Alice in Borderland season 2 review: Riveting frenzy of loss, trauma & revelations

‘Alice in Borderland’ season 2 follows Arisu, Usagi, and other survivors contending with the next perilous phase of the games as they try their best to learn the truth and return to the real world.

Story

‘Alice in Borderland’ season 2 begins with Arisu, Usagi, Chishiya, Kuina, Ann, and Tatta moving forward to the next phase of the games as they now contend with the face cards.

The beach people also arrive and await the next stage but the violent manner in which the games get introduced drops many dead in an instant, wreaking chaos and a frenzy among the shocked people.

Chishiya gets broken off from the group as the rest of them contend with the threat of the King of Spades — a seemingly superhuman mercenary with an assault rifle.

To save themselves for longer, Arisu ideates a plan that involves playing other face card games away from the King of Spades.

They take on the King of Clubs and emerge victorious, with the help of Tatta who ultimately ends up sacrificing his life for the team’s win.

Ann embarks on a mission to go outside Tokyo and have a look at what the world looks like at border extremities. Kuina sets out to look for Chishiya and Ann.

The King of Spades hunts for Arisu and Usagi, who saves herself, while the former is saved by a still surviving Aguni and his new survivor mate Akane.

Arisu and Usagi eventually reunite and head off for another face card game, which they ultimately win. Meanwhile, Chishiya plays in a game that’s all about trust and mind games, and wins, along with two other men.

After that, he plays a game at the Supreme Court with the King of Diamonds — Kuzuryu. He emerges as a victor but later gets shot by an unhinged Niragi.

Arisu and others, including Aguni and Akane, battle the King of Spades and suffer great injuries because of it. Ann seemingly passes away while others are stabbed and shot brutally before the berserk mercenary is put an end to.

Arisu and Usagi move forward for the last game and they eventually clear it, after a lot of difficulties. Two choices are presented to the survivors — either go home or be permanent residents of the Borderlands.

Usagi, Arisu, Chishiya, Niragi, Kuina, Aguni, and Akane all choose to go back to the real world. In the real world, it’s revealed that all the survivors were victims of a meteorite crash.

All those who survived (including Ann) don’t remember each other while the players who died in the Borderlands presumably passed on the afterlives and those who chose to stay, presumably remained in the purgatorial realm of the games.

‘Alice in Borderland’ season 2 ends with Arisu and Usagi having a Deja Vu and hitting it off rather well with each other at the hospital, while an ominous joker card is revealed right before the credits roll.

Performances

In a show rife with the frequent contentions with mortality and the inner turmoil that comes with the morality of the cruel games, melodrama is essential.

The actors playing the main character slate are all great talents in conveying said melodrama, successfully extracting the whiplash of trauma and pain onto their faces.

Positives

‘Alice in Borderland’ season 2 is replete with gore and guts characteristic of its predecessor, only this time the stakes are even higher.

There are many sequences this season where the high-octane action and the tension it builds are palpable. There is a sense of dread for each character’s fate and the ease in the win they eventually secure, or morbidity if they don’t.

The ending of the show does pull off one of the tropes that it lampoons in the final episode, with the characters contending with their selves of the mortal lives they lived.

However, the emotional content of the ending does not feel dishonest or arbitrary with all that the survivors have faced up until now.

Negatives

It’s a hasty and somewhat of an iffy wrap-up on things regardless.

Some of the content in the manga is only reduced to a little tease at the end, which might hint towards a third season but even if it never arrives, it’s not too big of a cliffhanger to detract significantly from the epilogue.

Verdict

‘Alice in Borderland’ season 2 is a fine piece of follow-up to the thrilling and virulent first season.

There’s dread and palpitation of excitement as well as a prolonged runtime to delve into the final slate of backstories and provide the long-needed answers about the truth of the game world.

Alice in Borderland season 2
Alice in Borderland season 2 review: Riveting frenzy of loss, trauma & revelations 1

Director: Shinsuke Sato

Date Created: 2022-12-22 13:30

Editor's Rating:
3.5

Also Read: Alice in Borderland season 2 ending explained: Does Arisu return to the real world?