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It’s the Double Duty BATTLE ROYALE giveaway contest

by nickmamatas

In celebration of the fifteen anniversary of Battle Royale we are releasing a brand-new translation, and a non-fiction companion volume. And here is your chance to win both Battle Royale Remastered and The Battle Royale Slam Book!

All you need do is leave a comment on this post, explaining your love of/interest in/history with Koushun Takami’s cult classic. Write a little essay, or a little poem, about it. And if you leave one of the four best responses, you win both books!

You have till Friday at noon, Pacific time. You can enter in English, Spanish, or Japanese. We ship worldwide, so don’t let that stop you. Bring your A-game, and win two books!

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18 Responses to “It’s the Double Duty BATTLE ROYALE giveaway contest”

  1. Sam M-B says:

    I first heard about the Battle Royale film in 2001 or 2002 or so. A friend of mine who was still a college student, and therefore with direct access to a much more limitless and diverse sneakernet of import bootleggers and culture sources, brought over two burned CDs, each with a 600 MB AVI file. I hadn’t ever watched a full-length movie on my computer before, actually. But he brought the discs and I bought the beer, and before long we were watching, jaws agape, one of the most mind-blowingly weird films either of us had ever seen. It was like someone put a class of high school freshmen into the Schwarzenegger “Running Man” gauntlet.

    little girls and boys / field trip gone horribly wrong / only one can live

  2. Richard Auffrey says:

    Kids kill once again
    Battle Royale has returned
    Let the game begin.

    I first learned about Battle Royale through an article in the now defunct Asian Cult Cinema magazine. The ideas and concept intrigued me so that I had to purchase the DVD. The movie captivated me, especially in the diverse ways all of the students reacted to their predicament. Since then, I have bought several versions of the movie, craving more info about Battle Royale. I even bought the sequel.

    As a voracious reader, I also wanted to read the original novel, and eventually found the translation in a Barnes & Noble store. I have since read the book at least a dozen times and am curious as to the differences that will be found in the new translation. I also obtained the hardcover copies of the manga, which present a different, though still fascinating version of Battle Royale. Battle Royale is like a foundation for so many dystopian YA novels, though it is more complex and deeper.

    Since then, I have constantly been checking to see if Koushun Takami’s next book has been published or not. It has been far too long since the release of Battle Royale. Though if he writes nothing else, his legacy is secure.

    Collars on their necks
    Shuya and Noriko flee
    Thwarting their captors.

  3. nickmamatas says:

    You might be interested to know that he did script a manga that VIZ is putting out in June!

    http://www.viz.com/manga/print/battle-royale-angels-border/11225

  4. Ben B. says:

    My first encounter with Battle Royale came in 2005, when I was fifteen. I’d just started collecting manga and was in the habit of swapping books with friends for whatever they were reading at the time. This fellow I’d met that year in school happened to have volume 8 or 9 of the manga. I forget which one. I lent him the first Hellsing and he tossed me his lone Battle Royale volume.

    It blew my flipping mind.

    It was terrifying, exploitational as all hell and subversive. The scenario was so simple but chilling in it’s frank brutality. I was madly in love with it right then and there. I read up on it online and discovering that its origin lay in a novel, I tracked down a copy of the original Viz issue and snapped it right up. I even managed to find a copy of the movie at a repertory videostore.

    I think what appealed most was how close to home it really hit. The mistrusting of adults who were oh so confident in what we as human beings, we children, should do with our lives. Almost more though, the whole scenario amplified the unpleasant tension of, well, just an average day in highschool. It posited the question “If you had to kill your classmates, friends, enemies and even possibly your lover, could you?” It was all my friends and I talked about in class for a while. If the BR program were enacted, who in our class would survive? Who would we kill? Would we kill anyone? It really was a terrifying read at that time of my life for all those questions it brought up. It even made me see some people differently based on what their feelings on the book were.

