- Write and Keep Writing
- Don’t just review popular or mainstream sh*t
- Do not restrict yourself to a single genre
- Keep a balanced opinion
- Don’t Fixate on the Barrier
- Avoid Re:reviewing
7. Try to go beyond a statement
There is a difference between a review and an opinion post. A review does more than summarize, and it should also analyze. While a review is based on your opinions and how much you like/dislike a show, you shouldn’t stop there. You should explain why, because you are reviewing a show. You are analyzing the work and rating it’s elements or overall package. I recently read a review that just said “the main problem of this show is that it is depressing and gory”. I was like “OK, so how is that bad?” Why did you claim that the anime’s depressing element is the problem? If you don’t go beyond your opinion, then it really isn’t a review. You’re just sharing your shallow thoughts on the show, and it’s the same shallow thought your reader, and the show’s potential audience, would have.
Your review should separate yourself from the shallow thoughts everyone should have. So when you state that a show is bad because it’s depressing, then you should explain why. The statement really just shows your bias, and it’s hard to trust a review solely based on your shallow bias. I hate this, I hate that, this is awful and such doesn’t really mean much if you don’t expand on it. Of course, your explanation will still be bias but it goes beyond the shallow level. It’s no longer just an opinion post, because you’re sharing an angle on the anime people would’ve never realized. After all, a lot of shows can be interpreted in different ways and most people look to a review to see your take on the show. When you state “Kino’s Journey’s main problem is that it’s depressing” then you have to expand on it. I think I understand the guy’s shallow stance though. He personally doesn’t like depressing shows, and I bet he mostly like mainstream formulaic hero’s journey stuff. The sight of a depressing show might’ve shock him so much that he doesn’t really feel comfortable watching it. I’m fine with Kino’s Journey being depressing, but I’m mostly interested on why you would state such thing. This is a review, so where is your review?
I would like to share my thoughts on Kino’s Journey though, because I actually rate this anime a masterpiece. The review I read is strongly negative, and it hit on points I claimed before. It’s annoying, because it felt like the reviewer was constantly on the defensive watching the show. Kino’s Journey is depressing, but there’s a beautiful reason for that. Depressing comes from the strong social commentary of the show. It captures the zeitgeist of the world, and the show flips it on its head. It gives us a glimpse on how most culture and society is pretty f*cked up, and it delivers these points through the depressing moments. For one example, Kino met three dying men on the road. He nursed them back to health, but it’s revealed that the men are actually slave traders. The depressing part is that the show implied that the men even ate the slaves they’re carting before the snowstorm hits and before Kino saved them. There it is. Kino saved a bunch of horrible people, and there’s this morality debate to be had here. Would you save bad people when you know they are bad? If you don’t know, would you still save them? The idea is depressing but, as you can see, there is something beyond the shallow “depressing story”. A reviewer should never be stuck on the shallow. Also, Kino’s Journey is a lovely piece of savory story pie so I don’t understand how people don’t appreciate its value.
Always make it a practice to explain your thoughts. While I do understand that reviews are pretty much an opinion post on face value, you should never fall back on that. Follow up all your thoughts with an explanation, because readers can’t trust a review if it just states sh*t. I am personally guilty of summarizing a lot of stories and angle on my reviews and that is actually a wrong way to go about it. This is a shallow approach to a review, but it’s also a big spoiler bomb so I apologize for my earlier works. My reasoning before is that most people don’t go far beyond the third episode, so I would always frame the stories on the latter half to give intrigue to the show. I later learned that you can actually achieve the same intrigue without over explaining the stories. Some of my reviews are so unnecessarily long mainly because of the summarization, but I always follow it up with an explanation. Later on, I learned that you can cut the summaries and just focus on the analyzation. My approach right now is being “vaguely precise” where I hint on some aspects of the story without giving anything away. Some of my explanations are even misleading on purpose, because I want to tickle your interest. Anyways, always remember to answer the “why” that your statements point out though. “This anime is depressing” should be followed with “because…” or “an example is this” because a review should never be shallow. Never let it stay on the shallow level. You gotta go deep, and *insert sex joke here*
Strolling on wordpress made me realize that a lot of reviewers make this mistake as well. If I see it, I will comment asking you to expand on it. I recently read a Kill la Kill review stating that the anime lacked originality, and this really bothered me. Kill la Kill’s main hook is its originality, since the story is kinda bust. I immediately commented, but my comment is waiting to be moderated. It is becoming a pet peeve of mine when bloggers don’t turn that option off. It’s used to block spam comments, but I think the spams are filtered pretty effectively now. What are you afraid of? I’m also enjoying some of the posts out there. If I comment on your blog, it means I liked what I read. So good job! I’ve seen reviews with only a paragraph though, and I really want my mean spirited nature out. I guess the comment moderation is stopping that, so I guess it’s all good. Just please go beyond a statement. Reviews are parts about the show and actually parts about you, since your bias is also being gauged by the reader. So, don’t hold back, and tell them how much you hate the new Ghost in the Shell movie. Is it really bad? Well, I’m just going to wait for it on HBO. Thank you very much.