Blog Carnival: What Makes A 10/10 Anime?

As the title reads, this post is part of a blog carnival, baby. The carnival starts today, 9th January till 15th January. This blog carnival, hosted by du5k, is a collaboration of posts by 14 different bloggers on the topic “What Makes A 10/10 Anime?”

*throwing confetti* Now let the party begins!

What makes a 10/10 anime? That’s hard. I don’t really enjoy giving grades because it’s too difficult a task. It’s mainly subjective. What I think is perfect, others might think is crap. But hey, guess what? Since MAL has asked me to give a score, then I will give a score (lame excuse). For me to give an anime full score, they only have to do one thing and it’s not because I’m being lenient. As the matter of fact, I’m being very difficult. In order to score the perfect score in my book, whatever anime it is, it has to blow me away completely. Now that’s hard isn’t it?

Engaging Story

The fundamental principle for my perfect score is for the story to be engaging. Engaging how? There’s this constant desire in me to see more and couldn’t get enough of the story. That I’m totally invested in it. If the story is real good, I might be even thinking about it day and night. Well, obviously not in the literal sense but I think you get my point. For example, Spice and Wolf. I felt like I was sucked into the era during the time I was watching the series. The way the story was delivered – it felt real even it means to have a mythical creature in the form of Holo. Holo and Kraft Lawrence’s adventure was exciting, enlightening and entertaining.

Then again, I realize I get different feelings when I watch the same anime on weekly basis or at one go. To be honest, I might’ve given Kimi ni Todoke Season 2 a perfect score should I had watched it in one sitting instead of following the episodes weekly.


I don’t have to be head over heels in love with the characters, but they have to be properly fleshed out. This point served to support my previous point actually. Without intriguing characters, it’s rather hard to be allured by the story itself. Like Chiaki and Nodame in Nodame Cantabile. They’re a pair of dynamic characters who had driven the series. They were never boring.

Series Ending

Finally, the anime must have appropriate ending. I’m not asking for the perfect ending or anything. Just a nice closure to let me know what had happened or what will happen to the characters/story. I think I’ll use Skip Beat! to illustrate my point. You know, I’m a huge fan of Skip Beat! and the anime was very good, very engaging. I had a blast but the ending was crap. I had no idea how Ren fared in his struggles to define his character in his movie, Dark Moon. Granted, the manga is on-going and that almost always happened to anime adaptation of on-going shoujo manga series. Then again, we’re talking about anime here. What source it came from, to me, didn’t matter. Skip Beat! is one of the anime re-watch over and over again, but I couldn’t give it a perfect score because I just don’t like the ending.

So, basically the three points I mentioned above will determine whether or not an anime gets a full score, a 10/10, from me. It looks very straightforward, but really – it isn’t.

Now that I’ve told you my side of story, it’s time to check out the other participants of the carnival have to say!:-

60 thoughts on “Blog Carnival: What Makes A 10/10 Anime?

  1. Some people seem to think animation, artist style and music are crucial in making an anime 10/10 but as long as these things are appropriate they can be disregard in the rating process.

    It’s obvious that you consider the story, characters and the ending to be the most important part of an anime and I have to agree with you on that. Any anime with good character dynamics is vastly superior to something that ignores character development for blood, violence and ladies.

    • I don’t think animation, art and music are as important as the things I’ve mentioned above. Maybe when the anime doesn’t meet any of my three criteria, then I’ll consider that. I’ve gotta give an anime a score at the end of the day right?

      Yes, I think characters drive a show. Without good characters, it’s hard for me to want to pick up an anime to watch.

  2. For me, a 10/10 series has to be something that can affect me personally. The kind of series where you simply can’t put your feelings into appropriate words and can’t imagine the viewing experience being improves on significantly.

    • That’s one way to look at it – so long you gained the ultimate satisfaction from a series, it’s considered a 10/10 series. And that is the most important thing.

  3. You definitely have a point when you mention the story, characters, and ending, they form the core of what makes a good anime. I’d like to know what you think about animation and music though. Would you still rate a series 10/10 if the story, characters and ending were perfect, but the animation and music were horrible?

    • While I enjoy good music and beautiful artworks, I don’t consider them really important when it comes to giving an anime a grade. I’m more tolerant in that aspect I suppose. I can still gain a satisfactory experience even if it has less than ideal artwork and music. I’ve always used One Piece as an example for this situation although I wouldn’t say the animation and music are horrible. Let’s just say the art and music of One Piece aren’t exactly my cup of tea. (Note: I didn’t give One Piece a 10/10 because the story hasn’t end yet)

  4. only 5 10/10 in your list and 3 of them are the same series. That’s remarkable and reasonable, but still I can’t find a 10/10 anime for me…>_<

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  6. I’d have to agree that an engaging story and well-developed characters really plays a bigger part in a series, as supposed to visuals and such. It becomes a fairer way of rating when it comes to “older” shows.

    Then again, I’d settle for just being blown away completely and magnificently ^^

  7. Gakuen Alice!

    I agree with your first two points relating to characters and storyline although I personally consider judging endings to be a double edged blade as on one hand, leaving the plot unfinished would justify another season but on the other hand it may turn out to be something like Rozen Maiden where they leave the plot open and then never actually get around to it…. Makes it a real hassle to review.

    Interesting read though ^_^

    • Yeah, thought that they’re having fun with their tea party. >.<

      I always thought wrapping up a season nicely is better regardless a shows gets a second season. It doesn't have to be an ending to the whole story, but a proper fullstop to that particular season.

