Anime is one of the great forms of art in the modern world. It is unique in its ability to portray human life in a human way while appearing completely non-human. That dichotomy, that contradiction, is one of the most remarkable things about this art form. And it does so beautifully. So much care and effort is poured into every production, and that is almost always apparent. I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you my outpourings for now. Sufficient to say, I believe it is one of the greatest art forms to arise in the modern era, and it places highly in the history of art, period. It is truly beautiful.
Since I got into the anime world in college, I have consistently been disappointed by the amount of outright reviews of anime out there. Oh sure, the Facebook and Reddit groups have lots of people offering a lot of opinions (and a lot else to go along with it!), and there are lots of forums for anime. There are other popular anime blogs that tend to speak generally about everything anime, but they seem to devote little time or effort to full reviews. That’s fine for them. They contribute nicely to the anime world. But I wanted to provide something more focused and specific.
So this idea was literally born overnight. I was tired of the fact that I couldn’t find what I was looking for, and I wanted to give the anime world a place to come to just to read heartfelt, in-depth reviews of the shows we know and love. I can think of no better name for the place for the anime world to gather together than the famous Anteiku.
For those that don’t know what Anteiku is, stop what you’re doing and go watch Tokyo Ghoul immediately. For those that do, I’m sure you’ll agree that it represents much of what anime enthusiasts love most about anime. Release, freedom, security, acceptance, encouragement, relief, emotion, on and on, all these powerful things are embodied by that little Ikebukuro cafe. And therefore here we will remain true to the mission, separating the 2D from the 3D, and enjoying that state freely.
While many factors affect my overall opinion of an anime, I generally rate shows based on three broad categories: characters, artwork, and story. Artwork goes without saying. Anime is a visual art at its core. Characters are what bring the world of anime into contact with our own world. Ordinary or poor characters bear little resemblance to humanity or are highly contrived and very empty. Great characters don’t have to act like real-world people–and often they don’t–but they exhibit humanity in a way unique to them. They have a life of their own, in that sense. Story is what separates the the great from the extraordinary. Anime is full of typical tropes, and while those things have their place and certainly make up a large and important part of the world of anime, it’s those once in a hundred years stories that astonish our comprehension. Uniqueness is very important to all of these categories in my ratings.
The rating scale is 0-10. 10s are of course the highest of the high, typifying or transcending the ultimate measures of this art form. These shows nearly defy description with human language. Zeros are rare, but occur when the a show is, as they say, beneath contempt. That usually is a result of a combination or poor production, poor final product, or other intangibles such as egregious subject matter or other such elements. Generally, zeros occur when the anime is a disgrace to the art form. Such a thing rarely is the case, but you’ll find a handful with that rating. All else is based on artistic quality, uniqueness, evocation, the myriad understandings of “beauty,” entertainment value, pertinence or relevance, impact, even the amount of love I can sometimes tell is poured into some part or whole of a show.
Enjoy yourselves and your time here! I look forward to hearing from you all.
All images are public domain.