Title: Battle Royale
Author: Takami Koushun
Manga-ka: Taguchi Masayuki
Published: 2000 (15 vol)
Genre: Action – Drama – Horror – Psychological – Mature – Tragedy
The series ‘Battle Royale’ has been categorized as ‘mature’, therefore may contain intense violence, blood/gore, sexual content and/or strong language that may not be appropriate for underage viewers.
In the future, random Jr. High School classes are chosen to compete in a game called Battle Royale. The rules: only one student can survive after 3 days on an island or else they all perish. Weapons are handed out and each student is sent out into the field alone and unprepared for the horror that awaits them. The classmates turn upon themselves in a battle for survival, treaties are made and broken, and former friends become foes as the relentless countdown continues. Amid the betrayals and rising body count, two classmates confess their love for each other and swear to survive this deadly game together.
Sounds familiar huh? Yup! You bet! It sounds like the famous series of The Hunger Games trilogy, written by Suzanne Collins. Its simply about “kill or be killed” game involving youngsters. Of course that there are slight different between the two:
- BR was released in 2000, while THB was released 8 years after BR; 2008. Many people says BR is the original THB.
- Unlike the representative in THB whose did not know other district’s representative, participants in BR are classmates. They do know each other and some of them are best friends, even couples!
- In BR, all the participants were given supply packs and a randomly selected weapon. While in THB, the participants should get their own weapon (and they have to kill each other in order to get the perfect weapon).
- Shuuya Nanahara|七原 秋也| is one of the three main protagonists. Shuuya, who is nicknamed “Shuu”, lives in the fictional town Shiroiwa in Kagawa Perfecture. His best-friend was killed in chapter 2 and he was terribly regretted that he could only watched him died.
- Noriko Nakagawa|中川 典子| is the main female protagonist of the series. She was Shuuya’s best-friend first love. Eventually, Noriko has a crush on Shuuya, whom she admired for his music and song-writing.
- Shogo Kawada|川田 章吾| is a trasnfer student and the winner of the previous Program. At the very beginning, he meets Shuuya and Noriko and joins up with the two of them.
- Shinji Mimura|シンジ三村| is the stereotypical cool guy and playboy of the class. A star player on the school basketball team and skilled in hacking, Shinji devises a plan to help the whole class escape the island and fight back against Kamon and his soldiers.
- Hiroki Sugimura|杉村弘樹|is a close friend of Shuya. Skilled in martial arts, Hiroki sets out on a quest to find his crush Kayoko Kotohiki and escape before the horrors of the Program consume them.
- Yonemi Kamon|Yonemi 家紋| is the main antagonist of the manga. The sadistic administrator of the Battle Royale Program, Kamon enjoys watching the students kill each other and making jokes about the recent deaths.
- Kazuo Kiriyama|桐山 和雄| is the secondary antagonist. Leader of a powerful gang known as the Kiriyama Family, Kazuo is extremely intelligent and can master any skill with hardly any practice, such as playing the violin or painting. He also has a vast knowledge of the human anatomy and enjoys learning. Due to a traumatic brain injury during his childhood, Kazuo became emotionless and can kill with no remorse.
- Mitsuko Souma|相馬光子| is the tertiary antagonist. Carrying a bad reputation with the majority of her class, Mitsuko relies on her looks to seduce unlucky students into falling into her trap.
Long before I finally read the manga, I have watched the movie and to be honest it leaved an eerie feelings but also amused me at the same time. I never really thought that classmates would do such horrible stuff between themselves. I learned that most people would discover their true self upon such tragedy.
Since, I am joining GPMC & CRC this year, I will be doing the review for each volume of this manga. If your are interested, you may click these link but I have to warn you that you might find spoiler on them:
- Battle Royale – vol. 1 (chapter 1-8)
- Battle Royale – vol. 2 (chapter 9-16)
- Battle Royale – vol. 3 (chapter 17-24)
- Battle Royale – vol. 4 (chapter 25-32)
- Battle Royale – vol. 5 (chapter 33-39)
- Battle Royale – vol. 6 (chapter 40-47)
- Battle Royale – vol. 7 (chapter 48-55)
- Battle Royale – vol. 8 (chapter 56-63)
- Battle Royale – vol. 9 (chapter 64-71)
- Battle Royale – vol. 10 (chapter 72-79)
- Battle Royale – vol. 11 (chapter 80-87)
- Battle Royale – vol. 12 (chapter 88-95)
- Battle Royale – vol. 13 (chapter 96-103)
- Battle Royale – vol. 14 (chapter 104-111)
- Battle Royale – vol. 15 (chapter 112-119)
PS: By the way, I am reading the translated manga version (English) published by TokyoPop, not the original work in Japanese.