'Alice in Borderland' Season 2: Everything We Know

A can't-miss show for 'Squid Game' fans returns this week.

alice in borderland still
(Image credit: Kumiko Tsuchiya)

Back when fans of a certain K-drama were looking for shows like Squid Game, Alice in Borderland was at the top of the list. The Japanese Netflix series, based on Haro Aso's manga of the same name, was released a year before Squid Game at the end of 2020, ensnaring international viewers and landing on the streamer's Top 10 in over 40 countries and territories. Season 2 of Alice in Borderland is finally arriving this week, and for anyone who has yet to check out Season 1 (or just needed a mental break from the savage games), this show is an absolute must-watch.

The jaw-dropping gist: On a random day in Tokyo, slacker Arisu (Kento Yamazaki) and his two friends are transported in a split-second into an alternate, abandoned version of the city. They soon discover that they'll have to beat mysterious, fatal challenges to earn time on their "visa" to remain in the unknown world; refuse and they'll be immediately executed. As Arisu fights to survive, he encounters rock climber Usagi (Tao Tsuchiya), who becomes his partner in figuring out the purpose of the deadly game and who's behind it. And if you thought that Squid Game was twisted, these challenges are even more unpredictable, ranging from battles of endurance and wit to brutal mind games.

Read on to learn what we know about the upcoming season. Warning: Spoilers for Season 1 ahead.

What's the release date for 'Alice in Borderland' Season 2?

The heart-racing show is returning on December 22, 2022, two years after the series premiere in December 2020. The new season completed filming last spring, with Netflix even dropping an interview with the cast members teasing the that the world of the show is "bigger than ever." All eight episodes will release on Thursday, and Season 1 is currently available to binge on Netflix in preparation.

Is there a trailer for 'Alice in Borderland' Season 2?

Yes! The first look at the new games dropped earlier this month, in a clip teasing the next rounds of the game and several new characters. It will also answer the biggest question on Ariso's (and all viewers') minds: "If we finish all the games, will we be able to return?"

Who's joining the cast of 'Alice in Borderland' Season 2?

In addition to Kento Yamazaki (Arisu) and Tao Tsuchiya (Usagi), the Season 1 survivors will return, including Nijiro Murakami (Chishiya), Akaya Miyoshi (Ann), Aya Asahina (Kuina), Dori Sakurada (Niragi), and Riisa Naka (Mira).

Netflix has also introduced several new cast members in some stills from the upcoming season: Yuri Tsunematsu, who will play Heiya, Tomohisa Yamashita as Kyuma, Hayato Isomura as Banda, Honami Sato as Kotoko, Kai Inowaki as Matsushita, and Katsuya Maiguma as Yaba.

What should we remember from 'Alice in Borderland' Season 1?

alice in borderland still

(Image credit: Haro Aso,Shogakukan / ROBOT)

A quick recap for anyone who's a bit fuzzy after Season 1: The game at the center of Alice in Borderland is categorized by playing cards, with each card's suit representing a round's style (clubs are team games, spades are strength, diamonds are wits, and hearts are psychological) and the numbers representing the round's difficulty. After losing his friends in a game of Hearts, Arisu joins Usagi in her mission to solve the game and collect all of the playing cards. This takes them to a hotel full of other players, where they learn that all the numbered cards have been collected except the Ten of Hearts. 

During that final round, most of the remaining players die, but Arisu and Usagi survive and find an underground room, where the people they thought were the “gamemasters” are found dead. The season ends as they're introduced to a woman named Mira Kano (Riisa Naka), who states that the games have only just begun and that the face cards are now at stake.

Judging from the trailer, Season 2 will cover the epic face card rounds and the eventual end of the game, with Mira saying in one scene, "Welcome to the final game venue." Also, for anyone familiar with the manga, Season 1 covered the first 31 chapters, leaving 33 to be explored in Season 2. 

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.