Updating My Grading Scale and Seeking Feedback About the New Layout

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When I came up with my grading scale, I was attempting to strike a good balance between having a system that accurately reflected the different levels of quality and a system that was overly complex. After a year of using this scale, I’m better able to recognize differences in quality and score accordingly. I’m still not a cynical reviewer that loves to hate everything but I am giving out fewer perfect scores. Recently, I realized that my grading scale needs a few tweaks to simplify it as well as add a few more possible scores.

One problem was that I actually had two different 1-12 scales that I used. For episodes of anime I just a scale that included 12+, 12++, and 12+++ but for complete works like a series review I did not have these levels. Another problem that would occur when doing a series review was I sometimes had a show that didn’t fit in one of my whole number ratings but, instead, belonged midway between two numbers.

The needed revision came to me today and it’s outlined as followed.

The scale is still out of 12 but it shall be divided as such:

  • 12/12 Perfect
  • 11.5/12 Nearly Perfect
  • 11/12 A+
  • 10.5/12 Strong A
  • 10/12 A
  • 9/12 A-
  • 8/12 B+
  • 7/12 B
  • 6/12 B-
  • 5/12 C+
  • 4/12 C
  • 3/12 D
  • 2/12 F
  • 1/12 Epic Fail

For anime series reviews and other completed reviewed works, the only difference is now it’s possible to get an 11.5 and 10.5. I’ve gone back and adjusted the series review scores to reflect these new choices. One such move, for example, was Library War moved from 11/12 up to 11.5/12 to better reflect how much I loved it, despite the problems in the plot believability department.

For the episode review scores, the version 1 scores get mapped to version 2 scores like this: 12+++ → 12, 12++ → 11.5, 12+ → 11, 12 → 10.5, 11 → 10, 10 → 9, 9 → 8, 8 → 7, 7 → 6, 6 → 5, 5 → 4, 4 → 3, 3 → 2, 2 → 1. Taking a couple of examples from my recent weekly anime review:

Clannad S.2, episode 19 – 12++/12 becomes 11.5/12 Near Perfect
Michiko to Hatchin, episode 18 – 12+/12 becomes11/12 A+
Minami-Ke: Okaeri, episode 7 – 11/12A+ becomes 10/12A
Asu no Yoichi, episode 7 – 9/12A- becomes 8/12B+

Generally, individual episodes will score higher then my overall opinion of the show. This is due to the lesser demands on a single episode to be good as opposed to the greater demands on the entire series to be good. For example, a certain series might get docked points in the series review because it lacked necessary character development but the individual episodes where funny and thusly earning good marks.

Modifiers

For completed works reviewed, a second measure will be included with the score and it will measure the level of Rewatchablity. This is separate from the score because a title could get a perfect score but there’s little desire to ever rewatch it or a show is no where near perfect but gets rewatched frequently. Shows that rank at least a medium would probably be worth buying in DVD form since at this level, it’s almost guarenteed that it’ll get watched more then once.

(None)
(very low)
(low)
(low – med)
(medium)
(med – high)
(high)
(very high)

One of the intanibles that was included previously in my first impression scores was how well the first episode got me interesting in watching the rest of the series. As of now, I’m going to separate that out and, using the same levels from my rewatchability score, rate how well the show hooks me into watching the rest of series. This will be the show’s initial Anticipation Level.

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New Layout

Recent repeat visitors, no doubt, realized that I switched the theme for The Null Set. I was tired of the last theme for several months but couldn’t find a theme that WordPress offered that I liked. About a week ago, they introduced a new theme choice that seemed to offer many of the improvements I was looking for as well as including cool options like being able to change the background color so I switched.

I didn’t want to fish for complements so I didn’t say anything; however, I was hoping for some feedback on the change but to date, I haven’t gotten any. Since I decided to tweak my grading scale, I figured I could slip in a small part asking for feedback about the recent theme change. So, how do you like the new theme? Any gripes about how the sidebar is now ordered? Is there something I missed in converting the theme?

