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Battle Royale

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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 Flies for 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.

624 pages, Paperback

First published April 21, 1999

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About the author

Koushun Takami

70 books1,189 followers
Koushun Takami (高見 広春 Takami Kōshun) is the author of the novel Battle Royale, originally published in Japanese, and later translated into English by Yuji Oniki and published by Viz Media and, later, in an expanded edition by Haika Soru, a division of Viz Media.

Takami was born in Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture near Osaka and grew up in the Kagawa Prefecture of Shikoku. After graduating from Osaka University with a degree in literature, he dropped out of Nihon University's liberal arts correspondence course program. From 1991 to 1996, he worked for the news company Shikoku Shimbun, reporting on various fields including politics, police reports, and economics.

The novel Battle Royale was completed after Takami left the news company. It was rejected in the final round of the literary competition for which it was intended, owing to its controversial content. It went on to become a bestseller when finally released in 1999 and, a year later, was made into a manga and a feature film.

He is currently working on a second novel.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,233 reviews
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,401 reviews11.7k followers
April 20, 2011
I came across this book after reading “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins which was claimed to be a “Battle Royale” rip-off. Needless to say, I was curious…

I have to admit, similarities between these two books are undeniable. They both are based on the same idea of teenagers forced to participate in a deadly game where only one person wins and lives. However at the same time these books are completely different. I believe you can enjoy and appreciate them both equally. If “Hunger Games” is more of a personal story of survival from the POV of just one "player," “Battle Royale” is a complex story which follows all participants of the game. It is much more brutal, violent, and bloody than “Hunger Games.” The book explores what makes regular kids turn on each other, what in their pasts allows them to commit the ultimate crime or what stops them from participating in the killing game altogether.

I have to warn however about a couple of things. First, the book has a lot of Japanese names that sound (and look) very similar. So in the beginning it can be hard to follow all characters, but you get used to them eventually.

Another concern of mine is the quality of translation. It could have definitely been better. At times I felt something was lost in translation. But I immensely enjoyed this book in spite of the flaws. I would highly recommend this book to anybody who is not against gory and bloody reads.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
797 reviews3,631 followers
February 13, 2022
Hunger and squid games, Kings´death marches, close to every new, great slaughter fun is an interpretation of, an homage to, or simply stolen from this alternative selection procedure trope to form the true, pure elite.

I think the origin of the idea isn´t important as long as it´s hardcore violence
No matter who really first invented this concept (probably an ancient writer who carved it in a cave wall or the Roman entertainment circus) it´s always a great, manly alternative to the, in contrast friendly, softer tributes (Collins) or just not as good death marches (King). Ok, King had the idea first, but he focused on exactly one storyline, so that´s not really such a big copyright infringement. And close to all literature is somewhat reinterpreted, borrowed, or, well, really stolen, but who says that these concepts can´t be used a thousand times? Nobody would say that a thriller or a romantic love comedy novel is stolen, because of the extremely small leeways of these genres that force authors to write with similar character and plot stereotypes to live up to the readers' expectations. Of course, it could sometimes be that the coincidences sum up to incredible improbability, but even if someone took more than 3 or 5, but 10 or 15 elements and tropes, it doesn´t really subjectively matter to me. Because even with the same story, there are different groups of readers who want their journey told in individual ways with focus on completely different elements and perspectives.

Society needs strict rules
I don´t know why people are always having so many problems with testing procedures, the real world is no rainbow unicorn playing on the pony farm paradise. Maybe it´s more human to select before the poor teens have to suffer in soul eating jobs and offer them cool ways to avoid suicide by getting killed by their peers? Did anyone ever think about the positive aspects of such a system, how much suffering is prevented that way, and how proud the parents of the survivors must be? We´re sadly just getting too soft as a society…

Social criticizing the heck out of mentioned society
There is of course the background of dystopic, fascistic, dictatorships that keep the population motivated with hardcore selection processes, selling the whole thing in cooperation with the military industrial complex, and thereby camouflaging the dystopic living conditions with bread and circuses. The only difference to modern society is the level of bloodthirstiness and how brutal the elite manages to keep the masses calm and dull, but I don´t really see that much difference to close to all modern, Western, democratic countries that drug their population up to the eyeballs with consumption, all kinds of entertainment, and media reporting about the free, great election hold up all few years that don´t change anything substantial. But at least the politicians managed to outsource the battle royales to the exploited, poorer nations.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Marley.
129 reviews109 followers
October 13, 2009
So unputdownable it's ridiculous. Took a 4-hour plane ride i intended to sleep on and instead read all 624 pages of this; and while I'm a fast reader, even I'm not THAT fast usually.

Basically, as everyone else is saying, it's a book about one class of Japanese junior high kids put on an island with a small bag of supplies, a random weapon (grenade? crossbow? Uzi? fork?), an exploding tracking collar, and orders to kill, kill, kill. Nice fascist dystopia world you see around the edges of this place, but it doesn't go into so much detail you're distracted from the "good stuff."

And the "good stuff" is watching all the little petty relationships of being 15 suddenly twisted horribly by the extreme fear of knowing only one person will be allowed to live. It's ridiculous, and it's full of eye-popping, gut-wrenching violence. You keep getting thrown into the head of someone and given their whole mental landscape for maybe 1 or 2 chapters, before they die in some completely awful way--which means you root pretty hard for some people you know are doomed, you find yourself almost applauding the death of some stuck-up jerks (and then feel bad about it), and you watch helplessly as some real sociopaths mow down one kid after another.

More than anything, this is like watching a horribly-violent low-budget exploitation movie you see at midnight somewhere--there's ZERO surprise it was almost instantly adapted into a movie. It's pulp squared, but like many things this aggressively pulpy, it's got a message under there as well. Great entertainment for people with a tolerance for high amounts of violence, but also a really well-done study of the psychology of extreme fear, and some insights about totalitarianism as well.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.6k followers
November 30, 2021
first read this back in 2010 when i needed something to help my ‘hunger games’ obsession.

now im doing a reread because i need something to help my ‘squid game’ obsession after binge watching the entire series in two days.

and let me tell you what. im soooo glad i kept my hand-made character chart folded up inside my copy because the names are still tricky to keep track of. all 42 of them. and i think what makes this story so compelling is the fact that they all know each other. the characters arent just killing random people to survive, but best friends, significant others, fellow classmates and teammates they grew up with. its totally brutal.

this definitely still delivers on every horrific survival aspect you can think of - the gore, the violence, the suspense, the hunters and the hunted, the twists, and the fast pacing.

cant believe it took me this long to do a reread.

P.S. shoutout to my friend, will, who gave this to me as a christmas gift!

5 stars
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
October 19, 2016
I first read this story in Manga form a few years ago (one of only two manga series I've enjoyed) and I quickly became addicted to these characters and their individual stories. Whilst reading Battle Royale, you go on an intense journey into the minds of nearly all 42 students and discover what it is about them that enables normal high school kids to kill their classmates - or decide not to.

I'd recommend reading the manga before or instead of the novel for a few reasons. For one, it makes it a lot easier to keep up with all the similar sounding names when you have a face to put to it. For another thing, you don't have to struggle through a translation that isn't too smooth. I felt there were times during the novel where the sentences were disjointed and/or abrupt, it wasn't a huge problem for me but I know it will annoy some other readers more.

Though I appreciate that the violence in Battle Royale might make some readers queasy, I never found it to be gratuitous like a lot of other people did. It's not unrealistic that when people are put into a situation of great fear and distrust they will go to any lengths to survive. It's biological. If you're in a kill or be killed situation, then nine times out of ten you will choose your own life. And if you're in a situation where someone with a gun may or may not be trying to kill you, are you going to ask questions first and risk getting your head blown off? Maybe. But you're either braver or sillier than most, then.

I am going to compare this to The Hunger Games, though not because I want to make a statement about how Collins plagiarised - she probably didn't and, even if she did, no one's going to prove it either way. Their similarities just make them good books to use for a comparison: fight to the death, teenagers, isolated arena, etc. The Hunger Games, as I'm sure you all know, focuses on Katniss and her life, the other characters - both good and bad - are seen solely through her eyes. In Battle Royale, the perspective changes frequently (I liked it but it may infuriate some) and looks at many different types of people.

Though both stories are considered dystopias, I think The Hunger Games' world is more developed and easier to picture as a reality. I have a very clear idea in my mind of the Capitol and the districts, I don't have such a vivid image of this oppressive Japanese state... though I don't really think that's the point. For me, Battle Royale is a much more psychological story, it looks into the dark depths of the human mind and doesn't censor anything it finds. I think it's more frightening because of the collars that can be made to explode at any time, because of the time limit set on the players, and because all the participants are classmates. I also felt there was a greater sense of urgency.

On the other hand, I think The Hunger Games is a more emotional read. BR is an interesting exploration of the human mind, I liked finding out why the students were able to do what they did, but the only death that really filled me with regret was and that was only a touch. As much as I like BR, it does seem a little like a case study at times. The Hunger Games' strength is that it is the opposite of this; you really care about Katniss and what she does for her sister, the choices she makes affect the reader emotionally instead of just being something to scrutinize.

Maybe they were built on the same ideas, but both novels do something very different and I appreciate them equally. My biggest criticism of Battle Royale is Shuya - the good guy. He is the weak link in a great novel. Why? Because he's so goddamn perfect. Good-looking. Popular. Talented in sports and music. Kind. Self-sacrificing. I just don't like heroes, give me someone who reeks of humanity any day over the one who seems unnaturally above it all.

Final note: About what I said at the start - if you thought the novel had too much graphic violence, ignore my recommendation for the manga. If you don't like reading about it, I'm certain you won't want to look at it.
Profile Image for Mizuki.
2,973 reviews1,177 followers
October 7, 2022

"We did what we think we should."

This is what I wrote in 26th September 2014 when I read the Chinese translation of this book for the first time, @page 44 / 5.91%

"Just when I was reading Battle Royale at 12:00 in the morning, I learnt from Facebook that police had been rounding up protesters and ready to arrest them at the other part of the city I live in.

*sighs* This world and this society really sucks. People must band together and plan how to fight back, ASAP."

Almost nine years later, things in my home city have gotten worse, but we will never forget, never forgive.

Before reading this book, I believe Ms. Collins, author of The Hunger Games, had ripped off Battle Royale, and after reading BR the novel, I continue to believe THG is a rip-off. For example:

(1) different bags of weapons and food given by the government

(2) the battle filed gets smaller everyday


(4) The backstory of a former winner who had lost a girl he loved in a previous game

(5) said former winner doing what he could to help the main couple

(6) former winners joining the game (BR movie, Catching Fire)

(7) a 'host' saying cheerful things on air throughout the game

(8) the names of the dead teens being announced by the end of every day

Someone else had already done the comparison in a more detailed way than I did: http://www.buzzfeed.com/miamaria/35-r...

On the Author's Note part of the Chinese version of Battle Royale, the author expressed his regret of making America look like some sort of Promise Land when he first penned this novel, it's made clear that his view on this country had later been changed.

I recalled Haruki Murakami also expressed similar regret in one of his articles. It seems like back when Murakami's generation was young, America was the Promise Land, a place where 'the beach is clean, the sky is bluer, girls are pretty, the sun seems to always shine and youth can last forever' (line taken from Murakami's novel). But later they realized it's not the case.

Still, I am surprised to see Mr. Koushun Takami managed to fill so much youthful spirit and rebellion into his story, I am also delighted to find his novel managing to make meaningful comments on friendship, dreams, trust, the strength/weakness of love, freedom and the power of individuals beyond the gruesome plotlines of teenagers killing other teenagers.

In my opinion, this article points out the real difference between BR and THG: if it's rebellion you want, you’re better off seeing/reading Battle Royale.

I understand why some people may find the violence in BR offensive and unbearable, because Mr. Takami refused to be half-heartened when it comes to the violent scenes in his book. But it's okay with me because (1) not once does I feel Mr. Takami is being showy or careless about the violence in his book, (2) those violent scenes serve to make us see the brutal reality of the students' situation, (3) I would rather see authors be honest about violence than having them treated violence and death with a pair of fine kid gloves, like Suzanne Collins had done with The Hunger Games.

I had watched the BR movies years ago, but reading the novel version of it still manages to provide new insight to different subjects: human nature, freedom and survival etc.

As you might also notice, the Japanese society is not big on rebellion and individualism, instead said society likes to highlight conformity and orders whilst giving punishment to those who disobey orders and/or refuse to conform. Under such context, it's surprising for Mr. Koushun to come up with a book such as Battle Royale in the late 1990s.

I have no idea what had inspired Mr. Koushun to write BR, I have not read any author interview and I know next to nothing about the author, aside from the fact that BR is Mr. Koushun's first novel and before he published this book (he was around age 30 at that point), Mr. Koushun had once been working for the press. Therefore I can only guess that his experience and the exposure he had with different social issues had somehow motivated him to create a book such as BR.

Still, Mr. Koushun's fondness of Rock n' Roll is obviously showed through his writing. I'm delighted to see those references of rock music in the book, the author mentioned not only the classic Western rock music, he even brought up an iconic Chinese rock classic: Nothing to My Name , which is not well known outside of the Chinese-speaking circles.

Looks like Rock n Roll still carries the dream of rebellion and freedom after so many decades has passed.

However, the book does have its flaws, most of the characters are vividly written but their characterizations are not really so outstanding. Plus the male MC's character can be a bit unrealistic at times, I mean, how come there're so many girls who happen to have a crush on him!?

When I was reading Battle Royale, Hong Kong young people had also been (and still are) engaging in a battle of their future and the city's own future too:


It's not only students and young people, alongside them there are many many brave men and women from all walks of life, and elderly who are still young and hopeful at hearts.

The yearning for freedom stubbornly refuses to die, the desire to take charge of our own fates stubbornly refuses to die, imagination and free will also stubbornly refuse to die, that's why we must fight for them.

Just some 20 days ago, I was there when tear gas bombs were fired against peaceful protesters, and the fight still goes on.

Because of what has been going on around me in the real world, I understand BR even better, I understand this need and necessary to fight back, I understand why hope is so important for our survival, I understand how sometime the suppressing government and society leave people no other choose but to run or fight back.

(Photo of Hong Kong youngsters running from police after a crush down @28/11/2014, from United Social Press Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UnitedSocial...)

In a sense, we were all born to run, just like the ending of BR.

Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
873 reviews1,762 followers
December 21, 2021
This was "bloody" fantastic!

Early in my Goodreading days I read The Hunger Games, and I was blown away by it. Going through other reviews I came to know that Ms Collins borrowed the core idea of her story from this Japanese classic. I was curious but somehow never got around to read it. A decade passed and I finally found myself reading this.

Let me confess I had a hard time to get familiar with the names of students, and I have to come back multiple times to start of the book to check out who was dead and who was still breathing. But once I got over that hurdle there was no looking back. I think I was as desperate as the students who were hiding or looking for prey to survive this massacre on that secluded island.

