Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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ooamaimomoooW Juliet--1 out of 5 stars

Okay, let’s just dive right in with this one.

So this manga is about a high school girl named Ito, who is in theater and dreams of becoming a famous actress someday.

In the beginning of the story, Ito’s character is an extreme tomboy—she grew up with only brothers in her family’s martial arts dojo and she lost her mother at a very young age. She’s a bit brash and outspoken, quite tall (she’s about 5’8”), and cuts her hair short like a boy. (She’s actually the more boyish looking one in the image.)

Soon the character Makoto enters the story—and she’s a long haired, soft spoken, gentle, oh-so-feminine character who just transferred to Ito’s school (and also happens to be an actress).

Well, Ito quickly (and accidentally) discovers Makoto is actually a boy, who is cross dressing like a girl to prove to his father that he’s a great actor and should pursue his dreams of becoming an actor.

Makoto’s father wants Makoto to take over the family business cough cough CLICHE cough but promises Makoto that if he can go through his remaining two years of high school convincing everyone that he is a female student—his father would accept that Makoto was a brilliant actor and support his career choice. But if ANYONE finds out, the deal is off and Makoto MUST take over the family business. So, Ito promises to keep Makoto’s secret and they become fast friends. (And even faster lovers, honestly. :/)

Okay, okay, so that whole idea is pretty far-fetched, I know. Don’t judge me for being interested. :P

I think what the author of this manga really wanted to do was write a story about a girl who looks like a boy and have her fall in love with a boy who looks like a girl.

Anyway, I picked up this manga because the premise of the story sounded interesting. I like stories about opposites and lead female characters who don’t take no crap from nobody! XD

Unfortunately, this manga falls into the same horrible, redundant plot turns that most shojo-manga fall into. The main girl is desired by EVERY male character and the main guy is desired by EVERY female character—and every side character that crosses their path actively pursues them and/or causes ridiculous, meddlesome amounts of drama… ugh. Seriously. There’s always some guy trying to force himself on Ito and then Makoto has to come save the day! And then a few pages away you’ll have some fuckin’ girl that’s lying and scheming her way into getting “closer” to Makoto and Ito has to step in and tell a bitch to step off.

It makes for an exhausting read, full of so many “what was the author thinking?” moments. So sadly, while the artwork is pretty decent and the basic idea of the story is interesting, it’s just not well written or very creative. At all. And while there’s a few parts that were different, funny and/or intriguing at one point, it’s so short-lived! Because for some crazy reason, the author’s terrible plot will somehow lead into a possible interesting situation with so many options of where to take the story—but then she immediately makes a u turn and heads right back to the same cliché plot and proceeds to reuse the same situation over and over again!

That has to be one of the biggest downfalls in ANY story for me—movies, tv shows, books, manga… It doesn’t matter. There’s only a select few stories that can really pull off doing more of the same and keep me interested enough to keep watching/reading. (a huge example being Sailor Moon! XD)

I mean, of course I understand that the author has to create some friction and drama to make it even sort of worth your time—but, get creative! I mean, the plot itself is already wacky, so get wacky! You can’t have a wacky plot full of clichés. It makes it incredibly irritating to read and IMPOSSIBLE to relate to.

In my opinion, a manga reads the best when there’s ONE main problem that they have to work through. It takes a lot to work through it, but they eventually conquer it (or they don’t) and the story ends. But instead, this mangaka resuses the same plot, the same solution and has the same situations arise time and time again.

Also! I should mention a HUGE pet peeve I have with manga is when they bring in a character out of NO WHERE that one of the main characters are supposedly “betrothed” to.

(Well, except for in Ranma 1/2.. because that shit is hilarious.)

It happens surprisingly often and it’s soooo obnoxious! I can’t stand it. And, I mean, it’s manga, it’s not real, I get it—but that’s gotta be one of the more unrealistic, over used story lines out there. And I fucking hate it. (Well, unless the time period is right, of course.)

But in modern day Japan, I just can’t see arranged marriages really happening as often as it seems to happen in manga. But.. yeah. Whether it really happens a lot or not in modern times, this plot “twist” literally kills a manga for me.

The moment the story brings in a random so and so who’s engaged to the main so and so—I toss the manga into the toilet and I’m done.

