Hello, my name is Filip. Propably I became otaku, 'cause a lot of anime were very sad. I'm rather melancholic person, I think. The most of my top favourite characters make me very sad, too. This is TOP3 of my favourite ones:
1. Ayanami Rei (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
2. Lala Ru (Ima Sokoni, Iru Boku)
3. San (Princess Mononoke)
As I said, I like sad anime. Especially with evident massage (including enviromental and peace issues). I'd rather prefer also realistic anime than s-f ones (however, there are many exceptions). And generally I like slice of life and psychological anime. As well as black and absurd comedies, too.
Watching anime and reading manga are my main way to learning English these days, 'cause almost always I watch anime and read manga in English (anime - of course - with subs). With internet dictionary in second window.
As I said, m&a are unique to me especially 'cause they're sadder than western works, but that's not mean that I don't like eg. "Pocahontas" as much as "Princess Mononoke".
Oh, I'd forget - my marks for m&a:
5 - mastership
4 - very good
3 - good
2 - poor
I'm sorry for my poor English.