Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Limit, 1
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on November 2, 2012
When it comes to manga lately, I feel like I've been living under a rock. I received this review copy, and wasn't familiar with the title at all. I love the cover, though, with the main protagonist standing defiantly, yet a bit battered, and staring boldly ahead. The cover is very simple and eye-catching, and I immediately sat down to read the book. Keiko Suenobu is also the author of LIFE, which was being released by Tokyopop before they shuttered their offices. I haven't read any of that series, but after reading Limit, I am tempted to track it down.

Limit is a Lord of the Flies type story. After their school trip goes horribly wrong and their bus crashes, Kanno and four of her classmates are stranded in the middle of the woods with only their wits to aid in their survival. With their teachers and classmates dead, the five girls must juggle their fear and panic with their feelings for each other. This is a diverse group of personalities, from the bullied Morishige, who has the only weapon and is brimming over with hate and resentment, to Kanno, who was part of the popular clique who made Morishige's life hell at school. Sakura, the ringleader of the clique, is dead in the bus, and Haru, one of the survivors, isn't dealing with her best friend's death very well. This is a powder keg of emotions just ready to blow, and only Kamiya realizes that it's going to take more than luck to survive until they are rescued. She immediately attempts to use diplomacy and get everyone to work together to ensure their survival, but she's not having much luck. There is a lot of resentment and so much ill-will to overcome, that things look bleak for our intrepid cast.

Limit focuses on the complex relationships the girls have formed over the years. Angry Morishige is delighting in her sudden ascent to the top of the food chain; she's got the weapon, and she hates everyone enough that she won't hesitate to use it. She casts everyone else in the pyramid beneath her, leaving Kanno and Haru to battle it out for the bottom rung of the ladder. With the weapon, Morishige also controls the meager food supply the girls have foraged from the wreckage of the bus. After being a bottom-feeder for so long, she is ecstatic to feel some kind of empowerment over the girls who constantly picked on her and made each school day so horrible.

I thought that this was a great introduction to the series. I reached the end and wanted more. The relationship dynamics bubble with emotion and kept me engaged in the book from the first page. Kanno isn't an extremely likable character because she always takes the path of least resistance. She's a sheep to Sakura's domineering personality, and once Sakura meets an untimely end, Kanno realizes how meaningless her other relationships truly are. Avoiding confrontation, kissing up to Sakura, and trying to hold a middle ground so she wasn't bullied didn't endear her to her classmates, she is learning the hard way.

I love Keiko Suenobu's expressive artwork. I never had to guess how her characters felt as they were maneuvered from one panel to the next. Emotions are deftly rendered here, and the visuals are as compelling as the prose. This is a great start to a series that will appeal to fans of conflict driven stories. I don't know how the girls are going to reconcile their feelings for each other and still survive all alone in the wilderness, with no food and only a cave for shelter. I am looking forward to the next volume!

Grade: B
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on July 13, 2014
After finishing the entire series, I found myself kind of disappointed. Limit starts very strong, with a shocking bus accident, and some interesting dynamics between the characters. As the story goes along, though, the series begins to feel a little too safe. There are big revelations, and then, very quickly, they are pulled back, or revealed to be misunderstandings.

The dialogue is very awkward, both in its layout and in the actual writing. Everything has a very staccato feel to it, and the dialogue never seems to flow naturally. This becomes much worse as the series goes on. The writing itself feels a little too formal, and the characters are prone to giving plenty of "lets stick together" and "we can do this because we're friends" speeches.

The characters themselves are interesting, but are not developed as fully as they could, or really should be. They all have roles to play, and never stray to far from those roles.

The art is probably the high point of this series. It is very beautiful, with distinct character designs, and a sense of fluid action. While the series holds very closely to the shojo style, it is used well, and what violence there is in the series, it is depicted with restraint.

Limit started out very good, but quickly fell into mediocrity,and by the final volume I found myself losing interest quickly. At only six, pretty short volumes Limit never overstays its welcome, but it is one of those series that had so much potential, and just never seemed willing to go the distance.
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on January 11, 2014
~3.5/5

I finally picked up this series, during the RightStuf! sale (ohmygod, you guys. That sale practically made me go broke) (kidding) (kind of). I’d heard both Kodansha and Vertical mention it, and it had never really caught my notice until they did. It fell completely under my radar, which is a shame.

I knew it would have darker themes, but I still didn’t know much about it until I decided to get it. I went into it knowing about the Lord of the Flies elements, and was looking forward to the psychological aspects, but was still a little unsure, but looking forward to it.

