll have to lower the score on Squid Girl to 8/10 or worse then.”

    Interesting that you mention Angel Beat, a show I find very flawed, but VERY enjoyable nonetheless. Despite its flaws, I had such a good time I couldn’t help myself. I know that the pacing is horrible and such, which is something I will always mention when I mention it. But dang, I enjoyed it.

    • I guess you could say i am comparing them to each other. When I finish an anime I go through my list moving the new thing upwards until I say no it’s not better then the next thing up. It’s a kind of silly way to do it but I think it works for me.

      Angel Beats is prime example of something that is flawed can still be good. It has no idea how to do pacing or keep a coherent narrative but it sucks you into it’s world if you let it.

  7. Hey, we both used Angel Beats! in our carnival post pictures and as an example XD Right on.

    Like you, my top 10 are of a variety of genres, but I would say that’s only because I enjoy anime from a variety of genres. Someone who’s mostly a fan of action/intellectually-stimulating anime and hates slice-of-life, would not have a varied top 10 list. So I would say you have to know the blogger and his/her tastes in order to understand why only certain genres of anime are in their top 10. For very open-minded anime fans who enjoy a diverse range of genres, target audience doesn’t usually matter. But for someone else who only likes certain kinds of anime, it would matter.

    I’ve never scored anything on MAL below a 5. I tend to give 6’s and above. Two reasons for this are 1) I’m just not fussy when it comes to anime and enjoy many genres, and 2) I’m good at picking anime I know I’ll like.

    • If you were forced to watch or chose to watch anime that got low MAL scores I’m sure you would end up rating it lower then a 6 😛

      Angel Beats was great so it’s something I like to talk about from time to time.

      I think you can tell someones taste just by seeing there top 30 anime. There is things that have avoided the 0/10 from me simply because I didn’t watch them, you may notice my top anime list is void of any Gundam series. That is because I know I don’t like that kind of anime so I don’t bother watching it.

  8. I think giving 10/10 isn’t that too hard but it highly depends on the definition. For instance, in MAL 10 is being defined as masterpiece, I have one anime that I considered as a masterpiece that’s why I gave it a ten. But of course, if the definition of that 10/10 means flawless, then certainly it’s hard to give that because you have to stick with the definition.

    • I think after reading a few of the other bloggers posts on this topic I would more or less define a 10 as groundbreaking instead of flawless or masterpiece. If an anime comes along the revolutionizes anime as a medium of entertainment then I know I would give it a ten.
      I think my top 10 would probably all earn 9’s and everything between 10-35 would probably get an 8.

      After some digging I discovered your 10/10 anime was The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. A masterpiece in it’s own right. I would say it’s also my favorite anime movie.

  9. Lol, I like your explanation of the 10-point rating system, it’s exactly how things work online. Personally, I don’t give out many low scores because I don’t finish the anime that I find to be bad and I don’t rate anything I don’t finish.

    It’s interesting to see someone rate anime based on other anime, I guess people would need to know how you ranked other series in order to tell if a certain title is worth watching or not. On the other hand, it gives people who have seen a lot of anime a good indication of how enjoyable a new series is based on what’s listed close to it.

    • My list of anime was originally just for me to keep track of anime before I started blogging. I would save a version every year or so so I could compare my taste in anime from year to year. Boy did it change a lot. I realized it would make a good addition to my blog so I added it.

      Some of my early lists reflect what a teenager would like but now that I’ve ‘matured’ I can say my list would be a more reliable way to pick an anime to watch then it used to be.

      I don’t think anyone is going to take too much notice an actual rating so I don’t bother adding one in a review.

      Another thing is that if any sees a list of 140+ anime they will automatically look at the top 10-15 and presume they are worth watching. I know I do.

  10. I would say for myself that a lot of anime I’ve completed doesn’t get a score of 0-4 because I simply drop anime that would probably get that rating. If I really hate the anime that much in the end, I’m sure I would’ve hated it just as much in the beginning, so finishing it is really just a waste of my time. I do hand out 4s and 5s quite often when I’m curious enough to know how an anime ends, but don’t necessarily think many aspects of the show were done well.

    • Most of the stuff low on my list is thing I thought would get better but didn’t.

      That’s a good point you raise there. More anime get high scores then low scores simply because nobody wants to watch bad anime or stuff they don’t like. I certainly drop the stuff I don’t like and don’t even start the stuff that doesn’t appeal to me.

