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Battle Royale Ultimate Edition Volume 1 (v.…
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A Graphic Novel/Manga Series of 15 books. I am not going to review each book in the series individually, since I read all of them in one weekend...it was that good.

This series is not for the light hearted. It is full of violence, sex and tons of gore. The story line is a lot like lord of the flies, only more institutionalized. The story starts out how many typical manga tend to, a lot of happy go lucky teenagers going on a group trip. Only difference is this one has a nasty twist. The teenagers have the not so great luck to be drawn for the governments reality show called the "program". All 42 students are dropped on an island, given a duffle bag, with a random weapon which range from semi-automatic machine guns to acid and have to kill each other till there is only one left standing. Each student have been equipped with a collar which will explode if they try to take it off or escape from the island.

If you can handle the gore this is a must read just for the intense suspense and titillating anticipation to see who will best who each chapter. As the story develops with each chapter you get greater insight to the characters past and current mind set. You will find yourself selecting favorites out of the 42 characters. Rooting them on as they survive horror after horror, you will cry with them as they loose their friends and loved one and as one by one they die.

The characters are pretty well rounded, each one from all main tracks of life; poor, rich, geniuses, idiots, a few insane and a lot that were abused. The main character, Shuuya, only wanted to be a rocker when he grew up finds himself responsible for the class cutie, Noriko. Both are a bit idealistic and are in many ways too trusting in other people to do the right thing. The baddies of this story are serious Kiriyama and the beautiful Mitsuko. I found myself sympathizing with them while I gasped in horror at their actions. They were both my favorites to read about. The characters are what make this story so captivating. Almost every character gets a section where they revel what makes them tick and why they act they way the act to each other. The characters were developed so well that when one dies you feel some type of emotional reaction. As you grow attached to the characters you find yourself getting panicked because as the rules state only one will survive. Which of your favorite characters will be sacrificed so that one will survive?

You will just have to read it to find out -- but you will have to buy your own copies cause mine are staying on my shelf :) ( )
1 vote Appliquetion | Jun 2, 2011 |
Based on Koushun Takami's original novel, Battle Royale is "The Lord of the Flies" gone fascist. In a sickening version of Japan, a class of ninth graders are chosen to compete on The Program, a reality television show that requires them to fight one another to the death. This volume collects the first 3 books into one hardcover edition, and is the first in a series of 5.

That's the basic plot, and from that point on there are far too many characters to mention in just a short review. Our hero, Shuuya Nanahara, tries to find a way out of the game--with help from the lovely Noriko and the mysterious Kawada. His classmate Mimura begins to organize an attack on the Program's administrators. Meanwhile, martial arts prodigy Hiroki Sugimura is in search of his best friend. But they'll need to watch their backs for trouble--some of their classmates are playing the game, and playing to win.

This was one of the first manga I ever read. The English adaptation by Keith Giffen(!) is nearly flawless, and the story itself is deeply engaging and thematically fascinating. It stands up to thorough rereading; hence the reason I've bought the nice hardcover editions. My only complaint is some aspects of the art, which can border on the hyperbolic even when a scene is devoid of violence. Taguchi draws very realistic-looking gore, and the vast majority of his work on Battle Royale looks gorgeous, but some of his faces look out of proportion, even by manga standards. Other than that, I adore this book. ( )
  samusmcqueen | Jan 16, 2010 |
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A 9th grade class is transported to an island and forced to fight each other to the death on a reality television program.

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