A Guide to Minitokyo Reviews
Minitokyo’s primary focus is on images. There are extensive galleries for scans, wallpapers and indy art for users to browse and download. However, there is also a small section, mostly missed, that focuses on something a bit different -- reviews.
Reviews are submitted by Minitokyo members. Any member (who is not muted or banned) may submit reviews, as well as comment on them. Reviews provide an additional way for users to contribute to Minitokyo and gain credits, especially for members whose skills fall more towards writing than visual art.
A review is meant for a member to talk more about a given series, and to give either a positive or negative recommendation for other members. All reviews follow a general structure (with sections focusing on story, artwork, sound and fun) but individual reviewers will each have their own style of writing in a review. A good review will explore the a variety of aspects of a series and give the reader a solid impression whether they should check out the series.
You can access reviews in several ways:
The bottom section of the front page will show summaries of the latest reviews submitted to Minitokyo. Reviews remain in that slot for one week after submission. If the area is empty, that means there are no recent review submissions.
You can also visit the Reviews section directly at http://reviews.minitokyo.net/. Here you’ll see summaries from the most recent reviews as well as a way to browse all reviews, or sort by rating.
If you’re looking for a review on a specific series or game, just go to that tag’s landing page (you can either search for a tag or browse the anime/game tags.) On the landing page, if a review is available you’ll see a “Review” tab along with the Wallpaper, Indy Art and/or Scans tabs. Clicking on the tab will show all the reviews available for that series or game.
You can see all the reviews an individual user has written by visiting their user page. If they have written reviews, you will see a “Reviews” tab (and the number of reviews they’ve written.) Clicking on the tab will load a list of their reviews that you can browse.
Commenting on reviews
Just like other aspects of Minitokyo, you can comment on reviews. Just scroll to the bottom of a review and you’ll see a text box where you can leave your remarks. You can comment on any aspect of the review, whether you agree, or disagree, or only agree with some aspects. Remember than spam commenting is not allowed, and if you’re found spamming review comments you may find yourself with warnings, mutings or even a ban.
All reviews submitted must be written by the submitting member. It is okay if the submitting member has published their review to other sites, as long as the version on Minitokyo conforms to Minitokyo standards. If evidence of plagiarism is found, the offending review will be removed and there are possible consequences to the user such as warnings, mutings and/or bannings.
All reviews should be proof-read and spell-checked for quality. A few typos are acceptable, but consistent errors is a sign that the reviewer has not checked their writing. The same way there is a quality standard that all scan, indy art and wallpaper submissions must meet, there is a quality standard for reviews, which are to follow standard writing protocols as if you wanted to submit this review to a local publication. If you find errors in your own review, you can fix them with the “Edit” link in the top right corner of the review.
If you believe a review violates Minitokyo policy, either in content or quality, you can report it with the “Report” link found in the bottom right of each review.
Writing a review
Once you’re ready to submit a review, go to http://reviews.minitokyo.net/submit (or hover over the Reviews link at the top of the page and choose “Submit Review.”) You’ll go to the review submission page. The first box you need to fill out is the “Series” box.
Finding the appropriate series/game tag
If you’d like to contribute a review to Minitokyo, first make sure there is a tag for the series or game you want to write for. You can either search for a tag directly with the search box, or browse the tag categories for the specific one. Tags will exist only if there is at least one scan, wallpaper or indy art for that tag. If the tag you’re looking for does not exist, you might want to try finding a suitable scan on the web, and submitting that to Minitokyo. Make sure to properly tag the scan (and request in the Tag Request thread to have it set as an appropriate series/game tag). If you’re able to successfully get the tag created, then you can submit a review for it. If you’re unable to get a tag created, then you might have to wait a while until someone else submits something for the tag. Generally, current and popular series/games will have tags; it is the really old, obscure, or very new series/games that will not yet have a tag.
Fill in the appropriate series or game tag in the “Series” box.
Choosing the right category
The second thing to fill out is to mark what aspect of a game/series you’re reviewing. You have four options:
* TV: This is for the TV part of a series. Generally for anime that originally airs on TV or cable. Most series have half-hour episodes that number between 13-52 but some series have longer episodes or more of them. Occasionally this is used to review a live-action drama associated with the series.
* OVA: This is for the OVA (OAV) part of a series. Generally for anime that goes direct-to-video. OVA generally has longer episodes and a lower count than TV. You can also mark this if you are reviewing a movie.
* Manga: This is for the manga (comic book/graphic novel) part of a series.
* Game: This is if you are reviewing the game part of a series. In the review you might want to point out which console you played the game on, especially if it’s available on multiple systems.
You may mark more than one box if you wish to review multiple aspects of the series. For example, you can review the Tales of the Abyss game and TV anime series in the same review, or you can review both the movie version and manga version of Nausica. You can also decide to review only one aspect of a series (just the manga for Sailor Moon). A final option is to review different aspects of a series in separate reviews, such as one review for the OVA of Record of Lodoss Wars, and a second for the TV series of Lodoss. It is up to you to determine what you want to cover.
Each review has four sections that need to be filled out. Each section is rated separately and the total score will be an averaging of those scores.
