I'm quite wordy with my reviews (if you've seen any of my posts this should be immediately apparent), and there's a reason for that. Ever since I've started reading other people's reviews, ambiguity and vagueness have always bothered me. How am I supposed to determine if something is worth my time or not if I don't know details about it? Of course, this applies much more to games than it does to anime, but the underlying concept remains the same. If a review cuts out 50% of the details, then I'll only understand half of the product being reviewed. And so, I decided when I set out to review things that the biggest thing I'd try to avoid would be vagueness. This, especially when I'm trying to avoid spoilers, usually results in me having to use a lot of words.
This "problem" is furthered by another founding idea behind my reviews: the "Unarguable Argument." The idea is that one makes an argument (and all reviews are, in a way, arguments) so good that it can't be reasonably debated against. Of course, I have yet to reach this level in my reviews, and it's highly likely that I never shall. But again, the underlying concept remains the same. I try to keep my arguments as logical as possible, and to explain my opinions thoroughly.
As my wordiness is starting to show up even here, I'll just briefly touch on the last two things I strive for in my reviews: thoroughness, and objectivity. I try to be as thorough as possible, going over all parts of a show/game. And as for objectivity, I try to do the best I can. This is a difficult topic for reviewers, mainly because no one can ever be truly objective. It would take a full post to fully cover objectivity/subjectivity in reviews, and as a matter of fact it did. So check that out if you want a better understanding of how I look at objectiveness. Now for what you really want to know about, my rating system.
I score shows and games out of 10. Don't expect a lot of 10's or 1's. I consider something with a "10" score to be at the pinnacle (or close enough it doesn't make a difference) of its respective media form/industry, and something with a "1" score to be a total failure with no real redeeming qualities. Something with a "5" is perfectly average. Here's a more visually appealing breakdown:
For a 10: Go watch/play this right now. There is no good reason for you to not enjoy this, unless you fall into an excluded group mentioned in the review. This is a product that is really really good. Highly recommended.
For a 5: If you are a fan of the genre/subgenre, the art/graphical style, the studio, or the director/designer of the show/game, then it's probable that you'll enjoy it, even if you don't love it. This is a product that's average. Recommended for the right kind of crowd.
For a 1: Avoid. Even if you're a fan of the genre, you like a couple of the voice actors, or something else that's supposed to be in it, you almost certainly won't enjoy it. I mean, if you can get some entertainment out of it, then power to you, but chances are you won't, so you should stay away. This is a product that's really really bad. Not recommended.
There's something I'd like to stress here. A 5 is not bad. A 5 is not exceptional, either. A 5 is something you'll like if you're into that. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that if you're someone who views a 7 out of 10 to be "average," don't do so here. View a 5 as average. I was trying to do so when I reviewed it, so it wouldn't be fair to the product to view it that way.
So what exactly can you expect from my ratings? Well, like I said, don't expect a lot of 1's. This should make sense. I'm not a professional reviewer, and as much as I appreciate and respect my readers, I don't want to spend a lot of time watching or playing something I consider to be terrible. Furthermore, between college, work, and doing the stuff I actually like, I can't spend a lot of time on terrible things. Which is not to say that there won't be any 1's, there just won't be a lot of them. Similarly, expect a fair amount of 5's through 9's, because anything with those ratings is probably something that falls under the "things I actually like" category. So no, it's not that I'm an overly merciful reviewer or that I don't know how to give something a bad rating, it's just that I don't have as much time for the poor stuff.
I should let you know now that overall ratings (that is, the score the series/game as a whole gets) are not averages of individual aspect ratings (such has music, gameplay, visuals, story, etc.).
As with objectivity, I wrote two editorials about ratings, and I included my own views on the subject in them, so they may be helpful if you feel you still don't quite understand my system (especially the second one).