What's your favourite anime? No really, I'll be asking you three questions throughout this info-article and I would like you to answer them in the comments below: - What is your favourite anime? - What score did you give it (out of 10)? - ...? These are the basis of this post, and the very problem for which any ranking system has despite genre of media. This problem is prevelent in anime, movies, games and even books! And to deal with this problem, we need to understand it first to then later solve it.
Putting Subjective Thought into Objective Numbers (Problem no. 1)
Can you measure love?
Think about it. If you're in love with someone, can you limit yourself into saying anything other than "of course, 10/10"? Of course you can't, unless you want to hurt your SO with saying that your love for your partner is "a 7/10". Emotions and feelings cannot be quantified into objective and defined measurements. Take the example of love again, with two "contenders" for having the title of Special Other. Can you fairly decide between them if their score for your love is different from each other? No you can't! Humans are advanced creatures with infinite complexities, emotions, preferences and feelings that make it easier to create compatibilities between certain humans and persons over others! Grading humans depending on their "general score" isn't only degrading to ourselves, but it makes it much harder to understand why this score was given in the first place. We all have strengths, we all have weaknesses. Depending on which situation this person is put in, the outcome is different. A sprinter is more suitable for shorter bursts of explosive power over someone who might be better off doing tideous but long works over time. Our qualities suit for different situations over others. And here's the beef: It's exactly the same with anime
Anime Divided into Parts
You've probably alreay seen my reviews on either Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso and Gurren Lagann, not containing any numbers or anything as such. What you will see are my words describing my own personal thoughts and feelings onto each divided subject of the anime, being: - The Story - The Art-Style - The Music - The Characters - My Overall Enjoyment This makes it perfect for anyone who prioritise certain parts of a show or want a view over each part that makes an anime an anime. Of course, it can go much deeper than what I just took up: - The Story > Its Purpose/Meaning - The Art-style > Colour-choices - The Music > The Voices - The Characters > Their Backstories - My Overall Enjoyment > My First Rewatch But I choose not to do so. Note also that I use excessive amounts of words, to fully articulate and define my own feeling and thoughts on the anime, as words helps to explain and fully show what I think of the show. "Masterpiece", "Intense", "Complex" are just a few words that I can use to properly define my thoughts. For the example of humans, maybe "sweet", "caring" or "thoughtful" are better ways of explaining who someone is better than with a score.
So, what am I saying here?
Anything as complex as an anime (or human) cannot be defined or graded through a score which limits ones understanding of the several different qualities that an anime (or human) has!
Diverse Opinions (Problem no. 2)
A Recap on the anime Postulate
Before we begin with defining the next problem, I'd like to take up a postulate I created for an earlier "Why anime?", you can check out the full info-article by klicking here. "There is no best anime out there. Objectively, every anime has flaws. That is why we have minds capable of subjective thought, and we can thank ourselves that we have such minds because otherwise...we would never be able to fully appreciate and enjoy the anime that we know and love" This means that through diversity and differences in opinion, communities, interactions and enjoyment is what allows our love for anime become beloved in the first place! We all have different opinions, no opinion is *exactly* alike. That's why having a "10 Star Rating"-system is a wrong approach to somehow grade and "value" an anime. Other than "masterpiece" (which gives a score of 10/10 for basically everyone XD), where do you think the term "awesome" would be on the "10 Star Rating"-system? Again, this is something individual and there's no objective answer. And there in lies another problem...
Why do we score an anime? Is it because of their "deservness of it", "value" or "technical aspects"? Or maybe it's a piece of all of those combined... Well, a score has a value, right? Here comes a problem when we give something when even our aspects and views of how much it is worth in the first place are different. We percieve the scores itself with different values. Think of it as currencies: - A product costs 16x. Now, is the product then worth 16 Dollars or worth 16 Swedish Crowns (7kr = $1)? Maybe I think it absolutely deserves 16 kr while someone else thinks it deserves $10 at most. See the difference? Apply that to anime: - This anime has a score of 7.5/10, does it deserve as much from my own perception of a stars value or does it deserve so much from another perception of a stars value (which may be higher or lower than my own)? And it becomes flawed... It makes it unfair...
A Quick View from you guys
Even you guys seem to agree with me on this that this system is kinda flawed. Not only does this system allow for influences of pure opinions, such as extreme negative ones that lowers the score quite dramatically. Anyways... 8,1k of you saw my post about a survey I had that spanned around 2 weeks. A total of 46 of you came for my help (really...?), and I'd like to once again thank those who took 1 minute of their time to answer 3 simple questions I had. Thanks :) Anyways, I asked these 3 questions: 1. Do you "rank" the anime you've seen? - Options "Yes" & "No" were given 2. If yes, which score do you use the most often (out of 10 points total)? - Options "1-2", "3-4", "5-6", "7-8" & "9-10" were given 3. Do you think this system of ranking works/is fair? - Options "Yes" & "No" were given We'll focus on the last one: fairness. And it was a direct 50/50 split on that question. Clearly, something's wrong. Also something interesting to note was that a (large) majority answered "7-8" or "9-10" on my second question. This isn't necessarily something bad, but neither is it good. There are barely any anime at all at the 1-2 scores I've seen on MAL and it makes the other ones at the higher scores less valued. Oh, and the survey will by the time this post is posted will be rendered obsolete. The Card is still there if you want to add your opinion if you want :) Klick here
Well I'll be damned, VoidX...
How do we solve it?
Well, it quite simple. What is the best way to describe emotions (to its greatest extent)? With words!
The Word Map Solution
Up above, I have a picture of the world as we know it. Now, of course, the largest country being Russia takes up the largest space and the other ones slowly follow behind, in smaller figures but are still there. Now, exchange those names of the countries with words and set a limit to using only...maybe 3 words? Then, the more people who use that specific word the larger it becomes on the map! It then gives a more generalised while a focused view of what this anime is! I'll give you an example: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood are considered "masterpieces". Yet they are miles away from each other when it comes to see what type of anime they are in contrast to each other. So, instead of giving them both 10/10, give them three words: - Shigatsu: Beautiful, Touching, Inspiring - FMA:B: Epic, Grand, Thrilling Does this work better than simply giving a score of 10/10? Well, if more and more people use the same word, does the 10/10 even matter anymore? XD
A New Purpose
Let's go back to what my postulate said: "There is no *best* anime out there" This current ranking-system that we have is there to "find" one, which it kinda has done but yet not. Now, it's almost incomparable to compare anime from anime as their strengths and qualities are so diverse and complex. We no longer need to know which anime is best for all, we know what anime is best for us and us alone. What the Word-system allows for is to see in a greater level on how this anime is and what we ourselves thought of it.
So then... I said three questions in the beginning, and here they are: - What is your favourite anime? - What score did you give it (out of 10)? - With 3 words, describe your thoughts on the anime And we'll see how it works out ;p Now, this Card is a part of my own series where I put up more anime-related posts such as discussing, analyzing and showing you parts of Anime that makes an Anime an Anime! Every topic from the technical aspects, core elements and even entire shows are collected there so make sure you check out and follow "Why anime?" collection for more posts about and around anime! :D Please feel free to comment your thoughts on the topic or suggest one! :D And if you want to leave a direct feedback, you're more than welcome to message me :) And a like on this post would be very much appreciated :* 'till next time! //VoidX X