While all that bloodbath was scary to read and imagine as killers and victims all were teenagers, but it also gave the readers an insight into the mind of people when they were pushed to brink for survival. Whom to trust when every other person was someone who could kill you. Always looking over your shoulder, scared out of wits, and yet not sure if one would be able to survive next hour or breath.

And still after all those scary things there were some really touching moments too, when you get to see love and kindness are as important traits of a human being as fear and cruelty.

Highly recommended if you can bear gore and love some psychological theme stories.
Profile Image for Becky.
1,339 reviews1,632 followers
February 7, 2015
For the last, oh, 200 pages of this book or so, I kept thinking about what I'd say in my review. I never know how I'll start a review, but this time I kept thinking of possible opening lines. But, like Lays potato chips, I couldn't stop at just one, so here are my top 3, in no particular order:

1. There... once... was... a... book... of... ellipses... which... occasionally... had... words... in... between... them...

2. I'll never read the phrase "That's right" the same way again.

3. I see dead people. Finally.

Like many people (I assume) I heard of Battle Royale through The Hunger Games, as people like to claim that THG is derivative of Battle Royale and whatnot. And so, at a library sale last year, I acquired a copy. I was all excited about it, too, because it was super cheap (it was bag day - everything you can stuff into a grocery sized paper bag is $3. SCORE!), and because I love me some everybody-dies-and-the-world's-fucked-up-dystopia. Grim and gritty and violent? Awesome.

Only, UGH. In case you couldn't guess from the eleventy-million ranty-sarcastic status updates, I didn't enjoy this book. It was not awesome. It was awful. AWFUL.

It actually started out intriguing enough, but when I hit the first instance of the Dramatic Ellipses Pause, it caught me off guard, like stepping off a curb that's about 3 inches higher than you expected, and it made me furrow my brow and think, "That was awkward." When I ran into the second one just a little bit later, it was like walking into a spiderweb face-first. I should have seen it coming, and now there's annoying shit in my face. I should have known that things were only going to go downhill from there, writing wise. Not only because the Dramatic Ellipses Pause was such a flow killer, but because it heralded all sorts of... irksome quirks that were soon to come.

Now I know that this is a translation, and not a very good one, by all accounts. And I know that Japanese culture is different from my own (one of the big themes in the book, actually), and that their way of speaking and thinking and behaving is different from the way I would do it. I have no problem with that. I would like to state for the record that I never expected this book to read as though it was written by an American. But I'm not going to just give all of the bad writing in this book a pass because it's poorly translated from Japanese.

Repetition is repetition in any language. There are only so many times I can take being told the same things, over and over and over again, sometimes several times a page, before I start losing my shit. We're told repeatedly how smart certain characters are, how well-regarded they are by their peers, or how poorly thought of they are, or how this one is a star shortstop, or that one is a star basketball freethrower guy, or the other one is a star violinist, or another one is a star evil bitch with an angelic smile. (Oh, and in between this narration, and whatever action happens to be going on, we also have the character's inner-dialogue going on. I say dialogue, not monologue, because almost every time, it's seriously like reading a two-sided conversation they're having with themselves, where they repeat many of the same things AGAIN, because, you know, they've got to convince themselves of stuff or something.)

Stupid, annoying characters are stupid, annoying characters in any language. I get it. They are kids, and they are thrown into this horrifying situation, of course it's natural to be shocked. How the characters react is one of the reasons that people read books like this. But at some point, the characters have to get over that shit. There's a line from The Shawshank Redemption that says it best: "It comes down to a simple choice, get busy living or get busy dying." So much of this book was spent on shock and disbelief that I was ready to start smashing skulls myself.

Again and again and again, we're told how this character or that character or somesuch other character just couldn't believe that their class was chosen, that their class was here, that they were really playing, that they were up for it and killing each other. Again and again. Every perspective change we have to go through the same 7-stage process. Every conversation covers the same ground. Does it make me a terrible person that I just wanted them to start killing each other already?? Just to stop the horrible repetition.

And they're supposed to be smart, but they have NO common sense or sense of self-preservation. "It's important that I discuss and explain my intricate plan that you aren't really going to understand anyway, rather than think about the fact that someone could overhear it and that that would be bad." Good going, genius. These kids grew up in this society where even misinterpreted comments about the government could get you thrown into a re-education camp, or worse, killed, and they think that a government sponsored, run, and meticulously tracked program is just going to stop listening to the 40-some people who now have the most reason to turn against them? And not only should these kids just straight up assume their every movement and sound is being recorded, but you'd THINK they'd be wary of their own classmates overhearing them. Apparently not.

Then there's the ridiculous romance aspects of the story. Because 15 year olds are such noble romantic creatures that form lasting, twu-wuv bonds. And, yet again, how many times do we need to see the "Do you have a crush on someone?" conversation played out? It was awkward the first time, and the second time, and the every-fucking-time. It felt like a grown man was trying to write teenagers talking about their crushes. That's right... It was that. Seriously, I think that the author really has no idea what a crush is, and thinks that it's either True Love, Soulmate style, or the most dedicated and creepy stalker behavior ever. I'm not sure which, but both were depicted in this book, so maybe that's my answer.

It's sure as hell not depicted in any way that's realistic. "Hey, you're cute and cool and I like sitting 3 rows behind you in math. I'll write your initials and my initials together in a heart shape inside a notebook that I'll never show to another soul ever, and I'll fantasize about what it would be like to go out with you. But I'm not going to die for you, or with you, and if it looks like there's a chance you'll be attracting danger, I'm abandoning you because I don't really fucking know you, and this ain't Romeo and Juliet. You're just kinda cute. There are lots of kinda cute people out there. Sorry."

Then there are the semi-apologies-in-advance. "I didn't tell you, but, here's an explanation of something that I had no reason to ever think to tell you previously because it's seriously irrelevant to anything but this exact situation right now, and you didn't need to know it anyway. But sorry I didn't tell you." Or "It might be disrespectful to say this, but, I am going to finish this sentence by saying something completely banal." (This one is probably a culture thing, to be fair.) Or "I don't know what to say, but, right now the words coming out of my mouth are going to be something appropriate to say in this situation, which is the very thing I said I didn't know how to say when I started this sentence."

That's right... I just remembered the thing that I had forgotten until right now, which is that this kind of sentence occurred way too fucking often in this book. That's right... I've come to a conclusion. That's right... I just remembered to say the thing I just thought of to say. That's right, I just thought of a question. Can I ask you a question? That's right, the question would be right here. That's right, now I'm going to say more things that I just remembered or decided to say. That's right... blah blah blah blah...

I think it's probably a good thing that I don't have this book in e-book format, because I'd be so tempted to search key words and phrases just to see how many times they're actually used. I'm that annoyed with this book. I want stats and numbers to quantify my suffering.

I have no idea why this book is so highly regarded, except that it's reached cult classic status, and therefore it MUST be amazing.

Oh, dang it. I just broke my sarcasm key. *sigh*

Edited: First to correct a typo, and second to add some commentary about the point of this book, which is from one of my posts in the discussion below:

I did [actually] get the point of this. At the end, it's put out there that having this kind of Program is useful for controlling the populace. They (the people) don't know the rules and the details, they just know of the Program and see it through the lens that the government wants them to. They see it as a competition, that people are ruthless and willing to kill, or at least use others to protect themselves, and that it's everyone for themselves.

This, combined with the fear tactics that the government uses (hauling people away to re-education camps or just outright killing them) makes the probability of someone gathering people together to fight against the government unlikely - because nobody can really trust that the others aren't going to betray them. It's actually effective, and had this been less painful to read, I'd probably have loved it. But the writing got in the way of the message, I think.
Profile Image for Xabi1990.
1,972 reviews850 followers
December 21, 2020
Bueno, bueno, bueno, lo que teníamos aquí y yo sin saberlo...

