Although they haven't spoken in a year, Nick shows up at Judy's apartment at 2:00am demanding to talk to her. She lets him in and, after some small talk, Judy reveals she terminated her pregnancy. Nick begs to be taken back but it's revealed that Judy has moved on and is in a relationship with a vixen called Shay. Nick and Judy argue and Shay is injured in the scuffle. Judy throws Nick out of the apartment demanding he stay out of her life forever. Judy and Shay then fall into a comforting embrace.
Borba said at the start of the story that it was going to follow the "Kishōtenketsu" narrative style commonly used in Chinese and Japanese folktales which calls for an "introduction, development, twist, conclusion" story structure. This style does not follow Western conventions of story-telling and can be quite frustrating to Western readers. It is a slower paced story based upon character actions and reactions with no clear goal and doesn't require a clear resolution at the conclusion.
Nothing to do with the song by Patrick Hernandez. Oddly, the story's overall plot actually is more in line with the lyrics to "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor.
In October 2018, Borba started posting pages for this sequel which was completed in February 2019. Borba has stated that I Will Survive and this comic will be part of a trilogy called The Trilogy of Life. The third installment is planned to start in late 2019 and be concluded in early 2020.
Born to Be Alive contains examples of:
- Agony of the Feet: Nick tries to prevent Judy from closing her front door by blocking it with his paw with painful results.
- Ascended Meme: One of the more popular parody edits of I Will Survive had Nick and Judy break-up over Nick's obsession with eating at Arby's. In one panel showing Judy's kitchen counter, there is a conspicuous "Arbitch's" takeout bag.
- Big "NO!": Nick's reaction when Judy and Shay clasp hands, revealing the nature of their relationship: "OH, NO! NO! NO!"
- Bi the Way: After her breakup with Nick, Judy enters into a relationship with a vixen named Shannon. It's downplayed in that Borba has made it clear that Judy fell in love with a mammal that happened to be female who was there for her during a rough time in her life and it is not necessarily indicative of her overall sexuality.
- Bold Inflation: Borba peppers the dialog with words in bold typeface. However, there seems to be little rhyme or reason as to when words are presented in bold. It's done so frequently throughout the story that it becomes essentially pointless.
- Call-Back: In "I Will Survive", an emotional Judy lashes out and unintentionally hurts Nick. Nick responds by packing up and leaving the apartment. Here, an emotional Nick lashes out and unintentionally hurts Shay. Judy responds by throwing Nick out of the apartment. In both cases the Title Drop occurs as Nick is about to leave the apartment.
- Chekhov's Gun: There were several story elements that were completely subverted by the "Kishōtenketsu" narrative style. Things like Judy constantly clutching her pajama top, talking about the "complications" encountered with her abortion or that the front door was left open led many readers to expect they were foreshadowing some kind of later plot reveal that never occurred.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: Nick has had an emotional breakdown in front of Judy, apologizing for abandoning her, for being a coward, and begging her to take him back. On his knees, he looks up at her with Puppy-Dog Eyes full of hope. Judy takes his face in her hands and gives him one of these right before launching into her devastating "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: A version of Catholicism practiced by bunnies seem to exist in this universe, called "Carrotholics".
- Curse Cut Short: Judy yells "Nick, you son of a —" after she learns he manipulated his way into her apartment. It's odd for the story to imply that this would be a curse in a World of Funny Animals because it would be a literally true statement for some of the inhabitants of Zootopia.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The majority of the comic is in monochrome, but the last page is in full color.
- Distinction Without a Difference: When Nick learns of Judy's relationship with Shay they have an exchange that is a textbook example of this trope.Nick: You... you replaced me... with another fox!? A female fox!?
Judy: I think you'd better say "vixen".
- Drowning My Sorrows: Nick appears to be dealing with his unresolved feelings toward Judy by drinking a lot. Judy is able to tell he's been drinking when he shows up at her apartment
- Extremely Short Timespan: As with the first installment, the entire story takes place over the course of approximately twenty minutes in-universe.
- Funny Background Event: An animal Frida Kahlo painting (dubbed "Ferret Kahlo" by Borba) is shown hanging in Judy's apartment, and its eyes are shown changing direction during two consecutive panels.
