Imawa no Kuni no Alice (2020) poster
8.8
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.8/10 from 20,635 users
# of Watchers: 32,872
Reviews: 84 users
Ranked #69
Popularity #163
Watchers 20,635

Alice—a listless, jobless and video-game-obsessed young man—suddenly finds himself in a strange, emptied-out version of Tokyo in which he and his friends must compete in dangerous games in order to survive. In this strange world, Alice meets Usagi, a young woman who’s navigating the games alone. After a dangerous game which tests Alice’s limits, the two set out together to unravel one mystery after another as they risk their lives and confront what it means to live. (Source: Netflix) ~~ Adapted from the manga series "Imawa no Kuni no Alice" by Haro Aso. Edit Translation

  • English
  • 日本語
  • Русский
  • Ελληνικά
  • Country: Japan
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 8
  • Aired: Dec 10, 2020
  • Aired On: Thursday
  • Original Network: Netflix
  • Duration: 48 min.
  • Score: 8.8 (scored by 20,635 users)
  • Ranked: #69
  • Popularity: #163
  • Content Rating: 18+ Restricted (violence & profanity)

Where to Watch Imawa no Kuni no Alice

Netflix
Subscription (sub)

Cast & Credits

Photos

Imawa no Kuni no Alice (2020) photo
Imawa no Kuni no Alice (2020) photo
Imawa no Kuni no Alice (2020) photo
Imawa no Kuni no Alice (2020) photo
Imawa no Kuni no Alice (2020) photo
Imawa no Kuni no Alice (2020) photo

Reviews

Completed
3GGG
115 people found this review helpful
Dec 15, 2020
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 27
Overall 6.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 4.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 5.0

Interesting but Unmemorable

Let me start with some disclaimers because, as you'll find out, my rating for this mini-series is much lower than the majority of other reviewers/raters. Suffice it to say I have always struggled with Japanese Dramas.

I think their stories are interesting -- especially those that delve into the dark psychological aspects of human nature. However, almost all, without exception, have failed to elicit any emotion from me. For whatever reason, I often find that characters in J-Dramas fall flat. Alice in Borderland, unfortunately, is no exception.

Another important thing of note is that this review pertains only to this drama. I'm aware the story is based on a manga that I have not read, and the truth is told, I don't plan to check out. So keep in mind that I jumped into this series without knowing anything about it.

PLOT: Interesting, albeit left mostly unexplored
--------------------------------------------------------------
The world (aka country/reality) in which this drama takes place is hands down the most interesting aspect of this series. So much so, that wanting to know more about the world and explore it through the "escape rooms" game-dynamic kept me engaged enough to finish this one in three days.

Sadly, the series had to juggle too many characters, so the world itself was left vastly unexplored. Of course, this is only the beginning and I've heard rumors of a second season, so they may simply want to keep some mysteries to resolve in the sequel. If so, I'll probably watch it in hopes of getting some answers to my numerous questions, though I won't really be holding my breath for it.

CHARACTERS: Flat and forgettable
--------------------------------------------------------------
Rather than talk about each of the main characters, I'll talk about them as a whole, since they all share the same problem and that is... none of them are really fleshed out.

You could blame the length of the drama, certainly. But that would be a cheap excuse. These characters lack complexity and it was that alone that made me feel nothing for them. They could've all died by the end and I wouldn't have shed a single tear.

Now, there was an attempt at building emotion. But it felt superficial, rushed, and "formulaic". I knew when a character was going to be axed because we got to hear their sob story through a quick dialogue with another character.

To be frank, if you like being engaged by the characters this Drama may fall short for you. But if you don't mind simple characters we don't really "get to know", so long as the world they inhabit is interesting, then this will make a decent watch.

MALE VS FEMALE CHARACTERS: Problematic
--------------------------------------------------------------
I want to take a moment to express a problem I have with Japanese Dramas. Mind you, I haven't tried that many... but my avoidance of them has to do precisely with the reasons I'm about to briefly delve into.

This Drama is male-centric. Meaning, male characters tend to be given more depth than female characters. As such, the drama gave almost every male character some kind of motivation which explained why they made each of their decisions.

