Jason Dunbar
Jason Dunbar asked:

Why did Suzanne Collins rip off the idea from this book and pretend she didn't?

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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 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.
Raul Martinez If we only had two movies about an oppressive government that sends teenagers to a remote place to fight to the death in a game only one can survive sure that I can believe that it was possibly not a copy. But when you add that the games are a punishment for a rebellion, that the teenagers have tracking devices they cannot remove, that the players are given bags with supplies and random weapons, that the arena and the players are controlled from a command center, that there are danger zones that change with the time of the day, that the name of the kids who die are periodically announced to everybody, that there is a group of techies that figure out the way out of the game, that the game includes past winners who end up helping the main characters, that there is a female character with a high pitched voice and cheery attitude that explains the game and congratulates the players for taking part in it and is oblivious to the brutality of the game, that the only survivors are a boy and a girl who are in love with each other then it's way harder to believe that plot lines were not lifted from Battle Royale. And there are other similarities beyond the ones I mentioned. To me it is the similarities in so many details that make me believe there was plagiarism.

Some comments mention the Running man as the source of the main idea in the plot of Battle Royale. Running man is a movie about an oppressive government that sends criminals to fight to the death in a game where only one can survive as a show for a desensitized society. However, we don't need to look very far to know where that really comes from. The basic premise of all these movies, i.e. a game to the death in which only one survives as a show to a desensitized society is based on the Roman circus which has influenced many stories written for a very long time. No need to look for plagiarism there. Again if that was the only similarity then I would say that it is possible for Hunger Games to have come up with a twist on the Roman circus theme using teenagers independently from Battle Royale but when you find so many details that are the same then it becomes harder to believe that it was an independent creation.
Hoàng Khải Short answer is $.

Long answer?: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Noah She didn't rip off this idea. Most people who say that (and I'm not counting you among them, I don't know you) are just looking for an excuse to hate on the Hunger Games series. Are the ideas similar? Yes, but only for the first book. Look, Humans have been writing fiction for a LONG time, chances are, the idea for Battle Royale is nowhere close to the first one to have done it. Probably not even in the first 20. A lot of people have never heard of this book in the US. It was only published in the US 5 years before The Hunger Games. and that doesn't count for the years of hard work that needs to be put into a novel like that. Suzanne Collins even took the idea of this into a a whole new direction. Sure, the competition in the first book is VERY similar to the competition in Battle Royale, but nowadays, it is far more likely to have been a coincidence than a direct ripoff. But I can completely understand why a rationally thinking human would have their suspicions.
Joanna McDonald Because she's a bad author
Avaminn F'nett The concept has been around for a long time. Even the author of Battle Royale was not the first to do it.
Anna I wouldn't call it a knockoff, per se. More like The Hunger Games is somewhat of an adaptation, a translation of THE battle royale, as a base idea, to a western capitalist society. While the two undoubtedly sport nearly identical premises (school-age kids locked into a place together, and given a choice to kill or be killed), The Hunger Games speak more of the individual's struggle against an untenable system in full bloom, Battle Royale is in large part about the cracks showing as an overexerted system slowly starts to crumble in on itself.

The very important distinction is that Battle Royale is about fascism (where the Program is reasoned away as a "military experiment for the sake of national security", and one of the prizes include an autograph from the Leader), and The Hunger Games is about capitalism (where the Games never had the illusion of being anything other than a spectacle, a televised broadcast of starving children being gunned down by professional killers, only to entertain the grossly privileged, and the winner gets to "enjoy" a celebrity status).

