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Shuya Nanahara (Boy #15)
"They got to you. Too late again! Dear god in heaven...do I get to save anyone?"The male protagonist of Battle Royale, and an orphan. He has not been in the class for a long time. His father was killed for opposing the totalitarian government, and his mother died. Because of the latter, no one wanted to have Shuya so he ended up in an orphanage, where he grew up alongside his best friend Yoshitoki "Nobu". He is a very optimistic guy, and an aspiring rock musician (rock is outlawed). A Wide-Eyed Idealist who tries to see the good sides in everyone, he makes friends easily and is quick to trust other people.
- Action Survivor: Goes from unwilling to kill any of his classmates to killing several soldiers in the novel.
- Actual Pacifist: Shuya really doesn't want to play the game. The few times he actually does kill it's either by accident or as a final resort. This goes away in the sequel.
- All-Loving Hero: The guy is so innocent and wonderful, he actually manages to convert several crazy or paranoid classmates by giving them emotional speeches (before they all die, anyway...).
- Always Save the Girl: He only seriously fights back against Kiriyama when he hurts Noriko.
- Break the Cutie: Let's see: His mom abandoned him and dad committed suicide in the film.( In the book they die in a "car accident") His friend is killed before his eyes and he's lead to believe his foster mother has been raped. Has to witness and reluctantly be apart of the slaughter of his classmates. And even thought he escapes he's being hunted by the government. Sucks to be Shuya.
- Chick Magnet: Let's see, there's Noriko, Yukie, Yumiko, Yukiko, Megumi, Hirono (in the manga)...
- First-Person Smartass: To a certain extent in the novel. It's not really clear whose point of view we're seeing.
- Genre Blind: This is why he's an Idiot Hero.
- Heartbroken Badass: In the sequel. He's clearly taken the deaths of his classmates hard.
- The Hero: Our central protagonist.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: He has several when he sees the corpses of his classmates and friends. Particularly in the manga, where finding Shinji Mimura's body is enough to almost make him give up.
- I Can't Believe A Girl Like You Would Notice Me!: He reacts like this to Noriko.
- Idiot Hero: He and Kawada frequently butt heads on what to do.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: No matter how many times he's shown that kids will kill him and Noriko he still thinks he can rally the remaining to escape and fight back.
- Joke Weapon: A pot lid in the film. Considering how much of a pacifist he is, it doesn't make much of a difference. Subverted, at least in a defensive way, when he uses it as a shield from Oki's hatchet.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: In the manga, with his mullet. Shuya in the movie looks more like an average, dumpy teenage boy.
- Lucky Seven: His last name starts with the kanji character for seven.
- Nice Guy: Especially in the manga, but in all three versions, he goes out of his way — stupidly, at times — to avoid violence.
- Oblivious to Love: He doesn't seem to notice how several girls in class are interested in him.
- Parental Abandonment: Depending on the version, his mother might have walked out on the family and his father committed suicide (film), his father might have been killed and his mother died of illness (manga), or both parents might have died in a "car accident" (novel).
- The Power of Rock: How Shuya changed from a straight-laced sports player to a rebellious rock fan.
- Power Trio: With Noriko and Shogo.
- The Pollyanna: Sneeringly Lampshaded by Shogo, who calls him "Pollyanna with a penis".
- Spell My Name With An Extra U: In the original Japanese.
- The Powerof Friendship: In the manga this is how he talks Yoshio out of killing him. Seriously.
- Took a Level in Badass / Neutral No Longer: Shuya's pacifism gets thrown to the waste-side in the sequel.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Shuya is... very naive.
Noriko Nakagawa (Girl #15)
"Hello! "The chick" has a name!"The female protagonist. She is at first the love interest of Shuya's friend Yoshitoki, but gradually grows closer to Shuya over the course of the story. Since the teacher shoots her in the leg early on and the wound is infected, she is The Load much of the time. Noriko is a perfect fit for Shuya: good-hearted, idealistic and quick to trust. Although she does not realize it, Noriko manages to keep both Shogo and Shuya balanced and she is the only other person besides Shuya to survive the game.
- Action Survivor: Less obvious than Shuya, but she grows into one. She even manages to kill Kiriyama in the novel.
- Alliterative Name: Noriko Nakagawa.
- Break the Cutie: So very much. She even breaks down after she shoots Kiriyama in the manga.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: She even bakes cookies for the class trip.
- Joke Weapon: A boomerang. Binoculars in the film.
- The Heart: She is the "glue" that makes Shuya and Shogo stay together. This is particularly evident in the movie.
- The Load: Not by choice, however.
- Naïve Everygirl: Along with Shuya, she's a bit naive.
- Neutral Female: The poor girl is shot in the kneecap during the Program briefing because she stood up for Yoshitoki, and as result, can't do much. This ends up subverted toward the end, when she kills Kiriyama of all people.
- Never a Self-Made Woman: She is mostly Shuya's Love Interest and The Load. Although she is the main female protagonist, she actually contributes little to the story other than killing Kazuo Kiriyama in the novel. She was given a bigger role in the film, though she seems to do even less. This is because her character is to be the voice or a representation of the author like Simon from Lord of the Flies.
- Nice Girl: Good-hearted and idealistic.
- Power Trio: She even comments that she, Shuya and Shogo are like the Three Musketeers.
- Yamato Nadeshiko A textbook case. The "core of iron" comes in when she shoots Kiriyama.
Shogo Kawada (Boy #5)
"I'm not dying on account of you. You heard her, I'm horrible. Don't force me to prove it."The mysterious New Transfer Student, Shogo is a tough guy who is older than the others and keeps to himself. He's big, covered in scars, and a chain smoker. He was the winner of the previous year's Program (and racking up the highest body count ever seen), and this gives him an enormous advantage when he enters it the second time. A true badass and a survivalist to the core, he has no qualms about killing in self-defense even though his goal is to save his classmates from the Program. He allies himself with Shuya and Noriko early on after killing their attacker, and they go along with him since he knows a way the three of them can escape from the island.Obviously a very popular character.
- The Atoner: His motivation, because he accidentally killed his loving girlfriend Keiko in the previous Program. Not only did he cause her death, but he had crossed the Moral Event Horizon by slaughtering dozens of classmates in order to ensure Keiko's safety.
- Big Brother Mentor: To both Shuya and Noriko.
- Big Damn Heroes: How he first encounters Shuya and Noriko in the Program.
- Brutal Honesty: Shogo loves being blunt and deflating Shuya's and Noriko's wide-eyed idealism at every opportunity.
- Fatal Lovers Photo: Of him and Keiko.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: When first alerts Shuya to Shogo's past is the knife scars on his face and arms.
- Heartbroken Badass: It's pretty clear that he's still hurting over Keiko.
- I Lied: What he says to Shuya and Noriko and he was lying even then. It was all part of his plan.
- Knight in Sour Armor: So very much. Initially, he treats Shuya and Noriko with a casual disrespect even while protecting them.
- Nerves of Steel: He manages to be one of the most level headed character in the series.
- New Transfer Student: In all three versions, though in the film he only "transfers in" when the class has already been abducted.
- Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: Stays alive for an alarmingly long time after being shot by Kiriyama in all three versions.
- Not So Different: From Kiriyama, in his first game.
- The Plan: The Program of Battle Royale went exactly according to Shogo's plans.
- Power Trio: With Noriko and Shuya. He's possibly the most important member of it, considering his experience.
- Sawed-Off Shotgun: His assigned weapon.
- Seen It All: He won the first program, so it's not surprising that he's used to the action going around him.
- Smoking Is Cool: Smokes and is cool, though the two aren't exactly correlated.
- Spell My Name With An Extra U: "Shougo" in the original Japanese.
- Supporting Leader: To Shuya and Noriko throughout the story, particularly in the movie.
- Victorious Loser: Technically, he won (despite cheating) the Program, and yet he died. In a positive note, he's now with his beloved Keiko.
- Younger Than They Look: In the manga, oh so very much. He's only supposed to be a year older than his classmates, but the art makes him look about 30.
- Zen Survivor: Of the previous Program in the Hyogo Prefecture.
Shinji Mimura (Boy #19)
"You know it, I'm the man."The most popular guy in the class; a star athlete, ladies' man and very intelligent. This makes him a Marty Stu, which the author acknowledges was done to conceal that Shinji is in fact a Decoy Protagonist. He is good friends with Shuya and the "leader" of their clique, which also contains Yoshitoki, Yutaka and Hiroki. More importantly, Shinji was raised by an uncle who is a political enemy of the fascist government. As a result, he has computer hacking skills and knows much more about the inner workings of the police state than his classmates, which comes in very handy when he manages to smuggle a laptop into the Program.
- Adaptation Expansion: His role in the film is expanded.
