21 August, 2011

Battle Royale & The Hunger Games



This article is about the books only!

First thing I should say is that I really enjoyed both books.

Now, I've heard a lot and read a lot from Battle Royale fans about The Hunger Games stealing the story of their beloved book. Yes, both are stories about horrible governments forcing its teenagers/youth to fight to the death every year until (usually) one winner is declared. The evil government then gives the winner some stuff, takes pictures of them and sends them on their way to live with the consequences of the game for the rest of their lives. (I'm going to refer to the fights to the death as 'games' for both books, even though in Battle Royale it's called the 'program'). Also, yes, both lead characters have love interests, and both books feature 3 main kid characters. But that's pretty much the end of the similarities. These may seem like a lot of shared story characteristics, but I'm pretty sure the ENTIRE idea of an arena game where people fight to the death was invented by a small tribe called the Romans a really long time ago. So that concept isn't really new, but the details are, and it's the details that matter. And the details are what make these two stories completely different.

The biggest differences when reading the books is that BR is told from the perspective of different students, depending on the chapter, kind of like Game of Thrones except not as rigid in it's execution. So Shuya may be the main character, but the novel delves into the thoughts, actions, and memories of almost all 42 students participating in the game. Also, Shuya is a boy, and the main character of HG is the girl, Katniss. The entirety of HG is told from Katniss's perspective. All the memories and flashbacks are hers, and the only action the reader gets to experience during the game is what she comes across.

Another major difference between these two stories is the psychology of how the actual game is played. In BR, the students who are forced to play have no idea they have been chosen until they wake up on the island where the game will take place. Their school bus was gassed, and they've been fitted with metal collars that function as tracking devices, microphones, and bombs, which allows the government to monitor their location and their plans, and to control their behavior by being able to blow their heads off. The students are told the rules, given a pack with some food and a weapon, and the game begins. These kids, some of whom are now carrying guns, have to face the idea of killing or being killed by classmates, people they have known for a while and sometimes for years. Most of them are consumed by fear and have no idea what to do.

In HG, a boy and a girl from each of the 12 districts in Panem (post-apocalyptic USA) are selected in a lottery. They are sent off to practice for a week or so, learn some new skills, observe the other participants, and then they are sent to the game site. These kids are ready to fight and have planned their strategies for winning. They are also constantly on camera and being watched, because the entire game is a reality TV show. So not only do they have to survive in the woods (no supplies are directly given to them—and NO guns) and survive being killed by some other kids who they don't really know, they also have to try and win the sympathies of the viewers at home. The more the audience likes them, the more likely they are to receive gifts to help them in their quest for survival. The way the government monitors and controls the game here is that besides the TV cameras, they have complete control of the 'natural' environment the games take place in, they can start a fire or a storm if they think it will 'improve' the game.

The stories also differ in the reasons the games exist in the first place. In BR, Japan is part of some Greater East Asian country run as a strict dictatorship. The games are not televised and no one knows what happens during them, only that it's a fight to the death and there is one winner. The government holds these games to promote fear. To frighten its people against coming together. The games tell the citizens that they can't trust each other. In HG the games are held to entertain their loyal population in the Capitol, and to remind the poor unfortunate people in the districts that the government controls them. Of course, in the HG series as a whole, this ends up backfiring and igniting a massive revolution...but that's kind of a spoiler I guess.

Basically, BR has the psychology of Lord of the Flies, and HG has the setting of it. What I mean is, BR is horribly violent and sometimes shocking where kids who used to be friends kill each other, but the addition of guns and an environment that is normally a civilized village, make it feel more like an urban street fight. HG doesn't have that level of savage behavior and brutality, but it does take place in an environment that requires it's participants to be survivalists, ie find ways to feed themselves and build shelter.

So, should Battle Royale fans and The Hunger Games fans shit on each other on the interwebs? No.
Should BR fans read The Hunger Games or go see the movie when it comes out? Only if they want to.
Should HG fans read or watch Battle Royale? Again, only if they want to.

After reading both books and noticing how different the stories are, it is obvious that people who like one story may not enjoy the other. But personally, I really really liked them both.

The lesson here is that I should read The Running Man.

UPDATE
Multipass reviews BATTLE ROYALE the movie.
Multipass reviews THE HUNGER GAMES the movie.




125 comments:

  1. "The lesson here is that I should read The Runnung Man" xD

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  2. It's kind of funny (or maybe I'm just a loser) because I had heard of Battle Royale the movie at least 8 or so years ago, and I've had the book on my shelf for the past 5 plus years (ever since I met my husband because it's his book), and I never watched it or read it (which I always meant to but didn't get around to it).

    But when I started hearing about the Hunger Games a few months ago, I bought the first book, knowing the basic similarities Battle Royale. I'm a girl and I like when the girl gets to be the main character and do all the cool stuff, so I can live vicariously through her. ;-) So I devoured the Hunger Games (all three) and loved it. I'm actually kind of glad I didn't read Battle Royale first, because then I would've been comparing them the entire time. I am definitely going to go back and read Battle Royale one of these days soon though. :)

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  3. I would suggest reading Battle Royale before watching it. I just saw it and I think the book is much better. Though I have heard most people who see it before reading it then find the book boring. Which tells you how different they are. I hope the Hunger Games movie sticks much closer to its source material than the BR movie did.