Una ve z más gracias, gracias y gracias a mis amigos de GR por decubrirme esta novela. Si es que esta web es una gozada, ya se lo digo yo a todo quisqui.
A lo que vamos, va de que meten a toda una clase del insti - en un Japón alternativo con dictadura nacionalsocialista incluida- en una isla y sólo puede salir uno vivo. Les monitorizan y van anunciando por altavoces quienes van muriendo y les hacen otro tipo de putadas como ponerles collares explosivos, zonas con prohibiciones de estancia según horarios y o se matan entre ellos o les matan a todos.

“Coño, pues vaya plagio de Los juegos del Hambre de la Suzanne Collins, ¿no?”.....ERROOOOOOOR!!!
Este libros es 13 años anterior al de la Collins. Y además el Sr Takami ha tenido la decencia de no estirar el chicle y ha escrito sólo un libro (hace poco debió sacar una historia corta relacionada, pero eso se lo perdonamos). La Collins fue avariciosa y el tercero es una basura..Hablo de los libros, conste. De las pelis que hable un cinèfilo.

Pues eso, que en un solo libro consigue meter acción a saco, dilemas morales y varios personajes más que decentemente construidos. Si no os queréis hacer un cacao con la multitud de nombres japoneses un consejo: si podéis imprimirlos la lista de estudiantes y tenerla a mano. Yo iba tachando a quienes iban palmando y hasta les tenía marcados por “gremios”: deportistas, macarras, neutrales...y he conseguido no perderme nada.

Y el final no es tan previsible como creía, por cierto.

Una vez más gracias a quienes lo habéis recomendado con vuestras estrellas y reviews ( digo una vez más que, para mí, puntuar sin review sirve de poco) y animado a leerlo. Sí, se puede meter en la categoría de YA...o no, algunas muertes son pelín bestias.

P.D: la jeta de la Collins no menciona este libro en sus “inspiraciones”. Habla sólo de clásicos...¡Venga ya, tía!
Profile Image for Simeon.
Author 1 book373 followers
November 22, 2011
I read the first hundred pages of Battle Royale and fell asleep. That night I dreamt that I was in The Program. (I remember fleeing a pretty intense gunfight and thinking nonsensically: dammit, at least I'm getting good exercise.)

I hardly thought about it until the next evening, when I began to read again and only finished as the sun rose.

You cannot know gunfights or car chases until you've read Battle Royale.

It's fantastical, it's pulpy, and it's brilliant. I wish it had been written with more realism, but you can't have everything. Perhaps Koushun Takami will write another, some day.
Profile Image for Matteo Fumagalli.
Author 1 book8,160 followers
August 19, 2018
Videorecensione: https://youtu.be/3DIz-1bn_R4

Il film (perla vera di un regista storico come Kinji Fukasaku) è stato un must della mia preadolescenza. Visto un milione di volte e amato alla follia.
Per qualche motivo, non avevo mai letto il romanzo. Lacuna che ho colmato durante queste (brevi) vacanze. Il libro è oggettivamente scritto male male, ma scorre liscio, avvincendo e tenendo incollati talmente tanto che queste 670 pagine scorrono in un battibaleno.
Che bello ritrovare personaggi che nel film avevo amato come Shuya, Shogo, Noriko, Takako, Mitsuko e Hiroki qui ancora più approfonditi.
I pro del romanzo? Una maggiore attenzione sulle tematiche politiche e satiriche sulla distopia e la natura del gioco del massacro (che nel film vengono tralasciate) e un forte studio psicologico di TUTTI i personaggi (per ovvie ragioni, il film tagliava le storie degli studenti meno centrali, ma che bello scoprire il background di Yoshimi, personaggio più complesso di quel che sembra), dando loro quasi egual importanza.

Sebbene alcune scene splatter restino insuperate nel film, per creatività e estro visionario (l'epica scena del faro risulta, nel romanzo, molto più piatta), il libro è maggiormente crudele e sanguinario.

Se poi la forte attenzione alla sfera romantica dei legami tra studenti può sembrare inizialmente estremismo manga, ben presto si svela vincente nella caratterizzazione psicologica degli stessi: adolescenti (ancora non uomini e donne), costretti a diventare adulti in una società (molto vicina alla realtà) competitiva, dove la sopravvivenza segue logiche darwiniste, lontana dall'empatia e la collaborazione.
Non mancano i difetti (soprattutto di scrittura), ma "Battle Royale" è uno young adult di classe, infinite spanne sopra il 90% della roba analoga che esce recentemente.
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,929 reviews10.6k followers
January 1, 2014
A busload of Japanese teenagers is kidnapped and dumped off on an island, where they are forced to fight to the death until one student remains, all in the name of The Program. Which of the 42 students will survive?

I remember hearing about the film version of Battle Royale ages ago but never managed to watch it. Seeing that a lot of people compare The Hunger Games to Battle Royale, I figured I should give it a shot and I'm quite glad I did. Battle Royale is The Hunger Games with more gore and without the annoying love triangle.

Battle Royale takes place in an alternate present, where Japan is largely a totalitarian police state. Every year, a class is chosen for The Program, a free for all that makes Thunderdome look like an episode of The Care Bears. Each student is given a backpack and a weapon and turned loose one at a time. To make things interesting, there are forbidden zones on the island and anyone caught in one is killed instantly via the explosive collar they are all forced to wear. Sound good?

People are killed right off the bat and the book never lets up. I had a pretty good idea who would survive based on who got the most time on screen but the journey was well worth it. Kazuo and Mitsuko both needed their hash settled from the opening bell.

I mentioned gore earlier and this book has more than its share of gruesome killings. Hatchets to the face, many, many stabbings, gunshots galore, and lots of betrayal and deception on top of it.

The writing was also pretty good. Aside from a couple very minor hiccups, I would never guess it was a translation. In the afterword, Takami mentions Stephen King and Robert Parker as his big influences and I think it shows in the text. The explosive collars are straight out of the Running Man movie (not from the novel). The intro reminded me of the intro to Needful Things.

Since I'm only giving it a four, I guess I'll complain about a couple things. Shuya didn't have much personality enough though he was supposed to be the hero. Kazuo was overly powerful and seemed to have unlimited ammo. It was hard to keep track of who was who at times because of similar sounding names. However, all these were minor complaints and I found Battle Royale to be quite an enjoyable read. Four out of five stars.

Profile Image for Michelle.
147 reviews235 followers
November 29, 2018
There's this rumor that Suzanne Collins ripped off the idea for "The Hunger Games" from "Battle Royale". After reading the supposed original, I could say that the plot for both books are pretty similar but Koushun Takami's novel is of an entirely different league -- it's quite incomparable.

"Battle Royale" does have a very colorful and well handled take on the the fight-to-the-death premise than anything I have ever read before. It's a book of mass-slaughter: more than forty deaths and practically each one is described, and a litany of brutality and betrayal that even in its many variations, can be a bit of overkill. Still, for such a long book littered with so many bodies, Takami manages to keep things moving, and hold my interest. There's constant tension, and a few good surprises. There are too many characters to really get much of a sense of many of them, but the strongest point of the novel describes how some characters descend into madness, while others keep their wits. This psychological element is like a twisted reflection of high school life which can often seem this brutal sans the bloody consequences. In extreme situations, true colours are shown, and they're often surprising ones. The narrative is quite riveting, and there are a lot of moments when I want to throw up and cry, and jump up and down at the same time.

