If you would humour me for a moment, please consider the following graph and its accompanying observation.

Shares in RASU tumbled following downgrades from numerous analysts after a disappointing first quarter. However, the company executed well and has since established a base of support above its recent low.

Now that you’re either scratching your head or passed out, take a look at a skillful manipulation (once you’ve woken up).

Sentiment in Lucky Star tumbled following vitriol from numerous bloggers after a disappointing first episode. However, the series executed well and has since established a base of support above its recent low.

We even had an Anime Stock Exchange of sorts not too long ago.

Commentary on cliff jumping herd mentality? High-pass filters? You decide. I only claim that I believe in Bernoulli, and try to make sure that the mean does not fall below some threshold. Sometimes I’m successful, other times I’m not, but “in the long run” does not imply the first episode.

The concept of expectation as a price is interesting. It’s a running total; in one number we build in what we know to date as well as an estimation of what the future holds. At the end the process is truncated and what’s left gets written down in AnimeSeen, MAL, or an entry.

But a rating is static only in the places it’s transferred to and not where it was created. I think it would be strange if your opinion on older series didn’t change. Prices aren’t static short of controls put in place by your government, so why should ratings be any different?

And really, at the end of the day, that number is only useful in relation to other numbers. What a list of ratings does is first establish a ladder of “goodness” followed by clustering series with roughly equivalent “goodness.” Put that way, it seems inconvenient to be using numbers: I’d need quite a few decimal places to properly order all the series that I give an 8. And if one day I feel that 7 is the new 8…I suppose I could make an attempt at writing a mass edit script, but I’d rather not.

I can’t seem to escape spectrum (IEEE, electromagnetic, music, etc.) so I could see myself being at home with a ratings spectrum. Series would just be points moved around with a slider and there would be limitless expandability. The upside is huge for me, but I can see why others would want to hang on to their numerical ratings. Numbers are an almost immediate source for dispute and ensuing hilarity. “How could you possibly give Kannazuki no Miko a 4?! 9 at the very least!” Two or more could haggle over numbers for days, maybe even weeks.

But more significantly, numbers are more concrete than a continuum of relatives. Ratings have a timestamp and even if a series is no longer the greatest by today’s standards, all that matters is that it was good and you said so, whether you remembered when you said it or not. It’s that warm nostalgia that appeals to Bateszi I think. The continuum is like a soulless void without memory in comparison to the safety of absolutes.

There could always be a special marker that denoted formative series, a sign that you were once present in a place you can no longer return to. If you don’t know where you came from, you won’t know where you’re going, right? I don’t think one should let go of their roots either, but the means exist to better encapsulate today’s opinions of the past.