For just about every anime episode, OVA or film we review, we assign a subjective rating that comprises elements such as story strength, production values, music, voice acting, and general entertainment value.

There’s no clear-cut application of a rating, it’s just an estimate of our feelings about the work. No episode rating is final; we may change it after thinking about an episode for some time or re-watching it.

Our newest rating scale (as of Fall 2020) is a five-star system, virtually identical to the one used on Anime News Network. The more gold stars, the better the episode!

Rating Scale – Version 4.0

Rating Scale – Version 3.0












Rating Scale – Version 2.5












Rating Scale – Version 2.0

(Used from Aug 2012 thru Mar 2014)

10 = Masterpiece

9 = Superior

8 = Great

7 = Very Good

6 = Good

5 = Average

4 = Fair

3 = Bad

2 = Awful

1 = Debacle

Rating Scale – Version 1.0

(Used from Apr 2010 thru July 2012)

4 = Excellent

3.5 =  Standout

3 = Recommended

2.5 = Average

2 = Mediocre

1.5 = Poor

1 = Awful

NR = (No Rating)

Now that you’re familiar with our Rating Scales, check out our BIG BOARD!

10 thoughts on “Ratings”

  1. It makes sense to line up with the community standard but you already know how I feel about a 10 point scale. Just don’t see the point of ratings below 4, nor 6/8. I’ll always be a fan of the straight forward nature (and utility) of ratings 1.0

    1. It’s true that we almost never rate things below 3, for the simple reason that we’ll usually just stop watching something that bad.

      We could really ask MyAnimeList the same question. If something almost universally derided as Pupa still hovers around a 4, it makes you wonder just how much worse something would have to be to get a 1 or 2!

  2. With Ratings 3.0, it is confusing to see “Not Recommended” for 6, which used to be at least a passing grade.

    As a suggestion, a simple fix would be to swap the descriptions for 5 and 6. This would keep the positive descriptions at 6 and above.

    I would expect a description of “Not Recommended” for something 4 or below.

    1. 5 and 6 are the eternal argument within the office. What we were trying to capture here:

      6 begins the ‘not good’ ratings. 6 is an episode we would not recommend to our friends now, nor in version 2.5 when it was ‘fine’ (Zane has always said ‘fine’ with an exasperated voice). It is ‘watchable’ like a 7, but unremarkable, unexciting or dull. In some ways, you could think of a 6 as completely neutral ‘this exists’ rating.

      5 is honestly a bad episode or show. However, we can recognize there are aspects of it that will appeal to specific genre fans or style fans. It’s hard to watch, but if your tastes (your niche interests) still connect with it, there’s something there for you.

      4 and lower is what it has always been: there is no reason to watch any of these shows and the degree of terrible is obviously subjective. Ultimately, our suggestions as reviewers really only amount to 4 suggestions:

      Priority to Watch
      If you like X then watch but otherwise don’t watch
      Don’t watch

      It’s the nature of a 10 point scoring system.

      1. I now think that “Not Recommended” (or “Would Not Recommend”) is the best solution, since it’s a suggestion of what (in our opinion) to do with the episode.
        Franklin is right about Fine really meaning “Sigh…fine…I guess” to me.

        Perhaps there’s a better word for 6 like “Marginal” or “Subpar”, but are either of those more helpful than “Not Recommended”? I don’t know.

      2. Since there is no reply button for sesameacrylic’s post, below, I will put it here:

        @sesameacrylic, I hear what you are saying, and I also get that there looks to be a symmetry to the ratings, so there does need to be a “Not Recommended” in the list to keep that intact, but based on what you are saying, a “Marginal” description would be better. IMHO. =)

        Thanks for the explanation, guys. At the very least, I can see what you are trying to accomplish.

        (And a *6* is the start of the bad ratings?!? Wow. OK.)

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