Unfortunately, female characters were left unexplored and at times, downright untouched. Even Usagi (the FL) was stripped from giving her depth by focusing her flashbacks on her father, rather than on her own life/aspirations. There's only one female character (a transgender gal) who was given a brief but beautiful story. Her aside, though, female characters were depicted as disposable, selfish, useless, and/or simple eye-candy.

Unlike female characters, male characters were usually portrayed in a nobler way. Even minor male characters were shown willing to sacrifice themselves for other men/friends. While female characters were killed off for reasons verging on the absurd (like showing the audience the dangers of a room, for example). I don't want to add spoilers here, but if you're interested to know more, add a comment and I'll explain using the spoiler tags.

FRAMING: toxic male gaze
--------------------------------------------------------------
The above points lead me to talk about how the Drama was directed because it's one of the most problematic areas and maybe the aspect that spoiled my enjoyment the most.

Many of the decisions here were taken with the idea that "sex sales" and, of course, most times that means female bodies will be exploited. So as the series crossed into the last quarter (when they reach the beach), a rule was set that everyone should walk around in a bathing suit to ensure "no one can hide any weapons".

The result was having most female characters walk around in small bikinis while male characters got to wear baggy trunks and shirts. The fact that they didn't march around shirtless nullified the supposed "purpose/logic" of the rule. To the point where we even see a few of these male characters taking out weapons from the back of their swimming trunks...

But perhaps more intolerable than this was a scene that involved what would've been a gang-rape had the scene not been interrupted. Luckily, the director decided not to undress the character who gets kidnapped and almost assaulted (which I believe is supposed to be an underage girl).

Yet, the entire scene still felt crass because the camera hovered over the assailant's shoulder, making the audience complicit by showing the scene from his POV instead of the victim's. The result is that sexual assault ends up portrayed as something quasi-erotic, rather than as something horrific that is happening to the victim. This didn't settle well with me, as this has been a technique I thought we'd move past with the rise of the #metoo movement...

OVERALL: On the fence
--------------------------------------------------------------
To be honest, this one is a tough one to recommend without putting on the table all the additional notes/flaws I've pointed out in this review. I think the world is interesting enough to make this drama watchable --binge-watchable even!-- and the "escape room" games were hands-down the best part.

However, the characters are not memorable or even original. They felt cartoonish to me and ultimately unengaging. I also hated the directing and the constant "butt framing". The disparity in how the genders were handled was especially jarring, so I wouldn't recommend this one if you care about that at all.

I also think this show calls for some trigger warnings because we see: attempted gang rape, executions, and a number of shootouts that may hit close to home to someone living in the USA; as it is reminiscent of many real schools shootouts in the way they were portrayed. So keep all that in mind if you decide to watch. If any of these things trigger you, I'll recommend staying away from this one.

If, on the other hand, you don't care about these things and like watching psychological mysteries (which are constructed like anime), then you'll probably really enjoy this one.

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Completed
ReA
29 people found this review helpful
Dec 12, 2020
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 10

A+++! ( ˘ ³˘)♥

This seris is so sick omg! I STILL LOVE IT AWWWeee!! !!!!ATTENTION !!!! If YOU NOT can't stand THE BLOODy And Murder scenes, than DO NOT watching this serious. If you even do it, told you sis/bro! ( ˘ ³˘)♥ The cast and the scenes and THE characters are so genious, The music was totallllyy impressive and the music can make the situation more touching and moore sentimental and SUCH A GREAT ART! UWUHE CHARACTERS AND THE STORY LINE WAS GREAT! but here is a thing for everyone who loved this series,and I know you will agree with it uwu! DEAR DIRECTORS, WE NEED SEASON 2!! UwU ( ˘ ³˘)♥

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Details

  • Drama: Imawa no Kuni no Alice
  • Country: Japan
  • Episodes: 8
  • Aired: Dec 10, 2020
  • Aired On: Thursday
  • Original Network: Netflix
  • Duration: 48 min.
  • Content Rating: 18+ Restricted (violence & profanity)

Statistics

  • Score: 8.8 (scored by 20,635 users)
  • Ranked: #69
  • Popularity: #163
  • Watchers: 32,872

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