    Of course, since it’s inception it’s spawned countless imitators, but none of them have really packed the same punch Battle Royale did. None of them seemed to accurately convey the same sense of despair and anger, the same bleak truths about humanity. Sure, any story where a bunch of characters are forced to murder one another is gonna be tense, but being subversive is a different matter.

    If anything I gotta thank Koushun Takami for making me question what people in authority tell me I should do. More than anything, that’s what I learned from Battle Royale.

  5. Kit says:

    As I referenced in the Hunger Games/Battle Royale panel I did along with Charles Dunbar (studyofanime.com) – I remember watching the film in 2001/2002, and buying the novelization soon after that. I wanted to compare Battle Royale (novel) to “classics” that I had read in high school – such as the Lord of the Flies – but for some reason, one was okay (Lord of the Flies), but Battle Royale was not.

    Now, I am helping bring it to more people, especially since the Hunger Games series sparked controversy in some circles about it’s “soooo similar” to Battle Royale. Which it is not. But how? Why? Are there similarities? Both are cultural products, in a set period in history. And the genius of Battle Royale is, it doesn’t shy away from any of it.

  6. Ole Andreas Gresholt says:

    I rented this film from my local video store back in 2002. Mainly picked it up to see what the controversy was about. A school class forced into such an extreme situation gave me quite the startle at the time and provided me with some great entertainment. At the time however I left it at that.
    10 years later however I ended up discussing the film with a friend of mine in a cafe close to the university at which I’m currently studying, and it dawned to me that it could certainly be a more underlying social commentary to this story. I resolved then to pick up the book at the first possible occasion to really get all the facets of the story.
    I was not disappointed, quite the interesting read. While the social commentary part was a little sparse, and I felt that this interesting world that Koushun Takami built for this book really deserved a little more expanding/details. I did feel that in the end he chose the best approach for telling his story though. Just a few hints and lines from our main characters is mainly all the information we get to explain the larger world. This makes the story very focused and concise. You really do feel trapped with the characters here, you’re not privy to any more information than these randomly picked high schoolers where. Made me really think about how I would react too many of the same situations they got put in. The lack of information and a seemingly pointless conflict trust upon you, makes the whole situation even that more hopeless.
    The book had a great benefit to the movie in the way the story was told, the inner dialog of the characters really made an impression on me way more than the visuals and gore of the move did.
    The next time I discuss this book/movie, I will definitely implore my conversation partners to buy the book to get the full experience!

  7. Chris says:

    When I read it in high school, Battle Royale bucked my expectations, refusing outright to be the expected escapist fantasy of ultraviolence. Instead, it was reality writ large; a world where teachers played off competing cliques of kids, herding them towards stress and upset with barely a care so long as they met deadlines beyond our control. For a kid who didn’t get on too well with their classmates it was a real eye opener too; somewhere beneath the spraying blood and shocking deaths, Takami’s novel forced me to admit that no-one was innocent when it came to high school cliques, like a much more visceral Breakfast Club. A lot of people portay the novel and its subsequent adaptations of depressing or nihilistic in some manner, but in my experience the story always carried a message of hope; using the game to model power structures in high school (and elsewhere), Takami nonetheless shows us that – if you’re willing to put your trust in others – sometimes it might just pay off.

  8. Randy says:

    I first heard of Battle Royale when I was, fittingly, the same age as the characters in the novel, about to finish my last year in Junior High. The concept intrigued me so much that I immediately sought out the film and watched it more often than I can count. Shortly thereafter, on a family trip, I saw that the novel was on sale and bought it without thinking twice. The novel brought a lot more context to the world and the characters, and I was able to look at the broader themes of youth and revolt, and relate them to my own experiences.

