It’s a book about an oppressive government that forces teenagers to kill each other as a means of exerting arbitrary control and entertaining the masses (just in case that sounds familiar to you). It came out in 1999 and it’s pretty fucking amazing.
There’s also a film adaptation that is well-regarded:
Learn what came before.
Or, you could admit that like anything in the written word, they’re based on similar themes, but completely different stories, seen in opinions here:
In their normal lives, Shuya and Katniss do have similarities. While Shuya’s mother left his family and his father killed himself, and Katniss also has a dead dad and a mom who has emotionally and mentally checked out. They are both intelligent and popular in their normal lives. When it comes to fighting and killing their peers, however, they diverge greatly. Unlike many of his classmates, who fight either out of fear or pleasure, Shuya is actually a docile character who immediately forms an alliance and, for the most part, tries to keep his head low. The same can’t be said about Katniss in the Hunger Games arena. Rather than operating through fear, Katniss is endlessly determined to win, fueled by her desire to see Gale and her sister, Prim, again and while she does try to keep to the shadows, she is a true force to be reckoned with once she has her bow and arrows.
However, when Battle Royale ends (spoilers!) with Shuya and Noriko escaping, that’s it. That’s the end of the book. With the exception of a plan to get to the USA, we don’t really know what happens to our protagonists after that. We don’t get any behind the scenes of the game. It’s the one game and that’s the end.
Or here in this fancy little piece by the ever disresputable Wall Street Journal, where we learn that:
Collins herself has repeatedly denied having ever seen or even heard of “Battle Royale” until she’d already turned in the manuscript of the trilogy’s first novel, at which point she asked her editor if she should read it. “He said: ‘No, I don’t want that world in your head. Just continue with what you’re doing,’” she told the New York Times last April, and claimed to have still never read the book or the movie.
You know, Ron was completely respectable in his differing opinion and he at least read the original source material when he had a differing opinion or tried to.
I have a long standing belief: you can bitch and complain all you want, as long as you’ve taken a chance to hear out and at least make a good faith effort to explore the other side’s point of view.
With all due respect, Battle Royale is and was a cult film and, in the U.S. novel, and that all changed with the popularity of the Hunger Games. You would think that Battle Royale fans would be happy that something they hold in such high respect was finally getting the recognition that they felt it deserved and would tell fans of the series, “Hey, if you like that.. then check this out…” but no. It’s a war to rival both stories where there is only one absolute winner.
And the next time you bring up how similar Battle Royale is, I’m going to start saying what a rip off it is of Golding’s “The Lord of the Flies”. Premises have to be incredibly similar in this day and age, where we are roughly a thousand of years past the first printing press and even thousands more since the first play. You mean to tell me there isn’t some ancient Japanese drama that Takami didn’t “borrow” from, at least the idea of a society at war within itself?
Oh, E! It’s hilarious how you felt the need to actually sit down and write a full blog/article on this topic, when all it required was an emphatic: Duh!