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Netflix's Alice In Borderland Games Are Vastly Different From The Original Manga

Following the incredible success of foreign-language projects like "Squid Game" and "Money Heist," Netflix is going all-in on bringing more diverse movies and shows to its worldwide subscribers. The streaming service struck gold yet again with its adaptation of Haro Aso's manga "Alice in Borderland." The show follows Ryohei Arisu (Kento Yamazaki), a talented gamer who finds himself transported into another world known as the Borderland. Everyone in the Borderland must compete in a series of dangerous survival games, hoping the final game will send them back to their home world. Because of the show's success, Netflix gave it a second season, which landed in the top spot on the site's global non-English TV list.

As is usually the case when a manga or comic is adapted for the screen, Netflix made some changes to "Alice in Borderland" for live-action. In the manga, people wake up in the Borderland after suffering a near-death experience, so when a meteor hits Tokyo, Arisu, Chota, and Karube wake up in the limbo-like plane. In the Netflix series, they are involved in a car accident that puts them in the Borderland. The characters in the show are also a bit different, with Arisu now a slacker and gamer instead of the antisocial loner from the manga. However, the most significant divergences from the "Alice in Borderland" manga comes in the games the contestants play.

Netflix took some creative liberties with some of Alice in Borderland's games

In the "Alice in Borderland" manga, the first challenge that Arisu and company stumble into is the Three of Clubs game "Good Fortune Bad Fortune." The players must answer intense trivia questions or have a volley of flaming arrows shot at them. The Netflix show decides to forgo the quiz, renaming the first game "Dead or Alive" and putting the participants in a deadly escape game instead. Both versions end with Chota severely burning his leg, but other than that, they're not very similar.

Another change that Netflix made, albeit an understandable one, concerns the Four of Diamonds game. In the manga, two Beach residents — Rizuna and Taketo — compete in the game, but the Netflix show had only introduced Rizuna by the time they made it that far into the story. So, to simplify things, Arisu joined Rizuna instead. The minor change made a lot of sense in the streaming service's version, as it gives Arisu — the main character — more screen time and lets him flex his puzzle-solving skills, which he frequently showcases in the manga.

In a few instances, Netflix actually created its own games for the characters to play. In the montage following Arisu and Usagi's arrival at the Beach, we see the games "Hunting Competition" and "Bingo in the Matchstick Factory," which have no manga counterparts. Although the show deviates from the source material from time to time, "Alice in Borderland" creator Haro Aso is still a big fan of the live-action adaptation. As the show filmed Season 2, he visited the set, telling Japanese outlet Mantan Web: "It's a real honor to be able to make my own ideas into a video [series]."