'Alice in Borderland': 11 Unanswered Questions After Season 2 (2023)

Season 2 of Alice in Borderland has finally dropped on Netflix after a two-year-long hiatus, and fans and characters alike finally got some well-earned answers to their many questions. Or did they? Arisu (Kento Yamazaki), Usagi (Tao Tsuchiya), Chishiya (Nijiro Murakami), Kuina (Aya Asahina), and all other survivors of the hellish Borderland are finally safe and sound back home, albeit with no recollection of what happened to them. Viewers, on the other hand, learned that the characters they had been following for two seasons were actually trapped in a sort of limbo after a meteor fell on the Tokyo district of Shibuya, killing or gravely injuring everyone around. Sounds like a pretty definitive conclusion to the tale of a young man and his friends transported to another world where they are forced to play twisted life-and-death games. However, right at the last second, Alice in Borderland reveals that it still has a card up its sleeve - and a Joker, nonetheless. It’s quite possible that things aren’t exactly what they seem. Here are 12 questions we still have after Alice in Borderland’s Season 2 finale, and that we hope will be answered in a third run.

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11/11 Were Arisu and His Companions Really in Limbo?

'Alice in Borderland': 11 Unanswered Questions After Season 2 (1)

In the eighth episode of Season 2 of Alice in Borderland, Arisu and Usagi face off against Mira (Riisa Naka) in a final game of hearts. Meanwhile, their companions are trapped between life and death after their fight against the King of Spades. After Arisu and Usagi emerge victorious, everyone that has managed to survive up to that point is given a choice between returning to their original world or remaining in Borderland as citizens. Apart from Yaba (Katsuya Maiguma) and Banda (Hayato Isomura), the two psychos Chishiya meets at the penitentiary, and all survivors choose to return home. They wake up in a hospital with no recollection of each other or of the games. It turns out that they were all hit by a meteor that fell on the Shibuya region of Tokyo and were sent to a sort of limbo while they waited to be rescued. Those that died in the games simply didn’t make it.

But is that the actual truth? During the Queen of Hearts game, Mira tries repeatedly to convince Arisu and Usagi that Borderland isn’t real, and that they are, in reality, somewhere else. She goes through all the clichés of otherworld narratives, from “you are actually in a video game” to “you are both patients at a psychiatric hospital”. The only classic scenario she doesn’t cover is the death/near-death experience. Is it possible that this limbo narrative is simply another ploy by Mira and/or her comrades to keep Arisu and the others trapped in Borderland? Sure, Arisu eventually managed to see through all of Mira’s lies during the Queen of Hearts game, but could this be the one time in which he fell for it?

10/11 What Is the Difference Between Dying in the Games and Choosing to Become a Citizen?

But let’s say that this limbo thing is actually real, at least for now. If, in the end, the only choice the characters have is between coming back to life or not, then what is the difference between dying in one of the games and choosing to become a citizen of Borderland? Are the citizens not really dead, but instead perpetually caught between life and death? Or is dying in the games akin to passing over to another realm, while choosing to become a citizen means that you will be forever trapped in limbo? Do you become a spiritual creature of sorts, a demon or angel of death, if you stay out of your own volition?

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'Alice in Borderland': 11 Unanswered Questions After Season 2 (2)

9/11 If That Was the Afterlife, What Was up With All the Animals Roaming Around?

Another question that comes from believing that Arisu and his companions were actually in limbo this whole time is why were there all those animals roaming around to be hunted or even to hunt players during the games? If Borderland is actually a world in which humankind and its constructs are being slowly replaced by nature, then the menagerie of animals that Arisu and the others see throughout the city, from elephants to bunnies, makes a lot of sense. But if that is just another realm of existence, then what’s the deal with all those creatures? Were they put there so that the players wouldn’t know that they were not actually alive? Or were they a product of the players’ collective imagination? Or, perhaps, the animals are also trapped between life and death, and the more exotic species were actually living in some nearby zoo.

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8/11 What About the Rapidly Growing Vegetation?

The number of wild animals roaming around isn’t the only thing that points to a world in which nature is taking over. There is also the matter of the rapidly growing vegetation in and around the city. Okay, so maybe the mountains and the woods around Tokyo are there to keep the victims of the meteor locked inside the place in which their bodies are, but what’s the deal with the overgrown grass and the vines swallowing the buildings? One possibility is that they are there to represent the passage of time, and that they are growing ever faster because the longer the victims of the meteor take to be found, the smaller their chances of survival are.

