Battle Royale: Defense on Noriko and Shuuya

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Nanahara Shuuya and Nakagawa Noriko (Battle Royale)

For those of you who don’t know, Battle Royale is a novel by Takami Koushun, published in 1999. The following year, it was made into a manga series and movie starring Fujiwara Tatsuya and Maeda Aki. Yes, that’s right ladies, the same stud who plays Yagami Light in the Death Note movies and the girl who sings the first ending of Yu-Gi-Oh. So WHY do people hate these characters so much!? ;_;

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With a class of 42 students, 3-B has a lot of interesting characters. Some of them are heavily disliked, some with good reason (Oda (Boy 4) has a low opinion of women and people who aren’t rich, Niida (Boy 16) tries to rape a girl, (who then proceeds to kill him). But I see no reason to hate Shuuya and Noriko, both number 15.

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I’ll start with Shuuya. Now, Shuuya’s character is different in all three versions. In the manga, he’s naïve, optimistic and popular among his schoolmates. Several of the girls (And some of the men ~shot~) at school have a crush on him. Pretty impressive for an orphan, right? In the movie, his mom walked out and his dad hung himself on the first day of seventh grade. Throughout the film, he appears moody and sullen. Because of his parents, he has a rather low opinion of adults. The fact that the teacher killed his best friend Kuninobu “Nobu” Yoshitoki, didn’t help. The novel version is a bit of both. He’s very popular and optimistic, but he has a sarcastic side to him, too. In the sequel to the movie, he’s become the leader of a terrorist group (O_o) made up of previous winners of the BR Act and declares war on all adults who support it, never mind the fact that he’s now an adult himself (AND KAWADA DIDN’T SACRIFICE HIS LIFE SO YOU COULD GO DO STUFF THAT’LL GET YOU KILLED!).

Why do people hate him? I’m not sure. Is it because of his neverending faith in his classmates? Is it his reluctance to admit that any of classmates would be willing to kill each other? Is it because of his optimism that he’s held onto even through all of his hardships?

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Now let’s move onto Noriko. Like many other girls in her class, she has a crush on Shuuya (and yes, he falls in love with her over the course of the story). Shuuya’s friend Nobu has a crush on her. Nobu’s death is what inspires Shuuya to protect her. And she needs it, too. In the novel and manga, when Nobu is shot by the soldiers/teacher (in the respective versions), Noriko rushes to him. Because of this, she is shot in the leg. Obviously, it becomes hard for her to walk, let alone run. She’s a very “feminine” girl. She bakes cookies for Shuuya and Nobu for the “school trip”. She’s involved in the literature club. She’s a very nice girl. Several people have labeled her “useless”, because she doesn’t do much.

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She is SHOT IN THE LEG.

Of course she can’t do much. But that doesn’t make her completely useless. When the trio (Shuuya, Noriko, and Kawada) fight with Kiriyama, they think he’s been defeated, unaware of the fact that he has a bulletproof vest. In the manga, this allows him to shoot Kawada, giving him an injury that results in his death later. Shuuya is so stunned that he just wants Kiriyama to get it over with. Suddenly, a gunshot is heard. The one shot is Kiriyama, who has been shot by Noriko. Although this doesn’t kill him (Shuuya does that), it does cripple him shortly. Not only does she also shoot him in the novel, it’s possible that she may have been the one who killed him (After Noriko shoots him, Kawada also shoost him and tells her that he was the one who killed him, possibly to save Noriko from guilt).

Frankly, I don’t understand why they hate such likeable characters while squealing over characters like Mitsuko, the class slut, and Kiriyama, who doesn’t feel emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I like those two too (Except for Mitsuko who can die in a pit for all I care ~gets shot twise~), but I don’t get why people like them over Noriko and Shuuya. Though, why do I like Noriko and Shuuya? I don’t know. Maybe because I’m so anti-social, I’m drawn to nice people. Or maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for main characters. That or hmm, I dont know maybe beacuse they are TRYING TO SURVIVE WITHOUT LOSING THEIR HUMANITY AND DONT GIVE UP

Sorry for the small rant post but I just had to let it out.

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