Tuesday, May 2

Archives: Battle Royale (manga)

Speaking of waf... zombies, I've been reading Battle Royale. Some good graphic (to the extreme) violence and hardcore sex, if you're into that kind of thing.
S'about a bunch of high school kids taken at random to participate in an illegal but well operated/kept under wraps survival show.

Not exactly like your reality TV show crap mind you, cause it's real. Not that the viewers know, or they'd probably spew while watching people get torn apart by various weapons.

The kids are shown wandering around a fairly large evacuated island with a randomly assigned weapon (ranges from forks and boomerangs to uzis and shotguns) trying to kill each other because, after 3 days, if more than one of them is found alive they all have to bite the dust.
To turn the heat up, various parts of the island are tagged offlimits every now and then, ie. students that wander into them have their neck collars explode taking their heads off with it.

Course there are those who play the game, killing their friends and classmates, and you have the few good guys who try to band together and find a way out of it through various intricate schemes which mostly, unfortunately fail for whatever reasons.
And then theres those that just plain snap and you get these wonderfully well drawn disturbing pictures and scenes of that happening.
Plenty of twists throughout though mind you, and while the ending is a good one, it's not as "happy" as you might like.

Before each person gets popped off as the body count rises, you're given a lengthy and well done background to the character, and certain main characters are very well developed. Nicely done to the extent you gain a certain affinity for them... till they bite the bullet that is. Certain spectacular individuals make things more interesting, with your martial artists and cold blooded genius' thrown into the mix along with some seductress that's not quite sane.

While insanity/death takes them one by one, you get various romances and friendships formed during the fight for survival. Morals and such go out the window and mistrust leads to killing the wrong people at times. All while you see the workings of the human mind unravel under the extreme pressure throughout.
Theres even this nice announcement every now and then, telling the remaining survivors which of their previous friends and classmates have been eliminated. Nice of them, no?

I'm not a fan of the style of artwork particularly, but it's detailed and well drawn enough for you to see the horror and emotion on each page.

All good stuff really, surprised I spent the 10 hours in a row reading all 15 volumes (yeah it does tend to grab you).