The Hunger Games vs. Battle Royale Movie

by - August 12, 2012


I have finally watched The Hunger Games Movie so I decided to do a comparison between The Hunger Games and Battle Royale.

I don't see the point in people saying "The Hunger Games is not the same as Battle Royale" because in the end, they have identical concept (students/young people forced to kill each other with one winner only). There really is not point in trying to prove The Hunger Games doesn't resemble Battle Royale and no ideas were copy. E.g. you don't see people comparing Twilight with Battle Royale and trying to prove they are different (That's cause they are different) but people all over the Internet keep comparing them so they must have some similarity.

The Audience: It is obvious that the audience aimed at is different for both movies.
THG: I would recommend this to people who are 12-17 years old to watch this film. I don't think adults will be too interested in this film because I feel like they have created a very fantasy atmosphere at the beginning of the film (The people with the weird costumes and hair). The deaths are less bloody compared to BR.
BR: Once you hit 18 I recommend watching Battle Royale. This is an adult film. There are plenty of bloody parts. There are many disturbing parts and I had a feeling of claustrophobia.

THG: Filmed in 2012, this is set in the future where people who are poor are placed in "District" and the rich people uses them to create a TV program to kill others. THG has more hi-tech to monitor the people to fight. I am not surprised since America are very good at doing future films. The filming was very bright and mostly daytime. There were no thrilling atmosphere.
BR: Filmed in 2000, this is set in the millennium where students have become more disrespectful to adults and has become lazier. Adults wanted to punish them therefore the government created a BR Act. (In the manga though it is a TV program as well but I'm not going to confuse it by comparing that as well so just going to leave it out.) Battle Royale doesn't have high technology, it is very out of date monitoring but you have to remember that this is set in 2000 so it is well directed for a 12 years old movie. This film is filmed in mostly night time but their is also day time killing.

Beginning of the Game
THG: The film showed you how the people are selected from each District and then they are provided with a luxury place to stay; they get pampered for television and trained to kill. This was quite a long procedure and the game starts around 60 minutes later? I don't think I could really relate to the character. I also don't feel claustrophobic or felt like I was pressured in anyway. I kept thinking why do they not try and escape? why do they not run away? There were so many adults and children in the District. Why not they all at the start, try and rebel against them? They should have showed one child trying to escape but they killed her. This will allow the audience to realise that they can't escape. (Although when one contender died it did show them rebelling.)
BR: The students get gassed in a bus and  they are taken into a wrecked building in the island with a collar on their neck. The classroom was set in a very dark and daunting atmosphere. (It reminded me of Saw 1 when the guy was trapped in a bathroom). I like how at the start, the teacher activates the collar to show what will happen if they disobeyed. Blood bursted out of the student's neck and he died immediately.

THG: So the main characters are Katniss and Peeta. The couple who survives. I like how the girl is stronger then the boy. Both characters are developed well in the movie. Other characters were developed well but it was not the players. In the end, you kind of just rooted for Katniss and Peeta to survive and think of the other players as villain. What was the point in Gale? (Unless he is important in the sequel?)
BR: The characters in the movie are not developed as well as in the book so if you are just watching the movie and not read the books or manga, the villains will be the crazy male and female. However for the crazy female, you kind of sympathy for her when she stated "in the end I don't want to be a loser" If you watch the extended version you see that her mum forced her to have sex with a old man when she was young. Most of the characters seems to be in love with their classmates. Most of the girls seem to fancy Shuya, the main male lead. You don't just root for Shuya and Noriko to survive but you sympathise for some of the other students and you know why they killed.

Katniss = Tomb Raider?


 Chigusa = Kill Bill?

Realistic:Well to be honest neither is realistic but which movie made you think I could be that character, I could be in that situation and the whole setting of the movie.
THG: I think that making it into a TV program in future could happen (in like 3000 years) if the poors are really poor and doing nothing and the riches are very rich wanting proper entertainment since all shows have been done (like Big Brother). However, the training part.... I'm trying to picture myself being picked and I was thinking even if I trained to kill I don't think I will be skilful and will I have the mentality to want to kill someone? I would be crying all the time instead of staying in that place to train and wait to die. Also, the investment in the facilities and accommodation they are staying in to get ready for the show is glamours. In the end I think I just watched THG and want the actress to win and all other people are villains so I don't sympathy for them if they die. I like how in the film, they do consider that if you don't have water and you are out in the forest for too long you might get dehydrate and not have the energy to fight. That is true, people will not last but in BR, this is not explained.
BR: When I watched this film I imagined my class in school. I can actually see classes being put in the position and then I thought "Who will I kill?" and "Who can I trust?" I think Battle Royale hit this point. The audience can really relate to the characters. Some doesn't want to kill and rather die. When they see a dead body they are scared as hell. None of the characters are trained, they are just thrown into the game. What is unrealistic about the film is how the guns does not seem to need reloading at all and the people seem to take age to die after many gunshots.

