Alice in Borderland is a Japanese Netflix Original that I was sure I was going to enjoy before I watched it. This is a sci-fi thriller-style show that has a bit of a “gamer” vibe about it which I liked. Now, the comparisons with Squid Game are unavoidable here as they have a kind of similar premise, but to be fair, this is sci-fi and Squid Game was more of a straight-up thriller/mystery show.
How to Download Alice in Borderland
You can download or stream the film from Netflix. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice.
The Movie Review
The first thing I suggest you do is to check out the trailer for season one. If you like the look of the trailer, you will probably like the show. I would highly recommend that you read as little about the show going forward as seeing it all unfold in front of you is something that makes this such a compelling show.
The show takes place in Tokyo and our main character (well one of them, but at the start, he is clearly the main guy) Arisu is a gamer without much direction in his life. He and a couple of friends are screwing around and having some fun in Tokyo when all of a sudden, everyone else vanishes.
What I love about the way this is presented is that the show gives us very little information. It is like we are finding out what is going on as the characters do and that makes you want to go straight into the next episode. Eventually, they are drawn to this place where they meet other people who are “stuck” wherever it is they are and they are forced to play a deadly game.
The whole “game” aspect of Alice in Borderland is where it is getting compared to Squid Game. To be honest, I can see why, but the games played here are very well designed and the consequences for failure are just as steep as they are in Squid Game. Only, I much prefer the way people are blasted with a laser here than they are killed in Squid Game.
While I like the character of Arisu. It is the pairing and relationship of Arisu and a climber called, Usgai that I liked the best here. As the first season progresses, we are watching the characters try to not just survive and win these twisted games, they are also trying to figure out why they are here and where here is too!
Alice in Borderland is a fantastic-looking show. I love the way that this Tokyo is all dark, but where the game is played will be all lit up. It just looks so cool and so imposing, when a place lights up, you know that something bad is going to happen there. Visually, I would have to say that I like the whole style of this show better than Squid Game.
Now, while I liked Alice in Borderland, I think that this is a show that would have benefited from being a bit shorter. The first season moves along at a speedy pace, but I certainly feel like season 2 being a couple of episodes shorter would have benefited it. Still, if you love sci-fi thrillers that keep you guessing, I highly recommend you give this show a try.
- The opening to the show is one of the best I have seen on Netflix
- The core group of characters has a very unique and engaging bond
- This show looks fantastic, seeing Tokyo empty is very interesting
- Some of the games are violent and brutal to watch!
- Each season has eight episodes, but I feel 6 would have made things move better
- As I write this, no word if there will be a season three, and season two ends on a bit of a cliffhanger!