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7/11 Why Were the Characters Able to Move All Around Tokyo in Borderland?

'Alice in Borderland': 11 Unanswered Questions After Season 2 (3)

But if the mountains are supposed to keep the victims of the meteor near the place in which their physical bodies are, why are the characters of Alice in Borderland able to visit different parts of Tokyo? Right after Arisu and company first escape from the King of Spades, Ann (Ayaka Miyoshi) separates herself from the group and goes out on a mission to leave Tokyo. She manages to get to the outskirts of the Japanese capital, but finds out that the city is surrounded by mountains, and thus she is unable to go on. However, the meteor didn’t hit all of Tokyo, just the Shibuya region. So if only the people, animals, and things hit by the meteor were “transported” to Borderland, why is all of Tokyo fair game?

6/11 Why Didn’t the Characters Arrive All Together in Borderland?

In Season 1, right in their first game, Arisu, Karube (Keita Machida), and Chota (Yuki Morinaga) meet a woman named Saori (Ayame Misaki) that has been in Borderland for quite some time. This tells us, from the get-go, that not everyone arrived at Borderland together. However, they were all around the same area when they were hit by the meteor, which means that they were struck and fell unconscious at about the same time. If that’s the case, why is there such a big difference between when each of them arrived in Borderland?

And then there’s the matter of the citizens. After beating all the numbered cards’ games in Season 1, Arisu, Usagi, and the others emerge into a new stage in which they must battle the face cards. Each one of these cards is represented by one or more people that claim to be the real citizens of Borderland. As we learn in the finale, the citizens are players that managed to complete all the games and chose to remain in Borderland instead of returning home. But if the citizens that Arisu and his friends meet were also victims of the meteor strike, how come they managed to complete the games so much earlier than the others? Are they perhaps victims of another cataclysmic event? Or is it possible that it is all a ruse?

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5/11 What Does the Joker Mean?

Like we said in Question 1, there is a strong possibility that none of this is real and that our characters are still trapped in the games. And Mira’s lies aren’t the only indicator that there might be something wrong. At the end of the season’s final episode, right before the credits roll, the camera zooms in on a table of playing cards. Then, a gust of wind blows all the cards off the table until only one remains: a Joker. Now, there was never a Joker game in Alice in Borderland. Both characters and viewers always assumed that there were only numbered and face cards to be collected. Therefore, the sudden appearance of this Joker might indicate that the characters haven’t yet beat all the games of Borderland. Furthermore, in popular culture, the Joker is frequently associated with madness and deceit. Thus, it would be no surprise if we found out in an upcoming season that Arisu and his companions are all living in a fantasy world.

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4/11 Was the Meteor Strike Just a Freak Accident or Is It Part of a Larger Plan?

This, in turn, begs the question of whether the meteor strike was just a weird accident or part of a plan from a so far unknown entity. After all, in order for Arisu and his friends to be living a lie, the meteor’s fall has to have been forged. In this case, who was responsible for it?

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3/11 Why Do the Citizens Create and Participate in the Games?

Whether or not the meteor is real, there’s no denying that all citizens of Borderland were once players just like Arisu. Then why did they decide to keep creating and participating in games once they chose to stay behind? Are they somehow forced to do so? Do they have their own sort of visa? Or are they all just psychos, like Yaba and Banda, who believe that Borderland is indeed a better world?

2/11 Who Organized the Games?

'Alice in Borderland': 11 Unanswered Questions After Season 2 (5)

When Season 1 ended, viewers were led to believe that Mira was the great mastermind behind all the games. After all, it was her face that Arisu, Usagi, Chishiya, and Kuina saw on the game station’s screen after they collected all the numbered cards. However, in Season 2, we learn that Mira is nothing but a pawn in someone else’s larger game, just like all the other citizens of Borderland. But if she’s not the one behind everything Arisu and his friends went through, who is the real brain behind the games?

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1/11 What Was the Sound That the Woman in the Film Heard?

In Season 2, Episode 4 of Alice in Borderland, Arisu and Usagi come across a massacred commune in which they find a Super 8 film with a woman’s account of how she came to be in this otherworld. The woman claims to remember hearing a sound before being transported to Borderland - a sound other than the fireworks that all players heard and saw before being taken. However, the film ends before the woman has time to tell her entire story. What was that sound that this woman claims to have heard? Was it the meteor hitting Shibuya? Or was it something else entirely? Here’s hoping a third season will give us the answer to these questions.

