For those of you who aren’t members of the wonderfully informative Animetric forum, you may not know me too well. For you website lurkers, I’ll try and give you an idea of who I am, where I come from (in the anime sense not my life’s story, no one wants to hear that), and try to convey some idea about my rating system so you have a better understanding of exactly what I mean when I give something X stars.
My name is Aaron Murphy and I'm currently getting my MS in Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida. I’ve been an anime fan for about the past 10 years, starting with Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, and Robotech; which I watched on Cartoon Network back in the day. The first title I saw that I knew was Japanese was Armitage III Polymatrix, quickly followed by Vampire Hunter D thanks to the Sci-fi channel's late night showings. Things kind of snowballed from there and I have now seen over 700 titles, clocking over 3,000 hours of anime watched (I like to keep track). I’ve never really immersed myself into the manga world, for one reason or another. I tend only to read shojo titles since I can’t stand trying to follow the action in shonen titles, Berserk notwithstanding. Bishoujo games are very new to me, having only recently started playing them. Even though I have only finished 5 as of this writing, I’m encouraged by most of the ones I have played to keep going, and have found them to be rather enjoyable, most of the time anyway. You can see my entire list of anime and manga titles by going here, which is a much easier way for you to get a sense of what I like and dislike, rather than me trying to explain it to you: My Anime List And just for quick reference, my favorite anime and manga so far is Berserk, which has reigned supreme for many years now.
I don’t have any sort of secret technique I use to figure out how to rate something. I’ve been giving ratings to titles for years now on ANN, so when I watch something I have a fairly good idea of what I am going to give it. You know all those things like the quality of the story, characters, animation, music, direction, your personal enjoyment, etc., that really tells one whether or not the series was good or bad. One of the things I like to ask myself as soon as I finish a title is, “Would I ever want to watch this title again, and if so in how long?” It really strikes at the heart of the matter and pulls all the elements of the title into one grouping, rather than trying to analyze it out over a bunch of different ratings for different aspects of the release. If nothing in the title was interesting enough, deep enough, entertaining enough to make you want to watch it ever again, how good could it have been? Now this doesn’t necessarily measure the quality of a title all the time, like in the case of Grave of Fireflies. I never want to see that again, but that’s because it is so damn depressing. Even in this case though, how depressing they made the movie did impact my overall opinion of it negatively. In my rating scale, 2 ½ stars is the cutoff point where watching a title was not worth it the first time around. Obviously anything below that and you should be questioning in the middle of it why you are still watching. If a title get’s 3 stars, it was worth a single watch, but it’s not really worth watching again for any reason. Anything above 3 stars just increases the likelihood of watching it again, and within a shorter period of time. For example, in my ANN list I have posted a section for all titles I have seen 3+ times, and there is only one 3 ½ star title in there, all the rest are 4+ stars. With Berserk, a 5 star title, with over 14 watches now. It seems like an odd way to look at it, but it’s just something I got in the habit of doing many years ago.
Now I feel I should comment about hentai titles, because they are a bit different than anime titles, and I should make a distinction between what I feel is adult anime and hentai. An adult anime title is one that may have a sex scene or two, but can function fine without their inclusion, such as Mezzo Forte and Kite. A hentai title is one in which sex is the main point of the series, and the story revolves around people getting into sexual situations. I make this distinction because, given that hentai titles focus on sex, you will never see me rate one 5 stars, and probably never 4 ½ stars. At least not on an equal grading scale and that is what I am using on this site. I’ve seen two hentai titles which have reached 4 stars, but I find it rather inconceivable that the “best” hentai title, whose focus is half on sex and half on the story, can come close to matching the “best” anime series whose full focus in on the story. It just doesn’t make sense. The only difference in how I grade hentai and anime titles is that hentai titles get extra points for quality sex scenes, but it really isn’t going to affect the rating that much. But I will say that if the quality of the sex scenes is all you are looking for in your hentai, I will always try and include some commentary in the reviews about just how good it is, because the overall rating is only slightly affected by the quality of the sex scenes. Thus it will not be the most accurate gauge to use, in that respect.
This does not apply to B-Games, which can be much longer, incorporate a lot more storyline into the game and which can include a fighting system, which is a big plus.
Well that is everything I have to say for the moment. The newsletter will be used for quarterly updates, while this area will stay pretty much how it is now. Thank you for taking the time to read through my meandering Webmaster Info area, and I hope it has given you all a slightly better understand of where I am coming from with my reviews.