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review 2016-12-23 00:00
Battle Royale
Battle Royale - Koushun Takami,Yuji Oniki 42 Japanese students hijacked and taken to a remote island for a government sanctioned contest to kill each other off. Only one can survive. The winner, not only gets to live, but also gets some dough and a signed picture of a dictator dude. Sweet.

An excellent survival tale of murder, betrayal, manipulation and violence. For a bunch of 15 year-old-ish kids, some of them were very smart and surprisingly “game minded.” Some not so much.

Even though this clocks in at over 600 pages, it reads quick. There were lots of characters to get backstory on and lots of kills to be had. There may have been a few brief moments of lag here and there, but never long enough to knock me out of the story. Overall a very well done and well written (translated) story.
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review 2016-08-26 00:00
Battle Royale: Remastered
Battle Royale: Remastered - Koushun Taka... Battle Royale: Remastered - Koushun Takami,Nathan Collins This book. This freaking book! I should've rated and reviewed it months ago.

Let's start with that gorgeous cover. Yes, I said gorgeous. I loved it the moment I set eyes on it at the store, it's got this velvety feel to it, and it's shiny and it's just so freaking pretty, the cover alone contributes to this book's five stars. Not that it needs any help because it's got a fantastic plot which was well executed.

I first found out about Battle Royale waaaay back in the day when I was obsessed with asian horror/gore movies and happened to come across the movie. I have to say, I thought the movie was fantastic, but once I've watched a movie based on a book I'll very likely never bother with the book because I'm lazy like that. So I didn't bother with BR... that is until the day I saw the book in a store and was schocked to see how big it was. The movie wasn't even that long and it was so full of great scenes and brutality that I just had to wonder how much worse it could get in 600+ pages of it.

Oh it was worse... so much worse. Once again, as is the generally the case, the book beat the movie by a long, long shot.

See, the book isn't nearly 650 pages long just for show. It actually delves into the background of each character that makes an appearance, you learn about their sad/disturbing/boring/normal pasts and are forced to care about what happens to them. They're not just there to be killed off for shock value or just as a convenient asset to the main characters. With the movie, I remember barely learning the MCs names and I didn't much care about the rest of the characters and whether they died or not because I felt no connection to them, but with the book I kept finding myself hoping for a better outcome for a lot of them, knowing what would inevitably happen.

This is one brutal read and I enjoyed every excruciatingly detailed moment of it. I haven't read the old translation of the book, and I don't think I will, because the translator, Nathan Collins, did a near perfect job.

I know some people were put off by the "romance" in the book but I thought it didn't take anything away from the story. It mostly took a backseat to everything that was going on and I thought it was handled pretty decently. I think it had just the right amount of emotional/romantic moments and to be honest, I was glad they were there.

I remember liking several quotes in the book but as I don't have my copy with me right now I'll just leave that popular one that most everyone else who read the book loved as well.

"Loving someone always requires you to not love others."
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review 2015-12-02 12:54
Battle Royale review
Battle Royale: Remastered - Koushun Takami

So I picked up The Hunger Ga-, err, Battle Royale as a huge fan of the film. It's one that I've owned on DVD for a good many years, and should I ever get the opportunity, I will happily update to a blu-ray. That's Battle Royale I'm talking about. Not The Hunger Games.

It's an incredible, fast-paced thrill-ride with a heavy social message about the evils of authoritarian government. And just in case you're in any way confused, it is also incredibly gory. So, no, NOT The Hunger Games.

And of course that film comes from this novel by Suzanne Collins ... Ha! I did it again. Of course it didn't. It's from a novel by Koushun Takami, which was written in 1999. Years before Ms Collins published The Hunger Games. Even though she never, ever, cross-my-heart, no way, nope, had not heard about Battle Royale when she wrote an incredible, fast-paced thrill-ride with a heavy social message about the evils of authoritarian government ... only without the gore factor.

Genius. Deny deny deny.

Anyway, back to my now short review. The novel version of Battle Royale suffers from being far too long, and way too detailed in fleshing out the minor characters no-one ever really cared about. It is also overly "teeneagery" with way too many characters focusing on who they like and whether they're liked in return when they should be running, screaming, hiding, shrieking, and murdering as per their innate survival instinct. Simply put, I lost count of the number of times I groaned as they latest bit character who barely been cited in 250 pages lamented about how amazing Shuya was.

But - and this is a massive but - there are still some great sequences, surprising deaths, and the agony over how far any one would go to preserve their life is richly detailed.