- Chick Magnet: In his introduction in the manga, he wonders if he has enough condoms on him to screw the entire crowd of fangirls.
- The Cracker: Comes close to hacking the database.
- Deadpan Snarker: In the flashback when three guys try to rob him. "Cash-flow problems? That it? Well, good news, gentlemen. There's a new craze sweeping the streets...it's called 'employment.'"
- Determinator: See Duct Tape for Everything for a prime example
- The Dog Bites Back: In the film, in retribution for Kazuo killing his friends, Shinji sets off the bomb he created, blinding Kazuo.
- Duct Tape for Everything: After a bullet slices his stomach open, causing his intestines to begin spilling out, he uses this to hold them in.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Shou Tsukioka has a major crush on Shinji.
- Mr. Fanservice: A very good looking guy.
- Genius Bruiser: Slightly subverted because his grades in subjects other than Math and English were bad.
- Handsome Lech: He's... slept around.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Has a brief one when he accidentally kills Keita Iijima, as he had only intended to scare him off with a warning shot. Yutaka pretty much snaps and calls him out for it, even going so far as to accusing Shinji of playing. Thankfully for Shinji, Yutaka remains by his side, after realizing that Shinji had stuck by him despite all of his screw-ups.
- Playful Hacker: Though the situation where we see him hacking is far from "playful".
- Rasputinian Death: And a completely pointless one.
- Sacrificial Lion: He dies around the half-point of the novel.
- Spanner in the Works: While his attempt to take Kiriyama with him failed, Shinji's explosion does blind him in the film.
- Stay Frosty: His catchphrase in the manga.
- Supporting Protagonist: Especially in the film. While his classmates are trying to kill one another or survive, Shinji is comes up with a plan to escape the game. And it almost works had it not been for Kiriyama.
- Taking You with Me: He attempts to do this against Kazuo Kiriyama after he's been wounded mortally. Needless to say, it failed, though in the film he did succeed in blinding him with the blast so Shogo could finish the job.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Though some of it may be due to his uncle guiding him.
Hiroki Sugimura (Boy #11)
"You were my rock. You made me what I am."The most quiet and reserved guy in Shuya's clique, although an incredibly powerful fighter. He is a martial arts expert but a Gentle Giant pacifist who never fights unless he is forced to. Hiroki is very shy and reserved around girls, earning him Shinji's teasing, but has a near-obsessive love for his classmate Kayoko Kotohiki. In the Program, he refuses to join up with Shuya but instead sets off on a search for her.
- Always Save the Girl: Spends the game looking for both his childhood friend and his crush.
- Badass Bookworm: He's one of the few that can stand up to Kiriyama and is seen reading in the novel.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the manga and movie, Sugimura is the one who rescues Shuya from Kiriyama.
- Break the Cutie: His best friend Takako Chigusa dies in his arms, and he spends the entire story searching for a girl to confess his love. Unfortunately, she fatally shoots him by accident. They end up dying together, thanks to Mitsuko Souma in the film.
- Dying Declaration of Love: To Kotohiki.
- Cute Kitten: In the manga, this is how he and Kayoko Kotohiki had their first conversation.
- Demoted to Extra: In the film he gets much less of a focus.
- Determinator: He gets stabbed by Mitsuko and wounded by Oda's bullets and still continues to fight Kiriyama.
- Eye Scream: It happens to him in the manga.
- Gentle Giant: He's the tallest in the class, yet he's a Martial Pacifist.
- Hope Spot: His battle with Kazuo Kiriyama in the novel and manga.
- Ignore The Fan Service: He's the only guy besides Kiriyama that doesn't completely fall for Mitsuko's tricks. Unlike Kiriyama, however, he's more visibly uncomfortable.
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: His reaction to stray cats (and to Kayoko Kotohiki).
- Lethal Joke Weapon: His assigned weapon is a tracking device that tells him the location of every other student. Despite having no offensive capabilities, it quickly turns out to be one of the most useful weapons distributed.
- Love Confession: He admits this to Kayoko just before he dies, even calling her by her first name.
- Love Hurts: Doesn't get much more painful than having the girl you like shoot you when you've spent the whole Program looking for you so you could confess your love.
- Martial Pacifist: He doesn't like fighting, even when others are trying to kill him.
- Nice Guy: Considering his skills, he likely would've made short work of his classmates were it not for his infallible moral code.
- Nose Tapping: In the manga, he does this when he's unsure (which is pretty often).
- Technical Pacifist: Subverted. He refuses to take a gun and is genuinely concerned with only using his martial arts in self-defense because he's afraid that if he gets seriously violent, he'll enjoy it.
- Technician vs. Performer: Hiroki is a performer who fights furiously to defend the girl he loves, while his opponent Kazuo is a technician who is all skill and no passion. Hiroki wins, but Kazuo (who wears a bulletproof vest) then gives him a fatal wound.
- The Quiet One: He's not very chatty.
- Together in Death: With Kayoko Kotohiki.
Mitsuko Souma (Girl #11)
"I just decided to take instead of being taken. It’s not a question of good or bad, wrong or right. It’s just what I want to do."The most feared girl in the whole school. Mitsuko lives in a cycle of abuse, having taken it as a child and now dishing it out; a life of physical and mental abuse has shaped Mitsuko into a Femme Fatale with the psyche of a vengeful child. She is the prettiest girl in her class, and often uses her adorable looks to take advantage of men. She leads a Girl Posse in school. When Mitsuko ends up in the Program, she becomes one of the most dangerous contestants. Out of the four "villains" in the game, she is the second most dangerous.
- Abusive Parents: Mitsuko's mother, depending on the version, allowed three men to rape her in exchange for money (then tried to do it again), allowed a man to attempt to rape her in exchange for money (film), or did nothing to stop her husband from sexually abusing her (manga).
- Alpha Bitch: Though in this case, the "alpha" is a bit more traditional. She's pretty violent.
- Ambiguously Bi: She does mention that she might be "a bit of a dike".
- Backstory: In the novel, we only see it after she's gunned down by Kazuo, but in the manga and the film it's revealed beforehand.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Mitsuko can play the act of an innocent angel to a T.
- Break the Cutie: Before the book started Mitsuko wasn't always The Vamp, in fact after being raped multiple times she pretty much loses it.
- Broken Bird: And how. She's so broken that she's locked in her personal hell and doesn't want to be helped.
- Creepy Doll: She had one in her childhood. It was given to her by her stepfather. Who abused her. The cutesy doll, which falls apart toward the end, ends up playing a part in her Villainous Breakdown.
- Dark Action Girl: One of the top killers, only beaten by Kiriyama.
- Delinquents: The leader of the girl gang at that.
- Determinator: In all three versions she continues to fight back against Kiriyama despite being injured by his bullets.
- Disappeared Dad: In the novel and the Special Version release of the film.
- Establishing Character Moment: In the film, she identifies herself to a frightened Megumi and the audience by shining a flashlight on her face and pulling out the world's most eerie grin.
- Femme Fatale: And how! Or....so it seems.
- Fille Fatale: She's actually this, but is noted to be physically mature for her age. It gets used against men in her backstory, as a form of blackmail.
- Freudian Excuse: In all three versions. See Abusive Parents.
- Gainaxing: In the manga. The manga artist has obviously never heard of the Discretion Shot...
- Girl Posse: She is the leader of a thugette trio who are feared by the other girls in the school.
- Girl with Psycho Weapon: Her wickedly sharp harvesting sickle.
- I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: An extremely twisted example, but Mitsuko seems to believe this. She used this to fool Tadakatsu and get in the position to kill him.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Pretends to be this.
- Intimate Healing: In the manga only. In some twisted part of her mind, she thought this was what she was doing to poor Yuichiro. Keep in mind, this scene is only in the manga. The original one in the novel is more of a Pet the Dog moment as Mitsuko gives Yuichiro a gentle kiss and then puts him out of his misery since Tadakatsu has already involuntarily wounded him fatally.
- Ironic Death: When Kiriyama kills her by blowing her whole face off, causing her to die looking ugly.
- Lack of Empathy: She casually murders her victims, without showing any remorse. Subverted in the novel (and to a lesser extent in the manga) with Yuichiro, her Morality Pet, the only character in the story she showed any humanity towards..
- Let Them Die Happy: In the novel, towards Yuichiro, her Morality Pet. She lies to him by saying that his friend Tadakatsu (whom she killed) ran away after accidentally shooting him, making him believe that he's still alive. She also doesn't reveal to him that she manipulated them all along and gives him a sincere kiss just before killing him instantly with a gun so that her face is his last vision. While the narration doesn't explicitly say it, she had no other reasons than this trope to act like that.
- Morality Pet: Yuichiro serves as this in the novel and manga. He was the only character in the story she showed any humanity towards. In the manga, this is done just to further illustrated how screwed up Mitsuko is.
- Ms. Fanservice: Mostly in the manga, since she's naked half the time.
- Nightmare Face: There's a very disgusting panel illustrating her face after Kiriyama shoots her in the head.
- Rape as Backstory: The victim of an attempted rape (in the film), sexual abuse by her stepfather (in the manga), or raped by three men who paid her mother to, then by her teacher when she told him about it, then by her foster father after she accidentally killed her mother who tried to pimp her out again (in the novel).
- Rape Leads to Insanity: Being abused for several years has not done Mitsuko any favors in the sanity department.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: Since she was very little, she's been using her body to get whatever she wants. In the novel at least, she only doing that after crossing the Despair Event Horizon.
- She's Got Legs: In the film she wears really short shorts for a time.
- Sinister Scythe: Her weapon.
- Slasher Smile: Eep.◊
- The Sociopath: Years of abuse have turned her into a remorseless killer who manipulates people into trusting her. She does have a few emotional attachments in the novel and manga versions, though.
- Tragic Keepsake: In the Manga? Her toy magic ring given to her by her father.
- The Vamp: Pretty much how she gets through life, and the Program. However, her strategy fails against Kiriyama and doesn't work well against Hiroki.
- Villainous Breakdown: Oh God, where do I start!?
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She may be depraved, but damn if her backstory wasn't tragic.
Kazuo Kiriyama (Boy #6)
"I don't care. This is fun too."The top student of the class, he has the mind of a genius but is physically unable to feel human emotions like sadness, compassion or even happiness. When he is forced to kill his classmates in the Program, he is indifferent and really can't decide whether he should unite his friends to lead a rebellion against the Program (and endanger his life), or play the game to win (and also endanger his life). When he decides the latter by a coin toss, he does so without hesitation. In the Film of the Book, he is portrayed as a mute psychopath instead, and voluntarily signed up for the game.
- The Ace: The novel shows how the students all have unique interests (sports, academics, music, art, fighting) but Kazuo is better than everyone at everything, without even trying. However, he seems to have problems beating Shogo in driving, and Hiroki in martial arts.
- Affectionate Nickname: Members of the "Kiriyama Family" call him "Boss," while Tsukioka playfully refers to him as "Kiriyama-kun."
- Asexual: More than likely. His response to Mitsuko's attempted seduction is to kill her. It could be due to being an Empty Shell.
- Ax-Crazy: Only in the film.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: He's intelligent enough to master fields of knowledge from biology to martial arts, combining them to deadly effect once the game starts.
- Badass Bookworm: In the manga he even kicks ass with a book. He's even called bookworm boy by a martial artist... who he proceeds to beat.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: His dress shirt and his black coat that hangs off his shoulders, creating a Badass Cape effect.
- Battle Aura: In the manga.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: He doesn't speak very often (he has no lines in the movie), but once The Program starts and he pulls out the guns...
- Big Damn Villains: He kills some of the more dangerous participants in the Program, such as Toshinori Oda and Mitsuko Souma.
- Big Fancy House: Lives in one.
- Big Good: Obviously averted, but he could've easily become this with the coin toss.
- Bottomless Magazines: Never seems to have to reload his machine gun weapon; it makes him all the more deadly as ammo never seems to be an issue for him.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: He's The Ace despite putting no effort into anything.
- Broken Ace: Yes, he's the closest thing to perfection, but he doesn't have single bit of empathy or emotion. All of his success doesn't even mean anything to him.
- Bulletproof Vest: He gets it from Oda, and it comes in VERY handy.
- Bullying a Dragon: Happens very often to him. A good number of characters like Mizuho Inada and Shinji Mimura end up underestimating the same guy that fought Yakuza just for fun.
- Cape Swish: In the manga.
- Chekhov's Gun: Everytime he seems to be beaten, the story reminds you that he still has the Bulletproof Vest.
- Coat Cape: It makes him look like Dracula.
- Covert Pervert: Mitsuko believes he is one due to her belief that no man can resist her charm. She's wrong.
- Creepy Child: In the manga after losing his emotions.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Almost all of his fights are this despite the fact that he's often outnumbered and has inferior weapons. In the film, he guns down at over 3 students that each held more dangerous weapons than his paper fan. In the manga, he defeats upperclasman easily with a book, and in the novel he even does this to Mitsuko.
- Delinquents: Numai made Kiriyama the "boss" of "The Kiriyama Family." It should be noted he's not a bully or even a troublemaker, but simply the leader.
- Determinator: Averted. While he may be an Implacable Man, that keeps on getting up he has no drive or spirit to do anything. He pretty much spent his whole life not trying, yet still manages to be The Ace.
- Dissonant Serenity: In the film there's one scene that he smiles with joy while people are firing at him.
- The Dreaded: The rumors of his insane body count spread fast to the point where Shuuya immediately asumes Kiriyama is on a killing spree upon catching wind of either gunshots or students' deaths. Sugimura spends most of their fight trying to overcome his fear of him.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: His eyes are described as this even in the novels.
- Dull Surprise: Somewhat justified in the manga since he doesn't have emotions.
- Empty Shell: In the novel, Kiriyama suffered a major brain injury when he was a fetus, resulting in him to be born without emotions whatsoever. In the manga, he suffers this injury as a child.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Tsukioka towards Kiriyama.
- Evil Counterpart: To Shogo in the film. Both are transfer students who are older than the others in the class and have had experience with the Program before, but Shogo is much nicer by comparison. They even end up killing each other; Shogo's shotgun blast kills Kiriyama, while Kiriyama's haphazard machine gun shots fatally wounded Shogo.
- Evil Redhead: In the film, he has reddish-orange hair.
- Expecting Someone Taller: He's described as only Shuya's height at best. Don't underestimate him.
- Eye Scream:
- In the manga, it's revealed in flashback that the class' former judo teacher withdrew after Kiriyama casually poked the former's eye out and squeezed it in front of the entire class! Later, he blinds Sugimura in the left eye with one of his own throwing knives. It finally comes full circle when Shuya uses one of the same throwing knives (left for him by Sugimura at the lighthouse) to take out Kiriyama's left eye.
- In the film, he's blinded when Shinji's bomb explodes in his face.
- Fantastically Indifferent: Very much so. He shows no surprise at being placed in the Program.
- Famous Last Words: In the manga.Kiriyama: Shu... I can feel again...
- For the Evulz: In the film, he entered the program for fun.
- Four Is Death: He comes in 4th place in all versions.
- In the movie, he is victim to this. The original novel and manga portrays him as a member of the class whose brain damage makes him suffer from Lack of Empathy. Movie-Kazuo is just a sick fuck who volunteered to fight high-school kids to the death.
- Also in the manga. The novel Kazuo's status as an Implacable Man can be justified in some cases, but boy does he take a lot more damage in the manga.
- Game-Breaking Injury: He's blinded by Shinji's blast in the film. Not that it makes him any less formidable.
- The Heavy: This stone-cold killer is the single greatest threat to the three heroes' plan to escape the Program, ruthlessly gunning down anyone who could have helped Shuya and co.
- Hero Killer: Whenever he shows up, expect the person you are rooting for to be dead.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: Implied. Since Kiriyama has no drive to do anything the whole time he was in The Program he wasn't trying his best at all. He fights evenly with Hiroki while wearing a heavy Bulletproof Vest.
- In Universe Nickname: He's called the machine gun killer for quite some time.
- Implacable Man: It's not just that he gets a bullet proof vest. He displays resistance that's almost inhuman.
- Just a Kid: Most of his opponents claim he's this despite his skills.
- Kick the Dog: He literally kicks bodies in the film. Averted in the novel, since he's described as gently taking his victim's weapon.
- Knife Nut: His starting weapon in the novel is a knife. He uses it to kill his gang and later against Hiroki.
- Lack of Empathy: To Kazuo, human lives are about as interesting as rocks. Justified in the manga and in the novel due to nerve damage. This is constantly lampshaded in the manga and novel.
- More Dakka: His main strategy is spraying his target with bullets. In the film, even while his targets are lying on the ground he just sprays them with even more bullets.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Devil of Nothingness.
- Nerves of Steel: Justified in the novel and manga, and played straight in the film. He's seen with a straight face when Shuya's friend dies.
- New Transfer Student: In the film.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Possibly the creepiest character in the series since he considers killing people the same as playing an instrument due to his Lack of Empathy. Also in the film, since he signs up to kill high school kids he doesn't even know.
- No Kill Like Overkill: The way he kills many people, especially Shinji.
- Not So Stoic: The closest thing to emotion he showed in the novel, was slightly gasping when Hiroki knees him.
- Offhand Backhand: How he kills Mizuho Inada in the novel and manga.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Happens for a short time, when he comes Out of the Inferno in the film.
