Picture this… by the end of this post, you will be a more effective anime critic, all because you learned two very crucial words, and the specific reasons why those words are so crucial.

Actually, both words can be found in the preceding sentence, along with hints related to their importance.

Did you see them?

If not, keep reading, because you’ll understand soon enough.

The first most crucial word is “You”

Did you find the opening sentence engaging? If so, why?

Actually the better question is, who was the first sentence focused on?

Well, let’s consider this. Have the words “me” or “I” appeared in this blog before now?

It’s certainly ironic that a medium often used as a self-absorbed expression platform would now need to be keenly focused on the audience in order to be effective. If you’re anime reviewing to have your critiques be useful to others (as you honestly should), your every post should be purposefully aimed at the needs and wants of your audience.

After all, you can have an absolutely stunning review or write up on any given anime but it would still be worthless if no one is digesting it after you hit publish.

You only benefit when your audience benefits first.

When it comes to writing engaging content, “you” is the most powerful word in the English language, because people are ultimately interested in fulfilling their own needs.

It may sound harsh, but the fact is as a content creator your audience won’t start to actually care about you at all until you’ve repeatedly offered them exceptional value with your content.

The same substantive content will be more effective with the focus shifted toward the audience. One of the easiest ways to do that is to maximize the use of “you”, while reducing or excluding “I” and “me”.

Every time you finish writing a new piece, check the direction. How many times does you and its derivations appear? What about I and me?

Got the number? Good. Now, adjust accordingly.

Try it, and you’ll be amazed at the results.

I was, when I stopped writing for myself and focused on my reader’s problemsNow that post is one of my most viewed, and still receiving plenty of viewers every day.

The other word is “because”

One of the most important characteristics of compelling, engaging anime content is specificity. The more specific you are, the more connective your points and arguments come across.

There are many ways to be specific in your writing. One of the best is simply giving a reason why. And the most effective transition word when giving a “reason why” is because.

The power of because has actually been documented by social psychologist Ellen Langer. Langer performed an experiment where she asked to cut in line to use a copy machine.

She tested three different ways of asking, and recorded the results:

“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”

60% said OK.

“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?”

94% said OK.

It appears that giving the “reason why” of because I’m in a rush boosted the effectiveness of the request immensely.

But here’s the kicker:

“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?”

93% said OK.

The trigger word “because” is so powerful that it didn’t really seem to matter that the “reason why” provided was something so flat  and obvious.

Be specific in your assertions, and always give a reason why, especially when you want people to take some form of action like reading your content.

You wouldn’t believe how many anime critics and their corresponding reviews miss on this simple concept, as they often provide broad insight without really honing in on a particular element.

So go out and apply these two words to your next blog – not because I said so, but rather because it will work great for you 😉



4 thoughts to “The Two Most Crucial Words In Engaging Anime Critiques

  • weekendotaku

    This was very insightful, Prattle. A couple of nice, easy hints to remember that will certainly make things more engaging for the reader.

    The last line is perfect, too. “Don’t do this because I said so, but rather because it will work great for you.”

    I’ll admit to not really focusing on “you” when I write. I’m a bit too passive to consistently be direct with others, but that surely makes the writing less engaging. It seems so simple a concept: People respond better when they feel like you’re speaking to them, but writing that way takes a little practice, as does anything.

    • Prattle

      I appreciate your honesty with yourself and I’m happy that you found this post useful 🙂

  • Karandi

    I think your point about ‘because’ is well made. For me providing a reason why a reviewer thinks something is good or not is more important than whatever score or star rating they give a show. Mostly because I don’t trust numerical ratings on subjective things in the first place, and secondly because sometimes something can be good and still not something I want to watch. I want to know why it is good and whether that will appeal to me.
    Thanks for sharing another insightful post.

    • Prattle

      Thank you Karandi!

      I’m not too big on scores either. I did them for a little bit but more so because the anime community is familiar with them, rather than it being a completely solid representation of a title’s quality.


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