Anime Reviews with [spoiler]Spoilers[/spoiler]?


Recently, I re-did my reviews page and I realized that I've actually done a decent number of reviews. So I wanted to pose a question about the format of my reviews. Up until now, I've been trying my best to avoid any form of spoilers when I write reviews, assuming that the reader has no knowledge of the show, and I wonder if that is a good approach. I still consider myself relatively novice at reviewing, so I'm curious to hear the opinions of others on the matter.

I've always seen my reviews as a way for people who dropped a show or don't know a show to find out more about that show, or at least my own opinion of it. That's why I try to avoid giving anything away. Still, when I look for reviews, it's usually after I've already finished the show, so I'd almost prefer that the reviewer talk about certain points of the show and how they reacted to it. I'm almost getting an impression (may be true or false) that people reading my reviews are like that as well.

Of course, while it's true that my approach to reading reviews is such, I have to step back and really think about it. I wonder if I avoid reading reviews before I finish a show because I know that there are people that use spoilers in their reviews and I want to be careful not to see them. If everyone was spoiler-free, I feel like I might be more inclined to read reviews to find out more about a show.

Let's use an example. Last season, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon was a show that I started watching with basically no clue of its premise and plot. Because of that, the first few episodes ended up being pretty confusing, as I couldn't tell the direction. I start to wonder how my impression would have changed if I had read a review beforehand with a foundation of the plot or something. But reading a review with a spoiler might not have made it so fun.

Still, spoiler-free reviews run into a lot of problems. I know that when I write reviews, I'm leaving some things or some people out to keep everything hidden, like if it contradicts an event in the first episode. For example, in the Code Geass review, I had a hard time deciding whether or not to mention C.C. because of what it would give away if I emphasized her.

So what do you think? Does my current style work? Should I make a switch and re-write all of my reviews? Should I burn myself out by writing two reviews for each show, one of each type? This would also be the place to list any other gripes you have with my reviews. I take feedback very seriously, so let it rip (be gentle >.>). I'll write more soon, I promise!



  • BeldenOtaku

    Feb. 29, 2012, 2:27 p.m.

    While ultimately up to your personal writing style, I think there should be balance. Don't spoil enough to ruin the ending, but show enough to prove you know what you are talking about. If that makes any sense. That's usually my dilemma, if I don't say anything about how it ended, using details, I feel like I've left it so open-ended it doesn't look like I actually watched the ending. Plus, just saying the ending was "good" doesn't really give a good impression of it. You're ultimately spoiling the quality of the ending just saying it was "well written" or "complex, with unsuspected plot turns". Even if you say you didn't like it, you're still spoiling that it had a lackluster ending...

    Reply

    marthaurion

    Feb. 29, 2012, 2:35 p.m.

    That's a good idea. I think I see what you're saying.

    I dunno...I think it would be fine to say the quality of the ending without giving details.

    Reply

  • Yerocha

    Feb. 29, 2012, 2:45 p.m.

    Normally it's best to avoid spoilers in reviews, but sometimes it's unavoidable. If something spoilery would greatly affect how much the audience enjoys the series, then there needs to be at least some mention of it. The trick is figuring out what to bring up and what to keep hidden.

    Reply

    marthaurion

    Feb. 29, 2012, 4:12 p.m.

    I guess I just don't like the idea of having to put some tag or a bold line warning about spoilers or something. Would prefer some consistency so people would sorta know what to expect. Then again, I don't even know how well I'm doing in avoiding spoilers.

    Reply

  • tsurugiarashix

    Feb. 29, 2012, 3:28 p.m.

    For the reviews that you have written, I think you done okay. I understand how tough it is since you want to specific as possible, yet want to avoid spoilers. For me it is all almost key to avoid spoilers, but you can still write a review if half of the story itself is a spoiler. The important thing is to find what works for you, since their is not set style to reviewing. After all, a review is just a evaluation of experience with the object in question, so everyone's evaluation varies depending on the aspects examined or held to be important. How you choose to examine said object (objective, subjective, moderate, etc) is the contributing factor of how it turns out.

