In an alternate reality where Japan is a totalitarian government called the Republic of Greater East Asia, 9th grade students are randomly selected to participate in 'The Program' where they are expected to kill each other off until there is only one student left standing. A predecessor to 'The Hunger Games', there are striking similarities between the two stories, the entertainment aspect being the only real difference. The Hunger Games telecast the 'games' like a horror-filled reality series, whereas Battle Royale only telecast an interview with the lone survivor at the end. Both depict the fear and horror very well, sometimes the gory descriptions go into such detail, I found it hard to continue. Overall, it was a good story, but compared to THG, I find the latter better. The characters in BR seem almost like caricatures. They are 15 year olds who intellectually think like adults but emotionally behave like children. There were situations which were too fantastic to believe, like a kid MacGyver-ing a bomb with a detonator he just happened to be carrying and a car riddled with over 250 bullets, but the kid survives because he has a bullet-proof vest. I guess that's the fantasy aspect of this story. I still like THG better.
posted 10 months ago. ( permalink )