Happy Birthday! Josh's Anime Blog is now 3 Years Old!

My, how time flies.  This past year was a somewhat rough one, with various factors such as school, work, and apathy last fall leading to some somewhat dead stretches in my blog.  Yet, despite this, this blog still seems to be chugging along, about as good as always.

Happy Birthday!

I don’t have anything particularly new planned until I get finished with my masters in May (Finally!), but once that arrives, I’m sure to start looking at new things for my blog (of course, if you have any good ideas now, feel free to throw them into a comment anyway).

However, despite my semi-hiatuses and other things (it’s not like I’m an uber active member in the anime community.  I’m like one of those sicknesses that shows up suddenly for a little while, then suddenly disappears to lurk in the darkness again), I have a decent shot of breaking 100,000 visits in the 2009 calendar year.

Believe me, those are numbers which I probably would have never imagined when I started this blog, on my old domain, using some program called Simple PHP writing anime reviews maybe once a week or so (I didn’t even get into episode reviewing until the Spring 07 season, so the end of the current season will also mark 2 years of doing episode reviews).

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Nijuu Mensou no Musume – Episode 22 [END]

It’s (finally) Nijuu Mensou no Musume episode 22. It’s been 3 years since the incident in Tokyo, and the Detective Girls are able to reunite for one final mission.

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Welcome to Josh's Anime Blog Version 6!

Welcome to Josh’s Anime Blog Version 6! This design is a pretty radical design change from my last one. This design features a bigger content column, including a full width first post, with most of the important sidebar things, such as the list of tags, categories, pages, etc. moved up to the top horizontal navigation.

As a part of this, I’ve also added three new themes for the site: Please Twins, Shakugan no Shana, and Toradora.  However, unlike the old design, the only thing the theme will change will be the banner.  Colors on the site will remain unchanged.

Another big change was moving from the sandbox theme to thematic, where I am taking full advantage of it’s child theme ability, both with CSS and with php functions, where I’ve taken over a couple of the things that I used to have to edit actual plug-in or core wordpress files to get what I wanted.

Another change is that I have now enabled nested comments, which can go 5 comments deep.

As usual, if you notice any bugs, please let me know.  I think I tested the site pretty thoroughly, but that doesn’t mean I caught everything.  The one thing I know still isn’t fixed as of the launch is going back and redoing all of the youtube video links, but I’ll get around to that when I get around to it (these should now work).  However, everything else should work fine.

Josh's Anime Blog Podcast Episode 87

Josh’s Anime Blog Podcast Episode #87 is now online! In this podcast, I review the anime series Lucky Star.

Josh's Anime Blog Podcast Episode 87This week’s Podcast Stats:
Time: 14:59
Download Size: 10.3 MB

Opening theme:
“I Guess That’s Love” by Mikuni Shimokawa
Opening theme to Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu

Ending theme:
“Misoji Misaki” by Hiromi Konno
16th Ending theme to Lucky Star

You can listen to my podcasts in the following ways:

Flash Player: [audio:http://www.joshsanimeblog.com/podcast/JABPEpisode87.mp3%5D

Directly: http://www.joshsanimeblog.com/podcast/JABPEpisode87.mp3

You can also download or add my podcast-only RSS feed to your favorite reader or add my podcast using iTunes.

Anime DVD and Manga Releases for February 17 – March 2

Anime DVDs and Blu-Rays

Akira Blu-RayFebruary 17, 2009
Case Closed – Season 4 Box Set
Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful  – Box Set
Nerima Daikon Brothers – Box Set
Pokemon All Stars – Volume 17 (dub)
Pokemon All Stars – Volume 18 (dub)
Ragnarok The Animation – Box Set

February 24, 2009
Akira [Blu-Ray]
Code Geass Leouch of the Rebellion – DVD Set 3
Death Note – Volume 9
E’s Otherwise – Box Set
Jing: King of Bandits – Box Set
Kurau Phantom Memory – Box Set
Love Hina – Box Set
Mobile Suit Gundam F91
Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team – Box Set
Saint Seiya – DVD Set 2
Save Me! Lollipop – Box Set
Shattered Angels – Box Set
Shonen Onmyouji – Volume 6
Sister Princess  – Box Set

February 28, 2009
Moribito – Volume 3

Manga

After School Nightmare manga Volume 10February 17, 2009
20th Century Boys – Volume 1
Dragon Ball Z: Big Edition – Volume 4
Happy Happy Clover – Volume 1
Jihai – Volume 1
Kekkaishi – Volume 16
Pluto – Volume 1

February 24, 2009
Aventura – Volume 3
Dorothea – Volume 4
Palette of 12 Secret Colors – Volume 5
Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei – Volume 1
Suzuka – Volume 11
Toto! The Wonderful Adventure – Volume 4

February 25, 2009
Gantz – Volume 4
Hitohira – Volume 3
Oh My Goddess! – Volume 11
Tengu-jin – single

February 27, 2009
Puri Puri – Box Set (Volumes 1 – 5)
Tsukihime – Volume 6

February 28, 2009
Afro Samurai – Volume 2
After School Nightmare – Volume 10
Black God – Volume 5
Bogle – Volume 3
Bound Beauty – Volume 2
Doujin Work – Volume 1
Hayate x Blade – Volume 2
Higurashi: When They Cry – Volume 2
Yggdrasil – Volume 3
Zombie-Loan – Volume 5

Quick Design Redesign Update

I’ll stick this up just for a quick update to my old post and because it’ll soon be off the top due to my next CLANNAD post, but, anyway, the update:

Link to design test

I was able to fix the gallery plug-in that I got and altered it so that it worked like I wanted it to, so yay for that (though in the end, part of my concern ended up being irrelevant too, but it still would work even if it wasn’t).