- Ominous Opera Cape: In the manga, his uniform looks much more like this by the end.
- Out of the Inferno: In all three versions Shinji's suicide attack does not kill him, and he just walks as though nothing happens.
- Paper Fan of Doom: His assigned weapon in the movie.
- Person of Mass Destruction: In all three versions, he has the single highest body count once the story concludes, with no less than 12 other students dead by his hands.
- Red Baron: In the manga, he's called a "Devil of Nothingness".
- Rasputinian Death: It takes a long time to get him to go down.
- Slasher Smile: In the film only.
- The Sociopath: In the novel and manga versions he has no emotions or drive to do anything, while in the film he's a sadistic monster.
- Smug Super: In the film he reloaded his gun right in front of Shuya just because he knew his vest would protect him.
- Spanner in the Works: Oh, god. Let's see, just by deciding to play the game he ruins the heroes chances of joining with him Shinji's plan to stop the BigBad, and comes very close to stopping Shogo's plan.
- The Coats Are Off: In the manga he takes it off for a while while fighting Hiroki.
- The Stoic: In the film. Exaggerated in the other versions.
- Unable to Cry: He doesn't have emotions... In the film, he does have Tears of Blood.
- Villainous Breakdown: Again, only in the manga. Being shot in the frontal lobe somehow caused him to regain the emotions he'd gotten used to not having, as well as causing him to feel the trauma of his mother's death for the first time.
- The Voiceless: In the film he actually seems to be mute.
- Underestimating Badassery: Non-stop. A reoccurring event in the novel is that everyone believes they defeated him, only for him to calmly get up since he's protected by a bullet proof vest. Being a Bookworm makes him the targets of bullies in the manga especially. In the film, a group of kids try and intimidate him with guns he disarms them and guns them down in about thirty seconds, then in the manga and novel he defeats upperclassmen that curbstomped Mitsuru.
- Unflinching Walk: In all three versions he survives Shinji's explosion and proceeds to come Out of the Inferno.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Only in the manga, in the novel, Kazuo was emotionless from birth.
- Wild Hair: In the film only, inverted in the novel and manga.
Takako Chigusa (Girl #13)
"You said this was a game, right? Fine. I'll be your opponent. I won't lose against an asshole like you. I'll give everything I have to erase your existence. Got it? Do you understand? Or are you too stupid?"A loner but among the most beautiful girls in the school, she is Hiroki Sugimura's best friend and fierce supporter since childhood. Takako's nickname behind her back is "Robo-Bitch" because of her outwardly cold demeanor. Although she is proud, severe and quick to anger, she's unhappy being shunned by the other girls in her class. She is deeply in love with her only friend Hiroki, but he doesn't know.
- Action Girl: Does her best to avoid a fight, but once you make her mad...
- All Love Is Unrequited: Likes Hiroki, but knows he likes someone else.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Which doubles as a Dying Declaration of Love.
- Betty and Veronica: The "Veronica" to Kayoko Kotohiki's "Betty."
- Cheshire Cat Grin: During her fight with Niida.
- Groin Attack: How she saved herself from Niida.
- Ice Queen: How most people see her.
- Shout-Out: Her given name is taken from long-time star of female Japanese Professional Wrestling Inoue Takako.
- 13 Is Unlucky: She is girl # 13.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: To Hiroki.
- Zettai Ryouiki: In the manga.
Yukie Utsumi (Girl #2)
"Do you understand what I'm saying? Do you see why I had to save you, no matter what?"The female class president. She's an intelligent and caring girl, often a Team Mom to her friends, but bold and not afraid to speak her mind. Yukie has a massive crush on Shuya, and saves his life at one point. She gathers a large group around her during the Program and they take shelter in a lighthouse.
- A House Divided: She tries to keep the group together, but fails.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Likes Shuya, who falls for Noriko. She even has a moment in the manga where she hopes that Noriko doesn't like Shuya.
- Class Representative: A strong leader in the class.
- First Kiss: Actually the second one. And the last one as well.
- The Hero: Of the lighthouse girls' team.
- Kiss of Death: In the manga.
- Love Confession: To Shuya in the novel and manga.
- Team Mom: A shining example, but her one mistake was that she gathered a group too large.
- Together in Death: With her friends.
Yoshitoki Kuninobu (Boy #7)
"Hey Shuya, I got a crush on someone."Shuya's oldest friend, who is like a brother to him. He is nicknamed "Nobu", and is a part of the Five-Man Band that also includes Shuya, Shinji, Yutaka and Hiroki. He dies before the Program even starts, because Kamon/Sakamochi pressed his Berserk Button and used it as an excuse to shoot him. Originally, Noriko is his love interest, but as he dies he asks Shuya to keep her alive.
- Affectionate Nickname: He is called "Nobu" by Noriko in the novel and by Shuya in the film.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Has a crush on Noriko, who likes Shuya.
- Berserk Button: When anyone hurts someone he loves. Guess what happens when the Big Bad boasts about raping Ryoko Anno, his orphanage caretaker since childhood and surrogate mom.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Noriko doesn't learn of his feelings until after he dies.
- Decoy Protagonist: We are led to think that he and Shuya will survive together but dies in Ch. 3 of the manga.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Was this with Shuya, since they grew up in the same orphanage.
- Killed Off for Real: Before he even has a chance to leave the school.
- Lucky Seven: Subverted. He's boy # 7, but he's the first boy killed. And that happened even before the Program officially started.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Along with Fumiyo Fujiyoshi, he's killed before he even leaves the classroom.
Hirono Shimizu (Girl #10)
"You're crazy, you know that, right? But a good crazy. I can relate to that."The Dragon of Mitsuko Souma's little gang, which consists of these two and Yoshimi Yahagi. Her main hobbies are both dealing and using drugs, fighting, shoplifting and bullying those weaker than her. Despite this, Hirono is opposed to the idea of killing her classmates.
- All Just a Dream: Used for tragedy in the manga. When Hirono is wounded and drowning in a well, she has a dream of climbing out of the well, suddenly restored to full health, and joining Shuya and Noriko in their escape from the island.
- Almost Kiss: It looked exactly like she and Shuya were about to do that when Kaori began shooting.
- Alpha Bitch: She's much more violent than would usually be expected from this trope.
- Delinquents: A part of Mitsuko's gang.
- Dying Dream: Hallucinates Shuya's group coming for her as she drowns.
- Even Evil Has Standards: She's one of Mitsuko's friends. a major bully to the other girls, and as mentioned below, kind of a Jerkass, but her internal monologue in the novel makes it clear that she finds killing her classmates to be going too far, and will only use lethal force in self defense if she absolutely has to.
- Go Out with a Smile: Used darkly in the manga. In the last panel of her Dying Dream, she imagines herself to be reaching out to the heroes with a genuine, happy smile... and then you turn the page to see her drowning face pulled back in a grotesque leer as she sinks into the well. It's one of the most disturbing images in the manga, even if you can stomach the high level of gore throughout most of the story.
- Heel–Face Door-Slam: Appears to be about to make a Heel–Face Turn in the manga, but circumstances result in her dying instead.
- Hope Spot: Done three times in the manga, the last one right before we find out it was all a hallucination and she was dying.
- Jerkass: Hirono used to slash Megumi Etou's skirt with a razor and trip her in the stairs, provided Mitsuko with drugs (which she tested on Yoshimi), and didn't seem to be all that bothered about Yoshimi being used as a prostitute by Mitsuko.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Seems to have an interest in Shuya in the manga.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: In the manga, at least.
- When She Smiles: Doesn't she look pretty? Sugimura commented on it as well.
- Who's Laughing Now?: When she gets into a shootout with Kaori Minami, one of her former bullying victims. Interestingly, some of her remarks to Shuya show that she doesn't want to be shooting, and she explicitly states that Kaori shot first. Even more interestingly, in the novel, she kills the person in question. However, the novel version of Hirono is more of a Jerkass than the other two, so...
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Cannot stand frogs. Fittingly, she is killed by Toshinori Oda, who looks like a frog.
Yoshimi Yahagi (Girl #21)
"Thak you, Yoji. I was so happy being with you."The junior member of Mitsuko's gang and a hopelessly romantic girl. Yoshimi was exploited by Mitsuko, who even pimped her to strangers at one point. She is deeply in love with her boyfriend Yoji, even though she's still one of the thugettes.
- Alliterative Name: Yoshimi Yahagi
- Alpha Bitch: Like Hirono, Yoshimi is more of the "delinquent" type. In a flashback, she is seen robbing Kaori in school.
- Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Yoshimi. Being prostituted to two strangers by her "friend" Mitsuko, who then made jokes about it.
- Broken Bird: She is described as "an abused bundle of low self-esteem."
- Broken Smile: In the manga, Yoji's death leaves her with a stunned half-smile for a couple of pages.
