Alice in Borderland: Season One
January 18, 2021 2:37 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Obsessed gamer Arisu 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.

Streaming in the US on Netflix.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I keep running the Netflix preview, trying to decide if this is something I want to watch. The set-up is intriguing. But, it also smells a lot like similar “people dropped into a strange environment and must escape” sort of film that becomes just a string of scenes of very stylish brutality/violence/slaughter. Is this what the film is?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:27 PM on January 18, 2021

It's not exactly that. It's not exactly not that, either. It's not at all a Saw-type torture porn kind of thing. It's more like escape rooms with life or death stakes. There's definitely violence but it's presented as peril we are anxious about our heroes avoiding. It's violent and it's bloody, but it's always about getting away, never about making us linger and watch bad shit.

Does it get thematically richer or do they just fight through room after room? I have only seen two episodes so I couldn't say.

This review (which is positive) from Ars Technica may give you a good idea, if you don't mind mild spoilers (in the sense of laying out the mysterious premise a little more clearly).
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:12 AM on January 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

Hmmmm...Based on that Ars review, I think I'm going to have to give this a pass.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:43 AM on January 19, 2021

I stumbled on this and I have to say I LOVED it. Binged it in a few days and am really hoping for a S2!
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 10:20 AM on January 19, 2021

I am digging it as well.

Being stuck in an endless, unfair series of life-or-death challenges is highly relatable in 2021.

I appreciate that unlike Hunger Games, Battle Royale and even, as I understand, the original manga, the heroes aren't kids. It's easier to take this happening to adults.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:30 AM on January 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

I mostly liked it. It definitely wore its Battle Royale influences on its sleeve but I felt the characters were more relatable here; every protagonist was someone who within one episode I could understand and map to someone in my social circle.

What I didn’t like: Shibuki was a sexy lamp and her decisions in service to that didn’t make a lot of sense (why are you wearing heels to a murder race, Shibuki?). Having a trans character was a plus but many points deducted for using a cis actor for the role; that feels like it’ll date this thing pretty badly in the next five years and doesn’t feel particularly thoughtful today.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:38 PM on January 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

The first part of the series, which I think of as Escape Rooms... OF DEATH!! is pretty cool. Once they get to The Beach, it's a bunch of warmed over Humanity's Inhumanity to Humanity shit, like out of The Walking Dead or something. Warring factions, failed alliances, manipulative villains.

I really didn't like it half as much after that point and mostly only finished it because of stubbornness.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:18 PM on March 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

Late To The Party: I've enjoyed this series very much. Season Two: the Face Cards, put faces on the dealers and made the games a lot stranger. I need to particularly call out the performances of Tao Tsuchiya (Usagi, the White Rabbit) and Aya Asahina (Kuina, the Caterpillar). While I'm sure that most of the stunts were carried out by doubles, even in repose these actors demonstrated a physicality that was remarkable in female roles in a Japanese series.

I was reluctant to watch this, at first, because I thought it would be another Squid Game. But it's not. It's its own thing.

And, BTW, the budget for this seemed to zoom in Season Two. The elaborate shots of Tokyo in general and Shibuya in particular, desolate and lost to the wild, were pretty astounding.
posted by SPrintF at 2:04 PM on January 12, 2023

Just watched this over the past week, was surprised how much I enjoyed the first few episodes, but it was barely worth watching after we got to the Beach. It felt very much like whichever season they met the Governor on The Walking Dead. Doesn’t really make sense based on the world they’d spent four episodes building to have a full-on Spring Break party hotel (I kept wondering who was doing all the cooking and cleaning), and the Hatter’s amazing charisma was the best example of an informed attribute that I have seen in ages.

I agree with Parasite Unseen, Shibuki accepting death was pretty weak, they should have given her her own death sequence and then let Chota and Karube do their self-sacrifice bit.

Also, Karube was the most interesting character, so losing him early on kinda hurt.
posted by skewed at 9:30 PM on February 25, 2023

« Older Critical Role: Ice and Fire...   |  The Watch: Twilight Canyons... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments