TPAB’s Top Ten: Tips in Reviewing Anime (Part 4 of 10)

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The VN I’m playing is already boring me. I decided to just stop for now. I did pick up this game called “Jump Ultimate Stars” for the DS, and it is amazing. It’s a big throwback to the greatest characters that appeared on Jump, and it’s also a massive nostalgia hit. I can finally beat up Naruto with Yusuke from Yu Yu Hakusho. The game has a massive list of classic playable characters and a ton of support characters. In fact, it has a b*tch ton of support characters. The lineup of Shohoku from Slam Dunk can be summoned in a fight, and I’ve been playing it non-stop. There are also some series that I never knew graced the Jump pages. Seriously, Bobobo bo Bo-bobo is a Jump classic? I guess it makes a bit of sense since Gintama is also in there. It’s just a weird novelty though, especially next to real classics like Captain Tsubasa and Fist of the North Star.

The game pumped me with so much hype that I’m kinda watching EyeShield 21 on the side now. Seeing the characters in the game really made me want to see the anime. It’s your standard Sports anime, but it does have a ton of heart. I wonder how long I can finish 145 episodes. I’ve honestly never tried it. I’m a 12-26 episode kinda guy, and that’s smart considering my 1000 goal. I just realized that a classic Shounen or Sports anime is a good way to just space out your reviews though. Anyways, this post is now more than a thousand words, so let’s get right on it.

  1. Write and Keep Writing
  2. Don’t just review popular or mainstream sh*t
  3. Do not restrict yourself to a single genre

4. Keep a Balanced Opinion

This is a personal rule of mine. If your review is negative, then you need to point out some positives. If you praise the show, then you need to look for weaknesses. Even if you can’t find any, you should look hard and point them out. This is important, because your reviews need to be balanced.

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Yeah, they’re bias as hell and Mari Okada sucks. With that in mind, the review itself should remain neutral. You achieve this by pointing out the positives and the negatives, the strengths and weaknesses, and the high and low points of the show. I know people starting out will find it hard to point out both aspects of a show. I’ve been there. Some shows are truly enjoyable, and some shows are just bad. In my early reviews, I was so stiff that I can’t bring myself to point out the bad aspects of an anime I truly liked. I love anime a lot, and my advocacy at the time is to love all anime forever and ever. As I re-read my horrible grammar laden sentences though, I realized that I was leaning too much on a show without much balance to them. No anime is truly perfect, and I believe it’s a reviewer’s job to point out why a show isn’t perfect. It should be habitual to say the good and bad parts of show. It’s hard at first, but you’ll eventually get the hang of it. This also cancels out your bias to a certain degree. After all, you’ll be the first one to point out your bias before the reader can catch up on it. It’s a tricky way to fool those critical assh*les, but only if they truly read your review. I love Mouryou no Hako to death, but I’ll be the first to tell you the show requires constant effort on your part. It’s not something you can casually enjoy, but I regard it a masterpiece in every aspect of the word.

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Keeping a balance also ensures you’re not writing bitter or defensive. Before I became TPAB, most of the reviews I read are just outstandingly negative. It’s in a very narcissistic tone as if the anime was supposed to tailor to their own personal taste, so they’d write long rants about how the anime isn’t as good as a Martin Scorsese film. First of all, I don’t know much of Scorsese. I need to watch more movies. Secondly, why is it so hard to point out one good aspect of the anime? It’s OK to compare one work to another, because it is your personal bias, but it also comes off as someone hating on something for no valid reason. Some would exaggerate the awfulness of an anime, and it would always take me by surprise. It’s a bit much. These writers come off as bitter or defensive, and a good reviewer should be mindful of this. Try to avoid this pitfall as much as you can.

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I do understand the art of pissing off your reader, and some people do it intentionally. After all, comments are gold we harvest with our sharp tongues and impressive wits. Screaming “Naruto sucks” will bring 100 comments to your post. If your goal is being this kind of troll blogger, then I guess it is fine to just bait your readers. I’ve seen them come and go though. Really, they don’t last long because their readership is frail. While some people do understand and appreciate their craft, a large crowd does not. In the constantly changing trend of the internet, keeping up with this style is hard as well. It’s easier to just drop the pretense and be honest.

