I first saw this topic raised during du5k’s blog carnival a couple of months ago. At the time I wasn’t a blogger, so didn’t have the delight of taking part and answering the above question myself but, I would now like to take the time to express my own thoughts on the matter- I thought it’d help you readers make sense of some of the choices I have made for my top 30 shows, a list I plan to publish later this week.
Firstly, despite what the title of this post might have you think, I don’t believe there is such a thing as a ‘perfect’ show, that is to say, a show with absolutely no flaws. I bestow the 10/10 ratings upon the shows that I don’t think it would’ve been possible for me to enjoy any more than I did. So, anything that scores below a 10 contains an aspect that hampered my overall enjoyment of the show. Then, what enables me to enjoy a show to its fullest potential? Well, I could go on forever about what kind of stories I like, what kind of characters I like, what kind of art I like but, even then there is so much variation amongst my favourite shows I don’t think they’d be an accurate measure of what warrants them the perfect score. The true reasons behind my handing out tens, whilst more wishy-washy and harder to describe than, say, the story aspect of a show, are something you can find in every one of my favourite shows.
One of these things being, there’s just gotta be something about it! That something’s difficult to describe as it’s not something tangible. Yeah, I told you my reasons were wishy-washy! Sometimes, at some point during the show, you’re overwhelmed by this sense of awe that what you’re watching is simply incredible; at other times it’s this incredible rush of adrenaline that hits your bloodstream like ice, cold water and has you jumping up and outta your seat. For a show to get into your head to the extent it leaves you speechless or borderline hysterical is a pretty amazing feat, something I think deserves recognition by way of that two-digit number…
But, it’s not just that ‘special something’ which has persuaded me to part with a perfect score in the past but, the long-term impact that show has had on me. If you take a look at my MAL, you’ll notice I’ve given Naruto a 10. Yes, that’s right, I’ve given Naruto, the show with three and a half series’ worth of filler, a 10! Sure, it has its flaws but, I’ve still rated it a 10, that’s because of the massive impact it’s had on me as an anime fan. I’ve grown attached to many of its character, wept many a time whilst watching it and used it as a substitute for a great number of my meals since starting it several years back. As soon as I finished it, (Naruto that is, not Naruto Shippuden) I found myself watching show after show, in the desperate search for something that could give me the same rush until, without knowing, I became hooked on the addictive substance that is anime. What I’m trying to say is, the show means so much to me I’m easily able to overlook its flaws! The same can be said for Pokémon and FMA, which, although great shows in their own right, are enhanced by the sentimental value I’ve placed on ‘em!
The impact a show has had on me doesn’t just refer to its sentimental value, how much it means to me personally but, how long I find myself thinking about it after I’ve finished it. As nice as it is to just sit back and watch a show that requires absolutely no brain-power whatsoever, sometimes it’s just as nice to watch a really thoughtful, intelligent show that gives your brain a lot to chew on! I mentioned this as being one of my favourite aspects of Chobits during one of my more recent posts and whilst Chobits didn’t warrant a 10/10 and didn’t make it onto my Top 30, (but it was close) Kino’s Journey, Eve no Jikan, (which both earned themselves a 10) Haibane Renmei, Mawaru Penguindrum and many more did for the very same reason. As I said during that Chobits post, for a show, its story and its themes to be whirring around in your mind for quite some time after you’ve finished is pretty amazing, a sure sign of masterful story-telling in action and something I always take into consideration when scoring my anime.
So yeah, that’s what, for me, make a 10/10 show. Whilst many of the shows I’ve included in my Top 30 have not earned a 10/10, the same ideas can often be applied. But, just to clarify, for a show to warrant a 10/10 at least one of these things must be present. I’d ask you readers what you think makes a 10/10 anime but, I fear a discussion such as this has become old-hat by this point! Still, I hope you’ve found this an interesting read and that it will make some of my Top 30 choices seem a little less out-of-the-blue!