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Anime Blog Carnival – What Makes A 10/10 Anime?

January 09, 2012 By: Nopy Category: Anime

I’m sure you’ve seen a few of these posts around by now, but if you haven’t, du5k from One Minute of Dusk has come up with a blogging carnival with the topic of “What Makes a 10/10 Anime?”

A 10/10 rating can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but here’s a rundown of how I use the 10 point rating system:

Score of 10: perfect

Score of 9: could’ve improved in at least 1 area

Score of 8: overall great

Score of 7: enjoyable

Score of 6: average

Score of 5: meh

Score of 4: bad

Score of 3: waste of time

Score of 2: caused me to rage

Score of 1: should not exist

What we’re focusing on today is what exactly is “perfect”? I’ve thought about this for a while, and I’ve come up with this short list of what the perfect anime needs:

  • decent production values
  • likeable characters
  • constant attention

Sounds simple, but lets consider each item separately.

Production Values

This might sound shallow, but I will not watch an ugly or cacophonic anime. I’m not asking for sexy character designs like in Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai or stunning scenery like in Makoto Shinkai films, but I expect some amount of effort to be put into the animation. The same goes for the sound; a series lacking any music or sound effects hardly seems like something with much thought put into it.

Likeable Characters

Having likeable characters is something that every successful anime must have. Not every character has to be liked, but there must be at least one that a viewer can sympathize with, ogle at, or laugh at.

Constant Attention

Unlike most people, I don’t use “story” as a measure anymore, instead I consider how long an anime can hold my attention. If a series can keep me glued to the screen through all of its episodes, it has earned the right to be ranked 10/10. A slip-up or two would still keep a series ranked at 10, but if I find my mind wandering while watching, or I find myself pausing episodes as things come up, then that lowers the score. This means that an anime with no story (ie: slice of life) can still receive a perfect score, and series lacking in some areas can also have a chance as long as something else is there to keep me interested.

The List

With that said, how many anime titles have I given a 10/10? According to MAL, out of 336 completed titles, I have given 10/10 to these 22 (and I highly recommend them):

Bungaku Shoujo

Bungaku Shoujo: Memoire

Cardcaptor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card

Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie

Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai

InuYasha: Kanketsu-hen

Kanon (2006)

Kimi ni Todoke

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

Martian Successor Nadesico

Martian Successor Nadesico: The Prince of Darkness

Mawaru Penguindrum

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion

Pale Cocoon

Seitokai no Ichizon

Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu


Tsubasa Chronicle: Tokyo Revelations

Welcome to the NHK!

More on What Makes a 10/10 Anime

Bloggers from the sites below are all participating in this carnival and I encourage you to visit their sites to see what they have to say about what makes a 10/10 anime.

One Minute of Dusk – Read du5k’s article

Anime B&B – Read Marina’s article

The Otaku’s Study – Read Sam’s article

Anime Viking – Read Marow’s article

Draggle’s Anime Blog – Read Draggle’s article

Hachimitsu – Read Mira’s article

Ace Railgun – Read Ace Railgun’s article

Leap250’s Blog – Read Leap250’s article

Mainichi Anime Yume – Read Yumeka’s article

Lemmas and Submodalities – Read SnippetTee’s article

Ephemeral Dreams – Read Ephemeral Dreamer’s article

World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko – Read Hoshiko’s article

Listless Ink – Read Yi’s article

Ambivalence, or is it Ambiguity – Read @fkeroge’s article, Read Valence’s article

Deluscar – Read Kai’s article

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42 Comments to “Anime Blog Carnival – What Makes A 10/10 Anime?”

  1. Honestly even in this situation, I still can’t find a 10/10 anime in my anime list, all of them had flaws of some kind…:O
    feal87 recently posted..Rinne no Lagrange – Madoka Kyouno! Energetic and cute!

    • Wow, really? Usually people have at least a few shows that they give a perfect score, I guess you’re still looking for “the one” then ^.^

  2. I guess your rating system is not too different from mine, but I have only one standard for rating my anime, and that would be its entertainment value. If the show keeps me watching, it would probably get a score of 4 and above. So far, only 2 anime have received a rating of 10 for me (Clannad After Story and Madoka Magica) though I would still recommend anything that gets a 7 or higher in my book. In fact, about half of my top 30 anime have a score of 7.

