No one likes spoilers. On the contrary, I think most people hate spoilers. There’s something undeniably frustrating about hearing the ending to that new movie you wanted to go see the day after it came out, or having the plot twist of your favorite book series told to you prematurely. So, naturally, most of us want to avoid spoilers at any cost.
However, let’s get into the fundamentals of reviewing. In order to accurately review a material, full knowledge of that material must be possessed. I’ve read a lot of reviews that went something like this: “This anime was really good! But I won’t spoil it for you, so just know that it’s really good and that you should watch it.” I’ll be honest: that tells me absolutely nothing. I have no idea from that sort of ‘review’ as to whether this person is a serious critic or someone who throws 10s at everything he watches. In order for a review to mean anything, it has to discuss the content. The more content it covers, the more solid the review can be.
So, to that end, most of my reviews contain spoilers. That’s just how it is; there’s not really any way for me to fully convey my opinions on the material without discussing what happens.
Let’s break it down. First impressions reviews will spoil the first episode of the anime they are about. Final thoughts reviews will contain information from over the course of the anime, but if I include anything that I truly consider a spoiler then I will make note of it. Critical analysis reviews will spoil just about everything. Anime commentaries will likely contain some amount of spoilers.
I will typically label when my reviews contain spoilers. In my final thoughts reviews, for example, I will denote at the beginning whether or not I include spoilers. However, some posts I simply leave it up to common sense. If a post is labeled as a ‘deconstruction’ or a ‘critical analysis,’ then it’d be wise to assume that such posts contain information that you may or may not want to know before watching said content. Likewise, a post about a particular element from an anime or a selection of anime will likely, you guessed it, discuss that element.
That being said, I’m not a jerk, so I probably won’t write something like “Top 10 Tragic Anime Deaths.” I may eventually, however, write a post on favorite couplings from romance anime, but most of those are fairly obvious anyway so there shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Another situation where I typically won’t bother to announce spoilers is when discussing anime that finished airing a long time ago. Anime such as Neon Genesis Evangelion come to mind, though at the same time I will announce any spoilers pertaining specifically to the Rebuild Evangelion films. Another example: if an anime aired likely before you were even born, like Mobile Suit Gundam or Astro Boy, then you really don’t have much to complain about if you learn the ending before seeing the show.
One situation where I will not include spoilers, however, is when discussing adaptations of source material, unless the post directly covers the original. This means that if an anime is made about a light novel series that I like, I will not spoil what happens in later volumes to the anime fans. Same thing for manga and video games, among others.
Summary: be wary of spoilers. I use a lot of spoilers because spoilers are often necessary. However, I will not include random spoilers out of the blue; if you read a review on Sword Art Online, you can bet I won’t be spoiling Log Horizon for you.