Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Battle Royale” as Want to Read:
Battle Royale
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Battle Royale

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  37,736 Ratings  ·  3,688 Reviews
Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller is based on an irresistible premise: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan - where ...more
Paperback, 617 pages
Published February 26th 2003 by VIZ, LLC (first published 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Battle Royale, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Candice Kamencik The whole idea of "only one can survive" is a popular theme that's been around for a long time - even far before this book. One extremely mainstream…moreThe whole idea of "only one can survive" is a popular theme that's been around for a long time - even far before this book. One extremely mainstream example was the show Highlander. So did all these people rip each other off? I don't believe so. The "only one" idea is made unique by the way it is set within a story. The Hunger Games series does share a lot of common threads with this novel, but even so, to see this idea and say, "Hmm, I'm going to write an "only one can survive" book, but base it as a culminating activity within an entire population, and stipulate political intrigue as the main guiding factor." is what makes them different. To say books/stories with the "only one" theme are the same is like saying that books with "good vs. evil" are all the same. It's the story crafting that separates things.(less)
I would rate this a 6 out of 10.
There are students who admit to doing prostitution and one confesses that they were raped as a…more
I would rate this a 6 out of 10.
There are students who admit to doing prostitution and one confesses that they were raped as a child multiple times. Another student attempts to rape someone.
There's also something that resembles a 'sex scene' where a female student takes off all their clothes besides their underwear, but farthest thing that happen is making out and groping. The scene itself isn't really sexual charged in my opinion as well.
Most of the scenes are rather short and not focused on, but they are still there.(less)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins1984 by George OrwellThe Giver by Lois LowryDivergent by Veronica RothBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
31st out of 2,657 books — 20,872 voters
Norwegian Wood by Haruki MurakamiThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki MurakamiKafka on the Shore by Haruki MurakamiBattle Royale by Koushun TakamiHard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
Best Japanese Books
4th out of 493 books — 2,335 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
I came across this book after reading “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins which was claimed to be a “Battle Royale” rip-off. Needless to say, I was curious…

I have to admit, similarities between these two books are undeniable. They both are based on the same idea of teenagers forced to participate in a deadly game where only one person wins and lives. However at the same time these books are completely different. I believe you can enjoy and appreciate them both equally. If “Hunger Games” is more of
Oct 13, 2009 M rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: the non-squeamish, trash film fans
So unputdownable it's ridiculous. Took a 4-hour plane ride i intended to sleep on and instead read all 624 pages of this; and while I'm a fast reader, even I'm not THAT fast usually.

Basically, as everyone else is saying, it's a book about one class of Japanese junior high kids put on an island with a small bag of supplies, a random weapon (grenade? crossbow? Uzi? fork?), an exploding tracking collar, and orders to kill, kill, kill. Nice fascist dystopia world you see around the edges of this pla
Raeleen Lemay
Sep 27, 2016 Raeleen Lemay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own

In my opinion, this book could (and should) have been way shorter. The only reason this book is so long is because the author felt it necessary to go into tons of detail about each character's backstory before killing them off. I can see why some people might like that, but it didn't work for me.

I really enjoyed the ending though, so I'm glad I pushed through! I also loved how brutal this book was, both in terms of the violence and the way the characters interacted with e
Emily May
Oct 18, 2016 Emily May rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopia-utopia, 2012
I first read this story in Manga form a few years ago (one of only two manga series I've enjoyed) and I quickly became addicted to these characters and their individual stories. Whilst reading Battle Royale, you go on an intense journey into the minds of nearly all 42 students and discover what it is about them that enables normal high school kids to kill their classmates - or decide not to.

I'd recommend reading the manga before or instead of the novel for a few reasons. For one, it makes it a l
Dan Schwent
Dec 31, 2013 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, christmas-2013
A busload of Japanese teenagers is kidnapped and dumped off on an island, where they are forced to fight to the death until one student remains, all in the name of The Program. Which of the 42 students will survive?

I remember hearing about the film version of Battle Royale ages ago but never managed to watch it. Seeing that a lot of people compare The Hunger Games to Battle Royale, I figured I should give it a shot and I'm quite glad I did. Battle Royale is The Hunger Games with more gore and wi
I read the first hundred pages of Battle Royale and fell asleep. That night I dreamt that I was in The Program. (I remember fleeing a pretty intense gunfight and thinking nonsensically: dammit, at least I'm getting good exercise.)

