Books to Movies: Battle Royale (Batoru Rowaiaru)

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. Bloody good story. Since I already knew what it was about I already knew what to expect. Blood and gore, Japanese style.

For those who didn’t know, Battle Royale (Batoru Rowaiaru) is about a class of high school kids who find themselves in an island where they have to kill each other until only one of them survives. That storyline itself is pretty hard core. AND irresistible. When I got hold of the book, I was just itching to know how it all went down.

Well, the book gave me exactly what I expected and a little bit more. I was bracing myself for the gun fights, knife fights, sword fights, slicing, dicing, dismemberment, and raw jungle survival mode action that the small twists and the little stories about each character took me by surprise. I thought, “Good Lord, there are feelings and life stories in this book.” The emotional aspect wasn’t overdone or anything though. It was just right. For me at least. The book tackled each of the 42 students’ lives in one way or another, so in some way the reader is able to understand why each character is the way he or she is.

The movie was awesome, too. Slight differences to the storyline, but pretty much the same blood and gore. It didn’t tackle each character, but I guess I can understand that. It would have been very difficult to squeeze all those histories and backgrounds in one movie. The movie was still pretty cool and stayed true to what essentially made the story great. I loved the track that was playing at the credits.

Okay, my verdict. The book and the movie were both great, but I liked the book more because of the – wait for it – “feelings and life stories.” Yeah, I am a sap.

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