Anime Rating System

Anime Rating System


Today we’ll be taking a look at the rating system I use when rating anime on this blog. As you’re probably aware if you’ve read any of my reviews before, I use a 1-10 rating system which I picked up from MAL.

However, it seems that on MAL, most users rate anime between 6 and 10 instead of using the full 1-10. I am not one of those users. I use the full 1-10 scale because otherwise I might as well be using a 1-5 scale.

If you saw something collectively rated on MAL as a 5 that would mean it’s one of the worst anime on the site, but for me, a 5 is merely “average.” That said, my mean rating is currently a 6.50/10 because I tend not to watch things that don’t look like they’ll be good.

1. Appalling

I’ve never actually finished an anime and given it a 1/10, but I have dropped an anime and rated it 1/10. As far as I’m concerned, there should really never be a reason to finish an anime that’s this bad, so you’ll likely never see a full anime review on this website for an anime with this rating.

2. Horrible

2/10, however, is possible to finish. If I’ve given an anime this rating, it means I really struggled to get through it and probably only did so for the purpose of writing a review about it. Under no circumstance do I recommend watching an anime I’ve rated 2/10 unless you hate yourself.

The only full anime I’ve rated as a 2/10 is In Another World With My Smartphone, an isekai anime which does just about everything I hate about isekai anime. As this is the only full anime in this rating bracket, that’s all I have to say about 2/10s.

3. Very Bad

I’m not going to say that 3/10 anime are really any better than 2/10 anime, but they angered me less which is why they’re rated slightly higher. School Days is one example of an anime in this category. It’s not a good anime by any means, but it’s also not the worst.

Anime in this bracket tend to be ecchi anime with terrible characters and writing. They’re anime which are based off eroge visual novels and shouldn’t be seen as a real attempt to make a decent anime.

4. Bad

Anime in the 4/10 bracket had potential, but didn’t quite make it into the 5/10 bracket of “averageness.” While these anime might look nice or have some likeable characters, or even somewhat of an interesting story, something about them just bores me.

Sakura Quest is one example of an anime in this rating bracket. The art is nice, and the characters are pretty decent, so it could have been a 6/10, but as a slice of life anime about girls just working, it was extremely boring to watch. There was never a week where I actually wanted to watch the episode of Sakura Quest.

Yoshino Koharu from the anime Sakura Quest
Yoshino Koharu (Sakura Quest)

5. Average

5/10 is the rating bracket for anime which were neither good, nor bad (sort of). Some of these anime could probably have fallen into the 4 or 6 rating brackets, but didn’t simply because I felt nothing towards them.

A 4/10 means I was actively bored with the anime, and a 6/10 means I was fine with watching the anime, but a 5/10 means I didn’t care either way. Two Car is one of these anime. I wanted it to be good, and it seemed to have some potential, but it never made me care about any of the characters or story.

However, even though I didn’t care, there was never a time when I wanted to avoid watching the next week’s episode like I did for 4/10 anime.

6. Fine

For an anime to be a 6/10 it needs to be somewhat enjoyable, even if the anime itself isn’t necessarily good. Enjoyment is the first step in the right direction for any anime and is the signature feature of the 6/10 bracket. From here on out, I’ll be mentioning the signature features of each bracket to show what an anime needs to do to move up.

Overlord is a prime example of a 6/10. It’s a pretty standard MMORPG isekai anime, but it’s not SAO. I actually enjoyed watching Overlord and looked forward to watching the sequel because I was interested enough to want to know what happens next.

A majority of the anime I’ve completed fall into the 6 or 7 rating brackets.

7. Good

For an anime to be a 7/10 it needs to have more going for it than just being an enjoyable watch. It needs to actually be a good anime, but what does this mean?

A good anime both keeps my attention, much like the 6/10s, but also needs to leave me wanting more. For a 6/10 I’ll watch a sequel series if one exists or is going to be made, but a 7/10 makes me hope for a sequel series to be made regardless of if one ever will be.

As an example of this rating bracket, I’ve selected the anime Is This A Zombie? for a few reasons. First, it’s an example of what I was just saying; I want to watch more of this anime and I hope more of it will be made.

Second, it’s a good representation of a large portion of this bracket. The 7/10 bracket is what I’ll refer to now as the “comedy bracket” because this is where a lot of comedy series end up. Comedies simply tend not to have what I’m looking for in the 8+ brackets, so this is where many of them stay.

8. Very Good

If a 6/10 is enjoyable, and a 7/10 leaves me wanting more, an 8/10 is an anime which surprises me. These surprises mainly come in two different varieties.

First there are the anime which look like they should be in the 7/10 category, but surprise me with how good they are. These tend to be the comedies which stand above the rest and so squeaked their way into the bottom of the 8/10 bracket.

Second are the anime with some sort of twist or reveal. School-Live! is one such anime due to the twists throughout the series. Episode one includes a huge twist, and there are a few more throughout the series, but not once did I find them to be predictable.

This lack of predictability is something I look for in an 8/10 anime.

Yuki Takeya from the anime School-Live!
Yuki Takeya (School-Live!)

9. Great

For an anime to be considered “great” I need to be invested in both the story and the characters. Fullmetal Alchemist is probably the anime in this bracket which does this the best. At every point in the story I’m left wanting to know what happens next, and at the same time I’m genuinely rooting for the main characters.

If a show simply has either an engaging story or engaging characters, it will probably end up in the 8/10 bracket, but those which have both are the ones which make it into the 9/10 bracket.

I’ve had anime which make it into this bracket during their second seasons, but also anime which have dropped from this bracket after their first. The 9/10 bracket is truly when the competition becomes stiff and there’s no room for error.

10. Masterpiece

Every once in a while there’s an anime which rises above the rest and somehow breaks through the 9/10 bracket and ascends to the realm of the 10/10s. So far there are only four anime which have made it to this bracket, and I don’t expect there to be another for quite some time.

While it’s true that 9/10, and even 8/10, anime can and should make me feel something, it’s the 10/10 anime which really made me feel something.

Your Name. made me root for the two protagonists to the point where I shared their happiness and sadness. The tragedy of Madoka Magica made me wish the magical girls could all just live happy, normal lives. The Monogatari series got me so invested in the characters that they’re basically a part of my family.

And then, there’s Violet Evergarden. While it’s not my favorite anime, Violet Evergarden is the anime which made me feel the most. I haven’t yet cried because of an anime, but every single episode of this series had me on the verge of tears.

I can’t even really explain why this series made me so emotional, it’s just something you have to experience for yourself.

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3 Replies to “Anime Rating System”

  1. I haven’t seen Violet Evergarden but the only time an anime had me on the verge of tears was that one scene in the last episode of Paranoia Agent which I won’t describe because spoilers. But seriously you should watch Paranoia Agent.

    1. If you have Netflix, I highly recommend Violet Evergarden. I’ve also added Paranoia Agent to my PTW list, but it’s going to be a long time before I get around to it.

      1. I will add it to my to-watch list, but I have like six other animes on my backlog to watch before I can get to it 😂 Hope you enjoy Paranoia Agent whenever you get around to seeing it.

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