For starters, Battle Royale is, strictly on paper, much more fair in its setup: everything is government-issued, the kids all share the very important similarity of being roughly the same age (while in the Hunger Games, the contestants range from being 11 to 17, a huge and significant gap), and even their equipment (while unequal, I mean in what world is it fair to put an SMG and a FORK on the same level???) is decided by the luck of the draw. And if all of that, plus the physical environment, is the same, really their success and failure comes down to blind luck of what they end up being given as their weapon, and the individuals themselves. The physically or mentally strong [Shuya and Kawada], the cunning [Mitsuko], the ruthless [Kirayama], or the ones with connections [Noriko to Yoshitoki, Shinji to his uncle, and the lighthouse girls to each other] do enjoy very distinct advantages (or disadvantages [Sugimura]), but there is nothing stopping them from winding up with the shitty end of the stick, no guiding hand to save them from certain death. They are a caricature of what an egalitarian, but unequal setup looks like- successful fascism, as the characters themselves say, and the spectators are only speculated about. There is notably not even a strictly singular main character whose POV we'd watch it all from, a singular person to whom we are supposed to relate. The message is that we are all differently screwed, and the one way to play well is to stop playing with the other people who are also fucked the same as you, and play the system that put us in this situation instead.

Whereas in The Hunger Games, it was never about individual skill or even much about luck beyond your birth at all. The game never had any illusions of ever being anything other than entertainment, and it was always rigged to favor the privileged. It is a reflection of a capitalist society, in which we follow the path of Katniss specifically from a fist person POV, a woman of color coming from a heavily disenfranchised background, and look upon the happenings through her eyes- those who get it all dropped literally into their laps, and those who fight tooth and nail for everything they have, only to fail regardless. And while the whole battle royale setting in theory is meant to even out the playing field (these are your peers, this is stuff, go kill each other), what with the airdrops and the career backgrounds, it's skewed horribly from the start, and only those against whom it is shifted (not the privileged, including the spectators) TRULY recognize the weight of their own disadvantage, much like in real life.

In the Hunger Games, the evenness of the playing field is an illusion, and while in part it does come down to blind luck in the way that Battle Royale does, the contestants are all very unequal from the start, and the chances of those starting off with a huge handicap winning are so infinitesimal, they might as well be illusory. In The Hunger Games, Katniss is an anomaly, she is special, not just another winner- she is an underdog story the crowd loves, but which doesn't forget where she came from, which is why she ends up becoming the Mockingjay- whereas in Battle Royale, the anomaly isn't celebrated, but winds up hunted for the rest of their lives.

