Manga Review: Limit Volume One

Limit Volume One is a manga by Keiko Suenobu, and it was published in North America by Vertical, Inc. in 2012. I don’t see any kind of a rating on this volume, but after reading it, I would recommend this series for older teens.

Limit Volume 1
Written by: Keiko Suenobu
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Vertical
Release Date: October 9, 2012

Limit focuses on a high school girl named Konno. She hangs with a popular girl named Sakura and Sakura’s friend, Haru. Arisa Morishige, a girl in their class, gets bullied for being so gloomy and being by herself. When Arisa ends up being the one to select what order the classes are going for their upcoming trip and ends up drawing out “last,” she gets picked on. We also see students picking on her for the manga she’s drawing.

When their class goes on the trip, the bus driver collapses. The teacher tries to take control of the wheel, but the bus goes over a cliff. When Konno comes to, she discovers that Sakura and everyone else she sees on the bus is dead. When she tries to call for help, she can’t get a signal. Konno manages to make it out of the bus, and she discovers that a small group of her classmates also survived: Haru, Usui, Arisa, and Kamiya. Kamiya advises everyone to stay put, because it will increase their chances of being found.

Arisa is doing a tarot card reading in a cave, and is overjoyed to hear that Sakura has died. She starts laughing hysterically. After Haru tries to attack Arisa with a log, Arisa arms herself with a scythe that was brought for the trip and defends herself. Using the scythe as leverage, Arisa makes herself the one in charge of the group to get revenge for all of the bullying she had to endure. The rest of the volume follows what happens after she takes charge.

One word can sum up this volume: intense. The back cover makes a reference to recalling themes from Lord of the Flies, and I think this is a very apt thing to say. My older daughter, who read Lord of the Flies not too long ago for her English class, also read this volume. In her opinion, she found Limit to be scarier than Lord of the Flies, because the story in Limit progresses much faster than in Lord of the Flies; the dynamics established at the end of this volume of Limit doesn’t come until around the end of Lord of the Flies.

When it comes to the bullying aspect of Limit, it makes the bullying that happened in the first few volumes of A Devil and Her Love Song almost seem tame. During this volume of Limit, we learn that Konno had been bullied for a couple of weeks in junior high, which is why she just goes with the flow and basically follows what the people she’s with are doing.

Earlier I recommended Limit for older teens, and I came to this recommendation between the intensity of the story as a whole, the bullying aspect, and how the story evolves after the girls are stranded. It’d an interesting story, but I think it may be a little too much for younger teens to handle.

While Limit is intense, I was very intrigued by the story and I couldn’t put it down. At some point, I will need to track down the second volume of Limit in order to find out what happens next.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Limit Volume One that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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