As the new season nears ever closer, I think it’s worth investigating what the best indicators of an anime’s quality might be. (My current system has not been working too well.) Unfortunately, the only mathy way I could think of doing this is with MAL’s scores, so prepare yourself for some ratings-related retardation.
Before We Begin
What you’re gonna be looking at on these spreadsheets is how the MyAnimeList rating compares to the average score (from the past two years) of a given anime’s director, series compiler, and production company.
Historical scores were pulled from the past two years (2011-2012). I figure it’s more accurate to use what someone’s done recently as opposed to something they did in 1995.
Ratings/adaptation info pulled from MyAnimeList, series information pulled from AnimeNewsNetwork. Data pulled December 16th, 2012 and December 17th, 2012. (That’s some fucking ace-tier citing right there.)
Oh, and I’d like to mention that although I’m presenting this as some super-scientific mathalicious stuff, it’s 100% statistically unsound.
Google Docs if you wanna fuck around with it: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgDvnCqWkRhmdExVa01nQXFZWi1fOGJSZi1PRWg1TkE
“Key” Animation Staff/Companies:
Director – Some guy.
Series Composition – Script overseer.
Animation Company – Company with which to of the animation.
Wait, What’s Happening Here?
tl;dr: Stats stuff to find a decent way to predict an anime series’ quality before it airs.
Fall 2012 conclusions:
It appears that series composition is the most accurate predictor of series quality, with animation companies being the least accurate predictors.
When data is bunched together, “director+series composition”, “series composition+animation company” and “director+series composition+animation company” are all equally the most accurate predictors of quality, even more accurate than just looking at series composition by itself. “director+animation company” is noticeably the least accurate.
From here I guess we can just say that series composition is the primary factor in a given series’ quality. But hey, why not bring another season’s data into the mix just so we can be sure?
Summer 2012 conclusions:
It appears that animation companies are the most accurate predictors of series quality, with series composition being the least accurate predictor.
When data is bunched together, “director+animation company” is the most accurate predictor of quality, somewhat closely followed by “series composition+animation company” and “director+series composition+animation company”. “director+series composition” is the least accurate.
For Summer 2012 it looks like animation company is the primary factor in a given series’ quality.
That isn’t quite what I said for Fall 2012. In fact, it’s almost the complete opposite. What if we bunch the seasons together then?
Summer 2012 + Fall 2012
When both seasons have their data smooshed together, a different kind of pattern emerges.
While “animation company” by itself is a slightly better indicator of quality than “director” or “series composition”, when you combine series composition and animation company, you get the most accurate predictor. Combining director along with series composition and animation company gets you similar results, but the range of scores is higher, indicating that just sticking with series composition and animation company is a more stable predictor.
If your season predictions are usually as fucked as mine are, taking a look at those two aspects of upcoming releases could likely help you narrow down what you’ll enjoy watching the most. And yes, I’ll be relying on these conclusions for my Winter 2013 preview post.
Original Anime vs. Adaptations (Manga/Light Novel/Visual Novels/Anne Frank’s Diary)
Thought I’d see if there was a major difference between adaptation sources in terms of quality and what you could expect from upcoming series based on it. But it looks like there really isn’t a difference, at least between manga and light novel adaptations. What did catch my eye, though, was the “original” score.
Seems like anime companies do all right when they have something to copy from. But warning bells should go off when the animators talk coming up with something on their own. Leave it to the writers, animators.
Oh, and that 7.38 for Anne Frank’s diary? Guilt ratings; the movie sucked worse than her hide-and-go-seek skills.
MAL’s userbase has shit taste.