I know I am a bit late on covering Alice in Borderlands, but I loved it so much I needed to talk about it. Alice in Borderlands is the live-action isakai series that you didn’t know you needed in your life. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to add it to your list. It may be a bit cheesy, and the CGI is rough, but it is such an epic narrative that it doesn’t matter.
Irasu and his friends find themselves in a deserted Tokyo. As they travel through the empty streets of the town they once called home, they find themselves trapped in a deadly game. To survive, they must win a series of games where failure isn’t an option. Those who lose or run out of time die. It’s a similar concept to Squid Games, but this series came out first. Can Irasu and his friends find out who is behind the games before it is too late? Will they ever be able to return to their normal lives?
Both seasons are well done, with the second season being a narrative roller coaster that kept me on edge. The suspense in th is season is killer despite the overpowered plot armor the main characters seem to carry.
The games are so much fun to watch, each getting more intense than the last. It does get a bit predictable, but I didn’t care because I was having so much fun. This show is graphic, so viewer discretion is advised.
The series uses the violence and stakes of the games to make important criticisms of the stagnation in human life. Each protagonist had moments in their past before the game where they wasted their lives or weren’t living to their potential. It was only when they no longer have control of their lives that they begin to reflect on their lives. For some, it is too late. They die without having the chance to make any real changes. Others, like Arisu, begin to experience personal growth as they begin to see life in a new light.
I loved Irasu as a protagonist. He isn’t a generic stoic that can be common in the genre. Instead, he is a flawed man whose resolve is constantly shaken by events in the game. As he spends more time in the games, Isaru never gets comfortable with the harsh world around him. There are times when the events will break him, and he will struggle to act when necessary. It is very cool to see a hero who is capable, but not perfect. It creates the perfect amount of tension for a series like this to work.
But as much as I love this series, it isn’t perfect. This series has a problem with its pacing. Towards the end of the series, it certainly feels drawn out. There are also times when this series will get a bit preachy about life and humanity, but it never gets so bad that I turned it off. Despite its flaws, I will be returning to this series.
Go watch this series! You might figure out the mystery ahead of time, and the special effects might look cheesy, but the story and action are so good that it won’t matter. The series is in Japanese with multiple dubbing available. While I always recommend watching media in their original language, the English dubbing is great. You can stream Alice in Borderlands on Netflix
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Image By The poster art can or could be obtained from Netflix., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66182931