Koushun Takami’s “Battle Royale”

Holy Crap!


battle royale

Yes, that ^^ was my first reaction to this book.

I read “The Hunger Games”  a few months ago and quickly found out the author’s story was being criticized as stealing from something called “Battle Royale”.  Well, of course I had to go get this book and see for myself.

First I will say, this book is not for the faint of heart, specially if you are sensitive to children in any kind of danger.  If you have a tough skin and like me are able to separate yourself from disturbing things fairly well, then I say go read this novel if you haven’t already!  It probably also helps if you are into gore (not Al but the blood and guts kind) and sci fi / action type books/films.

Now, as far as the claim that Suzanne Collins writing is a copy I say bollocks!

Did she perhaps gain inspiration from “Battle Royale” that helped create “The Hunger Games” very likely so, but why is that being thrown around like it’s a dirty thing?  Since when are people not allowed to use previously written/filmed stories to influence their own?  This happens so often in Hollywood it’s practically the “how to” on making a film since maybe 1990.  They haven’t had an original idea in decades over there.  Many books have similar styles, background ideas and similar characters.  Mr. Takami himself wrote about being inspired by wrestling characters and a few from other authors such as Stephen King and some manga.

Yes, Ms. Collins wrote about a bunch of teenagers who are put in an isolated area by a corrupt government program and basically forced to kill each other.  Honestly, that is just about where the similarity ends.   The children in her story are not in the same class and in hers they range from 12 to 18, many of them did not know each other very well, it takes place in a post apocalyptic future where Battle Royale is set in current times.  The overly dramatic game part of “The Hunger Games” including the training days and forcing the people to watch is completely nonexistent in “Battle Royale”.   There are a lot of other differences but I don’t want to completely spoil anyone’s potential reading of either.  I’m just sayin, these two books are very different other than the basic idea.  By the way, when I finished reading “The Hunger Games” I wondered how this is possibly a teen book as I heard it is sold in teen sections.  After reading 10 chapters or so of “Battle Royale” I thought, ok the other was definitely a nicer version of this idea.

“Battle Royale” is dark, bloody, psychological, fierce and barbaric.  I plan to hunt down the movie that was made even though it’s in Japanese.  Subtitles anyone?

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