What I Look For In A Focus
In order to spark and keep my interest in a show/movie/book, I need a focus character(s) to care about. While a good story can be enough to hold my attention in its own right, a good character can make me care about the most mediocre of stories so long as I view plot developments from his perspective. Here are some qualities that most of my focuses have in common:
Pretty: Before I know anything about a character, their appearance is the obvious first thing to attract my attention. Ideally they should be slender, graceful, and androgynous-looking. Hair must be long and silky or shorter and fluffy. Either way, it must be capable of dramatically swaying in the wind. Black, white, and silver hair is ideal; blue and violet are pretty good; red and orange are acceptable; blond, green, and pink rank very low. I also look for characters that contrast with themselves: dark hair with light skin (Sasuke, Orochimaru, Soujirou), light hair with dark skin (Dark Schneider, Drizzt Do'Urden); or with their surroundings: icy pale against normal backgrounds (Griffith, Sesshoumaru, Dio) or dark shadows against light backgrounds (uhh... Lucifer in Heaven?). Eyes with slit pupils are very nice.
Supernatural: I ideally go for daemons (Xelloss, Hiei, Sesshoumaru), angels (Lucifer, Michael), deities (Lucifer? Kaname? shinigami?), and immortals (Manji, Taikoubou). When I do focus on a human, they typically either have supernatural powers (Ichigo, Kamui, Itsuki) or have cast down their humanity (Soujirou, Griffith, Aya). What this amounts to is that I typically look for powerful characters, and I prefer raw, innate talent that can be perfected instead of years of training from scratch. Glowing eyes and impressive battle auras are a plus. One thing is for sure, though, the characters have to be organic. Meaning, no robots, androids, mecha, artificial intelligence, or being otherwise spawned from technology.
Fighter: I favor melee over casters, close combat over range, and speed/skill/agility over brute strength/size/armor. You have to spend ample time in the heat of battle and get up close and personal with your enemy to get any respect from me. Swords, daggers, hand-to-hand are all good, but wielding katanas is ideal, and the more the better. If you simply must cast a spell, the only acceptable excuses are: (1) complement to your melee abilities, (2) point blank range, (3) innate demonic/angelic/divine ability, (4) huge spell of mass destruction, and (5) looking pretty. Although overt displays of power through hack'n'slash is enough to impress me, knowing your limits and using strategy can set you apart from the rest. Being adept in the ninja arts of diversion, deception, stealth, and assassination is a plus.

A distinct personality is perhaps the most important factor in the long run. The more aspects a character has for me to explore, the more intricate their psychology, the more complicated their motivations, the more fascinating they become. Under this category go characters with various incarnations (Lucifer, Setsuna), several forms (Kurama, Kiba), and multiple natures (Ichigo, Xelloss, Zelgadis). Alternately, I admire characters that discipline themselves to personify the purity of one quality to the fullest, typically for a cause greater than themselves (Soujirou, Sasuke, Aya). Stoic, determined, icy loners who reveal their sensitive side only to a select few are my standard favorites. Being a tad unstable helps, you simply must have the capacity to snap and go berserk on people, and you can never have too much angst. Characters that act counter to their stereotype also get my attention: big, arrogant brutes are as redundant as small, helpless weaklings, but a little guy who is constantly underestimated yet is lethal when provoked is much more interesting. Any character that is exclusively cutesy, cheerful, social, pacifistic, hesitant, drowning in emotions or sidetracked by popular morality annoys the hell out of me.

In/Vulnerable: For a character to keep my attention they have to either bleed a lot (Kurama, Renji, Kamui) or be virtually invincible (Hiei, Soujirou, Anotsu), preferably both (Ichigo, Lucifer, Manji). I fully expect my focuses to be formidable opponents and wreak havoc on their enemies, but unless they themselves are in constant and immanent peril it is hard for me to give a damn. Nothing conveys a sense of danger like being tied up, cut up, blown up, beat up, tortured, and generally leaking, spraying, or being soaked in red stuff. It's not that I like to see my favorite characters hurt, it's that I like to worry about them when they do. It creates an intense high that amplifies my caring about a character tenfold, and has been known to elevate otherwise negligible characters to the level of a focus. Call it a twisted maternal instinct, if you will.
When all is said and done, how I decide my focuses is a rather spontaneous process where there are exceptions to every rule. Random observation: I never saw a single anime guy with "maru" in their name that I didn't like (Ichimaru, Sesshoumaru, Shikamaru, Orochimaru, Kimimaru, and counting).
Key Traits Rating System

        1: ugly
      2: average, but not pretty
    3: ok looking with instances of prettiness
  4: pretty
5: breathtakingly gorgeous
"Beautiful One" - awarded to those that score a 5

        1: ordinary human with no special abilities
      2: ordinary human, but good at close combat
    3: person with supernatural abilities and/or god-like at close combat
  4: very strong supernatural abilities
5: among the most supernaturally powerful entities in their universe
"Great One" - awarded to those that score a 5

        1: does not fight and/or is a pure spellcaster
      2: very basic close combat skills and/or relies primarily on spells
    3: above average close combat skills but nothing without magic
  4: awesome close combat skills, sometimes enhanced by magic
5: fight close combat and are the best at what they do
"Lethal One" - awarded to those that score a 5

        1: disciplined to personify one quality to the fullest (counts as 5)
      2: dull/barely tolerable
    3: not bad, but nothing special
  4: absolutely fascinating personality, but perhaps with a minor flaw that annoys me
5: I can spend hours analyzing them and/or aspire to emulate their qualities
"Pure One" - awarded to those that score a 1
"Labyrinth" - awarded to those that score a 5

        1: untouchably perfect dodger (counts as 5)
      2: not in combat enough to tell and/or typically avoids injury
    3: gets beat up now and then
  4: has been through at least two major injuries/coma/torture (mental or physical)
5: always bleeds geysers in every fight and comes back for more
"Untouchable" - awarded to those that score a 1
"Blood King/Queen" - awarded to those that score a 5


Fun Stuff: movies, anime, games, books, music, etc Anime Games Books