Alice in Borderland, Vol 1 (Review)

Mar 17, 2022

Alice in Borderland

An epic thrill ride bordering psychological horror, that’s Alice in Borderland. From the creative mind of Haro Aso comes a tale we all know well with a twist, some gloom, and a boom. This rabbit hole leads to a whole different experience for the protagonist. This is not some magical world with friendly creatures and friends laughing and singing. At, first glance this might seem slow but when the momentum picks up there is no stopping this train.

Viz Media

Written by: Haro Aso
Art by: Haro Aso

The plot of Alice in Borderland

Arisu will be leaving high school soon and the burden of what he will do with his future lies squarely on his shoulders, although he tries to forget about it. One night while he is with his friends Karube and Chota they see fireworks. After an exceptionally bright one, they wake up in an alternate reality/different world. What at first seems like paradise for the trio quickly turns into a wildly violent reality/world where the unfortunate people trapped there are forced to play violent games to survive. Catch, you get a visa after every successful game that prolongs the days you can spend there. If you do not play and your days run out you die.

The main protagonist

Arisu, the main character of this story is your typical or maybe not so typical 18-year-old high school student. Arisu should be your typical high schoolboy, you know them, hanging out with friends, chasing girls, looking forward to university, and the experience of adulthood. No, Arisu is stressed he carries a heavy burden and he constantly refers to himself as a loser. What makes Arisu such a well-thought-out character is the fact that he does not shy away from his own shortcomings. He is the sort of character that puts the weight of the world on his shoulders, however, he doesn’t fully believe that he can carry this burden. What we get is a character trying to move forward but constantly trips over his lack of self-confidence. So the boy daydreamed of a different world, and the old saying be careful what you wish for just came true for Arisu.

The art and style

The first word that comes to mind when thinking about the art and style is amazing. Characters are well thought out and drawn exceptionally well. The world and the smallest details are done with care and there is a strange beauty to it. In panels, without dialogue, you still experience the moods of the characters and you can sense the tone of their emotions. The art and style are beautiful and majestic and at the same time, it can be incredible eery, and creepy. This is exceptional artwork on display.

Final Thoughts

My final thoughts on Alice in Borderland, Volume 1 is that I am thankful. I am thankful Viz picked it up for English translation. This is an exceptional manga, a must-read. There are so many elements to this amazing story that I could possibly go and write a book about it, and it is only volume 1. This might feel sluggish at the start but when the wheels start turning this is a front-of-your-seat nail-biting masterclass. An absolute must.

Score: 10