Netflix Live Action J-dorama Adaptation of Hit Manga Alice in Borderland with Yamazaki Kento Wins Critical and Viewer Acclaim

I’ll consider this one-two live action adaptation gift as a present for those celebrating Hanukkah and one for those celebrating Christmas. I was primed for the Netflix premiere of the live action drama adaptation of Korean webtoon Sweet Home that I totally missed a week earlier Netflix dropped the live action adaptation of Japanese manga Alice in Borderland. Kyaaaaaaa, and with my boy Yamazaki Kento too! He’s so perfectly earnest and goofy, it’s like his Kingdom character transplanted from the Warring States period to this alternate universe Borderland where it’s a constant stream of live or die games. Those who love Sweet Home or Alice should watch the other because it’s like two sides o the same coin. Apocalyptic world building, real life or death stakes, and lots of psychological and physical feats.

Alice is based on the hit manga of the same name by Asa Haro and tells of people transported to this Borderland where they must fight in games to earn visa days to stay in the country otherwise be exterminated. It’s exhilarating, nihilistic, and totally dark and mature so be warned. Manga fans who have read both and watched both Netflix adaptations are near unanimously praising Alice in doing better by being faithful to its source material and doing the hard job of turning such wild fanciful world telling into a live action version with so many memorable characters. This weekend Casa Koala (minus Koala Teen Girl since both are rated M) watched 1 episode of Sweet Home and 2 episodes of Alice and we all found Alice grippier off the bat. Koala Teen Boy read the Sweet Home webtoon last year and loved it so we plan to keep both watches ongoing so take it from the crew and add both to your holiday watch list if you’re not too squeamish on gore.


Netflix Live Action J-dorama Adaptation of Hit Manga Alice in Borderland with Yamazaki Kento Wins Critical and Viewer Acclaim — 13 Comments

  1. Personaly, I didn’t really find it specially good. The puzzles/riddles weren’t so interesting. The rules didn’t seem consistent.

    It was lacking a chararismatic Shota :p

  2. loved it, first time ive binge watched a show from anywhere in ages. Started watching for Machida Keita as I adore him in Cherry Magic (he’s great here too) but was sucked into a riveting show. I had to take a little break after one episode but then went back in for more.

    I’m SO GLAD it seems to be a hit so we can get Season 2, it’s literally the only way to gaurantee that Netflix doesn’t cancel it.

  3. This drama have two leads (at least by name) Yamazaki Kento and Tsuchiya Tao so the credit shouldn’t be only going to Kento. Out of the two I think Tao’s acting is better.

    • Thanks Susan! I read the entire piece and thought, “why ignore the female lead COMPLETELY”? Very sad when reviews do this, as if only their ‘crush’ is relevant, or even worth being mentioned.

    • Yamaken dude is basically blessed with amazing roles and most-of-the-time wonderful co-stars who help him shine. it just sucks that the attention almost always go to him. He’s getting better though at acting, but Tao was definitely better. I know no need to compare, but it slightly annoys me when credit isn’t given to one who really deserves

      • I agree. It annoys me too. I remember when “Orange” (a movie where Tao and Kento were in but Tao was billed as the only lead) did well in boxoffice people were also giving the credit to him.

  4. Loved Alice in Borderland so much! I binged watched it when it came out and binged watched it again this week. Hoping and praying for a S2

  5. I loved it!! Dori Sakurada blown my mind as Niragi. He was amazing! It took me a while to recognise him though!

    Yamazaki Kento was my least favorite, but I don’t know if his character or his acting was my problem.

    I did not read the manga so I didn’t know anything about the plot and after -well you know what-, I didn’t understand why he had to be the one. I felt that Tsuchya Tao’s character Usagi was neglected.

    Anyway, can’t wait for s2!

  6. Loved it until ep4 then ep 5 onwards it went downhill pretty fast with the last 2 ep very hard to watch because it became nonsensical. I wonder how they filmed a totally empty shibuya. But ep 3, can’t remember, the one with the garden as backdrop was brutal watch. Am surprised no one seems not ok with the obvious exploitation of women in this series, bikinis and all, especially from international audience. But it was quite awesome to see a woman in bikini executing fearsome high kicks and she has a great backstory too. Gotta admire the japanese for telling entire backstory in just 10 minutes of flashback. It is not a bad 8 hours investment.

  7. I am super glad Netflix is bringing these Asian and other global shows to the US market because they are so imaginative and entertaining. The US shows have been unoriginal and stagnating for a very long time. I binge watched Alice and although it isn’t perfect, it still was very compelling and the mystery of how they were going to return to the real world kept me watching. It had its cringy moments. The swimsuit rule and one particular close up of a woman’s body part that was totally unnecessary comes to mind. I will definitely check out Season two though and hope they can provide some more interesting puzzles and characters.

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