What's the best thing about seeing a plant growing? For me, it's the fact that I'm not capable of see its growth at once. It'll never instantly grow nor never grow at all. It's the perfect equilibrium point that exists in the realm of possibility, whose limits are dictated solely by the creators' imagination and that lies on the non-stopping development that everything in fiction should and must be subject to.
That's how I like my stories to be. Regardless if it's a sitcom or an avant-garde show, I want to see things growing slowly, but effectively. That means that the pacing can be fast but never rushed. The difference? Simple, Yojouhan and Teekyuu. If you don't get it, maybe you should watch both shows and see for yourself the difference.
Creating characters that look like humans, act like humans, think like humans, feel like humans and talk like humans. Why this obsession with humanity? Because it's clear like crystal water that creating human characters who seem entirely believable is one of the hardest things to do in fiction and I respect that from the bottom of my heart. Three-dimensional characters are always welcome regardless of their nature and conduct.
The story must be oriented by the characters and also must have a plot where I can see efforts being put. Lazy writing is unacceptable and shall never be considered good by me. Playing safe is terrible and a typical characteristic of those who don't attempt, just repeat and copy. They don't care about their stories, so why should I? For some, attempting and failing miserably is worse than playing safe and succeed in it. For me, merits are something reserved to those who try and succeed. Half credits to those who try. No credit to those who don't, since their "success" only exists due to how easily people get impressed and buy material products, encouraging the market of fast-food content to continue existing.
Pleasing me isn't easy and most of the times people misunderstand what I expect from a show. Different stuff doesn't necessarily appeal to me, since people can easily create "hippie" content without putting effort and most of the times demanding from you, the viewer, the owed explanations and giving you the power of interpretation. I despise that posture and no, I don't believe in "Death of the Author" nor personal interpretations. You can come up with everything you want, it means nothing in the end if not connected to facts. Facts, in this case, is anything that anyone could see if they have played attention enough to the work in question, not bullshit based on "personal experience". Even if you create some spectacular theory about some work, the credit is on you, not in the work. Congratulations by the way.
The dialogue must always serve a purpose. Creating a certain atmosphere, revealing the characters' intention, etc. Random lines of dialogue are disgusting. But sometimes, the line that separates the random talking from the intriguing, subtle and thought-provoking one is thin. How to determine? Basically, everything in the story has a place in the story. So if it sounds cryptic and seems to represent something more deeply hidden, search for it in the script, it must be there. If in the end it was just thrown towards you without purpose, pretentiously trying to create a mysterious atmosphere that has led nowhere, it does not deserve any praise. Dialogues don't need to be cryptic, and honestly, I prefer the lighter ones who present subtlety the characters' intentions and inner feelings. That's for me the hardest, but the most rewarding option.
The setting has to make sense. Does that mean it can't be a crazy place? No, it can. But once you create a crazy place, expecting me to take it seriously would be simply contradictory. For making me feel something in this kind of setting, you would have to create things that make sense within the scenario, without contradicting yourself and therefore ruining my suspension of disbelief. The more you want to be taken seriously, the more I'll take you seriously and boy, don't underestimate my capacity of seeing your flaws and exposing them. I don't like crazy, over the top and nonsensical settings, I don't care about them nor find them funny to begin with. About ordinary settings, they can be surprisingly good if handled in a way that goes beyond what I previously expected, but mostly will ruin my experience because I've seen enough of scholar or Isekai based anime for a lifetime, so I politely ask them to fuck off! In the end, what I enjoy the most are original, intriguing and developed with time, not through infodump, but through me visually experiencing it, settings. So basically, New is welcome, Ordinary maybe and Over the Top mostly not.
I have strong biases and I'm not ashamed of them. I don't care if something is critically acclaimed if it does not fit in my categories of quality, nor if something is popular or accessible. Others do matter only to help me see qualities/flaws I didn't at first and to discuss stuff. Other than that, only I define my standards and the scores I give are not an attempt of hurting/pleasing anyone, they're overall honest and compatible with what I believe, think and can express to others about the work in question.
So a 10 is simply the geometrical application of everything I said above. Of course, the perfection is only imaginary and I'm not schizophrenic enough to demand from humans like myself, but more talented of course, something without any flaws. Flaws are mysterious inherent elements that define something as human art. However, the imperceptibility of them, when compared to the magnificent mathematically crafted qualities of a given piece of art, is what defines a 10 and my personal favorites.