Netflix’s Alice in Borderland season 2 brings one significant change to Mira’s characterization, which benefits the show’s overarching storyline.
Warning! SPOILERS for Alice in Borderland season 2.By turning Mira into a more imposing figure compared to her manga counterpart, Netflix’s Alice in Borderland season 2 not only improves her character arc but also maintains narrative consistency. What begins as a series of gritty survival games in Alice in Borderland season 1 turns into a poignant take on trauma, morality, and loneliness in season 2. Like season 1, Alice in Borderland season 2 is rife with unforeseeable twists and thrilling games that are enough to keep audiences white-knuckled throughout its runtime. However, what makes season 2 more engaging is its emphasis on individual character backstories, which adds more heft to Alice in Borderland‘s emotional drama.
Although Alice in Borderland seasons 1 and 2 progress at a relatively brisk pace compared to the original manga, the show stays loyal to most primary elements of the source material. However, at the same time, Alice in Borderland season 2 does not shy away from taking significant creative liberties, especially with its characters. For instance, Mira drugs Arisu in the original manga to make him hallucinate and then uses mind control to manipulate him into quitting the game. In the Netflix live-action adaptation, on the other hand, she merely uses her words to get inside his head and skew his sense of reality.
Alice In Borderland’s Mira Changes Improve Season 2
Alice in Borderland season 2 is all about Arisu and the group’s survival games against Face Card citizens. With each game, the stakes only get higher, as Arisu and his crew push beyond their physical and mental capabilities. Since Mira’s final game is at the top of Borderland’s battle royale chain and determines whether Arisu and the survivors get to escape, it has to be levels above all the other previous games, with Mira being Arisu’s toughest opponent. By showing that Mira does not have to drug Arisu or use any other external sources to challenge him, Alice in Borderland season 2 establishes how incredibly powerful she is.
Mira’s ability to manipulate Arisu proves that even though she only expects him to survive three simple games of croquet to win, her words alone have enough heft to make him lose. If, like her manga version, Mira had used outside tools like drugs to mislead Arisu, she would not seem as potent and commanding, as she does in the Netflix TV show. Not to mention, it would also discredit Arisu and Usagi’s impressive analytical skills since they would never willingly consume tea offered by a citizen.
Why Changing The Season 2 Ending Works
Changing Mira’s powers towards the end works well because it adds more narrative depth to Arisu and Usagi’s relationship in Alice in Borderland season 2. In almost every game of survival, Arisu comes up with a strategy to overpower his opponents. While Usagi and others make many sacrifices to help him execute his strategies, he always seems to have a logical plan. In his final showdown against Mira, however, he walks in unprepared.
Had Mira attempted to drug him through deception or by force, it would still make sense for Airsu to devise another strategy to defend himself. However, the fact that she catches him off-guard with her mind control abilities proves that Usagi’s support is the only thing that eventually saved him. Without Usagi and her willingness to sacrifice her own life to help him win, Arisu would have fallen for Mira’s sinister manipulation schemes. With this, Arisu’s win against Mira in Alice in Borderland season 2 also serves as a metaphor, since he follows his heart instead of his mind to defeat the Queen of Hearts, Mira.