I have a few qualms though, including the fact that the program is so enormous with fifty classes a year. That's roughly 2000 students killed, quite a huge casualty for even a large nation to take. The purpose of the program is never really made clear either. It's also important to note that the translation isn't as great as it should 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.

In the end, I could still say that "Battle Royale" is a perfectly fine thriller, with a fun premise and a well drawn-out story. If you plan to read it, I suggest that you pick up the graphic novels too, they are visually stunning and just as riveting.
Profile Image for F.
294 reviews253 followers
February 10, 2017
This is more like a 4.5 out of 5.

I loved this book so much. Such an original twisted story.

I got a little confused over all the japanese names but luckily once they started to die off I got to grips with who a lot of them were.

I love books that have some short chapters and some long chapters.
The student count at the end of each chapter.

Loved shogo.

Also LOVED the end. Even though I seen the movie years ago i had forgot what happened.

Profile Image for Will M..
304 reviews615 followers
June 11, 2015
42 children forced to kill each other. Around 15 year old children forced to become violent and merciless killers. Only one can survive this brutal bloodbath. It's all about strategy and being emotionless. Who will prevail?

The premise was not new to me, but the execution was spectacular. Not only did the author managed to impress me with the plot, but he also managed to make me feel sympathy toward some of the characters. I'll be honest and say that it would be impossible to feel sympathy toward all 42 of them, but I still managed to feel a sense of connection toward a few of them.

The most impressive attribute of this novel would be the writing. It was vivid. Some would say too vivid, but for me, the more violent, the better. This novel promised a battle royale among teenagers, but what happened was not completely unbelievable. If thrown in together with a bunch of your classmates and forced to kill each other, some people tend to lose their minds. The whole idea of it is not completely unlikely to happen, but odds are it wouldn't. The children here were brutal to the point that they had no hearts. I'm not Japanese, but I still think that Japanese people don't exude the violent characteristics that the author portrayed. The defense though would be that this is a work of fiction. It can be as absurd as it can be. There are some work of fiction that tend to go overboard regarding the absurdity, but for me this novel had the perfect amount. It was believable, and honestly I'm a bit terrified because of it.

The amount of violence clearly exceeded the normal level. I liked that. I wanted the blood bath and I got it. The Hunger Games in comparison was a lot more mellow and teenager friendly, but this one was gut wrenching awesome. If you cannot stomach even a little amount of violence, then stay away from this novel.

The fucking plot twist in the end. I didn't see it. Wait, let me correct myself, the plot twists. Multiple plot twists simultaneously showed up and it was a mind fuck experience. The author decided to wait for the last few chapters to make me feel like shit for not expecting the ending. I really didn't expect that to happen at all. He slowly gave the ending away near the end though, so I actually did see some things happening, but only when he started to hint them coming. All throughout the novel I was fixating that .

Despite all the great things mentioned, I still had some problems with the novel. The main thing would be that there were too many characters to begin with. At first I thought it wouldn't be a problem, but along the way some characters weren't even that interesting. I'm aware of them being minor characters, but I still wanted at least an in depth explanation of who they were. Some characters were forced to be explained and they ended up pretentious and annoying. The good side though was that the good characters had more attention and were developed perfectly.

Another problem would be the safe zones. They weren't evident enough to be interesting. They were only mentioned at least 5 times if I remember correctly, so the students didn't seem like they were really being forced to be near each other.

And the last would be the lack of survival strategies present. There were some, but not interesting enough. I wanted to see more ways of them looking for food, building shelters, and more. Despite not being centralized as a survival book, it should still be heavily implied that the students would be looking for ways to survive, while trying to kill each other(or not) at the same time.

This novel will always be compared to Collins' The Hunger Games and Stephen King's The Long Walk. The Hunger games was more similar to this, but still different in its own way. The Long Walk had a different take on it, despite some similarities. Everyone should be aware though that there's really no such thing as a new idea when it comes to writing. Somewhere in the world someone has probably written about your idea already. The only thing one can hope for would be the terrific execution. Battle Royale and The Long Walk both were executed perfectly. I'm not going to chose which one I liked better because I believe I liked them both perfectly the same. I honestly can't say the same for THG, but that was still good nonetheless.

5/5 stars. Terrific writing, interesting characters, and a perfect ending. I will most probably read this again in the future. Highly recommended.

Profile Image for Mariana.
392 reviews1,699 followers
September 3, 2020
4.5 estrellas.
Vaya viaje: Sangriento, lleno de adrenalina, emociones y hasta reflexiones sociopolíticas.
Disfruté esta lectura mucho más de lo que me imaginaba, la capacidad de Takami para desarrollar más de 42 personajes, (algunos de los cuales aparecen sólo en 2 páginas) es impresionante. El ritmo del libro es excelente y a pesar de su longitud no se me hizo pesado en ningún momento.
A diferencia de Hunger Games, en donde los participantes están preparados, aquí todos son amateurs y sus reacciones se sienten mucho más humanas, viscerales y por supuesto... sangrientas. Nadie está a salvo.
Aunque hayan visto la película, 100% les recomiendo leer el libro, no se van a arrepentir.
Profile Image for Meredith Holley.
Author 2 books2,237 followers
April 1, 2009
Everything about this book makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth. I say again, "yuck yuck yuck," both to the absurd violence and the shallow emotion of this story. Every time the plot turned toward something interesting, it was quickly replaced by a turn toward Lame. I get why SO MANY people compared The Hunger Games with this book (which is the reason I picked Battle Royale up in the first place) because of the basic Lord of the Flies, kids-will-be-kids premise. I, however, found Battle Royale nowhere near as disturbing or thought provoking on a personal level as The Hunger Games. The violence is ridiculous, and even from the first chapter the plot is so obvious, even the way various characters will meet their tragic ends is so obvious, that the only conflict it caused for me was whether to give in to my stubbornness about finishing books or just give up after the first hundred pages.

I'm not prepared to defend the violence in The Hunger Games, or comment as to whether I thought it was cheesy or not, but in that book it is not the sole focus of the story. I think the violence is basically boring in both, but in the Hunger Games there is at least less of it, so I have less to be bored with.
For me, the value of the Hunger Games is in presenting a model of a girl action hero who is genuinely there as a female perspective and not ultimately an object of male desire like most female characters who are set up as being girl action heroes.

I think that is why the comparison of the two doesn't seem very valuable to me. Battle Royale obviously does more with the violence, so if that is something that is a draw to a reader, that reader will definitely prefer Battle Royale. Hunger Games does more for changing the narrative of female protagonists, so if that is a draw to a reader, as it is to me, that reader might prefer Hunger Games.

The descriptions were very anime, which makes me think that if the writing had been beautiful, or if any of the emotion had seemed deep, I may have liked this book. The end was plot-twist after plot-twist (you thought they were dead?! No! Alive! No, wait, dead. Like that part in Eddie Izzard, Dressed to Kill), and half of the twists gave me hope that they would redeem the story. The other half killed those hopes. My advice is that if you think you feel like reading this book, maybe you actually feel like watching Cowboy Beebop. I don't think you'll regret it.
Profile Image for Cassy.
195 reviews629 followers
April 12, 2022
Whenever I think of this book, I picture the author sitting down with a piece of paper and making a list of dozens of violent, unusual ways to kill a person. Poison! Jumping off a cliff! Lot of guns! Strangulation! An exploding head! Falling off a roof! Splitting open a head with a machete like it is a ripe watermelon!

Then he goes about the task of writing a book that incorporates each and every one of these deaths.

