The Limit Vol. 1 TP (Manga)
Publisher: Vertical
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Price: $10.95
Creator: Keiki Suenbu
Format: 192 pgs., Black & White, Trade Paperback.
ISBN: 978-1-9356-5456-8
Age Ratings: 13 and up
ICv2 Ratings: 3 Stars out of 5
When on their class trip the seemingly perfect lives of a group of Japanese high school students is shattered when their bus crashes in a remote area.  Only a handful manage to survive and while waiting for a rescue that may never come instead of descending into chaos they create a cruel and brutal new society for themselves.
Most of the survivors are from the popular girls clique, Ichinose, best friend of the most popular girl, practical Kamiya, fragile Usui and Konno, who only wants to stay on the good side of the group.  Old grudges simmering under the surface begin boiling over and the least popular girl Morishige uses this opportunity, along with the blade of a scythe, to gain absolute control of the group.
It's obvious the author wants to make a statement about the dark side of the lives of adolescents, the only trouble is as written Morishige's "oppressors" just don’t seem bad enough to deserve her psychotic  "punishment."  Likewise her  breakdown doesn't seem to be the result of years of bullying so much as bitter resentment from not being part of the clique.
 It's also a little hard to accept how easily the other girls knuckle under to Morishige's insane dictates; at one she commands two girls to fight to the death and neither thinks of throwing rocks at her head until she drops the scythe.  Unfortunately I found this manga hollow and unengaging, but it's intended audience, teen girls, might appreciate it one more than I did.

--Steve Bennett: Writer and retail services consultant.