What do you want to see in stories you read/watch and why?
It does not matter if it is a genre or a sub-genre, or can be a trope or a cliche, it can be anything you want.
I would definitely like to see magical girl series. Magical Girl stories for me can tell really personal, human stories. They have slice-if-life and they have action. The action segments if done well bleed into the slice-of-life segments and vice versa. Cardcaptor Sakura has everything a great magical girl story needs and is THE BEST, fite meh.
@drone205 as much as I like CCS, my vote for best magical girl goes to the White Devil. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha was, is, and will always be my favorite magical girl series EVER. The world it created was just superb, an ever expanding multi-dimensional universe full of magic and technology.
In terms of tropes and cliches, I like:
The Hypotenuse: The short side of a triangle equation. I like triangle romance for the easy drama it can create. I usually root for what I think is the Hypotenuse (maybe just because we want what we can't have? Because I like underdogs?). This goes well with...
Love interests / heroes in actual danger: Life threatening danger gets my heart racing. Grimgar is starting to get to this point for me (though, it's occasionally causing me to race ahead in the prepubs to confirm or not what happened to my favorite characters...). x)
I posted some other stuff in a previous thread we had (adult characters, cool dark haired leads + couple, science + pseudoscience, plot twists / mystery, etc).
There's some other stuff I review more objectively (which is surprising because I'm a big fan of subjectiveness in reviews) like description of the scenery, and depictions of characters that aren't just the female cast (monsters, male characters, fantasy creatures) + action scenes in the black + white photos. I don't get personal enjoyment from these things, but I realize that they should be in a work typically for it to be more fully featured. There's some series that have Lizard Men in the party, but you barely see them in the black + white images; just cute girls, lol.
I'm actually fairly eclectic, but am more fond of the isekai trend. Even within that genre, my favorite series still focus on the OP protagonist with a battle harem. I'm specifically stating "battle" harem because even in an otherwise decent book it gets tiring to continuously read about the protagonist saving one of the heroines consistently. While I don't expect the heroines to be OP, and probably wouldn't want it, I do enjoy it if they're at least capable of keeping up with the trials of the plot.
A decent example is "Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?". While Bell may develop OP traits, Ais is a long way from being incapable. I'm not interested in reading about a princess waiting on a knight to come along and save her. I want to read about her role as an active player in his conquest to take over the world!!! Under that same context (with reversed roles (OP female protagonist)) even reverse harems, which I'm normally not interested in, can be an interesting story. Having someone in your party that can't keep up, or at least make a contribution other than fan service, just doesn't make sense.
Even in "Smartphone", which can make the female characters seem weak at times (I guess everyone needs a hand sometimes), you can still read about the female characters contributions in battle and active participation in stomping phrase butt. They're not weak, only WEAKER when compared to the most OP character in their wold. That doesn't even take into consideration the massive amount of political power within that harem.
Well, I made a list of these in another topic that specifically asked about novels, but since it applies fairly well across all media I'll copy-paste it here:
- As I've mentioned several places, I tend to like lighthearted, slice-of-life works. That said, what I'm really looking for is the type of story where it feels like you're living life alongside the characters. So having a strong cast of characters is critical.
- Well, all it really means is that good characters are what I really look for in all stories.
- I also like stories with strong worldbuilding. This is especially important for fantasy stories; I like to read those for the feeling of adventure from visiting new places and learning more about them. This includes isekai, of course; after all, my favorite fictional work is The Chronicles of Narnia, which is overall really good at this sort of "adventure fantasy" and is technically an isekai, to boot.
- Speaking of isekai, though, I like seeing the various ways in which elements of our modern world mesh with that of a typical fantasy world. It's why I find stories like Realist Hero and Outbreak Company particularly fun.
- Overpowered protagonists in general are neither particularly interesting nor boring to me, but what is interesting is when the protagonist has a specific skill that he/she must manipulate in creative ways, and in doing so becomes "overpowered" in particular ways. Examples of this include Mixed Bathing and Gear Drive.
- One theme I particularly like to see come up in stories of all sorts is "family", especially that which goes beyond that of lovers. For example, I particularly like it when characters end up having to take care of children (see: Foll from Elf Bride and the first 3 volumes of For My Daughter).
- Of course, one can always just make something that is simply utterly hilarious. Sometimes all I need is a good laugh.