Monday, November 10, 2014

Is MyAnimeList Harmful for Bloggers?

We all know of the website by the name of MyAnimeList. It's a wonderful website, allowing you to make a beautiful list of all your watched anime. It's a great way to keep track of what you've seen, and a useful tool for sharing your tastes with others. For me, the website is really great, because I've seen so many anime that I usually forget most of them!

However, there's another side that comes in play when we make our lists. We can rate anime by a single number score. A few people take the time to write a more detailed review, but others just stick to the scoring system. In conclusion, all of this factors into an average score which is shown on the anime's page.

So this is when personal opinion starts to come in; is this process somewhat harmful, especially for bloggers? I enjoy MyAnimeList as I stated before, but I feel that the act of defining a whole anime by a single number is a bit over the top.

If you think of anime in general, it's basically a work of art. Yes, even the worst anime, are still art forms. Imagine that you were someone who created this art form, and you put hard work, sweat, and tears into it. Then someone comes along who simply does not like it, so they label it with a low rating such as 4 or 5. How would you feel? This might make sense to those who create their work on a daily basis such as writers, artists, etc. Yet, this example may not click with others.

So  get down to the real issue is to move away from the approach of the producer, but to see things as a viewer. We are watching something that is so immense and detailed. It is filled with vibrant art, voice actors, a story, music, and more. There are so many different elements that need to be accounted for when looking at an anime because, believe it or not, all of these things add to the overall story.

In a way, we could say that MyAnimeList can condition us into examining and looking at things in the way of numbers, taking things as a single value, and not looking at the overall composition. In fact, any sort of number based reviewing system could be described in a similar way. I think for a viewer, this might be different, but for a blogger it can affect our entire coverage of an anime.

As an alternative I tend to use such a system as a way to show how much I enjoyed the anime. I just don't feel comfortable rating a whole piece of work on a number, and I don't feel I am in any position to do so. So this way of rating anime is not all bad, it depends on how you use it. Of course, not everyone thinks this way.

To make things more clear, I do not think reviews are bad; they are good at helping people pick and choose what anime they should or should not watch. However, I think I would rather a more detailed review than a number rating scale. Such a system could be a little harmful for a blogger, because it can build bad habits when it comes to examining and analyzing an anime.

So to raise the question to readers, whether you are bloggers or not, do you use reviews? Do you feel they can be harmful to an anime blogger? Do you even seen a need for them?

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