Sunday, February 10, 2013

Battle Royale is excellent

The adults have become so disgusted with the lazy, disrespectful youth of Japan that they passed a new law to teach them a lesson: every year, a class is selected to fight to the death on a remote island.  Battle Royale follows one class's descent into madness (the actors look like college kids).

The plot is remarkably similar to The Hunger Games (BR came out in 2000), but three major differences make the movie feel totally different: this movie's rated R, so there are frequent fountains of blood; the characters all know one another from school, so the acts of heroism and betrayal have far greater impact; and the movie constantly shifts focus to follow ten or so major characters, so you never really root for a particular hero.  Exciting, and constantly surprising.

You can rent the movie for $4 at Amazon, or enjoy it via Netflix streaming


  1. Battle Royale was published in 1999 and Hunger Games in 2008. I would say Hunger Games is remarkably similar to Battle Royale. The movie came out in 2000 so I'm not sure how you can say it's like Hunger Games

    1. I phrase it that way because I assume more people are familiar with The Hunger Games.

    2. Yeah, I was like "did you see how much that 'Hobbit' story ripped off 'Skyrim'? Dragons & epic adventures & sheesh!"

      (I should note, I'm not on team "'The Hunger Games' ripped off 'Battle Royale'" either. Heck, you could say both rip of "Lord of the Flies" if you wanna.)

    3. Wikipedia says the novel of Battle Royale was completed in 1996, though it wasn't published until 1999. And that the literary competition it was rejected in was the 1997 Japan Grand Prix Horror Novel competition.

      My copy just says that the author completed the novel it after leaving his job, which he left in 1996. And it doesn't give a name or year for the competition.

  2. I'm stunned you haven't seen this before! Glad you enjoyed it, either way.

  3. Author Suzanne Collins claims she never heard of the Battle Royale book or movie prior to writing The Hunger Games in 2008, and claims that she came up with the ideas independently after watching late night television and clips of the Iraq War
    Battle Royale author Takami said he appreciated fans "standing up" for his book, but stated that he thinks "every novel has something to offer," and that if "readers find value in either book, that's all an author can ask for."

    So yeah. Both authors win.