    As for really terrible anime, I tend to drop them before my brain starts melting, but in cases where I don’t, they are usually short OVAs or annoying BD specials. The only TV series that I completed that I gave my lowest score of 2 was Prism Ark (Fractale being second with a score of 3).
    @fkeroge recently posted..Senki Zesshou Symphogear Episode 1: Songs can save the world and the anime

  3. I like that you chose to use “hold my attention” instead of “story” as a measure. It’s probably similar but that – constant attention – allows you to consider more genres, particularly slice-of-life, without trying to scratch your head wondering if it has story. Good point there.
    Hoshiko recently posted..Blog Carnival: What Makes A 10/10 Anime?

    • I would be lying to myself if I said that story was the major driver behind my rankings because there are some anime that I love simply because of the comedy. That’s why I figured attention was the way to go.

  4. Fuck yeah, Seitokai no Ichizon. I will never understand how people do not absolutely love this show. No other comedy even comes close to it in my book.

  5. “Pale Cocoon”

    Well, you rock!
    Marow recently posted..Blog Carnival – What Makes a 10/10 Anime?

  6. I find it very interesting, and tend to agree with you, that “story” isn’t as important as some may think in terms of rating anime. I only glossed over this point in my carnival post, but like you implied, it would be impossible for a slice-of-life show to get 10/10 if “story” is a major criteria for rating. Characters are important to me no matter what the genre of anime, but for shows like Lucky Star, K-ON, and Haganai for example, I suggested replacing “story” with “humor” as a criteria.

    Good production values could certainly help increase an anime to 10/10 for me, but I can forgive poor production values if story, characters and other things are great. This is especially true when rating old anime what don’t have the technologically advanced production values of today. Music is probably the least important thing for me when rating anime. I hardly pay attention to background music unless it’s something like Yuki Kajiura, and good OPs/EDs are nice bonuses but not necessarily a part of how I rate.
    Yumeka recently posted..Anime Blog Carnival: What makes a 10/10 anime?

    • Humour was indeed what I had in mind when I thought of series that lacked a story. There may be some series that rely on shock value rather than humour (thrillers for example), so I decided on using how well it keeps my attention in the end.

      I admit that there are some titles on my 10/10 list that don’t have the best production values, but I think if it’s watchable then it’s all good. Some series can’t even distinguish between their own characters and get hair colours messed up, that’s what I was trying to get at when I mentioned this point.

  7. I wonder what a 10/10 anime is for me. I never quantified my enjoyment of a show that way or kept track of it on things such as MAL.
    Miette-chan recently posted..Puella Magi Madoka Magica x Touhou

    • Not everyone likes to give anime a hard number ranking. I actually prefer to use “good”, “average”, and “bad” in my reviews rather than numbers because it really is hard to quantify.

  8. Like Hoshiko said, I really like your idea of focusing on whether it kept your attention instead of the story. That’s what I care about too, but not what I usually talk about when writing a review. :) Will have to change that.
    draggle recently posted..Aquarion EVOL — First Impression

  9. Nice concise list you’ve got here! Your criteria seems simple enough, but I can imagine that it makes it quite difficult for anime to get a perfect rating from you.

    That last point, especially, of keeping your constant attention. So many anime out there would have lost if I kept to such strict measures, anime like Steins;Gate and Mushishi. Both of them completely bored me with their opening episodes, but I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to truly appreciate what they were aiming for. Once I finally did get around to settling down and watching them, I couldn’t even believe what I almost missed out on.
    Marina recently posted..[Carnival] What Makes a 10/10 Anime?

    • It certainly does make it more difficult for some anime to get a perfect rating, but it allows the ones that do to get the credit they deserve. Steins Gate didn’t get a 10 from me precisely because there was a slump in the beginning.

  10. Hmm… I ought to have create such a list too. While the definition of “perfect” varies from person to person, I would actually leave perfect at a 9. 10 would have to be “perfect with a little something more”

    Looks like we’re extremely different in our methods. Except for the production values which I take with a pinch of salt, I never take characters or attention into account for my score. In fact in my reviews, I purposefully left out the “characters” section as compared to most people; I judge them together as part of the story or concept, because I feel that they worked together as a single element.

    Attention is a trait that is commonly found in my 10/10 series, but not always. But I can see how it’s an integral part of your scoring system, which is kind of like Yumeka’s “heart score”.
    du5k recently posted..Blog Carnival! – What makes a 10/10 anime?

    • Characters are often interconnected with the story, but I felt that they were a large enough element to consider on their own. Now that I think about it, it is a bit like Yumeka’s heart score, though not exactly.

