Thank you guys for taking the time to read my life update and vote on my poll. I know it was heavy reading, and it means a lot that you guys made it through and voted on what you wanted me to work on next. The majority wanted to see me review this, and I am happy to oblige.
First off, let me say that I’m not going into this completely blind. I have read the English translation of the Japanese manga this series is based off of.
I enjoyed reading this manga a long while ago. There‘s not a legal English translation so I read a fan translation from one of those sites. However in my defense, when I am able to go to stores like Kinokuniya in the US, I always buy a physical copy of the Japanese manga that I can’t read because I believe in legally supporting the author when possible. And I always buy my licensed English translation from places like Sublime Manga, June Manga, Renta or sites that legally compensate the author. Please do the same if you can. But sometimes its just not available and this was one of those times.
With that being said, I am going to be reviewing this as if I don’t know the story. Because I haven’t read reviews of this, I am not sure what was taken from the manga and what was changed. So I will try to see this with fresh eyes.
Disclaimer: This will contain spoilers about the episodes. Please go to VikiTV and watch the episode before reading further.
The trailer – Life – Love on the Line
Ito and Nishi meet unexpectedly one day as they’re both walking home from school. They continue to rendezvous at the same place each afternoon on their respective ways home from school. A companionship develops between the two, and the young boys end up falling in love. Source: https://filmdaily.co/obsessions/life-love-on-the-line/.
This starts off so beautifully that it takes my breath away. The scene begins with a grown man in the twilight hours, on a swing set in a playground with the colors of blue and green with a feeling of regret, sorrow and longing for a simpler time.
As long as we are together there’s nothing to fear…that’s what I thought back then.”Adult Ito
These words convey how simple first love is, and how life can become so complicated as you grow up. You know we are in for a complex love story, one that may not end happily.
Then we see a baby amidst a myriad of dots and we hear a younger Ito exclaim:
We are all just little dots that were forced into the world like this, helpless and lonely.17 year old Ito
There are two babies holding hands, then one disappears. I don’t know whether this missing baby is meant to represent a loss of a sibling, or if it’s just a metaphor. Either way, it’s a haunting image.
The credits roll then you see a young adult Ito at age 17, walking the white line on the road very carefully on his way to school. He places one foot in front of the other, never leaving the line.
That’s why someday we search for another dot to connect with. Someone that we can form a line with and live on.17 year old Ito
With these quotes and this imagery I know this will be a series that will make me cry. It is yet to be determined if they will be happy tears or sad tears, but I expect both. The first lines bounce around inside my heart like poetry. I’m here and I’m committed.
We start off with the 17 year old Nishi, walking along the line on the road very carefully. His hair is unkempt and he looks a bit lost in his own world. Two girls walk up to him and tease him a little, trying to nudge him from the line. He answers very seriously after balancing himself that the girls almost caused him to be eaten by sharks. He looks down and you see cartoon sharks underneath the line, hungrily waiting for him to fall. The girls move on and Nishi continues to move forward until he meets another line walker coming in the opposite direction.
Nishi tries to push past the newcomer, only to have the newcomer exclaim that he almost fell on ice swords. Nishi is in awe, staring at another line walker in disbelief. It’s the firs time he’s ever met someone who thinks the same way as he does, seeing the perils under the line.
Ito, the other line walker, is quick to think on his feet. He decides to have Nishi put one foot between Ito’s legs, entwine their hands and dance around each other, never leaving the line. After this we follow Ito home from school.
The mom set dinner on the table while the dad plays a solitary game of shogi. It seems a very traditional house. Ito’s mother complains she hasn’t seen Ito’s sister since she left for university. Then she tells Ito that she wants him to get into a normal university and have a normal happiness. You get some foreshadowing with her emphasis on normal, she has something she is comparing it to. It’s clear she has a straight and narrow path planned for him.
The next scenes we see are the montage of encounters between Nishi and Ito every day, sitting and talking on the line. They are getting excited to see each other, arriving early and even waiting on each other to meet.
Ito is happy. His classmates ask him if he has a crush on someone. Immediately the image of Nishi pops into his head. He pictures Nishi’s smiling face. This makes Ito uncomfortable as he doesn’t understand why he would think of Nishi.
That afternoon, on their way home, he is hesitant to take Nishi’s hand. Nishi claims there are cats who want to lick him underneath the line and Ito has magma. So for once Nishi entwines his fingers first with Ito and they dance around each other. I cant help but smile at how adorable this scene is. Nishi’s charm is clearly captivating Ito as he is falling for him a little more each day.
We pass by each other, and once our hands part, so do we.17 year old Ito
There is a girl in Ito’s class that keeps trying to get his attention but he brushes her off because he’s in a hurry to meet with Nishi. This time when they get to their meeting spot, Ito is overwhelmed with his feelings and kisses Nishi.
Nishi is stunned, while Ito jumps off the line and runs away, worried and scared about what he’s just done.
The next day Ito gets a confession from Shiraishi, the girl with the crush. He rejects her confession, but tells her it’s not because he’s in love with someone else. He wont admit his feeling for Nishi. He gets teased by his friends for his rejection. That day he goes home a different way, and Nishi waits for him until sundown.
Nishi finds him on his different way home, and confronts Ito. He was worried about Ito falling from the line, not the fact that Ito kissed him. Ito tells Nishi that Ito feels strangely about him. Nishi asks very bluntly do you want to meet me because I want to meet you. The relief in Ito’s eyes as he understands that he’s not alone in his feelings is clear to see.
Then we see them talk about what the future setting should be for the two of them as they walk hand in hand.
We jump ahead two years. They are 19 now and Nishi stands waiting on the line.
Following this line, a loved one comes to see me everyday. I’m sure it’s the same as that feeling.19 year old Nishi
This first episode filled me with happiness. I feel enchanted by the simplistic Nishi who has an untold story I’m sure of why his naïveté is almost childlike. And Ito seems so lonely, like he’s living in a world without bright colors until he meets Nishi. Then I watched him come out of his shell in this first episode, with Nishi bringing joy, laughter and smiles into his life. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.
I’m sorry there isn’t too much media in this review. Viki TV has ways to block me from getting screen shots or recording clips, so i hope it wasn’t too boring for you guys. Please let me know in the comments your thoughts on Episode 1. I will do maybe two a week so look for the episode 2 review on Wednesday.
Thanks again peeps. I have missed this and interacting with you guys. Sending hugs and love to you all. 💕🤗 – Jen