ALICE IN BORDERLAND is a new Netflix series from Japan. It’s SAW, Escape Room, and Cube all in one. And yes, it’s absolutely awesome! Based on a graphic novel and full of interesting characters finding their way in a new world. Read our Season 1 Alice in Borderland series review here!

ALICE IN BORDERLAND is a new Netflix sci-fi survival series from Japan based on a graphic novel. This new series features a lot of interesting characters and a lot of blood and violence. Each episode features a new challenge (or “game”) but we also get to know the characters better and understand their values.

If you like genre hybrids where sci-fi meets fantasy and thriller, then you really don’t want to miss out on this Netflix addition.

Continue reading our Alice in Borderland season 1 review below and find all 8 episodes on Netflix now!

Surviving in a new world

Episode 1 (or the pilot) is the perfect way of introducing this new world. First, we see three friends meet up and have fun. After being chased by the police (for causing a serious disturbance of traffic), everyone else suddenly disappears.

One moment they’re in a bustling city with people and noise everywhere. The next, they find themselves in an empty city where nothing electronic works. Unless it’s battery-powered! Within the first episode, they also discover that this new world features strange games that are literally life or death.

Yes, this is a SAW meets Escape Room with some Cube elements thrown in for good measure. It’s absolutely awesome!

Especially because we also get to know the characters as they try to survive in this city. A city they know but which is now devoid of people and everything electronic. Except for, of course, when “a game” is happening. These games do have lights and other umm “activities” happening.

Actually, getting to see what the next game tends to be is a real treat in itself. You never know what kind of madness is coming next. But you do know that someone will die before the game is over!

Alice in Borderland: Season 1 – Netflix Review

The young cast of Alice in Borderland

With this Manga comic book adaptation, you’ll be introduced to quite a few characters as the story progresses. Due to the nature of its plot, some will only be around for a short while. Others will live on to participate in more games.

Obviously, the latter group is full of characters that you’ll get to love or hate, as we see more and more of their survival tactics.

I’m not really familiar with the actors in this series. However, I immediately love them in their roles. In fact, they feel very organic and natural to me. Admittedly, I do care for some of them more than others – but as the storyline progresses, it’s pretty much a given.

The three friends are Arisu (Kento Yamazaki), Karube (Keita Machida), and Chota (Yûki Morinaga). Also, by the end of episode 1, we see another character, who will be introduced properly in episode 2. Her name is Yuzuha Usagi and she’s portrayed by Tao Tsuchiya, who turns out to be pretty damn good at these games.

Let’s just say that being an experienced mountain climber doesn’t hurt in this alternative world!

Watch season 1 of Alice in Borderland on Netflix now!

Alice in Borderland is based on a survival and thriller manga that was originally published in Weekly Shonen Sunday. The original graphic novel “Imawa no Kuni no Alice” by Haro Aso was then published by Shogakukan Inc.

For this series adaptation, both Haro Aso and screenwriter Yasuko Kuramitsu receive writing credit. The episodes in this Japanese Netflix series are directed by Shinsuke Sato, who also directed the Hulu series Death Note – Desu nôto: New Generation. A US adaption of Death Note was also made into a Netflix movie.

Please, do not be fooled by the lighthearted and somewhat goofy first 15 minutes. Before episode 1 of Alice in Borderland is over, you will know that this is dead-serious. Season 1 has eight 1-hour episodes and this series is extremely binge-worthy, so knock yourself out and enjoy.

Honestly, this Netflix series is one of the best series to come out of Asia, besides Kingdom. Trust me, you do not want to miss this. Also, a season 2 has already been greenlit by Netflix!

Alice in Borderland season 1 is out on Netflix from December 10, 2020.


Director: Shinsuke Sato
Writers: Yoshiki Watabe, Yasuko Kuramitsu, and Shinsuke Sato
Stars: Kento Yamazaki & Tao Tsuchiya, Nijiro Murakami, Yuki Morinaga, Keita Machida, Ayaka Miyoshi, Dori Sakurada, Aya Asahina, Shuntaro Yanagi, Yutaro Watanabe, Ayame Misaki, Mizuki Yoshida, Tsuyoshi Abe, Nobuaki Kaneko, Sho Aoyagi, Riisa Naka


Arisu—a listless, jobless and video-game-obsessed young man—suddenly finds himself in a strange, emptied-out version of Tokyo in which he and his friends must compete in dangerous games in order to survive. In this strange world, Arisu meets Usagi, a young woman who’s navigating the games alone. Together, they set out to unravel one mystery after another as they risk their lives and confront what it means to live.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard