View Full Version : Battle Royal by Koushun Takami

03-16-2007, 10:03 AM
Newly translated into English, the novel that spawned the hyper-violent disturbing movie Battle Royal is now in America. Hurray. I never saw Battle Royal, but remembered that my friends had talked about it, So when I saw this book at the store, I decided to buy it.

Whoa. This book is simultaneously gripping and repellent. The description of: "Like Lord of the Flies, but with guns" is pretty accurate. There are some heart wrenching scenes, and some stomach turning ones. There is some black comedy, and lots of guns.

The basic plot line is: A class of 42 high school students are selected for The Program, which is run by the fascist government "The Greater Republic of East Asia". Each student is attached to a small bomb (located in a coller on their necks) And the basic rules are

1) If no one dies for 24 hours, every bomb goes off
2) Tampering with the coller makes the bomb go off
3) There can only be one winner.

Ugh. This book freaks me out just by reading it, because it makes me think: Would I be able to survive in a similar situation. If I was pitched into a deadly fight, where only one person could survive...would I? The creepiest thing is the reactions feel very real. Some student's panic. Others throw themselves fully into the game. Others jump off cliffs rather than kill one another.

So I'd say, if your a fan of fast action and deep thinking, and can stand a lot of gruesome/horror elements, Battle Royal is worth your time. I'd rate it 5/5 stars, with a MPAA rating of R.

03-17-2007, 02:49 PM
Yeah Battle Royale is amazing. The idea for it is awesome and very thought provoking. I've never read the book because it's about 10 but I've seen the film and it's excellent.

03-18-2007, 03:26 PM
Seen the film as well, and it was very enjoyable. Not read the book, but I'll look out for it here.

Actually, I teach high school students here in Japan. A tiny percentage of them are annoying, and it would be good to put them on an island and let them battle it out. They'd do quite well.

I'll have a word with the Japanese teachers tomorrow morning, see if we can arrange something...

Celia Cyanide
03-18-2007, 06:54 PM
I love Battle Royale. I thought the book was excellent, too. I loved some of the manga, and hated a lot of it, too.

03-19-2007, 11:58 AM
I read the novel version a couple of years ago. Before I did, I thought that the movie was amazing. After reading the book, though, I now think that the movie's not a pimple on the ass of the book. It's just an amazing read, with almost an element of mystery to it regarding the program and, behind that, the government. It was great - by the time I realized that I'd solved the mystery it was being explained to me (if that makes any sense at all).

And the last chapter still haunts me.

03-20-2007, 12:15 AM
Great book.

Aren't they making a Westernized movie of it soon?

03-24-2007, 01:41 PM
Oh, ye gods, I hope not. There's no way that the good stuff would make it past the MPAA. If they do Americanize it, it'll be yet another dry, Wonder-Bread remake populated with the most current teen-beat stars.

Celia Cyanide
03-30-2007, 05:45 PM
Great book.

Aren't they making a Westernized movie of it soon?

The Japanese movie can't even get released here, so no, probably not any time soon.

I did like the book, but I thought what they did with Beat Takeshi's character added a lot to the film. In the book he came off as a monster.

03-30-2007, 06:27 PM
Great book and movie. I managed to get the DVD at one of those Karate movie kiosks in the mall. I think that you can order it here:

http://www.hkflix.com (http://www.hkflix.com/)