- Delinquents: She pulls something of a Heel–Face Turn before the book starts, though.
- Demoted to Extra: In the film.
- Kill the Cutie: By Mitsuko in the novel and manga.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Of the "bad girl has to reform to get the guy" variety. Though she wasn't nearly as bad as Mitsuko and Hirono, and notes that she remained friends with both.
- Together in Death: With her beloved Yoji in the film.
Yoji Kuramoto (Boy #8)The over-sensitive, surly boyfriend of Yoshimi Yahagi.
- Affectionate Nickname: Yoji is called "Yō-chan" by Yoshimi in the original Japanese text of the novel.
- Face–Heel Turn: Attempts one in the novel and manga, but Yoshimi convinces him not to.
- Demoted to Extra: In the film.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: "I love you t - "
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: More justifiable than most cases, considering Yoshimi's past. Yoji is annoyed that Yoshimi is far more sexually experienced than he is, and goes into an impotent rage if she instigates any sexual behaviour towards him. He actually loves her, but thanks to the Double Standard, feels that pretending he's only using her for sex is more acceptable. Because that's what a real man does, right?
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Yoshimi notes that she started to behave more after she started dating him.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Youji" in the original Japanese.
- Together in Death: With Yoshimi in the film.
Yuichiro Takiguchi (Boy #13)
"I've always thought you weren't as bad as everyone said you were. Even if you'd done bad things, I was pretty sure you did them because you couldn't help it, because there was some reason behind it that wasn't your fault."A big anime fan who is seen as an Otaku by his class, Yuichiro very easily sympathizes with other people.
- Batter Up: His weapon is a baseball bat, which Mitsuko beats Tadakatsu to death with.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: The little guy to Tadakatsu's big guy.
- Demoted to Extra: In the film he's shown for only about a few seconds.
- Fat and Skinny: Is this with Tadakatsu in the film.
- Heroic Sacrifice: As Tadakatsu is about to shoot Mitsuko, Yuichiro steps between them and takes the shots himself.
- Kill the Cutie: And killed rather gruesomely in the manga.
- Male Frontal Nudity: In the manga, when Mitsuko rapes him.
- Nice Guy: In the novel and manga, he's the only one to even come close to connecting with Mitsuko. In the novel, she's almost legitimately sad when she puts him out of his misery.
- Odd Friendship: The nerdy Yuichiro and the athletic jock Tadakatsu are a very unlikely team.
- Otaku: He's into video games.
- Red Shirt: Is this in the film thanks to being Demoted to Extra.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive guy to Tadakatsu's manly man.
- Spell My Name With An Extra U: "Yuuichirou" in the original Japanese.
- Taking the Bullet: For Mitsuko, no less.
- The Empath: He's pretty much the only person that could even tell Mitsuko was a Broken Bird without even hearing her backstory.
- Those Two Guys: Is this with Tadakatsu.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: He's so innocent and kind-hearted that Mitsuko takes pity on him after Tadakatsu accidentally shoots him.
Tadakatsu Hatagami (Boy #18)A sports jock who used to be best friends with Shuya and, in the Program, forms an Odd Couple with Yuichiro (whom he bosses around). He is the more level-headed and suspicious of the two.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: The big guy to Yuichiro's little guy.
- Demoted to Extra: In the film.
- Fat and Skinny: Is this with Yuichiro in the film.
- Idiot Ball: Despite not trusting Mitsuko initially he ends up trying to sleep with her, despite her terrible reputation.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: To Yuichiro at least.
- Red Shirt: Is this in the film along with Yuichiro, thanks to being Demoted to Extra.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The manly man to Yuichiro's sensitive guy.
- Those Two Guys: Is this with Yuichiro.
- Odd Friendship: He and the anime nerd Yuichiro.
- Out with a Bang: Well, almost...
Yutaka Seto (Boy #12)Ho Yay, although his clumsiness ends up causing problems for them both.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Towards Izumi in the novel, Fumiyo in the manga.
- Butt Monkey: The class clown.
- Go Out with a Smile: In the manga. Actually it's probably just about the least unpleasant death out of all the students. It was a clean kill and he doesn't even seem to have had time to notice the bullets.
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Platonically, but a flashback in the manga shows that this was Yutaka's reaction to Shinji befriending him.
- Joke Weapon: A fork. He tried to intimidate someone with said fork.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Deconstructed over the course of Shinji's plot thread, as both characters come to seriously question what value Shinji can possibly find in Yutaka and why he keeps him around.
- Reckless Sidekick: Deconstructed. Yutaka seriously wonders why Shinji hangs around him. Ironically, what forces him to confront Shinji about it is recklessness on Shinji's part.
- Tender Tears: Chokes up whenever Shinji says something kind to him. The two of them being best friends, this happens so frequently that Yutaka jokes, "if you stick around with a crybaby like me you'll end up drowning before we escape."
- What the Hell, Hero?: Yutaka actually does show some brass and call out Shinji for an action Yutaka considers heinous... too bad it takes Shinji kinda-accidentally-kinda-not murdering Keita to push Yutaka to this point.
Yukiko Kitano (Girl #6)
"I don't know how much longer I can pretend to be brave."A nice, feminine girl who is best friends with Yumiko Kusaka, with lots of Les Yay. When they team up on the island, they try to stop their classmates from fighting.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Has a crush on Shuya.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: She used to bake cakes for Yumiko.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The Tiny Girl to Yumiko's Huge Girl.
- Joke Weapon: A set of darts, complete with a board or a megaphone. In the manga, she gets both. In the novel, she gets the former; while in the film, she gets the latter.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Using the megaphone does not end well for Yukiko and Yumiko.
- One Steve Limit: She ain't related to their teacher in any way. (Yukiko's surname is written as 北野, while the teacher's is written as キタノ.)
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Her relationship with Yumiko comes across as this in the manga.
- Together in Death: With Yumiko.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl.
Yumiko Kusaka (Girl #7)
"I'd forgotten how helping me messed you up. No good deed goes unpunished, eh?"An athletic tomboy who is in a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with Yukiko Kitano. She is assigned a megaphone as her weapon, and decides to make use of it to get her classmates' attention.
- Affectionate Nickname: In the original Japanese text of the novel, Yukiko refers to her as "Yumi-chan."
- All Love Is Unrequited: Like Yukiko, Yumiko also has a crush on Shuya.
- Foreshadowing: Her quote above.
- Huge Girl, Tiny... Other Girl: She's much taller than Yukiko. In the novel, she notes the possibility of being taller than Shuya when she wears high heels.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: As noted above, using the megaphone goes badly for her and Yukiko.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Her relationship with Yukiko comes across as this in the manga.
- Together in Death: Again, with Yukiko.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy.
Mitsuru Numai (Boy #17)
"He taught me to be careful what I wish for...I just might get it. Oh, I get it all right."The actual leader of the "Kiriyama Family" and the original tough guy of the school. Although a schoolyard bully and a teenage delinquent, he has a conscience and says he was never needlessly cruel. Mitsuru was the one who first encountered Kazuo Kiriyama and turned him from a quiet, well-behaved model student into a feared "hard case."
- Berserker Tears: When he discovers that Kazuo killed the other gang members.
- Delinquents: He leads a gang of them.
- Distaff Counterpart: Somewhat to Hirono Shimizu.
- Dumb Muscle: Not the brightest bulb in the box.
- Everyone Has Standards: He may be a thug, but he refuses to "play" the game and hopes that Kiriyama will find a way to help all the gang to escape the Program.
- Freudian Excuse: In the manga, his parents were abusive alcoholics.
- Rescue Romance: Not quite romance, but he does serve Kiriyama after he saves him from bullies.
- Selective Obliviousness: Despite the fact that Kiriyama obviously killed the rest of the gang, he still refuses to believe it.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: In the novel and manga, he bullies kids just to prove he's tough.
- The Man Behind the Man: To Kazuo. An unconventional example, since Kazuo, the gang's figurehead leader, kills Mitsuru.
- Oh, Crap!: Upon realizing exactly how "hard" Kazuo is.
Ryuhei Sasagawa (Boy #10)The loudest member of the gang, although a cowardly bully. He is issued with the most powerful weapon in the Program: a machine gun.
- Berserk Button: In the manga, the sounds of Yoshio Akamatsu's handheld videogame are Ryuhei's Berserk Button.
- The Brute: In Kazuo's Five-Bad Band.
- The Bully: The one who picks on Akamatsu the most.
- Bullying a Dragon: He did this to Shogo Kawada in the locker rooms after he first came to the school. Nobody knew exactly what Shogo did to him, but Ryuhei was in tears and ran back to Kazuo, who didn't do anything.
