What makes a good anime? No, I’m not talking about the details of the anime itself. Leave aside what is actually inside the package, I’m talking about reception. This also has nothing to do with popularity or sales, although they are closely linked. What I’m referring to is how do you know how ‘good’ an anime is. Sorry I can’t come up with more exciting vocabulary to convey my point. How would you define if one anime is better than another through sheer objectivity?
Many would say there is no objective way to define if one anime is better than another because all opinions on whether a show is good or not is entirely your own opinion. This is completely and utterly true. How good something is is based entirely off your own subjective opinion. What you might have thought of as good someone else might have thought was crap and neither of you are wrong, at least not subjectively. However the more people’s subjective opinions you collect, the closer to the objective quality of the show you have.
The quality of a show is defined purely on whether the people watching it thought it was any good and how good they thought it was. While you can define things that happen inside the show through purely objective eyes, these do not define whether the show itself was well-received. You can use them to explain why it was well received but nothing more. Using this wordy logic, if the vast majority of people thought a show was good, then it objectively is a good show.
tc;du (too confusing, didn’t understand) If an anime is rated highly on sites like MAL (or movies on imdb or whatever) then it is a good anime. Good is defined by whether people thought it was any good. Subjective opinions become objective fact through sheer numbers.
Counter-Argument or I am my own worst critic
But people are thick and honestly thought that Code Geass R2 was good
Then they are right. Oh sure, you could point out parts of the product itself to show why it shouldn’t be rated so highly, but if the majority of viewers thought it was good, then it was good. You didn’t think it was good? Great, that’s your own subjective opinion and you’re not wrong. But you’ve been drowned out by thousands of others who thought otherwise.
But the ratings on MAL are flawed. Someone who likes RahXephon might rate it an 8 while someone else who likes Afro Samurai just as much as the person who likes RahXephon might rate Afro Samurai a 10. Also, ratings are defined by who’s rating them. If only BL fans rate BL anime, then Junjou Romantica ends up far higher than it should. Also sequels get rated higher etc. etc.
Ah technicalities~. Theory rarely works properly in real life because life is such a complicated mess. The main point of this post still stands, you just need to take the ratings with a pinch of salt. Comparing like with like works quite well for certain genres. If Bleach is rated higher than Naruto and they attract the same type of fans to rate them, then Bleach is better than Naruto. If Evangelion is rated higher than RahXephon, then Evangelion is better. If Kaiba is rated better than Kemenozume…you get my drift.