The story section covers, well, the story. Don’t retell the story here, and keep descriptions of the story to a short synopsis. You don’t want to reveal too much about the story! There are many aspects of a story you can discuss in this section. Pacing -- was the story rushed, or take too long to get to certain plot points, given the total length of the series? Was the story interesting enough to keep you watching or playing, or were you ready to give up at some point? Was the story predictable, or were there enough plot twists to keep you guessing? Genre -- was the story appropriate for its genre, and how does it compare with other series of a similar style? A romantic drama will have a very different story progression than an action-packed mecha show. How is the character development and interaction?
The art section covers all graphical aspects of the series. Here you can explore things like character designs, costume designs, world and environments, special effects, and all sorts of other details. How consistent is the work? If it’s stylized, does the style work for the story and series as a whole?
You may cover different aspects of art depending on what part of a series you’re reviewing. For TV/OVA you might look more at special effects or integration of cel art and CG (if applicable.) For manga, you might want to take a closer look at the finer details such as how well sound effects are integrated or the quality of toning. For a game you might want to discuss field layout or dungeon design.
The sound section covers all aural aspects of the series. This section is primarily to review music and voice work on a series, but you can also discuss things like sound effects. For music you can explore opening/ending themes as well as background music or even character music. For voices, you might want to discuss how effective or annoying the actors’ voices are in helping portray their character. You can also look at different languages, such as the Japanese voice acting compared to English or French, if you’re watched/played in multiple languages.
If you are reviewing just the manga part of a series, the sound section is basically not applicable (unless the series has a radio play or character singles associated with it.) In that case, you can use the sound section to review some other aspect of the manga -- just make a note of it at the start of the section. For example, you might take a closer look at costume design or character development.
The fun section covers how enjoyable a series is. The first paragraph or two you write in the Fun section will appear as the blurb for your review, so you might want to start off this section with a summary or conclusion of the review. If you want to rewatch/replay a series (or would never do so in a hundred years) this is the section to explain why. It’s also a bit of a miscellaneous section so if there is some aspect of the series you want to write about that’s not covered in the first three sections, you can jot them down here.
Each section of a review has a separate rating. The final score is compiled from these four scores. The score ranges from 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. A rating of 5-6 would be average. When you give a section a rating, make sure that you explain why you gave it that score in the section. Justifying your score will make your review more useful for readers, so they can understand just why you loved or hated each aspect of a series, and figure out whether this is a series they’d like to see/play for themselves.
You can add up to 4 screenshots of the series. Each screenshot can be a jpg image up to 1920x1080 in size. These are not submitted to the scan gallery they do not need to follow scan gallery submission guidelines. However, the images should be relatively clean, neat, and not too ecchi. The staff reserves the right to remove/replace screenshots they feel are inappropriate.
You’ll need to upload screenshots from your computer. If you find screenshots on the web, be sure to save them to your computer so you can upload them. Note that adding screenshots is optional, so don't worry if you can't find any good pictures.
Submitting a review
Once you’ve finished writing everything (and attaching screenshots if you have them), hit the “Submit Review” button. That will post the review to Minitokyo. Within a few minutes you should see your review on your userpage as well as the top page of Minitokyo.
Editing a review
After submitting a review, you might want to make changes, perhaps to fix a few typos or to tweak a rating. To edit a review, first go to the review (the easiest place to find it is from the Reviews tab on your userpage). You should see three tabs on the right of the page, “Read Review”, “Edit Review” and “Delete Review”. Clicking on “Edit Review” will bring you to a page where you can change any part of the review you’d like (it is basically the same page as “Submit Review”.) When you’re done editing, just hit the “Submit Review” button at the bottom.
Deleting a review
If you decide you don’t want to have your review on Minitokyo anymore, just click on the “Delete Review” tab, confirm the deletion, and it will be removed. If for any reason the “Delete Review” tab isn’t working, you can also report your own review, and ask a moderator to delete it for you.
Tips and tricks
Here are a few tips that might help you when writing a review.
Use a word processor
The Minitokyo “submit review” form is just that, a big form. If for some reason the page refreshes, or you accidentally close the window, you’ll lose your in-progress review. It is suggested you write the review first in a word processor (hopefully one with an auto-save capability) and then paste the review into the Minitokyo submission form. This will also give you a backup copy of the review in case anything happens to the version on Minitokyo.
Another benefit of a word processor is that they usually come with a spell-checker and sometimes even a grammar checker. Running these utilities will help prevent embarassing typos, although you have to be careful that it’s not overzealous and “fixes” character names.
If you don’t have access to a paid word processor like Microsoft Word or Apple’s iLife suite, there are a number of free word processors available, such as Open Office (downloadable), Google Docs or Zoho Docs (both online web apps, and require an account.)
Don’t write “War and Peace” for your review. You should be thorough, but you don’t need to go over every little detail. Find a balance between information and wordiness. Not all readers have a long attention span.
Read other reviews
If you’re not sure what or how to write a review, read other reviews first. Read reviews written by a variety of people. See how they cover each aspect of a series. This should give you a better idea of how to lay out your own review. And if you’re still not sure, ask for help!
Spoilers and Language
Since this has never been a major issue, we have avoided putting this up. However, since this has become an increasing problem for more members, we have made a new rule. Any reviews that contain major spoilers will be asked to immediately edit their reviews to remove said spoilers and/or bad language. If the edits do not occur within a week, the review will be deleted. We encourage all members to write reviews, however we discourage those that shun away people from watching a series because it was spoiled or because inappropriate language was used in the review.