  11. Right on spot, yes. I’m not going to watch ugly artworks either. I think as long as I have decent looking anime characters, that would open the door for me to entertain the other elements such as plot, music etc. Usually, if I like the characters, I greatly enjoy the plot… I’m not really sure about the production values, since I really don’t know that much Studios and Productions.
    SnippetTee recently posted..Blog Carnival – What Makes a 10/10 Anime?

    • Well, animation quality makes up a large portion of production value. The other part of it is music, which is a bit more subjective.

  12. Ahh characters, I didn’t thought of that. Yes indeed, characters are generally the main focus and the driving force of an anime. Without fun characters, the anime is doomed to fall D:
    Kai recently posted..Blog Carnival – What makes a 10/10 anime?

  13. When i think of it, a 10/10 animes would be :
    – For a love animes, when i yell at the hero how stupid he is (or other characters)
    – For a comedy when i laugh really loud at every episodes.
    – For a drama, when i cry.
    – For anticipation when i can’t stop until i know the end without thinking about eating or sleeping.

    In general the shows i watched several times completely and i can remember the plot and characters even after years.

    I would list Black Lagoon, Aria, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Shuffle, Akagi, Nichijou, Mushishi of those who came up first in my mind.

    What strikes me the most is that i always drop animes who have more than 25 episodes and even a 20-25 episodes show has to be really great for me to finish it.
    Katsura-chan recently posted..My first BJD

    • That’s an interesting way of giving a 10/10, based on what type of anime it is. Watching really long anime can be a daunting task, and it must be really good for anyone to finish. Inuyasha is the longest anime that I’ve seen, and it’s last season made it onto my 10/10 list :)

  14. Found a few in your 10/10 list that interest me, looks like I got some investigative anime watching to do :P Constant attention I believe is one of the things that gets me rating things that high as well. For example, watching episodes back to back for days on end (or finishing in a day or two) usually means that it was just that good, because I have a short attention span at times. Guess I missed the ride for this carnival, but I like the idea ^^
    Persocom recently posted..Let It Snow!

    • If you do pick up a show or two, I hope you like them. I know exactly what you mean when you end up finishing a show in a day or two. Some of them are so absorbing that you can’t put it away.

  15. The “Constant Attention” is an interesting criteria, so you kind of let your body reaction decide a bit about the final score. It’s probably one of the more objective criterias when it comes to rating an anime.

    My rating always turns out a bit on the more subjective side. Next to having an appealing look and likeable characters, an anime has to elate me with it’s setting and style to receive a ten rating.

    hehe, I also scored Cardcaptor Sakura as 10, such a nice show which I just watched last year =).
    Wieselhead recently posted..Asuka Langley -Test Plug Suit ver by Max Factory

    • I don’t think any review can be completely objective, there has to be some subjectivity to it. The characters, as you mention, is something that you can’t really measure without using ur feelings.

  16. what makes a anime a masterpiece is when we expect the unexpected!

  17. I find it difficult to try to give grades or rankings to what I like and don’t like. Most of my scores on MAL pretty much range from 6 to 9, with a few exceptions hitting the 5 mark, so it’s very, very narrow. I may re-score them another day, but finding a way I like is not easy as well (since I’d just like to say it’s good, so-so, or not good / not my taste of style). Then again, there are stuff I just don’t know what to score with at all.

    And looking at my list, I haven’t scored one with a 10/10 at the moment, as if I can’t define what is “perfect” in my book (or rather, is there really a “perfect” thing out there?). With that said, I don’t think I can fit in to participate in your blog carnival :(

    I suppose if we are to boil it to the basics, what we can give something a high score is how much we get to enjoy it overall. I suppose what will influence me a lot is how much I look forward to watch the next episode of an anime once I finish one episode. If I don’t actively feel like going for the next episode, then that is not doing a good job for me. While story is an esssence that is becoming harder to look at due to the presence of slice-of-life or comedt-oriented series, I agree with you on the attention value.

    Characters is one thing that is a big factor too. How much I will continue thinking about the character after one series has finished, and the impact s/he has on the anime or in my mind (i.e. get to think a lot about) is good too. Afterall, they are what makes an anime in many ways.

    Having listened to BGM a lot these days, I have music as a small supporting factor too. If done correctly, it can really, really help support the mood or atmosphere of particular scenes, but otherwise it can really ruin the moment badly.
    Q recently posted..FREEing ex:ride American Bike

    • I guess enjoyment is what determines if something will hold your attention or not. It’s hard to imagine someone get absorbed into a series if they don’t enjoy it. The other factors I find are of less importance, but still play a role in scoring an anime.

