Alice in Borderland 1, review: a dystopian world and a cruel survival game

Alice in Borderland 1, review: a dystopian world and a cruel survival game

Alice in Borderland 1, review

Are you ready to start a horrible and sadistic game that will lead you to make cruel choices in order not to lose your life? If you like survival games, Alice in Borderland 1, manga written and illustrated by Haro Aso, published in Japan by Shōgakukan from November 2010 to March 2015 in the magazine Shōnen Sunday S and then from April 2015 to March 2016 on Weekly Shōnen Sunday, is the story that's right for you. J-POP brings the manga from which the most viewed live-action series of the same name in Japan in 2020 was taken to our country, ranked in Netflix's top 10 in 40 countries and territories. Without further delay, let us immerse ourselves in this dystopian reality, this border world that will lead you to face your most intimate fears.

Tomorrow comes also for waste. Even a brat like me knows that he cannot continue running away indefinitely to take his eyes off a senseless and anxious tomorrow. Somewhere in my heart I really thought I would rather it happen. Maybe I wasn't the only one who saw it like this. Maybe even you adults will have a similar thought flashed at least once, in a corner of your soul.

Alice in Borderland 1: be careful what you wish for

Ryohei Arisu is a third year high school boy who has long since lost all will to live. He feels overwhelmed by the responsibilities of life and hates the fact that he is always compared to his younger brother by their father. He has no confidence in himself and dreams of running away, of escaping from this reality that is too narrow for him and suffocating. However, he manages to breathe a breath of fresh air and enjoy life when he is with his two best friends, Chota Segawa, his classmate and Daikichi Karube, a boy with whom he becomes friends after being rescued by some bullies. Despite this, his desire to live away from everyone, in a way in which he does not have to think about the future or the weight of what his father and the whole of society expect from him, torments him. But what he doesn't expect is that his wish will be granted.

There is no turning back, the game has begun and their lives are up for grabs. They have no choice but to fight to survive, discovering as everything is real, death is tangible and fear can chain you to the ground but also give you a hand. And it will be Arisu himself who will bring out a potential he did not think he had before in trying to find a way to put an end to this twisted game.

Alice in Borderland 1: daydream or perennial nightmare

An eternal dream, a place without time or space, a distorted image: Borderland is a world similar to the one we find in children's fairy tales, but more cruel and sadistic. Like Alice who wanted to escape from her world, Bordeland also seems to open its doors to what we can define as the waste of society, people who do not seem to have a future and who are crushed by the weight of requests and judgments that they cannot control.

The entry into the world of Bordeland resembles Alice's descent into the Pase delle Meraviglie, with the only difference that the image shown to us is more phantasmagoric: nothing makes sense, the dimensions of things are crippled , even the bodies of the characters.

But what is real is death: people die and it's not a joke. The only way to escape is not to wake up from the dream, but to play because the fate that awaits those who refuse is still death. Continue to play hoping that luck is on our side, understanding that there are very specific rules, which must be respected, but once you understand the basic mechanism, the initial desperation can turn into a faint hope.

The difficulty of the games is chosen according to the number of the card being drawn and each type of Ace corresponds to a type of challenge. The Ace of Spades indicates physical games in which strength, endurance and skill in combat count. The Ace of Diamonds indicates games of intelligence and while the Ace of Clubs the games in which general knowledge is required. And finally the Ace of Heart. In this first volume the corresponding games are not specified but everything suggests that they are the most dangerous and sadistic ones.

There are many questions that arise in the course of history. What is Borderland really and who is behind these games? Not only. At the conclusion of the first volume it is possible to assume that there are players from a different game. Prey and predators all driven by a single goal: to survive. Bordeland is an arena where you are not allowed to lose.

The graphic and narrative style

The story proposed by the author is decidedly captivating, thrilling. The evidence seems to become more and more sadistic and cruel as you continue with the reading. Not only that: the reader is kept in suspense until the end. Haro Aso is very good at throwing clues here and there within the narrative that arouse the reader's curiosity.

The drawings are well done, the tables rich in backgrounds and details. Haro Aso shows us all his talent by skilfully using a precise and cutting stroke, with which he manages to recreate the gloomy atmosphere, halfway between nightmare and reality, in which Borderland immerses.

There is so much growth potential especially for Arisu who already in this first volume demonstrates his intelligence and his marked ability to grasp what at first sight seems useless, but which in the end is the detail that is needed to save his life. The narrative is profound and the author is also able to channel within it profound messages about life, what it really means to be in the world and the pursuit of happiness.

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