Review of Battle Royale

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Year: 2000 - Runtime: 114 - Director: Kinji Fukasaku - Writer(s): Kenta Fukasaku
Country: Japan - Language: Japanese - Parental Guide: NR - Color: Color

Battle Royale PosterRating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆


Battle Royale is quite a movie. Set in a dystopian future, 42 students are collected onto an island and forced to kill each other until one remains. that one “wins,” and survives. This is a televised event called Battle Royale, and happens yearly. Here is the premise, and the plot barely goes beyond that. Every teenage archetype is accounted for- nerd, jock, slut, main boring protagonist. The film is certainly Japanese and has that prototypical vibe, but it does a lot more than that through its use of messages and thematic elements. Battle Royale is violent and gruesome, and the characters are paper thin, but for those who want a message, it;s there. For those who want to see young Japanese girls killing kids with scythes, that’s here for you as well.

Reason to Watch

Young attractive Japanese schoolgirls stab, main, and murder each other, so, like, there’s that.


for those who can look beyond the punishingly merciless premise, they will come to find a tragic and thought-provoking tale of the young put into a position that is, quite literally, life or death. It represents a wholly satisfying take on survivalism, and holds nothing back in its delivery and execution.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Kyouichi Motobuchi: If I survive, can I go home? 
    Teacher Kitano: Yes, but only if everyone else is dead. 
  • Chigusa: Shouldn’t you be worried about your life, instead of that useless micropenis of yours?
  • Mitsuko: This is my weapon. I thought it was so-so, but actually, it’s not so bad. Found Yoshimi and Kuramoto dead next door – strung up all cozy together. Not my scene! I’ll never die like THAT! 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

The realization that this has subtitles, so you idiots out there who hate reading no matter the cost, go watch your crappy non-subtitled film. It’s probably worth noting that the dialogue is awfully silly, but then again, it is Japanese.

  • Battle Royale is based on a novel, which also has a different ending than the film
  • Quentin Tarantino, famed director of Pulp Fiction and those overrated trite Kill Bill films states Battle Royale is one of his favorite films ever
  •  The 15 volume manga, Battle Royale, began serialization in America in 2003, before the DVD release of the film in the States
  • A film sequel released  independent to the film and novel. It was critically panned
  • Battle Royale released almost a full decade before “The Hunger Games” so before you speak, know your stuff
Educational Content

if you kill yourself, you die. If you ask for help, you die. if you team up with friends, they will kill you. Pots and pans are weaker than guns, and woman become crazy after wielding a scythe. there is also a master computer hacker in every 9th grade class.

Justification for Rating

Below all the unadulterated blistering violence, cheesy dialogue, and controversial bannings, lies a film that says far more than one would ever expect. Battle Royale just WORKS. It works beyond the “so bad it’s good” and it works despite the contrived dialogue. The pure insanity and premise is so intriguing and original at its time, it instantly classifies as a classic horror/action film among the peak of quality.



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