Hi, my name is Titus. I didn't grow up with anime, but I've watched more and more since my brother introduced me to Bleach, Cowboy Bebop, and Fullmetal Alchemist in 2005 (I've taken some years-long breaks). I've been watching at a pretty reckless pace since I discovered this site because I feel like I need to catch up and get some of the perspective that even people ten years younger than me seem to have.
I was in film school when I started watching, and though I didn't graduate in that major, I tend to rate things pretty harshly. I also don't feel comfortable giving official ratings or reviews without having seen something at least twice (one of these being straight through as much as my schedule allows). Since I don't tend to watch shows I don't like more than once, my ratings tend to be centered on the high end of the scale. My review and star ratings are based on 15 scores in 5 main categories (the 4 site default ratings and an extra: Setting).
Setting - Believability, Consistency, Interest
Story - Force, Focus, Entertainment
Visuals - Composition, Style, Movement
Sound - Voices, Background (effects & soundtrack), Music (OP, ED, and insert songs)
Characters - Realism, Strength, Development
Scores range from 0.1 to 10.0, and points are gained or lost by successes or failures in each scoring category, starting from the neutral ground at 5.0. For example, if the story relies on excessive plot-induced stupidity or deus ex machina, the Force score would suffer. If the characters leave an impression, the Strength score would increase. Some shows may gain or lose points in large chunks, while others may do so in smaller ones but achieve the same score.
Each main category's score is determined by the average of the three related scores. The paragraphs explaining the category should give a pretty good idea of what each score was. The overall and star ratings are determined by the average of all 15 scores, not the average of the rounded scores out of 10 that the categories get to prevent drift from repeated rounding. Overall scores of 9.1 and above (5 stars) are rare, and a 10.0 is nearly impossible.