My Thoughts on Anime Rating Systems

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We all use anime list sites (well, most of us at least). It’s fun to keep track of what you’re watching, when you watched it, and compare it to other people you know. They’re also extremely useful for finding new shows to watch and getting an idea of what is worth watching. Obviously, though, it’s not a perfect system as such a system does not exist. I’ll be going over some various things I’ve noticed in my time using anime rating systems.

The first and foremost thing that I’m going to be discussing is the influence of votes. Obviously the rating of an anime is going to influence your decision of whether to watch it or not; but does it actually influence your enjoyment of the anime itself? That’s very hard to determine as anime with a lower ranking means a lower chance of you liking it. That doesn’t mean you won’t like, or even love it; but it does mean that the chances of that are less than that of a higher rated anime which more people liked. There are always exceptions to that rule; and there are always people that will love “underrated” anime with low ratings and hate “overrated” anime with high rankings.

I do think that ratings have a greater influence on people than one would expect. One thing I’ve especially noticed lately is that the rating of currently airing shows does not change much at all as the show progresses. Perhaps I’m merely over-thinking this, but that tells me that people tend to stick with their initial rating regardless of the quality of the series as it progresses. This also tells me that the rating an anime has already received seems to greatly influence the rating people will give it.

I would love to experiment around with this. Take, for instance, an anime which has just started airing. This anime is completely average any way you look at it. Nothing is particularly horrible about it, but nothing makes it stand out from the crowd. If you were to take 15, or 20 people, and have all of them give this anime a rating of 9 or 10; I wonder if everyone else would follow along. I wonder if this high ranking would actually cause people to enjoy the show more.

Anyways, this is in no way intended to speak out against anime rating systems. I use them every day to keep track of my hobby, as well as to expand on it.

I will go ahead and say what should be obvious, though. If an anime seems like it would appeal to you a lot, watch it! Even if it has a below-average rating, at least you can give it a shot. I have found more than a few shows with below average ratings that ended up being highly entertaining; much more so than a highly rated show that I have little interest in.

Hopefully this made you think a little bit… thanks for reading, as usual!



Filed under Anime, Miscellaneous

4 responses to “My Thoughts on Anime Rating Systems

  1. I, for one, believe the 5-star rating system to be inadequate. For example, imagine that I believe a show to be mediocre. Many sites will not allow you to give something half of a star, so you’re left with an awkward decision. If you give it three stars, then it seems like you mostly enjoyed it; if you give it two, it looks like a bad show.

    • I actually like AniDB a lot for that reason. Not only does it give you a 10 point system to rate with; it gives you the option to divide it up into decimals. This allows you to give ratings like 5.5 and such.

  2. I should really stop relying on other people’s ratings and just watch the anime if it seems interesting. If there’s good feedback, naturally, I would want to see the show because I’m assuming that it’s good seeing as the majority loves but I’ve learned that the majority isn’t always right.
    I find it difficult to rate shows because I like just about every series I’ve watched…I dont really find any major faults with the shows that I watch because I watch them for enjoyment. I rarely dislike any of the shows I’ve watched except for a few that were total nonsense and ridiculous.

    • I actually kind of have the same problem… I tend to rate anime based on how much I enjoyed it, not on how “good” I thought the show was. I usually enjoy the shows that I watch; so I generally give out pretty decent ratings unless I was just completely bored or uninterested in the show.

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