Alice in Borderland Season 2 premieres on Netflix today (December 22, 2022), two years after the first season was originally released. It is definitely worth binging if the mysteries of Borderland have captured your attention the way it has for our series protagonists, Arisu and Usagi. But before diving into the Dorkaholics review of Season 2, let’s go over the journey of this adaptation and where the first season left off on.
Season 2 Synopsis
Arisu (Kento Yamazaki) and Usagi (Tao Tsuchiya) are chasing the mystery of “Borderland” in order to return to their real world. They meet their friends, enemies, and the mastermind behind the “game” at a place that seems to be the key to unlocking the mystery. When all the cards are collected, will they be able to return to their real world?
History and Success of Alice in Borderland
It’s outstanding to realize that almost a dozen years have passed since Alice in Borderland originally debuted as a manga published in November 2010, with the final chapter released March 2016. And in the years that followed came the first season on Netflix.
And since the Netflix series’ debut in 2020, it has gone on to reach popularity across Asia in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The series made it to Top 10 in Germany, France, Portugal, Austria and Greece, among other places totaling nearly 40 countries/territories.
Alice in Borderland Season 1 Revelations
The last twenty minutes of season 1 reveal a number of twists, but at the same time introduce just as many more questions for audiences. It is learned that in addition to players, there have been dealers who help facilitate the survival games and have been tasked with the death of players in order to extend their visas for additional days of life. Arisu, Usagi, Kuina, and Chishiya discover an underground base of operations within the subway system that the dealers used to monitor players and games. As they discover the corpses of dealers in this facility, Mira (who is initially introduced as an executive on the Beach) appears and explains the next phase of events, which is the focus on season 2 – games featuring the face cards, as the numbered cards have all been collected and a result the dealers have been eliminated. As the group of four emerge above ground, they see the skies fill with blimps carrying banners of the remaining face cards with games that will need to be played. Roll credits.
Season 2 Review
SPOILERS ARE STILL AHEAD.
The second season of Alice in Borderland opens up right where the previous episode ends with the main characters in the middle of Shibuya crossing with knowledge that their next objective will involve face card games. The pacing of the second season is a different animal compared to the first season. Whereas the first season featured episodes that were between 42 and 53 minutes long, the average episode in season 2 is over an hour long. That is certainly the benefit of being a Netflix series, as the showrunners don’t have to feel limited by traditional episode lengths in order to tell this adaptation as best they can.
Personally speaking, the time spent for the second half of this series is well worth it. The games played are not rushed, new characters are introduced and audiences are given glimpses into their lives before Borderland, and ultimately the much-needed answers to everyone’s questions are provided, although in a Joker-like unreliably told manner, there is a feeling of resolution by the end of this season’s final episode.
Arisu goes through moments of character development as expected in a series based on manga, but he is not alone as other characters have also been changed by playing the games. For fans that have gone ahead and finished reading the manga, the Netflix series does take liberties to change certain points of the storyline in order to tell as best a story as they can in the 507 minutes allotted for the second season. However, it’s still very much a satisfying story, especially with the attention to detail with the series’ visuals, set design, and character portrayals.
Catch Alice in Borderland season 2, now on Netflix.
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