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  4. I loved Battle Royale and the Hunger Games, but I think its false to argue that Collins did not have some inspiration from BR.
    Although there are obvious differences, in reality the key concept of the story is the same- and thats what people are concerned about. Obviously the books cannot be identical- but the idea of teenagers being forced to 'kill or be killed' is identical.
    The only reason I think the two similarities between the books is a problem is that I believe since BR is japanese and therefore has less of a western fanbase, for many THG is being seen as an amazing and original idea simply because people have not read something like this before, giving Collins false credit.
    Don't get me wrong- I loved both books, although I think I prefered BR overall just from a perspective that it was written better [but thats just me], its just I would like to see that more people know about Battle Royale rather than just assume the Hunger Games is original.

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    1. There's something called Theseus and the Minotaur. Read it. That's where she got her inspiration. And based on how many of her characters are based on Greek characters, she did not 'get inspiration from BR."

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    2. Yeah, but only because if you say you drew 'inspiration' from a Greek legend, that would be considered more of an homage or pastiche. Whereas if she said she took the idea from Battle Royale, it would just be called plagiarism. Makes having zero original thought seem more acceptable

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    3. HG is a blatant rip off BR. I am 100% sure the author of HG read/watched BR and decided to rip it off, only westernise the story and make it more girly. Much like the stupid author of Twilight watched a few vampire flics and decided to write her garbage to spawn hordes of brain dead 12 year old girls. Ah well, at least those people don't have to die without ever reading a book, even if it can hardly be called that.

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  5. Please tell me where I argued that Collins didn't have inspiration from BR. Maybe she did get the idea from it, but MY point is who gives a shit? All writers are inspired by something else.

    [Multipass is too lazy to log in]

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  6. Yeah! Go fuck yourself, anonymous, if that even is your stupid-face name!

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  7. Head Geek Furious, that was funny. My hat is tipped.

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  8. Hunger Games is a blatant rip-off.

    It's like saying: "Yeah, we have these green aliens being invaded in by humans in a war and the invaders use this technology of entering a dna copy of the natives to spy on them... but it's toitally different from Avatar! Cause here, we're, like, in a war right from the start!!! Also, the aliens are grren, not blue, and the whole premise is one of spying not of mingling into the society..."

    Puh-leeeeeeeeaaaase....

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    1. ^^ This anon knows what's up. Rip off.

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  9. I agree with the above. I give a shit when a writer does not give credit where it's due especially because the other writer is foreign and therefore less likely to have a huge fanbase over here (the west). If Collins finds it so hard to at least admit she was 'inspired' by BR it's because she doesn't want to draw attention to the many, many similarities. Too many to be a coincidence to be honest. It's starting to get more and more frustrating when everyone validates or makes excuses for these writers when they know full well that the only reason they're defending them is because they enjoyed the book too much. If this was music people would still make a fuss, no matter how 'better sounding' the ripped off version is.

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  10. ^^^Blatant rip-off my ass. The Hunger Games is a trilogy. The comparisons end after the first book. While the games were the centerpiece of the first book, the next two books take a different turn and delves deeper into the aftermath of the games, the weight of the actions of the main character, and themes of war and rebellion. Read the trilogy and you'll see how wrong you are.

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    1. Is there not a second Battle Royale film in which there's a rebellion against the totalitarian state by the two winners of the first game?

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    2. LOL the second Battle Royale film is a joke. And a disgraceful one at that.

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    3. it sure is, but that was just a money maker for some production team after the director died. It is also not the same writer who was the true soul of battle royale. the fact that she even stole from the shit idea of the second one shows how cheap and lame collins is.

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    4. The same director who did the first started the second movie and died shortly after production started. The film was then directed by his son who wrote the screenplay for both movies. So you are just pulling facts from nowhere...oh wait this is the internet and that is how it works.

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    5. You can tell in the second one where the original director worked on. Yes, it recruited most of the characters from Super Sentai, but it still had its good moments. Like the piano scene for instance. They also carried on the story via manga.

      Think of it like this way. BBC redid the Sherlock Holmes series into a more modern version, while CBS remade and raped it into Elementary with a female Watson.

      The Hunger Games is just a watered down and bastardized version of Battle Royale focusing less on character depth and more on twilight like romance. BR was able to delve into multiple characters, not just two main ones eye fucking each other.

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    6. Hey anonymous oct 23
      I read the trilogy. Itz ztill a ripoff

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    7. Hey anonymous oct 23
      I read the trilogy. Itz ztill a ripoff

      Delete
  11. While the fight the death was the main focus of Battle Royale, the games in the Hunger Games was used only to push forward the underlying plot of the whole series. The trilogy ends in such an epic way so I urge all you diehard Battle Royale fans to give it a go :D

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  12. Hey, Anonymous #7, punch Anonymous #5 in her uterus! She's a creampuff!

