Sunday, January 12, 2014

My First Venture Into Japanese Dramaland: Limit Review

Summary (from gooddrama)
"The protagonist is a girl named 'Konno Mizuki', a typical senior high school girl who is good at studying, knows much about fashion, and is good at reading the situation. She is also fortunate to belong to the cool clique of her class called the "Sakura Group". One day, the class is on their way to a field trip when suddenly, their bus falls off a cliff in the mountains. Only five girls survive the accident. They are injured, lost in the mountains, and no one is coming for their rescue anytime soon. Pushed to their limits, the girls are forced to switch into survival mode and to lay bare their innermost feelings."

Limit is an intense drama. There is murder; there is suspicion; there are lies, truths, and questions.

The inevitable reality of the situation the survivors of a bus crash are stranded in is discussed in episode after episode. No one knows when - or if - a rescue team will come to save the group. Can the survivors trust one another? Can they put their dark past behind them for the sake of survival? Will they survive at all?

Once I saw Morishige, I thought she looked like EXO's Luhan.
These questions kept me watching. Some shows hint at the answers so much that we viewers are able to guess the twists and outcomes far in advance. In Limit, few of the answers were as simple. The quest to endure the tribulations of nature and each other's suspicions was full of intriguing intricacies.

Over the course of the six-hour series, each character had to deal with their own personal demons. There were troubles at home, with each other, and within that were addressed. Some could have been covered more, but the issues didn't suffer from over-coverage. A dilemma was referred to, there were a few flashbacks, there was screaming, and then there was (usually) a resolution (sort of).

Not the best way to go...

One complaint that I read about involved the main character, Mizuki. She had decided in middle school that she would just attempt to get through high school by "reading the atmosphere." When Mizuki realized how much pain she had put her friends through, and that she had never been successful at the analysis, she shifted suddenly. Within the first couple episodes, she already has become a concerned, apologetic teenager who wants to make things right with the people she's more or less stuck with and to get them all home safely.

Meet Mizuki, who looks slightly like a Japanese
Christina Grimmie. Just with shorter hair. And no Grimmie Poof.

And that's where her development ends.

That's it.

If it wasn't for Morishige (who I thought looked like EXO's Luhan) and the students' vice homeroom teacher (or whatever his position is called), the other viewers and I likely would have been much more disappointed. However...I'd say that the character in third place for most-satisfying growth - or regression, depending on how you look at it - is the second male that's in the forefront, Hinata. Other than him, Morishige and Igarashi-sensei, there's not much to say in terms of character growth.

This show pulled me in after the first ten minutes of introduction. Limit was rarely predictable, and it kept me questioning both the characters' and my own motivations throughout its six hours. I took away from Limit new ideas about interaction with others, friendship, and guilt, whether I will ever implement these lessons or not.

I also learned a few tips and tricks that could be useful for survival, should I ever be stranded in a forest after my bus driver dies and drives the vehicle over a cliff.


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