Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Problem with Ranking Anime


Is one anime better than another?


Okay, so "problem" is an overstatement. I don't think that ranking anime or tier lists are a huge problem within the anime community like gatekeeping or offensive memes. By "problem", I mean something more like sitting through a drive-thru for almost a half hour and then having no idea what you want to order as you pull up to the speaker. It's a problem that may be a small inconvenience in the moment but really isn't going to significantly change anyone's life.


And this is more of a personal problem. It's possible that no one else really has any trouble ranking their top 10 favorite anime or making tier lists. Maybe I'm the only person who has to spend an entire day weighing and analyzing my choices before putting one series or character above another.


Tier lists have been kind of a meme for the past month or so and within the anime community it seems that almost everyone has created a list ranking their favorite series and characters. 

I decided to make my own tier list and rank anime that can be described as "Cute Girls Doing Cute Things", but I'm not sure if I'm entirely satisfied with it. With some series, I can easily tell you how it stands compared to other series. Like I know that I consider Comic Girls to be a much better show than Wataten!, but I'm not really sure if A Place Further than the Universe is better than Comic Girls

Comic Girls and A Place Further than the Universe both have casts of cute girls with ambitious dreams, but the tone and style is drastically different. Comic Girls is a lot more colorful and playful. While it's telling a story about girls working hard in order to achieve their dreams, it's also trying to make the viewer laugh from beginning to end. A Place Further than the Universe looks different and is set in a world that's less cartoony and more real. It's playful but it is also dramatic and inspiring. 

So the question is: do I prefer laughing or feeling inspired? I guess it depends when you ask me. There are times when I'm in a desperate need of a laugh and other times I need to be inspired and motivated. In other words, sometimes I love A Place Further than the Universe, and other times I love Comic Girls.


So it's not easy for me to rank my favorite anime, even by genre, but maybe it's easier for me to choose one character over another. Unfortunately, that's not the case. I decided to make a tier list of Best Girls from the past few years and while I think it was a little easier to make, I'm also not sure if I judged the characters fairly.

For example, I chose Aqua from Konosuba as an S-Class Best Girl. She's a useless goddess that's almost always whining or drinking. I think she's hilarious and one of the best parts of Konosuba, but if she was real I would probably instantly hate her. I also ranked Emma from The Promised Neverland as an S-Class Best Girl, but not because she can make me laugh. I put Emma so high on the list because the way that she fights for her family and ideals is inspiring. Emma is the kind of anime hero that I would want to become. 


For me, when it comes to stories and anime, I have trouble choosing favorites. Part of it probably has to do with the way I find something to love in any series. There are not many anime that I can point at and tell you that I hated it. Even Darling in the Franxx, which I use as an example of a bad and disappointing series pretty often; I still loved the adventure of watching it weekly and would probably watch it again.

I guess there really isn't a point that I want to make in this post. I just want to share and warn that if you ask me for my favorite anime or favorite character, I probably won't be able to choose just one. And I'll probably change my answer if you ask me the next day. I just love anime and these characters so much that I want all of them to get the attention and praise that they deserve...which is why every blog post that I write can be summarized as "This anime is SOOOOO COOOOOOL!! You need to watch it!!!"

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