Hunger Games... Like Battle Royale? Need to know from someone who has read both The Hunger Games and Battle Royale: are they anything alike? Cause the Hunger Games sounds a lot like a toned down version of Battle Royale.
asked by Reading Bifrost on July 10, 2010
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I haven't read BR, but I have seen the movie. If the movie is even close to the book (and often movies are not, so I'm only speaking tentatively), then HG is far superior to BR.

The author obviously took inspiration from BR, but developed the backstory of the characters and the reason for their struggle beautifully. The little bit that I have to use as a comparison puts HG as a far superior (if not completely original) story.

If you haven't read Hunger Games, I'd highly suggest it. The violence is not left out of the story, although I'd put it at a PG-13 level of description and not R. Hope that helps answer your question.
Stacia answered on July 11, 2010

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So true!! I thought that when I read it too!
Elizabeth R. Adinoff answered on July 11, 2010

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Well, from what I heard the GENERAL plot line is what's similar. Battle Royale is far gorier with less romance and inner-turmoil. Plus, I heard, that the players in BR must make sure that someone dies at least once a day or they're all gone.

Battle Royale is not televised either.

From what I understand, THG was developed when the author was flipping through channels and the lines between Iraqi War news and reality shows blended unsettlingly. It also takes inspiration from the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Collins may or may not have heard about Battle Royale before this.
Bridget Bassett answered on July 20, 2010

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I've read both and there are certainly similarities in plot. In my opinion, Battle Royale was the far superior novel though it's not for the faint of heart. In BR, the violence is brutal, fast-paced and nonstop, and the story in general is kept very dark. Hunger Games takes a very similar concept and delivers it in a package geared more toward the young adult or teen reader with tamer tastes. I had a harder time connecting with Hunger Games because the characters are somewhat shallow and the story is more fantasy-based. In BR, the story is disturbing but the characters are much more realistic, better developed ( I had no trouble keeping up with over 40 characters with Japanese names) and the story is very well written.

I find it hard to believe Ms. Collins came up with the idea of HG with no knowledge of Battle Royale. The similarities are just too numerous. That said, Hunger Games is not necessarily a bad book and if you are looking for what I would consider BR Light, with a twist of romance and fantasy, it could be what you want.

Oh, and the movie version of Battle Royale doesn't begin to do the book justice. It was like watching a highlight reel of the kills with no character development and very little of the story. I can certainly see why a viewer would think the book wouldn't be worth reading after seeing it.
W. Mitchell answered on July 21, 2010

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I have read both.

I actually enjoyed them pretty equally. It just comes down to what your tastes are.

The Hunger Games is definitely toned down and less gory, and a bit more romance-heavy. Battle Royale is very graphically violent as stated above, but that wasn't my main problem with it, since I don't really mind violent books. I took more issue with the translation, which was poorly done, as if the translator did not have a firm grasp of English. I also didn't like how it portrayed the female characters in the story- they were all either quite weak, or were highly sexualized, with nothing in between. So if you are looking for strong female characters it is definitely better to read the Hunger Games. Other than those issues, I liked BR. I would recommend reading both books if you have time on your hands, but don't expect great writing or particularly memorable characters from either one.
J.A. answered on July 24, 2010

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similar...but without the sex
Seckmea answered on July 24, 2010

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If you can handle gore, Battle Royale is vastly superior.

If you can handle annoying characters, willing to suspend your disbelief, and can't handle gore, then you might like The Hunger Games better.
Sara answered on September 5, 2010

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I have to admit, when I read the synopsis of HG my first thought was that it was clearly a ripoff of BR. However, after actually reading it I've come to the conclusion that while the frame of the story is eerily similar, the meat of them both is very different. I've only seen the BR movie, but what I drew from it was that it was a story about friendship. The kids in that story were all friends and/or classmates, and it was so interesting to see those bonds either strengthen or fall apart during the course of the story. In HG, the focus is on oppression, survival, and war.

I do find it hard to believe that Ms. Collins didn't draw inspiration from BR, but she has turned it into a much different piece with its own merits and flaws.
Bear B answered on April 7, 2011

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The premise is the same -- school-age children are forced to fight to the death by a corrupt government. The characterizations, however, are very different. Battle Royal is much more brutal -- graphic and continuous violence, sex, profanity. It is not a children's book. Hunger Games is a YA novel, and as such it focuses more on the relationships between its central characters (an aspect of the trilogy that can become tedious for older readers). I found Battle Royal to be more gripping and more disturbing, with themes that more closely relate to Golding's Lord of the Flies (Takami has a lot to say about the human propensity for violence). Collins' novel is much more focused on how horrible the Panem government is -- Katniss, for example, never finds herself drawn into the horrors of the games the way Takami's characters do. If Takami's novel (like Golding's) illuminates the darkness at the heart of humanity, then Collins's novel (like Orwell's 1984) illuminates the evils of totalitarianism.
kacunnin answered on April 22, 2011

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**Warning: Spoilers ahead!!**

I have just read the HG (Hunger Games) trilogy and saw BR (Battle Royale movie w/ subtitles) about a year ago. The plotline is generally along the same lines as mentioned above but taking into context that Suzanne Collins intended for HG to be a trilogy, there is then a vast difference.

1. HG is much more philosophical than BR. From what I remember of the movie (and the book might be really different on this end) is that there was no explanation of the game. HG did well to slowly build the character of Katniss who that the reader can see what makes her special; its her innate will to survive so she can protect those she loves. As such, her actions growing up have become a complete consequentialist. She become friends with Gale she she could hunt better. She tolerated her mom's behavior because she didn't want to hurt her sister. She felt she "owed" Peeta for the bread she pairs up with him. What she blames herself as being manipulative is a second-nature reflex at chosing what is best to help her survive, which is why Gale says in the last book that she will ultimately chose who she can't live without. Most people who grow up as "have not's" will display this kind of behavior in a wide spectrum of responses. Ultimately, they constantly question who they are and will always feel inferior.

2. The love story is a bit more palatable to me personally than just gore. Granted the girls in the lighthouse of BR was a pretty funny and ironic scene but drama-wise, HG is more gripping because it made you want to root for the other tributes too and not just Peeta & Katniss.

3. I can't help but love a good political satire. The message that really hits home is "what good are bread & circuses?" I thought of the movie "Gamer" halfway through "catching Fire". If your people starve, go uneducated, & are allowed to die as if their lives are worthless, what is there left to live for as a society? I think that if young adults (the intended age group) can think along these lines, it will benefit humankind as a whole.
HouseMouse12 answered on April 27, 2011
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