Now while developing my craft as an anime reviewer I decided to take what I’ve learned and share with anyone else who have/will want to review anime. Anime are awesome and I love talking about them, plain and simple. Honestly, brutal honesty is the only way I give my reviews and I highly recommend that others do the same. It definitely makes reviews a lot more personal while keeping it interesting. Note: this is a guide and does state sections of anime that probably should be considered when reviewing it.
I always like to give basic information. This is a great way to give information to readers who otherwise don’t know about the anime. Give the review a brief summary of the anime.
- What is the anime’s title?
- Is it a part of the series?
- Who is the creator?
- Is it based off a manga?
- Who are the voice performances?
Give a brief plot summary without giving away any key details about the anime. What is the story about? Viewers want to know enough about what happens in an anime to know whether they’ll find it interesting. Does the plot make sense? Is the story line logical? Is it original? How complex is it? Is the story predictable or full of surprises? Is the story exciting or is it dull? What themes or motifs stand out? Is there a sub-plot and how is it related to the main plot? Is the plot primary or secondary to some of the other essential elements of the story? Other questions to be considered are:
- Does the story unravel gradually or is it quickly revealing?
- Is the story exciting or is it dull?
- How good is the pacing?
- How are the various elements of plot handled?
- Did the story grip you and keep you watching?
- What other devices of plot complication and resolution are employed?
Characters are just as important as story. Who are the main characters and are they credible? Could you relate/empathize to any of the characters in the story? Does the writer make you believe in them as people? Why or why not? As you learn about the characters, use examples of things they’ve said or done to give a sense of their personalities. Also, include the character development arcs as well as any stereotypes. Other questions to be considered are:
- Are the characters flat or three dimensional?
- What did the main characters do in the anime?
- How well do the characters develop?
- Who are your favorite character(s)? Why?
- Is character delineation direct or indirect?
The visuals focus on the anime’s animation style. This will consist of art design, characters and environment, lighting and shade detail. Some anime will require more heavily detailed graphics than others. Some anime focuses the realism of modern-day while others focus on cell-shading to transform the animation-style.
- What type of animation style? Realistic? Cell-Shaded?
- How does the animation style hold up?
- What style does it resemble?
- Are the colors vibrant? Dull?
- How does the cinematography support the visuals?
- Does the quality appear high-budget, or low budget?
- Is there a mixture of media (such as CGI) and how well does it mesh?
This area focuses on the anime’s writing style (usually the story). This is a great way of establishing another relationship with the creators. Writing is artistic; both through the creator’s presentation and through the viewer’s interpretation. Were certain types of scenes written particularly well (action scenes, emotional scenes, scary scenes, etc.)?
- How effective is dialogue?
- How well is the overall script written?
- Is the writing simplistic or complex?
- Does it contain humor, wit, satire?
- Does the writing have rhythm?
- Does the writing style utilize symbolism?
The score can make or break an anime. It consists of several factors. First, there is the voice performances and how well the voice actors did their job. There is the soundtrack which focuses on the music, but don’t forget to include the intro and outro. How they set the tone for an anime also contributes to gaining interest in it. And lastly there is sound effects which focuses on the noises such as footsteps, animal noises, rainfall, etc.
- Does the anime have its own score?
- Does it feature songs from popular artists?
- Do the songs have meaning?
- Is the music effectively employed?
- Is the music over/under-used?
- Is the music amusing? Irritating? Emotional?
- Are the voice performances on point?
- Are they lively? Dull?
- What kind of tone does the intro make? Outro?
Dubbing plays an important part when considering anime’s far reaching influence across the planet. Many anime fans consider the original Japanese dubbing to be the best quality for anime. Dubbing does focus on writing versus voice acting and how well they work together.
- Do the actors match their characters?
- Are they doing an effective job of voicing the characters?
- Does the cast as a whole work?
- How effective is the quality?
- Are the cultural references taken seriously?
- How well does the dub track run with the subtitles?
Likes/Dislikes and Commentary
What was your favorite part of the anime? Why? What was your least favorite part of the anime? Why? If you could change something, what would it be? What do you like or dislike about the anime’s writing style?
Your conclusion should summarize, perhaps include a final assessment. What type of person would like this anime? Would you recommend this anime to another person? Would you watch more by this creator? Why or why not?
Thanks for checking out this post. For any ideas or comments on how to write anime reviews, leave them in the comment section below.