The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

The Rating Scale

The Nihon Review incorporates a unique rating system that is simple yet effective. Our belief is that every rating is fair from one gradation to the next and that there is no such thing as a perfect score (notice the denotated difference between "the highest score" and "the perfect score"). The system is a go-between of the percentage system, which is excessively specific, and a four-star system, which is just too general.

Each rating is paired with a phrase. It is generally for humor, but also for emphasis on our belief that a rating is not a "grade" but a way to categorize it in terms of a certain standard. Every reviewer has his and her own standards. But with this system, each rating is general enough that the standards of each reviewer fall within a very close zone, where Reviewer A’s "9" is very similar to Reviewer B’s "9."

Take notice that our system does not correlate with a "school grading system," where a 70% is "Satisfactory" and anything below a 60% is "Failing." To us, a 5, the smack-middle score, is average.

The Ratings and What They Mean:

10As Good As It Gets – This is the highest score, awarded to the best of the best, but it is not a perfect score. The phrase has been carefully chosen to mean that there are limitations to every title and that those limitations have been met. Nonetheless, being "as good as it gets" signifies the title’s prestige and clear-cut excellence.

9Fantastic – This is an excellent score that marks that the title should be recognized by all as being just that: fantastic. Its Cons are too minor to consider and are clearly outweighed by its Pros.

8 Awesome – This is a great score proving that the title is of significant quality. Unfortunately it is a step down from the top tier, but it is only a very small step.

7Good – The title has met all the standards of what the reviewer would consider as "worth recommending." The title has its flaws, but those flaws are not damaging enough as to overpower its positive attributes.

6Above Average – There are many hits and misses. Its redeeming qualities barely make up for its drawbacks. The title is of questionable merit, but still deserves a chance.

5Average – This is a rating that means absolute mediocrity, where there is a good balance between what’s "Acceptable" and "Not Acceptable." There are not enough positive qualities to outweigh the negatives, and there are not enough drawbacks to outweigh the pluses. It is just…satisfactory.

4Below Average – The title was just not lucky. There were too many flops and screw-ups, and…it isn’t awarded a passing "grade." It screams "Help me! Revise me! Fix me up!" Yet still, there were some things worth clapping for.

(From here on, the number of times we cringe determines the extent of a title’s crappiness.)

3Poor – The lack of quality in this title is amazing (that’s an oxymoron, by the way). But, there is something about it that gives us the impression that it deserves better. Calling it "Horrible" or "Ugly" would just be wrong! There were things that could be liked…kind of.

2Horrible – Perhaps this title lacks in the creativity department…or maybe, a lot of other things are lacking. You know, "quality" and the likes. The title, however, has enough saving throws to keep it from hitting rock bottom. There’s a few things worth your time, but otherwise: to the recycle bin it goes!

1Disgusting – I think the word "disgusting" speaks for itself. There has got to be a line that must be drawn somewhere, and this title has already breeched too far past it. It’s sad, I know.

0Avoid At All Costs – This is the lowest rank. In fact, a title that has this rating does not even deserve any form of acknowledgement (but for the sake of the system, we gotta give ’em something). When coming into contact, or even remote proximity, it is best to just lower your head, stray your eyes away, and strafe to the left.

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