And are you concerned that you will never keep up with all the Japanese names? Never fear! For 85% of the cast, you don’t really need to know their names. Within a few pages of being introduced to someone, you can safely bet they’ll be dead. You have to remember the premise of the book promises 40 odd deaths in the span of 600 pages. You do the math. Or I'll do it for you. That's a death every 15 pages (assuming they are evenly spaced, which they basically are).

In all seriousness, the translation is shoddy. And I think Hunger Games has more heart. But this book is worth reading – although perhaps not during a trip to celebrate your second wedding anniversary. It is entertaining in its own strange, gruesome way. It is certainly fast paced (remember 1 death/15 pages). And there are a few interesting ideas hidden beneath the gore.

Would you trust the person to your left not to kill you if encouraged? No? Or the right? Well, RUN!!!
Profile Image for Brandy.
Author 2 books115 followers
March 18, 2009
I picked this up based on the fervor over "OMG The Hunger Games so totally ripped this off." And for the first half of this book, I agreed: I thought I knew exactly where BR was going, and how it would get there. It's the story of 40 teens who are instructed to kill each other until only one remains, and are each given a bag containing food, water, and a weapon--some as great as machine guns, others as worthless as forks. Early on some alliances are made, then broken; people are betrayed and killed.

But about halfway through, Battle Royale and The Hunger Games part company. By the end, I don't think it's the same story at all. It's a similar story, definitely, but BR's strength is that most of the 40 characters manage to be sympathetic characters. We get backstory on just about all of them, find out who they were before they were thrown int this crazy game, what motivates them to do certain things, and we even see their individual battles against each other. There are a couple of factions we return to multiple times, the ones who are clearly our heroes, but with only one or two exceptions we don't have villains. Hunger Games, everyone who wasn't from District 12 was a villain, someone to be avoided and distrusted, and that was easy because we didn't know who those other characters were. In Battle Royale, we know all these people--they're classmates, some dating back to elementary school. There are histories here, friendships and crushes and romantic entanglements, and that makes the killing that much more horrible.

Oh, and for those who thought Hunger Games was a violent book? Whooooooooo boy. This was absolutely horrifying at times. The gunfights were bad enough, but the graphic descriptions of hand-to-hand combat were particularly brutal. It's not the violence that's gratuitous, exactly, but the lengthy descriptions of it, and even that goes a long way toward world-building and accurately conveying the horror of the situation.

A bit on the writing: This is not Shakespeare. There's a lot of "basically" and "of course" and "in other words," and there's a LOT of use of the passive voice. Whether this is a writing issue or a translation one is a mystery to me, but you'll roll your eyes at the writing at least once a chapter, I'd say. (Note that I remember seeing at least 70 chapters here... start your eye exercises now, so you're prepared for all the rolling!) But writing quirks aside, this is really engrossing, the kind of book I blew bedtime by several hours for three nights running.
Profile Image for Katie Colson.
653 reviews5,828 followers
July 21, 2022
Vlog/Review: https://youtu.be/Ys_Fx1mbYoA


I love this concept. I could spend years dissecting what I or anyone I know would do in a similar scenario. It is endlessly intriguing to me.

However, I had the remastered edition physically but the original translation audibly. To say they're different is an understatement. The audio is choppy and makes the characters come off as 2-dimensional. The remastered book fits right in with the American jargon and how we would assume teenagers to act like. I wonder if I had read this in it's own language, if I had loved it more.

There were a lot of moments that made me sad and happy and scared. But not even close to the amount I was hoping for. This wasn't nearly as gory as I was promised. Yes, there's a lot of death. But I was expecting horror. Not someone getting shot in the back and then the chapter ending. I don't know.

I don't want it to come across like I didn't enjoy this book. I really did. But it didn't meet my expectation.

Also, the reasoning for preserving these games in the first place made no sense to me at all. How could this be happening every 2 years and NONE of these teenagers have heard of it? Ummmmm, what? I don't think so.

I can't wait to watch the movie though cause that seems right up my street.

I hope to love the movie so much that it makes me want to revisit the book.
Profile Image for TJ ☾.
690 reviews1,155 followers
May 17, 2022
3.5 i'll leave you to rot stars 🔪😈

“All right, all right, please be quiet." Sakamochi clapped his hands together several times to get their attention. The clamor suddenly subsided. "Let me explain the situation. The reason why you're all here today..."
Then he said: "...is to kill each other.”

oooooo that was music to my slasher loving ears y'all. AND THEN

Now no one responded. Everyone remained frozen, like figures in a still photograph. But—Shuya noticed—Shogo continued chewing his gum. His expression hadn't changed. But Shuya thought he'd caught a glimpse of a faint grin flash across his face.

bitch that's my man right there. like idk what you want me to say? that's my man 🤷🏽‍♀️


ugh the vibe 🤌🏽 so the plot is basically 42 students put on an island and being forced to kill each other. i can't dress it up nicer than that. the dystopian worldbuilding was simple but effective and also an interesting thought experiment on both authoritarianism and the human psyche.

it was a bit intimidating at first just because of the sheer number of characters introduced at once but the ones to look out for emerged fairly quickly and then it becomes a ride

⚙️ SHOGO ⚙️

survivalist, logical, blasé, realistic, rebellious, a bit eccentric, and most importantly: my man.


psychopath. and i mean PSYCHOPATH. like he's not one of these 'reachable' psychopaths that have little quirks or a random soft spot for someone or something. he legit has 0 feelings, personality, or human reservations. canonically missing a screw in his brain



popular, well intentioned, optimistic, naive, protagonist. also all the girls have crushes on him? legit for some reason every female pov we got in this book was going on about dreamy he was. like ladies idk why i have to tell you this but you're literally in the OG hunger games..... GET IT TOGETHER



gives kazou a run for his money on the batshit scale. fantastic actress, knows how to use her feminine wiles, kind of iconic but i was plotting on her downfall after she killed my fav character:

in conclusion:

when i first started this i was fully expecting an easy 5 star. i love this idea and really do want to give it the credit it deserves for inspiring so many books and films in the 'death game' genre. my biggest complaint though was that i really just wanted it to dig deeper. it wasn't gritty enough to be truly shocking or deliver thought provoking insights.

everything unfolded almost exactly like you'd expect and the twists weren't twisting for me. the characters also weren't given as much depth or reality i would've liked outside of their high school 'tropes' or roles. i did notice that the translation was a bit choppy though so i do wonder how much it differed from the authors original writing

the romance between shuya and noriko was also super unnecessary... never have i been so uninterested in a romance or shipped two losers less. and especially in part 2, things did get tedious waiting for so many irrelevant characters to die. that being said, a couple characters really shined and the overall vibe of the book was wild enough for me to enjoy
Profile Image for Ebb.
55 reviews
July 15, 2008
Cult novels are hard to resist. Lord of the Flies. Naked Lunch. A Clockwork Orange. Fight Club. Startling. Brutal. Original. Compelling. They frighten me to death, yet I love them. It's that kind of complicated.

I picked up Takami's Battle Royale mainly because the guy in the bookshop opened his mouth and said 'cult novel'. Just two little words and I was immediately consumed with the need to know why.

Wikipedia gives the following plot outline:

"The novel and manga Battle Royale takes place in an alternate timeline, according to the book's prologue, where Japan is a police state, known as the Republic of Greater East Asia. Once a year, randomly selected classes of middle-school students are forced to take arms against one another until only one student in each class remains. The program was created, supposedly, as a form of military research, though the outcome of each battle is publicized on local television. The first battle in the series took place in 1947, and the novel follows a battle that takes place in May 1997.

