Let's start fresh
Let us take a moment and start a fresh conversation about the value of identification-request questions to our community. Let's start with a fresh, clean slate with identification-request questions. While they are popular... do they really contribute to the site and community?
Before we make a decision, let's take a look at some data points from the SE Data Explorer...
Let's take a look at the site activity and vote graph.
What is it that we see here? Clearly we have a lot of unanswered questions (zombies).
Poor zombies... they're being neglected and could use some slaying.
What's causing these zombies?
Let's take a look at the total unanswered question history by tags.
What do we see? Why our old friend, identification-request!
The amount of question does seem troubling, but what about the quality of those questions?
Let's take a look at the data for question and answer score by tags. (Sort them the amount of questions, descending.)
From this data, we see that our community tends to have a polarization towards specific series tags, much like programming languages on Stack Overflow. This along with our various meta tags like culture and anime-production are valuable to our community for the content they provide.
But what about identification-request? Do these questions contribute anything valuable and worthwhile to our community? Do they attract so-called "help vampires" that plague much of the Stack Exchange network of sites (especially Stack Overflow)?
I personally believe that the current state of identification questions diminishes the value of the site to the average user. If things continue at this pace, our site might be flooded with mostly unanswered or low-quality identification-request questions.
identification-request questions are typically easy to ask, topically neutral and initiated by new users. But is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Robert Cartaino brings up a convincing point about these types of questions in Movies and TV SE meta.
In a not-too-distant future, most of those questions will be asked by hit-and-run users who will never return to this site. And you'll get bored having to tease out a decent question and provide answers to a post that will not add one lick of value or interest to this site.
If you go through unanswered identification-request questions, you'll notice a good portion of them to be don't seem to have much response from the OP as the age of the question increases.
Have identification-request questions helped us attract new returning users? Are there many good identification request questions that got you interested in this site or a particular series?
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on the topic of the value of identification-request to our community. Give us good examples, bad examples, or those in between. This is an important topic of discussion and should warrant more attention. If possible spread the word on current and new identification-request questions, to attract more attention to this discussion.
Now what do you think?
I have given you my opinions, so please take some time to consider the topic and give your thoughts. You're free to agree, disagree, or be undecided. You're an important part of this community, regardless of how much or how little reputation you have. Your opinion matters because it lets us know how you feel and what kind of experience you would like.
I'm not necessarily saying all identification-request questions are bad, nor that we should get rid of all of them. I'm suggesting that we should perhaps be more stringent on the quality of these questions. The human memory can be very unreliable (witness testimonies are a good example of this), especially when a fair amount of time has passed. Your memory might be affected by current trends, media, or even your day to day, if you're going by just memory alone, unless you never forget anything, you'll probably be missing bits and pieces.
For an example, if I'm trying to remember a certain ecchi/dirty joke anime series about an office lady and her talking hamster, Ebichu. I might confuse the characteristics of Pikachu and Ebichu, and because they share similar characteristics, being mousy and cute animal creature. I might mistake Ebichu as being yellow or have stripes, because I watch the anime regularly. If I give such an erroneous description to someone trying to help me the mismatch actually makes it hard for that person to find the series since they're going to be looking for a yellow hamster.
This discussion will be open awhile to garner more attention feedback, so take your time. If you feel that you have a better solution, feel free to post your suggestion as an answer.
As a side note, the discussion primarily focuses on identification-request as a standalone tag. Whether or not we should be tagging questions about identifying a specific reference in a specified tagged series (e.g, who is being parodied in X series in Z screenshot) should be left for another discussion.
tl;dr: identification-request questions are not of good quality (by nature), piling up, they don't seem to actively contribute to user retention. A complete ban on such types of questions seem counter-intuitive as there have been some good questions, but the bad ones seem to be spoiling the rest of the bunch. If you're indifferent about these types of questions, it's probably because you don't feel that they actively contribute anything, unlike the series tags or meta tags like anime-production.