Netflix’s J-drama Alice In Borderland set to return for a second season – here are 10 things you need to know

Netflix’s J-drama Alice In Borderland set to return for a second season – here are 10 things you need to know

You sit down in front of your TV, laptop or phone after a long day at work, only to find yourself staying up all night binge-watching the show that everyone’s been talking about.

In any case, finding the right show that’s worth settling for isn’t hard to find especially if you’re already subscribed to Netflix. And one series that seems to have shot up out of nowhere is the action-packed J-drama, Alice in Borderland.

In a nutshell, Alice in Borderland tells the story of an obsessed gamer and his friends in a strange, parallel Tokyo, where they must compete in a series of games to survive.

The story is based on the original manga of the same name by Haro Aso, which stars one of Japan’s most popular leading men, Yamazaki Kento.

The series has found fans around the world and has clinched the title of the most popular Japanese Original live-action title on Netflix. And if you’ve already watched the series and you’re dying to know what comes next, you’ll be glad to know that the series is set to return for a second season.

And while you’re waiting for what’s to come in the next series, here are 10 things you need to know about Alice in Borderlands in season 1:

1. The series is a massive hit in many countries across the globe

It comes as no surprise that a great binge-worthy series like this one has become a hit in many countries.

Since its launch on Dec 10, the show has garnered fans in  Japan and across Asia including Malaysia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

It’s also well-loved in other countries from different continents, such as Germany, France, Portugal, Austria and Greece, among other places.

2. It originated from Haro Aso’s hit comic

If you didn’t already know, Alice in Borderland is actually based on a manga that ran in a Japanese magazine. The manga was serialised in the Weekly Shonen Sunday S and Weekly Shonen Sunday comic books from 2010 to 2016.

3. Google searches for the manga series shot up globally after its release

Now that the internet’s buzzing over the series, Google searches for the manga series have spiked since it was launched on Netflix. Others have also searched on Google for the lead actors, namely, Kento Yamazaki and Tao Tsuchiya — who are also household names in Japan.

Prior to this, Kento Yamazaki took on rom-com roles for live-action versions of romance anime titles like Your Lie in April and Wotakoi.

4. Both the lead characters, Arisu and Usagi, were based on Haro Aso’s personality

The creator of the original manga the series is based on himself. “I remembered how I was when I was around 20 years old and created him based on my own indecisiveness,” he shared about Arisu’s character. As for Usagi’s character, Haro Aso mentioned that he “is independent and doesn’t need to rely on others”.

5. The Shibuya Scramble Crossing scene was not shot in Shibuya

If you’ve watched the first episode of the show, you’d know that the first few minutes featured the characters meeting near the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. Now with the iconic Shibuya Scramble Crossing, you’d be wondering how the production team managed to film it all despite it being one of the busiest intersection.

Well recently, it was unveiled that the shot was actually filmed on a massive outdoor set in Ashikaga city, Tochigi Prefecture, that’s located over 100 km away from the actual Shibuya Crossing.

6. Arisu and his friends were supposed to meet in front of a Starbucks in Shibuya

Amongst other things to note about the season’s first episode, Arisu and his friends were originally supposed to meet in front of a Starbucks in Shibuya.

However, the scene was changed due to the complexity of the glass-covered set, of which they switched the location to a sign in front of the station instead.

7. The public restroom in Shibuya station

Remember that scene when Arisu and his friends were running from the cops in the first episode and before hiding in the public restroom?

It seems that the scene took a single take that lasted more than four minutes — of which the crew had to physically create everything from scratch for that one shot.

8. Use of CGI

Aside from the scenes from the ticket gate, the public restroom and the road, the Shibuya scene was mainly created with CGI — but never does it sacrifice the plot for an aesthetic spectacle.

It’s also been said that the visual effects director also recreated the shadow of the Tokyu Building to keep the setting a little more authentic — talk about dedication!

9. The tiger was created using VFX

By now, we can all agree that the visual effects of the show are a work of art. From the games to the characters, and even the other special graphics, it’s hard to believe that some of these graphics are actually created with VFX. (Well, obviously they weren’t going to release a wild tiger on set too.)

Take, for instance, the tiger that was featured in episode 5. Supervised by Dutch animation director, Erik-Jan De Boer, who previously won an Academy Award for creating the tiger in Life of Pi (2012), the visual effects involved teams from across the globe including countries like Japan, Singapore, USA, and India.

10. The black panther in episode 4

Without revealing too much of the episode, the black panther that appeared in the fourth episode of the series was created by the visual effects team from Japanese VFX company, Digital Frontier.

Here, the crew had to visit an actual zoo to do their research and insights on the feel and movement of the animal, as well as its features — right down to its fur.

Check out the first season of Alice in Borderland on Netflix.

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