This is just a guideline to identify good anime/manga. If you have any suggestions/comments/questions/additions, feel free to post them. NOTE: This system is not perfect and may not apply to everyone.
1: Identify the fanbase:What does the fanbase consist mostly of? If the fanbase is mainly rabid fans, ex. Naruto and Inuyasha, then you might wish to stay away. If the fanbase appears to be quite sane in their fan-ness, ex: Gungrave and Last Exile, then you should probably check it out.2: Charecters:
Arugably one of the most important parts of the list. The charecters shape the story, give it depth, and if they are done well you'll identify with them. However, if there is a multitude of charecters that do not add the story or their backstory is overshown and mainly used for filler, they are not done well. Also, if and non-central charecters that should die don't, ex: Kikyo, that is also a sign of poor charecters.3: Art/Animation:
Another key aspect, but remember, the best artists in the world won't always make a good show. You should never use art/animation only to justify your liking of a show. Unless you can present it in a sand and logical form, you will just look like a M.A.F.(Mindless Anime Fan)4: Plot:
Good plots generally come in two categories: Beautifully Simple, ex: Gungrave, or Beautifully Complex, ex: Evangelion/RahXephon. Plot that are overly simple fail to hold your interest. Plots that are overly complex make you overly confused and turn you off from the anime. Too many charecter's backstories and personal plots can make the show overly complex as well as a just plain confusing and poorly written plot. However each as a "just right" point that can make the plot worthwhile.5: Filler, or lack thereof and Length:
There should little to no filler except for certain situtations. Episodes for episodes sake is not a reason to create episodes. With the exception of episodes concerning a holiday, ex: Christmas or New Years, do not count as filler. Filler-less animes, ex: Gungrave and FLCL, mean the plot is well done and requires no breaks. Filler heavy animes, ex: Inuyasha and Naruto, are to be avoided. 26 thirty minute sections should be more than enough to explain the plot. Filler used to relieve tension ect. may be overlooked. Well done filler should be unidentifiable from the main storyline, ex: One Peice.