    My Battle Royale experience culminated when I learned that there was a school trip to the UK in my high school. At that time, the only DVD release that was available was a Region 0 version from the UK company. Since I didn’t have access to a credit card to purchase it, I decided that a trip to the UK was in order (Ok, visiting a new country away from my parents had a lot to do with it as well). I spent most of my trip searching through video stores to find it, eventually finding it in an HMV in Edinburgh. My prized possessions from that trip, aside from the regular souvenirs that one buys when abroad, were that DVD and some volumes of the manga, which were still in the middle of being published.

    Overall, Battle Royale played a major part in my development as a teenager. It helped me to make sense of the world I was in, and left me with a better idea of who I was as a person, as well as letting me know that no matter how bad it got, at least I wasn’t fighting for my life against my peers on an abandoned island.

  9. Andry Chang says:

    A quick essay on High School fights.

    Actually, I myself have created a similar concept of High-School fight. Unlike Battle Royal, it promotes sportsmanship through an international, inter-school martial arts tournament. No weapons allowed, battle royale enabled, and killing will result in permanent ban and criminal persecutiion.

    Of course, it’s not as extreme and intense as this kind of Battle Royal. I must admit it’s more exciting in terms of entertainment, and my concern is solely on the message it conveys especially to high school students in general.

    High-school fight is also a major problem here in Indonesia. Those who involved need a sound example of how the fights result if taken to the extreme. However, in all cases, they got the wrong message and the fights became more extreme and more blood has been spilled on the streets.

    I wish someone would step up and give a positive message for the young highschoolers to take the fights in a competitive way. And Battle Royale must be kept restricted to no more than a highly-exciting young-adult entertainment.

  10. Leslie says:

    I first learned about Battle Royale in the advent of debates whether The Hunger Games is a rip-off of it or not. It piqued my curiosity since I was a fan of THG. However, it wasn’t until after a few years that I was able to get a copy of Battle Royale. I managed to finished the book within a week, that being in the middle of a hectic senior year in college. I think what surprised me most about Battle Royale is how it was able to give amazing characterization (for around 40 characters, no less!) and still keep the plot fast-paced. I used to think that either a book has a great plot yet suffer from lack of character development, or it has fleshed out characters at the expense of a glacial storyline pacing. Battle Royale surprised me by delivering both.

    Actually, it did that and more. I simply couldn’t get the fictional world Koushun Takami created out of my head. What would I do if I was in the situation the students of Class 3B found themselves in? Maybe I’d pull a Yukie Utsumi, and try to gather friends whom I can trust. Or perhaps, maybe I’ll just tail the best player around a la Sho Tsukioka (while keeping myself wary of the danger zones, of course). Playing the game like Mitsuko Souma seems like a great idea too, but alas, I do not have her pop idol looks. I think more than anything, that’s what I really love about Battle Royale. Sure, I enjoyed the characters, the plot, the action. But it left me with so much more to think, even after I turn those last pages. I guess what Koushun Takami said was true after all; these characters, they really are part of me now.

  11. Melissa says:

    “Cult Classic”? It is more like a “Family Classic” for me, which may be a little dark, but, what can you do? It is right up there with clean-scrubbed stories about princesses and lions and talking cutlery. We often get around one another and discuss the dirty, badly translated vhs copy we borrowed from someone and never gave back, playing it over and over, rewatching it with the kids of the house who were too young to probably have seen it. It took form after that as an avalanche of other media: a torn copy of the paperback I’ve read through and explained to them, the manga I shared with my cousins.

    Battle Royale feels more like something that is part of our family history rather than a vicious book that spawned an array of versions. Seriously weird, but, seriously true. These new versions would be a hit at the next reunion…

  12. Angel says:

    I have the Ultimate Edition of the manga, and it is one of my treasured possessions. I will tell you right now, without a doubt, that if my house catches on fire, I will run back in to save that collection, the rest of my manga and GN’s be damned. That is how much I have enjoyed this story. If I were to win this contest, your editions will take a place of honor on my shelf, and they will certainly be rescued in the event of fire as well. And how can that not be so? Battle Royale for me has been a tale that draws you in and does not let go. Unlike some other tales out there, it has it all: dystopia, mayhem, chaos, violence, suspense, intrigue. You cannot go wrong here.