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  13. Just to throw another stick of dynamite on the fire... :) Collins recently stated that she'd never even heard of Battle Royale when she wrote Hunger Games.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/10/magazine/mag-10collins-t.html?_r=4&pagewanted=3

    Here's a snippet:
    "When I asked Collins if she had drawn from “Battle Royale,” she was unperturbed. “I had never heard of that book or that author until my book was turned in. At that point, it was mentioned to me, and I asked my editor if I should read it. He said: ‘No, I don’t want that world in your head. Just continue with what you’re doing.’ ” She has yet to read the book or to see the movie."

    I'm curious how many people are going to start calling Collins a liar now. :)

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    1. Yeah, bull, she read the book or watched the film and ripped it off.

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    3. If someone will plagiarize, then why wouldn't they lie?

      I personally don't think she totally ripped the idea. I don't think she got the idea solely from Theseus and reality shows, though; however, I think it's entirely possible that she had indeed heard of Battle Royale or some other similar books and isn't being honest about her real inspirations (although I don't know why she would do that).

      Also, the quote you posted really bothers me and probably a lot of other Battle Royale fans, because she's basically just blowing it off, as in, "No biggie, that book doesn't matter anyways."

      Anyways, I've read both books and liked both for different reasons: I liked the rawness and action of Battle Royale (and that's coming from someone who can barely handle the sight of blood) and I liked the reality TV style of Hunger Games. What sends me on my "Battle Royale is better!" rants is when people say that Hunger Games is raw and tough and brutal and gritty--because, well, it's not.

      So...rant is over now. Sorry 'bout that. XD

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  14. Bit late I know, but Head Geek Furious you are my hero

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  15. if i make a wizard fantasy stories featuring 3 kids from same school 2 boys 1 girl, facing arch enemies who failed to kill one of the boys but the enemy doesn't have eyes instead of nose and his follower are called 'lifetaker' instead of 'deatheater' and varies the background and ending a bit like both of the boy and the enemie dead in one massive explosion of magic burst instead of the main char revived again and again, can it be NOT called harry potter rip-off?

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    1. Everything about this is correct. All Collins did was change the trivial things. The core of the story is a total rip-off and it would not be so bad if she wasn't obviously trying so hard to cover it up.

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  16. No that's a rip off, because you are taking the entire story and repeating it while just changing names and terms. Did you even read the fucking article?

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  17. You can't really expect people to read the article. I mean, that would mean they would have all the facts and that would make being total dickholes more difficult.

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  18. The similarities are TOO striking. Even the whole post-games scenario (book 2 and 3) where they have to play another game and Katniss becomes the symbol of rebellion. Granted you're only talking about the books, but the second movie is all about Shuya being the leader of a rebellion and being a part of the second game (granted it's without his knowledge). As much as I enjoy the books and respect Collins as a writer, I still can't completely believe that she had NO idea what it was.

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  19. I think it is like music... take the middle section in Master of Puppets by Metallica and some song by that dude who wrote that song about ground control calling Major Tom or some shit... there is a possibility that the creator heard it, read it, or heard or read someone talk about it at some point and that started the ball rolling.

    Now, if these two had been working together at some point and then one author simply lifted the basis of the other's work and then pretended like they never even heard of it, then you could bash a brain or two in. But at this point, it is ridiculous to say that a whole idea has been ripped off.

    That would be like saying Harry Potter is a rip off of Star Wars because there is a chosen one who is an orphan who must essentially sacrifice himself to vanquish evil. Or any number of stories that Star Wars was influenced by etc etc and so on.

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    1. Your HP/SW comparison is false. The premise of BR is a bunch of youths being forced to kill each other in a competition, and the premise of HG is exactly the same. The idea has been copied.

      A rip off Harry Potter would be something that describes a secret underground wizard society existing in our world. A rip off SW would be a sci fi about a conflict in a planetary system which involves people in opposing factions who can use magic-like abilities, and we have seen plenty of those.

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  20. Hey,BR and HG has almost the same setting ( the fight to the death theme ) as The Running Man movie.

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    1. The essential element that makes HG a rip off BR is that the people killing each other are kids. Running Man was about adult criminals, there are some similarities, but the essence is different enough.

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  21. Yeah...glad to see you read the article too.

    And yes, this is only about the books. The second BR movie isn't based on anything, unlike the first BR movie with is based very loosely on the novel.

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  22. Actually, just pointing this out, the BR manga, on the very first page of Volume 1 calls it "a state-sponsored tv show. A game show."

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    1. Interesting. I've never read the manga. Only the novel. I flipped through the manga briefly but decided it wouldn't fly in my HS English class so I opted for the novel instead.

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  23. That's funny considering it's not aired on television. Only the final result is.

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  24. I think it's a bit unfair to compare only the BR book to the Hunger Games.

    Battle Royale is it's one franchise, and it has had many variations. I think it's quite frankly ludicrous to assume that if Collins has looked up Battle Royale before penning Hunger Games (which I find it difficult to believe that she didn't.... writers do not exist in a vacuum, Collins had do have done research, and I find it hard to believe that BR did not come up once in all of her research) then she would have been exposed to at least summaries of the different versions.

