How I rate anime:
There's only one thing that matters in my ratings: How much I enjoyed the show. Entertainment value.
I do not care whether a plot is unoriginal, as long as it is executed in a way that makes it entertaining. Execution always trumps innovation. Always.
Three is not 'average'. Three just means that I didn't particularly like it or dislike it.
I will not rate a show unless I've seen at least 3/4 of it, unless it is an ongoing, very long anime -such as many mainstream shounen series. In that case, I will give the rating when I have seen all the episodes that are out so far, and will later change the rating if necessary.
My ratings are in need of major changes. I intend to, at some point, drop most of my 3,5 stars to 3 stars, about half of my 4 stars to 3,5 stars, and about half of my 4,5 stars to 4 stars. This is, however, a difficult thing to do, as my memories of many shows have faded since I first saw them, and it may be difficult to judge them fairly.
Here is what different amounts of stars mean:
0,5 a star: So bad that it causes its viewers mental scars that last for all eternity. Just being horrible doesn't mean that you reach THIS rating. This rating can only be reached by shows that hopefully don't even exist. Seriously, I do not think I will EVER give any show this rating. Because if I do, I'll probably spend the rest of my life in an asylum.
1 star: Horrible. The very existence of something like a one star show offends you. Not even funny.
1,5 stars: Just plain bad. When watching something like this, it makes you wonder why it was ever even aired. Or, it can make you laugh out loud with just how bad it is.
2 stars: Waste of time.
2,5 stars: Watchable. Has some qualities that make watching it a slightly unpleasant experience.
3 stars: Way to pass time.
3,5 stars: Worth watching
4 stars: Good, but nothing special. Getting here isn't really very hard. Getting PAST here is.
4,5 stars: Very good, but not amazing. These shows stand up from the rest, but are not quite good enough to be 5 star shows.
5 stars: One word: Amazing.
Oh, and I will never let more than five shows (different seasons of the same anime do not count) have a five star ranking. If I see a show that is better than one of the current five star shows, I will drop the five star to four and a half stars before giving five stars to the new one..