So whilst reading Battle Royale was not a patch on my viewing experience, I'm glad I grabbed myself a translated copy and it now graces my bookshelf.

Unlike anything in The Rip-Off Games series.

3 15 Year-Old Empathy-Lacking Psychopaths with a Sub-Machine Gun for Battle Royale.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1444108039?book_show_action=false
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text 2015-09-02 22:11
Welcome Back September!
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré
A Little Princess and the Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Carrie - Stephen King
Anne of Green Gables Collection: 11 Books (Anne of Green Gables, #1-3, #5, #7-8) - Jack London,L.M. Montgomery
Cat Among the Pigeons - Agatha Christie
Looking for Alaska - John Green
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
Battle Royale - Koushun Takami,Yuji Oniki

And just like that summer is over. September, back to work/school. I don't know how it is for you, but for me that´s the real ´new year´. I never make New Year's resolutions. It just doesn't make any sense to me. I do September's resolutions, or better said: plans. After all, since we were small, September was always the month of NEW BEGINNINGS. New schools, new classmates, new books, new notebooks. Oh, the smell of fresh print. I always loved it. As much as I might have felt unsure about getting back to school, I loved my new textbooks. I first smelled each of them carefully, then I was looking through them page by page. Then, if something caught my attention, I was going back to that page and reading it. And lists. I was making list of the things-to-learn. I still do that. And funnily enough I am ´back to school´. Well, not really school, and not as a pupil, but I teach, so all the process is back ;)

 

 

And that brings to my mind an interesting topic: books set in schools. I don´t mean the Young Adult, that is so popular now and almost all of it happens at school. I mean books of your childhood. Books you were reading when you were at school. Or classics. Why don´t you share your favorite titles with me? Is there any better month than September to read a good novel set in school?

 

My list is improvised, so I am more than sure you can add a lot to it! (the order is random)

 

- J. D. Salinger ¨The Catcher in the Rye¨

- J. K. Rowling all 7 books about Harry Potter (isn't that school fantastic? ;) )

- Frances Hodgson Burnett ¨A Little Princess¨

- John Green ¨Looking for Alaska¨

- Stephen King ¨Carrie¨

- Agatha Christie ¨Cat Among the Pigeons¨

- Donna Tart ¨The Secret History¨

- Koushun Takami ¨Battle Royale¨

- Lucy Maud Montgomery Änn of Green Gables Collection¨

 

Please comment and add more titles to this list! What is your favorite fictional school? 

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review 2015-08-21 18:54
A very quick review before a very busy day...
Battle Royale, Vol. 1 - Koushun Takami,Keith Giffen,Tomo Iwo,Masayuki Taguchi

It's a lottery. But in this lottery, there's no multi-million dollar check to turn your life around. No, this is the worst thing that could happen to you if you're a ninth grader in the economically and sociologically bankrupt future that creators Koushun Takami and Masayuki Taguchi have dreamed up. Their controversial series about "The Program" -- a game that picks random classes and puts them on an abandoned island for a televised fight to the death -- has drawn an incredible following in Japan. Is America ready for it? Are you ready for it? Tokyopop brings you this groundbreaking series featuring an English adaptation by renowned writer Keith Giffen. Put aside your morals, hold on to your seats and prepare yourself for an unforgettable manga experience... Prepare yourself for BATTLE ROYALE!

It's pretty much what I expected based on what I heard about it, but the writing was actually better than I thought it would be. I wish they had explained a little bit more about the society that these people live in so we could better understand why "The Program" happens. I was impressed with the character building though, and I never felt like it was being fucked up just for the sake of being fucked up, you know? Well... maybe sometimes, but honestly, if they explain more about the society and why there are psychotic people like their "teacher" who lures them to the island (and kicks off the gore-fest) it would just be like "Oh yeah, of course he shot that kid in the face and is laughing as he dies, look at the society he's a part of!" Of course, I suppose that would take away from its shock value, and that's why people flock to this series.  
I'm not sure if I'm going to continue reading or not, only because I don't usually get into stories that are just a huge bummer for everyone involved. However, I am curious to see if Shuuya is able to rally the troops to overthrow "The Program", and like I said they did a great job with character building- I want to learn more about the ones I've met so far. Lastly, the art is pretty impressive- it's kind of hard to explain why because at first glance it just looks like any manga art, but the way it's done adds to the story-telling. 

So in the end, I'd recommend giving it a try if you aren't squeamish (the gore is very well drawn) or easily offended.

 

 

Running late for a million things to do, have an awesome day everyone!
xoLuna

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