I have a couple more ideas that I’m playing around with to test, but if people were up to it, I was wondering if people could check out my youtube and image tests to see what they thought (as well as the overall design again).

The only annoying thing is that youTube (or at least the video I tested) seems to register a framerate of 22 (framerate used for HD content) as “not available” when used with non-HD content (or like I said, at least the video I tried embedding that wasn’t HD), meaning that I have to pay attention to frame rate when posting youTube content.  I was thinking of writing my own youTube plugin, since all my youtube stuff like height and width are set by CSS, so I’m not using youTube’s embed code, but that’s more something I’ll get around to sometime.  But that would make some of these issues like trying to edit the long-ass embed url for each post easier.  I’ll probably also try to do some sort of test for multiple youTube videos as well (I’m thinking side-by-side for the top post, and one over the other on all other posts and pages)

CLANNAD: After Story – Episode 18

It’s *sniff* CLANNAD: After Story episode 18 and *sniff* Tomoya and Ushio go on their trip, where Tomoya discovers more about himself than he could have possibly imagined. *blows nose and starts balling*

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New Design Testing

Once again, Kabitzin’s redesign of Sea Slugs has caused me to get motivated to possibly redesign this site.  There are still several things left to check and do, and of course there is always the chance that I’ll get tired of the design and dump it, but you can see what I’ve done so far here.

There are several things left to check including:

  • Making sure everything on posts looks right
  • Making sure everything on pages looks right
  • Making sure everything on search/category/archive pages looks right
  • Implementing threaded comments
  • Fixing the footer
  • Figuring out why exclude_tree isn’t excluding the category in the “categories” menu (whoever designed the code for this is a blithering idiot.  I had to set “exclude” as well, as if I didn’t set exclude but did set exclude_tree, since hierarchical is true by default, the code overwrote my exclude_tree value by my empty exclude value. stupid.)
  • Importing my current database to make sure everything still works with what I’m doing now
  • Fix “choose theme” functionality again (though it’ll only change the banner, not the colors, on the new site)
  • Test a couple of new tidbits that I have in mind but I’m keeping secret
  • Anything else I run into

So it’s a long, though not really overbearing list of things left for me to do.  I played around with changing the color of the sidebar, but didn’t hit anything I liked, but I may try again.  Of course, if anyone else has any suggestions, fire away.

Update: Oh yeah, I also like how Kabitzin did his sidebar, so I may steal adapt his idea for that if I can come up with a good way to do it.

Update 2:

OK, I’ve run into a new problem, and it deals with the image gallery.  I’ve downloaded a plug-in that will allow me to code the gallery however I want, so the “normal” gallery code is a non-factor in this equation.

Basically what I’m trying to figure out is code that will:

  1. Have a box around all the images (as I do in my episode reviews now)
  2. Be only as wide as the images
  3. Be flexible enough so that images can stack horizontally for however wide the page is (meaning, it can be 2 wide, 3 wide, etc. depending on the size of the images and the width of the page)
  4. Preferably isn’t a table

Now, this sounds easy, but it isn’t.  Here is what I’ve tried and how it’s failed (at least in FF3 on the mac):

  1. Attempted Solution: Container is a div.  Problem: Expands to full width.  My current gallery code uses a nav, but that’s because I give it a set width.  However, I can’t do that in this case because I don’t necessarily know what the width is, and….
  2. Attempted Solution: Container is div with set width. Problem: Box is only as wide as width, either causing images to overflow out of box, making the images narrower to fit, or just plain cutting off the images once they’re outside the box.
  3. Attempted Solution: Container is span.  Problem: That fixes with width expansion problem.  However, now the top of the box starts near the bottom of the top row of images, and I can’t seem to figure out a way to make the span “cover up” the top of the first row of images.  I can’t set a height, because I don’t know how high the image stack will be.
  4. Attempted Solution: Container is span, with display set to inline-block.  Problem: In theory, this is supposed to work based on what I’ve read.  However, it acts just like a block, making the box full width of the page.
  5. Attempted Solution: Container is span, images are floated (or are in another box which is floated).  Problem: Images stack properly, but box is now outside of the stack of images (and very small).
  6. Attempted Solution: Container is div, images (or box that images are in) are floated.  Problem: As expected, the div has collapsed and there is basically no box there.
  7. Attempted Solution: Container is div, overflow is set to auto, images are floated.  Problem: Fixes the flat div problem, but it is still full width.
  8. Attempted Solution: Put images in a list, and making the li items display: inline.  Problem: ul (ie, the box) displays full width.

I’ve tried every combination displaying, floating, and whatever else I can think of and I’m about at wit’s end right now.  I’m just about ready to just say “i’m gonna style it for the new site, and heck with the old galleries. too bad if they look bad.”

Josh's Anime Blog Podcast Episode 86

Josh’s Anime Blog Podcast Episode #86 is now online! In this podcast, I review the anime series Air.

Josh's Anime Blog Podcast Episode 86This week’s Podcast Stats:
Time: 14:26
Download Size: 10 MB

Opening theme:
“Crawl” by VELTPUNCH
Opening theme to Nabari no Ou

Ending theme:
“Farewell Song” by Lia
Ending theme to Air

You can listen to my podcasts in the following ways:

Flash Player: [audio:http://www.joshsanimeblog.com/podcast/JABPEpisode86.mp3%5D

Directly: http://www.joshsanimeblog.com/podcast/JABPEpisode86.mp3

You can also download or add my podcast-only RSS feed to your favorite reader or add my podcast using iTunes.