Reviews: Королевская битва

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Most of the reviewers here speak from their own viewpoints, i.e. non-Japanese westerners, and they praise/knock the movie based on its violence, plot, etc. That’s fine. But through their ignorance of the culture this film springs from, they are missing its subtleties.

I’ve been teaching in a Japanese high school for three years now. Once I saw this movie, I could instantly appreciate its skill and surprising frankness at commenting on some of the sad and strange realities of Japan’s modern youth.

Japan is a culture obsessed with youth. Almost everything here is tailored to the under-30 (and much younger, actually) crowd. For example, most westerners watching Japanese TV will be surprised at how childish it seems. The things that seem childish to your average American junior-high student are very appealing for a Japanese high-school student. Girls in their 30s desperately try to be «cute» to attract guys. Adults and children alike read comics by the droves, and sometimes pops up a strange, not-too-well-hidden undercurrent of pedophilia.

This movie takes the heavily cliquish, often childish, and often incomprehensible (to me) social system of young Japanese boys and girls and gives them guns. This is the natural result. Take it from me, the characters and situations are very realistic.

This gets mixed with the growing anxiety among the older generation at the rising rudeness and rebellion of the new generation in a culture that values politeness above all else. From a frustrated and humiliated teacher; to students killing each other over seemingly unimportant squabbles; to the overly-cutesy, peppy training video that perfectly mimics nearly any show on NHK these days — this film subtly and brilliantly comments on half-a-dozen issues that weigh heavily on the minds of Japanese people today. That’s why it was such a big hit in Japan.

Maybe you just have to live here to get it. I give it 5 stars.

There have been contrasting cries of «greatest film ever made» and «pointless gore fest» made about BR, and neither are accurate in my opinion. What it is, is a commentary about «perceived» (real or otherwise) problems among Japanese teens in the late 90’s.

In one review, someone basically likened it to a movie involving young Japanese girls running around in school uniforms acting violent. DUH, thats the whole point. A lot of peoples only knowledge of Japan is Manga and Hentai.

If people bothered to watch the news once in awhile, they may know that the establishment in Japan were VERY worried about young people getting out of control, and BR portrays all this perfectly.

Its NOT ultra violent, although the fact that they are supposed to be teens makes it disturbing. Battle Royale is no worse than Lord of the flies, but for some reason that has been deified as a work of art, and BR is classed as trash. I’d say its more about cultural snobbery than actual appreciation of a truly magnificent film.

Battle Royale is based on the shockwave novel by Koushun Takami, which is a bestseller in Japan, and which has become very controversial in a very short time (and it is really easy to understand why). The plot is relatively simple (a class of junior high school students are forced to kill each other on a desert island, the last survivor wins and can go back home), but it is this simplicity that makes its strength. No need for a very long prologue before we enter the main act. Each of the 42 pupils involved in this «game» are not volunteers (no one would be. ), and of course they are forced to kill their best friends /girlfriends in order to survive this horror. The personalities and characteristics of each of the participants are of course very contrasted and even if there are some cliches, well, the worst has been avoided. There are even quite «realistic» (even if it is very difficult to judge what can be realistic with such a plot) moments. The transcription of the inner thoughts of the characters, which is one of the strengths of the book, is averagely well retranscripted. Takeshi Kitano plays a «teacher» (whose name is . Kitano), leading the operation of surveilliance of this «game». It is very difficult to give an objective comment on this movie. Violent. Ultra-Violent. And bloody. This is for sure. The book has to be read for a more complete description of the hesitations and fears, but the movie restranscripts very well the book is the sense that it is all «absurd». There is no real meaning to this violence. The students know this, but it can not be avoided. It is quite sad that the movie dropped an essential background element of the book (the story in the book takes place in an imaginery Japan which would have not lost WWII, and the movie takes place in a slightly modified modern Japan), but I guess that making this happen in the «real-world» shows that there is no need to go to an imaginary world to see to what extreme behaviors humans are capable of.

Highly disturbing. Rated R-15 (forbidden to under 15), very, very violent, but nonetheless interesting.

This film is film that I believed had to be made, and it was only a matter of time before it was. Yet it was a film that the US mainstream could never have conceived making.

Firstly to get it out of the way I will say that I loved this movie, although at no point did I feel comfortable while watching it. It had the power and emotional content, that while not necessarily apparent in the dialogue was visible on screen at all times.

I am truly glad that this film has come out of mainstream Japanese cinema. It would have only been made in the US by independent film-makers who would have basked in the glory of its controversy and felt oh-so-smug that they had created it, while shoving a moral in your face. While I actually have no problem with US Indie film I do feel that a Western background would have comprised on visceral content, and upped the content of cheap moral points.

For those who say the violence was «cartoon-style» and laughable must have been watching a different film. Whilst this film is heavy in black humour I can clearly say that the deaths are shocking in the extreme, and there is no relenting from the beginning to the end. Only occasionally does the camera pan away from the final deed. The only deaths that have a dark humour content to them, are those involving Kitano (Beat Takeshi) and the «lone» vigilante (those who have seen the film will know what I am talking about). Other sections, such as the «Training Video» are equally comedic, and absurd. Yet other deaths are shocking in the extreme, and show how the slightest suspicion can have disastrous consequences for groups that only have trust to keep them together, a truly shocking scene in the Lighthouse reinforces this.

