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‘Alice in Borderland’ – The Show That Deserved The Hype ‘Squid Game’ Got

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.

A couple of weeks ago, I was scrolling on Netflix looking for a show to download to avoid dying of boredom on my flight home. As I was sitting in the airport, I came across this show, “Alice in Borderland,” and it caught my eye. The concept seemed interesting. After everyone in Tokyo seems to disappear without a trace, a guy named Arisu and his friends are unwillingly placed in a strange game of survival. Initially, I thought, “That sounds very similar to ‘Squid Game.’” I looked up the newfound show. It got generally positive reviews, so I decided to download two episodes for the plane ride and give the show a shot.

After finishing the first two episodes, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. As soon as I got home, I didn’t even unpack any of my suitcases. Instead, I continued watching until I had finished the entire first season in one day. 

The show blew me away. While it is very similar to “Squid Game,” it is also unique and fantastic in its own way. Rather than comparing “Alice in Borderland” to “Squid Game,” I want to analyze the different themes I found compelling and discuss how these themes put the show’s brilliance on the same level as “Squid Game.


Through excellent acting and storytelling, anguish is portrayed beautifully throughout the show, never romanticized or portrayed inappropriately. This show is traumatizing, serving as a mirror as it reflects the darker parts of life. Witnessing and experiencing the occurrences of each episode is traumatizing, and the acting and storytelling masterfully portray how these events can affect you so profoundly. Writing about the way anguish is depicted without giving away any spoilers is challenging. However, I truly appreciate how they handled it with care and displayed a deep understanding of how it feels internally to suffer from trauma. 


Another theme in this show that is demonstrated very well is the characters’ sense of determination. Being put into this intense situation with life-or-death games provokes these characters to have the will to live despite how their lives played out beforehand. It is such fantastic character work because we are introduced to very different people with different backgrounds. They all have a will to live, but all for various reasons, which are all profound in their own way. This is in praise of the writing, which is detailed-oriented and magnificent. It is very apparent that the writers put their all into creating this show. 

Female Empowerment 

Lastly, a theme prevalent in “Alice in Borderland” that I loved to see is the representation of female empowerment and willpower. Often in television shows and movies with plots like these, female characters are few and far between. When there are female characters, they are there simply for audience eye candy or to serve as the damsel in distress. However, “Alice in Borderland” takes a different approach and molds their female characters with the same determination and willpower as their male characters, a phenomenon that is extraordinary to see. It is so refreshing to see strong, intelligent, courageous female characters who are written and acted so well that they serve as pivotal points in the story. 

There are many other entertaining themes throughout the show, but these three are the prominent ones that stuck out to me. I’m currently in the middle of the second season, and I was so enthralled the other day to hear that a third season is coming! If you have yet to see “Alice in Borderland,” I highly recommend it. 

Grace Ulferts

Northeastern '25

Hello! I'm Grace I am a third-year Behavioral Neuroscience and Philosophy major. I'm originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is my second year being a part of Her Campus, and I absolutely love it! I love to write, and Her Campus is such a warm and welcoming community! :)