A Reviewer's Guide to Minitokyo Reviews

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shinsengumi

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shinsengumi

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Over the past few months, I have received a large number of questions regarding the writing and submitting of reviews to Minitokyo, and as such I want to list and answer some frequently-asked questions here in this thread for reviewers and potential reviewers to take note of.

[edit] As a quick addendum to these notes, I just want to say that reviews for more obscure and less-popular series are always more welcome than reviews for popular series. [/edit]

Without further ado, here is a Reviewer's Guide to Minitokyo Reviews.


Table of Contents
1. What are reviews?
2. Is reviewing the story of a work the same as providing a plot synopsis?
3. Can spoilers be included?
4. Can reviews be written based on a preview or trailer?
5. Can reviews be written for a series that is incomplete?
6. What makes for a good review?
7. How should scores be assigned for reviews?
8. How can reviews be formatted?
9. What should go in the sound section of manga reviews?


1. What are reviews?

If you are more literary-minded, reviews provide a means for stating your opinion on a particular anime, manga, or game that you are familiar with. For members who have yet to be exposed to the work in question, reviews serve as a recommendation of sorts, and for those who have been exposed, reviews serve as a springboard for discussion.


2. Is reviewing the story of a work the same as providing a plot synopsis?

No. There is a very important distinction between a synopsis and a review. On one hand. a plot synopsis provides a brief summary of a plot. On the other hand, a review of the story doesn't focus on just what happens in the story, but rather how good that story and its various elements (such as characters and development) are.


3. Can spoilers be included?

No.


4. Can reviews be written based on a preview or trailer?

No.


5. Can reviews be written for a series that is incomplete?

Technically, yes. However, it is preferred that series be reviewed after completion or, in the case of multi-part works, at the end of particular seasons or broad story arcs, as the initial episodes or volumes may not be an accurate sampling of the work as a whole.


6. What makes for a good review?

A review is essentially an essay, and as such similar standards hold. A good review contains a number of elements, including

* Thesis: This is your overall opinion of the work in question, and therefore everything should work towards supporting this central argument.
* Evidence: Provide examples from the work in question. . .
* Analysis: . . . and explain how those examples support your thesis. For example, do not just state that one particular aspect of the work in question is good because of something. Rather, explain why that something makes the aspect good. In other words, show, don't tell.
* Style: Proper syntax and diction are key. A well-worded review is not only easier to read, but is more compelling to a reader.

Finally, it should go without saying that your review should not have any glaring grammatical or typographical errors. Not proofreading a review is an easy way to demonstrate lack of care or effort and may be cause for the deletion of a review.


7. How should scores be assigned for reviews?

Scores should be assigned based on the merits of the item being reviewed alone and not by how much it was enjoyed. Remember that the scores should be written to support the review, and not the other way around. In general, reviewers should follow the following scheme when assigning scores for reviews:

* 01: embarrasment to human capability
* 02: terrible
* 03: bad
* 04: poor
* 05-06: average
* 07: good
* 08: great
* 09: excellent
* 10: pinnacle of human achievement

Note that a score of 10 should never be given lightly, as it should only be given for an item that has demonstrated unparalleled achievement in the area in question.


8. How can reviews be formatted?

Reviews are formatted using bbCode. For help with bbCode, see the bbCode and smilies section of Minitokyo Support.


9. What should go in the sound section of manga reviews?

Manga do not have sound. However, leaving the sound category blank and assigning an arbitrary score will skew the final score tabulation for the entire review. Therefore, in the sound section, please review whatever aspect(s) of the manga not adequately covered by other sections.

As an example the Sound section could be used to review the writing in the manga. Here, reviewers can make notes about things like narrative text, dialogue, translation notes included in an english language edition, choices of typeface, and the like.

s h i n s e n g u m i
Minitokyo Policy, Forum, Review, and Category Maintenance Moderator Emeritus

Do not expect to be applauded when you do the right thing, and do not expect to be forgiven when you err, but even your enemies will respect commitment, and a conscience at peace is worth a thousand tainted victories.

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