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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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I liked it.
This manga is a bit of a gore-fest. It doesn't bother me, but I can see it really bothered some others judging by the comments. In any case, I found the plot interesting and thought provoking. I thought the large cast of characters was managed well, I was able to get a distinct impression of each of them even with little screen time. The art helped greatly in this too, as each of them had a very unique looked that further helped to set them apart from each other. Whether you liked the style or not, the art was well done, rendering everything from the island setting to a rotting corpse in minute detail. I quite liked Battle Royale, but I'd only recommend it to those who like dark stories and aren't bothered by gore.
Ok, after giving myself time to adjust, I really love this manga. I love this series! It's thrilling and psychological. It draws you in and won't let you go! Though lots of scenes freaked me out cause of it's gore, it's a really great manga
... Last updated on December 17th, 2009, 8:21pm
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
its great overall... the story and everything... is just awesome... expect for the art.... god damn i hate the look of the main characters.... they look like shit.... that pisses me off whenever i start readin the story... the girl is especially ugly and that guy is just...... have a face that pisses me off..... god damn would be awesome if they change how the main characters looks.....
Battle Royale- Okay...
I think it was a little too violent and too much gore for my liking, kind of made my stomach churn. Though it was pretty good but the guts and intestines bursting out after a cut was...disturbing.
Nice and gory
If you can handle the way the characters are drawn, it's a good read.
Edit: Ok, I just finished it and the ending is amazing. At first i didn't like the art, I'm not sure if I just got used to the style or it got better, but by the end of the manga some of the pages were extremely well done and really showed the character's emotions. One drawback is the occasional block of writing filling a whole chapter, and a bit of repetition, but the action scenes more than make up for it.
... Last updated on May 26th, 2007, 5:22pm
Good adaptation from the novel, even though overly sexualized
I just recently completed the novel and since I was in that Battle Royale mood, I re-read a few scenes from the manga and picked up from where I left off.
My recommendation: read the novel if you can.
The manga overall is a good adaptation in that it did capture the world building and the mood of the novel. However, I still think that it was overly sexualized. Gore, I can handle, because it's part of the subject of the novel, kids killing each other. The gore facilitates the shock. The sex is however unjustified. Seriously, the artist drew the male sex organ big across one page. Gosh, I was so relieved I was not reading that part in public.
In the book, Mitsuko did not rape that anime guy. But in the manga, for some weird reason, the mangaka decided to do that.
My complaint about the creepy faces of side characters remains. I get that there are "ugly" characters but that doesn't mean most of them should look creepy.
Changes from the novel that I liked:
- Sugimura found his girl and was able to had some time with her before he died. I really liked how the mangaka drew their dying scene. The graphic effect was amazing. I was impressed.
- Hirono had that hallucination of joining the main trio before drowning. This change was very good because because right when you thought she survived, it turned out she didn't. It made an impact on me.
- Except for Mitsuko's background, I liked all the ways the mangaka extended all characters' backgrounds based on the novel. The extensions stayed true to the spirit of the novel. The changes were "canon" in that sense; you feel like you got more information about the characters by reading the manga, not conflicting information.
I would have rated this manga a 9 due to the over-sexualization, but since I love Battle Royale so much and the manga adaptation did stay true to the novel and captured the world perfectly, I give the manga a 10 to show support.
My old review from 2012:
Subject: 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. 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
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
died in an earlier volume, I gave up.
Most of the characters (especially male ones) who are not primary characters have weird faces. Creepy 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 devastated when
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Shinji Mimura died.
... Last updated on December 12th, 2013, 8:55pm
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.
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.
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.