Discussion: Battle Royale vs. The Hunger Games

Finally the time has come for me to weigh in on my opinion!

There is nothing that aggravates me more than people who make assumptions without DOING THEIR RESEARCH!

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For example: ‘I don’t need to read Harry Potter because I’ve seen the movies’.


**If you don’t understand my reaction, then we will never be friends. 

I’ve wanted to read Battle Royale ever since the Haters on The Hungers Games claim it’s stupid to read HG because BA came first. Are the similarities uncanny? Yes? Is it stealing? I can’t say because I’m not the author of The Hunger Games. Both are good books, and together they help expand the level of readers. BA is more for adults whereas HG is young adult. This allows for all different ages to enjoy both books throughout a lifetime. I don’t see what’s wrong with keeping people reading no matter their age.

My bottom line: Battle Royale is definitely the better written/overall book, BUT The Hunger Games is just as enjoyable and I feel it’s an updated version of BA. Which means that it most likely won’t be the last book to take a swing from BA’s original idea of children killing children.

If you want to read how one blogger weighs in between the two books – check out her criteria – I found it quite enjoyable.

The Hunger Games main difference is that it’s a series, and it’s more than just kids killing kids. It’s about a revolution that swarms out of control – a fact that is wished upon by a character in Battle Royale, but doesn’t get expanded on.

The Hunger Games is futuristic and I think some of the appeal throughout the series is this science fiction future that’s created. The brilliant colors of the Capital and the silly things the citizens do for fashion deserves it’s own series. The science experimentations is another thing that sets the book apart, what else is the Capital going to come up with next? The final ‘obstacle’ for Katniss to overcome at the end of the first book is truly frightening in a way that BA is separate from. It’s a small detail, but it’s a detail none the less that helps HG stand on it’s own.

I do have such a fondness for the series and I agree that the first book is very much on par for the YA world, but I don’t feel that way for the rest of the books in the series. I love them just as much but they are so much more adult and the level of grief is hard for most teenagers (or most people in general) to understand. Amongst the slim survival rate, you invest in the characters as a reader when they die (as is also very true for Game of Thrones), a little of you dies with them. HG gives you the opportunity to care more about the characters than in BA. It’s just another difference that doesn’t discredit either book, but a difference that’s worth noting.

I loved Battle Royale. Really, really loved it. It’s gripping, harsh, gory and fast paced. The idea is so horrendous. You’re fifteen with 41 one of your school classmates – forced to kill each other until one person is left. Remember when you were 15 and the people around you. They were the ones where you learned to love, learned about yourself and perhaps knew your whole life. It’s different than being thrust into an arena where everyone else is a stranger.  There are relationships in BA, obvious and secret.

Not only that, but Battle Royale’s happen ALL OVER the country! Something around 40+ Battle Royale’s occur EVERY YEAR.

My favourite chapter was in the beginning with the couple that took matters into their own hands. A true love scene that rivals Romeo and Juliet.

My favourite sentence was about how Shuya felt about Battle Royale overall. The Program is never far from their minds, but sometimes all you have to do is hope that your year isn’t the one selected. It’s kind of like a modern day cancer, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to prevent it (for certain types, I’m not saying this about all cancer), and you just hope that you’re going to make it through the end.

Battle Royale is going to stick with me forever and I can’t wait to find a vintage copy to add to my bookshelf! I want a really nice hardback collection of the HG series as well, but I’m going to wait until the final films roll out to choose from which collection is best.

What do you think? Is it worth only reading one, or both? I think it’s worth reading both if you’re going to hate on either of them, but in the end shouldn’t we just be glad that people are still reading? Let me know your thoughts!




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