It’s impossible for the Alice in Borderland characters to survive its twisted games without a bit of luck, a few friends, and, of course, some quick thinking. Only the smartest players can collect enough points to keep their visas active and avoid getting killed in the process. Having high intelligence, mastering problem-solving skills, and thinking before taking action is the only way that these people can survive from one game to the next. With that said, even the most intelligent of the characters often fall thanks to one small mistake or misappraisal of the danger.

The most intelligent characters in the Japanese survival series often display their cleverness in the last few moments of each difficult game. They save others or sometimes just themselves in the nick of time, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats in the process. That has made Alice in Borderland one of Netflix’s most intense shows since its first season debuted. What is great is that Alice in Borderland characters who survived that first season had a chance to learn more and in this battle of life or death, only the smartest make it out of the games alive.



15 Chōta Segawa

Chota looking scared and wearing goggles in Alice in Borderland.

When Chōta is first introduced, most fans likely thought he would be the funny supporting character on the show. However, his life story turned out to be darker than anyone expected. His tumultuous past with religion affects his judgment, which is underscored when he finds himself being easily manipulated by Shibuki. Instead of trusting his old friends, his insecurity leads him into the arms of a complete stranger. He causes a rift between their tight-knit group right before a harrowing game of hearts, which is definitely the worst time to start doubting one’s friends.

14 Daikichi Karube

Karube wearing goggles and looking at someone offscreen in Alice in Borderland.

Karube portrays all the characteristics fans would expect from the trope of the protagonist’s best friend being reckless, carefree, and loud. He always has Arisu’s back and he can be helpful when it comes to activities that require strength. The way he evades and defeats the masked tagger suggests he can be strategic during fights. That said, he doesn’t do much to show he’s smart in the few episodes he’s featured in. He usually relies on Arisu for solutions, but at least he doesn’t get in the way as Chōta does.

13 Saori Shibuki

Shibuki holding a cigarette in Alice in Borderland.

If there are any ways Shibuki shows that she’s a smart competitor, it’s through her cruelty and manipulative actions. She reveals how she only cares about her own survival from the get-go, as she doesn’t seem to care about other players’ lives in the “Dead or Alive” game. Her deviousness is highlighted again when she turns Chōta against his own friends. She doesn’t actually care about his fate, but she understands the competition enough to know that she needs allies she can count on. Her schemes don’t get her through to the end, though, as being cunning can only get players so far in the deadly games.

12 Takeru Danma (Hatter)

Hatter raising his arms and wearing shades in Alice in Borderland.

The Hatter is one of those charming horror villains who are either simply really lucky to be in their position or exceptionally resourceful. In his case, it’s a little bit of both. The circumstances that lead to his creation of the Beach form the perfect storm that encourages his misguided goals. He brilliantly manufactures a fake story about how collecting all the cards can free at least one of them from the fatal contest. The fact that he might actually be right is just another testament to how his actions are often a mix of both cleverness and pure luck. It’s disappointing that viewers never actually see him win a game.

11 Enji Matsushita

Alice in Borderland season 2 Jack of Hearts

Enji Matsushita was the Jack of Hearts in the Alice in Borderland characters, and he survived well by hiding his identity from everyone and just blending in. He played his game smart, acting like a cowardly outcast and just hanging back while everyone else died. This game was one of trust, where each person wore a collar with a card suit on the back. They had to ask people what the suit was and see if they could trust them or not. If they guessed their suit wrong, they died. He lived quite a while thanks to his sly intelligence but ended up dying when he crossed two players who only wanted to kill and they tortured him until he gave up.

10 Aguni Morizono

Aguni looking at someone offscreen with blood on his face in Alice in Borderland.

Aguni’s most memorable moment in the series is when he rejects his role as a villain and becomes a hero. He’s initially portrayed as a heartless and violent antagonist, but viewers learn about his complicated past with his best friend, Hatter. Aguni was more mature and level-headed than the Beach’s leader. He’s also ambitious and clever enough to fake a rivalry with Hatter in order to keep players under control. The only thing that holds him back is his own internal struggle with carrying on in the competition after killing his friend in self-defense. His inability to overcome his own guilt and rationalize his actions causes his downfall.

9 Risa

The Queen of Spades in Alice in Borderland

Risa was the Queen of Spades, which made her one of the top Alice in Borderlands characters in the show. She was confident and strong-willed, and she proved herself as a natural-born leader. However, one thing that holds her down was losing in her own game. While someone like the King of Clubs lost when he failed to see a trick play coming, Risa was smart enough to manipulate the game field and convince most players to join her side, Arisu and Usagi proved to be smarter and more cunning, and they convinced everyone to leave the Queen, who died via a laser.