    Plus, this may be the time to also order it for our library as well.

  13. Sera says:

    I bought the Battle Royale novel on vacation in a small bookstore a little over a year ago, and absolutely loved it. I remembered seeing the manga version from Tokyopop years before that, and after I finished the novel, I tracked that down and devoured all 15 volumes. But that still wasn’t enough Battle Royale for me, so I watched the film adaptation as well. I still list the novel as one of the best I’ve ever read, and only a few months ago I lent it to a friend so she could read it. (She loved it, too.) It’s a classic, for sure, and I would love to experience it yet again in its new form.

  14. Alex says:

    When I was younger, my mom would buy books for her book club and would give them to me when she was finished with them. This resulted in my reading a lot of mainstream literature which, naturally, ended up exposing me to the “Hunger Games” trilogy. Though I found the concept appealing I was put off by the fact that, as the books continued, more and more of the plot became devoted to generic teen drama instead of the premise I’d found so interesting. Once I’d finished the series, I felt unsatisfied and disappointed by the untapped potential that was so painfully evident on every page.

    By this time, I’d already read and enjoyed Slum Online, Loups-Garous and Yukikaze, and I’d heard about Battle Royale from various sources so my new interest in the “killing game” premise compelled me to finally check it out. When it arrived, my excitement and curiosity was piqued by the sheer size of the tome. I immediately began reading and as I got deeper into the book it became more and more certain that this was exactly what I had wanted. This was everything I enjoyed about “The Hunger Games” with none of the fluff. It had a great cast of characters, a nice romance subplot, and fantastic world-building but the chaotic brutality inherent to the premise was strengthened by each of these, rather than being sacrificed for them. Needless to say, I was immediately drawn into the world and, in spite of the book’s aforementioned large size, I had it finished within a week.

    After I’d finished, I made it a priority to experience any media I came across revolving around a “survival game” or similar theme. In addition to the two Battle Royale films and the manga, I’ve now completed many similar series and movies (in addition to the couple of manga I’m currently reading that haven’t finished yet) and, though none even come close to the quality of the Battle Royale novel, they’re all enjoyable in their own way. Battle Royale holds a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf for introducing me to the genre, while simultaneously epitomizing what’s so great about it. I truly hope that Koushun Takumi eventually decides to write again, and that the resulting novel is every bit as gripping as this one was.

  15. Dave Parker says:

    One of my favorite films of all time and since there is nothing that could be said about this amazing movie that hasn’t been said, I will leave a joke.
    Q: What do they call The Hunger Games in Japan?
    A: Battle Royale with cheese!
    Thank you…I’m here all weekend with a matinee show on Sunday.

  16. Annie says:

    Battle Royale is, simply put, one of the best and most important books I’ve ever read. Although the violence could be off putting to some, for others it adds to the initial allure of the book and it is the part that allows such a unfathomable and terrifying concept to unfold in. It doesn’t hold back where others would and through that honesty it is able to create a captivating story that not only functions as a novel but a cautionary tale.

  17. Jeremy says:

    The lighthouse conceals them
    yet reveals the threads that
    formed their friendships was
    weak at best as they turned
    on one another leaving the
    lighthouse silent once more.

  18. David says:

    Calling Battle Royale the Lord of the Flies for the 21st century is a misnomer. It’s much more than that.

    In The Lord of the Flies, the children are stranded on an island by circumstance. Battle Royale places them there and then uses chance (what weapon a child will get) and game-like system to be the catalyst for the children’s destruction.

    While it may be uncomfortable to say, at the end of the day, the sheer spectacle and horror of children destroying each other in a dystopian future is what makes the book worth reading.

    Battle Royale is truly a modern horror masterpiece.


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