Okay, today I finally had a bit of time to fiddle around a bit with episode ratings. I’ve used the current star system for a few years now, and it’s time for something new. I’ve wanted to go back to numerical ratings, although using ratings out of ten proved to be too similar to the ratings I use for full series, and I don’t want to confuse those. So instead I’m going for the following:
1/8: These are the worst types of episodes: uninspired, full of clichés, incredibly boring to watch, badly animated, etc.
2/8: These are the boring or really annoying types of episodes that leave me wanting things to end, or the kinds of episodes of an established series that completely go against what the series is about.
3/8: This is a rating for mediocrity: I guess the episode was there… but nothing really caught my attention, or what did catch my attention was drowned out by too many annoyances. Most episodes would fall between 3/8 and 4/8
4/8: This would be the rating for a standard episode: nice things happened, it caught my attention, and I enjoyed it, but it’s not really special.
5/8: I like these episodes a lot, either through outstanding visuals, interesting subject material, well written scenarios or sympathetic characters. Most episodes from the series I watch would fall between 4/8 and 5/8.
6/8: These are the episodes that really do something to stand out. Incredibly fun, engaging and interesting to watch.
7/8: The types of mind-blowing episodes that only come here once a month if you’re lucky. I guess that this would be the equivalent of the ****-rating that I used to use.
8/8: This is reserved for the best episodes of the best: the types of episodes that only come once a year if you’re lucky, and I really want to be able to highlight those kinds of episodes.
This seems to be nice enough. I’m probably also going to use ratings of half numbers (5.5, 3.5, etc). Why a rating out of 8? Why not? That’s what experiments are for. I think I’m also going to ditch the “good”- and “excellent”-labels. They were getting a bit old and they started to lose their meaning. I’m not sure whether this will be the definitive explanations, because I really noticed that thinking of a rating system and actually using this in practice is something completely different. I remember how with the ratings I use for full series, my original intention was to have the median around 60/100, but that also changed over time.
#1: Hunter X Hunter – 41: Oh my god, finally!! The Spider Troupe has made its appearance! And they actually nailed them! These are by far the best villains I have seen in any shounen series, period. Because of this I had been really afraid what this series would do with them. But the way in which they were portrayed i this episode: they can really make it work! Finally I’m getting excited about this series again! – 5.5/8 (Excellent)
#2: Kokoro Connect – 04: The script of this series is excellent, but that is probably because of the source material. But what really surprised me about this series is how good the voice acting is for a Silver Link-series. Where usually the characters in their series sound flat and one-dimensional, they here have a wide range of voices that shape their personalities, and I really wonder where that sudden change came from. Could that really be the influence of Shinya Kawamo or did something different go on? – 5.5/8 (Excellent)
#3: Polar Bear Cafe – 18: Oh my god, those ghost stories were perfect for the deadpan humour of this show. In particular Polar Bear’s story was absolutely priceless. On top of that, this episode tried to subtly slip past a lot of details that really make you wonder about the characters once you start thinking about them. Why on earth is a Lama working overtime in a zoo? What is Penguin going to do at that Buddhist memorial service? Oh, and the new ED is awesome. – 5.5/8 (Excellent)
#4: Tari Tari – 05: This episode showed me something: that blond girl isn’t really the best main character for this series. This episode finally took her to the background in favor of the other characters, and suddenly this show got a lot better. There still are the cliches like the dead mother, but they were all really well done and heart-warming. – 5/8 (Great)
#5: Saint Seiya Omega – 17: Ow, this episode had some outsourcing issues. Other than that, it was incredibly cheesy during the big fight, but it had its charms. That Kiki guy probably is another member of the old Saint Seiya cast, and his cameo was handled pretty well here. – 4/8 (Good)
#6: Phi Brain – 41: Finally this series returns again to the actual Orpheus Order. It was a bit of a cheesy episode, but with the nature of those rings that’s no surprise, really. And really: this was actually pretty good and it finally started to resolve things. On a side-note: when is Nonoha going to take her hair down…? – 4/8 (Good)
#7: Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – 16: Obligatory boring fanservice episode. Also, I do hope that they’re not going to drag out that festival arc. – 3/8 (Mediocre)
#8: Total Eclipse – 05: The sheer nationalism indeed is starting to get annoying now. On top of that, does this show really need a cowgirl who is just there for the fanservice? In fact, why are we even following a bunch of test pilots anyway when the rest of the world is about to be destroyed? – 3/8 (Mediocre)
#9: Tanken Drilland – 04: I think that this is the point where I’m going to drop this series. The stupidity of the characters is just too annoying, and watching this episode only served to remind me that Saint Seiya is currently doing what this series is doing, while also taking itself seriously. And after all of the criticism I have for that series, that has to say something. – 3/8 (Mediocre)