There are a lot of passionate voices out there blogging about anime. Yup… there are a lot. What I find the most alluring about these blogs is finding out what shows these people enjoy and which ones they dislike. People will come to various conclusions about the shows they watch based on whatever process they use to evaluate the show. Of course, there are the popular anime, which everyone seems to favor, and the shitty anime, which no one bothered to watch. Then there’s the raging mass of shows caught between these two sides. These are the shows I find the most interesting because the spectrum of opinions ranges from extreme to extreme. The sheer diversity of these thoughts is what I truly like to read. However, there are so many different types of shows from comedy to sci-fi to action to adventure to ecchi to horror to slice-of-life to whatever. How is it possible to evaluate the wide range of shows?
For me, there are really only two types of anime. There are Brain On and Brain Off anime. Brain On anime are shows where there ideally is a solid story, dynamic and interesting characters, methodical storytelling, and has that overall ‘art’ type feel to it. Not all shows have these aspects but usually strive to meet them in some way. These are shows like Star Driver, xxxHOLiC, Durarara!!, and Five Centimeters per Second. Brain Off anime are shows purely there for entertainment, where you can kiss your brain goodbye at the start, wave your handkerchief at it as you look back at it and enjoy the wild journey that awaits you. These are shows like Ika Musume, Lucky Star, Needless, and Highschool of the Dead. From here, it begins to get easier to evaluate shows.
There are five major categories which I use to help evaluate the show. These are: Art, Story, Sound, Characters, and Entertainment. Each of these categories has their own individual sub-categories to help me evaluate each category. However, there is a problem with this approach.
If I were a perfect man, or even a smart man, I’d be able to follow the guidelines I have set out and have a logical hierarchy of anime with the best ones at the top and the worst offenders at the bottom. But my list isn’t like that at all. There are shows that are clearly better behind inferior shows for some reason. I guess there must be some sort of wildcard factor that determines what becomes a favorite and what becomes a forgotten show. Just what that wildcard factor is, I don’t know. Perhaps the more I read from other blogs, the more I’ll understand this for myself.
And I think that’s one of the reasons there are so many diverse opinions about anime. There are just some shows that people will enjoy more for whatever reason. I know there are some shows that I loved that most people would question. There have been some big hits which turned out to be misses for me that might enrage a few people. Well… I think that’s probably a good thing though, especially if I want there to be some discussion on anime in the future. And maybe, just maybe, that’s one of the reasons we like to go around and read the various anime blogs.