This is just my opinion though, but reviews should feel professional. I should note that I have an active readership. I’m not really sure how big my following is, but I know there’s a bunch out there that follows my work. I don’t keep up an internet presence, I review shows that I want to review, and I don’t follow trends yet I still have a handful of people reading my sh*t. I also know a bunch of bloggers that personally copy my style, because I totally invented the numbering my review shtick, and there are even some youtubers that off handedly mention my work in their videos. I know who you are, and yes, I am awesome. When you say “an anime should be watched and not read”, I can only smile because I know you’re talking about me. I could just be delusional though, and, see, I’m first to catch my bias.

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Anyways, consider my off-handed approach to blogging. I’m in my fifth year doing this sh*t. If I pursue an actual internet writing career, can you imagine how much money I’ll be making now? Writing for MAL paid for six months of my expenses including the unit courses I took last year. If I put ads on my site, I’ll be financially stable. It’s that simple. You can do this professionally. I can actually have anime as my job, and I can do it without a fancy diploma or a suit or even leaving my house. It is that insane, this globally connected world we live in. It starts here though. How balanced can you be in your writings that people can actually trust what you say despite knowing it’s filled with your bias? It’s a thought to ponder on.

P.S. I’m running out of good screenshots. I have tons in my old laptop, but it’s busted. Following posts will seriously have stupider pics for sure.

10 thoughts on “TPAB’s Top Ten: Tips in Reviewing Anime (Part 4 of 10)

  1. “Writing for MAL paid for six months of my expenses including the unit courses I took last year.” WOW
    Btw nice pic of Kino and Rurouni Kenshin manga

  2. That game reminds me of Dengeki Bunko, which is also a beat-em-up (but features characters from visual novels.) Being balanced can be tough. Even when writing about something I like it seems easier to list off cons rather than positives.

  3. One reason why I seldom review masterpieces or works that are just really good is that it’s hard to be balanced for those. There are so good you can barely find any flaws, and even if they are, they would just be so irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

    • In my experience, I would review a great show with so many positives that people come back commenting that I hyped them up for disappointment. Haha. I don’t want that, so I always add a con just to keep things fair.

      So…what masterpieces are you talking about?

      • It’s a visual novel, actually. Root Double, one of the new ones I played I feel it was near perfect. Like I can’t find any faults with it.

        • Unfortunately, I have never tried legit VNs. I want to, but my laptop is a piece of sh*t. It can barely handle anime. I’ll check out some vids on YT about the game. 😄
          Iactually can’t comment on some of your posts since I have zero knowledge of VNs outside anime adaptations.

  4. I’d add that it’s not really about objectivity so much as it’s about honesty and integrity. Readers aren’t there for insincere objectivity any more than they’re there to read your prematurely glowing or scathing review. Write your review once you’ve honestly contextualized the subject on your own terms. Otherwise you’re frankly BSing your readers, and they will eventually stop reading inconsistent, pithy reviews (unless you’re entertaining). So if nothing stood out to you as being good/bad enough to significantly veer your overall opinion, then don’t try to forcefully act like it did.

    • I think that’s a fair point, and they are just my tips. But a balanced review actually takes more effort to make than a one sided review. Pointing out the positive and negatives is tough, and it actually helps in contextualizing your own opinion. It honestly leads to more growth.
      I’m not saying objectivity is a must or focusing on being honest either. I’m just saying that an effective writer can do both.
      As a guy that has written three hundred and more reviews, being able to point out the highs and lows of a show should be something you can do with ease. If you can’t, then you’re not really trying. If nothing stood out to you, then why even review it?
      A good reviewer can also ensure his thoughts aren’t forced or total BS. I’ve seen posts like that, and keeping a balanced opinion does help develop your style more.
      This advice is more for growth, and it’s really up to people if they take it or not. 🙂

Thoughts~

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