Ratings system: what is a masterpiece for you?
The aftermath of Tatami Galaxy got me into thinking I should rearrange and reorganize my method of rating anime series. I don’t give many series perfect scores, but I do like a significant number of series and I gave most of them perfect 10s. I realized that it just didn’t cut it with Tatami Galaxy, though. The experience of watching the series was like the first time I watched Honey and Clover. I was so involved with basically everything about the series, from abundant speculation to interpreting the occurrences of the series; I was also so involved with the characters themselves that I couldn’t help but cry freely during the final episode because all of them have grown, especially Watashi. It was simply then I realized that I would have given 11 for these shows just because they were so good, but that was supposed to be the reason for a perfect 10.
Clearly, something was wrong with how I dealt with things. There were simply some series and movies that scores of ’10’ wouldn’t do justice to them, so I think I have to refocus myself with 10 as an absolute and then go down from there. I’ve managed to pare down my scores and removed some anime from that ’10’ spot, but I’m still left with about seven series that I just feel are absolute classics to me: no matter how I think of them, they’re just personal masterpieces to me. These were the series that I re-watched and have appealed to me a lot, personally, although one is absolutely polarizing. Frankly, I have some preferences among them, but they’re all series that I just have a difficulty giving lower than 10:
1. Tatami Galaxy (Yojo-han Shinwa Taikei)
I haven’t re-watched a series as much as this one. I only cried during the endings of two series: this, and Honey and Clover. I really felt the character of Watashi, too, and that pervasive culture of impotence that sometimes seeps into everyone. This is not just the show’s recency coming into play. It’s just that damn good for me.
2. Honey and Clover
This is the second of two shows that I cried during the ending of. It will probably never remove itself from my top three. What the Tatami Galaxy has over it is its intellectual nature: this is more of an affective show.
3. Cowboy Bebop
This series was what got me into being a hardcore fan. It was just a beautiful series.
4. Shingetsutan Tsukihime
Yes, I know. ‘There is NO Tsukihime anime.’ But there was something about the anachronistic nature of this show (the merging of the flashbacks without warning) and its need for re-watches that simply got me. Plus, you really can’t knock on sleeping forever for the sake of the one you love – that was what really got me.
5. Cross Game
I re-watched this series immediately after it aired. It was really good, too, although I still have to compare it to Touch and judge which is the more deserving masterpiece.
6. Ga-Rei -zero-
This was heart-wrenchingly painful and beautiful at the same time. I mean I can gush for each of these shows but that’s not really the point of this post. I saw one of anime’s most dynamic relationships between Yomi and Kagura.
7. Maison Ikkoku
This deserves a re-watch as to whether it’s a nine or ten, but I cried at this series and really, really loved the ending.
So far those are my seven ’10’ series. I don’t know where to put Kara no Kyoukai, but it’s at no. 2 if taken as a series. My top movies are Ocean Waves and the Rebuild of Eva films. I still don’t know what really constitutes a masterpiece, but judging from those series I think it’s the rewatchability of the shows and how emotionally affective it was. I also think consistency is an issue that has to be tackled (thus my reason that Tatami Galaxy is much better than Kaiba for me). I don’t usually give series low scores since I usually watch the series I know I will finish later on.
I’m not offering any answers, but I think it will probably work in the long run. How do you rank or select your masterpieces?