Battle Royale

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Battle Royale (Batoru Rowaiaru) is a manga, or Japanese graphic novel, that was created by Koushun Takami. Takami originally worked for a news company, but decided to leave it when he was told that the story he entered into a competition was rejected due to its controversial content. After he quit, he focused everything on getting Battle Royale published as a novel, and was finally able to in 1999. In 2000 it was decided that the story would be turned into a manga, and was co-written by Takami and Masayuki Taguchi. Fifteen volumes followed the original manga and a sequel, known as Battle Royale II: Blitz Royale, was released shortly after the original series ended.


There are a number of characters in Battle Royale as the story focuses on a junior high school called Shiroiwa, where every two years, students are drafted into a game where they have to kill each other in order to survive. These are some of the characters in the series.

  • Yoshio Akamatsu – Yoshio decides to leave the school when the program starts, deciding that he can hide on the island and will not be found. Eventually, Yoshio realizes that he will have to play the game in order to survive, and climbs over a doorway to start picking off students who exit the building. Yoshio ends up being shot in the side of the head.
  • Keita Iijima – Keita is known as being a coward, running away when things get tough. He tries to join another group of people, but they refuse to allow him to due to his reputation. Keita is quickly taken out.
  • Mizuho Inada – Mizuho likes to live in her own fantasy world, and manages to survive for a long time. Eventually, her fantasy world takes over her mind as things start to get scary and she ends up being killed while worshipping at a shrine.
  • Yukie Utsumi – Yukie is a girl who has her head together. She decides to get all the girls together in order to try to figure out a way to get off the island. The girls hide out in a lighthouse on the island and manage to survive for awhile, until one of the girls turns on her and kills her.
  • Shuya Nanahara – Shuya is one of the main characters in Battle Royale. He is one of the two that survives after the island adventure is over. He is a tough teen, who eventually finds a soft spot for Noriko, whom he manages to escape with.
  • Noriko Nakagawa – Noriko is the main female character in the story. She is disliked by some of the more popular girls, but finds herself during the “Program.” Shuya promises his best friend Yoshitoki that he will take care of Noriko right before Yoshitoki dies. Yoshitoki always had a crush on Noriko, but in the end she ends up living with Shuya.
  • Shogo Kawada – Shogo is the only student who has completed the Program before. Three years earlier, he won the program, which basically means that he survived. He ends up being transferred to the school right before the Program began. He helps Shuya and Noriko escape, only to die shortly after they leave the island.
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