ShaSha Ponders Battle Royale on The CW

8.8.12 ShaSha LaPerf 8 Comments

So it was recently announced that the CW was looking into creating a TV show based off Battle Royale.

Collective groan.

Battle Royale was released as a novel in 1999 and made into a film about a year later. There's also a second movie titled Battle Royale II: Requiem which was a total piece of crap and hence forth will never be mentioned again. Back in the day the film was most known in anime groups or by fans of Japanese action flicks as you either had to see it through a bootleg copy or if you were like me, betting like crazy to get the UK release on eBay. Over the years there was speculation about the movie's lack of any American acknowledgement, from the movie being too violent to be released to no company just wanting to get the rights for it. And over time people forgot about it.

Then we get The Hunger Games, a book trilogy turned movie trilogy about kids killing kids. It wasn't long before the comparisons began. Next thing you know you're seeing Battle Royale all over the place. We finally get an American release of the movie on DVD and Blu-Ray. Note, this is not a blog post comparing Battle Royale and The Hunger Games, it's just about Battle Royale. So there's been a resurgence in popularity in the movie again.

And then we have the CW.

Last year I jokingly said The CW went from "Colored women" to "completely white." I was referring to the fact that the show had several shows aimed at black women (well black audience) and swept them under the rug to appeal more to young white teens. So we get shows like Gossip Girl and 90210. The CW has also likes to dip into fantasy, action and paranormal type series with shows like Supernatural, Smallville, and the upcoming The Arrow show. I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that the CW wants to take a shot at this. They've had a lot of success with series based off books, like Gossip Girl and the Vampire Dairies. And The Hunger Games and Twilight have done in the movie theaters, so it's easy to see why people would want to capitalize of the fame of both.

Of course the news about this show just broke out. We don't even know if it will actually happen. But for fun, I wanted to take a look at a few things and the chances of them actually happening if the show makes it to the air. Yes, these numbers are totally made up.

Chances of Asians having the leads roles - 20%
Battle Royale has a ton of characters and I suspect the American version would take place in America (or some form of it). The CW isn't stupid enough to ignore people of color in a show that has at least 42 characters in it. But it's debatable that they would put these people in the lead roles of say Shuya, Shogo, or Noriko (who we'll see named as Steve, Shawn, and Nicole). The CW doesn't have a very good track record. Outside of Nikita--which has an Asian female lead--it's been years since a person of color has carried a show on the channel. Sure they pop up as tokens on LA Complex and 90210, but that's about it. I hear the Vampire Diaries has a fair amount of people of color, but I also hear that they don't have the greatest portrayals on said show. As a nod to the original film/novel, there may be one Asian as a character, maybe as horny, evil Mistuko or batshit crazy Kiriyama. They'll probably get a black guy that got the boot from some other CW show to play Shawn...or maybe Shermaine.

Chances the students will stay middle schoolers: 0%
These kids will definitely be high schoolers for a few reasons. For one it's easier to pass off a 20-year-old actor as a high school kid then a middle school one, just look at Glee, LOL. And yes Asian doesn't crack that fast, but even some of the kids in the original BR movie looked old as shit to be playing middle schoolers (though in Japan middle school goes up to 9th grade so the kids were supposed to be 14 or 15). Teens dying in TV shows and movies isn't that big a deal nowadays, just look at Nightmare on Elm Street or Scream. And it's easier to justify sexualizing older kids on the cover of shitty as magazines aimed at teen age girls like Teen Vogue those magazines that always have One Direction on them.

Chances the show would be violent: 50%
Ahh yeah, probably the most controversial aspect of this show idea. Anyone who's seen the movie (and even those who have only heard about it) knows that BR is loaded with a bunch of kids being shot, stabbed, blown up, losing their heads, committing suicide, etc. And it's much easier to get away with this in a movie then say network TV--afterall there isn't even a Japanese TV version of BR despite it's popularity. There have been some pretty gruesome scenes on The Walking Dead (and they have killed younger characters on the show as well), but that airs on AMC--they're paying a few extra bucks just so the characters can say "shit" at least once and episode. The American network version probably won't shy away from the illusion of people dying, but in terms of actually showing the characters heads exploding...well they may not be bold enough to take that one. 

