The Hunger Games trending novel and now film has been put on the controversial spotlight before with allegations of sending the wrong message to teens with its violence. This time, it’s under the bright light because of accusations that the book’s author, Suzanne Collins, stole the idea of The Hunger Games from a Japanese novel called Battle Royale.
When questioned in previous interviews, Collins denied having ever heard of Battle Royale and sticks to her story that she was inspired by when viewing reality shows and news in Iraq. “I was tired and the lines began to blur in this very unsettling way,” Collins said.
There are many similarities between the novels: both take place in a dystopian future, where teenagers are thrown into a game in which they must kill each other to survive and be a victor, and they are given supplies which are supposed to help in their survival. But is this enough to say that the story was stolen?
A main difference between the novels is that in Battle Royale, the country is in a chaotic state for no sure reason – whereas in The Hunger Games, the country of Panem is broken into 12 different districts and is governed by a totalitarian government that survived an uprising.
Another difference is how the the tournament called “The Hunger Games” is actually televised and shown throughout the districts, whereas the “Battle Royale” game in which the teens are chosen isn’t known about by the rest of the country.
The most crucial difference is that in the ‘Hunger Games’ protagonist Katniss’ point of view on killing is that she is doing it to survive not out of a sadistic desire to kill. But the ‘Battle Royale’ feeds off of the chaotic violence and mindless bloodshed.
So was the Hunger games truly stolen? It’s up for you to decide, “may the odds be forever in your favor.”