The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

The Infinite Mirai’s Mail Sack: August 9, 2014

It’s Saturday, which means it’s time for the second installment to the Mail Sack series, where I will be answering questions from readers about all things anime and gaming. Questions are generally open to anything in these fields, although I am quite happy to answer questions related to programming in Java, Objective C and C#, as well as undergraduate research. If readers do wind up asking those sorts of questions, things around here would get quite exciting very quickly. I had very nearly forgotten about the Mail Sack because Battlefield 4 was featured on Origin’s Game Time, and I was about to begin playing before I remembered that I was forgetting something important. However, I have not forgotten, and so, before immersing myself in a week-long trial of Battlefield 4, let’s answer some questions.

Question One

How did you come to be an anime location enthusiast? ―Allen Fuqua

The earliest anime location posts around these parts were originally written to offer accessible comparisons between anime and real-world locations to English-speaking readers. In the beginning, what caught my attention was the amount of effort that went into recreating real-world locations in anime. I never fail to be impressed by just how accurately locations were handled in anime; compared to their real-world counterparts, which were mundane the anime locations were more vivid and felt extraordinary. The fact that anime could bring lift to even ordinary locations was special, but it was also something that was difficult to access. The posts here were mainly intended to create content that can be searched for, in English, so that more people can find them. As I built more and more content surrounding anime locations, my appreciation for using real-world locations as anime settings increased, as well.

  • Because it’s cool, that’s why.

Whether it be Tamayura‘s faithful reproduction of Takehara or Makoto Shinkai’s eye-popping renditions of Tokyo for his movies, the fact that artists could depict locations so accurately that locals might say “That’s my house!” is nothing short of impressive. This gives anime a sense of realism: with a setting grounded in reality, an anime might be seen as a stylised telling of a story that may have happened to real people, even if there are times when supernatural or otherwise science-fiction elements are present. By reminding viewers that things happen in the real world, to real people, it’s easier to build an emotional attachment to an anime, care for the characters and develop an interest to see what happens next. This sort of realism has the greatest impact in romance, drama and slice-of-life anime, so it is unsurprising that many anime choose to create a setting viewers can relate to, so that emphasis can be directed towards the characters and the events they find themselves entangled in.

Question Two

If there was one thing you could change about your blog, what would it be? ―Ninetybeats

  • I’d make the site prettier and load faster.

As someone who works in a field that emphasises visualisation of data and systems, I would probably have to go with improving the blog’s appearance, especially with the visuals. At present, the blog is built with a very traditional interface, with tabs and the search bar at the top, and numerous navigational elements to the side. Posts are quite lengthy because of the images they have. While it’s unlikely, if time permitted, I would probably have gone with hosting my own site, then learnt enough CSS and Javascript to build a site where navigation is more similar to that of Danny Choo’s Culture Japan. Such a layout would allow me to feature more images and also make it easier for readers to preview what posts are about more efficiently (imagine if each post was represented by an image with a short excerpt, and clicking on the image brought up the full post). For an anime blog of this type, such an approach might be a bit overkill, although the visual impact would be quite substantial and make the blog more unique. Of course, I’d have to take care to ensure that the visuals and layout do not disrupt with the blog’s meat-and-potatoes, the content.

Closing remarks

So ends another Mail Sack post. Truth be told, I was quite surprised about how quickly a week had passed and nearly forgot about the Mail Sack. After the last Mail Sack, I went out for dim sum with the family and then to an Irish pub to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Sunday saw me practise more for my advanced operator’s license and a lobster dinner at The Keg, while on the Civic Holiday, I set up a shiny new Mac Mini as a media computer hooked up to the TV. The work week soon resumed, and I spent it adding new features to the Giant Walkthrough Brain software; it was unexpected, though not unwelcome, how smoothly that went. I was anticipating all sorts of hitches and bugs to arise, but after a week, all of the features that were requested have been implemented, and as the weekend begins, I think I’ve earned a break of some sort. Yesterday, I found out that Origin was offering Battlefield 4 to players for a week-long trial period, and I was wondering if playing it would lead me to forget something. Thankfully, I did not forget about the Mail Sack: with this week’s installment over, the upcoming week will feature talks on Aldnoah.Zero and Sword Art Online II after six, as well as the beginning of a series of Battlefield 4 posts. Please remember to keep the questions coming if you enjoy this series!

One response to “The Infinite Mirai’s Mail Sack: August 9, 2014

  1. vimitsu August 10, 2014 at 21:12

    For the next mail sack: What do you feel about those who rant about how “terrible” certain anime are? Are they justified in openly sharing their views?


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