Battle Royale Manga


Battle Royale is famous for its disturbing themes and violence, but it was a lot darker in the manga và novel.

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Released way back in 2000, Battle Royale remains one of the most controversial yet celebrated movies lớn ever come out of Japan. Based on Koushun Takami’s novel of the same name, Battle Royale didn’t just popularize the death game but also challenged social norms in ways that are relevant even today.

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Battle Royale sees Class 3B being forced to lớn kill each other until only one is left alive, & it’s up to lớn Shuya to protect Noriko while keeping his humanity intact. The movie is the most well-known version, but there’s a manga that’s more faithful to lớn the book. Naturally, differences abound between the two adaptations.


Battle Royale’s manga capped off with 119 chapters & 15 volumes, and it’s as complete as a story should be. Meanwhile, the movie went on khổng lồ have a sequel. As a result, the manga feels more complete & fulfilling when compared to the movie, whose finality was undone by the underwhelming Battle Royale II: Requiem.

The manga got a sequel in Battle Royale 2: Blitz Royale, but it was only made after the second movie. Blitz Royale followed yet another class thrown into The Program, while Requiem was more about an armed rebellion against the Japanese government. The second manga didn’t last as long as its legendary predecessor, only having 19 chapters and 2 volumes.


Across all versions of Battle Royale, it’s stated that the Japanese government is such a depraved fascist regime that it thinks staging The Program is a good way to lớn maintain order. What’s interesting to note is that the original government differs in history from its cinematic version.

In the manga, japan actually won World War II and established the Republic of Greater East Asia, which kept Japanese society militaristic ever since the war’s end. Meanwhile, in the movie, the fascists only came lớn be after nhật bản fell into contemporary economic collapse in the "90s. That aside, a constant trait of this Japanese dystopia regardless of adaptation is its fear and hatred of the youth.


Battle Royale has a reputation for being one of the most violent movies ever released in Japanese cinemas, and it certainly earned it. Believe it or not, the movie is actually tame in comparison khổng lồ the manga’s adult-oriented scenes.

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If the movie’s kills are brutally blunt, the manga relishes in the carnage and even drags out some deaths. The amount of other violence is also ramped up, whether it’s in flashbacks or in the present where female students often use their bodies to lớn seduce their classmates. The movie, by contrast, has only one love scene và it takes place offscreen.


A side-effect of adapting a novel/manga starring more than 40 teenagers is that most of their characterizations would be shortened or dropped. For practical reasons, the movie locked down on just Noriko and Shuya plus a few others. The manga didn’t suffer this problem và had at least two chapters dedicated khổng lồ every student, plus one for mourning if they’re lucky.

Supporting characters lượt thích Toshinori and Yuko are respectively depicted as an elitist brat và a religious fanatic in the manga, while major players lượt thích Mitsuko have more complex origins. That said, some fans thought the movie’s abridging was an improvement since many of the student’s backstories are so sexual và violent that they border on self-parody. Plus, the lack of too many flashbacks was heartily welcomed.

In the movie, it’s made clear that none of the kids in Class B would’ve even hurt a fly if not for The Program. Before the Battle Royale, all of them were normal teenagers in both looks and personalities. This isn’t the case in the manga, where good và bad people are easy khổng lồ spot, và some deaths even feel more karmic than tragic.

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For one, heroic students are drawn beautifully while bad ones are overtly monstrous or deranged. In terms of personalities, Shuya is practically a saint in the manga – so much so that he almost dies trying to lớn talk classmates down and cries even for those who tried khổng lồ kill him. The movie toned this down, though he’s still the de facto hero.

In the manga, Sho Tsukioka is the only confirmed gay classmate. Aside from looking and acting flamboyantly effeminate, Sho is also crazily obsessed with Kazuo Kiriyama – which proves to lớn be fatal. It’s also hinted that if he won The Program, he’d still be executed since the Republic of Greater East Asia is militantly conservative và homophobic.

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It’s easy to lớn see why some would be offended by Sho’s stereotypical characterization, which probably explains his exclusion in the movie. In live-action, there’s a male student named Sho but that’s about it. He’s one of the random classmates who gangs up on Kazuo lớn declare that they won’t play the game early in the movie. Kazuo guns them all down as soon as they’re introduced.

One of the biggest changes between the manga và movie is Kazuo’s characterization. In the movie, he’s a silent psychopath who voluntarily signed up for The Program’s latest batch and isn’t a part of the class. Not only is he a thành viên of Class B in the manga, but he’s also the đứng top student và the coolest guy around.

Another major difference is their skillset. The manga’s Kazuo is a calculating genius who’s only good at killing because he literally và medically can’t feel any emotions. Naturally, this makes killing classmates easy for him. The movie’s Kazuo, meanwhile, is a sadist with no emotional connection khổng lồ Class B because he never knew any of them lớn begin with.

For lack of better words, Kazuo is the quái vật fight of any incarnation of Battle Royale. That said, his fights differ heavily, depending on the adaptation. While he’s terrifyingly good at killing people, the movie’s Kazuo is an otherwise normal teenage boy who was still vulnerable to lớn normal injuries, like gunshots and explosions.

The manga, meanwhile, takes things khổng lồ a ridiculous extreme. Not only is Kazuo a genius who can copy an opponent’s moves & tank inhuman amounts of damage, but he basically has superpowers like lightning speed và teleportation. Kazuo’s kung-fu duels with Hiroki Sugimura (who’s basically a Fist of the North Star reject) near the climax and Shuya in the finale were so wild that it broke most readers’ immersion.

The vi xử lý core theme of Battle Royale is society’s hatred of kids, và nowhere is this better shown than in Program director Yonemi Kamon. A faithful fascist employee, Yonemi loves forcing teenagers to kill each other. He even cracks jokes at dead students’ expenses & toys with them by twisting some rules. Needless to lớn say, his death doesn’t inspire any tears from readers.

The movie introduces a wholly new program director in Kitano, who’s unsurprisingly portrayed by Takeshi Kitano. While he’s still evil for managing the game, Kitano doesn’t get any joy out of it và does it to vent out his frustrations than anything insidious. He even helps Noriko win the game and let her kill him since she was the only student who was nice khổng lồ him.

Despite all the carnage and hopelessness, Battle Royale manages to end on a bittersweet chú ý that even edges on being hopeful. Thanks to lớn Shogo’s sacrifice, Noriko & Shuya survive The Program và successfully escape, even making it lớn America. Their trauma may never leave, but they can at least start anew in a new and safer country.

The movie ends the same way but thanks khổng lồ the sequel, Noriko và Shuya’s escape is overridden. By the time of Requiem, the two have become resistance fighters who founded the anti-government faction Wild Seven. The two survive và reunite in Afghanistan, but not before fighting a long and bloody war against the oppressive Japanese regime.

NEXT: 10 English Dubs That Actually Made Their Anime Better Staff Writer Angelo Delos Trinos" professional writing career may have only started a few years ago, but he"s been writing & overthinking about anime, comics và movies for his whole life. He probably watched Neon Genesis Evangelion way too much, and he still misses video stores. Follow him at
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