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  5. “Alice in Frontier Land”: the Japanese survival series that sweeps Netflix is ​​an addictive variation of “Gantz” and “Battle Royale”

“Alice in Frontier Land”: the Japanese survival series that sweeps Netflix is ​​an addictive variation of “Gantz” and “Battle Royale”

“Alice in Frontier Land”: the Japanese survival series that sweeps Netflix is ​​an addictive variation of “Gantz” and “Battle Royale”

We recently discussed the bittersweet taste left by the irregular ‘Sweet Home’ (2020), an action horror series that appeared on Netflix at the same time as ‘Alice in Borderland’, another fantasy series. from Japan and produced for Shinsuke Sato from Haro Aso’s manga that, although it hasn’t finished either, It is much stronger and still entertaining than the Korean.

In this case, we have less monsters and mutations but no less violence, since the series is a new visit to the favorite subjects of Japanese science fiction culture, the gymkhanas in the spirit of a video game in which a series of characters try to survive death through a series of tests that put the protagonists in a situation of forced survival, through cruel dystopias with increasingly difficult rules.

The Alice in the story’s title, alluding to Lewis Carroll’s work, is Ryohei Arisu (Kento yamazaki), who was fleeing the police with his friends Daikichi Karube (Keita machida) and Chota Segawa (Yuki morinaga), ends up hiding in a bathroom at Shibuya station to leave with the city totally deserted with the lights off, as if the harvest of “The Leftovers” had taken place in two minutes.

This is the beginning of a series of survival games whose instructions are transmitted to the players via smartphones with the general rule that whoever loses is executed by means of a satellite laser or has their collar exploded in the game. neck. Ryohei, who spends most of his time playing video games, quickly begins to recognize the logic behind the game’s designs., although some are too evil even for him to decipher.

When he meets other players also stranded in the deserted capital, he forms an alliance with Yuzuha Usagi (Tao tsuchiya), a mountaineer whose physical prowess is the perfect complement to her problem-solving skills. The development of the episodes has a general arc but a “test of the week” style in which the protagonists advance from campaign to campaign barely surviving.

The legacy of ‘Battle Royale’ extends

The most successful Japanese Netflix productions of these years have been anime, so it makes sense that your live productions are aimed at the same audience, and explains that dramatic logic has a lot to do with other style live actions, and it is not surprising that the architect behind ‘Alice in the Land of Borders‘, comes from the making of one of the’ most obvious precursors of the series’,Gantz“(2011).

This worked the same way, with a group of unknown characters trapped in a mysterious purgatory, where they are forced to go on very deadly missions with ever-changing enemies that make them hesitate at the most inopportune moments. But here we have a less fantastic world, with these crazy monsters and something more focused on the ingenuity process of each enemy and rules similar to “Battle Royale”.

With evidence going through the great original ‘Escape Room’, ‘Cube’ (1997) when Stephen King approaches in ‘To follow up‘(The Running Man, 1987),’Alice in the Land of Borders‘easily turns into an addictive series, with good production values ​​that don’t make you want an anime version. However, it also does not fully exploit its possibilities and remains a beautiful pastime with blood, action and drama without much clutter but at least showing signs of life in the fictional Japanese scene.