Return of the moviessss!
I didn’t get chance last weekend, but last night I watched バトル・ロワイアル (2000), I’ve read the book (in English) before and noticed that it was on Freevee so gave it a watch.
After hearing a lot about how great the book was I decided to read it and I found that… I didn’t like it very much
It was a cool enough concept: a bunch of high schoolers put on an island as part of a gameshow, were they all have to kill each other with a variety of random weapons given to them until only one is left (out of a class of about 50), they have exploding collars and the island is slowly closed off in danger zones so they can’t just stand around and hide, and the whole point of this is… because Japan has become super violent with crime, so to suppress violent tendencies they make young people murder each other… everything makes less sense the more you think about it but even if you don’t think and just enjoy I found there was so much artificial tension from characters being stupid for the purpose to move the plot forward that I found it awkward to get through.
I found the movie suffered from exactly the same as the book. Since you know the protag has to survive at least toward the end, and that all the other 40 or so characters must die (and the protag is the “I must save everyone” type), it feels a bit by the numbers until you reach the final section. At least the antagonists aren’t as ridiculous in the film, by contrast they seem more subdued (aka in the book, machine guns have infinite ammo and can be reloaded in a second, the antagonist guy can magically know what all 50ish students are doing, where they are, how they will react to every situation because he is just that smart and has super brain powers, body armour is impenetrable and can stop 10,000 bullets but not when it isn’t required to do so, hence extremely thick PLOT ARMOUR)
I feel I may be missing something, since it gets a lot of praise, but I just didn’t think it was very good.
Anyway, what was good, was that with 60+ (including additional characters) people talking Japanese in their own unique ways is very good practice in trying to understand different intonations and all that. Though it does have Takeshi Kitano, who I recognise from Yakuza 6, and to understand him you need S+ Rank Japanese listening ability. I did not understand him one bit. I don’t understand how he talks.
I had a look around on Freevee, there’s a few others movies so I’ll give them a watch when I get the chance, as well as a TV series cooking show, I’ll have a look into that at some point. Might be a bit easier to watch an episode of that more often over staying up late to watch movies when it isn’t ideal to do so.