Short Run Series XXII – “Border” Crossing

May 14th, 2015 in Alice in Borderland, Short Run Series by

alice-in-borderland

This is a show that got me major league ticked off as well. Looks, it’s barely the start of the new year and I don’t think anything is going to match the lever of outrage I feel about this series “Alice in Borderland”, because I feel cheated, cheated, cheated!

I mean, I had not seen a show with such an interesting plot and development since “Btooom!”, as it has the same caliber of idea, but since the dang thing only goes three episodes, what a total rip! I wanted a whole run, not a mere glancing at the menu and then asked to leave.

OK, the story, as it is, begins with these three slacker friends (left to right):

Daikichi Karube
Chōuta Segawa
Ryōhei Arisu

For some odd reason, they appear to be hanging around a deserted subway stop about 2 am. They have no place to go and all day to get there, so they are just chewing the fat. Arisu makes the comment that he’d like to go somewhere far away and not have to do anything and his pals agree. He has problems with his intolerable everyday life and yearns for something more, potentially something more interesting and daring. Suddenly, there is a fireworks show, which is quite strange. The explosions appear to be coming closer and closer and then…….

They wake up in a place that looks and feels like Tokyo, but it’s not. It’s overgrown with plants and there is no telling how much time has passed and where everyone might be. As night falls, they see some lights nearby and stumble upon a festival, but there are still no people. They go into it and that is when the troubles begin. They meet a woman, Saori Shibuki, who gives them the low-down:

1) They are trapped
2) If they try to escape, they will be killed
3) They have to play these games to survive
4) They could die playing the games
5) If they choose not to play the games, they die

At first, they don’t believe it, but when flaming arrows come out of nowhere as Segawa answers his question wrong, they change their tune pretty damn quick. The show follows their attempts to try and get out of this Funhouse of Horrors in one piece.

As you can see, this is a marvelous concept. Despite the “Btooom!” reference, they take a slightly different tack to it, as there is a lot more going on. I don’t want to tip those explanations, as I want you to see this show, even though you get cheated at the end. I really wanted to see how they can manage to leave this festive land with their shield and not on their shield, but that’s hard, especially when you have to rely on people you normally would not want to rely upon. There are so many unanswered questions that would be somewhat answered during the run of the show, but this was just like the Baltimore Colts in the playoffs (Three and out).

Is this some kind of carrot-on-a-stick approach to make me want to read the manga, as the anime is going to be both brief and frustrating? This is, of course, if I can find the manga (I probably could, but do I want to work THAT hard for it?) I want to get this straight: this was interesting enough for you to do a show, but not worthy of the full treatment. Whatever.
On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork 7 (Rather standard)
Plot 8 (Another strong idea)
Pacing 8 (Those games are nerve-wracking)
Effectiveness 3 (Early bail out)
Conclusion 2 (It reaches a ‘place’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)

Overall 5 (Don’t give up now!)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Did I get that question wrong?