Under the guise of a 'study trip', the students are corralled onto a bus and gassed, only to awaken on an evacuated island or isolated area with metal collars around their necks. After being briefed about their role in the program, the students are issued bags that carry bread, water, a map, a compass, a flashlight, a watchguns and knives, some students acquire useless items like boomerangs, some common dartboard darts, or a fork. In some cases, instead of a weapon, the student receives a tool; Hiroki SugimuraToshinori Oda receives a bulletproof vest.
To make sure the students obey the rules and kill each other, the metal collars around their necks track their positions, and will explode if they linger in a 'Forbidden Zone' or attempt to remove the collars. The Forbidden Zones are randomly chosen areas of the map that increase in number from hour to hour, re-sculpting and shrinking the battlefield and forcing the students to move around. The collars secretly transmit sound back to the organizers of the game, allowing them to hear the students' conversations, root out escape plans, and log their activities.

The students are also given a time limit. If twenty-four hours pass without someone killing someone, then all of the collars will be detonated simultaneously and there will be no winner."

And as plot intros go, that's a pretty decent one. The scenario is set up in the first 30 pages. The remaining 570 pages are devoted to the "battle".

Let's just say it was a looooonnngggg 570 pages.


1. The book is not well written. It feels like a lumbering engine. Doing what it has to do mechanically but without any real finesse. Now maybe that's caused by a less than gifted translation from the original Japanese. I'll give it the benefit of the the doubt...

2. While I was expecting somewhat stereotypical characters, these just seemed soooo tired. So predictable. The dialogue at times had me wincing from the melodrama. Yes, teenagers can be melodramatic. Yes, ninth grade is filled with "roles" that students fill: the loner, the spoiled rich kid, the class clown, etc. But this book did nothing to elevate those truths. It's been a long while since I read Lord of the Flies. Maybe it was equally simplistic. But my gut says, no.

3. The love story that evolved between X and Y. *slaps hand to forehead* Could you get a more traditional piece of dreck? He's the protector, the "strong" one. She's the weak female, needing his protection. Yadda. Yadda. This may be every ninth grade girl's (or hell, every middle aged women's) dream. But I found it tired. I've seen traditional done soooooo much better elsewhere.

4. The "plot twists" were obvious well in advance. There were no shocks. I didn't cling to the book wanting to know what happend next. The ending while perhaps crazy-thrilling and oh-so-amazing to the cultees, seemed painfully apparant by about page 150.

When I compare the truly shocking texts found in Naked Lunch or Fight Club, to the truly sad tale that is Battle Royale, I see no basis for comparison. Battle Royale may be a cult novel but it doesn't measure up in any of the complex ways I expect cult novels to challenge, shock and engage me.

I suspect Battle Royale got its "cult" moniker purely due to two things: it's protagonists are young and it contains plenty of violence. Sadly these two factors do not make it good!

I'm putting my copy in the book recycling.

Yes, it's that bad.
Profile Image for Andrea Belfiori.
125 reviews969 followers
September 19, 2021
Bellissimo. Sicuramente non esente da difetti, ma Battle Royale riesce a catturare il lettore e a risucchiarlo in un vortice di suspense e tensione, soprattutto man mano che ci avviciniamo alla file del libro. E quel finale è ILLEGALE.

Se avete amato Hunger Games, date una chance a questo libro. La premessa è davvero simile ma alla fine i due libri prendono strade molto diverse. Super consigliato!
Profile Image for Tina (aggss112).
162 reviews107 followers
January 14, 2022
No se por qué, pero siempre tuve esta extraña fantasía en donde iba a un Battle Royale con mis compañeros de secundaria y yo terminaba ganando. Obviamente esto no es plausible porque tengo una hermana melliza e íbamos juntas al mismo curso, jajaja. Nunca pensaría en matar a mi hermana... o si? (ES BROMA, TE QUIERO MUCHO).

Bueno, hablando en serio ahora. Tenía mucha anticipación con este libro y fue muy bueno. Sí, es verdad que es largo y los nombres de los personajes son un embrollo, pero después de unas cuantas páginas no se tiene problema. El autor te deja muy en claro quienes son cada uno y el rol que van a cumplir en la historia.

Fue un viaje de ida y vuelta, la verdad. Me produjo muchas emociones; me daba ternura, me reía, después me horrorrizaba y al final lloré. Era tan inmersivo que no había manera de que lo pudiera soltar! Es muy díficil conseguir eso conmigo, siempre me distraigo fácilmente, así que creo que tanto el ritmo y el desarollo de la historia fueron muy constantes. Son 600 páginas muy bien aprovechadas.

Lo que también me gustó fue la caracterización de los personajes. Era muy realista, por así decirlo, la manera en la que actuaban. Tienen quince años y se nota bastante. Algunos eran muchísimos más interesantes que otros, por supuesto, pero en general era divertido seguir a cada uno y su hilo de pensamiento hasta donde llegaran. Hubieron dos en particular que me hubiera encantado conocer más, aunque no sé si eso hubiera sido bueno o malo, jajaja.

Además, también están las reflexiones respecto al gobierno totalitario que los obliga a participar en el juego; la sociedad en la que viven, la censura y el motivo por el cual nadie puede ir en contra de ellos. Muy pero que muy interesante. Vi un paralelismo con El Señor de las Moscas, en donde también están los que  luchan para estar en lo más alto y otros que solamente quieren hacer lo correcto, tratando de no verse influenciados por las autoridades que los someten.

Conclusión: muy entretenido, con toques de amistad y mucho gore. La única pega que le pongo es que me hubiera gustado que el romance no fuera un foco muy principal, ya que sentí que reducían a muchos personajes, especialmente a los femeninos, a solo eso.
Profile Image for Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader).
389 reviews1,239 followers
July 29, 2022
2022 REREAD: Just as good as the first time around. Mitsuko slays literally & figuratively.

“Now then, I want you to write this down. To memorize something, it’s best to write it down. Write this. ‘We will kill each other.’ Write it three times.”
“Okay then. ‘If I don’t kill, I will be killed.’ Write this down three times too.”

This was truly madness.

I remember when The Hunger Games came out everyone was saying it was the poor man’s version of Battle Royale. Damn, was that an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, I loved The Hunger Games but it’s nothing compared to the masterpiece that is Battle Royale.

In The Hunger Games characters are killing people they don’t even know, from places they’ve never been. In Battle Royale they’re killing their childhood friends, their boyfriends or girlfriends, their crushes, their teammates. Kids they’ve grown up with, who they’ve seen everyday. Kids they have bonded with through years of childhood and adolescences. Friends they think they’re going on a fun school trip with, so they’ve packed treats, they’re ready to gossip about their crushes, sneak away for some stolen kisses, maybe even get laid. They fucking K N O W each other, intimately.You get me? Instead they are abandoned on an island and forced to kill each other, and it’s fucking brutal.

“They tried to believe in their classmates. They must have believed that if we could all get together, then we might end up being saved. We should commend them for that. We couldn't do that.”

I’ve read a lot of horror and thriller novels but I’ve never read anything like this. The suspense is unreal and no other books come close. There are really two different kinds of suspense: 1. You (the reader), along with the characters, have no idea what the fuck is going on so you’re full of suspicion, rushing to put everything together before it’s too late.
2. You (the reader) know E X A C T L Y what the fuck is going on so you’re screaming inside as the characters trust someone they shouldn’t, walk right into a trap, misinterpret something, etc.

Because this book is told through the rotating POV of every character I got both these kinds of suspense, and it’s delicious. I encountered students that I hadn’t met before so I had no idea if they were “playing the game”. I was suspicious and whispering “Don’t trust them”, waiting for them to turn on them and beat them to death with their aluminum bat (or you know, stab them with a FORK if that was their assigned weapon). OR I encountered students that I KNEW were playing the game and I was screaming “DO NOT TRUST THEM! IT’S A TRAP!!”.

