English: Battle Royale
Published: Nov 2000 to Jan 2006
Score: 8.231 (scored by 11341 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action drama horror
SynopsisUnder the guise of a "study trip," a group of students from Shiroiwa Junior High School in the fictional town of Shiroiwa (Kagawa Prefecture) are gassed on a bus. They awaken in the Okishima Island School on Okishima, an isolated, evacuated island. They learn that they have been placed in an event called the Program.
According to the rules, every year since 1947, 42 third-year high school students are isolated, and each student is required to fight to the death until one student remains. Their movements are tracked by metal collars around their necks, which contain tracking and listening devices; if any student should attempt to escape the Program, or enter declared forbidden zones, a bomb will be detonated in the collar, killing the wearer. If no one dies in a 24 hour time period, there will be no winner and all collars will be detonated simultaneously.
Related MangaSequel: Battle Royale 2: Blitz Royale
'Kill or be killed. This is how this fucking game works'.
It's more violent than your Tokyo Ghoul and much more emotional than Eren's mom being munched by a Titan. This, ladies and gentlemen is 'Battle Royale' - an original story featuring a very gruesome gladiator fight imposed by the government act, between innocent teenagers on a deserted island. One thing is for sure - Battle Royale encapsulates trust, betrayal, love, insanity, gore, fear, anxiety, despair for survival and most importantly, hope into this incredible 15 volume manga that is just incomparable with the movie.
For most of you out there, who've seen the Battle Royale movie and are bitching how it's better than its 'successor' The Hunger Games… You haven't read the manga or the novel that was used to make, what is in my eyes now, poor of an excuse movie. Battle Royale is so surreal and down to Earth gory and explicit, yet somehow it feels frighteningly real and close to our own universe.
A group of 9th grade students are chosen to participate in The Programme called the Battle Royale. It is part of the law, that each year, a 'randomly' chosen 9th grade class, will be participating in this battle to death game, broadcasted all over Japan. A similar story, isn't it? Yet this is the original 'Hunger Games' and I'll go against my own opinion to say - 'Hunger Games' is nothing compare to Battle Royal in every single sense, be it books or the film (I'm being highly subjective here, but hey, this is my review and my own humble opinion)
The story is following the original novel written by Koushun Takami, but expands greatly into a backstory of each single character. The story in this manga is very high paced, yet it doesn't feel too rushed at all, neither is it complicated to comprehend what's going on. It feels very natural and easy to read and the flow is never interrupted with unnecessary scenes. 'Battle Royale' has quality what most present day mainstream 'kawaii' manga lack. It is as if the majority of todays mangakas are aiming at readers who would prefer something 'light' and 'fluffy', but nothing that would seriously shake their already soft brains and challenge them to think deeply about the world they're living in.
'Battle Royale' makes you open your eyes to the reality that we are living in, but do not bear to admit - the brutality of everyday life, be it abused or neglected children, homeless and damaged people, prostitution and mental insanity. It questions the stability and the governments ability to control a nation. It's constantly in motion to question, break and push the limits of morals, such as the value of human life, the value of your own life and the value of friendship and love. One thing you'll be taught after reading 'Battle Royale' is how fragile and easily altered human nature is. How one can crack quickly under pressure when told 'Kill or Be Killed', and what was once a 'friend' is your ticket out of this hell. It makes you realise that there are more things one should treasure and more things one should be willing to sacrifice. It also explores how to show compassion and love towards those that would least expect to receive it, how to forgive those damaged by life people (ref. to Kiriyama).
Every single character in this story gets a chance to shine, and I'm serious - every fucking 42 students get's an opportunity to expose their inner personalities and backstories, that makes it seems like they're real people. It gives us, the readers, a chance to explore the reasons behind their actions, the reasons behind who they are. It is so down to Earth in terms of honesty and in terms of portraying the mentality of the majority of teenagers out there, that I doubt any other manga can do that.
'Battle Royale' aims at very realistic approach towards manga illustrations. The eyes are all aiming towards natural shape, the faces of most children are oddly shaped, which brings a great sense of reality. There are no sparkles, neither there are any neglected characters - each and every one of them has features that reflect their own personality. There is NO fan service, and this is what I love about it.
The quality. Oh don't get me started on how detailed and impeccable, Masayuki Taguchi's art in this manga is. I think if it wasn't for his art, this manga wouldn't be that meaningful or that popular. He breathes life into the characters and makes them all seem so ordinary, yet so unique in their own sense. If you think Attack on Titan had extreme expressions, you haven't seen what facial expressions did Kazushi Niida did whilst trying to rape and murder his class mate Takako Chigusa. Taguchi makes the characters to express a lot of pain, anger, desperation, sadness with a little grain of happiness and hope. Because of how extremely violent this manga is, those moments when characters are seen happy, like Nanahara's and Noriko's reunion, makes you believe that even in the most darkest moments, there's always hope.
