Adding to Quirk's argument, good anime can be REALLY, REALLY good. Case in point: Grave of the Fireflies.
Not only is this a stupendous anime, it's also the most powerfully emotional movie I've EVER seen.
So yes - a LOT of anime out there is crap. But a lot of movies out there are crap. A lot of games out there are crap. A lot of music out there is crap.Avatar: The Last Airbender
- which technically is anime-inspired, if you go by the definition of anime meaning "animation from Japan" - despite it taking some time to find its footing in Season 1, is not crap. They didn't snag their head writer (Aaron Ehasz) away from Futurama
for it to be crap. They didn't get the voice director (Andrea Romano) from Batman: The Animated Series
and all the other Bruce Timm-led DC Animated Universe shows for it to be crap.
Trust me, stick with it. Some of the goofy Aang and Sokka may be hard to endure, but both characters have toned the goofy sides down and mature quite well by the end of the series (hell, it's Princess Yue's death in the first season that starts that maturing process in Sokka.)
And honestly, once Toph and Azula show up in Season 2, the show just gets incredibly awesome.
Should I also mention how much this show got past the censors? I should. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Radar/AvatarTheLastAirbender