I received a lot of comments on my “You Are Rating Anime Wrong” Post talking about different ways of reviewing. It so happens that at this time I watched a two hour YouTube video called “How To Write Gooder” where Digibro went through all of his old blog posts, and one aspect of his reviewing and rating interested me. It was the idea of quality vs likability, that you can like a show without thinking it’s good or that you can think a show’s good without really liking it.
As he also started talking about an ongoing anime called Eromanga sensei I thought I’d use this opportunity to explain this idea within the context of this terrible anime to answer the question: Why do people even watch this show?
Is Eromanga Sensei bad?
Well the answer is obviously yes, sorry if this offends you but it’s simply true whether you like the anime or not. Besides the fact that the brother obviously wants to sleep with his sister, (who was established early on to be not blood related!) the situations are incredibly unrealistic, clichéd, contrived and stupid.
Eromanga sensei acts nothing like an actual hikikomori, her room is far too clean and she’s far too happy which is abnormal for someone of this nature. The show is extremely tropey and the main character reminds me so much of Kirito, which is a bad thing no matter how you look at it.
The characters don’t feel real, it’s like they’re not even people. Why is the main character so nice all the time with no complaints at all? Why is the first thing a stranger says to you “I love dick!”? How hasn’t the main character ever seen his sister when he washes her pants every day? (or underwear if your American)
I can go on and on pointing out errors and I will to an extent because it’s fun. This anime had a three minute exposition scene just so the main character could see someone naked! The whole scene with Elf made me convinced that the characters weren’t passionate about their art whatsoever. One does not write fifty light novels as a hobby by the time they’re fourteen!
And why is Sagiri so annoyed about the main character seeing Elf naked, the little sister should not be a tsundere in the harem!
I’m going to stop here while I’m ahead; I highly recommend listening to “Eromanga sensei every week” if you enjoyed these criticisms.
If it’s bad, then why do people enjoy it?
This is where the quality vs likeability debate comes in. I’m sure that even the most dedicated fan would be able to point out these flaws and problems so why do they like them?
The answer is that the anime isn’t designed to be great, consistent or artistic. It’s designed to be liked. Despite the fact that I can point out all of these problems and errors I still find myself endeared to the show.
I laugh at its comedy moments and I don’t get bored while watching. The anime uses comedy and dumb contrived scenarios to entertain. It’s not great at all, not even good, but it’s understandable how you could like the show despite its terrible quality.
So how should this change your rating system for anime? For me it’s your decision whether you rate on quality or how much you like the show. My suggestion and thought is that your overall rating system should probably be a mix of both so your favourites can be just the things that you like.