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The fact that this film employs Children as the main protagonists of the story is the key to the whole impact of the film. We have all seen films like The Running Man where adults fight adults for survival and it seems that much less shocking, albeit that film was handled in a completely different manner. Children have the innocence that makes the brutality of this film that much more shocking, adults in the same situation would have had the reaction from audiences of cheering at the screen as the hero dispatches yet another victim. This could never and would never have been the case with this film.

To another commentator who felt that this film sticks with you less than Scream, I simply fail to find this to be anywhere close to the truth. The deaths in Scream although bloody are nothing but pastiche of those films that Scream is mimicking, ultimately throwaway deaths that up in brutality in order to out-do the last one that have one or two psychotic perpetrators, who eventually get their comeuppance. In this film their are no victims and besides one exception there are no villains amongst the children. They simply HAVE to play the game or die.

Well I encourage all those who feel they can stomach it to go and see this film or find it available somewhere (as I believe it has been banned in the US). It is not truly a film denouncing the evils of Reality TV or showing us the future of that trend of Broadcasting, that is merely a plot device to place the children in this situation. The nature of the film lies in its deconstruction of Friendships, Trust and our views on Innocence. Go and see it not as a spectator of this BR spectacle but as one of the participants and remember what was important to you when you were at school, and whether any of those rivalries, hatreds and friendships would have been enough for you to decide who deserves to die and who deserves to live.

Kinji Fukasaku made a film called Battle Royale back in 2000. He’s made plenty of films in the past. I’ve seen very few of them, apart from Battle Royale but I’m always searching for more.

Battle Royale is a film that has affected many, many people. There are rabid fans of Battle Royale and there are even more people that hate it. Let me tell you why. Battle Royale is a film that exercises its right to explore an idea. Many films have great ideas but most are poorly realized. Battle Royale is simply an awesome movie about one of the most hypothetically traumatic things that could ever happen to teenagers. For those that don’t know, the film focuses on what happens when a group of high school students are sent to an abandoned island to kill each other. What brings such a bizarre idea to fruition includes civil unrest, teenage anxiety, and a nation literally terrorized by their youth. It’s set in Japan and though it is just a movie it still hit pretty close to reality due to current problems with Japanese youth. In fact, the film was poorly received by the government who feared that the release of the film would incite riots and other such acts of mayhem by the same youth which it focused on. The problem is the same the world around. Young people are much more volatile than they ever were say 20-30 years ago and Battle Royale captures the essence of the horror that today’s youth would face going into such a circumstance. Friends kill other friends and bullies all to survive. At the same time they get to live out those videogames that they loved to play at home.

[SIDE NOTE: Counter-Strike, a Half-Life (popular videogame) mod for example, easily prepares young people for the reality of weapons. How many bullets are in a clip of an MP5? What does an assault rifle sound like? Questions like these are easily answered by the videogames of today. Sure, these weapons are also on the streets and in some parts of the world they are even in the hands of children as young as five years-old but the videogame set up creates a comfortable experience with such weapons. It’s not that videogames necessarily make people want to get guns rather it gives familiarity to guns. I should mention that I love to play Counter-Strike myself and will continue to play it in the future. I don’t hate the game, I’m just pointing out that it does present a fairly realistic portrayal of weapons.]

The problem is that there can be only one survivor of this island massacre, this only adds extra pressure to the already unprepared children who have to fight for their lives. What is truly shocking is that the actors and actresses who have been selected to portray these teens are around the same ages of their characters. They aren’t the aging 20-30 somethings that just happen to look young; they are literally teenagers. This flick has some serious bite! It’s such a great comment on how we are living in the 21st century in a time when frequently the fear for a country comes from within rather than outside forces.

Certainly, terrorism is at the forefront of the average North American’s mind due to the World Trade Center attacks and CNN’s endless coverage of the horrors of said event have easily made the problem an international event. But before that the biggest headline grabbers focused on young people, filled with `rage’, unleashing their anger on their helpless peers using an array of weapons (mainly guns). School shootings shocked the world when children started killing their peers.

