Battle Royale

( 143 )

Overview

In an alternative future Japan, junior high students are forced to fight to the death! L to R (Western Style). Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller is based on an irresistible premise: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan?where it then proceeded to become a ...

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Overview

In an alternative future Japan, junior high students are forced to fight to the death! L to R (Western Style). Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller is based on an irresistible premise: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan—where it then proceeded to become a runaway bestseller—Battle Royale is a Lord of the Fliesfor the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world. Made into a controversial hit movie of the same name, Battle Royale is already a contemporary Japanese pulp classic, now available for the first time in the English language. A group of high school students are taken to small isolated island and forced to fight each other until only one remains alive! If they break the rules a special collar blows their heads off. Koushun Takami's brutal, high-octane thriller is told in breathless. blow-by-blow fashion. Battle Royale is a contemporary Japanese pulp classic now available for the first time in English.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This manga adaptation of the popular and controversial Japanese film offers back stories before plunging into brutality and gore. Forty-two ninth graders embark on what they think is a graduation camping trip. Unbeknownst to them, they've been taken to the practically deserted island of Okishima to serve as the next contestants on The Program, a state-sponsored reality tv show. The show's premise is simple, if terrifying: within three days the participants must kill each other until only one student remains. But there's a twist: the students have been fitted with high-tech collars that track their vital signs. If central command detects no one has been killed within 24 hours, it will detonate the explosive bomb collars and kill them all. Each student receives supplies and sets off. Survival of the fittest becomes the greatest equalizer, since the teens are from all walks of life: the loner, the spoiled rich kid, the class clown, the daughter of a high-ranking official and even a few orphans. As protagonist Suuya struggles to protect himself and his romantic interest, others try to outwit and kill one another. Friendships and allegiances come into question and reveal duplicity, betrayal, loyalty, cowardice and insanity. Taguchi's straight-ahead storytelling and Giffen's superior adaptation make the gore easy to follow. The book's scenes of torture, implied rape and killing combine the horror and extreme violence of A Clockwork Orange with Lord of the Flies' exploration of human nature and depravity and aren't for the faint of heart. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781421527727
  • Publisher: Haikasoru
  • Publication date: 11/17/2009
  • Series: Battle Royale Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 51,575
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 1.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Koushun Takami was borin in 1969 in Amagasaki near Osaka and grew up in Kagawa Prefecture of Shikoku, where he currently resides. After Graduating from Osaka University with a degree in literature, he dropped out of Nihon University's liberal arts correspondence school. From 1991 to 1996 he worked for the prefectural news company Shikoku Shinbun. Battle Royale, completed after Takami left the news company, was a finalist for the Kadokawa Mystery Prize, but ulimately lost due to the controversy the novel's content provoked among juruy members. With its publication in Japan in 1999, Battle Royale received widespread support from young readers and became a best seller. in 2000. ot was adapted as a manga and made into a popular feature film.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 33 Rouse
Chapter 34 Last Man Standing
Chapter 35 Trap
Chapter 36 Thirst
Chapter 37 Existence
Chapter 38 Set Up
Chapter 39 Anxiety
Side Story: Man of Justice
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 143 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(126)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 143 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 1, 2012

    Thrilling!

    Dear all fans of the Hunger Games (both the book and the movie),

    Don't you just love the Hunger Games? Let's look back at a great parts. Remember that time when Katniss and Peeta got attacked by a tribute that had gone insane? Yeah, and then Katniss and the tribute went tumbling down the hill. But when they made it to the bottom of the hill the tribute had his hatchet lodged in his head. Then Rue saw Katnis standing over the dead body, and thought that Katniss was a brutal killer. Remember that? No? That's probably because that didn't happen in the Hunger Games. It happened in Battle Royale (with different characters, of course).

    It pains me to say I picked up Battle Royale because of the whole BR-HG dispute. I'd already read HG, and I wanted to see how it stacked up with Battle Royale, and after reading it, I have something to say to all of you HG fans... You lose!

    Sorry guys, but HG can't hold a candle to Battle Royale. BR does so much more with the fight-to-the-death premise than Hunger Games did. Don't get me wrong. I love the Hunger Games! But Battle Royale succeeds at such higher levels in every category. Let me explain in more detail...