    The novel itself gives you much more information on the world. The manga created, I believe, the element that it's a TV show where things are amped for ratings, the films created the notion that Shuya goes on to lead a resistance against the government. Combine the elements and you get the Hunger Games.

    Yes, Collins may have added some elements into the mix and nor produced an exact facsimile of BR, but unless your photocopying a piece, the author will inherently change the work. The the exception of a few points such as the point of view of the story and it's intended audience, the similarities between Hunger Games and the BR franchise is REALLY striking and the odds of her independently connecting so many similar dots to the BR franchise on her own without ever being exposed to it seems nearly impossible to me.

    I'll probably go see the Hunger Games film... but I'd go a lot more willingly if the author would be a bit more honest about the fact she had to have encountered BR in the preparation of her work... even if she had a basic idea for kids put in a kill or be killed game by the government on her own. You can't copyright an idea.... but you can at least give a nod to the people played with it first and inspired you.

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  26. It's unfair to compare a novel to a novel? BR has many variations and they are all different, this article has NOTHING TO DO with whether Collins read/saw BR before she wrote HG. It has to do with both books being enjoyable, and not as similar as everyone seems to think they are.

    So the BR manga had a TV show, good for it, the BR film was barely based on either the manga or the book. So what would be the point of writing a comparative review of all the BR works to all the HG works, if every variation of BR is different?

    All this griping about Collins not giving credit etc, is really fucking annoying. I had never EVER heard of Battle Royale until people started mentioning it during their Hunger Games bitchfests online, so yes I do think Collins easily could have never read or seen BR.

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  27. Okay. I have to say this now. Battle Royale came out in 1999. Hunger Games came out in 2008. That's nearly ten years difference. I understand that there are plenty Hunger Games fans, but I have to say, as someone who loved Battle Royale, that it is a complete rip-off. Why would they have shelved the US version of the Battle Royale Movie because of Hunger Games? It's too similar. The Battle Royale series is famous, and frankly I think that Collins DID get inspiration from the series. There are too many parallels.

    People have tried to sue J.K. Rowling for copyright infringement on loosely based similarities, but Collins is just racking in the dough for the Hunger Games. How many similarities can one pardon and still say they are coincidence?

    They are just too similar when it comes down to it. You can't just overwrite the fact that they have the EXACT same premise and say it's okay because it focuses on one character and she had a week to prepare. That would be like me writing a book about Harry Potter, changing his name to Beauregard, giving him a week to get used to the fact he's a wizard, then tossing him into a huge castle and making the same friends and falling in love while battling a Dark Lord with another name. Making minor changes doesn't constitute originality.

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  28. Anonymous, that example is fucking terrible. Come up with something that actually can be a metaphor for BR and HG before posting. In HG there is a love triangle, but only Peeta is an actual HG participant. In BR, there is no fucking love triangle at all, and all three kids are stuck on the island. Based on the love story example HG is closer to Twilight that BR.

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  29. Hunger Games ripped off "Survivor" by Walter F. Moudy, and appeared in the May, 1965 issue of "Amazing." It is about the future and how countries go about solving their differences. Instead of WAR, each party would gather up their best 100 soldiers and put them in an arena filled with various terrain and sorts. The last side to have any survivors would be the winner obviously. What made this unique was that it was all televised with commentary. Anyway, the survivor would be granted immunity in their country and would be able to do anything they wanted as compensation for their term.

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  30. There are arguments for both sides, but the ultimate decision can only be made if HG fans read the Battle Royale novel (and NOT only watch the film), which will show exactly why BR fans are up in arms about it. Nothing these days is completely original, im willing to concede that, and many stories in various media has been written, filmed, etc, about dystopian governments creating death matches before BR was written. however, as some people has mentioned, the similarities are way too striking and the author at least must concede that she has at least heard of BR, instead of feigning ignorance. Only liars do that.

    And for the record, I finished reading HG book 1 last night, and overall i somewhat enjoyed it, but i found it rather bland and boring for long stretches. There's only so much you can read about someone hunting rabbits before it gets boring. And the one perspective POV really took away many details i craved to know about the other characters. BR had 42 contestants (tributes, for those HG fans), and each and every single one of them was explored in one way or another in the novel. It made for much entertaining reading. And no, i do not believe comparisons of violence between the two are relevant. The reason i love BR so much is the scale of character development and interaction, which made it far more impressive as a whole. That said, the HG movie looks good and i will read the whole trilogy, so although I love BR first and foremost, I do believe HG is nowhere near as original and it must be acknowledged by the author, and perhaps then i, and others, will look on it with less disdain.

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  32. "i stopped reading after it said, 'its the details that matter.'"

    And I deleted your comment when I read that. So, now all is fair, right?

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  33. Gotta love Battle Royale :)

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  34. I was reading an article about 2 movies: Millennium (which I knew) and Hunger Games (?).

    After read the plot of Hunger Games, I ended here. So I can´t say it is a copy or not, but who cares...the fact is that when you talk about HG, you will always hear about BR. Is that what we call an original master piece? spare me

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  35. Oh who cares if it's a rip-off or not. Its still an interesting and fun premise that many people enjoy. Who doesn't want to read books or see movies about dumb teenagers killing each other?