Soooo… who wants to muster up a guess as to what happened with THIS manga?

Let’s break this WHOLE manga down into one paragraph. The two main characters start out as tomboy and girly man. Throughout the manga they go through “struggles” together (i.e. constantly fighting off each other’s suitors/parents/family duties/meddlesome “friends”) ... And eventually, toward the end of the manga, Ito and Makoto begin to switch places as far as characters. Ito becomes more feminine, Makoto wants to become more of a man again so he can properly be with Ito—they keep the secret from Makoto’s dad well enough, their relationship grows stronger and stronger and then BAM! Enter random bitch who’s betrothed to Makoto, throwing the ultimate wrench into their plans. :T

NO. I’M DONE. Bad mangaka! I mean.. Just.. seriously. No. It’s a terrible plot twist and I hate that the mangaka waited until the end to bring this character into the story. How obnoxious.

Don’t read this manga. Just.. don’t. There are no saving graces. Eventually every. single. character. gets on your nerves. Which is never good.

(To anyone who might have read this series: Sorry if I’m not being terribly accurate, it’s been awhile since I’ve read this manga. I have the first 3 volumes, but beyond that, I’m going off of my memory. Since it already started to go downhill after volume 3—I never purchased the series and was one of those cheap asses who read the whole series in the local bookstore.)18 months ago

ooamaimomoooFruits Basket--5 out of 5 stars

This manga is about the hoplessly optimistic girl named Tohru Honda who loses her mother at age 15 in an accident and after becoming homeless, comes across the Sohma family. She starts living with them and quickly finds out about the “Sohma curse”—where the spirits of the Chinese zodiac possess some of the Sohma family members, causing them to transform into their respective animal when under great stress or when hugged by someone of the opposite sex. In addition to the 12 zodiac, there’s also Kyo, the Cat, who also transforms even though he’s not truly a part of the zodiac, due to a legend told long ago about the Rat tricking the Cat.

The story starts out in a very cute, light, funny, uplifting way… But once you start learning more of the back story of each of the zodiac members (and Tohru).. the story delves into something much deeper, uncovering negative and somewhat depressing feelings/situations that most people probably have felt/dealt with at some point in their lifetime.

Don’t get me wrong though. The overall feel of this manga is an uplifting one.

For me, it’s mainly a lot about fear of the unknown, losing someone you love, loneliness, self-loathing and the struggle to overcome or accept certain things about life, other people and yourself. It’s about peoples’ struggles to find a reason to exist, to live. It’s about losing that reason and searching for it again. To feel worthy, needed, accepted and loved.

All the zodiac stuff and silliness of the characters aside, Fruits Basket is basically a story about life. That in life things end, people die, love isn’t permanent and acceptance isn’t always given. It’s about the finding the desire to live and love, even in knowing all of that. It’s about finding that person in life who will love and accept you as you are, and as you grow. It’s about first, accepting that you are who you are, and then realizing that you’re never too far gone, that you can always change. You always have the option to become who you want to be, as long as you’re alive. As long as you’re alive, you have a chance to find love and happiness. Ahh, I love it. Hahaha.

I don’t feel like I’m explaining this manga very well, but I don’t want to say too much about the story, so instead I’m just writing about the overall feel I’ve gotten from it. But the characters are well developed (well, most of them. Haha) and extremely easy to relate to (well, most of them. Haha). The writing is exquisite and deep, while the artwork is a bit more simple. While reading this, I laughed and cried, felt cold and warm, and experienced love and hate. Natsuki Takaya really manages to pull emotions out of you, which can only mean it’s a very well-written, well-executed manga, that I strongly suggest everyone read.

I actually borrowed this manga from a friend who couldn’t believe I hadn’t read it (I’d seen the anime, which pales in comparison of the manga). It’s not that I didn’t want to, it was just that once I saw there were 23 volumes, I couldn’t bring myself to buy the whole series—(I’m just too cheap. TT A TT Haha) but now I’m thinking I really have to buy it all.. It’s definitely worth it and I want to re-read it already! Hahaha.

Anyway, 5 out of 5 stars for me simply for the feel good, emotional quality of the story. But, I’m sad to say since it’s published in the US, mangafox doesn’t have it available to read online. Sooo you’ll just have to visit the local library, book store, etc to read it! 3 years ago

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