If you have no idea what to do with life now after finishing the Netflix Original K-drama Squid Game, it’s time to take a look at an underrated Japanese series Alice in Borderland, which has the same survival game format. Based on a manga, the series first premiered on Netflix in December 2020, and fans of the show are now rejoicing that Alice in Borderland is already renewed for a season 2!
If you loved Squid Game and haven’t seen Alice in Borderland, here are ways the two shows are similar—and different—and reasons why the Japanese series is worth binge-watching too!
Squid Game and Alice in Borderland both have storylines revolving around delinquents and social outcasts trying to escape from their bitter realities. In Squid Game, they’re people buried deep in debt, while in Alice in Borderland, the characters are more diverse but our leads are a trio of unruly gamers in Tokyo.
In both shows, characters enter a deadly game of survival. The difference, however, is that people are first given a choice, albeit an illusion, to join or drop out of the Squid Game; while the trio is practically thrown into the game world in Alice in Borderland.
Needless to say, all of the games in the two shows are all death games. It’s a battle of survival, and the only way to drop out of a game is to drop dead.
While the mechanics in Squid Game are mainly inspired by South Korean traditional children’s games, Alice in Borderland features a variety of games that feel like playing VR minus the virtual part. This is also how the two series are distinct—one is grounded in the real world while the other has elements of sci-fi. If you’re a gamer or sci-fi fan, you’ll love the visual showcase of Alice in Borderland.
There are characters you hate and characters you love, but you can’t help but root for them all. As mentioned, the main characters are not the most likable. A debt-ridden divorcee Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) for Squid Game and an unambitious gamer Ryohei Arisu (Kento Yamazaki) for Alice in Borderland. But they manage to scrape their old skin off and shine in the games. Meanwhile, every other character has their own backstory that makes you deeply attached—which makes the inevitable conflicts and deaths even more heartbreaking.
However, while Squid Game is mainly focused on a set of characters throughout the series, Alice in Borderland has a more diverse ensemble, introducing new curious characters after each game. There are also those draped in mystery, which makes you stay glued to the show waiting for revelations.
The Plot Twists and Mysteries
Aside from mind-boggling puzzles and bloodbaths, both Squid Game and Alice in Borderland have their own shocking plot twists. For Squid Game, the biggest plot twist is revealed at the end—concerning one of the most adorable characters at the start of the games! While there’s an enigma seething beneath the surface, Squid Games had a pretty good resolution with, of course, room left for a sequel.
In terms of twists and mysteries, Alice in Borderland is more loaded on this front. Last-ditch sacrifices. Undecipherable characters. The existence of Borderland. The cliffhanger ending is laden with more questions than answers, and this is when you’ll want to brace yourself for season 2 of Alice in Borderland.
Considering the global hype that surrounded Squid Game and that open ending, there’s a high chance that we’ll soon see a second season. If we’re going to look at the Japanese series as a reference, season 2 of Alice in Borderland was teased in the same month it was released. So fans of the Korean thriller drama may not have long to wait before a second season is visible on the horizon.
If you’re wondering when Alice in Borderland season 2 will be released, there’s no definite date yet, especially factoring in the pandemic. Production only began mid-2021 and is only expected to complete at the end of the year. We can at least expect a premiere announcement before 2021 ends.
In the meantime, while waiting for season 2 of both Alice in Borderland and Squid Game, you can indulge in the same death-defying thrill (without actually dying!) with experiences in Australia like these flying stunts and outdoor adventures! Don’t worry, the game masters (a.k.a. tour guides) are only wearing masks for safety and are friendly without suspense.
Find experiences for all levels of fear tolerance on KKday!
*Featured image via Netflix