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  36. I actually believe Collins when she says she's never heard of the book or the movie. However, it does look an awful lot like some YA editor saw BATTLE ROYALE or read it and in the wake of TWILIGHT decided to find a writer to write a female-friendly version that was dissimilar enough that they wouldn't have to pay for the rights. And in that case, they could have just fed Collins the pertinent plot details without telling her where they came from, and then she could have written the books. A little tinfoil-hatty maybe, but when I read that the editor said "I don't want your head in that world" I wonder.

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    1. An interesting theory; although a tad bit far-fetched in my opinion, I can still see it happening.

      But also, your comment made me think of something else: maybe Collins hadn't heard of Battle Royale, but wouldn't an editor or publisher be aware? Just a thought.

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  37. I totally believe that Collins never heard of the BR book/movie/manga before. Then again I knew that BR came out as a book.. I only knew of it as a movie & manga because I saw the movie years ago and the manga on one of the manga sites out there. :| Until the whole comparison of HG and BR i was surprised that there was a book for BR.

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  38. BR fans are so pretentious.

    They aren't similar. Done. Read the books before you say some ignorant shit because you are a butthurt BR fan.

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    1. I love your vast supply of evidence to the statement "They aren't similar."

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    2. They are similar, but they are not the same.

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    3. The premise is exactly the same. The fact that HG is more girly than BR doesn't make it any more original.

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    4. Huh...I read both Battle Royale and the Hunger Games, and saw lots of similarities...curious.

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  39. *sigh* I don't want to be another anonymous...
    Hey nth anonymous up there, you're a pain in the ass. It's a shame HG has a fan like you.
    I agree that HG is much more famous because it has a stronger fanbase. I'm a BR fan. But I also agree with Multipass that both books are good and I believe Collin has never heard of BR, though I'm not so sure about her editor. He must have known about BR to tell Collin not to think of 'that world', since he probably didn't think that BR is famous enough to be compared with HG. Asshole.

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  40. Tried to read Battle Royale, got bored before I was even half way through. None of the far too many characters were fully developped, the book relied too much on shock horror effects and I had to force myself to read as far as I did.

    Collins based her books on two things, zapping between reality shows and news footage on the Iraqui war, and the story of the Minotaur.

    And really, I wouldn't say that Rowlings copied her Harry Potter series, on Horrowitz's older witch and wizard kids in magic school either, just cause they have some basic similarities.

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  41. Now I have watched both battle Royal movies but have not read the book so the comparison is more on them. It seems that they are quite similar in that there are two mega countries running the games to create fear. If the first book was created without the knowledge of battle royal, the other two books most definitely borrow themes from the second movie and ending of the first, where the fear mongering eventually causes rebellion.

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  42. The second Battle Royale isn't worth bringing up, because it isn't based on anything at all.

    BTW, I will be writing a similar article, comparing the film versions, when Hunger Games finally comes out...and as soon as I figure out what happened to my Battle Royale DVD.

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    1. What kind of logic is that? The second Battle Royale doesn't have to be based on anything (even though it most certainly is based on the book, just because it isn't directly adapted from an existing novel does not mean it isn't based on the story). The fact is, adapted from anything or not, it is still an existing work of fiction (even branded under the same name), one that allegedly contains a very similar plot to the one that later appeared in the final 2 Hunger Games books. The same plot that people on here are trying to present as evidence that the Hunger Games story is not, at the bare minimum, strongly derived from that of Battle Royale.

      You can't only compare the books and ignore the films and manga. All of it came before the Hunger Games, and whether you or anyone else accepts it all as canon or not is irrelevant. Even if they were in no way related, the story would still exist, albeit in pieces, prior to the Hunger Games, and that looks bad for the author. But they are related, and combined, the story is suspiciously similar to the one that is now making her stinking rich.

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    2. Of course I can only compare the books, that's what I did in the article. And when HG comes out I will compare that to the BR movie. They are both adaptations of a fictional work of writing. Why is this difficult for you? The second BR movie is not an adaptation of the author's original works so I don't have to talk about it. This is not a discussion of two fandoms or two franchises, it is of two novels.

      -Multipass

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  43. Rip off, of course, all be it one I enjoyed and somewhat devoured. Battle Royale for Twi-hards.

    Oh, and there are supplies, just rather than "randomly" receiving the weapons (referring to the range from saucepan lid to crossbow in the BR film) they have to fight for them from the cornucopia, and their bags can sometimes contain food too. Just as an aside!

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    1. While the first half of your statement is RACIST, I find the second half amusing.

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  45. I've read the Hunger Games and I've seen the film of Battle Royale. I think Battle Royale is far superior. People keep saying that the characters weren't as developed, but to be honest the main trio were far more likeable than Katniss & co. Also I liked the fact that the people knew eachother and had grown up together, because it just made it all the more gripping. I also really enjoyed the fact the kids decided to launch an attack on the military group and stop the game while it was in play. In the Hunger Games the death scenes are mainly very rushed, not well thought out, but Battle Royale had a good mix of drama, suspense and a touch of genius in every death scene. The Hunger Games is sloppy, and the writing is mediocre at best - a good story for younger kids, but to be honest it doesn't go much further than that. Battle Royale is dark, shocking and exciting, strongly recommend!