- Judy says she's the first rabbit to ever have an abortion and that she was fully aware of the risks. This implies that she accepted responsibility for going ahead with the procedure and whatever outcome it yielded. Yet when she has Nick at her knees contrite and apologetic she lays a heavy guilt trip on him that she had to endure the complications of the procedure alone.
- As part of Judy's "The Reason You Suck" Speech she pulls out the old chestnut "If you loved me, you would have been strong enough to stay with me". The reason they broke up in "I Will Survive" was because of her adamant decision to terminate the pregnancy while Nick strongly argued for keeping it. Here she expects that Nick's love should have been strong enough for him to put aside his convictions for the sake of his loved one yet she was completely unwilling to do that for him.
- If It's You, It's Okay: Despite a lot of comments about Judy being a closeted lesbian in pursuing a relationship with Shay, a vixen, Borba has made it clear that Judy fell in love with a mammal that happened to be female who was there for her during a rough time in her life and it is not necessarily indicative of her overall sexuality.
- Improbable Hairstyle: For reasons never explained, the fur on the back of Shay's head (and only the back) somehow forms a bowl-cut hairstyle.
- It's All About Me:
- While Nick appears to be contrite in his apology, his actions are considerably self-centered. He shows up at Judy's apartment at 2am demanding to talk to her, manipulates her to let him in, apologizes profusely but fully expects to be forgiven on the spot, when he learns about Shay his first words are "You... replaced me... with another fox", and finally can't accept that Judy's relationship with Shay is "real" because it completely shuts him out of the equation.
- Judy displays this during her "Reason You Suck" speech to Nick in that she holds him accountable for not being there to support her during her "complications" even though it was fully her decision to go ahead with the procedure and was one of the reasons they broke up in the first place.
- Love Bubbles: There are flowers floating around most of the panels where Judy is telling how she and Shay hooked up. On the final page (which is in full color), where Judy seeks comfort in Shay's arms, they are surrounded by pink hearts.
- Not Using the "Z" Word: Subverted. Initially, the story seems to be continuing the trend of using euphemisms for Judy's decision to terminate her pregnancy like "premeditated sin" or "interrupt my pregnancy". However, when she talks about moving forward with the procedure, she finally uses the word abortion. Oddly, she even points out that she was the first rabbit to ever have one.
- Please Don't Leave Me: Nick is very remorseful about leaving Judy and begs for her forgiveness. Unfortunately for him, Judy has moved on to her relationship with Shay.
- Prolonged Prologue: The first eight pages primarily deal with Nick getting into the apartment, turning on the lights, commenting on the furniture and then making himself some coffee.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Nick begs to be taken back, Judy tells Nick that's not possible because she feels he abandoned her so she had to deal with her decision to terminate the pregnancy and its subsequent complications all alone. It's an interesting variation of the trope because Nick had just completely apologized for all the issues Judy takes offense with and she's holding Nick accountable for the consequences of a decision she herself made which lead to them breaking up in the first place.
- Satellite Love Interest: Shay is the classic example of this trope. She has only 16 words of dialog in the entire story, has very little personality on display and no character development. She exists solely to be the "surprise twist" in the story about how Judy has moved on.
- Sex for Solace: Nick appears to be dealing with his unresolved feelings toward Judy by spending time with vixen prostitutes.
- Soap Opera: The sequel continues the Telenovela theme complete with excessive gestures, over-the-top facial expressions, and melodramatic dialog. The entire plot can be reduced to "boy is not over girl and begs to be taken back but girl has moved on" with the twist that the girl has moved on with another girl.
- Title Drop: Judy quotes the title as she throws Nick out of the apartment. Some readers have commented that it doesn't really flow well in her dialog and feels shoe-horned in.Judy: Cause I deserve to live a new life, Nick! I was born to be alive!
- Titled After the Song: The comic is named after the Disco song from the late 1970s by Patrick Hernandez.
- Wham Line: When Nick asks if Judy did "that" (referring to her decision to terminate her pregnancy) she replies (in a full page spread):Judy: Yes, Nick. I did.
- Wham Shot: As Nick and Judy are arguing a concerned voice calls out, the next panel, which is a full-page spread, reveals that Judy's current love interest is a vixen emerging from the bedroom.
- You See, I'm Dying: Nick manipulates his way into Judy's apartment by saying "If I don't talk to you right now, I might not have another day to live". It turns out that he's just hustling her.