Is Alice in Borderland Inspired by a Manga?

Alice in Borderland: Based on the manga by Haro Aso, the upcoming Alice in Borderland streaming television series from Japan will feature a dystopian science fiction thriller drama. Shinsuke Sato directed all of the episodes in the series.

It stars Kento Yamazaki and Tao Tsuchiya as friends who are stranded in a deserted Tokyo and are forced to play risky card games to extend “visas,” which, if they expire, result in the players’ execution by laser fire from above.

The show’s first season was announced in July 2019 and shot from August to December of the same year. Sets utilized both real-world Shibuya neighborhoods and a green screen studio recreation of Shibuya Crossing.

Digital Frontier in Japan worked with studios in Singapore, the United States, and India to create the show’s visual effects. Yutaka Yamada, who worked with Sato, composed the score. Critics praised the action, camerawork, and acting in the premiere episode, which debuted on the Netflix streaming service on December 10, 2020.

The attack was compared to other works in the survival genre, such as the movies Battle Royale (2000) and Cube (1997) and television shows like Squid Game (2021) for its death game survival. Netflix renewed the show two weeks after the first season’s premiere due to its success and high viewership in many countries; the second season premiered on December 22, 2022.

Alice in Borderland
Alice in Borderland

Alice in Borderland Recap: The Last Stand

Most Borderland games only have one or two episodes and are set in a single location and era. But not the murderous spree of the King of Spades. Since the season premiere, we’ve been anticipating the appearance of the mysterious masked man in armor who keeps popping up at the worst possible times to kill minor characters and drive our friends apart.

The city as a whole is his battlefield, and he can strike whenever he pleases. Our heroes have been able to stay away from him for most of this season, but eventually, they will have to face him if they want to win the games. This means that Arisu, Usagi, Kuina, Ann, Aguni, and Heiya are willing to risk everything to eliminate the King.

First, though, a one-on-one confrontation. Arisu, Niragi, and Chishiya reunite in a wildly overgrown Shibuya Crossing. They’ve been friends for a long time and shared many experiences. More people than just Niragi have smeared Arisu’s good name.

At the end of the previous season at the Beach, Chishiya had Arisu steal Hatter’s playing cards, leaving the executive team to torment Hatter. However, unlike Niragi, Chishiya may feel remorse. Maybe he’s evolved this season due to his experiences and interactions with others.

Arisu certainly seems to agree. He calls him “mellower” the next time they meet, which is a hilarious observation from someone who has never shown any extreme reaction to anything. Who is one person who has remained the same? Mirage.

At the start of the episode, he comes across a man who unsuccessfully attempted suicide by slitting his throat. The dying man begs Niragi to end his pain by shooting him. Mirage acts thoughtfully by aiming the gun and then walking away.

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Telling the sick man, “I hope you suffer in agony until you die,” he leaves the man with no hope. What a jerk! Arriving at Shibuya Crossing, he shoots Chishiya and provokes Arisu and Chishiya into a gunfight. Niragi doesn’t merely want to kill; he also wants to inflict pain on others.

On the contrary, Arisu and Chishiya are still developing and discovering who they are as individuals, so they will not be lured into Niragi’s trap. I won’t pull the trigger to help myself,” Arisu says. Chechnya saves Usagi from a bullet when he wanders into the clearing, and Niragi realizes he can force Arisu to fight.

Chishiya says to Arisu and Usagi, “I wanted to do something uncharacteristic,” reflecting on the selflessness of Arisu and Kuzuryu. If only he could achieve that status, he so desperately seeks death. After being shot by Arisu, Niragi also lies on the ground, dying. Niragi is still unwilling to change his worldview: “If there were seven billion of me, then you would be the ones who are evil.”

Next thing you know, the King of Spades’ blimp has arrived, and the ongoing death scenes have been put on hold for an epic, 25-minute fight to the finish. Alice in Borderland is primarily a dystopian story about a world where people compete to death, but it also features elements from many other genres.

In a classic action film, the climactic showdown with the King of Spades would play out like this. The King of Spades takes on an all-star team consisting of Arisu, Usagi, Ann, Kuina, Aguni, and Heiya, with help from a few mystery players. (Mutual kudos to the guy who crashes his exploding car right into the King of Spades.)

Our heroes take severe damage in the brutal battle against the King of Spades, signaling that the show is closing. Usagi, Ann, Kuina, Aguni, and Heiya use their bullets, arrows, and bodies in the battle to lure the King into a drugstore where Arisu is setting up an explosive trap.

Most of our main characters are killed by the King of Spades in increasingly violent and gruesome ways as he keeps coming at them with guns, knives, and a pommel. Arisu’s friends have been killed in the alley outside the pharmacy, so he uses the King of Spades as bait to lure him inside, where he will detonate a homemade bomb constructed by Chishiya (Chekvo’s bomb).

Everything these characters have risked seems to have been for nothing as the King of Spades retreats from the pharmacy’s entrance, sensing a trap. With the help of someone who has summoned enough energy to chase the King through the door and into the pharmacy, Aguni has arrived.

He screams at Arisu, urging him to throw the bomb and jump out the window to safety, but Arisu has already made it clear that he will no longer sacrifice others to ensure his safety. As he drops the bomb inside the pharmacy, he grabs Aguni and crashes through the second-story window.

Is Alice in Borderland Based on a Manga?

Undoubtedly, it is. From 2010 to 2015, Haro Aso’s manga of the same name appeared in Shnen Sunday S, and then in April 2015, it began appearing in Weekly Shnen Sunday. This manga follows the same plot as the Netflix adaptation.

A young man and his two companions find themselves in a strange new world called Borderland after learning that the city of Tokyo has mysteriously vanished. They have to play a series of games that get harder and harder if they want to keep living in this world and not die.

It’s like playing with pretend money or something, but the stakes are through the roof. Eight of the manga’s volumes have been translated into English thus far. To be continued in March 2023 with volumes 9 and 10.

The manga adaptation of Alice in Borderland has the same climactic conclusion as the TV show. However, two sequels have also been published in addition to the prominent manga. The story of Alice on Border Road centers on a Tokyo high school student who is tired of her mundane existence.

One day, she comes to a lonely version of Kyoto holding the Queen of Clubs. As she fights back to Tokyo, she must join forces with a group with its unique deck of cards. While Border Road and Borderland have some similarities, it’s unclear whether they occur in the same universe.

The second spinoff, Alice in Borderland: Retry, is a more direct continuation of the original story. This time we’re using game theory as a tool. To get out of Borderland, Ryhei Arisu must play a series of games, just as he did before. His pregnant wife, however, is now waiting for him to return. This spinoff seems the better option if Netflix considers continuing this series.

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