- In the film, he actually points his SMG at Kiriyama's head. He obviously didn't know just how dangerous he is; as one spit later to his head, his gun is taken and everyone at the meeting but Kiriyama dies.
- Delinquents: Even before joining Kiriyama's gang.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Ryuuhei" in the original Japanese.
- Too Dumb to Live: The incident where he points his gun at Kiriyama in the film. He had no idea that Kiriyama joined Battle Royale voluntarily.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He's already dead by the time Mitsuru gets to the meeting spot.
Hiroshi Kuronaga (Boy #9)The fat guy in the delinquent gang, who doesn't do much.
- Delinquents: Along with the rest of the gang.
- Fat Bastard: The most heavy set in Kiriyama's gang.
- Mauve Shirt: Doesn't get much development. Even in the novel, he's referred to as someone who just sort of hangs around the gang.
- Paper Fan of Doom: His "weapon" in the book.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He's already dead by the time Mitsuru arrives at the meeting spot.
Sho Tsukioka (Boy #14)
"I have a name like a celebrity's, but I'm just a Plain Jane."The only openly gay student in the class, and a member of the gang. His ultra-macho clique are obviously uncomfortable being around him, but Kazuo tolerates Sho due to indifference.
- And I Must Scream: When he realizes his whole head will explode in a few seconds all he can do is scream.
- Big "NO!": In the manga.
- Bury Your Gays: In the English adaptation of the manga, his file notes that he is "not to leave the island alive under any circumstances". Word of God also states that there are anti-homosexual laws in the Republic of Greater East Asia.
- Camp Gay: Not so much in the novel and never mentioned in the film. But it's prominent in the manga, where he is depicted as slimy and leering with a pompadour haircut and uncontrollable giggling.
- Delinquents: Along with the rest of the gang.
- Demoted to Extra: In the film.
- Failure Is the Only Option: See Bury Your Gays, above. Even if he wins, he won't be allowed to leave.
- Gayngster: His aspiration.
- Macho Camp: Although Sho is stereotypical, he's also a tough member of Kiriyama's street gang who happens to be gay.
- Oh, Crap!: when Kazuo tricks him.
- Oral Fixation: Fond of licking cigarettes.
- Spell My Name With An Extra U: "Shou" in the original Japanese.
- Stalker with a Crush: To several men.
- Your Head A-Splode: The only student to fall victim to the danger zones, via Explosive Leash.
Yoshio Akamatsu (Boy #1)An overweight outcast who was the bullying victim of the class thugs. Despite being a nice, awkward and harmless guy in his real life, the Program derails him into a frightened, psychotic killer.
- Ax-Crazy: He eventually becomes like this when he snaps from the fear and imagines those who bullied him will try to kill him. In the manga, Shuya almost manages to bring him back to senses, but then the reality of his killing Mayumi sets in.
- Butt Monkey: Picked on by Kiriyama's gang.
- Chew Toy: In his class, especially to the bullies like Ryuhei.
- Gentle Giant: In the manga, Shuya calls him "gigantor".
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He got killed by his own crossbow.
- Otaku: Possibly. He's seen playing a video game on the bus.
- Too Dumb to Live: He's so pathetic that Shuya knocks him down by throwing an arrow (a flashlight in the film) at him.
Yuko Sakaki (Girl #9)An extremely shy, sensitive girl who suffers from depression and becomes part of Yukie Utsumi's group in the lighthouse. The suicidal Yuko is assigned the most unique weapon in the Program. She has always hated the sight of violence, and is irrevocably traumatized by the things she sees on the island.
- Abusive Parents: In the novel, she had a very, very nasty brute of a father, who apparently regarded not just her, but also her mother and elder brother, as punching bags. It was to the point that it was more relief than bereavement when he was killed by a Yakuza thug. The problem here is that seeing Shuya standing over Oki's corpse was redolent of everything her father did, making her obsessed with making Shuya a complete non-threat...
- A House Divided: Her own paranoia managed to utterly destroy their relatively well maintained group within seconds.
- Break the Cutie: And she's already half-broken when the Program starts.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Her thought process is a little... out there. Not played for laughs.
- Driven to Suicide: When she comprehends what she has done to her friends.
- Freak Out: When she sees Shuya accidentally kill a classmate.
- Hope Spot: A very brief one in the manga.
- Irony: It is Yuko who survives the lighthouse massacre, even though it was she who involuntarily started it in the first place.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When she realizes that her actions got her friends killed.
- Poison Is Corrosive: Yuko's assigned weapon along with a spring-loaded baton. She uses it to poison Shuya's food, to a horrifying effect.
- Sanity Slippage: Already frightened by being in the Program, she ends up seeing Shuya's accidental killing of Oki, which sends her over the edge.
- Shrinking Violet: To the extreme.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Yuuko" in the original Japanese.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She's very sympathetic, but the fact that her actions led to the deaths of her friends is not lost on her.
Haruka Tanizawa (Girl #12)The best friend and second-in-command of Yukie Utsumi and one of the lighthouse girls.
- Butch Lesbian: According to the Angels' Border manga.
- Does Not Like Men: According to the manga, she's the one who demanded to ban boys from joining to their group (possibly due to abuse in her past). She attributes it to having seen Niida kill Akamatsu, and admits that she may have overreacted.
- Huge Schoolgirl: Noted to be tall.
- The Lancer: Of the lighthouse group.
- Last Breath Bullet: How she kills Satomi, though she's not a villain and Satomi is not exactly a hero in that moment.
- Taking You with Me: Although she was arguably thinking more in terms of saving Yuko from Satomi.
- Together in Death: With her friends.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: To Yukie in the Angels' Border manga.
Satomi Noda (Girl #17)
"What about you? You're different, right?"A model student. The smartest and most suspicious of the lighthouse girls, but also the most ruthless. Satomi is also, besides Kazuo Kiriyama, the most heavily armed of the students.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The first to turn on her friends.
- Deadpan Snarker: In the flashback chapter "Energy" in the manga.
- Face–Heel Turn: In the manga, after she has slaughtered Chisato, Haruka, and Yukie, she approaches Yuko Sakaki, telling her they're both safe. However, Satomi lets slip that she will "get them all" and play to win.
- Freak Out: When she kills Chisato.
- Irony: She kills everyone in the lighthouse except for the one person who killed Yuka.
- Meganekko: Wears glasses.
- The Smart Guy: One of the top students.
- The Stoic: Until she becomes not so stoic...
- Together in Death: With her friends.
Chisato Matsui (Girl #19)The smallest and shyest of Yukie's friends, who take refuge in the lighthouse.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Has a crush on Mimura in the novel.
- The Chick: Among the lighthouse girls.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: Cooks the stew along with Haruka.
- Freak Out: Shows signs of one in the manga at least. The prospect of being killed is enough to make her grab a gun and aim it at Satomi... which gets her shot.
- The Angels' Border manga (which is based more on the novel) adds a different motive. Chisato is worried that Haruka might point it at Satomi, so she moves to grab the gun and throw it out the window in the hopes that Satomi will come to her senses. Satomi, of course, takes it the wrong way.
- Shrinking Violet: Noted to be rather shy.
- Together in Death: With her friends.
Yuka Nakagawa (Girl #16)
"Let's have a taste, then."The female class clown. She is the most optimistic of the girls in the lighthouse and a Plucky Comic Relief to them. Apparently, when you're a fat girl in Japan like her, there are very few choices in junior high school, so class clown is as good as any.
- Big Eater: Bites her in the ass when she decides to taste test Shuya's food before giving it to him.
- The Big Guy: Of the lighthouse group.
- Blood from the Mouth: When she is poisoned by Yuko.
- Catch Phrase: In the manga. "That gets the Yuka seal of approval!"
- Fat Girl
- Genki Girl: Definitely the cheeriest of the lighthouse girls.
- One Steve Limit: Has the same last name as Noriko. Lampshaded by Shuya in the novel, who wonders if the "Nakagawa" in question is Yuka.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Known for being this even before the Program.
- Together in Death: With her friends.
Mizuho Inada (Girl #1)The weirdest person in the class, who spends a lot of time in a fantasy world and is possibly schizophrenic. Her friends don't seem to be entirely comfortable around her. During the Program, her weirdness degenerates into complete insanity.
- Action Survivor: While she doesn't survive, she manages to make the top five in the novel and is the last non-main student alive..
- Cloudcuckoolander: In the novel; she thinks she and Kaori are space warriors sent to Earth to cleanse it of evil (such as Kiriyama). Some fanfics elevate her into Crazy Awesome, for whatever the reason. This is omitted from the film.
- Fan Disservice: In the manga, she shows up for her final scene wearing only her underwear, apparently as part of her ritualistic throes of madness. The reader is pretty much railroaded into assessing her sexually, but considering she's gone completely bonkers by this point, it's not exactly titillating.
