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:
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.