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    1. I agree totally. Also--if you thought the BR movie was good, then you should definitely check out the book! It's even better. :)

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  46. Let me get this straight ... In Hunger Games children are trained to murder each other, and yet it lacks the brutality of BR? Something about that really doesn't seem right. If you're going to write a book about children willingly slaughtering each other, at least have the decency to make it graphic. It won't have the same psychological effect as unwilling participants being cut down, as is the case in BR, but if you're going to write about children operating as trained soldiers, it should be a dark and ugly thing, not something for teenagers to fawn over.

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    1. You are forgetting that HG is the girl friendly version of BR, much like Twilight is a girl friendly vampire story.

      Kids being forced to kill each other is brutal, shocking and violent. Vampires viscously kill humans to drink their blood. Neither of these themes comes with teddy bears and pink dresses.

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  47. More opinions from people who have read one book and not the other. No wonder there are so many ANONYMOUS posters, you must know you're just spouting bullshit. I don't care if you love one and not the other, but if you are going to offer up some contribution at least have the balls to read both.

    The Battle Royale movie is cool, but as an adaptation it's awful.

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  48. Your full description of Hunger Games just makes it sound exactly like Battle Royale

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    1. If you're talking to me, then your comment makes no sense because I didn't write a full description of Hunger Games. Thanks for reading.

      -Multipass

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    2. lol you two act like little bitches

      -the internet

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    3. @Anonymous ahhhahahaha! truth.

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  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  50. Sr, grammar mistakes...So,

    Two books may have some similarities, but they're from different categories, written for different ages and about slightly different matters in life, so we can't really compare them. Besides, it seems like Collins never heard about BR.

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  51. I think that it's worth a mention that Hunger Games has been published in Japanese. And if there is a copyright issue the author of Battle Royale will probably bring it to light. I mean if I wrote a book that had a cult following like BR and I felt there was copyright infringement I would be all over that! But since nothing has come up... what does that say to us? I mean the Harry Potter copyright issue came up as soon as Rowling started making millions. It was pretty early on in the series life time.

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    1. It says that the author of BR is not a litigation hungry idiot.

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    2. That's ridiculous. The publisher would be the one to take them to court. They wouldn't care two shits about the author's wishes.

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    3. Yes, because name calling really helps legitimatize your argument. Good job anonymous. And Head geek, its not completely ridiculous. Authors scream about plagiarism all the time. (Example, the author who screamed that J. K. Rowling plagiarized her word "muggle".) The publisher might take them to court, it doesn't mean the author wouldn't bring it to them (the publishers) and gripe about it. And again, since nothing has come up from the publishers either, what does that tell you?

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    4. It tells me that there is no case. It tells Battle Royale fans nothing since they don't care about what makes sense they just want to scream about thievery.

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  52. Hunger Games vs. Battle Royal seems a little bit similar to Wizard of Earthsea and Harry Potter. Both of these combinations have one book that's older, and one book that's newer and more "accustomed" to today's audiences.

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    1. Earthsea books are completely different to HP. HP is set in our world, Earthsea is a fictional, created world. There is some kind of a school for magicians in both books, that's where similarities end.

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  53. Hunger Games is a good book, and I have to repeat what others have already said, overall as a whole it isn't that similar to Battle Royale than you would think. The fact that HG is seen primarily through a single character versus Battle Royale's multiple perspective, is already a drastic difference. The conditions that the participants are put in this death match are also drastically different.

    Between the two books though, it's Battle Royale that sticks in my head more. The psychological aspect of being put in a situation where I am forced to kill people I know, is just a more haunting idea. What would you do if you are put in that position? You vs your school mates. You vs your co-workers. You vs your friends or families. Will you join forces? Will you just give up and commit suicide? Who do you trust? Who should die first? Who would survive the longest? Those are the questions Battle Royale brings to you. It's just a more compelling premise to me.

    In Hunger Games, I thought it was almost like a handicap that competitors get some time to train and be prepared for the battle (not to mention the fact Katniss is already a capably talented person overall). The majority of the people they are fighting against are also strangers, which is theoretically easier to kill than someone you actually know. Simply not as compelling a premise to me than what Battle Royale brings up.

    This only goes to show that both books ARE different enough to sway off the complaints about originality.

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    1. BR is definitely more memorable, mostly I think because of the shock the kids are in and the extreme violence (and attempted rape).

      -Multipass too lazy to log in

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  54. Battle Royale isn't the only book that Hunger Games seems to have 'borrowed' from. Another book, published in 2005, called Luthiel's Song dealt with the theme of a girl chosing to take the place of her sister as a sacrifice. In this, case, the sacrifice was to Vampire-like creatures called Vyrl. But Luthiel's Song was also a story about a strong female character. A lot of the stuff with Katsa reminded me of Luthiel and made me feel that Hunger Games was a bit of a rip-off.