And yes, this manga is most known for it's brutal, violent and highly sexual depiction. Now I must say, I've seen a lot of gore in manga such as Deadman Wonderland, yet not as EXPLICIT and OVERWHELMINGLY bloody as 'Battle Royale'. It makes Deadman Wonderland look like child's play. The shooting scenes and the way the bullets are portrayed protruding from the persons head with all the brains splashing, might make some of you gag as it's so realistic, it seems like you can hear the blood trickle and smell that sickening metallic smell that it brings. The anatomy can be sometimes exaggerated and the reason why I gave it a 9, is because most teens look like they'd be in their early 20's, when they should be 14/15. Well I guess none manga is flawless
However, the shining coin is the way the manga is divided into small arcs that are each dedicated to a different characters story line. The stories are all individual, meaning they're told from each characters perspective, making the plot very variable and not dragged on AT ALL (emphasis on this).
You have your protagonist, Shuuya Nanahara - a typical wannabe teenager who has big dreams to reach the top in the music industry and become the next 'Elvis'. He's way too loud (often scoulded to 'keep it down' by Kawada) and too quick to trust, but he has a good heart. A heart wanting to save everyone from the hell they're in. The story does revolve about Nanahara's struggles to come to amends with the reality of the game and it can be sometimes annoying, since he's usually turning on the waterworks, but he has a strong character.
Noriko and Kawada are two characters who keep Nanahara together. You could say they are his rock. Kawada must be my favourite. He is a previous winner of the game and his realistic approach usually throws Nanahara off balance, but at the end of the day, if it wasn't for Kawada's strong and sharp mentality, Nanahara wouldn't be Nanahara. Kawada made him to question his own morals, to question his priorities and most importantly, to value Noriko and protect her with his might.
Shinji Mimura was one of my favourite characters. A popular basketball prodigy, Mimura was a ladies man, a heartthrob, but also an extremely intelligent and caring man. His plan to go against the game was my favourite scheme in the series and I deeply miss him. Hiroki Sugimura was another major character, a friend of Mimura and Nanahara, he was the odd one out. Being socially awkward yet disciplined in the martial arts, Sugimura's caring nature was what made him so unique.
You have your main antagonist, Kazuo Kiriyama - a cold blooded killer who's dead on on wining this game. Kiriyama never speaks in the manga, but his personality is shown through actions. In the movie, he was a 'transfer' student, but in the manga, he was a gang leader and a genius who could learn anything he set his eyes on. His past is revealed in the last chapters.
Mitsuko 'Harcore' Souma is your another 'hot' antagonist, and myGod, does she like to flash her body. Abused since childhood, Souma developed a complex character that made her very manipulative and aggressive. In the manga, the chapters about her are the most sexually explicit.
ENJOYMENT & OVERALL: 10/10
Nothing more to add. This was one hell of a manga that took me through a roller coaster of emotional turmoil. It holds a lot of virtues discussing and touching upon so many loopholes in today's society and social background. What it is to truly love? To truly trust? To truly believe in another human being? Is hope really the mother of idiots? Or is it a grain of victory in the middle of
war? Are those who scarify themselves for the sake of others are heroes or idiots?
If you want to find out the answer to these questions, 'Battle Royale' is the answer, After all, this is something that will change you as a person after you read it.
A Psychological, Action, Thriller that will take you on the most extreme thrill ride you can imagine. But be warned, you must be 18.
Battle Royale is basically about survival of the fittest, where kids have to duke it out with each other in a sort of "last man standing game". This interesting plot brings forth a great deal intensity and emotional turmoil, of which you have never seen. It’s also surprising how long and in-depth the story is, even though it only covers a short time-frame. The problem with this set-up is that it almost completely removes the thought of getting attached to any characters because they usually end up the same way. However at least some of them are developed so well that you cannot help but get attached to them.
The artwork is perfect in depicting a disturbing amount of gore and violence that you'll feel sick to the stomach, because the one thing this manga is famous for is going over the top. A lot of readers may have a problem with the extreme level of gore but one thing I personally had a problem with was how old the students looked, when they were supposed to be 15-16.
Battle Royale is an excitingly, gut-wrenching manga that will keep you on edge. It is really interesting how this manga was put together, in 15 Volumes, without the story feeling dragged. However the TokyoPop version did mess it up a bit with their poor translations. BR is also one of the few manga out there that allow readers to express so many emotions; from sadness, to frustration. Unlike the similar manga "Gantz" BR has this lingering feeling of hopelessness that makes the story very depressing. With this really depressing story it can make Battle Royale less enjoyable to read but there are plenty of shocking moments and cliff-hangers to keep you going.
