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In a dystopian future Japan, forty-two junior high school students are outfitted with weapons and bid to kill one another until there is only one left standing.
Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller envisions a nightmare scenario: 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 until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when ﬁrst published in Japan—where it became a runaway best seller—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.
About the Author
Koushun Takami was born in 1969 in Amagasaki near Osaka and grew up in Kagawa Prefecture of Shikoku (the fourth largest island in Japan), where he currently resides. After graduating from Osaka University with a degree in literature, he worked for a newspaper company, Shikoku Shinbun, for five years, reporting on politics, police reports, and economics. Also, he attended Nihon University’s liberal arts correspondence-course program and acquired an English teaching certificate for junior high and high school.
Battle Royale, completed after Takami left the newspaper company, was his debut work and his only novel published so far. With its publication in Japan in 1999, it received widespread support and became a best seller. Battle Royale was serialized as a comic, made into a feature film in 2000, and has been translated into more than ten languages. Since its initial release, Battle Royale continues to be a cult favorite in Japan and internationally.
In 2012, Battle Royale: Angels' Border, a spin-off manga scripted by Koushun Takami, was released.