7 Hidden Easter Eggs In Alice In Borderland That’ll Make You Rewatch Despite That Heart Game

Alice in Borderland Season 1 easter eggs

Imagine going on a toilet break while out and about, only to come out and realise that everyone else has vanished – from the friends you were shopping with to the random passersby. Despite your efforts to find people you know, you realise that in this new, forsaken world, the only way to survive is through your wits.

Enter Alice in Borderland, which left us on the edge of our seats with its crazy mind games – cue episode 3. Now that we know the bigger picture, it’s time to zoom into the little details to appreciate it all. Here are 7 things from Season 1 that you might have missed that’ll warrant a rewatch before you binge on the new Season 2.

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1. Character names parallel Alice in Wonderland characters

Screenshot of the game Arisu was playing in episode 1
Image credit: Netflix

If you haven’t already noticed, Alice in Borderland draws some inspiration from Alice in Wonderland with character names referencing those of the 1865 fairytale. 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”
  • Hatter: the Mad hatter

“Ryohei Alice”
Image credit: Netflix

While some of these references might be more obvious, people have been debating about others – like Kuina as the Caterpillar, since caterpillars are associated with the process of metamorphosis and she is transgender. Plus, the Caterpillar is always holding a hookah, just like how Kuina always has a fake cigarette in her mouth.

Reddit is also a treasure trove of theories, with user u/Glittering_Row970 further suggesting that:

  • Mira = the red queen
  • Ann = the white queen
  • Chota = the carpenter
  • Karube = the walrus since he is always with the carpenter
  • Last boss = the Jabberwocky
  • Niragi = the march hare or brown rabbit
  • The militants = the card soldiers

Though many of these have yet to be confirmed, you can have fun coming up with your own theories on who’s who during your next rewatch.

2. Arisu’s knowledge of geometry and cars helped him in the games

Image credit: Netflix

Japanese flicks are known for their heavy plotlines, especially when it comes to live-action adaptations of good Japanese manga. Every scene – even the most mundane – plays a crucial part in the story and often has little details for viewers to pick out.

Book about Audi and BMW 3D geometry
Image credit: Netflix

While the initial scenes in episode one might have seemed a little draggy with slow pan shots of books about geometry and a magazine about cars in Arisu’s room, it is eventually evident that this foreshadows the reason why he was able to solve the first game.

3. There are roughly 30 new people entering Borderland every day

The main trio’s numbers correspond to the order in which they entered Borderland
Image credit: Netflix

This one is pretty easy to gloss over, but the ID numbers of players in Borderland were revealed to us throughout the series. In episode 3’s wretched sheep-and-wolf game, the numbers of the then main characters on display indicated that the IDs are assigned based on when they first enter the game’s dimension.

Judging by Shibuki’s ID number (1000139) and the number of days she had been in Borderland prior to meeting Arisu and the gang, there are roughly 30 new players entering per day.

Image credit: Netflix

In episode seven, we also see a brief list of ID numbers when Usagi plays a game of bingo. From this, we can presume that there are about 500 players and counting who have entered Borderland by the end of the episode.

4. The dealer’s collars in the game of tag are the same ones in hide and seek

(L): Dealer with collar, (R) Arisu’s collar in the game of sheep and wolf
Image credit: Netflix

Alice in Borderland spares no time in letting us know that it is not for the faint of heart with death by laser beams, or characters being shot multiple times with machine guns. Probably the most gruesome way to die, however, might be having your neck blown to bits by a deadly collar.

At the end of episode 2’s game of tag, the horse masked attackers were revealed to be regular people with a collar around their necks. Fast forward to episode 3 and we see similar collars on the players during the sheep and wolf game.

It is quite possible that Arisu already knew what he was walking into since he had seen the collars before – and knew how deadly they were.

5. Asahi hints that she is a dealer early on

Asahi and Momoka having a discussion
Image credit: Netflix

By the end of the season, we know that there are 2 roles that people in Borderland play: the player or the dealer. As revealed in the video footage found on Asahi’s phone, dealers helped out with setting up games, and sometimes participating in them to try and make players lose.

Initially, both Asahi and Momoka seemed like an innocent pair who were just trying to survive. However, they start to get more suspicious when we first see them talking in private and running away when Arisu calls out to them.

Asahi panicking during the final witch hunt
Image credit: Netflix

Tensions were high in the finale episode as players at the Beach were presented with the elusive Ten of Hearts game. As chaos ensues when the militants decide to kill everyone, we see Asahi having a frantic conversation with Usagi, where she says, “It’s either Game Over or death for me if I wait here”.

At first, it can be assumed that she was presenting a no-escape scenario where it was either death by the militants or death by players losing the game. However, it soon becomes apparent that she had unintentionally revealed she was a dealer, and that ‘Game Over’ actually meant surviving since the dealers would win, but at the cost of everyone else’s lives.

6. The hide and seek game could have been solved with no one dying

After completing the season, it is safe to say that games can actually be won without deaths, but will take some big brain thinking. There have been many theories popping up online, specifically about solving the heart-wrenching Seven of Hearts game without any deaths.

Here, we know that players are either sheeps or wolves and all sheeps would die when the time limit is up. In order to win, the sheep would have to make eye contact with the wolf, which would in turn make the players switch roles.

Arisu using the reflective glass while trying to remove his collar
Image credit: Netflix

One theory involves players working together to dismantle each other’s collars with the tools provided. While this one gives us hope, it seems rather unlikely, as the dealers in the game of tag would have known to do so if the collars could be dismantled without triggering it.

The alternative theory would be for all players to go to the mirrored exhibit where Arisu was. The players would then look at each other’s reflections in such a way that everyone could become the wolf.

Image credit: u/Groundbreaking-Hand3

Aso Haro, the creator of Alice in Borderland, also put out this cryptic tweet when asked if the Seven of Hearts game had a no-deaths solution. We guess it’s still up for debate whether the collars couldn’t have been removed using tools, so it’s up to your imagination.

7. Possible Season 2 release dates revealed in final episode

Image credit: Netflix

In the last few scenes of the final episode, we see huge airships floating over Tokyo city, indicating the start of the next phase of games. Interestingly, there were a couple of posters plastered on the buildings with the dates “6.24 – 7.31” and “2021”.

Some have theorised that this could possibly be the dates during which season two will air, or even related to future events for us to look out for within the Alice in Borderland timeline.

Update: As of 22nd December 2022,  Alice in Borderland Season 2 is live on Netflix.

Alice in Borderland

Image credit: Netflix

If you’ve managed to catch all of these easter eggs during your first sitting, well done! For the rest of us, try and see if you can pick them out on your next viewing sesh to prepare for Season 2. 

Alice in Borderland was among the top shows on Netflix and for good reason: it’s well-written and has captivated audiences all over the world, making us feel like we were part of the games ourselves.

We’ve already seen how intense the games can be, so one can only imagine how crazy the upcoming J-Q-K-A card games would be!

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Cover image adapted from: Netflix
Originally published on 23rd February 2021. Last updated by Kezia Tan on 23rd December 2022.

Justin Oh

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