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REVIEW: Alice in Borderland Live-Action TV Series

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Joined: 09 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:12 pm Reply with quote
Just finished watching this hour ago. I really like it! Good acting, action, story... It's violent, sure, but really entertaining.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:04 pm Reply with quote
I finished the first season on Sunday. Really enjoyed it. I haven't read the manga (not available in English and it never crossed my radar as a scanlation), so I don't know how it compares, but it has a definite feel of something adapted from a manga (well adapted that is).

The violence is just the right level to be impactful, but not gratuitous or overly explicit (except maybe the last episode).

Really amused how the main character passed by my favorite yaki-niku restaurant (not a chain) in the first 2 minutes of episode 1.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:44 pm Reply with quote
I'm a big fan of director Shinsuke Sato and he doesn't disappoint here. I really liked this series. I've sampled the manga and anime a little bit for comparison and this is definitely the best version of this story. The setup is pretty similar to GANTZ in that it revolves around endless death games keeps creating a lot of mysteries without offering much of any explanations. So I'd recommend if you like GANTZ or other Shinsuke Sato's movies.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2020 7:49 pm Reply with quote
^When the GANTZ manga ended (I also watched the live action movies), there was a hole in my heart that had to be filled. Then the Borderland OVA came out and I knew immediately that it was my GANTZ successor. Then I had to read the manga after that. It satisfied me. I don't watch Netflix adaptations. I wanted this to get a full anime series since the OVA. I was interested in the trailer so I will be giving it a shot. While I'm at it, I'll also watch Sweet Home since that trailer interested me.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:11 am Reply with quote
I'm surprised this review gave the Netflix series a C+ in most aspects, though I am new to this series and this is my entry point to Alice in Borderland.

The last episode actually did explain a lot around how these games come to be (spoiler[i.e. they're set up through the game dealers, and directed by the game master]), which was enough to know that there is a rhyme or reason to the games. I also thought there was enough variance to the plot when they essentially spoiler[did a cast reset on Episode 3 by killing off the other supposed main characters]. We also learn that there is a spoiler[game master in the end, effectively explaining the hierarchy of personnel who control Borderland and that they are also seemingly on the hook to deliver as well (i.e. the entire team facilitating the 10 of Hearts game failed, causing them all to die as well)]. I honestly think that's enough context to go off of until the main characters have earned their spot at the dinner table so-to-speak spoiler[by presumably collecting all the face cards].

The trans reveal I also thought was essential to give background to the character. I have not read the source material, but the backgrounds of each character I feel are a hint to the reasons why the characters were sent to Borderland. I personally don't think there should be anything about her being trans that should be emphasized or played out. I think it's more so the insecurities she had about coming out as trans and possibly feeling under-appreciated / embarrassed about it while being in the real world that sent her into Borderland. In turn, she was able to overcome those fears in Borderland, during her fight scene. So arguably it can be said that being in Borderland helped these people discover their calling / purpose in life.

The review was possibly written before Netflix revealed they bought a Season 2, but if they're planning to end things with Season 2, I'm sure the real reasons behind why Borderland exists and why the characters were sent there will be revealed then. But I think these 8 episodes really do a good job establishing the atmosphere of the world and the struggles that people have to go through. That is already enough for me to be interested to learn more about the series, which I think is the intent of a first season.
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