  18. I guess it just has to be an anime that consistently maintains my attention…OR if it does allow me to think of something besides watching that anime it’s because it’s ramping up to something TRULY amazing. I can appreciate a build up, as long as what awaits me is nothing short of AWESOME! I’ll also allow open ended finales…

    Unfortunately I’m not organized enough with my thoughts to truly break down my love of anime series into consistently scored categories.

    My series I’d consider “10/10″

    One Piece (ongoing)
    Sket Dance (ongoing)
    Fruits Basket
    Kino’s Journey
    Cardcaptor Sakura
    Samurai Champloo
    Spirited Away
    The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
    Princess TuTu
    Read or Die (OVA)
    My Neighbor Totoro
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica
    Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
    Avatar: The Last Airbender (ok fine not technically anime…)

  19. I’ve actually kind of stopped giving numerical ratings. I think those have gotten to the point where they almost eliminate the point of writing about something, unfortunately. I kind of like doing things this way nowadays anyhow, because it forces the reader to actually *READ* what is written and not scroll down to quickly glance at an arbitrary number.

    • Giving numbers are a bit pointless considering it doesn’t represent everything about a series. While I don’t use them in my reviews, I do use them on MAL, but that’s just to keep track of what I thought was good and how much more I enjoyed it over another anime.

  20. I also review anime and I think I agree with your post, when it comes to the content of the series/movie. But here is a question: what happens when you buy a DVD/BD of a series you consider 10/10 and find out that local anime distributor (FUNimation, Media Blasters, Sentai etc) did a poor job on it and it doesn’t look as good? Would you lower the ranking on your review because of that?
    Nadav recently posted..Why Mysterious Girlfriend X Is Exactly The Romantic Story We Needed

    • In extreme cases where the localized version is vastly different from the original, I usually treat the two as separate series. For example, I don’t consider Cardcaptors and Card Captor Sakura to be the same anime even though the former was the English adaptation of the latter.


22 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Blog Carnival: What Makes A 10/10 Anime? « World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko 09 01 12
  2. Blog Carnival: What Makes a 10/10 Anime? | Leap250's Blog 09 01 12
  3. Blog Carnival – What Makes a 10/10 Anime? « Anime Viking 09 01 12
  4. Blog Carnival – What Makes a 10/10 Anime and Why Rating an Anime is Hard. | Hachimitsu – An Anime Blog 09 01 12
  5. [Carnival] What Makes a 10/10 Anime? | Anime B&B 09 01 12
  6. Blog Carnival ~ Earning That Coveted Perfect Score | Ephemeral Dreams 09 01 12
  7. Blog Carnival – What Makes a 10/10 Anime? « Lemmas and Submodalities 09 01 12
  8. Anime Carnival: What Makes an A+ Anime | Draggle's Anime Blog 09 01 12
  9. Anime Blog Carnival – What Makes a 10/10 Anime? | Ambivalence , or is it ambiguity? 10 01 12
  10. Anime Blog Carnival – So What Makes a 10/10 Anime? | The Otaku's Study 10 01 12
  11. Anime Blog Carnival – “What makes a 10/10 Anime?” by Valence. | Ambivalence , or is it ambiguity? 13 01 12
  12. Blog Carnival: Roundup Post « World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko 14 01 12
  13. Blog Carnival – What makes a 10/10 anime? « deluscar 14 01 12
  14. So The Sun Sets on the First Anime Blog Carnival…. Roundup Post | The Otaku's Study 15 01 12
  15. Anime Blog Carnival Roundup | Draggle's Anime Blog 15 01 12
  16. Anime Blog Carnival Round-Up Post: What Makes a 10/10 Anime « Lemmas and Submodalities 15 01 12
  17. Anime Blog Carnival round-up post | Anime 15 01 12
  18. Blog Carnival Wrap-up ~ A Parade to Wrap Up the Night! | Ephemeral Dreams 15 01 12
  19. Final thoughts on the Anime Carnival « The G-Empire 15 01 12
  20. Blog Carnival: Roundup | Leap250's Blog 15 01 12
  21. Anime Blog Carnival Merry-Go-Roundup – “What makes a 10/10 anime?” by @fkeroge | Ambivalence , or is it ambiguity? 15 01 12
  22. Blog Carnival: What Makes A 10/10 Anime? 16 01 12

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