So I decided I wanted to read Battle Royale.
…and I thought Hunger Games was brutal. I’m telling you right now: Suzanne Collins was gracious to her characters.
For one thing, the rules in Battle Royale are so much more intense:
- Each year, 50 junior high school classes (minimum age 15) are chosen to enter Battle Royale, as deemed by the government.
- Each class is stranded on an island.
- The students must wear metal collars while on the island, which track heart rate, position and contain explosives.
- Each student is treated equally. Political status, wealth, and disability are disregarded.
- The students must fight to the death.
- Each student is given a bag with a random weapon/tool, a map of the island, as well as whatever they brought under the pretense of a “field trip”.
- Sections of the island are declared off limits and are to be evacuated.
- Every six hours, an announcement is made, declaring the names of the dead and adding more off-limit areas, thus making the battle ground smaller.
- If no one is killed in 24 hours, all participants are killed.
- If anyone tries to escape the island, they are killed.
- If anyone tries to remove their collar, they are killed.
- Last person standing wins.
What’s worse, I think, is the apathetic approach by the government. There is no public announcement, just a visit to the student’s guardian informing them that their child is now in “The Program”. Any struggle against it is met with murder or rape. And they tell the students that they’ve murdered and raped their caregivers as if they just ate a chocolate bar.
But the ultimate cherry on top of the pile of shit that is this government is their motivations. This is a government experiment for military purposes.
That’s right. They pull this terrorism for conscription. Not punishment, not a warning, a freaking human experiment. And the public just accepts it.
It disturbs me that this content intrigues me because it’s so vile. For one thing, it’d take one sick mind to come up with this. For another, it became a world wide bestseller—the original Japanese now translated so everyone can read it. It’s my first time reading a novel that wasn’t in English first, so I’m kind of excited about that.
But I’m more excited because I can’t wait for this plot to unfold. I’m so wrapped up in it. I’m invested in Shuya and Noriko now. I want to punch Sakamochi in the face, and am nervous that Sugimura is going to stab Shuya in the back.