    Vague as my information maybe, a good start is to check out a few reviews, not just for anime, but also other sites. for anything (cameras, computers, dishwasers, etc). This in itself at least gives you window in to the thought processes of others and might help you develop something that works for you. Besides that, just write how well you received the show and your findings to support it. As long as it is not an outright rant, defamation, or unsound praise without reasons "why" it will not make your reviews any more or less valid than the next person - possibly more credible though.

    Reply

    marthaurion

    Feb. 29, 2012, 4:06 p.m.

    Definitely good points. I suppose I need to build the confidence in my own style. It's such a wishy-washy thing to me, though. But I guess that's how it always is.

    Reply

  • John Sato

    Feb. 29, 2012, 3:47 p.m.

    I quite like your style (and, with the exception of Hidan no Aria, I agree with all of your reviews I've read). This may be because I myself tend to write very long, in-depth reviews, so I find your shorter, spoiler free reviews to be refreshing. I just think it's one of the things that makes you unique. That said, if you want to branch out a little and write longer/more detailed reviews, I say power to you. My own personal recommendation is that you do both, and merely make it clear in the title or opening that it's either a spoiler free review (like a "lite review"/impression) or a review with spoilers (full review, etc.). So, yeah, I'd recommend that you do both (if you want to). Of course, there's no need to do two reviews for each show. You can simply do a mix, giving some shows lighter reviews and some shows more in-depth ones. Alternatively, you could even do light reviews and, if you really want to talk about something in more detail (like C.C.'s character), you could do like a separate editorial kind of thing on it, focusing on that one aspect. This idea probably doesn't appeal to everybody, but it's just a thought. Anyways, that's my two cents.

    Good luck!

    Reply

    marthaurion

    Feb. 29, 2012, 4:08 p.m.

    Thanks...Whenever I try to write anything, I'm always trying to say as much as I can with few words.

    I didn't even consider picking based on how accommodating the show is for spoilers. That might work...Just flat-out writing two for each show might be a bit much :D

    Reply

  • Rei

    Feb. 29, 2012, 5:32 p.m.

    It's always best to write a review without spoilers. I don't really get why there is a need to be a spoiler. Because when someone reads a review he/she hasn't watch the anime yet. So spoiling it will be something that turns them off. Some stuff aren't really spoilers, just read a summary and stuff that the director has already told us before it aired.

    Reply

  • GoodbyeNavi

    Feb. 29, 2012, 5:50 p.m.

    I prefer reviews that do not have spoilers even if I have seen the show already. You want to give enough information about the show that a reader who has not seen it is able to tell whether they want to watch it or not. You don't want to give away anything because then if they have not seen it, they may have a different perception going in regarding that particular scene, action, and it may be a letdown for them. It still boils down to your personal preference, though.

    Reply

  • feal87

    March 1, 2012, 2:35 a.m.

    Avoiding spoilers is good man! Otherwise the spoiler police will tackle youdown! :D Just take your time and follow your style, you're doing good imho. :P

    Reply

  • Ecchi Catgirl (@EcchiCatgirl)

    March 1, 2012, 7:04 a.m.

    Reviews and first impressions shouldn't have any spoilers which is why my blogs are discussions instead. Reviews are for people who haven't seen the series so spoilers really should be avoided.

    Reply

  • Battledash

    Sept. 17, 2012, 4 p.m.

    I believe in spoiler free reviews, because these are meant to encourage people to watch the anime to gain their own perspective and how much they agree with the review. There are ways to show your knowledge of the show by using genrelization to emit the feelings you convey for that particular anime. I found myself trying not spoil anything reviewing "School Days" and found myself just saying it had a violent ending, this alone should be enough and actually entice people into watching the series just to see what that violent ending was.

    Reply

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