Blogspotlight: The Infinite Mirai

iz1Blogrolls can be an effective way to spread the word for your site. In the wake of generating traffic to a blog, this second spotlight post will highlight another blog that is worth mentioning. Time for The Infinite Zenith.

This post will be in an interview format in which I ask the author to give a take on his own blog. What made him or her start up a blog and what will the future hold in store for the readers. To give it an even more personal touch, I ask the author to give a random fact about him or herself.

Question 1 Could you tell the readers a bit about your blog? What can we find on your blog?

“The Infinite Mirai is predominantly an anime review website, although I prefer to think of it as an anime discussion/reflection blog, where I offer my own, often non sequitor, insights into what elements in an anime make it fun (or agonising) to watch. Readers can expect my posts to summarise the anime series or episode, alongside some of my opinions. However, the main distinction about my blog is the large number of images accompanying the posts, and the figure captions that each of the images have. Most blogs simply have a few images (or lots of uncaptioned images) and longer passages, whereas I add figure captions to specifically describe a particular scene and some of my thoughts on the aforementioned scene. There’s a picture, and below it, a remark that varies from my insights to a particularly bad joke I am reminded of when I see that moment. Aside from my anime reflections, anime news and gaming posts, I occasionally write about topics as diverse as fancy gadgets and food.”

Question 2 What made you decide to start your own blog?

“The Infinite Mirai came about as an extension to my original website, which had been called the Infinite Zenith. Named after the astronomical point directly above us, I used my old website to reflect on some of the things I experienced in anime series and games, simply for myself. I had started my website as a sanctuary to write about how I felt about shows, and also hosted a few flash games, where I would play them without others populating the high score tables.

The original website is hosted by Webs.com and was constrained by bandwidth limitations, so I decided to supplement the website with the blog. Dubbed Infinite Mirai (literally “Infinite Future”), I aimed to use my blog as a platform for hosting more diverse discussions, such as episode talks and anime news that would be out of place on my website. However, I still primarily intended for my blog to act as somewhat of an archive for my thoughts, such that I would peruse them and be reminded of things when I had first encountered that anime or game. As time wore on, I realised that with my extensive background in Kanji and limited experience in Japanese, I could provide other viewers with news and information that would otherwise be inaccessible. Since then, I’ve written my blog posts for a much more diverse audience, seeking to write posts for my own enjoyment, as well as the occasional post for providing information to inquisitive readers.”

Question 3 How did you get in touch with anime and other Japanese media?

“I didn’t always like anime. I was largely neutral towards it when I was younger, until I watched a particularly disturbing scene in The AniMatrix, which led me to believe (incorrectly) that all anime was violent. I do not handle graphic violence well, but eventually, several of my friends convinced me to join my high school’s anime club. Exposure to Hayao Miyazaki’s films (Totoro and Laputa), as well as the Ah! My Goddess Movie, changed my mind thoroughly. The evening I had finished watching the Ah! MY Goddess Movie, my curiosity led to me finding the albums to the TV series, and one of my friends eventually showed me the first few episodes on his Pocket PC. I subsequently got into Ah! My Goddess, but my anime interests did not pick up until another friend introduced me to Gundam 00 in 2007. At around this time, I began my website to talk about my thoughts on Gundam 00, diversifying into a few other series, such as Azumanga Daioh by 2009. By 2010, I had begun watching Real Drive and Rideback, although it wasn’t until 2011, when I began watching works from KyoAni (K-On!, Lucky Star, Haruhi), that I really got into anime.”

iz2Question 4 What is the element that you like most in anime?

“Aside from the anime girls, who are surprisingly pleasing to the eye (think Mio Akiyama and Nagisa Furukawa), I find anime to be an immensely enjoyable medium because the characters are more expressive of their emotions and feelings, whether it be through their words, body language, subtle visual cues (blushing in response to a love confession) or even exaggerated cartoon effects, such as the streams of tears characters cry in more comedic series. Even the state of their eyes, already highly-detailed, may be indicative of their emotions: for instance, the eyes of some characters develop duller shading when jealous or saddened. By comparison, the characters in western animation are typically simplified and depend entirely on words or exaggerated body language and facial expressions to convey their emotions. Anime characters are able to convey similar reactions via more subtle means, although in some cases, their reactions might be exaggerated, as well. The distinctions allow writers to have better control over the atmosphere in anime, allowing a particular emotion to be represented in a manner befitting of the series’ genre.”

