Limit (vol. 6) by Keiko Suenobu, translated by Mari Morimoto
It’s Friday. Do you know where your children are? If you thought you sent them off in the care of trustworthy adults, then you might want to wait until they come back … that is, if they come back, to read this. Scared? After finishing this frightful series, I certainly am!
The sixth and final volume of Limit – which follows the few survivors of a school bus crash en route to a student camp trip – opens with an actual cliffhanger. Hinata, horrified by his own recent actions, begins to tumble backwards off a steep ledge, but Konna grabs his hand just in time. As Hinata dangles and Konna begs, “Don’t let it end here,” Morishige manages to pull them both to safety, warning, “If you’ve got time to die, better save Kamiya instead!!” The bullied-turned-bully has a point: Kamiya, with her gaping wound, needs all the help she can get if she’s to survive.
“I am not letting anyone else die …!” Konna screams with desperate determination. To maximize their chances of being found, the final four split up, even as Kamiya begs Konna to leave her behind. But Konna, for all her popularity and seemingly easy life, “finally understand[s] what being friends is like.” In spite of all the terrors the children have experienced, each has also undergone significant self-revelations that could and should help navigate a better future … well, at least for some.
Aware of her high school-age target audience used to thrills and chills, creator Keiko Suenobu makes sure all six volumes move swiftly with multiple surprises. Into the constant action, she’s dovetailed all the contemporary adolescent challenges driven by high school’s caste systems with all the consequences, privileges, assumptions, and expectations of being labeled at one end or the other of the popularity spectrum. Suenobu takes her small control group, isolates them without rules – Lord of the Flies-style – then records with an exacting eye what happens to our children in the most extreme situations. Final warning to parents: do not let those wide-eyed, adorable manga faces fool you … fairy tale happy endings are never guaranteed.
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2013 (United States)