In the interest of clarity, all reviews posted on to Taykobon will have a rating at the bottom that reflects our overall thoughts. This rating will be subjective, meaning it will be a reflection of how much a particular book resonated with us personally. If you disagree, that’s fine because this is our personal assessment on how we felt about it. You know better than we do what you enjoy, so don’t take a poor score as a damning assessment of a particular work as you may still enjoy it.
About Review Copies:
Taykobon receives products (books, etc) from publishers, developers, retailers and other sources free of charge on occasion. If provided, these products are for the sole purpose of reviewing the product by a reviewer affiliated with Taykobon, giving our subjective opinion to our readers. Any review copies are provided specifically to Taykobon for review by our team.
While Taykobon does on occasion decide to review material not provided by a publisher at our discretion, please assume that every review is of material provided by a publisher.
Sending a product to Taykobon does not guarantee a review. Taykobon maintains complete discretion as to which products they review. If a review copy is provided, we will specifically note so on the review itself.
Taykobon receives no monetary compensation in exchange for their reviews of products provided for free, nor does Taykobon accept any compensation, monetary or other, in order to influence a review’s outcome.
The Scoring System:
As of March 6th, 2016, Taykobon has moved to using a letter grading system to make these assessments. These are similar to those you might see at school:
A : A great piece of work which the reviewer enjoyed greatly and can wholeheartedly recommend.
B : A good piece of work which the reviewer can recommend. It’s got some drawbacks but is worth reading, and will appeal to its intended audience.
C : The piece of work has some drawbacks, and those looking to read it should proceed with some caution. If you’re a fan of the genre or the series you may still enjoy it, but this piece of work doesn’t hold up particularly well in a number of areas.
D : This piece of work was bad, and readers should generally steer clear.
Each letter grade range will have “+” and “-” scores as well showing which end of the range it falls on. For example, a “B-” denotes that a work is still in the “B” range but is closer to falling into the “C range”.
We anticipate that the “average” book will fall into the B- range.
What is our perspective?
Our reviews have a pretty heavy focus on pointing out aspects we did or did not like about a certain work. Ideally you won’t find a whole lot of summarizing, mostly because we feel filling up 3/4ths of our review with plot summary would be doing a disservice to our readers since you've hopefully want to actually figure out if the book is good or not. Our goal is to give you a feel for how much we liked a particular work as well as its notable aspects, not be a wikipedia article.
Also, we aren’t experts or anything. Each of us have read a ton of light novels or manga, but we are by no means experts on the critique of the medium. If you’re looking for a deep thematic analysis of a given work, we won’t be able to provide that (there are plenty of other great blogs out there your should look at!), but what we will try to do is break down what we liked or did not like for the average reader. Not all of our reviews are going to be works of art, but what we will do is provide honest critique that we’ll do our best to make well-written.
About pictures in our reviews:
All of our reviews feature a couple pictures in them, taken directly from the work being reviewed. Manga in particular is such a visual medium, and we feel that it’s very worthwhile for the reader to be able to see what the art looks like, especially if we are going to be commenting on how well it worked. Plus, who really wants to read a wall of straight text about a comic book?
You’ll notice that all of the pictures we use come from official sources, usually via a picture we’ve taken of the physical book. We’d love to have higher quality images, but right now that’s the best we can do balancing time and efficiency versus image quality. We never, ever, use images from illegal scans in our reviews, and hope that all our readers will read manga legally and support the creators.
About translation issues:
We’ve been asked about our thoughts on the quality of translations, so here’s our perspective. Since we don’t read the illegal scanlations or the Japanese versions of these series, we really aren’t going to be doing a comparison or judging the quality of the official release based on that. What we will do is point out if there is any awkward grammar or sentence structure choice. We aren’t going to make bold pronouncements about the quality of the translation unless there is a glaring issue that we can tell without a doubt is a drawback of a work, or if the translation happens to flow particularly well in a noteworthy and obvious way. We don’t want to pretend we know more than we do, or run the risk of making false or baseless assessments of the translation quality (to Zack Davisson, I know what you're thinking, and we respect your viewpoint on this).