battle royale vs. hunger games


I’m almost absolutely certain that you have heard of a little series called The Hunger Games. Ya know, Katniss whizzing her arrows, Peeta baking his cakes, Gale eating his squirrels. The Capital, the corruption, the overthrowing, etc. I don’t feel I really have to summarize it, seems as if it’s known to the whole world already.

Well, there has been a lot of comparison between The Hunger Games and a lesser-known Japanese book called Battle Royale that came out years and years before. And even though the title of this has you assume that I’ll be comparing them, I’m not going to have an opinion of which one is better. They are both good, in their own ways. They were both written for different age groups, different audiences in mind.

Now, Battle Royale is an adult book. I must say that up front. Because of this, the writing and language is more mature- though remember that it is a translation, and the original was in Japanese. However, I found it easy to understand and so should you. There is a lot more violence, and it is much, much darker- more to the fact that the children have gone to school with each other for years and must now betray and kill off their best friends than anything else. The government’s reason for holding the Battle Royale is slightly different than with the Hunger Games- and they do not televise it on TV, so the games are more shrouded in secrecy. But the tension still builds around “which class’ll be chosen?” rather than “who’ll be picked?”

There are multiple viewpoints in Battle Royale, so the reader is really not sure who will win, whereas with The Hunger Games, it is easily assumed that who has the viewpoint will be the winner.

Battle Royale is also not a series. It is a stand-alone book. You do not get to see the government overthrown, the good guys prevail, as much as you do in The Hunger Games, because there is not a chance given, but whether you find that makes it more realistic and better is up to you.

I, myself, decided to read Battle Royale after having had a few discussions with my brother on which of the two was better. And I found I liked it a good bit. So in closing, if you liked The Hunger Games, I’m sure you’ll like Battle Royale, if you are of age to handle the gore and behaviors that come out in it. I recommend you read just to compare it to The Hunger Games if nothing else will compel you.


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