There’s been a bit of the kerfuffle on the interwebs (imagine that!) over The Hunger Games. It seems there is this awesomely gory book called Battle Royale (made into a movie the year before The Hunger Games was released in theatres).
Here’s the description of Battle Royale, per Amazon: In an alternative future Japan, junior high students are forced to fight to the death! Koushun Takami’s notorious high-octane thriller is based on an irresistible premise: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan—where it then proceeded to become a runaway bestseller—Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world. Made into a controversial hit movie of the same name, Battle Royale is already a contemporary Japanese pulp classic, now available for the first time in the English language. A group of high school students are taken to small isolated island and forced to fight each other until only one remains alive! If they break the rules a special collar blows their heads off. Koushun Takami’s brutal, high-octane thriller is told in breathless blow-by-blow fashion.
But why? Where did this mania begin?
I won’t regurgitate the information in the above articles. You can read them if you’d like, but I must warn you—they all basically say the same thing. The books/movies have different tech, different worlds, and different Aesop-fables worthy meanings behind them.
Battle Royale was released in Japan in 1999. This is ABSOLUTELY before the release of The Hunger Games in 2008. For Suzanne Collins to have ripped it off, however, she would have had to be well-versed in Japanese. Battle Royale wasn’t released in English until 2009. That’s a year AFTER THG came out.
It’s amazing what a little research will do, right? So we have two books/movies about kids forced to kill each other. There can be only one. (Cue Highlander soundtrack) It’s IMPOSSIBLE that two talented authors could possibly develop this theme without one copying the other! Impossible! Where did the second author get her inspiration?!?! (Check out the eight paragraph)