HOW I RATE MANGA, COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS.

HOW I RATE MANGA, GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMICS

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Hello bookworms,
are you well?

Today’s post is a different one, as I don’t often talk about Manga, Comics & Graphic Novels. But they’re a big part of my reading life. At this point in 2019 26 of the 89 books I’ve read have been one of these formats. That’s 30% of my reading for the year.

But one thing plagued me for a long time. Rating these books was different. I couldn’t follow the same structure I had for novels I read, because certain aspects didn’t make sense. Why wouldn’t I focus on the art? How could I focus on pacing, when this is told in a different format? Rating these books like that felt wrong, and so I came up with a way to specifically rate Manga & more. (From now on, I will refer to this whole group as Manga, but the same applies for Comics & graphic novels!)

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In brief, for those who are just looking for ideas on how to rate manga themselves, here is how I’ll be doing it going forward, but keep scrolling for explanations and info!

Art Style:
Plot/Story: 
Characters & their development: 
Readability:
Personal enjoyment: 
Final rating: 
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ART STYLE: 
So this one is completely subjective. But in the same sense that if you don’t mesh with how a book is written, it’s hard to mesh with a manga if you don’t like the art style. A 5/5 art style would be one I adore, 1/5 would be one I despised.  You generally know if a style isn’t for you or not because if it isn’t, sometimes it’s hard to get into the manga, since the art is such a large part of it.
PLOT/STORY: 
I tend to be more lenient with this one, as these formats come out in chapters which are then accumulated into volumes and omnibus’s which means unless you binge the whole series or a large portion at once, you don’t always get a whole lot of story (a chapter is normally under 20 pages guys!) So I go off if I enjoyed the story/plot. As in, is it interesting, exciting and well thought out? Are there twists and turns I didn’t expect? etc etc.
CHARACTERS & THEIR DEVELOPMENT:
I have to be intrigued by the characters. Especially the main character. I don’t have to love them, but they have to be well fleshed out and interesting. They carry the plot through to the end of course, so if they’re bland or 2D, it will make the series painful to read. Personally, I like to stop and think about the side characters a little too. Are they just there to further the plot, or are they lifelike too?

READABILITY: 
Now, this is probably the most Manga specific thing I rate. What I mean by Readability is a few things. Is the text easy to read? Are the images crisp? Is the layout clean and easy to follow? Or am I getting confused to which panel I should be reading, is the text on a dark background that makes it hard to read and am I getting overwhelmed by each page? While this section has a lot of components to it, I can normally tell from just flicking through a Manga if it is going to be readable.

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Personally, for me, adding these things together and finding a rough medium between what I rated each thing tends to really work to get a rating that I won’t change my mind on later. However, I do tend to go by my gut for 5 star ratings. Because when I’m reading something that is 5 star worthy, I know. As soon as I go to rate it, I want to give it a 5 star and that isn’t something I feel with 4 stars or even 4.5. I can normally tell something isn’t quite there BUT, each to their own with their rating systems, there is no wrong or right. 

OUTRO

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