10 highly rated anime off of MAL’s top anime section compiled into a list claiming to be ”the best.”
Sound familiar? Yeah it’s just getting desperate out there.
You know the type of article or YouTube video, the “Top 10 Best Anime” one. Sometimes it may have a genre thrown in there or a number different than “10” to distinguish itself from the pack. If they get real cute they may even have a year or season tacked on.
“Top 20 Best Ecchi Anime”
“Top 10 Anime of 2016”
“Top 7 Best Spring 2015 Anime”
Like most reviewing formulas that go mainstream in the anime community, we beat the shit out of them until they are pretty much useless. Anime YouTubers and anime bloggers alike have pumped out so much of this style of content that their variations have been getting more and more specific to seem fresh:
“Top 5 Anime Action Scenes of Winter 2017”
“Top 5 Best Anime Duels to the Death (2010-2014)”
“Top 10 Action/Magic/Romance Anime”
Yeah, I’m not even exaggerating on that last one or just making something up to fit in another example. You can google it. Someone literally threw three genres together and made a Top List off of that. Our community is seriously that saturated with this soulless content that reviewers have to mix and match a handful of genres to standout.
The worst part is, despite having a seemingly endless wave of these kinds of videos and articles, hardly any of them actually bring value to the reader or viewer.
Most just over promise claiming to be “the best” (that’s rarely the case), copy and paste the shows’ MAL descriptions, and toss in skimpy explanations for the choices (some don’t even go that far).
Anime Top Lists end up being laid out as prescriptions rather than ideas and that’s ultimately the issue here.Click To Tweet
Luckily there’s an easy way to go about avoiding this pitfall – producing a Top List without it appearing like some definitive piece of content or fact that people should go by.
Wave Motion Cannon’s Josh Dunham once upon a time pumped out a Top List for the best anime of 2016. Guess what it’s called? ANIME OF THE YEAR: JOSH DUNHAM’S TOP 10 ANIME OF 2016. “Well it is Valentine’s Day so today I’m counting down my top 5 favourite Valentine episodes.”
Right off the bat I know it’s his list from the title alone and not some piece of content that masks itself as objective in order to be a standard for anyone seeking it. Josh’s list doesn’t over promise as I’m well aware that his choices are highly personalized rather than being formulated to apply to everyone.
Karandi James also does Top Lists right. Back on Single Awareness day, she published a blog “Tuesday’s Top 5: Valentine Episodes”. While its title may not raise the same positive flags that Josh’s did, the first line of her blog states:
“Well it is Valentine’s Day so today I’m counting down my top 5 favourite Valentine episodes.”
Immediately she’s putting herself in a position where the list is her own. She’s not claiming that her choices are the best, or implying that if you’re looking for Valentine’s day themed anime episodes that this is the conclusive list that you should read.
Unfortunately Top Lists like Josh’s and Karandi’s are few and far between. Instead, our community only gets worse each season as a new batch of more specific, poorly conceived Top Lists gets rolled out promising to “show you the best anime” for a given theme.
With that in mind I only have a small favor to ask. Can we please knock this shit off and stop making terrible Top Lists? Please anime community? Thanks for helping, thanks for reading, thanks for sharing.