In this series of posts, We Remember Love would like to propose quantitative measures for rating anime in form similar to financial ratios used for evaluating the performance of stocks.
These ratios are not to be taken as absolute measures of quality, but rather may be taken as subjectively determined measures of one’s personal enjoyment of an anime.
The “Rewatchability Ratio”
A “Rewatchable Moment” is defined as an extremely enjoyable scene within an anime episode such that the viewer will watch said scene an unusually large number of times.
Ex 1. Mechafetish watches a reasonably enjoyable scene approximately 5 times in one year. A Rewatchable Moment on the other hand is one that he will watch more than 100 times a year.
Ex 2. ghostlightning watches a reasonably enjoyable scene approximately 2 times in one year. A Rewatchable Moment on the other hand is one that he will watch more than 2 times a year.
The “Rewatchability Ratio” is defined as the number of Rewatchable Moments in an anime divided by the total number of episodes thereof. It basically shows how many Rewatchable Moments an anime was able to deliver relative to its entire length. A higher Rewatchability Ratio is usually better than a lower one because it indicates that an anime was able to deliver more enjoyable moments for a given number of episodes. The Rewatchability Ratio is comparable between anime for a single viewer, but is not comparable for a single anime between several viewers.
Its form can be given as follows:
Rewatchability Ratio= (# of Rewatchable Moments)/(# of Anime Episodes)
The following are some sample Rewatchability Ratios from yours truly (SPOILERS AHEAD):
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
1. Episode 1 (The Introduction)
2. Episode 1 (Breaking Through to the Surface)
3. Episode 8 (Goodbye My Friends)
4. Episode 15 (Vs. Lord Genome)
5. Episode 27 (The End)
# of Rewatchable Moments = 5; # of Episodes = 27
Rewatchability Ratio = 5/27 = 0.185
1. Episode 6 (Leaving for Battle)
2. Episode 15 (The Sing Off)
3. Episode 25 (The End)
# of Rewatchable Moments = 3; # of Episodes = 25
Rewatchability Ratio = 3/25 = 0.12
Though, as stated above, the applications of the rewatchability ratio do not lie in terms of its comparability across users (the ratio does not make it possible to control for taste between viewers), the ratio itself does reveal a lot in terms of the utility/enjoyment generation process of a particular user across anime.
As such, by comparing Rewatchability Ratios between anime, insights may be gleaned as to the personal preferences of the user with regard to the directorial styles/scene construction of anime. This can be done by modifying the components of the formula with parameters that narrow down the total number of re-watchable moments. For example:
Rewatchability Ratio for Mecha Battles =
Rewatchable Scenes with Mecha Battles/Total Episodes with Mecha Battles
Now, both TTGL and Macross Frontier have mecha battles in abundance, however, despite my personal preference for real robots and Macross as a whole, my re-watchability ratio for the mecha battles in TTGL is clearly higher than that for mecha battles in Macross Frontier. Does this mean that, as far as my preferences go, the mecha battles in TTGL are better directed? Perhaps. This then allows me to dissect the nuances that are present in one anime that but are absent in another which have shifted my preferences in one direction. (This is an example only and such experiments should be performed with larger sample sizes of anime for more conclusive results).
Issues with the ratio
The Rewatchability Ratio represents the beginning of several attempts we shall undertake to subject our biases and preferences to statistical scrutiny. As such, it is not without possible issues notable of which are the following:
1. Recent Viewing Bias – Rewatchability is a time varying characteristic and tends to be greater upon the initial viewing of an anime, and less as the initial viewing recedes from the viewers memory. As such, the optimal time period for testing rewatchability would be one year after initial viewing, controlling for additional viewings caused by extraneous circumstances (viewing with friends, ‘compromise’ viewings for clubs, etc).
2. Unit of Measure – The use of # of Rewatchable Moments vs. # of Episodes may not be statistically sound because the length of time (minutes/seconds) scenes and episodes take are not equal. As such, we may want to take a look at further refinements to the model in the future.
In any case, it could be a fun and revelatory exercise. At least we think so.
1. Consider your 2 favorite anime, and compute for the rewatchability ratio.
2. Does the result surprise you? Will this influence their standing among your favorites (if you rank them)?
3. Do you tend to watch whole series, certain episodes, or certain moments only?