Forty-two students, three days, one deserted Island: welcome to Battle Royale. A group of ninth-grade students from a Japanese high school have been forced by legislation to compete in a Battle Royale. The students are sent off to kill each other in a no-holds-barred game to the death, until one survives -- or they all die. Some decide to play the game like the psychotic Kiriyama or the sexual Mitsuko, while others are trying to find a way to get off the Island without violence. However, as the numbers dwindle is there any way for Shuya and his classmates to survive?Written by
Prissy Panda Princess
The magazine containing bomb-making instructions that is used by Shinji Mimura and his gang is titled "Hara Hara Tokei" ("The Ticking Clock"). This magazine is a real bomb-making magazine published by an anti-Japanese-Government activist group called Higashi Ajia Hannichi Buso Sensen (East Asia Anti-Japanese Armed Front) from the 1970s. See more »
Bags that are given to students aren't big enough to fit some of the weapons (e.g. crossbow, sickle, etc). See more »
This year Zentsuji Middle School number 4's Class E was chosen from among 43,000 Ninth grade classes. This year's game, said to be more blistering than the last - - Oh look there! There she is! The winner's a girl! Surviving a fierce battle that raged two days, seven hours, and 43 minutes - the winner is a girl! Look, she's smiling! Smiling! The girl definitely just smiled!
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As the credits roll, a class picture is displayed, showing all of the students that have been killed in the Battle Royale, including the two transfer students. See more »
The Special Version includes the following:
Redone opening titles
Redone sound effects
Added CGI blood to make the shootouts more graphic Also, many shots were added, deleted, reedited, and extended for pacing and clarity purposes, including the following:
A longer basketball sequence
Added reaction shots of the kids in the classroom to Kitano's "Do you know this law" question, and after Kuninobu's death.
A flashback shot of Mizuho and Inada and Kaori Minami to remind us of who they were when we see their bodies.
Closer shots of Takiguchi and Hatagami's corpses
An additional shot of Nanahara weeping at the top of the lighthouse
Additional shots of postcards from Mimura's uncle
Kitano shutting down power to the computers and ordering the soldiers to reboot after the Third Man attack
A scene with Mitsuko as a 9-year-old coming home to find a pedophile in her house.
An additional shot of Mimura triggering the explosives on the truck
Requiems that show the real flashbacks, and we hear the dialog during Noriko's dream.
Most of the reviewers here speak from their own viewpoints, i.e. non-Japanese westerners, and they praise/knock the movie based on its violence, plot, etc. That's fine. But through their ignorance of the culture this film springs from, they are missing its subtleties.
I've been teaching in a Japanese high school for three years now. Once I saw this movie, I could instantly appreciate its skill and surprising frankness at commenting on some of the sad and strange realities of Japan's modern youth.
Japan is a culture obsessed with youth. Almost everything here is tailored to the under-30 (and much younger, actually) crowd. For example, most westerners watching Japanese TV will be surprised at how childish it seems. The things that seem childish to your average American junior-high student are very appealing for a Japanese high-school student. Girls in their 30s desperately try to be "cute" to attract guys. Adults and children alike read comics by the droves, and sometimes pops up a strange, not-too-well-hidden undercurrent of pedophilia.
This movie takes the heavily cliquish, often childish, and often incomprehensible (to me) social system of young Japanese boys and girls and gives them guns. This is the natural result. Take it from me, the characters and situations are very realistic.
This gets mixed with the growing anxiety among the older generation at the rising rudeness and rebellion of the new generation in a culture that values politeness above all else. From a frustrated and humiliated teacher; to students killing each other over seemingly unimportant squabbles; to the overly-cutesy, peppy training video that perfectly mimics nearly any show on NHK these days -- this film subtly and brilliantly comments on half-a-dozen issues that weigh heavily on the minds of Japanese people today. That's why it was such a big hit in Japan.
Maybe you just have to live here to get it. I give it 5 stars.
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