Question 5 Do you have a specific genre you love to watch?

“I most enjoy science fiction series and slice-of-life series. The two initially appear to be as distant genres with very little in common, although this is the point: some days, I prefer delving into a foreign world, where high technology and politics come together to shape events within a story and raising speculation about how individuals may react to such a setting. Other days, I may wish to see a group of friends relax and explore their home town or work towards a goal in their lives These two anime are at the opposite ends of the spectrum, allowing them to complement one another depending on my dispositions that day.”

Question 6 What is your favorite series? Can you tell us what made it so special?

“My favourite series is CLANNAD and its sequel, CLANNAD ~After Story~. Its depiction of friendships and family is unmatched, holding a candle even to some of the best works offered in the west, simply because the series presents human bonds in a simple, honest manner. With a memorable cast and a poignant story, I found that the CLANNAD series represents a masterful balance between comedy and drama; as the story progressed, I found myself laughing with the characters when they were laughing, and cried with the characters when they were crying. In my books, it isn’t sufficient for an anime to have a thought-provoking or intellectually stimulating storyline. The best anime are those where one can relate to the characters, feeling the same emotions as the characters do as one watches the series progress, giving the viewer a sense of immersion into the story.”

iz3Question 7 What do you dislike in anime?

“While I find anime immensely enjoyable, there is one element which will cause me to decline all invitation to see a series. As noted earlier, I abhor graphic violence in anime: the willful destruction and desecration of a human body is frightening to me because it represents the degradation of all rational and human thinking. I can stomach blood and have no trouble with seeing organs in medicine, but that is because we are using our knowledge to help individuals, not harm them. In anime, the high attention to detail and artwork, while a strong point, ends up giving violent scenes the same level of detail, making it as if I am witnessing the act firsthand. Thus, it is not so much the violence itself, but rather, the mindset and insanity of the individuals, that I consider frightening. As a result, I tend to avoid anime with wanton violence.”

Question 8 You post a lot about gaming. What makes gaming so special for you?

“Gaming is essentially a virtual adventure, whether it be through an entire world with its own folklore, or seeing a story through an individual’s eyes as it unfolds and interacting with individuals relevant to the events depicted. In other words, I enjoy gaming because it is more or less the same as reading a book, although in games, I may have more influence towards the story’s direction. While I game, I become immersed in the world, much as I am when I have a good book in hand or watching a good movie. There are some days where this immersion is welcomed, providing a short break from the real world, allowing me to clear my mind and approach a task with a renewed vigour. This in turn leads to me associating a particular game with a particular event, allowing me to write about a game in a manner as to offer tips on how to complete a level, while simultaneously reminiscing about something I did when I first played through a level.”

Question 9 What is your favorite game of all time?

“This honour belongs to Halo 2 for PC. Contrary to complaints that the game lacked innovation and had steep hardware requirements, I had an incredible time playing through this game. The campaign was acceptable and reasonably entertaining, but the multiplayer was a completely different story: I’ve spent hours playing against other players, wiping out entire teams on my own and generally changing the tide of battle merely by being on a server. The reason Halo 2 multiplayer is so entertaining is because it is purely driven by skills, reflexes and experience; multiplayer games of this age emphasise ranks and equipment for performance, but in Halo 2, victory is determined solely by how well one could shoot and utilise aspects of a map. Presently, with most of the Halo 2 servers shut down, I’ve actually been looking for a similar game to fill the void. No other game has come close in providing entertainment on the PC as has Halo 2.”

Question 10 Which games are you looking forward to? Can you name one or two?

“Battlefield 4 is the game I anticipate the most in the upcoming future. It may prima facie be yet another modern military shooter, but Battlefield 4 is set in China and is said to feature innovative gameplay elements that add to the game’s immersion. Of course, the spectacular graphics have also captivated me, and I greatly anticipate the game’s release, if only so I could enjoy a virtual world that is perhaps even more detailed than our own.”

