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From Tokyopop: In the future, random Jr. High School classes are chosen to compete in a game called Battle Royale. The rules: only one student can survive after 3 days on an island or else they all perish. Weapons are handed out and each student is sent out into the field alone and unprepared for the horror that awaits them. The classmates turn upon themselves in a battle for survival, treaties are made and broken, and former friends become foes as the relentless countdown continues. Amid the betrayals and rising body count, two classmates confess their love for each other and swear to survive this deadly game together.
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The book is better
I'm a BIG BIG BIG fan of the book and this manga is great to some point. The story is GREAT it is the only reason I can't give this manga under 8. The art is not good (maybe 3 or 4 characters are well drawn), too much background story I don't care, destroying Mitsuko character (she's my favorite in the book) and changing some characters death (why?)
It is gore HELLO the story is about a bunch of kid forced to kill each other. You should'nt just focus on the killing but the psychological aspect of the human nature. Anyway, my recommendation is to read the book, and for lazy ass who think 600 pages is too long, watch the movie!
Good, but for adult audiences.
It's a great story, but the art is so ecchi it probably borders on hentai. If you don't want to be visually assaulted by sex and blood spatter, you should read the book this is based off of. You'll still be mentally assaulted by this story, but at least not visually. Also, the art style normally wasn't the greatest. The backgrounds were good, but the people looked strange.
In the end, it is somewhat predictable because
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
obviously the 'main' characters live.
The story was rather violent, but that was the point of the story. I mean, the kids are on an island and told to kill each other. Obviously there will be some gore and people going insane. Overall, this story really makes you want to read more. It's addictive if you can get past the art style and sex/excessively gory scenes. Additionally, the people react how I assume real people might act in this situation - some desperate to stay alive, others committing suicide, some playing to win, others trying to save everyone, and some going totally insane. It's all what you'd expect normal people to do in that situation
It's a great, but gory, read.
It's been awhile(years) since a manga has captured me as much as this one. The speed at which I read it sped up and up. Even though I was able to put it down earlier, by the halfway point I just had to finish it.
I think the gore is appropriate and it isn't ridiculous either(not over the top). Someone complains about the lack of rape but all the murdering got in the way, obviously Souma was deadly, and 5 of the girls formed a militia(later 6). Combine that with the large land that everyone is running around with... wait why am I bothering explaining. You see why it doesn't happen in the manga. A few moments bend crediblity but there is no ki attack, Sugimura(the martial artist) says its just the wind and he's just playing it up, and the manga plays it up too. What you see him do is just a push attack. Also Souma was all about using her sexuality as a weapon, and the only other thing that comes to mind is the crazy girl who went around in her underwear, so I can't agree with the sentiment that it's oversexualized.
Honestly despite the bends of credibility I can't say this manga has any flaws in what it tries to do. Obviously the story could have had a darker ending but it was about fighting what this government was trying to do, take away everything from them(plus not everything has to be 1984). So it isn't flawed but it is what it is.
The story jumps around to different characters, some time only for a chapter. But there are a couple of characters that are given much more attention, and a small core group. You can split these into three groups, with about five stand out good guys. I really liked all their stories, though Sugimura was one I really related too, his battle and story were a highlight for me(But there's half a dozen or more stand out scenes for me). Basically I'm sure any reader will find one of these guys very likeable. I also randomly liked Hirono and some of the lesser characters that didn't get much screen time, perhaps because of the designs, and art, which I liked as well.
There are some highs, noble deaths, ignoble deaths. This isn't an experience that's defined by the end. The journey is really what's important. Is it commentary while delivering what it rages against? Is it just an action movie that isn't as stupid as people think they are? Whatever, it's enjoyable.
... Last updated on May 15th, 2012, 3:49am
Overly sexualized and unnecessary gore with creepy faces
This manga overly-sexualizes the whole thing. It is so nasty how the artist drew girls, specifically girl body. I couldn't get past 9 volumes. After an absolutely disgusting sex scene (I can't believe they drew this. Not because I'm against sex scenes but sex just makes this whole story so shallow and mushy. Battle Royale deserves better.) and because the character I cared about the most died in an early volume, I gave up.
Most of the characters (especially male ones) who are not primary characters have weird faces. Ugly and disgusting faces. It's like the creator wants us to not form an emotional connection to those characters. It's blatant manipulation so we only care about the main characters. The back stories of some of the side characters are interesting but the faces are just so... Ugh. Add that with the sex and gore portrayed in this manga. Instead of a great psychological thriller like the novel, the manga adaptation comes short as a whole.
To its credits, the manga did portray the main characters's stories very very well. My favorite characters were Shinji Mimura and Shogo Kawada. I was so sad when
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Shinji Mimura died. I didn't get to the part where Shogo Kawada, though.
However just portraying the main characters well is not enough.
... Last updated on November 18th, 2011, 11:38pm
Interpretation of Human Nature
I swear what I've learnt from this is that -some- humans are fundamentally bloodthirsty, insane savages and there's nothing to be done about it.
