In season 2 of Alice in Borderland, launched last Friday on Netflix, fans met a new character. He’s the King of Clubs, easily identifiable, since he’s still naked!
Attention ! The following contains spoilers for Alice in Borderland Season 2. If you haven’t seen it, don’t continue reading this article.
Of all the surprises Alice in Borderland Season 2 has in store for its fans, one caught them completely off guard. Kyuma (Tomohisa Yamashita), also known as King of Clubs – the first “boss” (or “citizen”) that Arisu (Kento Yamazaki) and Usagi (Tao Tsuchiya) face – is a naturist and spends all his time in the series completely naked.
If naturism is a philosophy practiced in real life, the followers of this practice have limited areas where they can practice it: normally on dedicated beaches and within their homes. However, seeing a permanently naked person on television remains rare and can make many people uncomfortable. This is especially true for Japanese audiences. Japan is still quite conservative on several points, including nudity.
For Kyuma, being naked is the ultimate exposure
The number one reason Kyuma is naked all the time is that he’s been in Borderland longer than newer players, and he’s realized he lives in a world where societal rules no longer apply. . He can do whatever he wants and dress – or undress – as he pleases. And no one can force him to wear anything. All things considered, it’s actually surprising that the show doesn’t feature more characters who blatantly ignore social constructs. Apart, of course, from those who kill without pity and without suffering the consequences.
The second reason can be explained from a narrative point of view. The fact that Kyuma never wears clothes helps emphasize the character’s ethos. Before preparing for a new ordeal, Kyuma and Arisu have a real-world conversation during which Kyuma questions Arisu’s belief that the Tokyo of the very first episode might not be the reality. According to Kyuma, Borderland unveils the true nature of human beings, and because of this, it can be seen as much more real than the world they left behind.
Well, it’s only briefly explored by the series, but being stark naked is also a way to unseat opponents. When Kyuma shows up, no one is prepared for his appearance, and the fact that he’s naked is enough to unsettle those who confront him. On our side of the screen, introducing this type of character signals to audiences that the protagonists are unpredictable and play by their own rules, so you never know what to expect when a new King, Jack or Queen presents himself.
Hide this penis that cannot be seen
If Kyuma is completely naked all the time, we suspect that this is not the case for his interpreter Tomohisa Yamashita. Certainly the camera does not fail to film his protruding abs and his posterior, but never full frontal. The scenes where he appears head-on and face-on are always skilfully staged. His intimacy is always hidden by an arm, a leg or an element of the decor.
But as our colleagues from PureBreak point out, there is a scene that escaped the vigilance of the editors. In episode 2 at 6:11 p.m., a furtive shot reveals the trick that allowed Tomohisa Yamashita to shoot naked without totally exposing herself. He wears a huge sock to hide his penis. Not very discreet as camouflage, but effective in safeguarding the dignity of the actor!