    Characters
    Author Koushun Takami somehow manages to create 40+ vivid characters with their own hopes, beliefs, traits, physical qualities, and fears. It's also interesting to see how these things affect how the novel goes on. One person might turn into the ultimate killing machine while another may try to form a group to escape the island. From the fearful Megumi Eto to the psychopathic Mitsuko Souma, (who might be one of the saddest characters in literature) everyone is compelling in their own way. All 42 students, the program instructor, and some parents of the students, are mentioned and most have backstories. This is a change from the Hunger Games, where Suzanne Collins chooses to focus on about 10 characters, and Katniss narrates the whole story.

    Plot
    After reading Battle Royale, I probably looked like an old man who had just seen a panda bear ride a rocket ship into my neighbor’s house.

    That's right. There was action. There was betreyal. There was romance. There were tragic deaths. There were lucky breaks. There were unlucky life-ending mistakes. There was a bunch of other stuff that makes you wan to throw up and cry and jump up and down at the same time. That's the kind of effect Battle Royale had on me, and will have on you.

    Complaints
    I do some small problems with BR.
    The translation wasn't as great as it could have been. It doesn't hinder the plot, but a "him" is called a "her" every once in a while and some helpful adjectives are left out.
    I'd have appreciated a little more world building before we got into the action.
    I feel like there wasn't enough about Yukie's group and about Mizuho Inada. These characters weren't killed off in the beginning of the novel but weren't talked about much there either.

    Other
    If you're looking for gore, Battle Royale is your kind of book. There's lots of blood, people lose their insides, and necks get snapped. No, it's not for those with light stomachs, but the rest of us will be satisfied with the action. One of the strong points about BR is that it's not all action and death. There's also a psychological element to it. Part of the novel is describing how some characters descend into madness, while others keep their cool.

    So Hunger Games fans, in case I haven't been clear enough, You must read this

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    The Hunger Games for Big Boys

    This book is an amazing story, and is just like the hunger games with more intense fighting scenes, gore, a deeper plot, and no corny teenage "but im betraying him if i like this guy, but i really like this guy, but the other guy is..."
    Its Awesome

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Better than Lord of the Flies

    This book, although graphic, should be on everyone's TO-READ list. This book takes Lord of the Flies to a whole new level. The detail is amazing. There are 42 characters at the beginning of the book, which does get overwhelming, but the main characters are easy to follow and take you on an adventure.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great

    This is a great book! It is fast paced and a lot of fun. The translation is perfect and you will love the writing style. You really get to know the characters and it's easy to picture yourself in this situation. This is a very unique novel that people of all ages will enjoy. It is pretty gorey, however... So beware if that makes you sick.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Thrilling

    It was a great book, keeping you at the edge of you seat with it's exciting story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2007

    Friend or Foe?

