New Splash Page: Reiko Shimizu

This doesn’t even warrant its own entry, but since I enjoy seeing other people’s glorified splash pages: I rehashed Six Chances’ placeholder layout for the (still unnamed) Reiko Shimizu portal for the lulz. I’m currently rereading Shimizu’s works in my collection, including “Moon Child”, and the nostalgic yearning of the mermaids as they swim through space to return to Earth after centuries of absence was too beautiful to pass up. There’s at least one more shrine for the portal in the works, but we’ll see when it actually happens…

in bloom: Six Chances

Relaunch: Emotion

EmotionCrystal (formerly kindly let me adopt Emotion, her anime, manga and video game shrine directory, in May. It took me a while to get everything together for the layout and content, but now the directory is finally back up!

If you can, please update your links to and spread the word to fellow shrine makers and visitors so that everyone can keep finding their way to shrines. Now’s also a good time to check whether there are any shrines you haven’t submitted yet and would like to get listed! :)

Thanks to Andrea for double-checking the shrines removed in the sweep for dead links to see whether anyone has changed domains in the meantime, and thanks to Larissa for the final general inspection.

in bloom: Miscellaneous

General Maintenance

All shrines have undergone light maintenance:

  • Footer text was adjusted to reflect the new network name.
  • Definitions for “shrine” and manga demographics were added.
  • Links were updated and dead links were removed or replaced.
  • The contrast of select elements was adjusted (notably font colours on Setting Sun and Jamais Plus and the background on Sway).
  • Minor additions were made to link lists.
  • Some larger images were converted.
  • Minor typographical elements were converted (e.g. typewriter apostrophes).

Valkyrie and Waterbound were excluded from thorough link list updates.

in bloom: In Another Dream, Sway, Waterbound, Baton Pass, Setting Sun, Dornenkaefig, Valkyrie, Jamais Plus, Awakening, In Control, Strength of Heart, Jokers Wild, Stormwind

Refugium: Revisions

Refugium — Added link buttons and a short purchase note for the series to the “Editor’s Note” page. Andrea kindly presented me with a list of spelling and grammar errors along with a considerable amount of stylistic suggestions; all these revisions have now been implemented!

The layout was supposed to display fine at a minimum resolution of 1280x720. Alas, I was wrong, and in true spirit of one of the shrine’s themes, this was a case of “what I see is not what you see”. All resolutions between 1280px and 1400px in width have been seeing some wonky version of the site – sorry! Spent some hours under the expert guidance of Yuuka and Andrea to fix the issue. Thank you so much for your loving perseverance, sweet friends!! ;_;

in bloom: Refugium

Return and New Shrine: Refugium

Wow, it’s been 4.5 years since the last update! July 2017 was a major turning point in my life and was followed by several years of growth, new discoveries, and a vast expansion of territory. Going through that kind of personal revolution required me to bundle all of my time, energy and focus. I have been writing on (multiple) sites in that time, but rarely long enough to see a project through to the end. There’s more to it, as you will see below.

At some point, this update log, formerly powered by FanUpdate, kicked the bucket; the page still worked, but no updates were displayed. I apologize that I left such an essential part of the network unattended for so long — at least there were no updates that could have been missed out on! The log has been set up anew now, powered by the update script Chronica created by the wonderful Yuuka. It features a makeshift layout I found in my folder from mid-2017 (@Andrea, rejoice), when I was already preparing for the migration to Chronica. Rather than uploading something so embarrassingly dated, I was hoping to replace the layout and to add a category tag overview, but alas, that will have to wait, as I am running out of time.

March is my birth month, and the end of the month is the beginning of spring, my namesake. I have been working hard the past two months on a present to myself:

Refugium – a shrine to the manga The Top Secret by Reiko Shimizu, more specifically, its pilot chapter! This one has been in the works for the past… 3.5 years, most of it consisting of graphics, design and writer’s block after reaching about the half-way point. I resumed work on it this year after a burst of resolve and inspiration, and by sheer willpower have managed to push through to the end at last. To see it complete after this long is akin to a miracle to me, and a considerable weight off my shoulders. The shrine and its subject matter have been on my mind all this time, and because I so wanted to make it happen, and take the time needed to pursue the questions I wanted to think through, it blocked a lot of my resources, and prevented me from focusing on other creative projects for long. Now, I am finally free!

Refugium is very dear to me, and I hope that it can bring some joy. As always, if you find any typos or mistakes, or have any suggestions for improvement, I’m all ears! I intend to write a project retrospective for this shrine as with most of my previous shrines, but I’ve got some more thinking to do on the format. I assume it will be up shortly.

Six Chances — As you can see, Refugium is part of a new collective stationed on a “new” domain (…purchased in 2018; folks, if you are hoarding domains for projects that have not seen the light of day yet, I believe in you). For the time being, only the landing page is up. Several of the above-mentioned projects are planned for this collective, one in quite mature stage already. We’ll see how things go!

In Another Dream — This shrine was created as part of the Six Chances collective back then (you may remember the subdomain), and has now received a new URL. If you happen to have linked it somewhere, I would appreciate that you update it, as I don’t know yet how long I will be keeping the subdomain.

Network — It’s not that I have forgotten the name of my own network, but “The Caged Songbird” is no longer a suitable vessel, hence the rebrand. I received a mail from a visitor last year, who referred to by the name of its layout version by mistake. It struck me what a good match that is for where I stand now and how I intend to go forward, so that will be it! I will slowly replace the network name when I do light maintenance on all my sites this year. For now, please excuse the confusing coexistence of both the old and the new.

One last detail: I have been playing around with favicons and stopped at the current ones, which are items from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (I haven’t played the games, jsyk). I’ll leave them like that for now. (If anyone knows any artists who take pixel art commissions, I’d be grateful if you dropped me a line!)

in bloom: Refugium, In Another Dream, Six Chances, Oubliette