The islands gets smaller: Both in Hunger Games and Battle Royale has areas which are the danger zones and they must escape or they will die.
THG: I like how in the Hunger Games, they reduce the areas and make the person leave by setting fire to the place. That gives them a good reason to leave.
BR: In Battle Royale, the teacher informs the areas which are forbidden and the people must mark it on their map. It doesn't really explain what will happen if they stay in the forbidden area but we, the audience, can only assume that their collars will explode if they were to remain in the area.

Final Thoughts:
The Hunger Games: If I watched this film first, I think I would have really liked the storyline and concept of students killing each other. However, I watched Battle Royale first so I thought they portrayed the whole "survival program" better. The story was told at Katniss perspective so of course I find her character likable and rooted for her to win. I had no sympathy for the others. I do like The Hunger Games but I think I would have liked it more if I was in my teens.
Battle Royale: Someone stated that Battle Royale was funny at some point and the lines were cheesy. I disagree with that person. I think of Battle Royale as a Black Comedy. It had lots of bloody parts but their was some points that made me laugh. When the guy got an axe stuck on his head and Shuya asked "Are you okay?" and the guy response was "I'm sorry, I'm fine" haha.

I don't know why I think of this but I feel like The Hunger Games is like Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (It sets out the scene and  of what it is all about and what happens, it is aimed at children) and Battle Royale is like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Much more darker, not really aimed for children, all about killing).
If The Hunger Games and Battle Royale Students were made to fight each other, Battle Royale Student would have killed The Hunger Games Students in like 5 minutes. There was too much waiting around in THG e.g. when Katniss was stuck up the tree and the "players" were waiting for her to come down, Kazuo would have shot her down. THG just needs better weapons.

Overall, I like Battle Royale more in the end but both films are recommended to watch.

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  1. " In Battle Royale, the teacher informs the areas which are forbidden and the people must mark it on their map. It doesn't really explain what will happen if they stay in the forbidden area but we, the audience, can only assume that their collars will explode if they were to remain in the area."

    Well, they actually did explain it at the beginning (the video with the girl). Otherwise, good comparison, I agree with you on most points. :-)
    I had, however, no problem watching this when I was 14 nor did my brother a couple of years later when he was 13. "Younger" people seem to enjoy this movie too (talking about age 12-16), and I certainly did. And since the kids were supposed to be 14-15 years old, people from that age can relate even more to them. Though I must say, some of them acted more like adults.

    1. Hi thanks for the comment. The reason why I marked it as 18 was because this DVD was certified for 18 and over. I guess young people don't really bother about the "age" written on the DVD. x

  2. This comparison made me really wanna watch Battle Royale. Perhaps I will, after my exams are done. I'm just quite worried if it's really gore? Like Saw series-gore? >.<

    Oh Gale has quite a big part on both sequels.

    1. It's not as gruesome as Saw I guess. (Like cutting up body parts) but their is just a lot of blood and its a bit distressing seeing the young people get killed and killing each other.
      I haven't read the The Hunger Games book (which I really should) so I didn't know he had a huge part x

    2. Oh okay then, I'll watch it as soon as I can. Probably will read the book too~

      and I really recommend reading the book there are lots of good scenes there that are not shown in the movie :) And if you like THG there's a book with quite the same apocalyptic theme, it's Divergent by Veronica Roth :)

  3. what? now i have to watch battle royale! thanks for sharing!

    Have a great week ahead! Stop by and say hello!

    1. Thanks for the comment. Hope you enjoy it :) x

  4. okay now i have to watch battle royale and see which ones better.. and the kids didn't try to escape at the beginning of THG because they already know it's impossible - it's explained more in the book... (99% of books are better than their movie adaptations anyway) :D