I wasn’t expecting much from the art, but it’s actually very pretty. I love the way the characters, particularly their faces and expressions, look. The details are really nice, very realistic, really graphic at times. It’s really pretty to look at. Also, the books are so tiny, similar to how Japan prints their manga, and I love it. It’s just kind of refreshing, and they’re so cute, I love looking at them.

I also wasn’t expecting to like the main character, Konno, as I was thinking she was going to be a bitch, and while she is rather selfish and always looking to be following the majority, I’m also really intrigued by her. She figured out when she was young that people will turn on you, and so has decided not to get close to anyone and just follow along and agree. And now she’s stranded with four other classmates after the school bus crashes and kills everyone else; she's not close with any of them, and she’s thrown completely out of her element.

There’s one girl, Kamiya, who’s smart and calm and getting a handle on things realistically. One girl’s hurt and doesn’t know what to do. Another was ‘friends’ with Konno but actually detests her. And the last was bullied and is kind of psychotic now, claiming power.

There are already the beginnings of betrayal and rage and violence, and I’m sure it’s only going to get worse from now until it gets better, if it gets better. Which I'm not even sure that it will, and that excites me. I’m really looking forward to it.

I love psychological books, and there are too little of them out there, in my opinion. I also don’t read a lot of straight-out violently psychological books where I don’t have any clue how it’s going to end, so I’m really looking forward to reading more of this series.

[More of my reviews are available on my blog, Geeky Reading, and there's a link on my profile.]
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on March 4, 2013
I must start off by saying that I'm not usually a fan of Shojo-style manga, however The Limit appears to be the exception. The story is very intriguing, and the characterization is excellent. Though it is a shojo manga (and thus it's intended market is for female readers), I am a male and quickly became a fan of Ms. Suenobu's work.
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on December 31, 2015
I was drawn to this series by how different it is from the shoujo manga that I typically read. Limit is rather dark and has some images that may be disturbing for some people. The main character is a popular girl who is always surrounded by her friends, and they make fun of people and are a bit mean to others in their school. However, the story takes a drastic turn within the first few pages of the book.

The class was going on a school trip, but they never make it to their destination. Students must survive in the wilderness until they can be rescued, but they have trouble getting along. One of the girls that was often made fun of wants to get revenge and be in charge.

I recommend borrowing or buying only the first volume before you buy the entire series, in case it isn't to your taste. Personally, I found the book intriguing and exciting.
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VINE VOICEon November 25, 2012
If you've read Life, then you'll know what to expect in this as far as character interaction goes. If you're not familiar with Life, then let me warn you: Suenobu likes exploring the worst sides of society, especially the sides of society you see with high schoolers. In Life you had themes of self-harm, violence, and even rape. I've read the first volume and while this isn't as dark as Life could get at it's most depressing points, it's still fairly dark. I know that some readers don't prefer that type of read, so I'm warning you ahead of time. For more light hearted survival fare, I recommend Cage of Eden.

That said, on with the review. I will be revealing one or two minor spoilers, so reader beware. If you want to know whether or not to buy it based on my recommendation, I do recommend it.

One of the interesting things about this volume is that it deals with the concept of how people interact with each other, power structures within groups of people, and how that can all change depending on the situation. Suenobu takes a fairly interesting route with this series. While Life had a fairly easily identifiable "bad guy" Queen Bee, she decides to eliminate that character almost immediately in the first volume. I'm certain we'll see her in flashbacks throughout the entire series and someone else might step in to become the next HBIC ala Heathers, but it's interesting to see how various characters react to losing the person who essentially gave everyone else their orders and identities. The end result of this move is that as you'd expect, the entire power structure shifts. People who were highly popular are on the lower end of the totem pole while the "little guy" is on the higher end.

That, however, is really what you would expect from a survival series because it's a very common trope. Where this really shines is how well it is all put together. This isn't a happy-go-lucky series where everyone will cry, learn a valuable lesson, then have that iconic image where someone smiles brightly into a beam of sunshine while thinking about bright new days ahead. I honestly don't think we'll get that until the very end, if at all. You will see some nicer points to things, but what really makes this manga is how wonderfully flawed it is.

I did like Life, but I will say that I enjoyed this more. Life didn't take very long before it went from zero to 190, going to extremes that were sometimes so overkill that it almost ruined the points the series was trying to make. Limit takes things a little slower, so when things do his the uber drama fan it'll have more of an impact.

Overall I'm definitely going to collect this series as it goes on- especially since it is only six volumes long. Vertical did a pretty good job with this series, but that's generally what I've come to expect from them.
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on October 1, 2014
It's... an interesting story. Very surprising how quick it escalated in the first book. Certainly not a bad manga.
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on October 21, 2014
This is a great manga series! I honestly could not wait for the next book !
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