- Offhand Backhand: How she's killed by Kazuo in the novel.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: Her whole perspective in the novel just shows her mental state.
- Sanity Slippage: Though it's implied she was slightly nutty beforehand; her pregame student profile explicitly identifies her as schizophrenic. From the manga: In her personal file, Kamon describes her with two words: "A loon."
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Her chapter in the novel is only three pages long.
- Zoroastrianism: Prays to Ahura Mazda at one point.
Kaori Minami (Girl #20)
"No mercy. Junya. I'm going to be killed! Shoot. Mom. Sister! Dad. Shoot! Shoot! The new record release!"A girl with an acne-covered face and a total obsession with j-pop idol singers, especially one Junya Kenzaki. When she ends up in the Program, her mental derailment is spectacular.
- Cat Scare: In the manga.
- Demoted to Extra: In the film.
- Fangirl: Of Junya Kenzaki, a popstar.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: In the manga, the reality of her situation hits her when she kills a kitten.
- Meganekko: At least in the manga.
- Sanity Slippage: When she starts hearing her Junya Kenzaki necklace talking to her, you know she's gone off the deep end.
Megumi Eto (Girl #3)A sensitive girl with a crush on Shuya (Shinji in the movie), who is absolutely paralyzed with terror when thrown into the battle. Megumi is one of the "daydreamers" (along with Mizuho and Kaori), and the only one of them who is actually sane.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Has a crush on Shuya in the novel, Mimura in the film.
- Camera Fiend: In the movie.
- Nice Girl: Probably the nicest out of her friends.
- I Miss Mom: Spends quite a bit of time thinking about her family before Mitsuko shows up.
- Mauve Shirt: She gets a few sentences of dialogue before Mitsuko kills her.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Etou" in the original Japanese.
Keita Iijima (Boy #2)A whiny "friend" of Shinji Mimura who seeks his protection during the Program. Subject to Adaptational Heroism in the movie.
- Adaptation Expansion: In the manga, Keita is simply a Dirty Coward who abandoned Shinji over over losing an arcade game. In the film, he's upgraded to being ¡Three Amigos! with Shinji and Yutaka.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the film, where he's still friend with Shinji and Yutaka and helps them with their plan.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the manga. His Kick the Dog moment listed under and his abandonment of Shinji who was attacked by bullies over losing an arcade game only happen in this version. His portrayal in the novel is far more neutral. Here, he didn't help Shinji out of fear, not out of petty revenge. He also was a friend of Yutaka in the novel, didn't try to convince Shinji to abandon him and was still on good enough terms with Shinji for everyone else to assume that the three of them allied themselves when they heard about their deaths or saw ther corpses.
- Dirty Coward: According to what Mimura thinks of him in the novel and manga.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: The victim of this in the novel and manga.
- Kick the Dog: In the manga, he's established as a coward right off the bat, but that's not a complete dealbreaker in terms of audience sympathy — you'd expect this game to bring out the coward in some players. It's when Keita rounds on Yutaka, accuses him of being worthless, and tries to persuade Shinji to abandon Yutaka in favor of Keita, that really settles the matter: This kid might not be a Kiriyama, a Niida, or even an Oda, but he's still scum.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Just as Shinji is about to pull off his plan to escape the Program, Keita happens to show up, oblivious to what's going on at the moment. Eventually this all leads ups to Shinji's plan being ruined and getting everyone involved killed.
Sakura Ogawa (Girl #4)
"Even if by some miracle one of us could go back, we still wouldn't be together. Even if ... even if I were to survive ... I couldn't bear being without you."One of the most attractive girls in the class, and Kazuhiko Yamamoto's long-term girlfriend.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: With Kazuhiko in the manga and novel. In the film it seemed to have more to do with their refusal to participate. In a rather cruel instance of irony, the students approaching them were the Lighthouse Girls, who had no intention of doing them harm.
- Cherry Blossom Girl: Her name is Sakura.
- Disappeared Dad: Her father was killed by the police when she was a child for anti-government activities.
- Four Is Death: She's Girl # 4
- Together in Death: With Kazuhiko.
Kazuhiko Yamamoto (Boy #21)
"Even if I were to survive, I couldn't stand being without you. Don't leave me alone."Sakura's long-term boyfriend who is deeply in love with her. Their relationship is the closest in the class.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: With Sakura in the manga and novel. In the film, it seemed to have more to do with their refusal to participate. Almost amusingly, it looks almost like Sakura actually dragged him off the cliff.
- Together in Death: With Sakura.
Izumi Kanai (Girl #5)
- Mauve Shirt: Any notes on her character occur after she's been killed in the novel. In the movie and manga, at least she has a few lines, though in the latter case, it's in a flashback..
- Ojou: In fact, if not in character. Her dad's a town representative.
- The Smurfette Principle: In the novel and Japanese manga, Izumi was in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the English manga, Ryuhei and Hiroshi dragged her there to be raped. In the film, she's actually part of the gang and the only girl in the group.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She doesn't last long in any version.
Tatsumichi Oki (Boy #3)
- Ax-Crazy: It doesn't take him long to go off the deep end. Bonus points for having an actual axe.
- Bloody Hilarious: After his death, when he fell face-first on his own machete. Shuya tries to pry loose the machete from his split face, but it won't budge, so instead he shows his respect to Tatsumichi by closing his eyes. But only one eye closes, resulting in a mutilated corpse winking at everybody.
- Mauve Shirt: We see a little of his backstory with the class, but not much, since he was new.
- New Transfer Student: Just started with the class that year.
- Only a Flesh Wound: In the film, he sits up after his fight with Shuya saying "I'm okay, I'm okay!" with his axe embedded in his head. He falls dead shortly after.
- Spell My Name With An Extra O: "Ooki" in the original Japanese.
Kyoichi Motobuchi (Boy #20)
"M-my father is a director of environmental affairs in the prefectural government. How could the class I'm in be selected for th-the Program?..."The male class president and a nerdy model student. He takes pride in being the second best student (after Kazuo Kiriyama) and in the fact that his father is a high-ranking government official.
- Ax-Crazy: Becomes this fairly quickly.
- Ambiguously Gay: Could have been this as the only thing he talks about is how his father, a government official, didn't take faggots for "the big man".
- Nerd Glasses: Very nerdy glasses.
- Sanity Slippage: Kyoichi's mental derailment begins when he is told that it doesn't matter two shits what his dad's position is, he's still going in the Program.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Kyouichi" in the original Japanese.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His motivation.
Toshinori Oda (Boy #4)
"Fucker. You robbed the world of my talent."A rich kid who hates everyone in his class; he clearly has a superiority complex and eerie similarities to the Columbine shooters. It seems like the Program was pretty much designed for people like him, and he relishes the idea of slaughtering the classmates he loathes.
- Ax-Crazy: It only took a little push to make him start killing his classmates.
- Bulletproof Vest: His assigned weapon, which he makes good use of.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He gets bullets fired into his crotch in the manga.
- Even Evil Can Be Loved: Late in the manga, we see a quick panel of his family, presumably his father, mother, and older brother, weeping, probably after hearing news of his death. No matter what an evil toad he was, somebody is mourning him.
- Foreshadowing: In the manga, Oda tries to trick Sugimura and when getting ready to do so moves to protect his "jewels", in case Sugimura lets off a panic shot. Guess where the fatal round of gunfire from Kiriyama hits him?
- Four Is Death: Gee, I wonder who's boy # 4?
- Hypocrite: He tries to justify his killing, despite the fact that he shoots first.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: He hates to admit that's he's ugly.
- Insane Troll Logic: The way he thinks of just about anything.
- It's All About Me: Both of these tropes result in a most unpleasant individual.
- Groin Attack: In the manga. With bullets.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: "Ow! You broke my finger!" (crippling his ability to play the violin) In the novel, it's a little more understandable; Hiroki returned fire and ended up blowing his ring finger clean off.
- Off with His Head!: In the movie.
- Rich Asshole: Looks down on his classmates.
- Smug Snake: For all his talk of being superior to his classmates, he's nowhere as bright as he thinks he is.
- The Social Darwinist: Very much so.
- The Sociopath: His internal monologues paint a very nasty piece of work.
- Straw Nihilist: He thinks that anyone who tries to be altruistic is doomed to failure.
- Technician vs. Performer: The reason why Shuya was always more popular than Toshinori as a musician.
- Too Dumb to Live: Toshinori is not only the most odious student, but among the stupidest.
- In the film: he shouts out that the reason he survived being shot was because of his Bulletproof Vest. Cue Kazuo Kiriyama jumping at him with sword in hand.
- In the manga: He decides to fake a death rattle, so Kazuo will come near him and check if he's really dead, enabling Toshinori to shoot him point-blank. Kazuo checks if he's dead by firing a volley of bullets into Toshinori's unprotected crotch.