I hardly thought about it until the next evening, when I began to read again and only finished as the sun rose.

You cannot know gunfights or car chases until you've read Battle Royale.

It's fantastical, it's pulpy, and it's brilliant. I wish it had been written with more
Will M.
42 children forced to kill each other. Around 15 year old children forced to become violent and merciless killers. Only one can survive this brutal bloodbath. It's all about strategy and being emotionless. Who will prevail?

The premise was not new to me, but the execution was spectacular. Not only did the author managed to impress me with the plot, but he also managed to make me feel sympathy toward some of the characters. I'll be honest and say that it would be impossible to feel sympathy toward
For the last, oh, 200 pages of this book or so, I kept thinking about what I'd say in my review. I never know how I'll start a review, but this time I kept thinking of possible opening lines. But, like Lays potato chips, I couldn't stop at just one, so here are my top 3, in no particular order:

1. There... once... was... a... book... of... ellipses... which... occasionally... had... words... in... between... them...

2. I'll never read the phrase "That's right" the same way again.

3. I see dead p
Feb 17, 2016 Mizuki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before reading this book, I believe Ms. Collins, author of The Hunger Games, had ripped off Battle Royale, and after reading BR the novel, I continue to believe THG is a rip-off. For example:

(1) different bags of weapons and food given by the government

(2) the battle filed gets smaller everyday

(3)(view spoiler)

(4) The backstory of a former winner who had lost a girl he loved in a previous game

(5) said former winner doing what he could to
Apr 07, 2016 Cassy rated it liked it
Recommended to Cassy by: Reviewers of "Hunger Games"
Whenever I think of this book, I picture Takami sitting down with a piece of paper and making a list of dozens of cool, violent ways to kill a person. Poison! Jumping off a cliff! Lot of guns! Strangulation! An exploding head! Falling off a roof! And my personal favorite, splitting open a head with a machete like it is a ripe watermelon!

Then he goes about the task of writing a book that incorporates each and every one of these deaths.

And are you concerned that you will never keep up with all the
Mar 18, 2009 Brandy rated it really liked it
I picked this up based on the fervor over "OMG The Hunger Games so totally ripped this off." And for the first half of this book, I agreed: I thought I knew exactly where BR was going, and how it would get there. It's the story of 40 teens who are instructed to kill each other until only one remains, and are each given a bag containing food, water, and a weapon--some as great as machine guns, others as worthless as forks. Early on some alliances are made, then broken; people are betrayed and kil ...more
Mar 31, 2009 Sparrow rated it did not like it
Everything about this book makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth. I say again, "yuck yuck yuck," both to the absurd violence and the shallow emotion of this story. Every time the plot turned toward something interesting, it was quickly replaced by a turn toward Lame. I get why SO MANY people compared The Hunger Games with this book (which is the reason I picked Battle Royale up in the first place) because of the basic Lord of the Flies, kids-will-be-kids premise. I, however, found Battle Ro ...more
Apr 29, 2008 Katherine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-elite
"Lord of the Flies" meets "The Most Dangerous Game" meets the gruesome, bloody stylings of Quentin Tarantino... on acid who killed Stephen King and tossed his body into BTK's backyard.

I have read this book twice in the last two years both times within two days and I can guarantee that I'll read it a time or two (or three) again in the future (NERD!). The very thought of being 15-year-olds and being thrust into a situation where you have to kill or be killed, your best friends become your enemies
This review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.

I think it's been about five minutes since I read the last word of Battle Royale. My heart is still pounding abnormally fast, and every few seconds, I have to take a break from typing to watch the French countryside rushing by outside the train window instead.* The view is strangely soothing, and I definitely need some calming right now.

So. Battle Royale. Was. Epic. Dare I say it? It was better than The Hunger Games, and The Hunger Games i
Edward Lorn
Mar 14, 2016 Edward Lorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Japanese literature and menstruating polar bears.
Shelves: paperbacks
First off, if you go shopping for Battle Royale based on my review, you need to look for Battle Royale: Remastered. I stayed away from this book for years because of reviews from friends that said the translation was broken. All too often, translations are rushed due to the piece's success in the original language or an upcoming film adaptation. Recent fuckery would include the first Stieg Larsson book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which remains one of the worst translations I've set eyes on ...more
Jun 23, 2007 Albert rated it it was amazing
I heard about the movie before I read the book, so I knew that the premise was a combination of Lord of the Flies and automatic weapons. I just didn't expect the violence to affect me so deeply. I guess I've never been exposed to extreme violence in books where my imagination comes up with images. I definitely discovered a new closet of images with this book.

