Given that I’m a teacher, it must seem like a cliche that I would use a similar A-F grading scale for my much of my freelance work and my own written reviews (including pluses and minuses for each). I like this scale because it allows me to be a bit more specific in communicating my overall thoughts and feelings about a work, while still affording a bit of the ambiguity I think is inherent to qualifying the success of whatever it is I’m reviewing.
I’ve been told that some people appreciate a general breakdown of what each score “means”, in a general sense, so I’ve provided one here. Something to keep in mind is that any grade I give to something is relative only to itself. For example, even though I’ve given individual episodes of Made in Abyss and Attack on Titan a score of A+, that doesn’t mean I think those two episodes, or even the shows as a whole, are the same level of “good”, or that they’re even good at the same things.
In short, take each score I give as more of a general indicator of how I feel about the work. The full text of each review will give you a better idea of why I gave the score that I did.
A+ = Outstanding
There’s no such thing as perfection, but anything that scores an A+ from me is darned close, and whatever minor flaws I might point out are overshadowed by the work’s overall effectiveness and impact.
A = Excellent
Not as solid as an “A+”, but I still wholeheartedly reccomend it.
A- = Incredibly Good
The flaws are more noticeable here, but they don’t keep the work from being entertaining, impactful, and/or effective overall.
B+ = Very Good
Pretty self explanatory here; not quite an “A” but better than a regular “B”
B = Good
A work that scores a “B” does what it sets out to do, but doesn’t go much further than that. It might be fun, effective, or otherwise well-made stuff, but it isn’t quite essential.
B- = Above Average
This is a work that has some noticeable kinks to work out, but ends up being just successful enough to be worth reccomending.
C+ = Almost There
Just like it says, something that scores a “C+” is so close to being what I would call “good”, but some significant flaws in execution make it too difficult to wholeheartedly reccomend.
C = Average
Not good, but not bad. A work that gets a C either fails to make an impact either way, or it’s good qualities are equally outwieghed by what it doesn’t get right.
C- = Below Average
A “C-” means that you’re right on the border of being downright “bad”, but not quite at that level.
D+ = Mostly Bad
This grade is given to something that generally fails at whatever it sets out to do, but has a redeeming quality or two that is at least worth mentioning.
D = Bad
If something gets a “D”, it’s bad, full stop. It might have one or two qualities that keep it from being a total failure, but it’s still worth avoiding at all costs.
D- = Very Bad
This is a rare grade; in order to get a D-, a work is a complete and total failure, but it isn’t offensive or irritating enough to warrant a full on F
This is the Big One. If something gets an F, that means that I believe it has absolutely nothing to offer, and is otherwise an offensive, annoying, ugly, and/or painful waste of time.