The Rating System Flow Chart: Version 1

Even if you’ve never previously come across my oft-copied, time-tested rating system, there’s no need for me to explain it, since it’s so intuitive that I’m really only writing this paragraph to boast about its practical elegance. Three degrees of good. Three degrees of bad. Simple, yet meaningful. Not a single throwaway or ambiguous grade. I’m astounded it hasn’t been done before.

Using the rating system is really no more complicated than deciding whether and to what degree you like a show. However, just for kicks, I’ve been playing around with a flow chart to break down my general rating tendencies.

The yellow and red lines denote upgrading responses and downgrading responses, respectively. I was too lazy to draw arrow tips, but it’s not too hard to figure out. If you’re really confused, take a close look at how the boxes are penetrated.

Here’s a breakdown of all 450 grades I’ve assigned so far:

+++ 20 4.4%
++ 132 29.3%
+ 227 50.4%
~ 59 13.1%
~~ 9 2.0%
~~~ 3 0.7%

Would I recommend this show to myself if I hadn’t seen it?

There are several ways to look at this. I happen to like the time travel test. Others include the memory erasure test and the clone test. Separates the + from the ~.

Am I offended by the show’s mere existence?

This is extremely rare, but once in a while your favorite video game gets desecrated by some bullshit OVA that has no moral or legal right to exist. Automatic ~~~.

Could I envision anyone liking this show for any marginally acceptable reason?

This is an extremely low bar. “So bad it’s good” is an acceptable reason. “My favorite seiyuu is in this” is an acceptable reason. “I find the little boys sexually attractive” is an acceptable reason. Accordingly, because the bar is so low, anything that fails gets a ~~~.

Did I actively dislike the show, as opposed to merely finding it boring or uninteresting?

This is the ~~ territory between offending my existence (~~~) and peaceful coexistence (~). Rare, but memorable. Applies to shows like K-ON and the Fushigi Yuugi OVA.

Did the show have a fair number of good moments?

Basically, enough to make me have some respect for it. If so, ~.

Could I envision myself liking the show with minor changes?

In other words, a ~ that’s close to a +. If the show has very few good moments and I can’t see myself liking it without a major overhaul, it gets a ~~.

Did the show have moments that blew me away?

This is what most often separates the ++ from the +. A total gut call, no objective criteria here, especially since the moments that blow me away are rarely predictable. Moments is plural, requiring more than just one, such as an incredible ending (see Kannazuki no Miko and Haruhi S1).

Did the show consistently have moments the blew me away?

The only way to get the +++. Doesn’t have to be perfect but must not be inconsistent.

Did the show suffer from extended bouts of shittiness?

A filter existing solely to give shounen anime a +. If there are moments that blew me away and no extended bouts a shittiness, I give a ++ with few exceptions.

Was the show strong all around?

Even if a show never blew me away, I may still give it a ++ if I enjoyed it and it has no appreciable flaws. Recent shows to get the ++ this way are Moyashimon and Cross Game.

UPDATE: Fadeway converted my chart to 1-10 format.

42 prehistoric features were brought back

  1. Lord Reiseng:
    @Baka_Raptor Your rating system is top notch. Someday, when I have mastered statistics to a level close to yours, I shall make my own.

    @ReisengRath I’ll let you use it if you copy/paste this into the post comments, or comment there anew for that matter


    Thanks for letting me use it! My Mal ratings are all over the place, hopefully with this system, I will learn consistent, accurate judgement!

  2. I’m fascinated with ratings, so this is useful information for myself. The fact there is no in-between + and ~ is interesting. I’ll also not that the difference between ~~~ and ~~ compared to +++ and ++ is also quite interesting in that +++ is achieved in a minimum of 3 questions, while ~~~ is a minimum of 2. ~~~ also has two edges, while +++ has one. There are things that contrast my own theories on this, one being the difference between +++ and ++ is more significant than the difference between ~~~ and ~~. I’m not sure if that’s how this thing is setup, but it’s a generalization of rating systems.

    I recently revised my ratings and found that my assessments were similar to typical grading scales, with 50% or less being complete failure. Revising this, a 5/10 became 2/10, meaning anything that would have been a 0-40% rating is completely trivialized and grouped as failure. I don’t care how hard something failed, but how strongly it passes. What happened now is that I have all these average anime rated as 4’s and 5’s, which would probably irritate some, but fuck it who cares. There is also a rating form I configured with area weighting on Production, Style, Story, and Satisfaction, but I think it would be a good exercise to generate questions and flowchart to make that congruent to the quantified system (if possible).

    I guess that enough geeking out over ratings…

    • A middle ground wouldn’t do my particular system any good. Either I’d tell myself to watch it or I wouldn’t. A middle ground might be appropriate in recommending shows to others, since, unlike yourself, you don’t have perfect information about another person’s tastes, but that’s (weakly) built into the system when I ask myself if I could envision other people liking the show.

      My system is entirely gut-based, so any symmetry/asymmetry in the chart is purely coincidental (or possibly because I was just reading Soul Eater). With that said, I can imagine a two-step +++ equivalent to the two-step ~~~. If something fanserviced me perfectly, as if I was the only person in mind when the show was created, that could get a +++ in the same way a show that offends my existence gets the ~~~.

      The bottom end of the grading scale is a troublesome area for most grading schemes. My ~~~ is extremely hard to get, and I rarely give out the ~~. The only three ~~~ I’ve ever given out are for one-shot OVAs/specials that were each less than 10 minutes long as far as I can remember. The difference between the ~~~ and the ~~ seems to be respect, not necessarily entertainment value. I could be just as unentertained by a ~~~ show and a ~~ show, but I’d only throw tomatoes at the ~~~.