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  9. Story, characters, and ending are fundamental means of rating anime and you expanded on them very nicely =) Your mentioning of Kimi ni Todoke and watching a series weekly versus watching it marathon-style, is a good point. I believe all anime you especially liked on your first watch, especially if it was weekly, should be watched again in multi-episode marathons. It’s amazing how much you forget just watching one episode a week and how much more connection you see in the story when watching episodes back-to-back. And because of this, rating an anime after watching it a second time is more accurate. For someone like me who doesn’t have the best memory when it comes to recalling specifics in anime I’ve watched, rewatching is a must.

    • Yes, and not only that I might not see the connection, I might actually get impatient. That will affect my overall viewing experience as well. Sometimes, one event dragged a bit too long and by following a series on weekly basis, that feels terribly long.

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  16. A 10/10 anime…Well, Its difficult to say when I give a ten rating.

    At first Im trying to judge the main construct of an anime in an objective way, but for the final score I also make use of more subjective criteria. If a show has a good story and or left a big impression on me I might give it a high score like 8 for example.

    To get a 10 rating from me the show has to offer a bit more than having a good main construct.
    The characters and the intereactions with each other are very important for me, the setting and yeah I always need a happy end or better said no bad end, that is really something that can ruin an anime for me completely.

    • Yeaps, I agree very much with what you’ve said. Oh yes, I absolutely dislike bad ending. It kinda ruin it for me too. The ending doesn’t necessarily has to be happy though for my case.

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  18. nice read now i have the urge to make my own for the blog carnival, im reading the other post of the carnival now XD but your´s seem pretty close to what i have in mind when i picture a 10/10 anime.

  19. I will put characters above the story, simply because they are the ones that invite to watch an anime. For me, if the characters are engaging, then the plot would be also easy to follow as well. It’s like I’m using the characters as storytellers.

  20. You do bring up a good point about watching an anime weekly or in a marathon. It would make a big difference on impression on anime. For instance, I think that if I had marathoned Mawaru Penguindrum, all the allusions and clues would have surely swept right by me and I wouldn’t have time to digest these details, thus lowering my score when the marathon is finished. Watching it weekly gave me time to digest and mull over whatever happened in the recent episode. Some series are meant to be watched weekly to give time for everything to sink in. ^_^

  21. Everything for me is important in giving an anime a perfect 10/10.
    Plot, Characters, Audio, Art. Just the way I do my review.
    But sometimes I tend to give some anime 10/10 even if some of it isn’t that good. (In MAL)
    The most important thing out of all the thing is the story. It has to be interesting and of course awesome. Ending of course is crucial. A perfect ending is a must 😛

    • Yes, I too think that the story in the most important element to look at when rating an anime. I put less emphasis on audio and art because I’m a little bit more tolerant in that aspects.

  22. I’m way too easy on anime, I have so many series that I love enough to re-watch over and over. I agree with your points though, but I think I’m less picky about endings in that a few of my 10/10 anime didn’t have the best ending, but made way for a possible continuation in the future (though doubtful). I get a lot of 8’s and 9’s and very few below 7, just because if I don’t like something I usually don’t bother finishing it all the way.

    • True, true. If I don’t like a show, I won’t bother finishing it and won’t be rating them either.

      The thing I don’t like about cliffhanger endings is that it made me feel like I didn’t complete a series. The story isn’t over, but there’s no way for me to know what’s going to happen because the anime has ended. That’s kind of frustrating, in a way.

  23. Short, yet concise and admirable way defining a series. I usually stopped looking at a series ending, since that it usually by the source material or directors choose for some reason or another. An ending is important, yet not always an absolute point on my rubric. Characters on the other hand tend to be. Though that should go without saying, like anyone wants to watch a show with a stagnant cast. Well, some series seem to do fine without.

    • I guess there must be something other than the characters that is the selling-point for the series. That’s quite possible. Otherwise, it’s hard to imagine how a series can do well without good character dynamics.

  24. “Blow…away completely”, huh? I like that. It’s quite the feat for an anime to do that even for me, and every one of your factors works for me as well. I also think it’s good that you mention the importance of how you watch a show, be it weekly or in a marathon. Sometimes I think to really give a show a fair chance, it should be watched both ways. Anyways, thanks for the quick read!

  25. I recently posted a G-View rating system post which is basically a 10/10 Carnival post…a separate one to be exact but the idea’s the same.
    Anyway, I focus mainly on character interaction and personalities. The rest have their own relevance. A 10/10 from me doesn’t equal perfection, it refers to personal entertainment value. What I mean is how much I enjoyed watching the show and whether I’d watch it again in the future or not. The higher the rating starting from 7 to 10, the more I enjoyed and more times I will watch the show.

    • Oh cool, will head over to your castle and read that in a bit. It’s nice to see that this carnival has inspired many to share their thoughts on this topic. Awesome!

      Of course, we will only pick the shows that we find enjoyable to watch again right? I don’t see 10/10 as a way to describe an anime as perfect. As long as it fits the criteria I’ve mentioned, they get the score…which can be kind of hard.

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  33. I agree with all three criteria that you’ve mentioned. In addition to that, just what I’ve commented in Yi’s blog, I think the overall ability of the anime to convince the viewers to see and feel what it wants to convey can also make it a 10/10 anime. Still the interpretation depends on the viewer so it’s still subjective I guess.

    • Yes, yes, very true. If the anime fails to deliver what they want to convey, it’s pretty much a failure. But whether or not we enjoy an anime depends on us. Some anime works for me, some anime works for you =)

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