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Post Reply Is MAL a decent way to scout an anime's quality?
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19 / M / Australia
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Posted 12/18/14
Curious to see whether you guys agree with my points or not. Allow me to illustrate said points.

I'm actually a mix between most of these answers apart from the straight up yes and no. I think there are a number of reasons for and against using MAL to find anime.

1. In most cases, I do believe MAL is a decent way to find good quality anime based off of scores and popularity voting. At the very least it removes most of the worse anime from one's potential watchlist. Though again it depends on the series as some series fall under what you might expect them to receive in terms of popularity, for example Shin Sekai Yori isn't nearly as popular as I would expect of an anime of it's calibre.

2. Practically all scores trend upwards due to the majority of voters having invested time in finishing and placing an anime on their list, causing a spike in positive voting if the show is even remotely solid.

3. Not everybody can math, some people give higher numbers to shows than expected because the scale and how it is interpreted can vary from person to person.

These are just some reasons behind my end-vote. I look forward to seeing what you guys think.
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21 / M / The Heroes Associ...
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Posted 12/18/14 , edited 1/29/15
No but watching an anime for yourself is.


Opinions are subjective. Just because someone else doesn't think its quality anime, doesn't mean you will too.
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68 / M / Columbia, MO
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Posted 12/18/14
I suspect MAL falls prey to subjectivity versus objectivity in spite of their efforts to pursue the latter. Many anime enthusiasts aren't striving Visual Arts professionals and their input will be based upon feelings versus more mundane methods of analyses.

It would be interesting if those scores could be broken down further by audience age cohorts, say in 10-year groupings. Tastes change with time and life experience. I have noticed this with other forms of mass media, recreation, entertainment over the years. After listening to several podcasts from those individuals who operate ANN (Anime News Network) aka ANNCAST and perusing the requisite General Forums I sense both Zac and Justin (plus other nefarious enthusiasts) have experienced changes in their perception toward certain anime as they got older.

Read the book Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life by Gail Sheehy. No, it's not about anime geeks and their pathogens or neuroses. It's about experiencing life as sampled using a general population broken down by age cohorts. It will give you a pretty fair digestible analysis about where you are at your age in the grand schema of the Universe. It's somewhat dated but you'll still recognize recurring patterns of self-awareness applicable even today.

MAL population suffers from sampling using very tight parameters: too select a population versus statistical purity. Not every anime watcher is into MAL, ANN, other organized gatherings on the net. I suspect there is a population of anime enthusiasts out there in the general population that don't have the means ($$), desire, or the time to participate in the judging process as exacting as MAL, ANN try to accomplish.

It would be nice if what sampling is performed by professional media analysts would be shared with the general anime audience freely so we can see which direction anime as a venue might be headed. Those figures are closely guarded secrets and the data, if desired, can be accessed for a price. It's uber expensive though, don't bother asking. Knowledge is power and having mucho dinero will get you very far accessing the information you seek but that won't be found quantifying MAL or ANN data.
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25 / M / United States,New...
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Posted 12/19/14 , edited 1/29/15
i say no...what the majority may really enjoy you might find to be subpar or worse and the ones the majority hate you could end up loving which is why i personally view ratings as a waste of time and not even worth a glance.
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30 / M / Central KY.
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Posted 1/10/15
Depends, I guess...
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35 / M
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Posted 1/10/15
No, but anime fans typically rate with extrem-ism. Plus, I don't think the votes are always for "strong" story telling.

Also, the anime fan age group skews heavily to younger audiences, with a lot of older fans dropping out over the years, and I don't thing younger audiences are always in favor of older titles. (though some of the topics here are starting to make me feel otherwise, at least about a fair portion of the members).

still votes seem extreme. If something is boring it gets a 1 or 2, if it's lot of explosions and harem style situations it can get a 10, but there's very little actual consideration in the voting process.

Case and point: You ever notice that on netflix, hulu, etc, their anime section is usually filled with 4-5 star ratings? It's difficult to find something that's a "meh" title.
Posted 1/10/15 , edited 1/29/15
The MAL reviews are usually far more intelligent than the reviews we have here, no offense, but they offer discourse in great doses, whereas there's hardly any negative reviews of NGNL. True, opinions are subjective, but MAL also has a wide range of opinions, from bad ratings to high ratings. I look up reviews to determine any flaws I might've missed the anime, or to clarify what I want to say.


In other words, there's a cavalcade of positive reviews on Crunchyroll that fails to state any flaw to it. Whereas reviews on MAL tend to have mixed opinions.
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Posted 1/10/15 , edited 1/29/15

AzazelOfNexium wrote:

No but watching an anime for yourself is.


Opinions are subjective. Just because someone else doesn't think its quality anime, doesn't mean you will too.


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F
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Posted 1/28/15
They have their share of elitists, not necessarily.
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M / USA
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Posted 1/28/15
Not generally. I more often use ANN and review sites like:

THEM Anime

The Anime Review

Nihon Review
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17 / M / Pennsylvania, Uni...
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Posted 1/28/15
Sometimes, but usually no :/
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29 / M / A rock in the mid...
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Posted 1/29/15 , edited 1/29/15

AzazelOfNexium wrote:

No but watching an anime for yourself is.


Opinions are subjective. Just because someone else doesn't think its quality anime, doesn't mean you will too.


Agreed.

All the difference in user reviews on MAL, CR, and ANN or the like reflect is simply a different population, with their own general likes and dislikes, not any difference in objective truth or quality.
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49 / M / KC
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Posted 1/29/15
It's fine, but you have to take any ranking with a grain of salt, that includes ANN's system. One good thing about ANN and MAL is that they give you stats to better judge the ranking. Never trust a site that just gives you a single number.
Posted 1/29/15

kufirst wrote:

Not generally. I more often use ANN and review sites like:

THEM Anime

The Anime Review

Nihon Review

Seeking professionalism is stupid. SOme of the smartest reviews I have ever seen were written on MAL by the common man. Who cares if they're not professional? MAL is by far superior due to the wide range of opinions, whereas Nihon only has 1 or 2.
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M / USA
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Posted 1/29/15
I respect them because they're well-written not really because they're professional sites solely dedicated to reviewing anime. I never even got close to discrediting the quality and relevance of user reviews on MAL so no need to be so butthurt. I simply prefer and can rely on the reviews on those sites much more. Plus I find their interface for browsing reviews much more expedient than looking them up on MAL.
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