Was the Hunger Games a rip off of Battle Royale?

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Prior to viewing Battle Royale, I had no expectations for the film and no idea what the story line would be like. The only thing that I knew about the film was that it had been adapted from a novel (the 1999 novel by Koushun Takami to be more exact). However, I had never read this book and therefore went in with an open mind. Only a few minutes in to the film, it became clear that there were many similarities between Battle Royale and the books of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Being a huge fan of The Hunger Games books, which I had thought were so unique and imaginative, I was immediately disappointed. After seeing Battle Royale I was left wondering if a truly original literary work could even exist today.

While Suzanne Collins denies that any of her inspiration for her novels stemmed from Battle Royale, this claim is somewhat difficult to believe. For starters, there’s the strikingly similar idea of adolescents being placed on a set piece of land with a tracking device attached to them and any weapons that they can get their hands on being forced to fight to the death until only one survives. The premises of the books/movies could be explained in the exact same way. Additionally, in both cases these children are being forced into the “games” by their governments as a means of eliciting fear in order to prevent uprisings by the populations of their countries. The similarities don’t stop even stop there, as a few details from Battle Royale could also be compared with those from the second book of Collins’ trilogy, Catching Fire (I won’t spoil these similarities for those who haven’t read the book).

Did Suzanne Collins simply appropriate Takami’s concept into her own novel? Was it a subconscious accident? Or did she flat out steal Takami’s idea? Or is she telling the truth when she claims that the Hunger Games came completely from her own imagination? Readers and viewers can form their own opinions, since the truth will likely never be revealed. 

 

The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen, My Hero

 

 

 

 

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Just a few months ago, during my summer vacation, I hesitantly decided to finally crack open that book that my best friend let me borrow. After all, she had lent it to me months ago and it had begun to collect dust on my shelf. Due to the fact that my stressful first year in college had just ended, I wasn’t exactly eager to do any more reading, but nevertheless I sat down by the pool and opened up the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. When I did this, something strange occurred. It was something that has never before happened to me in my life. I literally could not put it down.

I finished the novel in a few hours, stopping only for meals. I was obsessed, intrigued, fascinated, and inspired by this book. The next day, I returned the book to my friend and begged for the second one. I read the next book of the Hunger Games trilogy just as fast as I had read the first one. I was absolutely hooked and this was due most in part because of the character of Katniss Everdeen. She was my new hero, someone that I wanted to model myself after. She was in strong control of her emotions, she was talented and brave, and she was a loyal friend and family member. While she was a kind and beautiful girl, you wouldn’t want to mess with her and she wouldn’t put up with any funny business. Katniss is able to kill enemies with a single shot from her bow and arrow while still maintaining her caring and nurturing side (as shown through her decision to volunteer to take her sister’s place in the games and her decision to risk her life to save Peeta).

To someone who had only seen the movie, it may seem that Katniss is not necessarily deserving of such admiration. In the film, it is difficult to grasp how Katniss is feeling, what she is thinking, what she has been through, and what she is capable of. However, through reading the book one can comprehend all these things, better understand her character, and easily see how many girls would want to be just like the heroin of this book. 

Introduction

Hello, my name is Briana Shushtari. I’m from St. Petersburg, Florida and I am studying Elementary Education here at UF. When I finish school, I hope to become a second or third grade teacher. One of my favorite books is the Hunger Games and I love the movie Fight Club, so I’m very excited about ENG 1131!