    How do you know if you really trust a person? One minute you might be laughing and enjoying your time, but the next you might find a loaded gun pointed at your face. Battle Royale takes readers to a heart-pounding, stomach-turning, gripping journey as Koushun Takami brings the action to you. A class of 42 Junior High students thought they were on a study trip, but after a dose of sleeping gas, the bus takes a little detour. A fascist government known as ¿The Greater Republic of East Asia¿ assigns The Program to this lucky class. Shuya Nanahara and the rest of his classmates, unaware of their location, wake up in bewilderment. To their surprise a menacing looking man, Kinpatsu Sakamochi, walks in with a special treat that brought silence into the room. ¿Let me explain the situation. The reason why you¿re all here today then . . . is to kill each other.¿ What? Students killing each other, how absurd! But that¿s not all. Get this, all the students are wearing metal collars 'these students aren¿t dogs!' that detonate a bomb if activated or meddled with. Given a daypack with a random weapon and supplies inside, these students are forced to participate in this game on a deserted island until the last person stands. There¿s more, if within 24 hours no one is killed, all the collars will be activated and there will be no winner. Shuya Nanahara 'Male student No. 15' is the popular star athlete in his class it¿s not uncommon for a girl to have a crush on him. Just like the rest of the class he thinks this game is ridiculous like some kind of prank. But merciless Sakamochi kills off two of the students in front of them, one of them being Shuya¿s best friend. ¿Everyone now knew, this was real. It was no mistake, nor was it a prank. They were going to be forced to kill each other.¿ Shuya vowed to seek revenge and not take part in such a game. He believed that the rest of the class wouldn¿t participate as well. Shuya Nanahara has a hard time understanding how friends could kill off each other. It just didn¿t seem possible. But who to really know these people he calls classmates? He just knows them from school. Can¿t he trust everyone? Only 40 students remaining . . . Takami writes this book in third person omniscient with a handful of dialogue to fill in the suspense. With blood filled action, and eye-catching events, it sent me watching my back and holding onto my book as I was reading. The detail and descriptive diction that is integrated into the story only elevates the horror of teenage students on the kill. This isn¿t your ordinary action book with superman to the rescue. Battle Royale is certainly ¿a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century.¿ I cannot stress enough of how much suspense gets me reading 10 times faster. Takami fills the book in with flashbacks to get the reader¿s into the student¿s lives, but once the scene shifts back into battle mode it always seems like the end. Can¿t you imagine, Gripping onto your gun or weapon with a stir of emotion? Who can you trust? Paranoia and traumatizing events hang these students from their sanity. Where can you hide? Who is my enemy? Who is your friend? In the end the only person you can really trust is yourself. Surely, this isn¿t a simple game of hide-and-seek. If you like suspenseful bloody action, these 616 pages is definitely worth your time. When I was reading, I was already growing contempt for Takami's made up fascist government. This is almost like a non-fictional trip to World War II. The book highlights the ideas of trust, betrayal, dealing with death, and the cruelty of survival. The game begins once you start reading . . .

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    Students Remaining

    If you're looking for a book with twists and turns, I highly recommend this book. Before you purchase this book, you should know that this book contains a violent theme. The book is written by a Japanese author and he sure can write a good story. If you ever read "Lord of the Flies" you will like this book because not only this book is similar, it is the modern version of the book. Even if you didn't like the "Lord of the Flies" I guarantee that you will love, if not then at least like this book. The language of the book is fairly easy to understand and the plot is very easy to follow. When you read the book, you'll notice that at the end of each chapter, the book will tell you how many students are alive. I'm pretty sure most of the people do this when they were reading the book. While reading the chapter, I would go to the end of the chapter and see how many kids die. The beginning may seem kind of slow but as each student dies, it gets better and better. The hard thing for me was that I wasn't used to the Japanese names so I really didn't follow many characters. However, there are only few characters that you should look for really. I suggest this book to those looking for thrill, adventure, and action.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    A book for thought

    This is a great book. I read it once a few years ago, and even though it is hard to keep track of the characters at times (there are quite a few), I couldn't wait to read it again. The plot is intriguing, and it is nothing that I have seen or read before. This is definitely a book that keeps you on your toes wondering what will happen next. A great read if you want something new and exciting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Worth Reading

    I thought this sounded like an interesting book, but I was undecided for a while if I wanted to get involved. I loved Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies, but it was the whole Japanese translation that made me almost not read it. I thought it would be hard to tell the characters apart, I'm not familiar with Japanese names, I can't tell the female names from the male. Once i got into it, it was much easier than I expected, and there was a list of students in the beginning that I used to keep track of the students. This book was long, but interesting, and I really loved the characters. Although I enjoyed it, if I had to choose between this and The Hunger Games, I would choose The Hunger Games.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2006

    Hard to put down

    This book is probably the best book i've ever read. And it's not like it's a hack and slash title either. You get to know pretty much everyone in this book and see what is going through their heads. This book is just like a roller coaster ride. So if you're into thrillers, check this bad boy out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2013

    Well I have yet to read Battle Royale. The plot seems fairly sim

    Well I have yet to read Battle Royale. The plot seems fairly similar to The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) But from what I've heard Batlle Royale is more graphic in the violence and characters. What I get from each review is if you enjoy the Hunger Games and want something similar you should read Battle Royale. Suzanne Collins most likely used this as inspiration because she found it fascinating. I am defintly reading this...

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  • Posted September 24, 2012

    This book has got to be my favorite book, of all time. I've read

    This book has got to be my favorite book, of all time. I've read The Hunger Games and I found that THG was less interesting. I love how all of the characters have their part and backstory to help to contribute to the plot. And it portrays a great view of what it would be like to have a 'evil government'. I laughed, I cried, but I truly wish there was some kind of continuation. I found this book amazing. I felt like I was there myself. Amazing. Just amazing.