I started this book on a long subway ride home. I was so engrossed by the book I missed my stop by five stations. I will admit there was a
Jul 15, 2008 bannikin rated it did not like it
Cult novels are hard to resist. Lord of the Flies. Naked Lunch. A Clockwork Orange. Fight Club. Startling. Brutal. Original. Compelling. They frighten me to death, yet I love them. It's that kind of complicated.

I picked up Takami's Battle Royale mainly because the guy in the bookshop opened his mouth and said 'cult novel'. Just two little words and I was immediately consumed with the need to know why.

Wikipedia gives the following plot outline:

"The novel and manga Battle Royale takes place in an
E.T.A.: So, I watched the movie today online. (It's everywhere). If you saw the movie, you still don't know the book. Totally different! The movie is even more like the Hunger Games, but it doesn't scratch the surface of the book. It also is not true to the book at all. Even character names were changed. Read the book instead! ;-)
(Back to your previously scheduled book review):

Holy Massacre, Batman!

If you feel like the Hunger Games was way too sweet, touch
Jun 03, 2016 Xwirus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
El libro en el que esta basado los juegos del hambre.


Para resumir juegos del hambre pero con sangre, en el libro de los juegos del hambre de todos los niños que entran, no vemos la muerte ni de la mitad, en Battle Royale veremos todas las muertes, algunas de ellas muy sangrientas con su toque "Gore", me gustaría recalcar que la historia califica mas de "Gore" que de realista, por si alguien buscaba realismo en este libro.

Básicamente cogen una clase escogida al azar y se tienen que matar entre el
I'm a huge fan of dystopian books, where the future is bleak and infinitely dangerous and if you're gonna survive, you better check your morals at the door. With reality TV everywhere we look these days, and the UFC a mainstream pastime, it's easy to imagine a Survivor where tribe members voted out don't go home, but are executed instead. I figure society's perpetual blood lust is never as deeply buried as we think (or hope).

Stephen King describes Battle Royale as "an insanely entertaining pulp
Colleen Venable
May 23, 2013 Colleen Venable rated it it was amazing
In a terrifying way this TRULY the most realistic portrayal of 9th grader emotions I've ever read. I might argue this should be considered YA, and brilliant YA at that, but considering the amount of folks who are determined to keep this book, and the movie it derived from, banned, I might want to keep my mouth a bit more shut.

A surefire way to get me to pay attention to something is to tell me how often it's banned. That was the original reason I sought out the film (and an all-region DVD playe
Apr 29, 2013 Bianca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoyed The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, I suggest you should try this book. I don't know why they kept comparing this book to The Hunger Games when they are totally way too different from each other.

Battle Royale combines a awesome dystopian, dictatorship government, and oh, you know, just a bunch of Junior High School students killing each other for entertainment. You will find yourself attaching to many of the characters just as I did. Some of the highlights in this novel
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Jun 27, 2008 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it it was amazing
Wow. The movie was pretty full-on, the book perhaps more so (the book came first). I finished reading it last night and it's still revolving around in my head.

The gist of the plot is this: in an alternate present-day Japan, 50 grade 10 classes from across the country are forced into the Program, a Government-run initiative designed to subdue the population. The students in these classes are gassed while on a "study trip", and wake up in isolated locations - in this story, a tiny island - with co
Mar 18, 2016 Lau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans de la distopía (dura)
Nota: Ayuda a leer este libro tener un cierto conocimiento básico de la cultura japonesa. Es útil saber que ellos hablan diferente (de una forma más poética y elaborada); que son muy, muy educados y respetuosos y el contacto físico es casi nulo (a menos que estén en una relación); que el suicidio es algo honorable (busquen harakiri o seppuku); y que decirle a una chica que será una buena esposa no se ve como algo machista (como podría pasar en occidente) sino como un elogio y una demostración de ...more
Rae  Walker
Feb 27, 2007 Rae Walker rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Chris LaVine
Okay, this book has a premise that you can't beat: 40 school children are set on an island with exploding electronic collars and are ordered to kill each other. Each child is given a backpack with one weapon and sometimes that weapon is good (hand held machine gun) or bad (a violin). BOOM! POW! Can't be beat! Except for the writing (or perhaps the translation) is so bad that one can hardly get through the chapters without at least fourteen eye rolls and maybe one dry heave.

