5th Blogiversary Week: Let’s Talk Numbers and Ratings

Ready for another somewhat controversial take for this 5th Blogiversary week thing? Here it is: numbers and scores are kind of a mess of an idea. I mean, honestly tell me how that isn’t the truth. This is a thought that I’ve had for a while, but it’s been enhanced quite a bit since becoming a university english student. Especially when a lot of topics we’ve covered in class cover rhetoric and ways to read into text about something. Though, there is a reason why people use numbered ratings and list posts when creating posts. Numbers get attention. It’s true, don’t lie.

There is a reason why people look up aggregate scores on a movie or an anime they want to watch. How else could a person get an idea on whether or not something is good when something is good? What if something is 75% on rotten tomatoes or a 6.7 on my anime list for example? That means, with this logic, that whatever is being looked at is at least a decent watch right? Here is my thing, numbers mean different things to different people. A 7 from someone can mean something different for a different person. For instance, a 7 can average for some because of how school has taught people that a 70% is a C for average. Yet other people can say that a 7 is above a 5 or 50% which is the true average. That means the thing being scored a 7 is pretty solid. That’s only a minimal example of this.

Then we could talk about what a rating means too. So something is rated a 7? Why is it rated that? Well, we discussed some quick reasons for that, right? Average to above average. But why is it a 7? What are the particulars of something being called a 7. Well, this is why reviews are written, right? Supposedly? Yet, this adds some more vagueness to why the 7 is there. What can we base something off of? Art, Animation, Story, Characters, Themes, and so many other things. So all of those words characterizing this are going to be summarized by one number? By doing that, a number is like a picture where it means a thousand words, but that depends on who took it and why.

That number depends on whether or not you believe in the words of the person who wrote it and decided to give something that 7. Creating an average of scores from lot of reviewer or user numbers doesn’t make sense because of this fact. There is too much of a hit and miss factor, so I don’t think that a number can be trusted. Especially since I’ve enjoyed a lot of shows with lower ratings more than I thought I would. That basic opinion does not account for my very bizarre tastes compared to the general anime community for instance. I am not going to say my opinion is better at all, but what I prefer to watch compared to other anime in general are not the same. I think it might because I’m an older fan compared to the community in general and that’s fine. I like being alive and watching anime even if I am beyond the realm of it all.

All of this is the reason why I’ve been thinking about taking out scores from my blog posts and my anilist profile too. I do have a worded rating system instead of a number, but it’s still a vaguely formed four starred rating system. That is fine for me because a 2/4 is still average or watchable and I like being more positive than anything that I watched. I am going to keep that, but I’ve been thinking about changing it out with something and I am not sure what yet. My anilist profile is different because its 🙂 / 😐 /:( and that’s it. No numbers at all, just that and it’s interesting seeing this being translated to anime music quiz. But regardless of that, I will still have a rating system up no matter what. I just need to see if there is something that works better than what I have been doing now. Might take a bit to think about If there isn’t anything I can change to make it more me, that’s fine. At least I’ve tried even if I fail to do it.

One quick thing on lists and post like that, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with doing them. They are definitely not click bait because you are giving the reader something to look forward to and you are delivering on what the title says. There is also the fact that these are easier to write and when a blogger doesn’t have all the time in the world to write sometimes, that can be a good thing. I just don’t like writing them myself a lot of the time unless there comes a reason why I want to write one. End of year posts, end of season posts, husbando posts, waifu posts, and things like that. It’s not my preferred content to write, but I am pretty picky honestly.


  1. I think there’s a difference between ranking and assigning an arbitrary score to something. With a list, providing you’re saying that it’s an opinion and not fact, it’s just down to what you preferred.

    However giving a score, especially when these are then aggregated is incredibly subjective and since everything being aggregated all are subjective it becomes a bit of a mess. It only works if everyone is using the same standards for the scores which will never happen.

    I think the only fair way would be for everyone to rank everything and then you’d be able to aggregate the results. And even that wouldn’t be perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The former is actually how I rate stuff on AniList: I first look for a rough “ballpark rating” that I think it fits. I then pull up my list and then go, “Is the work I want to score better or worse than this?” for the first work with the same rating and so on, so forth until I can say the works I have on the same level are equal. Generally, a bunch of works with the same score I will have had similar reactions to, even if comparing some things is like comparing apples and oranges. I’ve tried to score with an average of 60/100, but for manga, I’m currently over that by 4.6 and for anime, I’m under by 0.5. (Then again, I don’t have any manga scores under 25/100 – nothing I’ve seen is that bad.)

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Numbers are a very clinical way to rate , but it is also very quantifiable.
    While that 7 might mean something else to people, so would “I find this watchtable” .. I know for example that Irina’s standards for watchable or good are probably lower than mine. She is the bigger anime fan when you compare us so she takes her love for the medium more into this and is more forgiving. I would be a lot more lenient when we review a Pokémon game because I love that so much.

    But when it comes to reviewing, no matter if you use words or numbers it all doesn’t mean anything or is up for interpretation. “I like the character design” some mean they like colour of their hair and outfit and eyes (Irina) while I like character designs more if they have pretty outfits, while you may like a character design for military themes and feeling authentic to a sci-fi world, yet another likes a character if they think it’s “fuckable”. In the end words mean very little so I feel a vague term like 7/10 might not be as defined as “I like it because…” but a reader can’t feel what you feel, but 7/10 somehow will be able to put everyone in the general area what you feel.. it’s apathy friendly if you will.

    I think reviews should not be about the actual anime or game or whatever you review. Rather than reviewing the product , ideally you would review the time you spend with said product. “I spend 2,5 Hours with Gundam Igloo.. I had a great time because in those 150 minutes.. I got to experience this” This way we review a product that no one else has in the world..”your time with a show” rather then a show and a review thusly will always be “objective”
    People can judge if they are like you and may react in a similar way. This is also why I am very personal on my blog, it offers a frame of context for other content. I react like this… because think like this. A map legend for my reviews.

    I don’t believe in factually good or bad anime, or any product for that matter. Episode 10 of My Hero Academia is kind of like a 10 dollar bill.. sure it might have some intrinsic world in the perception of the populous but it isn’t worth that unless you actually spend it and get 10 dollars worth of stuff. Until that moment it is just a piece of paper. Media is worth nothing until you actually watch or read it and then it’s basically a currency like tem along with time we spend to gain entertainment. If I keep comparing it to a bill, the general populous number score is simply the nomination on the piece of paper , it’s cash value. Spending 10 dollar at the toy store (10 score) has a bigger chance then just spending a 1 dollar bill (1 score), but based on the numbers you can make an estimate of what you are about to get.
    If money was printed with “Worth only a Little” “Worth Quite a Lot” or “Worth a Shitton” people would go crazy, so in a same level I think a number offers solace, even though in the end it’s not the cash that makes us happy it’s how we spend it.

    Liked by 1 person

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