Hello there! Welcome to Blizzara.org, a network of personal sites each featuring a fictional character of interest. Online since 2004, these projects are maintained by myself in my spare time. Each site contains a collection of information, analytical essays, sometimes media, and the occasional sentimental blabbering. For whatever reason, I have somehow convinced myself that all of this is worth publishing on the Internet.
So, what is a "Blizzara", you ask? It's not a misspelling, promise! Blizzara is an ice-type magic attack found in several installments of the Final Fantasy series and other Square-Enix franchises, such as Kingdom Hearts. I'd imagine its physical effect is akin to, oh I don't know, a blizzard? Keeping up with the whole weather-related nomenclature, I occasionally refer to this place as the Diamond Dust Network—which you may see stamped around the sites—though I rarely call it that nowadays. Honestly, it just takes too long to type!
The currently layout design features mostly editorial-eqsue minimalism, but also CG renders of a K-Pop boy band from Final Fantasy XV going on their bachelor party brotrip. This is probably the twenty-fifth version of this site, but who's counting anyway? Just to cover my bases: none of these sites are official or affiliated in anyway with their respective sources.
Squall Leonhart, Final Fantasy VIII. Opened August 2004.Visit?
Sora, Kingom Hearts series. Opened April 2004.Visit?
Balthier Bunansa, Final Fantasy XII. Opened January 2007.Visit?
Zack Fair & Aerith Gainsborough, Final Fantasy VII Compilation. Opened September 2009Visit?
Iris Amicitia, Final Fantasy XV. Opened March 2017.Visit?
Mimi Tachikawa, Digimon Adventure. Opened April 2017.Visit?
Keith & Allura, Voltron: Legendary Defender. Opened February 2017.Visit?
Hi! I'm Stefi, somewhere in the twenties, and I currently live in sunny-yet-drought-ridden Southern California. My alias is actually a nickname my family calls me by, spelling courtesy of my late grandmother. I've been doing this website business on and off since I was 13, and while I am not very good at coding, I really enjoy designing sites.
Okay, so let's be real: I haven't written about myself in many years in an effort to suppress my ego. But since this technically is a personal site, I might as well talk about a few things that are important to me and how they shape the way I am. You can flip through the different sections in the links above.
Happy reading, and, as always: Lasciate Ogni Speranza, Voi ch'Entrate.
Without any doubt, Japan is my home far away from home. A few years ago, I was admitted into the JET Program as a participant, and it's the one experience that I could—to everyone's dismay—talk non-stop about. I was based in Mie Prefecture, where I picked up bits and pieces of Mie-ben, or the Mie dialect, which was really just a mashed-up version of the prominent Kansai dialect. My first year there was pretty rough, but once I got the hang of everything, I really got to know, love, and appreciate the culture.
Every former participant gushes about this, but living there and adapting to Japanese society truly shifts one's mentality in how we look at the world and approach it. It's definitely molded my lifestyle from aesthetic decisions to the way I see and understand people. I can say with confidence that living there has fundamentally changed aspects of me as a person.
Perhaps the one cause that I am most openly vocal about is lack of diversity in film, television, and other media. Growing up in Southern California has exposed me to a variety of different cultural backgrounds, something I took for granted when I moved to a place where I couldn't get both pupusas and pad see ew within a 5 mile radius. My heritage and where I come from is also very important to me, a notion that has stregthened in my adult life.
Since the entertainment industry is such a huge deal where I live, I became active in a few advocacy groups that promoted diversity in mainstream media. I try and spread awareness about representation and participate in protests against whitewashing in films. No matter where we are in the world, cultural pluralism is such an important discussion to have yet too often gets disregarded.
Aside from that, I also enjoy travelling abroad (when money permits). While I occasionally go sightseeing, I am vastly more interested in meeting people and learning about their society, their politics, the way they live, and how they think.
Art, in its many forms, has always been a constant in my life. I decided to pursue a second B.A. in Art History at the University of California, with my first being in Japanese Language & Literature. I love art in the way that it constantly challenges the audiences' thought process, seeking to redefine certain perceptions and constructs of society.
While I still undoubtedly have a soft spot for avant-garde artists Monet and Mondrian, I've built much of my knowledge base on postmodernism, particularly performance art and other art outside the museum. My undergraduate research heavily focused on Gutai, an contemporary art group that emerged from post-war Japan that sought to liberate themselves from conventional forms of art. Some of my favorite artists include: Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Barbara Kruger, Shigeru Kazuo, Tanaka Atsuko, and Kusama Yayoi.