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    1. Did you not read A TALE OF TWO CITIES in school? It predates 2005 by about 146 years...

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    2. Yeah, well, the Bible and the whole "sacrificial death" thing predates THAT by 1800 years. ;)

      OH MY GOD Collins is trying to rip off the Bible!

      Cor

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    3. Oh snap... you brought up the fuckin' Bible!

      Best work of fiction ever!

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    4. There's no comeback against the Bible!

      Cor

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  55. I don't understand WHY does it matter. For once, none of you are benefiting from the profits from any of the books. SECOND, I'm pretty sure BR was inspired by someone else's work just as HR might have been inspired by BR. I had NEVER herd of BR until today. And I did enjoy all of the HG books very much. Knowing it might have been a rip-off doesn't make me like it any less. Heck I still enjoyed reading it. If you don't like the HG then don't read the books or watch the movie. Simple as that.

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  56. Hunger Games is actually a pretty decent read. Ive known about Battle Royale Since 2003 and have read all of the media that has been put out more times then i would wish to recap. I think the similarities are only skin deep. Battle Royale is a lot more personal due to the fact that everyone knows everyone involved. It brings up more questions about how willing are you to kill your best friend? The Hunger Games brings this up slightly but its not as powerful as it is in Battle Royale. The Hunger Games is much less jarring because the people do not know each other and have time to prepare themselves for whats happening.

    I think if anything Battle Royale fans shouldnt be bitching about this, but should see this as a great chance to increase BR's popularity. The Hunger Games has created interest in the topics. Its time to show people how good BR is!

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  57. If it was a ripoff, then where is the successfully won lawsuit proving it?

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  58. More seriously, though, I've read both THG and BR and while there's some similarities in theme, I hesitate to call it obvious plagiarism.

    See, people who actually read shit frequently, rather than just reading the hot new thing, already know that there pretty much are no new ideas. Even Shakespeare wrote on themes and tropes that had been done before.

    It's all in how you choose to spin that framework that makes it either something fresh and engaging or a shitty piece of hackwork.

    So I honestly wouldn't say Hunger Games is more derivative than most other works of fiction in the past 1000 years or so. If anything, she "ripped off" Greek mythology, not Battle Royale. Plutarch should totally sue her ass!

    Cor

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    1. It's not obvious plagiarism, no one is saying paragraphs were copied from BR. It's just that HG stole the very essence from BR, the main idea which makes both stories so attractive - kids killing other kids in a state sponsored competition.

      If I wrote a book now which was full of original ideas and characters, but was set in a school of wizardry which exists somewhere in our real world, you can bloody bet on everyone calling it a rip off Harry Potter, which it would be.

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    2. Once someone has a unique setting, it will naturally inject itself into the zeitgeist.

      Otherwise, Harry Potter is just ripping off X-Men.

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    3. Anonymouse, then by your lights, Rowling ripped off every single YA fantasy author who came before her with a tween/teen who's able to wield magic, and has a destiny to defeat a dark menace.

      Cor

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  59. Who the heck CARES if it IS somewhat of a ripoff? I don't think it IS, but even IF, everyone's work has to have been inspired by anothers at some point, so it doesn't even matter. Everyone always has to get up and bitch when something gets popular, this is the same as Harry Potter, get over it people, nothing you or anyone else creates is 100% original, their will ALWAYS be similarities.

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  60. BIG RIP OFF - AND FOR THOSE THAT SAY 'WHOS CARES THEY ARE BOTH GOOD'.. I CARE. THIS WOMAN'S GOING TO MAKE A FORTUNE FROM RIPPING OFF ANOTHER ESTABLISHED WORK AND PRESENTING IT AS AN ORIGINAL IDEA. IT'S SAD TO KNOW THAT MAINSTREAM AUDIENCES ARE IGNORANT.
    THE STRANGER THING IS THAT BR ISNT EVEN THAT NICHE. ALBEIT IT IS CLASSED AS A CULT CLASSIC BUT IT IS A PRETTY DAMN WELL KNOWN CULT CLASSIC. WHAT A SHAM.

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  61. AND PLEASE DO NOT DRAW COMPARISON'S WITH FOLK TALES AND LOTF WITH BR. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ENTIRELY ORIGINAL IDEA - NO SHIT! THAT ARGUMENT WORK WORK IM AFRAID.
    BR MAY WELL HAVE DRAWN CERTAIN IDEAS AND INCORPERATED IT INTO ITS CORE CONCEPT HOWEVER IT DEVELOPED A TOTALLY UNIQUE FRAMEWORK, THUSLY IT IS ORIGINAL. HUNGER GAMES APPEARS TO BE A COMPLETE RIP OFF FROM WHAT I'VE SEEN OF IT. LITTLE DISCREPENCIES LIKE THE SETTING ARE ALL TRIVIAL AND DOES NOT RENDER IT DISTINCTIVE.
    BOOO COLLINS - BOOO TEENAGERS AND BOOO HOLLYWOOD. I WOULDNT EVEN CALL MYSELF A MASSIVE BR FAN - A FAN BUT HARDLY WILLING TO DIE FOR THE CAUSE - THIS KIND OF THING JUST CHEESES ME OFF.

