Breaking down Borderland

Second season of “Alice In Borderland” is now available to stream on Netflix.


In the past decade, dystopian films have become increasingly trending on streaming platforms. Some examples include “The Hunger Games,” “The Maze Runner,” and “Divergent,” “Alice In Borderland” takes on a pattern similar to these films, but adds its own little twist. The TV series is directed by Shinsuke Sato, and is based off of the original manga series written and illustrated by Haro Aso. 

The pilot episode starts with the backstory of the main protagonist, Ryohei Arisu, who is portrayed by Kento Yamazaki. The audience gets to see the tight bond he has with his two best friends, Daikichi Karube (Keita Machida) and Chota Segawa (Yuki Morinaga). The friend group is seen having a great time, until fireworks suddenly explode in daylight, and their world changes. The streets of Tokyo that were once full of busy pedestrians and taxi drivers are now completely empty. The characters are then forced to play death games. They do not know what winning these games will achieve, but they are determined to survive nonetheless. Everything unfolds from there. The show can take an emotional toll on people, and it’s quite easy to get attached to the characters.

Sophomore Lana Ing has watched both seasons, and gives an insight into her favorite characters in the series. 

“My favorite character is Chishiya just because I think he’s a really cool chara, and he’s very smart. I liked the scenes he was in, as well as his development this new season. I also like Kuina because she is very strong and I like her backstory. She is also Chishiya’s sidekick,” Ing said.

While I do enjoy the personalities Chishiya and Kuina add to the series, my personal favorites are Usagi (Tao Tsuchiya) and Arisu. Together, they make a strong yet humorable team, which I really appreciate. I also loved seeing their relationship develop as the series progressed. 

The TV series has gained popularity in recent weeks, and landed in the top ten spot on Netflix. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 75% rating from critics, and a 92% audience rating. The new season has eight episodes, around an hour each. Many fans are anticipating a third season, while others are content with the ending of this season. 

“I would definitely give the series an 8 or 9/10. This new season was more intense than the first season and I really liked the games. I have a love-hate relationship with the ending, though, it is growing on me,” Ing said. 

Overall, I would give the show a solid 9.5/10, just because there seems to be a lack of closure at some points. Though, I did get more invested than I expected to. The actors helped create a suspenseful environment, which kept me wanting to watch more. Ever since its debut, the TV series has been compared to other popular films such as Squid Game and Parasite

I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who likes action, anime, and/or dystopian films. The film is originally in Japanese, though I do believe that the dubbing was done very well. I was still able to pick up on the emotions from the actors.