Back Seat Producers Season 07 Shows

BSP Episode 243: Battle Royale

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Release date:  12/16/2000

Toei Company

Directed by

  • Kinji Fukasaku

Produced by

  • Masao Sato
  • Masumi Okada
  • Teruo Kamaya
  • Tetsu Kayama

Screenplay by

  • Kenta Fukasaku

Based on

  • Battle Royale, by Koushun Takami


Takeshi Kitano

  • Kitano-sensei

Tatsuya Fujiwara

  • Shuya Nanahara

Aki Maeda

  • Noriko Nakagawa


The hosts review:

Darrell liked the movie, with all its gore, and thought it held up quite well.  David agreed, thought it was okay and a bit rough.  The hosts brought up comparisons to The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies.  Going all the way back to Lord of the Flies, these were children that were unintentionally put in their position.  The Hunger Games and Battle Royale came at the story line from a slightly different place and from a similar background, with children being placed/forced into survival.  Another difference in The Hunger Games and Battle Royale are the different roles that the “audience” played.  In The Hunger Games, the games were a form of entertainment to the wealthy, but in Battle Royale, the media was only seen once in the beginning of the movie.

The hosts discussed the girl shown in the beginning of the film who appears to be a winner of Battle Royale, but there was no one winner *SPOILER* in this specific battle.  Darrell thought it was the girl who survived (one boy and one girl survived) but David didn’t think that made sense in the story.  Lena (chat room) at first thought the girl was a stand-in used to fool the public into thinking the battle was successful, but later found out that the girl was a winner of a previous battle… who shows up in the second Battle Royale movie.

Another Hunger/Battle comparison was the depiction of females.  The Hunger Games had a strong “girl power” theme but that was definitely not the case in Battle Royale.  The Japanese girls were, for the most part, portrayed as hysterical and without any leadership.  This, naturally, brings up the question of, “What would you do if you were in that position?”  Would you kill your best friend, would you hide out as long as you could, would you commit suicide or purposely put yourself in line to be killed so that you wouldn’t have to participate at all?

The discussion took at odd turn at this point, in the direction of Sausagefest 4 = Battle Royale… with kielbasa.

Darrell discussed how Battle Royale had difficulties finding an American distributor due to its high level of violence.  The Japanese DVD release was even postponed because of a slashing incident (an 11 year old girl slashed and killed a female 12 year old schoolmate) in which the child had read Battle Royale.

One thing that Tony liked about Battle Royale, in comparing it to The Hunger Games, is how much more visceral the violence was.  He didn’t find that it glorified violence but rather showed it respectfully and showed what a horrific thing has happened.


Trivial bits ‘n pieces:

The painting of all the students was created by Takeshi Kitano.

Battle Royale is one of the top-10 highest-grossing films in Japan.

Director Kinji Fukasaku has said that he based this movie on his experiences in World War II Japan, where he worked in a factory that was regularly bombed by Allied aircraft and many of his fellow workers were killed on their first or second day on the job and he never got to know any of them.



Battle Royale was nominated for nine Japanese Academy Awards in 2001 and won three (Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing, Popularity Award and Newcomer of the Year for Tatsuya Fujiwara and Aki Maeda)


Your Producers for this episode were:

  • Tony
  • Darrell
  • David

This episode was recorded: 9/26/2012

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