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    1. Nothing cheeses Earth off more than someone typing in all caps.

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    2. "THAT ARGUEMENT WORK WORK"

      work work is the new pop pop

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  62. Did you actually read the books, or did you just read a synopsis of each on amazon? When I read The Hunger Games (granted, I only read the first book in the series) I was able to draw parallels to Battle Royale in the details that you claim are so important to making the stories different.

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  63. When I first heard about Hunger Games, I immediately thought about Battle Royale, but then again, I also thought about Survivor, Lord of the Flies, and the Running Man. BR is definitely a lot more in-depth when it comes to character development, emotion, and thought provoking chapters. Going through all the perspectives, knowing that they all (for the most part) knew each other, went to school together, brings more emotion because you have to kill your best friend. HG's perspective is less emotional, because in honesty, Katniss is a bland and a really self-involved character, so you don't get anything but her perspective. You don't know what happens to the other characters because that's just how the story goes. HG puts a twist with the whole "killing your best friend" idea like BR did, twists it again, and twists it even more in the later books. There are many similarities between HG and BR, but there are a significant amount of differences. They're just two different books revolving around one idea, kids killing each other because the government made them to. If both books were about adults killing each other then the impact wouldn't be the same, obviously similar to how LOTF chose boys as its characters, because it made an impact. And EVERYWHERE, books, history, sci-fi, there's thousands of stories about some form of political faction, forcing people to kill each other, because of fear, control, and even enjoyment. The two forms of literature are not even on the same level, the maturity of BR cannot compare to the YA focus of HG. While BR was more thought provoking to become a cult classic, HG is pure entertainment, and that's what Collins' says her inspiration on, exploiting the audiences need for entertainment with the connotations of fear; BR's program is just about fear. I loved both novels, BR more so than HG, but I feel like comparing HG to BR isn't as controversial as some people make it to be.

    And in several Articles, Collins has said she has heard of the book, but that was after she started writing and her Editor told her not to read it. That obviously means she knew what the book was about, understood that there may be similarities and if she keeps writing, maybe more, but her Editor told her not to read it, most likely because it would force her to change her way of writing the book. And the way she wrote it was still different, in both context, meaning, and purpose of the story... just the premise was similar.

    -Pasta

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  64. I'd like to remind everyone that a large part of the drama/plot points that take place during the actual game in HG, are used as a reality show. A huge difference between the two books, and one almost no one has decided to discuss on here.

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  65. The argument isn't about the details dear. It's about the inspiration for the story. Only an utter fool would try to publish a straight copy and she obviously wouldn't have gotten away with that anyway. Try real hard not to be so literal with this. You can do it.

    Collins states she NEVER heard about the BR material before writing her novel. With so many similarities throughout both books (I read both of them in entirety) this is clearly a lie.

    I don't think anyone is saying the Collins book is bad, the issue is that she should just admit the idea wasn't totally hers. That's all, credit where it's due.

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    1. Since that's not what my article was about, thanks for your pointless post. I am comparing the stories, not Collins ability to lie about what she has or hasn't read.

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  66. HG is not a copy on the BR book. I's a copy on the complete BR franchise. More or less all element from HG exists in the BR book, movie 1 or 2, or the manga.

    It's obvious Collins lie when she say that she never heard about BG....

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    1. If it is so obvious, where is the lawsuit?

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  67. It still seems like a ripoff to me. Yeah, there are minor differences in how the game was played, but about 80% is the same. And I think the differences you mentioned just point out how Battle Royale is superior. The kids already had different connections and tension between them, so it makes it all the more vicious if they have to kill their school bully, or all the more heartbreaking if they have to kill their best friend. And the fact that 42 different points of view show what a skilled writer Takami is. And the difference about Hunger Games being a reality show isn't entirely true. The reality show element WAS in Battle Royale, but only in the comic book versions.

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    1. AAaaaand the comic book versions came AFTER the novel, so they are not part of this comparison.

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  68. If you think Kids killing other kids in an arena is what's interesting then fine. But I think you're missing the point of both stories because the thrill comes from who's doing it and why. It's not only the details that are different, it's the whole set up. But whatever, I'm upset at people who'd rather argue and be right than people who give a shit about storytelling.

    The Hunger Games reads like a greek epic. BR reads like a psychological thriller. This is from someone who saw both BR movies, and read a bit of the manga. I almost didn't read THG because I thought it was too similar, but I gave it a chance and was relieved to find that they're different. To each their own, but if BR and THG were ONLY about kids fighting other kids, I would have hated both stories.

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  69. To the guy who wrote this article: quit being a pussy and just tell us which one you think is better. I hate reading through an article that reviews two things, only to draw no conclusions. We know they are different (which is the cop-out conclusion you drew), but they are similar enough where they can be compared. Tell us which one you think is better. Quit with this pussy shit about telling us that one has these qualities and the other has these other qualities. We already know that. People search "Hunger Games vs. Battle Royale" in hopes of reaching a conclusion, not to waste time reading your half-assed inconclusive opinion.

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