Portrayed by Aya Asahina, Hikari Kuina is one of the main characters in Netflix’s ‘Alice in Borderland.’ She makes her first appearance in the first season’s fifth episode and is later revealed to be a transperson (male to female). Life hadn’t been easy for her in the old world. Kuina’s father is a dojo master and expected her to be his successor. To meet her father’s expectations, Kuina learned martial arts, which helped her after she came to the Borderlands. Arisu and Usagi encounter her after arriving at the headquarters of the Beach. She is one of the few survivors to make it through the first stage of the game. If you are wondering whether Kuina survives in season 2 as well, we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Does Kuina Die?
No, Kuina doesn’t die in ‘Alice in Borderland.’ In the old world, her father started voicing his disappointments at her when it became apparent that she wasn’t exceptionally talented in martial arts, and she started applying makeup on herself. Kuina eventually left home and started working as an apparel clerk. After learning about her parents’ divorce and her mother’s deteriorating health, Kuina visited her mother at the hospital. Seeing Kuina as she is now, her mother told her she was beautiful. This prompted Kuina to devote her life to taking care of her mother.
When Kuina came to the Borderlands, her mother was still at the hospital, so her desire to return to the old world primarily stem from her sense of responsibility and love for her mother. At the start of the second season, she successfully flees the King of Spades and follows Arisu’s plan to join the game hosted by the King of the Clubs in the hopes that it will keep the King of Spades off their backs. Their team loses Tatta, someone Kuina has grown close to during the game, after he sacrifices himself so Arisu can defeat the King of Clubs. Afterward, she part ways with Arisu and Usagi, promising them they will see each other again. She then makes her way to the hospital room where her mother is in the old world, renewing her determination to reunite with her mother.
In episode 7, Kuina participates in a game called Target, hosted by the Queen of Clubs. This is one of the games that doesn’t appear in Haro Aso’s original manga series. At the venue, Kuina reunites with Ann, and as club games are all about teamwork, they decide to work together, eventually defeating the Queen of Clubs and bringing down their blimp. Elsewhere, other face cards are defeated as well, and their blimps are destroyed until only the King of Spades and the Queen of Hearts remain.
Kuina and Ann team up with Arisu, Usagi, Aguni, and Akane to take down the King of Spades and are nearly killed during the encounter. When Arisu and Usagi survive the game with the final face card, the Queen of Hearts, Kuina is offered the choice to remain in the Borderlands and become a citizen or go back to the old world. She chooses the latter and wakes up in a hospital along with other survivors. She has no recollection of what happened at the Borderlands and discovers that she suffered a cardiac arrest and was clinically dead for some time after a meteorite exploded over Tokyo. As the season ends, she reunites with her mother. Her father is there as well. Evidently, the prospect of losing his child forever has brought out his love for Kuina.
Read More: Does Usagi Die in Alice in Borderland?