      I’m strongly against category-based rating systems. Different categories vary in importance wildly from one show to the next. You’d at the very least need to find some way to weight the categories depending on the show. Just look at Star Crossed Anime Blog; he has a four category system and ends up giving damn near everything an 82.5%.

      I definitely recommend doing something like this as an exercise. You learn more about yourself and what not. Just keep in mind, it’s only an exercise.

  3. Kannazuki no Miko was mindblowingly awesome in terms of ending.

    My system is far less confusing, what with ratings such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5* and 5^^. (sarcasm)

    I could have just numbered it 1 through , which makes no sense whatsoever in terms of rating anything (who rates out of 7?) but this is how it is, and here is why:

    Back in the early days, I used to rate 1 through 5. But then, I came across a show that blew away my previous 5-rated anime, so clearly I had to make a new level, which is how the 5* rating came into play. Shortly thereafter, the same thing happened again, so I added the 5^^ rating. 5s are very good shows, 5* shows are shows that are just awesome, and 5^^ are those completely unforgettable shows.

    I almost wish I had a new system, but with close to 250 anime, 50 anime movies and about 50 manga already done and rated, it’s far too late to change/re-rate.

  4. i use the (really)old-fashioned 5 point scale, in which there are really only 4 points – (2,3,4,5). moreover, i don’t really care about grades i give. what i actually use is my “rewatch list”. if a title is on there – it’s good enough to rewatch, if it’s not – i don’t care about that anime.

    • True, a rewatch list is all you need for yourself going forward. I didn’t develop this system until I became a blogger, at which point I needed a way to rate shows for people who hadn’t seen them yet.

      The 5 point scale isn’t all that bad. My scale has 6 points. The problem with the 5 point scale as it’s typically applied is that nobody really knows what the bottom points mean with respect to one another. My system takes care of that by splitting three points above the line and three below the line.

  5. All Hail Baka-raptor!
    I am using a traditional A-E system. but I guess it does not follow because I tend to put a + or a – to the grade.

    So far baka raptor’s grading system seems to blend in to what is true and what is too awesome.

  6. Mildly surprised you gave Moyashimon the ++.

    Nice flowchart. The “actively dislike” box has been key to all of my ~~ ratings. I’ve actually used that exact phrasing in my reasoning, too. Weird.

    • The system is that intuitive.

      Moyashimon was unquestionably a + halfway through the series, but by the end it addressed most of my concerns, and my remaining concerns were all sufficiently minor to give it a ++. For example, what’s her face still sucked, but she wasn’t entirely useless.

      • I actually kind of meant it in a mathematical sense.. Granted, I’m very loose with “somewhat.” If we take + as the center, than it goes down in both directions… “Somewhat” normal.

        And this is why I don’t major in math.

  7. The only way to get the +++. Doesn’t have to be perfect but must not be inconsistent.

    That last bit reminds me of one of my pet peeves about anime, or probably any story that has it; inconsistency.

    Moving on. I can see why you use plusses, but I wonder why you use tildes instead of minus signs for the bad stuff? Not that I mind either way, as I do like this use of symbols rather than numbers/ percentages, as it gives more of a feeling about a show, rather than some impersonal statistic. In other words, I’d find your method more useful when looking for recommends, though I can see why if someone wanted a more critical perspective (especially if the ratings were broken down to show the possible category ratings that went into creating the overall rating) then they might want numbers, if they imagine these would show greater detail/ distinctions.

    • There are a few problems with minus signs. First, the minus sign is technically a different character than the hyphen, en dash, and em dash. I’d have to go the character map, use some finger-breaking shortcut, or do something else annoying every time I wanted one. If I use the hyphen, it looks too small. If I use the en dash or em dash, it looks too big. On top of that, sometimes consecutive hyphens either look like dashes or are automatically converted to dashes by WordPress. Observe, I typed all these out with hyphens: – — —

      You know me, I’m a very personal, feelings-oriented guy. Numbers are too cold and calculated. I prefer to express details and criticism in words, not numbers. Read the reviews for details, check the grade for strength of recommendation.

  8. Baka-Raptor’s System is SO *P-E-R-F-E-C-T*, that i use it to rate everything from girls, cars, foods, schools, jobs, houses et cetera.

    I could even give a +++ for this post as it constantly blows me away everytime i read it.


  9. By the way, Golgo 13 deserves an automatic +++ for being the best anime I’ve ever seen. I’m sure you agree.

    • I gave it a ++. Golgo 13 must’ve been pissed because recently my laptop was assassinated. It had a list of the times of every Golgo THUD in last 20 or so episodes. Now I’ll have to watch them all again.

  10. This rating system requires you to watch even the ones with ~~~ rating to become truly a 6-point scale. If you drop anime after deciding their worthlessness then the lower levels won’t be incorporateed that much into the system.

    I use a 6-point scale to rate anime too, but the unenjoyable ones don’t get any rating (I actually rate animes on a 9-point scale, 1-5 with halves, but I only watch those above 2,5. That makes the scale having 6 levels to rate anime on.)

    • The only ~~~ I’ve given out were for one-shot OVAs/specials, so sticking through them wasn’t an issue. Still, quickly looking through a list of the shows I’ve dropped, I doubt I’d give any the ~~~. Several ~~ worthy candidates though.

  11. “Tags: fuck the chrono trigger ova”
    Chrono Trigger is my favourite game and I enjoyed the OVA for what it was, a comedy short with the monsters I like, so I gave it a 6 out of 10.
    I certainly wouldn’t mind a real adaption though, but knowing Japan that will never happen.

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