Limit of Love: Umizaru
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|Limit of Love 海猿|
Poster for the film.
|Directed by||Eiichiro Hasumi|
|Written by||Shūhō Satō (Manga)
Yasushi Fukada (Screenplay)
|Music by||Naoki Sato|
Limit of Love: Umizaru (Limit of Love 海猿 Rimitto obu Rabu Umizaru), also known as Umizaru 2: Test of Trust is a 2006 action drama film directed by Eiichiro Hasumi. It is the second feature-length film and third of the Umizaru projects, following on from the film Umizaru and the 11-episode drama series Umizaru Evolution. The film stars Hideaki Ito as Japan Coast Guard (JCG) rescue diver Daisuke Senzaki, and Ai Kato as his love interest Kanna Izawa. The film takes place after the events of the drama series, and is the last of the 3 part film and television project. The project is adapted from the popular manga series Umizaru by Shūhō Satō.
Umizaru (海猿) means "Sea Monkey"; a derogatory label slapped on the rescue diver trainees by local townsfolk of the city of Kure due to their excessive and uninhibited behaviour during off hours.
The film recorded the 2nd highest-ever box office grossing in Japan, trailing only Bayside Shakedown 2. The opening weekend of the film was a phenomenal 442% improvement on the opening weekend takings of the prequel film Umizaru.
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Following the decommissioning of the patrol vessel Nagare (ながれ), Daisuke Senzaki, a Japan Coast Guard (JCG) rescue diver, is posted to the 10th Region Mobile Rescue Unit, based at Kagoshima Air Station. The film's opening sequence depicts a plane crash in stormy seas, where Senzaki battles the elements to keep two victims alive. The adverse conditions prevents the dropping of additional divers to aid Senzaki, and he struggles to keep all three of them on the floating wreckage which has become their lifeboat. Senzaki is only able to hold onto an adult male, while a young boy struggles to hang on by himself. At this point, the adult lets go of Senzaki's hand; a cue for him to grab hold of the boy instead. Senzaki manages to keep the boy alive, but the heroic gesture by the other victim meant that he himself drowns. Senzaki soon becomes plagued with guilt and self-doubt due to this episode, as he had once pledged not to let anymore victims die before his eyes.
Senzaki's girlfriend Kanna Izawa takes time off her job and travels a long distance by car to see him. As the couple check into a hotel, Izawa locks herself out of her room, thus inadvertently forces her to spring a wedding dress surprise on Senzaki. The fashion designer Izawa had made the long journey down with her own handmade wedding dress with the intention of fulfill the couple's plans of marriage. The mentally-traumatised Senzaki however, is not prepared for marital commitments, and his reluctance drives a wedge between the two. Izawa leaves heartbroken in spite of the best efforts of Senzaki's buddy, Tetsuya Yoshioka, to mediate.
While en route for a routine training exercise, news arrives that a passenger ferry, the Clover, has run aground and begun its 4 hour long death throes. Senzaki and his buddy Yoshioka are among the first divers on site, having been deployed by helicopter onto the dying ship. Senzaki and Yoshioka's stark prognosis of the ship's fate is compounded by revelations from Coast Guard crisis command; 620 passengers, 195 fuel-laden vehicles, and rapidly diminishing time window for escape. His rescue efforts takes a dramatic turn when he discovers his girlfriend Izawa on board. The disheartened Izawa had chosen to take the ferry instead of driving home; a fateful decision. As per escape regulations, Senzaki tells Izawa to abandon her belongings and proceed to the lifeboats, including the handmade wedding dress. As the couple part ways, Izawa asks for Senzaki's reassurance that they will meet again afterwards. "Of course!" replies Senzaki, oblivious to the perilous dangers that will soon follow.
While attending to an injured pregnant staff member, Megumi Honma, Senzaki becomes separated from the rest of his team as the woman informs him of a faster route to the escape hatches. The shortcut brings them to the vehicle deck of the ferry, where they meet an irritable passenger, Shinichi Ebihara, tending his precious Ferrari. By then the ship's list has toppled several motorcycles, spilling petroleum across the deck; a disaster waiting to happen. A sudden lurch wreaks havoc on the vehicles and ignites the petroleum, causing a massive explosion which exacerbates the growing crisis. Yoshioka then joins the 3, having realised Senzaki had gone off on his own. The fire forces the strickened 4 scrambling for cover on another deck where they become disoriented; trapped with no idea where to go. As if their situation isn't bad enough, Ebihara suffers an injury to his left thigh. They radio for help and after a few frantic minutes, report that a duct in the room bears the markings "68-4T".
A frantic JCG crisis command centre tries to locate the room which the 4 are trapped in, and their discovery is grim. Burning decks above and flooded decks below; escape is impossible. Shimokawa and other officers pore over the schematics of the ship, desperate for some feasible route of escape. Shimokawa decides that the stricken 4 have no choice but to swim underwater to attempt an escape into another level of the ship. Despite the protests of the other HQ officers, Shimokawa insists that his route, which requires a swim of 30m, is the only option left. Senzaki and Yoshioka bring the pregnant Honma and injured Ebihara through the perilous underwater swim, while crisis command awaits their confirmation of success by radio. The 4 eventually complete the swim into another level which was yet unflooded, but as explosions rock the ship, their radio signals are unable to reach JCG command.
Meanwhile, the last of the passengers have been evacuated, leaving the 2 victims with Senzaki and Yoshioka the only ones unaccounted for. Shimokawa, since promoted to a shore command position from his days with Senzaki on the Nagare, is forced to grapple with a tough decision. To continue the recovery of the missing 4 with other rescue divers or to withdraw all teams to avoid suffering casualties in a likely fruitless rescue attempt. Further explosions and casualties force Shimokawa to withdraw the other divers; a decision met with great disdain and frustration from the on-site divers who comply with the greatest reluctance. Now safe on shore, Izawa notices the return of the rescue divers from the sinking ship and worriedly inquires the whereabouts of her boyfriend. Her worst fears are confirmed when JCG officials make the press release stating the names of the missing divers and passengers, and that rescue efforts have been suspended due to the danger posed to rescuers.
A distraught Izawa watches helplessly at the raging inferno that is now the Clover. A discouraged and frustrated atmosphere looms over the JCG crisis command centre. Cut off from radio contact with JCG command with little idea where to proceed, Senzaki and company are forced to struggle for their own survival with no outside help. The only thing that can save them now is their will to survive - their will to return to their loved ones alive.
|Hideaki Ito||Daisuke Senzaki|
|Ai Kato||Kanna Izawa|
|Ryuta Sato||Yoshioka Tetsuya|
|Nene Otsuka||Megumi Honma|
|Mitsuru Fukikoshi||Shinichi Ebihara|
|Reina Asami||Shiori Otobe|
|Ryosuke Miki||Sadayuki Katsuragi|
|Ken Ishiguro||Isamu Kitao|
|Saburo Tokito||Iwao Shimokawa|
- Za rasuto messêji: Umizaru, released September 18, 2010.
- Brave Hearts: Umizaru, released July 13, 2012.