8 Ginji Kyuma

Ginji, the King of Clubs in Alice in Borderland

There is more to Kyuma, the King of Clubs, than just being the guy who is always naked in the Alice in Borderlands characters lineup. He has a great deal of respect for the people he competes against, which is what gives him such a strong advantage in the games. He never rushes to rash decisions, and he makes sure that he knows all angles before rushing into action. While Tatta beats him in the end, it was through a twist in the game he never could have seen coming. With that said, his leadership skills had people following his every word and he was a villain who truly deserved respect.

7 Hikari Kuina

Kuina with an unlit cigarette in her mouth in Alice in Borderland.

There’s an increasing number of great shows with LGBTQ+ representation, with Alice in Borderland characters among them. Kuina’s story is the most moving one in the series. Her past proves that not only is she bright enough to pick up complex martial arts moves, but she’s also incredibly brave. She has experienced hardships with her family because of her gender identity, which has given her the strength and confidence necessary for surviving the life-or-death games. She does tend to rely on others like Chishiya to solve extremely tough puzzles, but she has proven that she’s clever enough to draw on her own skills when she needs a boost.

6 Yuzuha Usagi

Yuzuha Usagi in Alice in Borderland

One of the first things viewers learn about Usagi is that she’s agile and athletic, but she has shown that she’s much more than that. Usagi is intelligent when it comes to practical survival skills. Thanks to her extensive outdoor experience with her dad, she knows how to survive in the bleak urban landscape where the games are held. She even teaches Arisu how to hunt and set up a proper shelter. She has fewer clever tricks during the games, but she does occasionally show that she can think fast like when she scales the building in the game of tag. She is also a great talker and can convince other Alice in Borderland characters to follow her lead.

5 Ryōhei Arisu

Arisu holding his neck as he stands in front of trees in Alice in Borderland.

It’s not just Arisu’s photographic memory that makes him so brilliant of the Alice in Borderland characters. It’s also how he’s able to apply everything he remembers to overcome challenges, such as how he’s able to compute the exact length of a building through a car he briefly sees by the entrance. In one way or another, Arisu is able to come up with solutions to even the most mind-bending games. He rarely needs anyone else’s help to complete the levels, but he’s empathetic enough to at least try to save other players’ lives. It’s exciting to see him turn his attention to collecting all the face cards, not only to escape but also to defeat the gamemasters and end the competition once and for all.

4 Mira Kano

The Queen of Hearts looks on in Alice in Borderland

How intelligent Mira Kano is among the Alice in Borderland characters is really yet to be determined. However, as the Queen of Hearts, she proved to be a master manipulator by the end of the second season. What was most shocking about her appearance was that her game wasn’t even about fighting or death. It was a game of croquet. However, she then took the time to really dig deep into Arisu and Usagi’s minds as she twists what they think they know about reality. She even gets Arisu to hallucinate that he is in a mental hospital. She manipulated everyone and twisted what people know about Alice in Borderland.

3 Keiichi Kuzuryū

Keiichi Kuzuryu in Alice in Borderland

There was one thing that helped Keiichi Kuzuryū stand out from other Alice in Borderland characters. He inserted himself into the Beach and went undercover to learn as much as he could. His goal was to assume authority after Hatter died. Since he was third in command and not a fighter, he set out to utilize all the rules and requirements for his own purpose, That is because he was a lawyer, which gave him a unique advantage. He also showed to master the hardest game on the show, The King of Diamonds. However, he also showed his compassion and mercy in the game when he sacrificed himself for the greater good.

2 Ann Rizuna

Ann raising her hand Chishiya wearing a white hoodie in Alice in Borderland.

The members of the executive board in the Beach have to be the best of the best among the Alice in Borderlands characters. This is why it’s not surprising that Ann is one of their most valuable members. She’s able to solve games through investigation and deduction, such as when she uses her forensic knowledge to check for fingerprints during the witch hunt game. When she tests Arisu during the light bulb round, she figures out the answer to the question within the first few minutes. She has proven on the show to be a master at problem-solving and this makes her someone perfectly fit for the games.

1 Shuntarō Chishiya

Chishiya wearing a white hoodie in Alice in Borderland.

Chishiya is the most intelligent of the Alice in Borderland characters on the show. Instead of charging headfirst into every challenge, he originally chooses to hang back and observe until the last few minutes. It’s a clever strategy that has kept him alive long enough to devise a plan to steal the Hatter’s deck of cards. While everyone else is busy trying to survive every single day, Chishiya looked at the bigger picture. By season 2, Chishiya was figuring out the games before they started, faster than anyone else. Thanks to his role as a doctor, he is smarter than most competitors and dominates every game he competes in.

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