FAQs

What does the ending of Alice in Borderland mean? ›

Borderland was a land between life and death, in which those who died in the games were killed by the meteor in reality. Arisu and his remaining companions from the end of the season – including Ann, who is resuscitated in the hospital – have survived.

Was Alice in Borderland a hallucination? ›

It's implied that everything that happened in Borderland was a limbo of sorts, either a collective hallucination or a realm between life and death that Arisu experienced during the single minute he was “dead.”

Why did everybody disappear in Alice in Borderland? ›

Everyone who died from the meteorite also died in the games. At the same time, those who were hanging on between life or death determined their outcome by the decisions they made at the end, whether to accept permanent residence in the Borderland or to move on and, therefore, return to the real world.

Will there be a season 3 of Alice in Borderland? ›

Netflix hasn't made any official announcements regarding season 3 of 'Alice in Borderland'. But possibilities are high, considering the popularity of both seasons. Netflix's thriller sci-fi web series 'Alice in Borderland' greatly impacted its viewers with its last two seasons.

Why did Momoka stab herself? ›

In the end, it was revealed that Momoka was the witch instead. She chose to stab herself, as she was one of the game dealers. Along with her friend, Asahi, Momoka had designed many games and made sure that several people were killed. She chose to sacrifice herself so that Asahi could return to the normal world.

Does Karube come back to life? ›

We then jump back to Arisu back in the real world, with Chota and Karube still alive.

Who is controlling Alice in Borderland? ›

Mira Kano (known as the Queen of Hearts) is one of the main antagonists of the Netflix show and manga series Alice in Borderland, serving as one of the main antagonists of the First Stage/Season 1 (along with the other Game Masters) and the final antagonist of the Second Stage/Season 2.

What does chishiya mean in Japanese? ›

The first one would be the main character Arisu, whose name is the Japanese pronunciation of the name Alice. Others include: Usagi: translates to rabbit in Japanese. Chishiya: references the Cheshire Cat. Mira: means “queen of”

Who runs Alice in Borderland? ›

Alice in Borderland (Japanese: 今際の国のアリス, Hepburn: Imawa no Kuni no Arisu) is a 2020 Japanese science fiction thriller drama streaming television series based on the manga by Haro Aso. The series was directed by Shinsuke Sato.

Why is Mira the game master? ›

At the end of the series, Mira is uncovered as the apparent game master. Mira is one of the executive members of The Beach, and it emerges at the end that she had worked undercover behind the scene in the games.

Why did Chota and Karube sacrifice themselves? ›

Sadly, Karube and Chota realized they were becoming monsters, opting to sacrifice themselves by hiding and leaving Arisu as the Wolf. Their heads exploded, not to mention Chota held down a girl he had a brief relationship with, making him a murderer as she died.

Is Chishiya a villain? ›

Still, at this point, Chishiya is only seen as conniving and shrewd; no one is aware of his past like they are of Arisu's or Usagi's. He is still considered a semi-villain who is trying to survive the game to live by fighting his way out of every game.

Is Alice in Borderland Lgbtq? ›

Are There Any Lgbt Characters In Alice In Borderland? Hikari Kuina, a transgender character, is a borderland newcomer. Gaige from the Borderlands Series is the most recent Headcanon for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Who is the king of spades Alice in Borderland? ›

The King of Spades is a mercenary whose Borderlands game involves him going on a shooting rampage to decimate as many players as possible. The players must kill the King of Spades in order to defeat him, but his endless ammo and expert marksmanship make him an ongoing threat for the majority of Season 2.

Will Alice in Borderland get an anime? ›

Alice in Borderland was adapted into a three-episode original video animation (OVA), released from October 2014 to February 2015.
...
Alice in Borderland.
今際の国のアリス (Imawa no Kuni no Arisu)
Original runOctober 14, 2020 – January 20, 2021
Volumes2
Live-action series
Alice in Borderland (2020)
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Who is the smartest in Alice in Borderland? ›

Ryōhei Arisu

In one way or another, Arisu is able to come up with solutions to even the most mind-bending games.

How did Alice in Borderland empty Shibuya? ›

The production team built the public restroom of the Shibuya station, the ticket gate, and the road, and everything else was added using CGI. Who knows, the next onscreen scene you see of Shibuya Crossing might be filmed right here!

Where did everyone go in Alice in Borderland? ›

All the players we rooted for throughout Season 2 decline, and they are transported back to Tokyo and find out that only a few minutes had passed. This opens up two very clear possibilities for what the games and Borderland are.

