Limit Manga vol. 6
End of the twisted road
By Joseph Luster
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The time has come to put Keiko Suenobu's shoujo survival tale Limit to bed with the sixth and final volume. If you haven't picked up the series at this point yet still feel compelled to read a review of the last volume, I'll save you some trouble and say Limit is worth your time right off the top. As mentioned in the very first review, this six-volume tale is best approached with as little knowledge of its contents as possible, so go ahead and dig in. As for the rest of us, let's see what kind of bow Suenobu puts on this emergency care package.
Wrap-up is pretty much all this final volume is about. Not that it's inappropriate given the preceding events, but don't come into this one expecting the level of conflict on display in previous volumes. The revelation of the lone boy in the surviving group, Hinata, and his brief foray into murder served as the final gasp in this series, and volume six picks up as he attempts to punish himself by stepping off a cliff into the rocky unknown below.
Naturally our heroine Mizuki Konno isn't going to let that happen, and her forgiving Hinata for what he's done and allowing the group as a whole to move toward rescue sets the tone for the story's conclusion. Limit's last collected breath is all about turning the characters we came to know at the beginning of the tale on their head, bringing their arcs full circle in their own unique ways. Thus the closing chapters of Limit are about opening the doors to forgiveness and acceptance, bridging the social gaps that seemed to expand for miles at the beginning of the series, and so on.
While you're not going to find the type of harrowing tension that's made the series what it is up to this point, it's nice to see that not everything in Suenobu's story has to barrel toward a grim fate. The art is top notch as usual, with the teary-eyed shoujo style and framing making way for the light at the end of the tunnel. If the characters hadn't already been through so much some of what occurs here might have seemed forced, but it feels like a natural way to conclude a series that really put its cast through the wringer.
Suenobu has something to say throughout about social structure, cliques, and the way we treat one another based on oftentimes superficial criteria, and while it might not be the most original message out there, the vehicle that delivers it is full of thrills and is absolutely a ride worth taking.
Publisher: Vertical Inc.
Story & Art: Keiko Suenobu
© 2013 Keiko Suenobu