MAL/ratings explanation

As is the case with most anime fans, I have joined MyAnimeList and listed the anime that I have watched. This is the list of shows that I am watching, have finished, or plan to watch. As you can tell, I’m primarily interested in newer shows and that’s due to a preference in character designs. Here is a general overview of what scores I tend to give out:


10 – Haruhi level. Only one show has achieved a 10 in my scale and that is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. There may be shows I’ll agree are technically better, but this show keeps me asking more and more. It’s something that completely enthralls me and keeps me interested when nothing else does.

9 – Genre-defining level. This is a show that lacks one thing to bring it to a ten. The few animes that achieve this are strong both with writing, animation, voice-acting, philosophical meaning, and musically sound. There’s just something holding it back from becoming on the same level as Haruhi. This is a show that is an immediate recommendation and a must-watch.


8 – Top of the season level. This is something that would easily be the best show of it’s season (which would be tough in some seasons) and is something I’m considering importing from Japan.

7 – Solid level. This is my standard score for a show that I liked, but wasn’t good enough to set it ahead of other shows. It’s a good show that I wouldn’t mind showing to someone.

6 – Good level. This is either a show that I liked, but lacked the technical aspect to score higher or a show that didn’t resonate with me but is technically sound.

5 – Doubtful level. This is a show that I question my intelligence in continuing to stick with it. No show has scored at this level yet.

4 – Painful level. This is a show that hurts me to sit through and finish. If I finish this, it’s due to an obligation not to drop it.

Anything that scores below a 4 is something I could not bare to finish. In higher level academia in the United States anything in the 70-80 range is average, thus I have adopted that as my “standard” range. I feel that I’m quite consistent with my scores, but obviously there are some personal aspects in a score. I may change a score after re-watching a show, but usually whatever a show ends at, it’ll stay there unless something great moves it. These scores take into account that I do enjoy HD visuals, but a great story overrides all video aspects. I won’t score a show until it’s finished airing in order to judge it as a whole rather than pre-maturely judge it before finishing.

One thought on “MAL/ratings explanation

  1. You know, using the educational ranking system is a pretty solid way of staying consistent – surprising that more people wouldn’t adopt such a tactic.

    Reading over this definitely makes me want to go back over my list and re-do some rankings.

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