During your journey to express your opinions on anime, you produce a lot of content.
Unfortunately, not all of it really gets read.
Anime critiquing is about making a connection with your audience and building relationships. Since you invest time and effort into your critiques and write ups, it’s only natural to want to see tangible results.
But what if your posts aren’t getting the engagement you want? How do you create an anime critique or opinion piece that more people actually want to read?
The answer may be in the specific reason why we absorb certain information, while overlooking other content. Everything starts with emotion. Memories affect our thoughts and opinions; feelings affect our moods and behaviors. The human limbic system is the gatekeeper for all higher thought processing and evaluation.
Emotions Trump Intellect When We make Decisions
Emotions almost completely dominate our decisions and experiences. For instance, when we run into trouble or experience a strong emotion like fear, we tend to obsess over it. We can become irrational.
Suddenly, our fear overshadows and prevents logical thought processes. When the problem is relieved, we’re free from the constraints of our emotions. We’re more open, agreeable, and compliant. We’re able to think rationally again.
In order to build relationships with your readers, you have to first connect with them on an emotional level.
Because when emotion is missing, we’re not really engaged. You may as well be presenting just another anime in a sea full of them already.
If readers aren’t interested and engaged, they’re unlikely to keep reading. And even if they do read your content, they’re less likely to digest it; it’s less likely to make an impact on their personal opinion.
You don’t want them to eat your content without absorbing the nutrients, so how do you get readers to absorb your writing?
You need to captivate them.
Step 1: Use A Solid Emotional Structure
Everything starts with emotion. Memories affect our thoughts and opinions; feelings affect our moods and behaviors. The human limbic system is the gatekeeper for all higher thought processing and evaluation.
Most anime critics have a style that works for them, whether they’re creating a character study, analysis or plain review.
But almost all of them have a certain level of mystique that keeps readers glued to their words.
To create mystique, begin your anime critique with a question that begs for an intriguing answer. Jump in with a descriptive story, tapping into the senses, to trigger passion.
Establish trust with supporting facts and figures, or maintain a consistent (yet engaging) style your readers can count on.
When you have a solid structure, it’s easy to connect with your audience emotionally.
A focused strategy for your first 50 words and a cohesive outline for the rest of your content will not only make it easier for you to write, they’ll help you create an engaging anime critique that’s easy to read.
Step 2: Identify The Emotional Focal Point With The Problem
Humans are drawn to problems. They attract our attention, but they also produce stress and anxiety. That’s an important benefit for you when you develop your anime critique because it positions you to present a solution.
But, you need to go beyond identifying a problem and get your readers to connect to the emotions behind the problem.
Anime critics like Digibro do a great job at this. Take his video “How To Recognize a Terrible Anime (in just one episode)” for example.
There’s a few different anime that he personally criticizes here, but the bigger picture is what you should be focusing on.
The problem of running into “ terrible anime” by itself, isn’t so compelling, but he pushes the problem by demonstrating how awful it is to waste your time on an anime that ultimate amounts to nothing.
What’s the emotional focal point? Alarm at such a quick method to identify this issue and fear of wasting your time. The emotional connection is what makes his piece so resonating.
You don’t usually admire others unless you already accept and trust them.
Our emotions are fluid. Robert Plutchik’s famous wheel of emotion shows us how multi-faceted emotion really is. Alarm may simply start as apprehension. As the emotion intensifies, it leads to fear and then terror.
While Digibro’s video isn’t likely reaching the level of immense fear and terror, it doesn’t have to. Digi works in another emotion after the initial alarm to pick up the slack.
You don’t usually admire others unless you already accept and trust them.
First, you accept their opinions are valuable. Then you trust them as an authority, which leads you to admire them for their accomplishments. Trust is key to solid content.
It’s no different if we’re talking about developing trust in an anime critique. I accept that your critique will help me with my needs (understanding that particular anime better or seeing it from a different perspective), I trust that your insight will be useful, and I admire you when you meet my expectations.
Digibro has an already established level of trust with his audience, and thus, his critiques on anime are just that much more effective.
As you create content that matches the problem with the emotion, you trigger interest that cues and builds a relationship of trust through emotional connection in your writing.
Each emotional step your audience takes with you is a micro “yes.” This is vital in the process of building any relationship and expanding your viewer base.
Step 3: Fully Resolve The Problem With The Solution
When humans experience an emotional response to a problem, our stress and anxiety is only relieved when we see that the solution fully resolves the problem.
If your content doesn’t fully deliver the solution and resolve the problem you initially present, you’ll start to engage your audience but end up falling short of what could be a much fuller critique.
Let’s take another Digibro example “ERASED was never that good”:
- The problem: The majority of anime fans thought ERASED was good at the time.
- The push: Multiple episodes have past, yet you still don’t see how it could be so bad.
- The solution: Watch his video because you trust Digibro’s opinion to find out why it’s awful.
Even if you’re a casual anime fan, you may be unfamiliar with the extent of potential issues with this highly popular series. You know anime can have narrative hiccups, but Digibro shows you just how bad it can get.
Once you’re aware that ERASED might not be as good as the masses make it out to be, Digi swoops in with the solution, offering his opinions to cement the perspective that they’re indeed, wrong.
If the solution doesn’t fully solve the problem, there’s no stress relief. Curiosity will remain.
You can test your anime critique to see if the solution you offer matches the problem.
It’s as simple as holding them side-by-side and asking yourself, “Does the examples noted actually highlight what could’ve been done right to what you’re pointing out that went wrong?”
An easy way to do this is something long term anime critics have been doing for awhile. Simply suggest alternatives that do a better job than the anime that you find major fault in or note credible counter examples of the aspects you’re critiquing.
It’s basic but effective. Far too many anime critics criticize without guiding their audience to a more suitable path. They’ll just list faults without ever once suggesting fixes.
By providing a full solution to an emotionally connected problem in your critique, your content will be much more appealing to digest across a wider audience.
With these three steps in unison you should be on your way to captivating your audience getting more readers to really engage with your content.
Let Seasonal Prattle Know What You Think!
What types of anime critiques capture and hold your attention? Comment below and let me know your thoughts!