Alice in Borderland Season 2 Series Review

Alice in Borderland Season 2 Series Review: This is How You End It

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"Alice in Borderland" Season 2  loses some of its magic as the second season tries to compress so much in so little time. The second season's mid-portion was a barrage of subplots and sub-characters that was a literal rush. But the start and finish of the second season was its saving grace. Even with its less than efficient screenplay presentation, there's no denying that this is how "Alice in Borderland" Season 2 is as good or even better than its predecessor when taken as a whole.

After collecting all of the numbered cards, Arisu (Kento Yamazaki), Usagi (Tao Tsuchiya), and the other survivors must now face the ultimate challenge of the Borderland. They must collect each remaining face card one by one to finally know where the heck they are, why the Borderland even exists, and if they can go back to the real world again. But this is easier said than done as each face card features a citizen (or citizens) who has devised the game themselves and that the players must defeat. The winners of each face card game lives on while the losers face immediate death.

If we could judge each season on its narrative and character development alone, Season 1 easily trumps Season 2 of "Alice in Borderland". With so many characters (including new ones such as the citizens on each game) being presented, back-storied, developed, and book-ended all at the same time, 8 episodes is just too small a number to work with. This needed a few or more episodes in our opinion to fully flesh out its story, characters, and lore. Season 2 in fact was at its best form when it slowed down and took its time. There's also a sinking feeling that there was a huge opportunity lost in finding more about the King of Spades, the King of Clubs, and new characters such as the expert archer Heiya, each of which really peaked our interest in them even with the extremely limited time given to them. Additionally, even for a fantasy/sci-fi experience, the plot armor was really thick for each character. Whereas in Season 1 we felt each character was at risk of death, we really didn't have the same sentiments this time around. What really saves Season 2 for us though (and why we rate it highly) was how it ended things. That last episode was spectacular and the ending even more so. In an era where excellent shows massively drop the ball in their last seasons, "Alice in Borderland" gave us the ending that respects its characters and story and a whole lot more.

Rating: 4 reels

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