The arrival of the cards at the Shibuya station trapped the gamers and tortured them to death. With no idea of why this is happening, one thing is for sure. To play or not to play, death is guaranteed.
From the hyped manga series of Haro Aso published between 2010 and 2016, Netflix stepped forward to adapt this well-known illustration and turned it into a moving picture starring Japan's King of Live Action, Kento Yamazaki. The Netflix series Alice in Borderland S1 started messing with its viewer's minds on December 10, 2020. The eight-episode release of the first season left its viewers puzzled about the reality of the game.
With no idea of what would happen if the gamers defeated all the cards, the series continued to another season, but this time with greater mysteries and more deadly battles. Season 2 presented another theory where Arisu planned to defeat all the remaining face cards as he believed it would lead him to the truth. But as the series ran to the end, more questions unfolded, especially that the final episode was a guaranteed labyrinth. With all these questions going on, we will explain the mysteries of Alice in Borderland finale.
The Borderland Is Not An Illusion But A State of Existence
Season one started when Arisu and his friends found themselves alone in the Shibuya station with no single soul aside from them. As they discovered that they needed to play a deadly game in exchange for their survival, they met other people fighting for their lives for a long time there. The level and category of the games were represented by cards designed not to kill them but to test how far they could go to survive.
Season 2 revealed that after Arisu and Usagi defeated the final boss, they were given a choice to either be a permanent citizen of the Borderland or go back to the real world. All the players that survived after Arisu cleared the last game had given the same choices. Those who chose to leave the Borderland found themselves confined in one hospital together. The information that Arisu’s brother said confirmed that he had been fighting for his life before his heart stopped totally for a minute. He suffered cardiac arrest after being caught in an explosion at the Shibuya Station. That is when Arisu entered the Borderland or the boundary between life and death.
The Citizens and Players Are Victims of Explosion at Shibuya Station
The fireworks played a role in connecting all the puzzles in the series. It started with the girl who kept talking about the beautiful lights that she saw in the sky but just when she was about to tell what it was, she got shot to death.
At the start of the series, people who happen to be at the Shibuya Station witness the unexplained phenomenon of the busting sparkles in the afternoon sky. But, Season 2 revealed that what the victims saw before they ended up at the Borderland were actually fragments of the meteorite that hit Tokyo and caused hundreds of deaths and injuries to several people.
All the players inside the Borderland happened to be the victims of the explosion. They were trapped in a state of existence called the Borderland, where they needed to fight for their lives to survive. You can see in the last episodes that the damages of the victims confined to the hospitals match the injuries they got from the game.
Throughout the series, we saw how players formed a bond that kept them alive until the end of the game. The characters have seen how others struggled with their fading consciousness and decided to hold on to each other as they suffered.
Ann’s Point of View Showed Us The Explosion
One scene in Episode 5 S2 showed Ann’s point of view; she started to find a way to solve the logic of their world. Mostly, she noticed that the vegetation was taking back the city’s buildings. But, as she climbed the mountain, she noticed something very different, uttering the words: Where is the rest of Japan? Her discovery matched the logic that the time in Borderland did not match the reality, which explains why some characters arrived in Borderland earlier than others.
Those Who Die and Chose to Stay in Borderland Died in the Real World
While most of the characters started without the will to live, the infamous Chisiya for example, found a reason to completely reject the offer to be the permanent citizen of Borderland, while other characters found solace in the land of deadly games. The rule in Borderland states that whoever decides to stay will get a chance to be a citizen of the world, moreover, become the Game Masters of Borderland. In short, they already offered their lives for the game.
Together with all the fallen players, these citizens were found dead in reality. The list of the dead victims shown in the news in the final episode includes Arisu’s best friends, Chota and Karube, who died while trying to save Arisu in the game, and Banda who chose to stay in Borderlands at the end of S2.
The Joker Cards Serves As the Ferryman
Contrary to the never-ending streak of theories that states that the Joker cards can also possibly be the Game Masters, the original manga revealed that this card was only a Ferryman of the Borderland. The Joker Card existed to take those who decided to leave the Borderland. However, this has not been shown in the finale of the series. Who knows? Maybe Netflix is also plotting a concept far from the original piece.
To wrap it up, Alice In Borderland’s deadly games never happen in real life, but just a foreshadowing of the victim’s suffering. The series showed how near-death situations could change a person’s perspective on life. The players were given the option to either continue living despite all the hardships or just give in to the idea of death. Alice in Borderland is, indeed, about refusing to surrender to survive in the real world.