Question 11 To make the post more personal, can you give a random fact about yourself?

“I absolutely love music: a long time ago, I was a clarinet and trumpet player for my secondary school’s concert and jazz bands. Even though I lack formal understanding of musical theory, I nonetheless believe that music is the strongest means of conveying emotions and thoughts, transcending cultural and linguistic barriers to do so. Emotional, well-composed music will capture my heart; for instance, I feel a great deal of yearning and melancholy whenever I hear Lia’s “Summer Shadow”.”

iz4That was all folks! I want to thank The Infinite Zenith for his participation in this post. Make sure to give his blog a visit!

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7 thoughts on “Blogspotlight: The Infinite Mirai

  1. milesvibritannia says:

    I actually hadn’t heard about this blog before, I’ll have to check it out now. It’s awesome to see another fan of Clannad, it’s truly a beautiful story and Infinite Zenith does make a good point that a series is really special when it has characters that you can love, relate to, and truly feel for when they encounter hardships. Of course, I for one do very much appreciate the thought-provoking, intellectually stimulating stories, which is why Naoki Urasawa and Shinobu Kaitani works are among my favorites, but those also happen to have amazing characters in one form or another. A great story without multi-dimensional, lovable characters probably wouldn’t end up a masterpiece in my eyes anyway.

    Though unlike Infinite Zenith, I’m actually quite fond of violent shows personally. Not because I have love for violence itself (I do hope I’m not any sort of sadist, after all), but because (hopefully) it presents another aspect of characters and some of the darker aspects of the human condition. One big example being Higurashi, which is quite infamous for having characters do some of the most horrifying, vile things to each other with a big smile and insane laughter as they do it. Yet when I finally got around to watching it for myself, I was very surprised to discover that at the end of the day, these characters were actually like any other normal people that I could very well have been friends with, simply tortured by unfortunate circumstances and driven insane by their lives and the situations surrounding them. Some anime are just violent for the sake of being violent, and that’s no good, but there are indeed some series that must be violent to properly get their point across, and they do it very well because of it. And that’s the beauty of anime, it’s a realm that can really show any sort of story, and there really is something for anyone as far as it goes. Almost no realm is left untouched and there’s so much variety, it’s a beautiful thing.

    And I get the feeling I’ve gone on a preachy rant so I’m gonna stop on that note. But awesome interview, it’s always nice to hear about fellow anime bloggers, especially since I’m still new to it and have much to learn from others who probably know better.

    • ninetybeats says:

      Thanks for your reply as always, its fun to discover other peoples’ thoughts. It is true that series like Elfen Lied(that’s the best example I can give) needed the violence to get their point across. There are also anime that use it as a marketable trait, to sell it as action packed or what not. Although I must admit with Elfen Lied I grew immune to the violence after some time as it was over the top.

      • milesvibritannia says:

        i still have yet to watch Elfen Lied but I imagine the violence is very necessary for it from what I’ve heard of the series. I’ll have to get around to it when I can, a friend of mine told me it was a fantastic anime so I do hope I enjoy that one as well.

    • infinitezenith says:

      I personally look forward to seeing more interviews, and networking with a greater number of writers. I note that I value characters because I earn my keep with highly academic stuff, and I prefer my entertainment not to remind me of work. As for violence, it’s strictly a personal preference 🙂

      Despite being a new blog, you’ve got some solid content going. Happy writing!

      • milesvibritannia says:

        Characters definitely do make an anime that much more lovable, it’s interesting how anime can provide both realistic and directly relatable characters as well as the more over-the-top, out of reach ones and yet both can really resonate with a viewer depending on the situation. And that’s understandable, everyone does have their likes and dislikes as far as different stories go, and luckily anime’s one of those things that has something for just about anybody.

        Thanks, I’m hoping to keep the blogging up for as long as I can. It’s a lot of fun and I learn a lot more from hearing the opinions of other people. I don’t get to blog as much as I like since I’ve been pretty busy lately, but I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of this in the months (hopefully years) ahead.

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