The difference between good anime critics and bad anime critics has little to do with skill.

It has to do with perseverance.

Bad critics quit. Good critics keep going.

That’s the short story to it.

What Good Anime Critics Do

Good anime critics practice. They take time in their evaluations, crafting and editing a piece until it’s just right. They spend hours of their time watching anime.

Good anime critics take criticism on the chin and say “thank you” to helpful feedback; they listen to both the external and internal voices that drive them and they use it all to make their work better.

They’re resigned to the fact that first drafts suck and that the true mark of a champion is a commitment to the craft. It’s not about writing in spurts of inspiration. It’s about doing the work, day-in and day-out.

Good anime critics can do this, because they believe in what they’re doing. They understand this is more than a profession or hobby. It’s a calling, a vocation.

Good anime critics aren’t perfectionists, but they’ve learned the discipline of publicizing, of putting their work out there for the world to see.

What Bad Anime Critics Don’t Do

Bad anime critics don’t understand this, which is precisely what makes them bad anime critics. They presume their reviews have achieved a certain level of excellence, so they are often closed off to editing or revaluation. They can seem haughty, prideful, and arrogant.

But really, it’s laziness and fear (mostly fear).

Why don’t they edit? Why don’t they write ahead? Why do they give into the myth of the overnight genius? Because they’re afraid of putting the work in and failing. As a result, their work is scattered and disconnected, not nearly as good as they think.

Be Different

A lot of decent anime critics think they’re great. I used to be one of those people. Stubborn and pig-headed, I didn’t want to change. I didn’t want to grow. But I wasn’t good.

A good anime critic is humble. Regardless of skill, they’re committed to seeing the critiquing process through to completion. No matter how grueling or hard, they will critique. And they will get better.

So what can you, the anime fan with something to say, do?

Make A Choice

Choose to be different. Keep going when others do not. Go the extra mile that most will not take. Be amazing by persevering.

Take the crap job that pays nothing. Offer to be someone’s understudy or apprentice. Put the hours in, pay your dues. It will pay off. But you will have to work.

Don’t coast on talent alone. Let it remind you of the responsibility you have to honor your gift. And if you’re not that good, well here’s the good news: you can get better.

You can outlast those who are lucky and out-work those who are lazy.

This all begins with humility. Which really means a willingness to listen and change. To do the work and become great at anime critiquing

If you do this, if you take the time to make your work great by never settling for good enough, it will make all the difference. So start persevering today.

Let Prattle Know What You Think!

What do you think is the difference between good anime critics and bad anime critics? Comment below and let me know your thoughts.

17 thoughts on “The Difference Between Good Anime Critics & Bad Anime Critics

  • marthaurion

    i started my blog to potentially build some writing skills, so ive never had any illusions about my skills…

    • Prattle

      Do you feel like you’ve improved since then Marth?

      • marthaurion

        maybe a lame answer, but i dont really have an answer. i dont think im qualified to judge, so i can only hope that i have.

        • Prattle

          Don’t worry. That’s not a lame answer 🙂

  • Karandi

    Good advice that’s probably true of any writing and not just reviewing (maybe not a shopping list, if I start drafting that I probably need help). Thanks for sharing.

    • Prattle

      If your shopping list is that long I wouldn’t blame you if you drafted it lol

  • D

    This counts for creative writing of all kind, I think. Thanks, Prattle.

    • Prattle

      No problem D!

  • weekendotaku

    Professor Prattle earns the nickname again!

    This is some solid advice, and it may very well be true but I think some of it can be countered by that generic sounding self-help rhetoric “what does success mean to you?”

    Good writing takes practice. That much is inarguable, and it’s the reason I started anime blogging. I spend a ton of time rewriting and revising, and routinely go back to watch scenes so I know what I’m talking about. While I’m certain the end result is leagues better than my first draft, I’m a little less certain of how worthwhile it is. Specifically, am I translating time spent into “success,” or am I doing it to satisfy a personal standard?

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that no one blogging about anime on WordPress is making a living off it. Time is as precious a resource as anything else. Of course, I realize that applies to readers also. That’s why I do the best I can to make sure the time I request of a reader pays off as much as possible. Everyone has a different amount of it to spend on anime so while treating it like a vocation sounds great it’s unrealistic for many. As much as I enjoy this, writing about anime could only be a hobby for me because I don’t have the skill or resources to make it more than that.

    So the trick seems to be to find the right balance. Is the work you’re putting in achieving the desired result, regardless of whether or not you’re following the advice in this article? Does that make you a bad critic? It seems kind of subjective.

    I can’t seem to pin down what I actually want out of doing this, but I do know I want to get better. I respond well to feedback and criticism (though I only ever get it from one source), so does that count for something? I don’t want to fail Prattle school 🙁

    • Prattle

      I-I advanced to professor? Yay!

      This is well said weekend, thanks for contributing. Oh, and you’ll never fail Prattle school

  • remyfool

    You’ve always got me thinking about how to better myself, Professor Prattle. Thank you. Great post!

    • Prattle

      Lies! You don’t need to better yourself. You’re already great Remy 🙂

      • remyfool


  • Amari Sali

    I think, and am learning, that a bad critic is the one who is more worried about being the first review around than presenting quality. If you are consistent in quality and are good at publicizing your work, you don’t need to be the first. Do post during the time period where the piece is relevant, but you don’t need to rush a review or your thoughts. There is a reason they say “First is the worse, second is the best.”

    • Prattle

      Very true. Quality should most certainly be prioritized over speed. Your ability to deliver an insightful piece and pitch it to your audience at the right times will elevate you as a critic

  • Corkin

    As always hitting us with the inspirational posts, it’s rare that I see someone speak so clearly about humility and that growth comes with change and evaluation. Nothing stays fresh by being consistent, times goes on and the way you approach blogging should adapt as such. Really great post, thanks for the inspiration!

    • Prattle

      Thank you so much for reading this one Corkin, I’m glad you could appreciate it!

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