By Dave B.
As a slacker and his two friends hide from the police in a Tokyo train station bathroom stall, an odd event occurs. They emerge from their hiding place and discover that everyone in the station, and the city, has disappeared. As the friends navigate an abandoned Tokyo, they stumble across a series of games that test their teamwork, intelligence, physical abilities, and loyalty. They quickly discover that the cost of losing is death and non-participation is not an option. As they struggle to escape and discover the purpose behind this new reality, their bonds of friendship are tested and they learn the truth of themselves that they hide from the world.
Alice in Borderland isn’t going to win any awards. It’s moderately predictable, the performances range from mediocre to good, and there are more than a couple of times where the actions of characters don’t really make much sense. Plus, if you object to near-constant violence, this show is likely not your cup of tea. All that said, if you can make it through the first 15 minutes of the first episode, Alice in Borderland may become one of your favorite recent “guilty pleasures”.
Unlike many shows that are highly bingeable, Alice in Borderland doesn’t rely on cliché cliffhangers at the end of every episode to keep viewers thirsting for more. Instead, it combines intensely emotional (and tragic) situations, compelling mysteries, and pervasive violence to keep viewers constantly on the edge of their seats and thirsting to know what will happen next. Alice in Borderland effectively plays upon the emotions of viewers to make them care about what happens to characters who are trapped in a situation that nearly defies comprehension. Plus, for those who may be turned off by extreme violence, it should be noted that while the carnage often seems random, it’s not excessively gory and is nearly always clearly in service of furthering the show’s plot.
In short, Alice in Borderland is fun, engaging, and once you finish it, you’ll be wishing that the season was twice as long as it is. I HIGHLY recommend this show. It’s brutality is leavened with a deep-seated sense of humanity, compassion, and understanding of the human condition. This show may not be for everyone, but for those who make it through the first episode, you’re in for a hell of a ride which I’ll almost guarantee that you’ll love. A second season has already been confirmed and I for one can’t wait to fall further under Alice in Borderland’s spell when it’s released.
Episodes: 8 (dubbed)
Approx. Episode Length: 45 Minutes
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.