A Review of Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale

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Released back in 1999, Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale took the world by storm. Although the novel was completed three years before its launch, it was unquestionably worth the wait. To date, few literary pieces have had a similar impact on the entertainment world, with its impression still prominent in a wide array of newly-released creations. So, let’s analyse Battle Royale’s long-term influence and consider why it’s been so popular.

Influencing Entertainment Crossovers 

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Based on its name alone, the title Battle Royale is likely to be familiar. One year after the book’s success, Kinji Fukasaku directed the film adaptation of the Japanese action-thriller. The title, which, at its core, embraced Darwinian evolutionary theory’s survival of the fittest, starred Aki Maeda, Takeshi Kitano, Tatsuya Fujiwara, and many more. It’s a testament to the movies’ appeal that Quentin Tarantino, a world-renowned award-winning director, labelled the dystopian thriller as one of his favourite titles. Moreover, he also declared that he wished he’d made it, according to IndieWire.

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As such, Takami’s creation is one of the most influential publications of the 20th century. At the time of writing, the battle royale theme has become a staple of present-day pop culture. Not only has the film inspired other movies, such as Kill Bill, Shaun of the Dead, and The Hunger Games trilogy, but it’s also had a dramatic impact on the gaming world. Well known to millennial audiences, Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds are modern-day representations of Battle Royale. Each focus on the idea of being the last one standing, a concept that Takami’s publication made popular.

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Furthermore, such a concept has also crossed over into the online casino sector. For example, Battle Royale heightened manga’s appeal in entertainment. Now, it’s a go-to theme, as evident from Highschool Manga at Genesis Casino online. The Wazdan creation is one of many titles in the operator’s wide-ranging library of game, and it adopts a three-reel format with five paylines. Inspired by classic Japanese aesthetics, Highschool Manga seeks to bring the graphic style to life, as Battle Royale adaptations did during the early-2000s.

A Well-Received Publication 

Ultimately, the diverse range of battle royale-themed productions that have since hit the market speaks volumes about Takami’s publication. Regarding the book itself, its ground-breaking plot formed the foundations for a thought-provoking read. As Polygon states, the dystopian competition’s rules, from a literary standpoint, are perverse genius. As such, that’s why Battle Royale has long stood out from the crowd in the action-thriller genre.

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Despite its violent undertones, there’s far more to the 1999 release than first meets the eye. While, of course, authoritarianism coincides with brutality to create a psychologically-stimulating piece of literature, themes of political division and social manipulation are also at the novel’s core. As such, few can argue that Battle Royale isn’t a one-of-a-kind creation. Not only does it toe the line between fictional entertainment and a real-world warning, but it possesses a real emotional depth that captivates readers from start to finish.

Continuing to Inspire 

Now a best-seller in Japan, Battle Royale is more than a mere novel. Ultimately, Takami’s ground-breaking book has given light to themes of injustice within a dystopian society. As such, it’s legacy will forever live long in the memory, especially as it continues to exist through modern-day films and video games.

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Shivam Malhotra
A social media enthusiast who is in love with this digital world! Wrote the first article for DU Express in May 2016.

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