How old was Arisu? ›

In the shonen version of Alice in Borderland, Arisu and his friends, Chota Segawa (Yûki Morinaga) and Daikichi Karube (Keita Machida), are attending their 3rd year of high school, placing them at around 18 and 19 years old.

How is Arisu so smart? ›

Arisu has been playing games for most of his life, and perhaps this is where he got all his critical thinking skills. He survived all of the games he participated in using his brainpower. In every game, he managed to find clues and figure out the flaws. Indeed, Arisu is the smartest among the bunch.

Is aguni still alive? ›

Luckily, Aguni and Arisu made it out safely, and Aguni was alive as the bullet only scratched a part of his head.

Who is the girl with braids in Alice in Borderland? ›

Who is Aya Asahina? Aya, is a 28-year-old model and actress born on October 6, 1993 in Sumoto, Hyogo, Japan. As well as Alice in Borderland, she is known for her roles in Girl Gun Lady (2021) and Grand Blue (2020).

Who are the twins in Alice in Borderland? ›

Tweedledee and Tweedledum are a pair of identical twins in Alice in Wonderland, and fictional characters from the novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll.
...
Tweedledee and Tweedledum
OccupationWhite Rooks
❖ Relationships ❖
Friend(s)The White Queen, Alice
EnemiesThe Red Queen
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Does Ren mean Lotus in Japanese? ›

Ren is a gender-neutral name of Japanese origin. Meaning "lotus", this name will inspire baby to bloom and blossom every day while still being reminded of her roots. In Japanese culture, the lotus flower is the Buddhist symbol of perfection and purity, making the name Ren all the more fitting for your beautiful baby.

What does Arisu mean in English? ›

Arisu was named in 2004, the former name for Han River in ancient Goguryeo, with the combination of 'Ari,' which means 'big' in Korean, and 'Su,' meaning, 'water. ' It is also the name of the water treatment plant located in Seoul, South Korea.

Does Usagi mean bunny? ›

“Usagi” is usually translated as “rabbit,” but one clue about the meaning of the winter sculptures is that the word is better translated as “hare.” The main islands of Japan have no native species of rabbits.

Who is the white rabbit in Alice in Borderland? ›

So the character Yuzuha Usagi represents the rabbit. This is a retelling of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" story, with the characters' names reflecting their role in the story (Ryohei Arisu is named after Alice, Yuzuha Usagi is the White Rabbit, etc).

Is Mira the Queen of Hearts? ›

Mira Kanō (加納 未来 Kanō Mira) is the Queen of Hearts in the Borderlands.

Is Mira a villain? ›

Mira (ミラ, Mira) is an artificial being from the future and comes from the Demon Realm. He is also the Demon King, succeeding Dabura. He is a major villain in Dragon Ball Online and Dragon Ball Xenoverse, and the main antagonist of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2.

What clan is Mira? ›

Mira is a character in Netflix's dark fantasy adventure series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. She is a member of the Vapra Clan, a crystal castle guard, and Rian's girlfriend. Her death is what leads Rian to become opposed to the Skeksis and inspired to end their rule.

Is Arisu a girl? ›

Name Arisu Origin, meaning, pronunciation & popularity of the name Arisu. Arisu is a ♀ girl's name.

How was Tokyo empty in Alice in Borderland? ›

A massive open set was built in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture for the sequence. The said set was located over 100 kilometers away from the actual Shibuya Crossing. They built the public restroom of the station, as well as the ticket gate, and the road—practically everything else was added in using CGI!

Why is Ryohei called Arisu? ›

Etymology. His character is based off of Alice from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Arisu is the Japanese pronunciation of "Alice".

Who is the mastermind in Alice in Borderland? ›

Mira Kano (known as the Queen of Hearts) is one of the main antagonists of the Netflix show and manga series Alice in Borderland, serving as one of the main antagonists of the First Stage/Season 1 (along with the other Game Masters) and the final antagonist of the Second Stage/Season 2.

Is there an end to Alice in Borderland? ›

In the end, finding someone else to face the games together has been enough. Arisu finishes the game, and Mira has a good time. She wins two out of three rounds as the sun sets on Borderland, but she dies by laser. “Life is like a game,” she says in her weirdly supportive final words.

Who was the bunny in Alice in Borderland? ›

Trivia (4) Usagi is the Japanese word for rabbit. So the character Yuzuha Usagi represents the rabbit. This is a retelling of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" story, with the characters' names reflecting their role in the story (Ryohei Arisu is named after Alice, Yuzuha Usagi is the White Rabbit, etc).

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