- In the novel: No death rattle, but he doesn't realize why Kazuo is coming up to him. Kazuo is just coming up to make absolutely sure that Oda's dead via headshot.
Kayoko Kotohiki (Girl #8)
"Ta-dah! The one and only ki master, Kayoko Kotohiki!"A playful, dreamy and energetic girl who is Hiroki Sugimura's love interest (although she doesn't find out until very late). She is a waitress at a bar, and participates in unusual activities like tea ceremonies and flower-arranging.
- Action Survivor: Although she doesn't survive the Game, it's worth noting that she manages to survive a long time all by herself, before reuniting with Hiroki.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the manga, along with her Ascended Extra status. While far from being a villain in the novel or the movie, she still shot Sugimura when she thought he was "playing" and wanted to kill her. In the manga, she trusts him enough to not shoot him.
- Alliterative Name: Kayoko Kotohiki.
- Ascended Extra: In the novel she only gets a few pages, and a few minutes in the movie, but in the manga she has two whole volumes dedicated to her and Hiroki's storyline.
- Betty and Veronica: The "Betty" to Takako Chigusa's "Veronica".
- Cloudcuckoolander: Manga version. Talking about Dragon Ball Z in the middle of murder game...
- Cute Kitten: Has a number of cats at home.
- Genki Girl: In the manga.
- Go Through Me: Happens rather tragically in the manga, when she refuses to leave Hiroki's side as Kiriyama closes in.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: How she and Hiroki Sugimura would have ended up had they both survived. In the manga, they get to at least team up briefly.
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: In the manga.Kayoko: "I am just a little troll compared to Takako!"
- Irony: She runs into a wounded Hiroki toward the end, and since he had been fighting Kiriyama, she assumes he's playing and shoots him. He wasn't. He'd been searching for her to confess his love and take her with him to meet up with Shuya's group so they could escape.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Her personality.
- Odd Couple: Her and Hiroki.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: She's very good at this.
- Must Make Amends: And fails.
- Together in Death: With Hiroki. In the novel, she even vows to die with him as penance for accidentally killing him. Mitsuko sees to that.
Kazushi Niida (Boy #16)
"I decided this is a game. So I'm not going to pull any punches."A football player and Jerk Jock extraordinaire. He is mostly known for his attack on Takako Chigusa, which didn't end well.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Inverted in the manga. He has an even more hideous personality, and his physical appearance matches up.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the manga. The novel or the movie version is far from being a saint, but at least he didn't want to kill Yoshio Akamatsu (it was self-defense in the movie, an accident in the novel). In the manga, it wasn't self defense and he even gloats that he killed him.
- Eye Scream: One of the several things that happen to him.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: To Takako Chigusa.
- Groin Attack: Suffers this at the hands of Chigusa. In the Novel and Manga, she stomps on them so hard one of his testicles gets crushed. In the film, she stabs him there, twice.
- Jerk Jock: One of the class athletes and a major jerk.
- A Real Man Is a Killer: In the manga, he literally gets off on the fact that he killed Yoshio This is contrasted in the other two as the reality of the game doesn't set in until he accidentally killed Yoshio in self defense.
- Must Not Die a Virgin: Goes badly for him.
- Red Right Hand: He is described as a handsome boy whose only visible flaw is his crooked teeth.
- Stalker with a Crush: He spread rumors in school that he and Chigusa were dating.
- Toothy Issue: The novel describes him as a handsome boy with bad teeth.
Mayumi Tendo (Girl #14)A girl who wore her hair in a lobster braid. She is the first death in the Program proper.
- Compensated Dating: The book says she did this, while keeping a prim and proper facade.
- Mauve Shirt: Most of what we know about her comes after her death.
- O.C. Stand-in: Since we see little of her or her backstory.
- Spell My Name With An Extra U: "Tendou" in the original Japanese.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: As noted above, she's the first death in the Program proper. Hell, she's killed as she's leaving the school.
Fumiyo Fujiyoshi (Girl #18)
"Psst...Yukie..."A member of of Yukie Utsumi's clique, not much is really known about her other than she was a caring nurse's aid and was very talkative. In the manga, Yutaka Seto had a crush on her, and after her death, he described her as being pretty, no matter what she was doing.
- Alliterative Name: Fumiyo Fujiyoshi
- Ascended Extra: In the novel, she is mentioned only a few times after her death. In the manga, Yutaka has a crush on her, and we get to see a bit more of her through flashbacks.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Kamon/Sakamochi throws a knife into her head for whispering in class. And to illustrate to Shinji Mimura that he doesn't give two shits about the lives of the "players".
- O.C. Stand-in: Since we see little of her or her backstory.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Yutaka views her this way in the manga.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She's killed in the classroom.
Kinpatsu Sakamochi/Yonemi Kamon/Kitano
"The reason why you're all here today ... is to kill each other."The Big Bad himself. He is the administrator of the Battle Royale Program, who instructs the students in what to do and oversees the death match from beginning to end. This would normally be an unpleasant task, but he relishes it and the total power over life and death it gives him. Since he is an employee of the totalitarian government and thus unaccountable, it's a death sentence for the "players" to threaten him or even look at him the wrong way. In The Movie, where Takeshi Kitano plays him, his character is more humanized and has a personal grudge against the students, but has a soft spot for Noriko. He has a daughter called Shiori.
- Affectionate Parody: "Kinpatsu Sakamochi" is a pun on the name of the heroic teacher in Kinpachi Sensei.
- Anti-Villain: The movie version of the Director, who is somewhat more humanized and has a legitimate grudge against the students (minus Noriko) and a Morality Pet in his daughter Shiori.
- Big Bad: All three of them.
- Death Seeker: Kitano May have become this by the end of the film, as his daughter hates him and the students he despised so much are all dead by then. He tries to goad Noriko into shooting him by pointing a gun at her, which is then revealed to be a water gun when Shuya guns him down instead.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Several times. In the manga and novel, he deserves it. In the movie, not so much.
- Evil Teacher: In all three versions, he is a former high school teacher. In the film, he used to teach this same class and hates them.
- Fat Bastard: In the manga.
- Gonk: Kamon.
- The GM Is A Cheating Bastard: Kitano goes out of his way to ensure Noriko's survival.
- Jabba Table Manners: Kamon has horrible eating habits.
- Jerk Ass: As if being the overseer of the program wasn't horrific enough, he's shown to be a selfish dick in little ways as well, such as eating cookies and not sharing them with the soldiers serving under him.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Besides throwing a knife, he doesn't seem very skilled in fighting.
- Orcus on His Throne: He never ventures outside his headquarters once, and spends his time smoking, eating junk food, and making cruel announcements over the PA system. This is for a very good reason, since there are armed teenagers out there who hate his guts. In the film, he briefly goes onto the island to save Noriko from Mitsuko, but he immediately returns to base and this is never brought up again.
- Pet the Dog: In the film only. His bizarre painting of Noriko.
- Psycho Supporter: Sakamochi, of the Republic. It really says something when he's perfectly willing to let his own daughter become Program fodder if her class is ever chosen, because it'll help to keep the bakufu lasting forever.
- Sadist Teacher: As noted, he either is or was a teacher, and he later became an administrator in the Program.
- Suicide by Cop: In the movie, he gets killed by Shuya after pointing a gun at Noriko.
Ryoko AnnoIn the novel and manga, the young caretaker of the orphanage and the closest to a mother Shuya and Yoshitoki have.
- Mama Bear: In the manga, she is this to Shuya (after his real mother's death) and Yoshitoki.
- Promoted to Love Interest: She's only a minor background character in the book and not even mentioned in the film, but the manga (at least the English version) made her this to Yoshitoki. Yes, his surrogate mom and love interest. This was made up in the English adaptation.
- Parental Substitute: To the children of the orphanage.
- Tender Tears: Sheds tears for the Program winner Shuya and Yoshitoki saw on TV.
- Badass Pacifist / The Determinator: And how:
- Her adopted orphan sons, who she raised from childhood, are taken away to a fight to the death.
- She is brutally and heartbreakingly raped by Kamon (unless he was lying when he trolled the class with this; if it is possible to hope for a fictitious character, one would hope for the latter here).
- Her co-worker and friend Hayashida is murdered in front of her and taken away to be an object lesson.
- By the end of the Program, her sons are lost to her: one is dead, the other is on the run.
- After Shuya's escape and Kamon's death, one must assume that the Ryoko and the orphanage are being watched.
- She goes right on caring for and loving her orphan children, even as she knows that any of them could be taken away to be murdered, again.
- When Shuya secretly checks on Ryoko from afar three months later, he sees that not only has she stayed with the orphanage children, but has gone on to have a love interest. ("What men do...and still, you stay.")