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  • Posted April 10, 2012

    I enjoyed this book and think that it translated to English well

    I enjoyed this book and think that it translated to English well. A lot of people have compared it to Hunger Games but I don't think there are enough similarities to make that argument. Yes, both stories have kids killing each other because of a "game" the government put together, but everything else seems different enough that I was able to enjoy both this book and Hunger Games without feeling like I was reading the same story. I liked how Takami told the story through all of the students' view points. I think it made it made it more personal and sad when that student got killed.

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  • Posted March 23, 2012

    This is one of my favorite novels. It is so well written and eac

    This is one of my favorite novels. It is so well written and each character is complex and compelling. I am begging for this to be available in ebook formatting.

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  • Posted January 27, 2012

    From The Aussie Zombie

    I first heard of Battle Royale when reading reviews of The Hunger Games, when it was suggested that Ms. Collins’ inspiration must have come from this book. It took me a while, but after seeing a few more recommendations, I purchased a copy and sat it on my shelf. Where it sat for several months until last Saturday I decided I felt like reading a paperback book and it was the first one I picked up.

    To be honest, at first I was a little wary – sure the storyline sounds amazing, but how could I possibly keep 42 (!) characters (with Japanese names which also confuse me) straight in my head? I have trouble with half a dozen sometimes….so it was with a little trepidation that I opened the book to the first page…….

    I was immediately hooked – keeping the characters straight was made easier by a list of names in the front of the book, and when characters that had been previously mentioned reappeared, the link back through the writing was strong enough that I was fully aware of who was who, their story, their actions and their fates.

    This is not a book for the faint hearted – Takami holds nothing back in his imagination, and some scenes are jaw-dropping in their intensity and detail, but the story itself stops Battle Royale from spiraling into a mindless bloodbath. There are twists and turns I never saw coming and the ending is breathtaking (and unexpected!).

    Three days and more than 600 pages later I finished reading (I put off the final 20-odd pages off because I didn’t want it to end!), put down the book, turned to my boyfriend and said just one word “Wow!”.

    I wish I could tell you more about this book, but it is a difficult book to review without giving away key parts of the story. If you can get a copy, you should definitely invest in this book – I’ll definitely be going back to this one again!

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing

    A very interesting book. It's managed to be filled with action and violence but is still thoughtful, with a message that is very much needed, especially with todays youth and the current job market, and a surprising concern for each of the students. There are over 40 of them and, even though there are obviously main characters and minor characters, there is attention paid to each one, a real effort made to humanize each of them as they fight to survive, which I think makes the book especially moving.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2010

    Awesome!

    this book was great. The idea is insane but very creative. The characters were well written and diverse. The book was brutal and fast paced and definitely better than reading a manga.

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  • Posted June 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Definate Must Read

    Battle Royale....haha...I honestly couldnt tell people if they would like it or not. The way I feel about it is that anyone that likes twisting stories, tons of character personalities, and of course action has to give this book a try. I see a lot of people compare this book to Lord of the Flies and I would have to agree but to be honest I feel this book should be read maybe even just to read an overseas author. This book has many characters and really makes you start to feel for all of them. The action is intense and the story, even though so spread out, still really moves along quite nice. Its a really quick read. I definately think people should read this book and see for themselves how it makes them feel. Lastly, dont see the movie its not good.

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  • Posted June 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Jaw-dropping.

    I got this book as a gift from a friend and I tried to read it once or twice but had trouble getting past the second or third page. On a rainy summer day I managed to push through and got hooked...badly. From the very first kill to the very last, it'll have you guessing and flinching. Amidst the violence I had a few "oh-my-god-did-that-really-just-happen" moments where I re-read a passage or two in shock. There are a lot of characters but the main ones are great and easy to sympathize with. All this makes for a fast read.

    Not for the faint of heart but a great allegory and an even greater plot.

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  • Posted July 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing Read

    This book was and sgtill is one of my favorites i read it when i was in the sixth grade and five years later it is still my favorite. it's a well writeing book and kept me on the edge of my seat i couldn't put it down and as soon as i began to read nothing could get me to put it down.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 143 Customer Reviews

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