I don’t think it’ll be as gory since it’s airing on TV, but this psychological drama reminds me of Battle Royale. You know that disturbing movie where a bunch of kids are sorta kidnapped and forced to kill each other under the government’s twisted goal of discipline? It’s interesting that the young ones are also used here as possible participants to something much darker. They have the innocence that jaded adults don’t and it makes their actions much more shocking. But the teenagers here aren’t so innocent. They have tasted the power of ranks and fight to maintain that superiority. Episode 1 went by pretty fast, running at only half an hour to depict the lives of our protagonists – what they do, feel, and hate, before everything slips down a hill and changes the role they thought they’ll always play.
WARNING: Images are not bloody but if you dislike seeing corpses with bulging eyes. Please do not proceed. You are warned. Don’t get mad and poke holes in my ship. 😛 Also, do not spoil if you’ve watched ahead!
Limit (Jdrama) Episode 1 Recap:
“I don’t care what others think of me. I’m fine just by going with the flow without using much effort.”
Yea. That pretty much sums up our main protagonist, Mizuki Konno (Nanami Sakuraba). Mind you, she’s not lazy. She’s just another teenager who has been the bullied party before and knows what it felt like to be shunned by everyone. Now she plasters a smile on her face to placate the leader in her clique, Sakura Himesawa (??). Realizing that equality doesn’t exist, she chooses to side with the stronger, prettier girls, believing that this perfect world of hers will never change.
Mizuki’s an interesting character. Neither innocent or spunky. But very conflicted. She has a crush on a popular kid, Haruaki Hinata (Katsuhiro Suzuki), and constantly ignores his efforts to get closer because Sakura has her eyes on him. The leader calls first dip.
To promote less dependency on technology and more communication among the students, the school orders a camping trip for five days.
Another prominent member in the clique is Haru Ichinose (Ayano Kudo), who doesn’t look pleased at the display of friendship between Mizuki and Sakura with their identical phone charms. To prepare for the week ahead, she has packed mostly snacks in her camping bag.
During the trip, we meet a few other students, rounding out 5 girls who would survive the downhill crash. The girl with a stern expression and wears glasses is Chieko Kamiya (Tao Tsuchiya), a straight A student with sharp thinking and could care less about Sakura’s bullying since she’s already an outcast.
The bus stops for a short break, allowing the students to lunch. It’s here we witness Mizuki’s hidden conscience. Sakura’s gang gathers around our quiet manga artist, Arisa Morishige (Rio Yamashita), and laughs at her corny love lines while taking hold of her drawings. The sweet faced Sakura, after being splashed with water accidentally by Arisa, smiles and says in a chilly voice, “Such a drag, why don’t you just die?”
Arisa only looks up in a daze and returns to her table, then frantically jots down some stuff into her journal.
Watching the commotion is another student (she resembles Shida Mirai!) She’s timid and would like to remain invisible. Out of sight, out of trouble. Meet Chikage Usui (Yuka Masuda).
Earlier, the bus driver expresses resentment, for his job. No one is coming to change shift with him and he’s been working since yesterday’s morning. As a result of exhaustion, he falls unconscious during the drive and his foot goes limp against the brake pedal. After going off course in another direction, the bus stumbles down a cliff, causing a tragedy to occur.
Mizuki wakes up from the trauma and finds her hand covered in fresh blood. Scanning around the flipped bus, she finds bodies of her friends and teachers. Freaked out, she makes her way out of the bus and discovers Chikage and Chieko, alive. They run towards the box of cellphones, but unfortunately, there’s no signal from here.
A small voice calls out Mizuki’s name and she heads towards the other side of the bus to witness more bodies lying in bent positions across the ground. They pull out Haru and she hugs Mizuki tightly, afraid and in pain.
They glance around the premise and Mizuki’s eyes settle on her crush’s ipod, with a streak of blooding dripping down. She whispers his name and tears well up in her eyes.
A few moments later, they spot the moving body of Sakura. But before any help can be delivered, Sakura stops breathing. The girls descend into despair, which is when we hear cackles from behind them. The last survivor of this tragic trip – Arisa. (She was bullied during lunch.)
Unlike her fellow classmates who are mourning for their friend’s death, Arisa shrills, “Sakura Himesawa has died! Amazing. Serves her right. I’ve always thought the same. Imagination has no limits. It’s the punishment for deliberately making fun of people. You always pay for your mistakes.”
The other four girls stare back at her in shock, which is when it dawns on Mizuki that the perfect little world she works so hard to maintain has just collapsed completely.
—– End —–
Kappy A: I think we can all agree that we have a batch of little devils in our palms here. And I love the setup of Mizuki’s perfect world being destroyed. It’s always intriguing to watch someone so controlled of their surrounding and people be taken out of their comfort zone and be forced to adapt. It’s here that their strengths are challenged and their weaknesses are exposed. Some people are more flexible than others, and the few marbles that can’t lift their heads rarely succeed in the survival game.
I think Mizuki has the advantage here because she can read people’s mood and reaction really well. However, she’s also involved in bullying (not helping) Arisa and the source of Haru’s pent up frustration.
It also unnerves me that the dead teacher has brought along a sickle (!!!), hoping to chop down woods. Uhhhhh… Looks like it will touched something else before trees!
And the music is lovely. Creepy and haunting in the background to create an eerie, unpredictable atmosphere. Gotta hunt for that OST when it’s released.
5 Survivors. Will they rise above their differences and survive together in the following days?