  11. I guess I’m guilty for spamming 7’s and 8’s in my ratings. The lowest I go is 5, and the rest are just dropped. I’m too kind to a show that is, well, basically bad, in that I never rate a dropped show. However, if I were to do so, the scores would probably be similar to your breakdown – maybe from 2’s to 4’s.

    Your take on a 10/10 is interesting, as well as rather true. Something is bound to be better than something else, and the standards for that something are pretty much subjective. I do believe though that there are still a bunch of justifiable 10’s out there, as supposed to them fanboys.

    • Lucky there is no punishment for spamming 7’s and 8’s 😛

      After reading everybody’s posts on this topic I’ve got to say my views on the subject have changed a lot and writing the round up post in a few days should be relatively easy.

      I’m kind in that regard as well. If i don’t get more then a few episodes in I don’t add it to my list. If I did add everything I’d probably have 200+ by now and a good 30 or 40 would all be things I’d score with 1’s to 4’s because the initial impressions I got were awful or boring.

  12. 0s, lol. That gotta be one of the most epic score in history. I honest had never rated an anime like that, my lowest rating is 2/10, I think it was Queen’s Blade…

    • I’ve seen bits of Queen’s Blade around the Internet and I’m inclined to agree with you. I can tell i’m not in the target audience and would probably rate it poorly.

  13. I hate using MAL rating system. Especially when you denied specific notes along with the series, since the rating system is mechanical to begin with. I definitely call 10 a “masterpiece”, since it gives off a superior connotation, but guess whatever floats their boat. Well, at least your rating system at least includes some viable working room and detailed explanation behind it. Just hate when I can not explain why I like something and then rate it with a number.

    • MAL feels like it is for robots. I didn’t even put scores on the anime I bother to add to my MAL. One day i might update it but for the time being it will sit at 10 anime watched.

      I used to call a 10 a masterpiece but after the blog carnival I think the word groundbreaking is more appropriate in my eyes. If something comes along and changes the way everyone watches anime then that will earn a ten from me.

  14. Somehow they entered me into the Carnival even though my post was formerly independent. Ah well, it’s cool to be a part of something big sometimes.
    Anyway, I think our rating system is similar in some parts. It sounds like you also rate anime based on personal entertainment value, which is exactly what I base my ratings on. Good stuff.

    • Honestly what is the point of rating something based on anything else. If it isn’t personal then people are just going to disregard it along with the millions of other ratings on the Internet.

      I usually just blurt out my feelings on the anime in question and slap it somewhere on the towering pile of anime that is my top anime list.

  15. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post on the subject of the ratings system, and tried to explain my own use of what I call an “unadjusted rating system.” I think it’s been working out pretty well for me so far, but unfortunately I’ve been reviewing a lot of really good things lately (i.e. Mushishi), so it feels like I’m in the middle of a 10/10 glut (even though the number of shows I would give it to is less than five). In any event, nice post.
    “5 = I review stuff a lot because only pro’s are allowed to use 5′s. Trust this guy.”
    I’ve used a 4.5 once, does that count? 🙂

  16. I’ll go read those posts now.
    I don’t know a 4.5 isn’t a 5. But I guess I can give it to you as a 4.5 is very rare as well.
    What else did you give 10/10 to aside from Mushi Shi? I’d probably give it a 10 if I used that kind of rating system.

    If you are interested would you like to a blogroll exchange?

    • Thanks, I appreciate that. 🙂
      I recently gave Baccano! a 10/10 (I’m reconsidering it, but if I lowered it it’d still be a 9.5). The other two shows I’d give it to (of the ones I’ve seen) are Kino’s Journey and Cowboy Bebop. I also do game reviews, and I just gave one game a 10/10 and I’ve got another one coming up. I know that I wouldn’t give it out very often, it’s just that the order of my posts is becoming a bit of a blur, so I feel like I’ve given out several consecutively.
      If you’re willing, I would love do to a swap! I was already strongly considering adding you to my blogroll anyways, so…yeah. I’m flattered by your offer, and would gladly take you up on it.

      • Baccano was a great anime too so it deserves a high score. Cowboy Bebop was something special too.

        I’ll add toy now. Keep up the interesting posts 🙂

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