Within a few days of its arrival, the Japanese original series ‘Alice in Borderland’ has become one of the top trending shows on Netflix worldwide. The show's popularity is among the top 10 in Asian countries, also #1 in a few Asian regions. The show is also gaining huge popularity among the western region even though it's in the Japanese language (English dubbed and subbed version also available).
The series debuted on December 10, and the first season has 8 episodes. There are not enough critics reviews to get a Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes but the audience score is currently at 96% from 217 reviews which are way impressive than many non-English shows debuted recently. On IMDb, users have given a good rating to the series, as of now, it has an average rating of 8/10 with more than 5K votes.
Based on a graphic novel, manga of the same name by Haro Aso, the series follows Ryohei Alice, a listless, jobless, and video-game-obsessed young man—suddenly finds himself in a strange, emptied-out version of Tokyo in which he and his friends must compete in dangerous games in order to survive. In this strange world, Arisu meets Usagi, a young woman who’s navigating the games alone. Together, they set out to unravel one mystery after another as they risk their lives and confront what it means to live.
According to most of the people who have Binged the series, ‘Alice in Borderland’ has a dull start in the first episode but before the episode got over, it picked up and showed what it's going to be and how serious things are getting to become going forward. The first episode starts with three friends [Ryohei Arisu (Kento Yamazaki), Karube (Keita Machida), and Chōta (Yûki Morinaga)] meeting up and having fun. After being chased by the police (for causing disturbance of traffic), everyone else suddenly disappears and finds themselves in an empty city. The emptied city is an alternate version of Tokyo in an alternate dimension, and it is called "Borderland."
The real story starts in the Borderland, where the people trapped has to compete in deadly games to survive, and escape is by no means guaranteed. As previously mentioned, the city is empty and only consist of the people who will be competing in the games for their life, the electronic devices also do not work. This series is getting compared with the popular film series "SAW," where the characters were forced to play a game and have to take tough decisions in order to escape. ‘Alice in Borderland’ also has the same horror-thriller vibe.
As the story goes forward, the game goes from one level to another, and as happens in a video game, not all the characters survive. At the end of each level or episode, you will see some characters dying and some making it to the next level. Again this is not a fun-filled joy ride watching the episodes, it's traumatic, violent, and it might be heart-breaking if some character you like didn't make it to the next level.
There are few games that you might be familiar with in real life (Hide & Seek), which can be seen on-screen as well, but the scenario and context are completely different here. In the series, Games are held every night after sundown. Each game comes with a particular playing card. Spades, Diamonds, Clubs, and Hearts are the four cards. For ex- Hide and Seek (7 of Hearts), all the players don a special electronic collar; one person is the "wolf," the others are "sheep." Lock eyes with the wolf, and you trade designations. The person who is the wolf after 15 minutes wins the game; the sheep's heads explode. Similarly, a twisted game of tag (5 of Spades) gives all the players 20 minutes to find a safe base somewhere within an abandoned apartment building, while avoiding the person designated "It"—whose job is to gun down any player he or she encounters. After 20 minutes, the entire building is rigged to explode.
If you decide to Binge-watch this series during this holiday season, trust me, you won't be disappointed, in addition, the English dubbing of this series is also really good, which makes it a binge-worthy series.
Yoshiki Watabe, Yasuko Kuramitsu, and Shinsuke Sato have written the screenplay for the series. As per the reports and what I have heard, this series is all set to get a second season. However, the official announcement is yet to come from Netflix.
Watch the trailer here.
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