Tag Archive: Alice in Borderland series


It ticked several boxes for us last year: Best Horror/Thriller TV Series, Best Limited TV Series, Best API/AAPI TV Series, Top 40 TV Series of the Decade (#26!), and it introduced three of last year’s best Kick-Ass Genre Heroines.   It inexplicably got lost in the shadow of the cheap quality and poorly acted series Squid Game.  The Emmy winner should have been Alice in Borderland, a breathless, dystopian, live-action manga, Japanese noir-meets-steampunk thrill ride streaming on Netflix.  Directed by Shinsuke Sato, Haro Aso’s popular manga series came alive with his version of Doomsday, Tokyo-style, a surprisingly violent, surprisingly thought-provoking look at lost souls in a city vacated (as in The Quiet Earth and 28 Days Later) and the remaining citizens left to fight for their lives The Running Man-style or they’ll get zapped and killed The War of the Worlds-style.

The only problem?  The end of Season 1 came too soon.  Netflix is remedying that with a second season, and we have the teaser for it below.  18 million households watched the series, prompting a renewal within only two weeks.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Two episodes in, and you’ll probably get drawn into at least three of the characters in the story.  Four episodes in, you’re thinking about who is going to to make it to the second season and how quick they can get that filmed and released.  Directed by Shinsuke Sato, Haro Aso’s popular manga series comes alive in Alice in Borderland, the live-action dystopian, Japanese noir-meets-steampunk thrill ride streaming now on Netflix.  Doomsday, Tokyo-style, is surprisingly violent, surprisingly thought-provoking, as a city finds itself mostly vacated (as in The Quiet Earth and 28 Days Later) and the remaining citizens must fight for their lives The Running Man-style or they’ll get zapped and killed The War of the Worlds-style.  Clever casting of characters introduces looks of action heroes from all sorts of Japanese video games, manga, and anime, all living (many briefly) in a world loosely pulled from Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland.  A gamer-themed series on the heels of the popular Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, the result is a very different story allowing the audience to try to solve clues along with the players on the screen–what I was hoping for when I first heard about the book Ready Player One.

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It’s already been adapted into a video animation in 2014, and now the popular serialized Japanese manga is making its way to a live-action series coming to Netflix next month.  Haro Aso’s manga Alice in Borderland is directed by Shinsuke Sato, and follows three friends who get sucked into a video game, Jumanji-style more than Tron or Ready Player One.  Spinning out of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland, look for new takes including “Hatter” and “Cheshire,” in a strange wasteland parallel universe Tokyo and a journey of survival.

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