The violence and gore was repulsive at first. But what put me off the most was really the director, soldiers and all the unnamed members of the state apparatus that organized and took joy in preparing such a program. Lord of the Flies serialized much. It was purely disgusting.
On the plot itself, I can see why Shogo comes out the most popular, and I admit I do respect that guy a lot. Undoubtedly, though, my favourite character is Mimura. There're too many unrealistic, whiny and selfish characters to disillusion me about my own race, and Mimura really perhaps is the closest to a real good bastard we get. He's smart, he tries to do good but he isn't stupid enough to trust assholes who'd sell him out in a heartbeat. He's willing to take along people who're not much better than deadweight and even cause trouble (flashlight, losing the trigger). He's honest. Good job retaining your sanity and wits without either becoming a crazy killer or weeping at every other corpse you see, I say.
I think the plot was well-developed and ended nicely. I understand and accept that it gets pretty unrealistic at times - in fact, bloody hell, I doubt anyone would be able to even move after getting their fingers cut or shot in the arm or leg; we'd all be screaming in pain. Yet the battles can prolong. But it's a manga so I am quite willing to take it with a pinch of salt.
The underlying thematic texture, the carefully interwoven backstories and the individuality of every character conforming to an unexpected Hell was well done. And we readers are left to ponder for ourselves, at the end of it, which of those 42 students we would ourselves have been, were we thrown bodily into Battle Royale.
i love the expressive art where every pore and every bead of spit are beautifully and grotesquely rendered. the characters are delightful variable mix of shit ass crazy and just barely sane. their actions and their thinking lies between condamnable and commendable, but enjoyable all the same. i gleefully wait for the next axe to drop, for the next bullet to be shot - and feel sad and teary all the same when a good character dies.
the only irksome thing is the whiny, teary, weak main male character, who dont do anything - and somehow made it alive. but oh well.
Read it, but be prepared.
Extremely violent (and ecchi) but an interesting read. Definitely not a good choice for a first or second manga, but definitely worth reading after you've gotten the classic must-reads out of the way. Expect a lot of tears and heartache as you read this heart-wrenching trajedy.
not completely thought-through, yet entertaining
First I'm gonna say that it's overall a good and entertaining manga, mostly due to the story and the characters that are well done. For a manga that tries to be realistic, many situations weren't that well thought-through, while others were done brilliantly. Some characters were brilliant while others were lacking. I don't want to go into detail for the not so thought-through situations, since it would require too much text to explain how the specified situations came to be, so I'm gonna list only a few things that I remember: (finished 3 days ago) Again, note that I write that in the assumption that the manga tries to be realistic. If you don't think so, stop reading.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
Noriko gets shot in her lower leg with a gun that easily put a hole in someones head, yet only receives minor injury and can even use the leg in the days after (minus the time it gets infected). I'm no medicine student but I''ve gotta call serious bullshit there. The muscle would be at least partially torn and muscles don't regenerate in half of a day. For the shot see chapter 3 page 8, no graze shot or anything, direct hit.
I doubt you'd survive a major bomb explosion unscathed if you hide in a shabby old truck, especially not if said truck lands straight on the driver's cabin after flying a good 20 metres through the air.
Again with muscles, towards the end, before Kiriyama goes on to the final showdown, he prepares for it. That includes fixing his index finger by cutting himself open and shortening a muscle in his upper arm and duct-taping it. Again, I'm no med student but sounds like bullshit. Especially when I can't even feel the slightest contraption in my upper arm when I'm moving my index finger. Maybe I'm a mutant.
I'm not gonna even get started on the whole KI thing when Kiriyama battles the guy with the staff who tries to protect his chick.
Also, the human psyche is unpredictable, but I think that, considering the situation, a lot more rape would happen. They are 15. But I guess you can't show much more in a non hentai manga.
If you've read this all and think "nitpicking prat" you deserve to have wasted your time since I warned you before.
... Last updated on February 25th, 2011, 10:26pm
Yes she was the lolita/blackwidow stereotype, but the switching between Mitsu the bombshell and Mitsu the broken doll was absolute genius. And yes, YES, it was fucked up. It was all fucked up, but it remained brilliant regardless of that. Sad to say Shu and Nori are my least favorite characters because I'm not sure you can retain that much goodness, that much sanity without any action at all. Mim did it the right way I think, the way it had to be done. He found a target. But I never really bought into Shu who wouldn't have survived the first hour without Kawada, as he said. They couldn't have picked a class with more problems, seriously, but the writing was good. And the art... the art...
As for the art, well ... the gore does get a bit over the top, which threw me out of it a time or two, but on the flip side it just wouldn't be BR without the gore, so you take those moments were there's too much spit/semen/blood/tears and roll with it. The tears was really what tossed me. They cried too damn much. I really expected more shock and less boohooing, but what do I know. I've never been in that situation myself.
Battle Royale is one of my favorite stories, but the manga version totally screws it up. It glorifies the violence and over-sexualizes the situation, entirely removing the philosophy and genuine horror found in the original work (and to some degree, the film).