SINGAPORE — You heard it here first: Netflix is renewing Alice In Borderland for a second season as the sci-fi thriller is now its most popular Japanese live-action original series, the streaming service shared with Yahoo Lifestyle SEA.
Since its global release on 10 December, Alice In Borderland has been a hit both in Asia and outside Asia. Netflix said the show has been appearing in its daily Top 10 rankings in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Germany, France, Portugal, Austria and Greece, among other places. In all, it’s been in Top 10 in nearly 40 countries and territories. (Netflix hasn’t released viewing figures, which it rarely does for its shows.)
You can read our review of Alice In Borderland here.
Alice In Borderland was adapted from a manga series by Haro Aso, which was serialised in comic publications Weekly Shonen Sunday S and Weekly Shonen Sunday from 2010 to 2016. The Netflix series is directed by Shinsuke Sato (GANTZ, Kingdom, Bleach).
In Alice In Borderland, an unemployed gamer in Tokyo, Arisu (Kento Yamazaki), is transported mysteriously to a parallel world with his two friends, where he meets a young woman named Usagi (Tao Tsuchiya). They are forced to play gruesome games of survival that are manipulated by an unknown game master.
These games involve flamethrowers, tigers and a black panther, as well as other players out to kill each other. If players refuse to participate and leave an arena, a laser shoots out of the sky and kills them instantly. The show has garnered an R21 rating in Singapore for violent content.
Behind-the scenes details
Along with the announcement of the show’s season two renewal, Netflix also shared some interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits.
You might have been scratching your head trying to figure out how the producers filmed that scene of the deserted Shibuya Scramble Crossing in Tokyo, a normally crowded traffic intersection in the middle of the famous shopping district. Well, the scene wasn’t shot in Shibuya at all – it was filmed on a massive open set in Ashikaga city, Tochigi Prefecture, over 100 km away from the Shibuya Crossing.
Netflix had earlier released a behind-the-scenes video about how producers created the visual effects in Alice In Borderland:
The scene of Arisu and his friends running from a crowded street into the public restroom in Shibuya Station, and then coming out to see an empty Shibuya, was filmed in a single take that lasts longer than four minutes. As a result, the team had to physically create everything that appears on screen.
In the Shibuya scene, everything apart from the ticket gate, the public restroom and the road was created with CGI. To keep the setting authentic, the visual effects director even recreated the shadow of the Tokyu Building that would normally fall on the location.
As for the CGI big cats, the production of the tiger in episode 5 was a global effort supervised by Dutch animation director, Erik-Jan De Boer, who previously won an Academy Award for creating the tiger in Life Of Pi (2012). The production work was done by Indian animation and VFX studio Anibrain. The visual effects involved teams from Japan, Singapore, USA, and India.
To create the black panther in episode 4, the visual effects team had to visit a zoo to research the feel and movement of the animal and its fur.