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7 thoughts on “Updating My Grading Scale and Seeking Feedback About the New Layout”

  1. Aha! So it’s a completely new theme. I kind of noticed it, but didn’t say anything because I thought I was spacing out on it or something. Since I didn’t recall a theme like this when I was on wordpress. And it’s such a great one too, if I’d ever noticed it I probably would have used it. Plenty of space for posts and for the banner. And custom colors!? Yup, quite a good theme. I haven’t noticed anything that seems off in the change either.

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  2. haha Hild is awesome 🙂

    I like the new system with decimal points rather then pluses because pluses make it look like the score is over 100% 😛

    Rewatchabililty system looks good too.

    New theme is nice 🙂 The sidebar is messed up a little, but that’s ok. The theme has a wide space for your post and allows larger pictures 🙂

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  3. A very good change in my opinion. Being able to admit when there is room for improvement in ones methods is a sign of maturity and gives the impression that you really do care about providing the best standards in expressing your views on topics of choice.

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  4. Thank you for taking the time to clear things up I do however think for readers who may not later get an opportunity to read this post it may be better if you changed it to a scale out of 10.

    One serious criticism of the review system I have is that I find you are too casual in handing out high scores last week for instance the lowest scored was 9/12 for something to score 12 it should be exemplary and show lasting excellence. I understand the scores may well reflect your opinions but I think it would benefit the people who follow your scores and reviews as a guide for what to watch for you to be more subjective and critical.

    To site one example I read your review for Chaos Head, now I was unfortunate enough to watch this atrocity in its entirety recently and was expecting someone of your calibre to show it for what it really was. So I was a little disappointed to see it score 9/12 though you did take the point to state it had its “flaws” you neglect to mention its poor animation, an incomprehensible story or the fact there is no real character development, ask yourself the question if this is a 9 what does that make the greats.

    Please don’t take this as though I am getting at you, I spent a lot of time looking for a site this good and I take a lot of stock in your opinions.

    Best regards DoDo

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  5. I’m actually liking the new scoring system as it seems to be much more sensible and consistent. I do agree to a certain extent with dodo that you could have given a more critical outlook as far as the overall execution and quality of the work in question. However, this is only a stepping stone. And no one becomes a good enthusiast or critic overnight.

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  6. @Everyone: thanks for the comments.

    @FuyuMaiden, Kitsune: Glad you like the theme and I’m loving the added width for posts.

    @Kaioshin Sama: I was hoping you’d comment since your earlier comments about my grading scale was what really got me thinking that I did need to update my grading scale and better differentiate the levels of quality found in anime.

    @dodo: With regards to my weekly anime review, one of the reasons why there’s relatively high marks is because I watch shows that I like. If I felt like punishing myself by watching a show like Akikan, you’d see shows getting very low scores.

    But you are right about the importance of giving an accurate score, especially from the reader’s standpoint. Even after a year of blogging, I’m still learning and improving and I appreciate people that respectfully disagree with me and force me to stay honest.

    The thing with Chaos;Head was I really, really liked the story and was willing to overlook some of it’s failings as long as it didn’t interfere with the story. I would have liked for the mystery reveal to have been handled better and the whole execution of the ending to have been better but I didn’t feel right giving it a low score when I really liked it for most of it’s run. Now if I ever rewatch it, I’ll give it a updated score to reflect how well it holds up the second time and it will almost certainly be lower.

    What’s always bothered me about standard grading scales like the out of 10 system is there’s this huge area for failing and a tiny area to separate out the good shows. To me a show that gets say a 9.1 and another that gets a 9.2 sound very similar and I don’t know if there’s a real difference in quality.

    @Insania: At the very least, I’ll try to better argue why it deserves a higher score and if I can’t, I won’t feel bad about giving it a lower score.

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  7. A 12/12 here is the same as my 5/5 or 10/10. A 11/12 would equal 4.5/5 or 9/10.

    Most of the anime I actually like and recommend fall into the 4/5 or 8/10 range. Numbers below 3/5, I don’t usually use, because if I hated it so much it would be very unlikely that I had continued to watch it. Even ones like Chrome Shelled Regios get a score of 3-4 because the core material is right, but the execution was flawed.

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