It’s been a long time coming, but Season 2 of Alice in Borderland is finally about to arrive on Netflix. After a number of setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this Japanese sci-fi thriller series, based on the manga of the same name by Haro Aso, has a lot to live up to. Is it able to follow its much-loved debut season with success? For the most part, the answer is yes. Here’s what we thought.
Do you want to play a game?
Alice in Borderland Season 2 picks up right where we left off, and wastes no time in bringing the action. Though it looks as if the survivors from the Beach may get some respite, a sudden flurry of bullets results in a massacre that makes Aguni’s (Shô Aoyagi) slaughter of innocents in Season 1 look like child’s play. From this moment on, there is hardly a moment’s peace for our heroes Arisu (Kento Yamazaki) and Usagi (Tao Tsuchiya), along with their new allies Kuina (Aya Asahina), Chishiya (Nijirô Murakami), and Ann (Ayaka Miyoshi).
New characters are introduced, while some that you would have presumed dead following the first season also reemerge. The lines of morality are blurred as the episodes pass by, and most of the people you feel you should be rooting against, you cannot help but carry a torch for. Some, however, are completely beyond redemption, and it feels a little uncomfortable at times when the writers are giving them a chance to act like a hero. Thankfully, every actor in the series takes the opportunity to shine in their role with both hands.
The environments that Arisu, Usagi, and other “players” find themselves in are at times hauntingly beautiful. Vegetation has mutated and overgrown, folding itself around the buildings of the once-bustling city that now acts as a playpen of death. As the stakes grow ever higher, you can’t help but become a little misty-eyed at some of the surroundings, particularly in one “hot springs” sequence.
While this is a show where you are forced to suspend your disbelief, the characters are never anything but completely realistic and relatable. So, when they are taking part in the sadistic games and challenges presented to them, now harder than ever due to their difficulty level being one of 12 “face cards,” you are left holding your breath until the game’s final moments. This season, they are more inventive than ever, and audiences may find themselves asking exactly how they would approach each of them. Sometimes, it can be fun to play along. Easy to say when our lives aren’t on the line.
Alice in Borderland Season 2 comes to Netflix on December 22, 2022. All eight episodes of the second season will be available to stream and watch upon its debut.
Alice in Borderland Season 2 Review: The Final Verdict
Alice in Borderland Season 2 is an emotional offering from beginning to end, which forces the viewer to look inwards at their own life and ask themselves many of the questions that the characters on screen are conflicted by.
When the final credits roll, the door is left slightly ajar for a potential third outing, but if this is where the series comes to an end, then the conclusion is undoubtedly a satisfying one.