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Battle Royale (2000)

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Coming Out at 16 December 2000 in theaters

“Batoru rowaiaru”

Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

Battle Royale is dystopian action thriller film directed by Kinji Fukasaku and screenplay written by Kenta Fukasaku, based on the 1999 novel by Koushun Takami. Starring Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda and Takeshi Kitano, the film follows a group of junior high-school students that are forced to fight to the death by the Japanese totalitarian government. The film drew controversy and was banned or excluded from distribution in several countries. Toei even refused to sell the film to any United States distributor for a long time due to concerns about potential controversy and lawsuits (until Anchor Bay Entertainment eventually acquired the film in 2010 for direct-to-video release).

The film was first screened in Tokyo on more than 200 screens on December 16, 2000, with an R15+ rating, which is rarely used in Japan. It was the highest-grossing Japanese-language film for six weeks after its initial release, and it was later released in 22 countries worldwide, grossing approximately $30 million in nine countries. The film earned critical acclaim and, especially with its DVD releases, drew a large global cult following. It is often regarded as one of Fukasaku’s best films, and one of the best films of the 2000s. In 2009, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino praised Battle Royale as the best film he had seen in the past two decades.

Following a major recession, the Japanese government has passed the “BR ACT” to control Japan’s unruly youth. Middle school student Shuya Nanahara copes with life after his father committed suicide. Noriko Nakagawa is the only student regularly attending class 3-B. Their teacher, Kitano, resigns after being wounded by Yoshitoki Kuninobu, Shuya’s best friend.

One year later, class 3-B takes a field trip, but they are gassed and taken to a remote island. Kitano reappears surrounded by JSDF soldiers, explaining to the class that they are chosen to participate in the annual Battle Royale as a result of the Act: they have three days to fight to the death until a victor emerges, while explosive collars will kill uncooperative students or those within daily “danger zones”. Each student is provided rations, water, a map of the island, compass, flashlight, and a random weapon. Kitano personally kills two of the students for disobedience, one of them being Kuninobu, who dies from collar detonation.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku

Writers: Koushun Takami (novel), Kenta Fukasaku

Stars: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Chiaki Kuriyama, Sôsuke Takaoka, Takashi Tsukamoto

Cast:

Tatsuya FujiwaraShuya Nanahara – otoko 15-ban
Aki MaedaNoriko Nakagawa – onna 15-ban
Tarô YamamotoShôgo Kawada – otoko 5-ban
Takeshi KitanoKitano-sensei (as Bito Takeshi)
Chiaki KuriyamaTakako Chigusa – onna 13-ban
Sôsuke TakaokaHiroki Sugimura – otoko 11-ban
Takashi TsukamotoShinji Mimura – otoko 19-ban
Yukihiro KotaniYôshitoki Kuninobu – otoko 7-ban
Eri IshikawaYukie Utsumi – onna 2-ban
Sayaka KamiyaSatomi Noda – onna 17-ban
Takayo MimuraKayoko Kotôhiki – onna 8-ban
Yutaka ShimadaYûtaka Seto – otoko 12-ban
Aki UnoneFumiyo Fujiyôshi – onna 18-ban (as Aki Inoue)
Ren MatsuzawaKeita Îjima – otoko 2-ban
Hirohito HondaKazushi Nîda – otoko 16-ban
Ryou NittaKyôichi Motobuchi – otoko 20-ban
Sayaka IkedaMegumi Etô – onna 3-ban
Anna NagataHirono Shimizu – onna 10-ban
Yukari KanasawaYûkiko Kitano – onna 6-ban
Misao KatoYumiko Kusaka – onna 7-ban
Hitomi HyugaYûko Sakaki – onna 9-ban
Satomi IshiiHaruka Tanizawa – onna 12-ban
Asami KanaiChisato Matsui – onna 19-ban
Satomi HanamuraYûka Nakagawa – onna 16-ban
Yousuke ShibataMitsuru Numai – otoko 17-ban
Shirô GôRyûhei Sasagawa – otoko 10-ban
Yuuki MasudaHiroshi Kuronaga – otoko 9-ban
Shigeki HirokawaShô Tsukioka – otoko 14-ban
Tamaki MiharaIzumi Kanai – onna 5-ban
Tomomi ShimakiSakura Ogawa – onna 4-ban
Yasuomi SanoKazuhiko Yamamoto – otoko 21-ban
Shin KusakaYoshio Akamatsu – otoko 1-ban
Gouki NishimuraTatsumichi Ôki – otoko 3-ban
Shigehiro YamaguchiToshimori Oda – otoko 4-ban
Osamu OhnishiYôji Kuramoto – otoko 8-ban
Satoshi YokomichiTadakatsu Hatagami – otoko 18-ban
Junichi NaitouYûichiro Takiguchi – otoko 13-ban
Tsuyako KinoshitaMizuho Inada – onna 1-ban
Mai SekiguchiKaori Minami – onna 20-ban
Takako BabaYoshimi Yahagi – onna 21-ban
Haruka NomiyamaMayumi Tendô – onna 14-ban
Ai IwamuraOnna no hito – won last Battle Royale
Ai MaedaShiori – Kitano no aijô (voice)
MinamiKeiko
Michi YamamuraReporter (as Michiko Yamamura)
Suzuka TonegawaYoung Mitsuko (in Special Version)
Tarô SuwaMiddle-aged man (in Special Version)
Reiko KataokaMitsuko no okâsan (in Special Version)
Takeyuki HiraiSoldier
Tomu AsakawaSoldier
Yûya NakaharaSoldier
Takashi KomoriSoldier
Ryôta NakamuraSoldier
Akihiro UgajinSoldier
Yôichi MurakamiSoldier
Tsuguharu NiizakiSoldier
Jun’ichi NashikiSoldier
Hiroshi KitagawaSoldier
Hideaki KawashimaSoldier
Umiji TasakiSoldier
Mitsuaki TachikawaSoldier
Hidetsugu OkumuraSoldier
Daisuke YazawaSoldier
Nobuki BabaSoldier
Naoki IwasawaSoldier
Kôji TokuhisaSoldier
Mikiya SanadaSoldier
Kazuhiro YokokuraSoldier
Shigeki HommaSoldier
Kazuo ArakiSoldier
Gôshi MatsuharaSoldier
Akira YoshizawaSoldier
Kenzo ShirahamaSoldier
Kanji OkumuraSoldier
Shôji TakanoSoldier
Ryôji SugimotoSoldier
Hajime YonedaSoldier
Hideaki KojimaSoldier
Nanami OhtaMitsuko no tomodachi (in Special Version)
Ayana NoguchiMitsuko no tomodachi (in Special Version)
Tetsu MasudaKurasu 3A no sensei (in Special Version)
Kazutoshi YokoyamaBasketball referee (in Special Version)
Kotaru KamijouJô Kitô, Basketball player of Class 3-A (in Special Version)
Hirobumi SekiKôsuke Okiyama, Basketball player of Class 3-A (in Special Version)
Kiyoyuki MatsumotoShinichirô Tanaka, Basketball player of Class 3-A (in Special Version)
Gou RyugawaLieutenant Anjo
Takashi TaniguchiNanahara no otôsan
Ken NakaideHayashida-san – Kurasu 3B no sensei
Kanako FukauraBasugaido
Yûko MiyamuraTraining Video Girl
Ko ShibasakiMitsuko Sôma – onna 11-ban
Masanobu AndôKazuo Kiriyama – otoko 6-ban
Doug ErholtzHayashida (voice)
Erin FitzgeraldYukie Utsumi / Yumiko Kusaka (voice)
Stephanie KomureMitsuko Souma / Megumi Eto / Training Video Girl / Kayoko Kotohiki (voice)
Stephanie ShehTakako Chigusa (voice)
John SnyderKitano (voice)
Spike SpencerYoshitoki Kuninobu (voice)
Kaiji TangShogo Kawada (voice)
Julie Ann TaylorReporter (voice)

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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