Both follow the same concept of people being forced into a death game. Both are very graphic and gory with interesting story and characters, GANTZ is a little more supernatural with more nudity as well but above all both are very similar.
I thought I'd made this recommendation already. I hadn't. (True story...)
After reading the BR manga, I went on to read the novel. There's a world of difference between the novel and its completely over the top manga adaptation. The simplest way of explaining it is for me to tell you to imagine the author of Gantz, Oku, was allowed to insert as much graphic violence and nudity as humanly possible, while keeping the story and characterisation as is.
Remember that part in the novel where - in a flashback - the Terminator/final boss character plucked an eyeball out at school?... No? What about the part where a girl reverse-raped a boy to reward him, as he lay dying from a wound in his stomach?... Still no? Ok, then: you MUST remember the bit where, in a martial arts showdown with the series' final boss (one of the best fights ever, FYI) the good guy hit the bad guy with a mini-kamehameha?...... I give up.
If you loved Gantz for its boobs, violence and general craziness, you'd LOVE BR to bits. Seriously.
If you enjoy blood, gore, action, sex, and lots and lots of death then these are the perfect series for you to check out.
Both incredibly graphic and gory manga, with the concept of deadly survival games with a lot of killing involved. Whereas Gantz goes for the sci-fi approach, Battle Royale goes for realism. ^_^
both have lots of gore and sex. Battle Royale has a much better story
Both are horror-action series that are unusually heavy on the bloody, gore, and sexual content and have forced kill-or-be-kill battle set-up.
Both are violent, exciting, and carefully drawn. Both are based on the idea of an extreme TV show using unsuspecting members of the general public.
Characters fight to survive, and if they try to run away then a bomb goes off in their head. It has the same feeling of hopelessness that runs through Battle Royale, and while reading Battle Royale I was shocked at some of the similarities. If you like one then you will like the other.
Gantz and Battle Royal both take random people away from society into a type of "game" where the only way to survive is too kill.
Both are manga in which the people have free will but not the freedom to choose their actions.
While Battle Royale deals a lot more with character development, there are many similarities that are present between the two series'.
In terms of sex scenes and overall nudity, the same elements are in Gantz, although in a more extreme state.
Another great similarity is the AMAZING amount of realism that both of these manga contain, luring the reader in with relatable stories and setups.
If you're into the horror aspects of BR, you'll certainly like Gantz! In fact, I would say that the brutality in BR does next to NOTHING to prepare you to some of Gantz's more extreme scenes.
They're both about survival games
They both have a lot of action,gore and nudity
Btooom! is the end result of the premise of Battle Royale being combined with a fictional Xbox 360 game. Simlple as that.
Instead of a class of school kids finding themselves forced to kill each other on a deserted island for lulz purposes, in Btooom! a game company decides to let those unwanted by society test out their online game in reality by blowing each other up with bomb-grenades on a deserted island. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE/A FEW, etc etc...
The lead just happens to be one of the top ten best players in Japan, and his online waifu JUST HAPPENS to also be along for the real-life game ride. (Even better, she's a busty 15-year-old school girl--RESULT!)
They are both similar in the fact a group of people force to play a game where they have to kill one another to hope to survive. The group of people all have their own twisted background stories.
Stuck on an island... have to kill each other... BR is much more violent though.
the story is so similar to each other!
If u like SURVIVAL GAME U will like it for sure
bunch of people in an unknown desert fighting each other to the death
also there a lot of creepy scenes in both manga xD
BTOOOM is practically Battle Royale, but with less graphic scenes. If you could not handle Battle Royale (I do not blame you, after all the popped eyes/rape scenes) but liked the plot, read BTOOOM.
If you read BTOOOM and liked it (and can handle some gore), you should read Battle Royale. It's much better and thrilling, though both of these manga's are good.
Both manga involve the characters being put in an island to participate in a "kill or be killed" game. Readers pry into the protagonists' inner thoughts. Moral lines are blurred, and characters often have to decide between doing the right thing and survival.
Both are seinen survival manga that pit a multitude of characters into psychologically, ethically, morally and pathologically traumatizing situations. Both take place on the location of a tropical island, and both similarly features the primary two main protagonists as a female and a male which later develops into a romantic connection.
I'd say Battle Royale has the superior character development as it succeeds on a multi-character plain of development for over 30 characters, and while both handle the realism very intelligently I'd also say Battle Royale makes it much more realistic in its depiction. Btooom! I'd definitely say has a better overall story and plot though as it focuses on this more so, resembling conventional anime and manga.
Both have the survival of the fittest game to be played in a remote island by a group of people that didn't really agreed into participating. The game situation and rules will lead players to think separately. It's either they kill and win the game or try to escape the impossible.
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