I love Japanese language and great stories. I watch anime only in Japanese - raws (if possible ofc). I read manga only in Japanese. I consider reviews based on dubbed movie or translated book an abomination.
Why read manga in Japanese
I read manga only in Japanese, because knowledge of Japanese language, culture and civilization allows to understand subtle meanings in content - consequently results in improved reading experience. Makes reader more aware that characters think and act in Japanese way. Also it fits more natural to overall design of manga written in classical style - reading from right to left vertically. Note that translations are lossy (missing meaning, translation errors, etc).
Why watch anime in Japanese
I watch anime only in Japanese, because very similar reasons as in case of manga. I started with English fan-subs and when I got better in Japanese (note: I am not learning Japanese from anime and manga. IMHO It is not a good idea. If you want to learn find a teacher or a school to teach you.) then I gradually switched to raws. I always recommend to avoid dubbed anime at all cost. Not all non-Japanese dubs are bad some of them are quite good, but none can match original.
I've saying: "When you taste a fine wine, you won't be satisfied with common beverage anymore." (translated)
What I think about reviews
In the end there is no such thing as one hundered percent objective review. I think you can not avoid some level of subjectivity. One can easily overlook flaws if he already likes it. Moreover personal taste changes with time.
What I think about recommendations
As each anime/manga is substantially different and like/dislike is purely subjective it's highly improbable I would like other anime/manga sole on some similarities in story. Especially if reasoning were made by someone else.
What is the best way to find good anime
Simply put trial and error. You find out soon there are lot of people that gladly trash your favorite pieces - especially in so called official site reviews. To be completely fair You would do the very same to theirs.
My favorite anime
My favorite manga
My genre preferences
I don't watch:
Generally I don't like Mecha. It is hard to express a reason why. I find it kind of cheap, childish and unimpressive. Sport anime is the second genre which does not interests me. I don't like stupid submissive virgin male leads. That puts most of ecchi and harem on my won't watch or 0.5 star list. For obvious reasons I do not watch yaoi/shounen-ai.
I do watch:
Pretty much anything else not mentioned in don't watch. I don't have special preferences in that regard. Fantasy, comedy, action, romance, sci-fi, horror, yuri, gender-bender.
Anime/manga star ranking (updated 2014)
0.5 F*cked up
2.5 Average / mediocre
3.0 For what it's worth It is ok.
4.5 Like it
5.0 Love it
Watched anime/manga ranking FAQ
Q: Why is Grave of the Fireflies 1-star in other words bad anime?
A: The ending is spoiled by showing death of the kids at the very beginning. The finale is so tedious. I was saying to myself "just die and let the movie finish" 20-15 min before the end. It is just captain obvious topic kids die in a war.
Q: Why is Neon Genesis Evangelion 1.5-star in other words cheap anime story?
A: Themes used in Neon Genesis Evangelion are cheap. It is repetitive Mecha. Making mecha part alien does not make it anymore cool. Bogus usage of Christian terminology. If you want a great anime which can to some extent claim Christian themes: Saint Seiya (virtues, divine providence, objective morality, sacrifice) or Jigoku Shoujo (evil, sin, hell). Even if they do not use explicitly Christian terms the essence can be found there.
Q: Why is Devil May Cry 1.5 star in other words cheap anime story?
A: It was recommended as similar to Hellsing Ultimate. It is not at all. It just goes for cheap action gimmicks without any serious plot. It is bunch of episodes, where main character kills stuff. It does not contain any deeper philosophical aspect - the ultimate purpose of story - like Hellsing Ultimate does.