Review Overview and Grading Scales

If there’s one goal that I have always wanted to have with regards to reviewing and grading anime is simplicity. While the explanation behind my scoring may be a little…verbose…I feel that having a simplistic method for determining if a show is worth your time or not is invaluable. To that end, here’s a breakdown of a typical review layout, scoring trend and what each letter grade means:

Introduction – [Self explanatory, no? This is an introduction of the review.]

Series/Movie Warnings and Notable Objectionable Content – [This section will highlight whether or not the series or movie under review contains anything that might be considered objectionable like nudity, sexuality, religious imagery, excessive violence, stuff like that. Because I realize how important this particular section might be to those of you of a sensitive disposition, this section will always be first and always highlighted in red.]

Medium Availability: [If the series is released in the US on DVD/Blu-Ray/Streaming etc… this section will show where you can find it, either online or off. Please keep in mind that my searches are limited to ebay, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Frys Electronics and FYE (For Your Entertainment) and do not reflect current inventories; so don’t get mad at me if you go to Walmart trying to find “Excel Saga” and they’re sold out! I just said you could FIND it there…not that it would BE there…]

Story Breakdown – [Pretty much, this is where I give a short summary of the story and my thoughts on it. I’ll give a brief history on the series, some general information on it and my own thoughts. 25 Points can be awarded here.]

Favorite Episodes/Scenes – [This is where I highlight a particular episode or group of episodes or even a particular scene that I really liked and deserved special mention. This is a NON SCORED SECTION!]

Characters – [This is where I give a breakdown of the main characters and my thoughts and opinions on them. Please note that for series like “Bleach” and “Naruto”, which have more characters than I have hairs on my head, I’ll only focus on main characters. 25 Points can be awarded here.]

Animation –  [Pretty much, this is a scoring on the animation style used throughout the series. I look at Character Designs, Background designs and use of colors along with other things that catch my eye…literally. 12.5 Points can be awarded here.]

Music and Soundtrack – [Pretty much, a score of all things musical with a series or movie. We will study the Opening Theme, Incidentals, and ending themes, along with any other music used in a series. Fair warning, when it comes to shows like “Nerima Daikon Brothers” and “Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad“, this section will be the one to look for. 12.5 Points can be awarded here.]

Performances and Production – [This section will discuss the production aspects of the series/movie, primarily the acting done in both the English and the Japanese, with emphasis on English Dubbing when appropriate. I tend to be more gentle with Sub-Only releases as I don’t speak Japanese and as such, can’t get a fix on the vocal nuances, puns and word play that is often found in anime.  25 Points can be awarded here.]

Final Grade –  [The grading scale is based of the Louisiana Educational Grading Scale. Plus and minus grades can also be awarded depending on how close they are to the next letter grade. So if a series gets a 86.5, they wouldn’t just get a “C” grade, they would get a “C+”, because they were just within reach of the next grade. As a reminder, here’s the scale…]

A 100 – 93 (Premium Series; You Can’t Go Wrong.)
B 87 – 92 ( Very Good Series; Just Shy of Perfection. )
C 75 – 86 (Average Series; It does The Job Fine, But It Has a Few Flaws…Make of it What You Will…)
D 70 – 74 (Below Average Series; Don’t Expect Too Much and/or Spend Too Much on it…)
F 0 – 69 (Failing Series; Not Worth Your Money or Your Time…Watch ONLY for Curiosity Purposes if you MUST…)

“Lagniappe” –  [This is where I highlight some interesting trivia from the series (if any). In some cases, this section might be blank. This means I couldn’t find anything of import to note or I was in so much of a hurry to get the review up I didn’t notice I forgot it! If it’s the latter, please forgive me in advance.]

Conclusion –  [Again, self-explanatory! I wrap up the review!]

Announcement of New Series – [It’s here where I MIGHT announce what the next series or movie review is going to be, or if there is a special contest I have going or a special post coming up that I am particularly excited about.]

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