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Battle Royale is not meant to trivialize school shootings and youth violence. Rather, it’s an examination of the lengths which a government will go in order to discipline the youth. It’s such a ludicrous idea. But the characters stay true to form as they profess long held crushes with their dying breath all the way down to naively trusting others who they’ve always admired as the popular kids. It’s sick. Strange. Beautiful. Familiar. Different. And completely engaging. Most people are against the film because they feel that the plot is simply silly or because the dialogue is too hammy or some such nonsense. At the same time, those naysayers will praise films like Braveheart for its honest portrayal of Scotland’s only historical hero. I loved Braveheart. I thought it was great too but it’s bogus, for the most part. Certain battles and events really did happen. But William Wallace was no man to look up to. He raped and killed women and small children but none of that made it into the film because it was not that kind of «feel good» thing that would sell Wallace as a hero. Battle Royale, since it draws on fictitious characters and plot is far more interesting because it really makes you think about your own life. Could you kill your best friend from high school if the two of you are stuck on an island of death? To this day I refuse to answer that question. It sickens me to think of such a thing and so I felt disturbed by what those 42 kids had to do in Battle Royale. What’s even worse is that they were picked by lottery to end up on the island. In the Japan that exists in Battle Royale, each year a random high school class is picked for the event. We are led to believe that all youth in Japan are bad seeds in this film but that really doesn’t seem to apply to the class which the film follows. For all intents and purposes, they were innocent. The dialogue between characters is poignant, real, and totally innocent. You can literally see how limited their vocabulary and understanding of the world around them is. Furthermore, as I mentioned earlier, some of the characters even profess love for their classmates without even knowing what love is all about. High school is a weird time for anybody. It’s an awkward time that is all about experience and misunderstandings. So many people AFTER high school really learn the truth about who liked them and what people really thought of them. During high school there’s always some social wall that stops any REAL open communication between two people. Being on the island forces unchecked emotions and feelings to flow out of the characters because death is on the horizon. Can you really label the dialogue as lousy in those circumstances?

Obviously, there are intelligent and well-organized people in the world. Some exist in high school but for the most part teenagers are brash, foolish, and irresponsibly reckless because they’ve yet to learn from experience. They rarely have any experience. Teenagers put on an island to kill themselves will certainly not learn anything new and if they do it won’t matter considering that they’ll soon be dead.

Naturally, some go insane and mutter those math equations that their teachers promised them would be valuable in the real world. Others feel the need to fulfill their sexual desires, who wants to die as a virgin, right? Still others try to make the best of the situation by spending their last few hours alive as civilized as possible. But the purpose of the game affects all of these teenagers. They have to hurry. If the battle isn’t finished in 3 days they all must die which is easy for the people in charge who have low-jacked each teenager with collars that explode. Not enough to take the head clean off, by default, but rather just enough of an explosion to open up the jugular. They bleed out until they die.their hopes and dreams for the future go with them. This is a grisly film that doesn’t specifically cater to gore hounds. Certainly there are some really disturbing death scenes and moments but nothing TOO over the top. The idea is shocking enough, there’s no need to be excessive. At first this fact upset me. I wanted this film to be a bloody parade of carnage because I reasoned that it’s just a movie. Just some form of entertainment that existed to please me. But the whole idea is sickening and compelling enough to satisfy on more layers than just the visual.

In the end, this is not a film for just anyone off the street. There are so many sceptics and people who are unable to maturely grasp the concept of the film. These are the people that really hate it and you can’t really blame them. For too long, Hollywood has been the dominant authority on filmmaking in the world. What was once a greatly expressive and thought-provoking medium has now simply become a trite and boring thing. Everything is recycled over and over. It’s repackaged, re-sold, re-distributed to the point that people can hardly accept something new and radical and different. If it’s not safe, generic, or commercial than the reason for a film’s existence appears to be highly questionable. Battle Royale isn’t going to change the world. I wish it could but the damage has already been done and now there is no place for a film that challenges socio-political norms or has subtitles. But that’s alright. Films that matter are still being made even if they don’t get the same amount of press or attention that the next Leonardo DiCaprio movie will get. If you enjoy Battle Royale then Kinji Fukasaku, who directed and adapted the film for the screen along with his son Kenta, will be able to rest in peace. The man died on January 12th, 2003. He was 72 years-old and all he wanted to do was make movies until he died. He got his wish.

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HUMANS MUST KNEEL is a standalone novel in Loki Renard’s Bestselling Possessive Aliens series.

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I didn’t have a choice, so I accepted the deal they offered. In return for their protection, these rough, battle-hardened men now own me. I’m theirs to share, not just for a night, but forever.

They’ll strip me, punish me, and use me again and again until I’m sore, shamed, and utterly spent. I’m going to get exactly what I deserve, and I’ll hate every moment of it. or at least that’s what I try to tell myself.

Publisher’s Note: Shamefully Shared includes spankings, sexual scenes, intense and humiliating punishments, and strong D/s themes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

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I can’t live like this.
When Death comes for me, I don’t fight him.
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Destroys my captors.
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INTERSTELLAR HUMAN PETTING ZOO is a standalone romance in Loki Renard’s Possessive Aliens universe.

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They told me the men who live on the surface were filthy beasts. They were right.

For a highborn daughter of the great tower, never touched by the hands of a man, there is no greater shame than exile to the surface. I was told that the brutes who dwell amid the ruins of the old world would do unspeakable things to a girl like me, that if I were left at their mercy my virgin body would be shared among them and used more roughly than I could possibly imagine.

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They didn’t warn me that before long, I would beg these filthy beasts for more.

Publisher’s Note: Filthy Beasts includes spankings and rough, intense sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

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I bought him. Then he taught me what it means to be owned.

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Publisher’s Note: Brutally Broken includes spankings and rough, intense sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

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