The Asian movement on Netflix has been quite active, especially with the success of two shows that were able to quickly captivate audiences worldwide with their battle royale mechanics. We are talking about the Japanese series entitled Alice In Borderland and the hit Korean series called Squid Game.
Both Alice In Borderland and Squid Game have enjoyed their own fair share of success on Netflix. But because they both share the same battle royale storyline, it is hard not to compare them to each other. Of course, Alice In Borderland and Squid Game are unique in their own right. But which between Alice In Borderland and Squid Game is the better show?
Well, that’s something we are here to discuss for you to understand which show might be the one for you.
Alice In Borderland Has Fantasy Elements, While Squid Game Is More Realistic
Alice In Borderland follows a lot of people that found themselves in a parallel version of Tokyo where all of the other people have disappeared as they are forced to play games that determine whether they live or die. The fantasy element comes into play in the fact that this world is actually supernatural in terms of its nature, as the Borderlands is said to be the land between life and death and is the place where people are sent to whenever they are on the verge of death. People sent in the Borderlands are allowed to determine their own fate in the real world as their will and determination to survive are tested while they play different life-or-death games.
Squid Game follows the story of a group of people that were given a chance to play a series of children’s games so that they could not only pay off their debts but also win a huge sum of money. They are sent to a remote place where they are forced to play a series of different games that will steadily eliminate players from the equation until only one of them can walk out with a huge sum of money. And the thing about Squid Game is that it is more grounded in reality, as there are no elements of fantasy and the supernatural that can be found in this series.
Alice In Borderland Focuses On Determination And The Fear Of The Unknown, While Squid Game Focuses On Relatable Themes
In Alice In Borderland, the characters are forced to try to find answers to their questions as they don’t even know why they were sent to the Borderlands or what the Borderlands actually is. That means that a good part of the storyline dwells on the fear of the unknown because the players don’t know anything about the world they are in and why they are even forced to play these deadly games.
Of course, another theme that Alice In Borderland focuses on is the will of the people to continue to live because their individual determinations are tested by the different games that they need to play. In that regard, Alice in Borderland focuses more on how much people want to survive and on the things that make them want to survive.
On the other hand, the reason why Squid Game is so popular is the fact that it is so grounded in reality when it comes to its themes. There are a lot of real-world allusions in this series, such as the disparity between different classes and the effects of capitalism on society, especially on the ones that are on the lower end of the income bracket.
That’s because the characters in Squid Game are being taken advantage of due to their debts and the ones behind the games are the wealthy people that are actually betting on the different characters. As such, the realistic themes of Squid Game make it relatable to a lot of different people that have experienced the ill effects of capitalism and income disparity in a world where the rich control what the poor people do.
Alice In Borderland Has Powerful Performances, While Squid Game Has More Character Depth
One of the things that make Alice In Borderland so popular is the powerful performances of the different characters in the storyline. We get to see the raw emotions encapsulated on the faces of the main characters as they face despair when they are in the middle of hopeless situations that are most likely to lead to their deaths.
Alice In Borderland also allows us to see the different characters taking advantage of their own individual strengths in the games that they are forced to play. For instance, Chishiya’s calculating mind allows him to excel in Diamond games that require analytical intelligence, whereas someone like Usagi excels in games that require physical fitness.
Squid Game allows us to understand all of the characters individually because they are given enough screen time for us to get to see the different experiences that molded them and forced them to take part in a series of games that give them a small chance to pay off their debts.
In that regard, the characters are incredibly flawed and human because they all committed mistakes in the past but are willing to move past their former lives if they were to win the prize money. Squid Game also allows us to see what drives the different characters to try to win their games and how they interact with the other characters in the storyline, as this allows the viewers to actually relate to them.
Alice In Borderland Has Intelligent Games, While Squid Game Has More Immersive Games
The fact that Alice In Borderland has clear source material in the form of the Alice In Borderland manga gives it a distinct advantage in the way it was able to portray its games. That’s because the author of the manga was given enough time to research and craft intelligent games that come with a lot of twists and turns along the way. In that regard, the players in Alice In Borderland are forced to use their heads or work together to find the best possible solution to the different games that they play.
And all of these games have even forced the viewers themselves to use their heads to come up with possible solutions that could lead to zero deaths, as is the case with the infamous Seven of Hearts game.
Meanwhile, Squid Game has games that are not as intelligent or as mind-numbing as the ones in Alice In Borderland, but the series allows us to see a set of games that are more interactive in nature. These games allow every player to win, regardless of what their strengths and weaknesses may be, as the audience members are allowed to put themselves in the shoes of the characters that are participating in these games. Of course, the games in Squid Game emphasize the dynamic between all of the participants, and that is what makes the games much more immersive in terms of their nature and appeal.
Alice In Borderland vs. Squid Game: Which Show Is Better?
With all that said, it really is tough to determine which between Alice In Borderland and Squid Game is the better life-or-death game-based series. Alice In Borderland is more cerebral and fantastic in terms of its approach, while Squid Game is more grounded in reality and is more relatable to a lot of different fans and viewers around the world.
So, with that said, it really depends on the person and their preferences. For one, I personally think that Alice In Borderland is better because how I am fond of fantasy elements and intelligently crafted storylines that allow you to us ask questions along the way. But for those who are looking for stories that are more relatable and realistic, then Squid Game should be the better choice.