Plus gigantic amounts
Nate D
Mar 12, 2016 Nate D rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: RUN
Recommended to Nate D by: Kinji Fukasaku
The book is always better, right? Of course, there are reversals of this axiom, and by reading book versions of a couple of my favorite-ever Japanese films lately, I've run into a couple of them. The Woman in the Dunes, though great in either form, is one, and this is another.

Kinji Fukasaku's swan song at the end of a four decade career, the film of Battle Royale is harsh, urgent, stylish, tragic, equally completely entertaining and suspicious of those too ready to be entertained by it. It even
Marita Hansen
Apr 17, 2012 Marita Hansen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edgy-ya
Adrenalin pumping, gun toting, emotional roller-coaster and an all out brilliant story. Now the gushing is over let gets to the rest of my review.

If you don't like reading about death and killing, this isn't the book for you, but if can handle extremely edgy content, then buy it now because you'll love the story. Yes, there were some bits where I cringed and thought, "Nooooo ... I like that character, bring him back, you big meanie!" but by and large I was completely wrapped up in the story.

Jan 19, 2010 Marvin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, favorites
When Stephen King wrote that Battle Royale was "an insanely entertaining pulp riff" I believe he meant to place the emphasis on "pulp". Battle Royale will never be mistaken for classic literature. However it may be one of the finest pulp action novel I've ever read. By pulp, I do not mean to be condescending, after all I'm sure one of my favorite novels, The Count of Monte Cristo was the 19th century version of pulp action. Indeed, Battle Royale shares what all great pulp novels have in common; ...more
Oct 09, 2014 Mpauli rated it liked it
Battle Royale takes place in the near-future totalitarian regime of the Republic of Greater Asia. Without former knowledge of the parents or school, each year whole classes of 15 year olds are kidnapped by the government and brought to secluded places, where they have to fight to the Death.

This time it's the class of Shuya Nanahara and he and his 41 classmates get chosen for this horrible events.
Most of you will immediately see some parallels to the Hunger Games and Suzanne Collin's series seems
[Name Redacted]
This is a brutal, powerful book.

Set in an alternate timeline in which most of Asia has been consolidated under the rule of the "Republic of Greater East Asia", the story revolves around a class of secondary school students (all around 14 or 15 years of age) who are abducted and dropped on an island off the coast of their hometown as part of their government's vaguely-titled "Program" -- a survival scenario in which they are forced to fight one another to the death. The last student standing is p
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: Battle Royale, by Koushun Takami 21 61 Sep 03, 2016 11:50AM  
Themes 1 4 Aug 14, 2016 07:18PM  
Thoughts on Battle Royale 6 30 Aug 14, 2016 03:43AM  
Battle Royale or HUNGER GAMES? 119 1110 Aug 12, 2016 08:51PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami 2 11 Dec 11, 2015 03:47AM  
ONTD Book Club: August - Battle Royale 21 125 Aug 12, 2015 08:31PM  
  • The Crimson Labyrinth
  • Dark Water
  • Dead Babies
  • Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse
  • The Fuck-Up
  • Audition
  • Out
  • Now and on Earth
  • Train Man
  • The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs
  • The Room
  • Parasite Eve
  • The Summer of the Ubume
  • Sayonara, Gangsters
  • Clown Girl
  • Harmony
  • The Waiting Years
  • Kamikaze Girls
Koushun Takami (高見 広春 Takami Kōshun, born 1969) is the author of the novel Battle Royale, originally published in Japanese, and later translated into English by Yuji Oniki and published by Viz Media and, later, in an expanded edition by Haika Soru, a division of Viz Media.

Takami was born in Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture near Osaka and grew up in the Kagawa Prefecture of Shikoku. After graduating fro
More about Koushun Takami...

Share This Book

“Loving someone always requires you to not love others.” 233 likes
“By then she was dead. In fact, she may have been dead a while ago. Physically, several seconds ago, mentally, ages ago.” 138 likes
More quotes…