Before you read this and get offended, this is a PERSONAL OPINION. Everyone is entitled to one unless you live in a country like Best Korea.
If you use MyAnimeList, you will be compelled to rate the items on your list to help you remember what was good and what would drive you to suicide if you happened to re-watch. I always had trouble giving an Anime a 10/10. There’s bound to be something that irks me. Perhaps it was too short, or had an annoyingly terrible and boring arc or left sizable plot holes in the story. I feel that anything that is given 10/10 should be a timeless piece of genius that delivers exactly what it promises and maybe a little bit more.
What I start feeling conflicted over are Animes that are good but have that one aspect that’s completely detestable. Prime example: Guilty Crown. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t watched yet (even though I might be doing some of you a favour) but I will say that the last half of the series is vastly different from the first half.
A difficult question then surfaces. Where does this Anime lie? Is it good or bad? Would I recommend it to a friend? And it all boils down to this: Do I judge this show for what it IS or what it could have been but oh so tragically isn’t?
After watching such a series, it’s easy to start hating on it, focusing solely on the black sheep of its flock of features. It’s quite justified since it ruined your experience, but I don’t think that’s exactly fair to ignore every other quality. Guilty Crown had great animation and music. I like Inori. I don’t hate Shu that much. I like the action and the plot is adequate… for the first half at least.
Many will say: “Oh, just ignore it. It’s a great show!” and give it a good score. Their policy, which is completely logical, is that the greater the strong point, the less feeble the weaknesses will seem.
I have the opposite mindset. It’s BECAUSE the show was so good that I can’t stand it’s flaws. If it could excel on many fronts but falter in a few, then I ask: Isn’t it worse that they let that happen?
If a man set out to climb up a cliff, it’d be easier for anyone who cared to accept it if he fell soon after starting than if he lost his grip just one handhold from the top, wouldn’t it?
Angel Beats! is a great show in my books. It’s fun, it’s funny. It’s got great characters, music, plot and themes. However it’s pacing leaves a very noticeable, and might I add most tragic, lack of depth. Sure, I could re-watch it multiple times without getting bored or indifferent. In spite of everything, the pacing will annoy me every single time. Granted, the reason behind the short run-time was budget problems, so it couldn’t be helped. However, does that fact make the show any better? I love the show, but it doesn’t really deserve 10/10.
Now, you probably are of the impression that I rate all my favourite shows 9/10 and that the 10/10 slot is an empty throne on my list. And for a while it was. It was only after much thought that I gave Clannad: Afterstory a perfect score. You might have been able to guess from my profile picture.
Was it a Perfect show? Of course not. It had its relatively low points. Even so, it moved me like no other show ever did. Afterstory promised and delivered a masterfully paced and directed show about family that really had me feeling for the characters. It also made me laugh till I cried (no exaggeration – Drunk Nagisa) and cry just from hearing Dango Daikazoku by the end. Undoubtedly, I am a better person after watching Afterstory.
At the end of the day, a great anime should be one that doesn’t take effort to call great. One that doesn’t make you go “If I ignore that part…” or “I would’ve liked it better if…”. A show is only as good as it makes itself seem. If you have to think hard about why it’s good, then it doesn’t deserve to be called such. Shows are supposed to SHOW you, not make you dive for redeeming qualities.
And on that note, I’ve come to the end of my argument. Thanks for reading my small rant here. It really means a lot! Please, feel free to comment if you feel like giving me a piece of your mind!