So TL;DR: I wouldn't say that it's a ripoff, and it's definitely isn't plagiarism. I would think that it, like anything else that has to do with the whole idea of "last man standing", could have been INSPIRED by Battle Royale, or something else that came before it that features the same idea, and Collins just so happened to also pick schoolchildren as the subjects. But if anything, the two comment on political situations so vastly different, they might as well have nothing to do with one another.
Jayda Johnson Come on guys, this book was not ripped off. I have never heard of nor read this book, and everyone has heard of The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is about more than just killing, it is about romance, rebellion, and more. Also, the tributes do not come from high schools, they are picked right out of their districts which is ANOTHER unique perspective of Suzanne Collins. Maybe I am too much of a HG fanatic, but I just thought there should be an answer here that CONTRASTS this novel and The Hunger Games rather than compares.
Thank you for reading this if you're reading it!
Elisa The Hunger Games is actually based off the idea of Theseus and the Minatour
Nihilistic Librarian Because she made a s***ton of money off of it and so did the film industry. And capitalism rules over everything (ironic eh?). Everything is arbitrary and life is always going to be random and meaningless. Why give credit to the actual person who created something when you can just walk away with millions of dollars?
Chung Lee I don't know if she ripped of Battle Royale or not but when someone first explained the plot of Hunger Games to me, I immediately thought that it sounded a lot like BR. Both are good and both are unique enough to be different.
KaffeboysDru You could say everything is a rip-off from The Most Dangerous Game
by Richard Connell which features man-hunt.
Georgette Taylor 🤔 Perhaps the same reason Suzanne Collins almost certainly ripped off the Idea of Elsie Trinket's character from The Flip Wilson Special-Release date 12/11/1974!i
guest staring Freddie Prinze, Jane Kennedy (played Miss Alaska) and Diahann Carroll.
The Beauty Pageant skit -Geraldine Jones (Flip Wilson's alter ego) as Miss Los Angeles. Diahann Carroll plays the beauty pageant co host /announcer (Elsie Trinket)
Diahann Carroll's eccentric character's personalty and physical appearance= Elsie Trinket -Pink hair, same style , makeup, and costume=HG CAPITAL FASHION!!! -Elsie Trinket! I was in shock after watching !! Ever since I've been trying to locate, rent and or buy The Flip Wilson Special, DvD, Blu Ray ,and or dowload .and it's nowhere to found Diahann's character was definitely ripped off !!
Mia Pargellis I think the whole premise is the same: a totalitarian government shoves kids in an arena with rules that say that only one can survive. The goal is to squash hope and disrupt the possibility of rebellion.
We'll never know if she took the idea from this or not. What I find hard to believe is that she didn't look up the premise just to make sure that it hadn't been done before. A lot of authors don't read books in their niche when they write, but I'd think that they would at least check? I'm really not sure. The announcement system, goal of the game (prevent the hope to unite), and other aspects are extremely similar so it's difficult to say.
But most importantly most people compare the movie BR and the book HG and that's not a fair assessment. I have never read an allegory / satirical novel as good as BR. It does a very good job of addressing issues of morality and fear in a way that I found much more philosophical and thought provoking than HG (although I love HG too). So I'd highly recommend the book.
Sidenote: It weirds me out how certain things are EXACTLY the same - but I don't think that this means that Suzanne Collins took them from BR. Like others have said it's basic survival game tactics 101.
Marianneboss Way long before those two books (Hunger games and Battle Royale) there were two by Stephen King called The long walk and The running man. You could see the similarities in the way that while the first one is about a competition where just one boy survives at the end, the second one is a critique about reality tv and its growing crave for violence where also the competitor that survives is the winner.
Gbolahan Some people believe God made the universe while some people believe our ordered universe came into being due to blind luck and coincidence.
Collins said she'd never heard of Battle Royale, that it's mere coincidence that both stories are similar.
I believe her.
I wonder who is the most stupid: me, people that believe in God or people that believe that the ordered universe happened due to coincidence.
Marika Charalambous The Battle Royale idea has been ripped off indeed, and not only by authors like Suzanne Collins, but also by many online games, including the latest one H1Z1 by Sony (toxic fog), or Arma 3 (blue circle). But the point is 'the idea' was ripped off, as everyone executed their own take on it in a very different, unique ways.
George Pawley In a way i agree with you, since the books are quite similar, however the books are also very different. The regimes are very different, and so are the way that the arenas are held. I believe that Suzanne got the idea off of this book, but i would say that she ripped it off
LUIZ FELIPE I wouldn't say she ripped off the idea, because there are enough differences between both books to be considered an inspiration. However, her denying that she was inpired by BR is clearly a lie, and makes her come off as childish and coward. People keep trying to defend her by bringing up stories like The Running Man, The Long Walk, The Lord of the Flies, The Most Dangerous game, as older stories about supposed "death games", but none of these stories are nearly as similar to either HG or BR as these comments make them out to be; but, on the other hand, BR and HG share too many similarities between themselves to be just a coincidence, not only supeficially, but down to the way that some aspects are developed and executed. The similarities don't bother me, what bothers me is that she's clearly lying, and those whom still insist on defending her always mention some story with only a passing resemblance to both HR and BR, to justify the many obvious similarities between both books. Not only her lying is annoying to the public, but disrespectful to those who inspired her and paved the way for her novel. George Lucas, for all his flaws, always embraced his inspirations for classic Star Wars, and always showed respect to older works and directors that helpe inspire and pave the way for his movies.
Jason Dunbar Gbolahan, no answer is stupid! The more perspectives the better. And the more you explain your perspective the better. I am extremely interested in this subject in general, as it relates to simultaneous inventions like the light bulb, etc. People do come up with the same ideas at the same time, whether that's due to some subtle spread of info, or God. I'm more fascinated at exploring this general subject than accusing Collins or really finding an answer on this particular book.
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