I got to be the hunter and the hunted. The person who spends all their time looking for their crush so that they can tell them they love them. The best friends hiding in the dark together and whispering about boys they like as a distraction. The betrayed and the betrayer. I know, I know, rotating through 38 POVs sounds exhausting and confusing but it was executed so well and each character was so different. I loved that I got to experience the Program through all different eyes and the experience would not have been the same if it wasn’t written this way. I got to see through the eyes of the avid hunters, the hiders, the plotters and I-don’t-want-to-kill-anyone-but-I’m-just-trying-to-survive-ers.

I saw it all.

“I killed him because it looked like he wasn’t going to kill you after all.”

Another thing that added to the suspense were the different assigned weapons. Every student had a randomly assigned weapon in their day pack and they ranged from a FUCKING FORK to an Uzi. One girl had a freaking boomerang! It was horrifying reading the POV of a character crawling around with a fork when you know that there is a psycho out there with a submachine gun.

There were so many twists I didn’t see coming and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I had no idea how it was going to end. No one and nothing felt safe, even lovers and best friends, and I LOVED that. There were points while reading this that I was either sitting on my couch in stunned silence or screaming at my BF, “CAN YOU BELIEVE!?”. It was really fun trying to keep track of where everyone was, who was “playing” and who wasn’t, what weapons they had, where the forbidden zones were, etc. Okay, this is about to get morbid but, none of the “death scenes” were the same and they were so well written and suspenseful that sometimes I had to set the book down and take a moment for myself. There was sneaking and there was hiding. There was backstabbing and explosions, close calls and near beheadings. It was simply amazing.

While Battle Royale is an epic thriller it also explores some pretty philosophical thoughts. What is one willing to do when faced with a life or death situation - when it’s you vs. them? We all tell ourselves that we are good people, that we would never kill a friend or loved one, but then fear and suspicion take over and slowly poisons logic until we are broken down to animal instinct. Why is it so much easier for some to commit horrible acts of violence than others? Is it their life experiences? Or is it just because?

“There's no end to suspicion once you get going.”

I loved all the characters. Even if I didn’t love their personalities, actions or thought they were idiots, I loved what they added to the story. They all felt fleshed out and unique to one another. I loved being in their heads and seeing all their different reasons for committing, or not committing, such horrible acts. Were they enjoying it? Were they just scared? Was it an accident? Were they trying to escape? It was all so interesting. Though I thoroughly enjoyed every POV, even those of the savage hunters, I had my little tribe of dweebs that I was rooting so hard for. Did they survive? Maybe. Did they get obliterated? Possibly. But they were fucking badass.

Yes, I teared up several times but I didn’t actually cry until the very end. The last two sentences. After everything I went through with these characters, I just found them so amazing and touching.

I’ve seen the movie (as of five minutes ago) and although it is awesome, I highly, highly recommend the book even if you’ve seen it. The book is obviously better. I would also recommend getting the physical copy. There is a lot to keep track of so it’s nice being able to quickly and easily flip around, especially back to the map.

To put it simply, this book was beautiful and tragic and amazing. It’s definitely a new all time favorite and I will be telling everyone to read it until I’m blue in the face.

“By then she was dead. In fact, she may have been dead a while ago. Physically, several seconds ago, mentally, ages ago.”

P.S. I know Suzanne Collins claims innocence when to comes to completely ripping off Battle Royale, but after reading this...
That’s how I feel about it.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,164 followers
February 16, 2016
E.T.A.: So, I watched the movie today online. (It's everywhere). If you saw the movie, you still don't know the book. Totally different! The movie is even more like the Hunger Games, but it doesn't scratch the surface of the book. It also is not true to the book at all. Even character names were changed. Read the book instead! ;-)
(Back to your previously scheduled book review):

Holy Massacre, Batman!

If you feel like the Hunger Games was way too sweet, touchy feely, and gentle - this might be more your style.

If you wanted more kids in the arena, more sick & twisted mind games, waaaaay more blood guts & gore - look no further.

If you wondered what it would be like if all 42 kids grew up together, knew each other, and trusted each other before the Hunger Games - your answer lies within this book.

If you wished that you had the POV's of Cato, Clove, Rue, Foxface, along with their backstories and their brutally detailed deaths - gotcha covered.

If you thought of how much different things would have been if they'd been given guns and there were no game-maker toys to kill them, only each other - it's all here, baby!

So, the first bit is a little hard to get through because it can be a bit confusing with so many characters. Especially since they have tough names that includes their last names. I mean, for me they were tough. There were no Joe's or Sue's. And, there are 42 of these suckers - ouch! That is a lot of names to keep straight. But, the good news is that once the 'game' gets underway, it really starts to flow. And, it is epic. So unbelievably brutal and disturbing. But, also so many times when it's poignant. I'm just amazed at how deep this book was able to go into the character's minds when there was so much action and so many people. It really is an amazing piece of work.

Also, Suzanne Collins totally plagiarized! There were parts of the story that were absolutely exactly from this book. For instance, there were announcements in the morning and evening of who was killed, they were constantly narrowing down the playing field to herd the kids closer together, and there was a part where they instructed one boy to set two fires with young wood so that it would smoke as a signal and then they would use a bird call to find each other. Copy much?

I read this book, not only because I wanted to and it was epic, but also as part of my 2016 Reading Challenge with the MacHalo chicks: Read a book that was made into a movie.

Profile Image for Katherine.
29 reviews5 followers
April 29, 2008
"Lord of the Flies" meets "The Most Dangerous Game" meets the gruesome, bloody stylings of Quentin Tarantino... on acid who killed Stephen King and tossed his body into BTK's backyard.

I have read this book twice in the last two years both times within two days and I can guarantee that I'll read it a time or two (or three) again in the future (NERD!). The very thought of being 15-year-olds and being thrust into a situation where you have to kill or be killed, your best friends become your enemies and people you have grown up with are suddenly crazed killers is utterly terrifying. There are 42 students, 42 Japanese names (and if you're not Japanese, therein lies guaranteed confusion) and 42 different personalities that are thrown at you within the first few chapters. It's overwhelming and somewhat confusing, yet somehow it becomes very easy to distinguish who is who. It is even easier to select which students deserve pity, which students deserve sympathy, which students are morally despicable and which students one truly hopes survive. Out of these 42 students, by the rules of The Program, only one can survive. Yikes.
Profile Image for AMEERA.
277 reviews316 followers
November 10, 2017

absolutely this book like the hunger games or the hunger games like it but of course has different things and I think i loved the Hunger Games more
Profile Image for Katherine.
350 reviews
March 21, 2022
"Simplemente decidí cazar en vez de ser cazada. No es una cuestión de ser malo o bueno, o de que las cosas estén bien o mal. Se trata simplemente de lo que una quiera hacer. "

Es la segunda vez que lo leo y lo he disfrutado muchísimo más y eso que la primera vez me encantó!

Adrenalina, desesperación, muchas muertes y sangre son algunas de las características que más se repiten en cada capítulo.
Desde el inicio es una maratón de locura en la que jóvenes que han compartido día a día se vuelven unos contra a otros para poder sobrevivir. Personajes fuertes, algunos con pasados muy duros, otros que realmente son temibles, pero todos enfrentados a la crudeza del programa para el que han sido seleccionado.

Una historia donde la amistad, la envidia, la unión, el amor y la confianza se ponen en juego para ser el ganador de Battle Royale.
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