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How to start an anime review?

Discussion in 'Anime, Manga & Cartoons' started by Jonez001, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Jonez001

    Jonez001 Well-Known Member

    Hi guys and of course girls!

    I have one big hobby apart form RomUlation and scouts and that is blogging. My main subjects of my blog are my life, my opinion, how-to with computers, scouts and the main attraction is reviews.
    I have done some movie reviews and they aren't that good in my opinion but now I plan to do anime reviews. The problem is, how to start? What do I certainly need to mention in an animie series review? And what not?

    So please give me hints how to review an anime (also ones that aren't based on a manga).

    Cheers and I look forward to the hints!

    How yeah, side note: my blog is Dutch and anybody who want to read it, just pm me!

    - Jonez -
  2. toffster92

    toffster92 Well-Known Member

    There are 3 key elements that you have to consider when reviewing an anime.


    ART STYLE - This is the quality of animation used in the anime. From character designs to the backgrounds and even the little details such as shadowing and lighting effects, anything that involves the graphical aspects of the anime. Also, when reviewing anime take note of the production company that made it. Some companies have a distinct style that sets it apart from the rest (e.g. GAINAX, Shaft, etc.)

    *Note: Just like the argument of graphics vs. aesthetics in video games, you should not confuse graphical strength with style. Take these two animes for example, Cowboy Bebop (1998) and Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai (2011). Two animes with very different styles. Cowboy Bebop, being produced in 1998, clearly has inferior graphical strength than the latter - having less cleaner lines and less vibrant color palettes. However, the animation is extraordinary, each scene is richly detailed, character designs are unique from character to character, environments feel natural, realistic and flowing, and action scenes are smooth and detailed. Now, take the second example; this anime, being produced in this year, has access to better graphics than Cowboy Bebop; smooth lines, textured color palettes, and the advantage of computer clean-ups and editing. However, that's all that it has. It looks pretty but it has nothing going for it. The character designs are recycled so much that the main girls are basically hair and palette swaps, the backgrounds are bland and generic, and detailing is few and far in-between. Clearly, in terms of style Cowboy bebop is superior.

    MUSIC/ SOUND - This is the audio aspect of the anime. This ranges from the musical scoring, sound effects, the opening and ending themes, to the quality of the voice acting. Musical scoring is pretty straightforward to review. Does the background music fit with the mood of the scene? Does it detract or add to the atmosphere of the scene? All important questions to ask when reviewing the scores. Sound effects are trickier but still easy to review; Do the sounds fit the action they are associated with? Do they sound realistic? Again, all important questions to ask. The third aspect of the audio in the anime is the all-important voice acting. Does the dialogue feel natural or do the emotions seem forced? Does the voice match the character they are portraying? Of course, unless you have a firm understanding of the japanese language, or have been watching animes for a REALLY REALLY long time, it would be hard for you to detect the subtle inflections and nuances in their speech. For now, just focus on the emotional aspect of the voice acting and try to review if the VAs (voice actors) made you feel what the dialogue meant you to feel.

    STORYLINE - The last and perhaps the most important aspect of an anime is the storyline. Without a proper storyline, even the most beautiful looking and brilliantly scored anime will amount to nothing more than pretty slideshow. This aspect is also the longest to consider and review effectively. While you can pretty much determine the Art Style and Music Quality from the first two episodes of an anime, you have to watch the whole thing to fully understand the storyline. This is because when you review the storyline you have to consider multiple aspects of it; the theme, the premise, the concept, the progression of the story, the pace in which it is told, the conflicts the characters encounter (both internally and externally) and most importantly, the character development (which, in itself, deserves its own review). These are all important points of the storyline in which the reviewer must expand upon.

    ENJOYMENT - Finally, though not that important, how much did you enjoy the anime? This is typically where the reviewer will culminate the rating he gave to the three main aspects and rates them as a whole. Remember, even though an anime may critically score high on the three aspects, the reviewer may not enjoy the anime at all. This is all down to the reviewer's personal taste. If he/she likes romantic comedies, then he/she will likely enjoy animes like Ranma or Love Hina than Gundam or Death Note. Always keep in mind that "one man's junk is another man's treasure"
  3. Jonez001

    Jonez001 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Toffee, again you amaze me
  4. toffster92

    toffster92 Well-Known Member

    hehe, always happy to help out a fledgling animetaku.
  5. Jonez001

    Jonez001 Well-Known Member

    What do you mean with this word? My friend Google doesn't seem to display it
  6. toffster92

    toffster92 Well-Known Member

    Oh its just a word I made up. Its a combination of "anime" and "otaku"
  7. insanecrazy07

    insanecrazy07 Well-Known Member

    Also, another thing I tend to look for is character development, and how well the dub is. Some English dubs are really bad compared to the Japanese original.

    K-On and High School of the Dead come to mind.
  8. Link97

    Link97 Member

    Start with the plot. Nobody'll know what you're talking about if you mention things like the art style first.