Alice in Borderland review: fully explained

Alice in Borderland Recap

photos third party reference 

Like the players in Borderland, the citizens have wildly different ideas about humanity that inform how they play the game. From the Queen of Spades’ perspective, human beings will always choose their own lives over others. She bets her game and life on it and probably has a fair amount of evidence — from both our world and her time in Borderland — to prove the theory. She calls Usagi a hypocrite for playing with different values in mind, assuming that she will eventually abandon the 10-year-old boy she promised to protect when her own life is at stake. And, especially if you’ve watched the previous 13 episodes of this show, it’s easy to see where she’s coming from.

But Usagi has accumulated her own body of evidence — tangible proof that, sometimes, people prioritize something else over survival. She remembers when Arisu went back, past a panther, pushing a motorbike, for Takusa. She’s probably heard how Chota and Karube sacrificed their lives for their best friend. Perhaps she even found something hopeful about Aguni’s decision to save the surviving members of the Beach from a gun-wielding Niragi, even if it was too late for the people his gang had already killed and thrown into the fire. Usagi has seen her fair share of selfish, understandable human decisions, but she isn’t ready to give up her humanity. She’s found Arisu, another person who wants something better for himself and others, and he’s found her back.

To make it past the Queen of Spades, however, Usagi will have to convince some of the other players in Checkmate that they should aim higher than a life of killing for the Queen. Luckily, or perhaps as a function of the game, once Usagi and Arisu hit those buttons, temporarily paralyzed members will become a captive audience. The players point out how much the real world sucked, which Usagi admits is valid: “Even though it was full of pain, it was the world that gave me life and raised me. I miss it … It’s a cold and lonely place, but because of my life there, I was able to discover the kindness in people here. I’d forgotten about that until now. I want to go back and start over there again.” Usagi isn’t promising these people puppies and rainbows — she’s not even promising them that a return to the real world is possible — but she is promising them the chance at something better. Not only in the future but in the person they will be right now.

Thanks to Usagi’s stirring speech (and sheer athleticism), Team Challenger manages to tip the scales in their favor, finishing the game on top. The Queen doesn’t give any helpful answers about the purpose or design of Borderland, choosing instead to make a grand exit to her death by jumping off the side of the skyscraper as a sky laser finds her. These citizens know how to make an exit.

Kuzuryu, the King of Diamonds, needs clarification when it comes to his views on humanity and how he wants to live his life. We first met him at The Beach, where he was one of the seemingly apathetic execs who was more than happy to hold power in a violent hierarchy. Now, he is acting as the King of Diamonds, constructing a game that removes most inequalities from its cruel machinations. (I say most because face cards will always have the advantage of foreknowledge over players.) The game is called Balance Scale, and it has five players, one of whom is the King of Diamonds himself, strapped to chairs around a round table in a courthouse. Players have three minutes each round to pick a number between 1 and 100. The selected numbers will then be averaged and multiplied by 0.8; the player whose number is closest to the final number wins, and every other player loses one point. Once a player drops to negative 10 points, the vat of acid hanging above their head will tip over, burn-melting them to death. Fun!

The game is played by Kuzuryu, Chishiya, and three red shirts. The red shirts go first, and a new rule is introduced to the game with each of their ineluctable, gross deaths. By the time it's just Kuzuryu and Chishiya, the two are completely trapped by rules that insure the game is further about reading your opponent If one player chooses zero and another chooses 100, the person who chooses 100 will be the winner. still, if two people choose the same number, they both lose. likewise, because of the original rule stating that the normal will be multiplied by0.8, if one person chooses 100 and the other person chooses 1, the alternate person will win. As Chishiya totalities it up it's a choice between 0, 1, or 100. Yes, Kuzuryu, who came up with this game, is a counsel. Yes, this is the LSAT with acid. 

 Still, also Chishiya uses the game that Kuzuryu created to understand further about him, If the game is about deducing what your opponent will do and also acting consequently. Chishiya is fascinated by the lengths to which Kuzuryu went to make the Balance Scale show. While other face cards are walking around with body armor or choosing children as their main opponents, Kuzuryu wants an equal seat at the table. 

We learn from flashbacks that Kuzuryu was a counsel for a shitty company where he used his skill set to get his heads out of taking responsibility for the lives their profit- making took. Because of this, Kuzuryu has come hung up with understanding which lives are worth saving and which aren't precious enough. It’s an institutional sense Chishiya is familiar with. Before coming to Borderland, he was a croaker

 working in a university sanitarium. We see him working to save the life of a youthful boy, only to learn from one of his elders that the boy’s place on a transplant patron list has been banged in favor of a more privileged sick child. The boy dies, and Chishiya lives with it again and again, he accepts this sense. 

It’s not clear how important Chishiya does or doesn't struggle with this “ reality, ” but it does make him particularly perfect for playing this game against Kuzuryu. Eventually, Chishiya deduces what Kuzuryu is looking for and gives it to him He tells Kuzuryu that he'll choose 100, indeed going so far as to show him his tablet screen, forcing the game maker to directly, explicitly choose whether Chishiya will live or die. Through the direction and script, we see what Kuzuryu thinks back to his discussion with Momoko after she decided to come the witch in the Witch Hunt, which would mean killing herself for the game. He asks her why she volunteered for the job, and Momoko is putatively at total peace with her choice. “ For my ideals, ” she tells him. “ People have beautiful hearts, and life is precious. I believe in those things. It’s because I've those ideals I've been suitable to survive in this ludicrous world. ” 

Momoko believes that her death wo n’t lead to a massacre. She thinks people will work together to discover the witch’s identity without killing each other. In this case, her idealism was misplaced, a reminder( if this show demanded another one) that occasionally people make violent opinions driven by a desire to survive at any cost. But this occasion, this show, does n’t seem to believe Momoko’s ideals are foolish. Kuzuryu remembers a man who helped him in a former game because someone helped him in a game. This time, it’s Kuzuryu’s chance to be that person, to live with commodity close to Momoko’s ideals, and he does. He chooses to save Chishiya. “ At last, I suppose I ’ve been suitable to decide how I want to live, ” he tells Chishiya. “ It’s thanks to you. ” 

Alice in Borderland could have been a story driven solely by the composition of its main “ good guy ” protagonists, Arisu and Usagi, and perhaps a many of their musketeers. rather, the manga and its live- action adaption cast a important wider, more ambitious net, giving us one- off perceptivity into characters like Kuzuryu and Momoko to make a richer, more complex story. 

The episode ends like a last breath before a battle. Ann reapplies her camo. Kuina visits her mama ’s empty sanitarium room and vows to return to the real world. Heiya grabs her bow and arrow and leaves the woods. Niragi way on a flower. These characters are ready for a fight, and heading into the final two episodes of the season, the show seems poised to give it to them — time for everyone to test their hardest- won ideals. 

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