Drama

Squid Game vs. Alice In Borderland

 fluffycrow on Tumblr

theartofimagining13 on Tumblr

*This article will be mainly opinion-based*

Warning: This article will contain gifs and images that contain some blood, sharp weapons and very light gore, as well as major spoilers for both Alice in Borderland and Squid Game. I would advise only reading if you have seen both dramas.

○ ∆ □


Squid Games V.S Alice in Borderland

After the release of Squid Game, the now worldwide famous and what people are calling “the most popular show of all time”, many people started questioning: Why Squid Game? Of all the many well-known and loved dramas within the community of drama fans, why was Squid Game the one to completely take over the internet, as well as Netflix’s number one spot?  Why not other dramas? One title, in particular, has been brought up over and over again within this discussion, this being another Netflix original drama: Alice in Borderland.

Should Alice in Borderland have been the one to take the world by storm? And why instead did Squid Game?

♡ ♢ ♤ ♧

Comparing and contrasting Squid Game and Alice in Borderland

Although the two are entirely different in plot and concept, they share similarities that have brought fans to wonder why one became so popular, and the other didn’t. Their ratings here on MyDramaList are only 0.2 distance away from each other: Alice in Borderland taking the lead with an 8.8 out of 10, Squid Game following with an 8.6 rating. They both contain the concept of “death games”, although in very different forms. They both contain thrill and gore, exciting survival concepts (and, of course, many characters viewers loved to admire). However, it’s the differences that decided the fate of each one’s popularity.

○ ∆ □

Alice in Borderland Pros and Cons that affected Popularity
 Characters 
Pro ✔
Alice in Borderland had many well-liked characters and did a satisfying job giving backstories and development. Fans came to love and care about them. Tears were shed over some, others we loved to hate, and others we just loved to look at. 😉 They added to the story and made the overall plot more interesting.

 Effydurden (tenor gifs)
                 

gominshi on Tumblr
Plot and Concept
Pro ✔

Alice in Borderland caught attention with its unique plot following three friends, as they mysteriously find themselves in a familiar yet entirely different place. Forced to participate in death games involving strength, wits, teamwork and emotions in order to live. The show keeps you guessing all the way through and has twists we never saw coming.

Recognizable symbols
Con ✘

One flaw that I think affected Alice in Borderland‘s popularity was the lack of recognizable symbols. By this, I mean recognizable aspects from the show fans can interact with, joke about, and create their own scenarios. Everything fans like to do. None of the games can be recreated in real life, and the only symbol Alice in Borderland had been the playing cards, which doesn’t amount to much in terms of fan interaction.

 entgifs on Tumblr

 gominshi on Tumblr
Emotions
Pro ✔

Alice in Borderland did a really great job of bringing us to tears but also showing the emotions of the characters. Throughout the show, we witnessed grief, guilt, desperation, fear, love, greed and desire. We saw people struggle with the past, and people go insane and lose their humanity. Witnessing their different motivations to live and some desires to die. All of this created a story that drew us in and helped us to better empathize with the characters.

○ ∆ □

Squid Game Pros and Cons that affected Popularity
Characters 
Pro ✔

Squid Game did a great job of giving us characters we could love and adore, simp over and hate. They gave us a variety, so many people had different favorites and different people to root for. This made the show more fun (and stressful) as you could never guess if your favorite would make it or not.

mostlyfate on Tumblr

nowadayz on Tumblr
Plot and Concept
Pro ✔

Squid Game revolves around social commentary on capitalism as well as the concept of human greed and humanity. It explores the concept of morals and how they would be tested within a situation such as the one presented in the show. Ordinary people are desperate for money all for different reasons, living and fighting for their lives among the people who would have to die if they were to win and take home the prize: money. 

Recognizable Symbols
Pro ✔
By far Squid Game‘s greatest strength, this show contained numerous symbols and recognizable aspects that allowed fans to endlessly interact with and make content for. From the games, which many were easy to play in real life (red light green light, honeycombs, etc.), to the costumes, to the major props. Fans instantly found ways to interact with nearly every aspect. 
Cosplaying as the characters with the green jackets, creating the honeycombs to try the game themselves, making numerous videos pretending to play the games, or even acting out how they think fictional characters and celebrities would play… The content was endless and caught attention worldwide. That was a big part of how it became so popular. Everyone loves a trend, and Squid Game was the perfect candidate for the Internets next big obsession.

netflixdramas on Tumblr

 gominshi on Tumblr
Emotions
Pro ✔

Squid Game had several deeply emotional and tear-jerking scenes throughout the show. We cried with the characters and shared their pain. We grieved characters we had come to love. The show also presented us with many different kinds of emotional themes such as family, loss, betrayal, friendship, and sacrifice. 

♡ ♢ ♤ ♧

So who did it better?
Characters

Tie

I would say both shows were about the same as far as characters were concerned. Each one had many different well-loved characters that added to the respective shows and made them more enjoyable to watch. Having characters to love and root for, as well as characters to despise and wish the worst, is a big part of what makes shows fun to watch.


 netflixdramas on Tumblr

netflixdramas on Tumblr
Plot and Concept

Tie

The plots and concepts of each show can’t really be compared. They were too different, and even with the similarities they do share, the differences are still too huge to allow us a proper comparison. Both did an excellent job with their respective plots and concepts, so for this, it really comes down to a matter of personal preference.

Recognizable Symbols

Squid Game

Squid Game beat Alice in Borderland by a landslide as far as symbols go. Symbols were the one thing Alice in Borderland lacked, but Squid Game had endless amounts. There’s only so much content people could make with Alice in Borderland, whereas Squid Game had a new trend every week. 

Fans took over social media, making memes and videos and theories. Parody games were even made on platforms, such as TikTok (social media video platform) and Roblox (Gaming platform, typically for children, but used by all ages). Squid Game trends took over the internet in a matter of days, drawing more and more attention the more content was made.


stydixa on Tumblr

netflixdramas on Tumblr
Emotions

Squid Game

Although both shows were filled with emotional scenes and deaths that tore fans apart, I would say Squid Game seemed to win in this category. This is likely because Alice in Borderland only had one scene that truly tore viewers apart, whereas Squid Game had several throughout the series.

In conclusion
Although many fans may like Alice in Borderland better (as seen by the ratings on MDL), Squid Game was the one to catch the world’s attention. Nothing can beat the power of internet trends these days. In the age of social media and memes, Squid Game had what it took to take the world by storm. 
 (And in case you were wondering, I personally preferred Alice in Borderland by far)

gominshi on Tumblr

Thank you for reading <3


image credit: Pinterest and Google search


Edited by: Tine (1st editor) & Cookie (2nd editor)

Related posts

Gackt to Play an 18-Year-Old in “Tonde Saitama”

Peter

Battle of Remake: Ngao Asoke

Peter

[Video] 15 Korean Dramas For Beginners

Peter

Leave a Comment