Pros and Cons: Alice in Borderland

Are you thinking about checking out the post-apocalyptic drama on Netflix, Alice in Borderland? Kmuse shares some of her thoughts in this first impression that might help you make up your mind whether to push play.


A group of bored delinquents are transported to a parallel wasteland as part of a survival game. (IDMb)

I decided to check out Alice in Borderland, mostly because it looks super pretty and just the kind of style I enjoy in an intense drama. But was it too intense? This answer leads me to my first con.

Con- Very violent

This show does not skimp on the blood and gore. You will see many people killed, some nice people… and some not so nice people. I have to admit I was emotionally moved by it much more than I usually am. So if violence/horrific deaths is one of your triggers, then this is not the drama for you.

Pro – Smart storytelling

This reminds me a bit of Liar’s Game but with much more lethal consequences. Our leads are forced to go through a series of challenges/puzzles, and if they can’t solve them in time, they forfeit their life. The fast pace and intricate puzzles keep the plot moving fast, and you don’t have time to dwell on the bad stuff for long, which helps you not wallow on how horrible this place is.

Con – Is there character depth?

I am just starting this drama, so my opinion on this question might change the farther I go into the story. However, at the point of 4 episodes in, the character depth is a bit lacking. You get the basic idea of what kind of people our leads are. But do we really connect with them beyond being told they are the “heroes” of the show? I’m just not sure, and that is why it shifts into the con category for me.

Pro – $$$

Netflix has spared no expense in making this adaptation look stylish, which really helps western audiences (that are not used to dramas) connect. The fact that it is based on a famous Manga also helps with its international appeal. I suspect that this will be a big hit and be the first of many manga adaptations that will come to the streaming service in the future.

In conclusion, if you want an easy binge-able Japanese drama to watch, then give this a try UNLESS the violence puts you off. I also recommend that parents watch an episode or two if you plan to let your kids watch it. It is a bit more stabby than your usual Asian drama, so it is nice to know what you are getting into.

Til the next review,


Dramas With a Side of Kimchi.

3 thoughts on “Pros and Cons: Alice in Borderland

  1. I was enjoying it, until the main locale became a resort where everyone had to wear swimsuits so they couldn’t hid a weapon. hmmm, a bit over the top to teenage appeal. but the first 4 eps were cool.

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