A young man obsessed with video games and his two best friends find themselves in a strange version of Tokyo in which they must compete in dangerous games to survive Alice in the Frontier, a new live-action original series from Netflix. Based on the Japanese manga by Haro Aso, it looks like a mix Alice in Wonderland and Ready player onewith a shot of the 1997 science fiction horror movie, cube, thrown for good measure. The series is directed by Shinsuke Sato, who is best known for the 2001s The princess blade and last year kingdomand written jointly by Haro Aso and Yasuko Kuramitsu.
The manga series was first serialized in 2010 and ended in 2016. It tells the story of Ryōhei Arisu and his friends Karube and Segawa, a group of bored high schoolers who yearn for more exciting lives. Arisus’s wish is granted during a fireworks display: he and his friends find themselves in a post-apocalyptic parallel world called Borderland, in which they have to play a series of dangerous games in order to survive.
The Netflix customization follows the same basic premise with a few small changes. According to the official summary: “Arisu – a listless, unemployed and video game obsessed young man – is suddenly found in a strange, empty version of Tokyo where he and his friends must compete in dangerous games to survive. In this strange world, Arisu meets Usagi, a young woman who navigates the games on her own. Together they set out to solve one puzzle at a time as they risk their lives and face what it means to live. ”
The series stars Kento Yamazaki (who also appeared on Sato) kingdom) als Ryōhei Arisu, Keita Machida als Karube und Yuki Morinaga as Chōta, with Tao Tsuchiya as Yuzuha Usagi. Ayama Misaki plays Shibuki, the first thing Arisu meets in the borderland. Of course, there are some obligatory allusions to Lewis Carroll’s classic story. There’s a version of the Mad Hatter, known simply as the Hatter (Nobuaki Kaneko) – he reminds me a little of Klaus in Die Umbrella Academy– as well as a mysterious figure known as Cheshire (Nijiro Murakami) and a scary tattooed character known as the Last Boss (Shuntaro Yanagi).
Netflix released a teaser a few weeks ago, and we now have a full trailer that gives us a better look at the action. We see our three idlers skip job interviews and wreak havoc on the streets of downtown Tokyo – up to a sudden power outage. You are in a completely empty city and you are heading towards a business that still seems to have power. There they find a couple of cell phones and meet a young woman who explains her situation: “You have no choice but to take part in the game.”
These games seem to involve fire, shootouts, card games, imprisonment in a room that is slowly filling up with water, a creepy amusement park, a killer tiger, and – my personal favorite – a showdown between the sword-wielding Last Boss and a girl in clothes only in a bikini . (There war A big pool party apparently held earlier by the hatter.) But if there are games there has to be a game master, and Arisu is determined to outsmart him (or her). All in all, it looks like a lot of fun.
Alice in the Frontier falls on Netflix on December 10, 2020.
Listing picture from YouTube / Netflix
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