Chances the show would have a lot of teens fucking: 100%

It's the CW. LOL I'm sure it's required in the contract of each show to have a group of teens fucking or something. In Battle Royale, Mistuko Souma is portrayed as a character that has had forced and consensual relations along with a few other characters. I'll bet this show wouldn't get away with at least one prolonged scene of her getting it on with one of her classmates. This is also why we'd have the characters older. Because you know people would flip the fuck out at the thought of middle schoolers doing it somewhere in the bushes. 

Chances the show would be a critique on American society: 35%
The original story was a critique on Japanese society at that time. In fact Shogo gives a pretty good speech about why Japan was fucked--which was not in the movie. And we all know American's got it's issues. And there have been plenty of TV shows that have taken a shot at America's society and evil government. However the CW isn't really that deep of a station. The lessons they want you to know is that pretty white people have problems and are sometime vampires or aliens with superpowers. Then again, the show would have to explain why the BR Act exists, which does leave an opening for an extensive backstory.

Chances we'd see a blasian couple on this show: 25%
So earlier I mentioned that the American BR would probably have a diverse cast of students do to it being so many of them. And the CW hasn't completely shied away from interracial couples, I'm pretty sure I've seen one 90210. I think they're couples tend to be of the black and white variety though. We may see an Asian male, white female couple since they tend to do well when shit is going down around the world--man I really have The Walking Dead on the brain tonight. Might get a blasian couple by way of a black male and Asian female because if it was the other way around, they'd be the couple committing suicide on the rocks within five minutes of the show.

Chance this show would be good: 0%
CW. Battle Royale. Man, did I really just spend all this time writing actually considering this becoming a TV show? Sadly, yes I did. I needed something to do in between breaks from the Olympics.

Bottom line is, this is just a terrible idea. Battle Royale has pretty much become a cult classic and while it's an entertaining movie, there's a reason why it's a movie. Can we please just leave it at that? But hey, everything is still up for speculation. The CW is only in talks for a show, and I just don't see this getting off the table. If it does, I'll probably watch and start a blog just to give snarky comments about how crappy it is, like I wanted to do with Falling Skies before I got lazy...


  1. How have there been no comments yet? This is hilarious!!!!

  2. Lol!!!

    I don't watch network TV, and even when I did, I did NOT watch CW. I think a remake TV version would be every bit as horrific as you describe. But... if there is a Blasian AMBW couple on it, I'd watch *ducks head in shame*


    I agree; the CW needs to just leave BR alone. I fuckin' love that movie and the CW would rape it to death.

  4. Yes an AMBW would be spectacular. But it would have to be hot and passionate for it to be a good thing.

  5. LOL, I definitely had a lot of fun writing this one! The idea of Battle Royale on The CW just seemed so ridiculous that I needed to be equally ridiculous here. I actually am looking forward to seeing this show just to write the snarky comments on it!

  6. I don't tune into CW too much,but I will say one thing: Battle Royale doesn't need to be on TV.You and I know that if the producers touch that movie it will suck badly.When the American film/television Industry get a hold on someone else's movie,they will butcher it.They will adulterate this movie with their own version of it.We're already seen too many instances where they screwed up another persons masterpiece.

    It would nice if AMBW couple would be on. Battle Royale but why do something tell me that the producers wouldn't go for it?It may scare them. andthey definitely will not want to accept a hot Asian male to be in a Romatic role .

  7. I've been lurking on your blog for awhile, but this post made me have to delurk lol

    This is super hilarious! Your predictions are on point. I read the manga first and am currently reading the novel. They both go into ridiculous detail. CW would censor the heck out of it. I don't think I've ever watched a show on the CW. I probably wont start lol

    1. I don't think I've ever watched a show on the CW. I probably wont start lol

      You're not missing anything.