Drawing the Line Between Objective and Subjective Judgements


[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 126 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.54_[2014.04.23_20.16.56]

But you should try so you can be elitist gain a better understanding of the things you watch and your own taste. Not.

[HorribleSubs] Gin no Saji - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.54_[2013.09.09_21.29.23]


We like using that word to explain the differences on what people like. We use that word to refer to our subjective preferences. I’d agree that taste is a big reason as to why people like something, but it isn’t everything. What’s the point of everything if there isn’t an objective part in everything? If everything is subjective, why do people even have to study and practice to make good works? I believe that’s because objective quality exists. Everyone who can think has their own views on how to judge the objective quality of — conforming with this blog’s focus — anime.

As for me, when I evaluate an anime objectively, I just look at the extent to which the show achieves it’s goals. When watching an anime, I judge from my perspective what it’s trying to do. If it was excellent in what it is, I consider it objectively excellent. For me, that’s the where objectivity ends. In my view, being shallow or being deep only, or being a harem or not only, isn’t a measure of objective quality. The question is how good is it doing what it’s supposed to do.

If something’s a harem, you can’t (objectively) criticize it for being a harem. You can hate harems, but you can’t say Nisekoi is objectively bad because it’s a harem. You can’t say Date A Live is objectively bad because of its cliches and corny gimmick because that’s the point of the series. Those things are intentional. It knows how stupid it is. The objective quality lies on how those intentional things are executed.

maji hiku wa~

maji hiku wa~

You can’t say that the supernatural and over-the-top portrayal of basketball in Kuroko and gay friends is an objectively negative quality. Kuroko no Basket does it on purpose, and superbly. I don’t like Kuroko, but for me it’s objectively good. I say the same to Free!. The gay-ish characters of the boys, and its other aspects were all done sucessfully and is in line with what Free is. If you look at it, the direction, animation, writing, etc. were all good. All those aspects did their part to achieve what Free! was trying to be. I hope that was understandable.

For an example of one I liked but consider to be subpar objectively, the first one that came to my mind was Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam. I liked it, and I like the story, but I don’t consider it to be very good objectively. It tried to tell a grand war story in a superbly conceived setting through following a girl who gets involved in the events leading to the battles. The girl was Fam. It suffered from poor pacing because it wasn’t able to succesfully integrate Fam to the main story’s events. It looked like the bigger story was first planned without Fam in it, then edited to have Fam’s perspective take the majority of parts. Fam actually had little influence in the story despite supposedly being the main character. Fam became a spectator that’s trying to get involved. I doubt that’s what the show was trying to do based on how Fam was was presented and used in a lot of episodes. That’s the important part. In the latest Godzilla film, humanity appeared to be powerless. I believe the point of the humans having little influence in stopping the giant radiation eating insects was to show that humans are just part of nature, and so that’s why the events were made that way. In Fam though, I believed that wasn’t what they were trying to do. This resulted in the series becoming disjointed because in the main story, Fam wasn’t truly as involved as the side characters despite being the “main” character for most of the series. Her adventures had didn’t have enough relevance to the characters and main story considering how much time was spent on her.

I hope they used this lighting more during the actual scenes. The Last Exile feel would have been better preserved then. But I guess Fam's adventures are better suited to using more vibrant colors and that's why they did just that.

I hope they used this lighting more during the actual scenes. The Last Exile feel would have been better preserved then. But I guess Fam’s adventures are better suited to using more vibrant colors and that’s why they did just that.

.hack//Sign is about a person that’s trapped inside an MMORPG. It is very slow-paced. It’s full of dialogue and silence and nothing’s-happenning-just-listen-to-the-BGM stretches. It also does not have even mildly entertaining battles despite taking place inside an MMO. A lot of people might not like it and I certainly understand why despite my feelings toward it being the opposite. I don’t consider those qualities objectively bad or good by themselves. It would depend on whether those qualities are there because it helps in doing what the series wants to do. Also, if being those things were done well, if it’s just there, and/or if they’re hindering the series from achieving what it’s trying to do.


I believe that’s how I should judge something to be as objective as possible.

Of course, even if other people do what I do, we would still have different judgements on the same anime. We would still have different judgements on what an anime’s goals are. I just believe that doing what I do filters out a lot of subjective preferences.

No matter what we do, we’ll still see everything in our own way. There may be overlaps with other people, and some might look at some things almost exactly the way another does, but ulitmately, there will be differences that can’t be identified because communication won’t ever be 100% accurate. It’s impossible to completely communicate something.

That’s why this post is meaningless and was just written so it can be posted.

img unrelated

img unrelated


About cladinblue

Clad in blue and surrounded by fields of gold.

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