The Japanese mini-series ‘Life Senjou no Bokura’ also known as ‘Life on the Line’ is a cute little love story about two teen boys – an over-imaginative Nishi and the more restrained Ito. It charts their relationship from their high-school days to adulthood and is a little unconventional.
When I started watching this series, I had no idea that it was based on a manga. But when you watch the first episode, as a viewer you get the sense that this series a literal adaptation of a comic book. It starts off with Nishi taking careful steps on the white markings on the sidewalk on his way to school. He likes to imagine he is treading on a dangerous pole, one wrong-step and he could fall into the jaws of sharks or something more sinister that would result in instant death. His life gets more interesting when he bumps into Nishi, a boy from a different school who likes to walk on the white markings too. What starts off as a strange friendship, soon evolves into more.
While some stuff borders on being slightly unrealistic, most of the story-line is believable and doesn’t have the usual exaggerations of Japanese dramas. The only thing I didn’t really like was the hair-style of lead actor Raiku who plays Nishi; while he is quite adorable, the hair is just ‘ugh!’. Shirasu Jin who plays Ito, is damn good in the role of a young man who is pining for something more serious with the boy he falls in love with.
The two eventually start a relationship in earnest and live a largely happy life. I loved the fact that this series unfolds over several years, showing us a gay couple in a steady relationship. Nishi & Ito start living together after finishing college and spend years in relative peace & bliss. But obviously it cannot be all hunky-dory forever, as they get older Ito finds himself torn between his love for Nishi and his parents who expect him to marry a girl & give them grandchildren. You will have to watch the series to know what happens.
I really liked the pace of the series, I have seen some users complain that it was too short, but in my opinion it was near-perfect. There weren’t any needless sub-plots, or unnecessary scenes for comic relief. The focus is on the lead couple and the highs & lows of their relationship. Their story will tug at your heart and make you want to root for them.
If you are looking for a short LGBT series to watch, ‘Life on the Line’ is just the thing you need for some weekend watching.