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Characters: Battle Royale
The characters of Battle Royale and associated tropes.

We're gonna be here awhile...

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    Main Characters 

Shuya Nanahara (Boy #15)

"They got to you. Too late again! Dear god in 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.

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.

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.

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.
  • Badass: Aside from being able to construct a working bomb from the materials on the island, no other term can describe someone who uses duct-tape to hold in his intestines after they've spilled out.
  • 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
  • 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's called 'employment.'"
  • Decoy Protagonist / Deuteragonist: 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.
  • 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
  • Genius Bruiser: Slightly subverted because his grades in subjects other than Math and English were bad.
  • Handsome Lech
  • Heroic BSOD: 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
  • Rasputinian Death: And a completely pointless one.
  • Sacrificial Lion
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: His efforts to break out of the game. It's harsher in the novel and manga; Unlike in the film, Shinji didn't realize there was a bug in the collar leading to his hacking efforts being futile. Kiriyama puts a nix to his effort of bombing the base as well.
    • Not quite, since either way his hacking program shut down everything (including the voice monitors), either way his plan to bomb the school would have worked if Kiriyama didn't intervene.
  • 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.
  • Taking You with Me: He attempts to do this against Kazuo Kiriyama after he's been wounded mortally. Needless to say, it failed.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years

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.

Mitsuko Souma (Girl #11)

"I just decided to take instead of being taken. Itís not a question of good or bad, wrong or right. Itís 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
  • Alpha Bitch
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Femme Fatale: And how! 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.
  • Gainaxing: In the manga.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: Since she was very little, she's been using her body to get whatever she wants.
  • She's Got Legs: In the film she wears really short shorts for a time.
  • Sinister Sickle
  • Slasher Smile: Eep.
  • 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.
    • Her strategy fails against Kiriyama and doesn't work well against Hiroki.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Oh God, where do I start!?

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.
    • It should be noted, he seems to have problems beating Shogo in driving, and Hiroki in martial arts.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Axe 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: He has a flair for tremendous killing, craftiness, wearing a Badass Cape that looks like a Ominous Opera Cape, and walking through flower petals ominously. His fighting skills put action heroes to shame as he racks up the highest body count of anyone in the story in all three versions.
    • 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.
    • Red Baron: In the manga, he's called a "Devil Of Nothingness".
  • 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.
  • Brilliant But Doesn't Give a Damn: He's The Ace despite putting no effort into anything.
  • Bullet Proof 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 Bullet Proof 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.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: His Lack of Empathy makes him perfect for The Program.
  • 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 a flashback it is revealed 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.
  • For the Evulz: In the film, he entered the program for fun.
  • Four Is Death: He comes in 4th place in all versions.
  • Flanderization: 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Rasputinian Death
  • Slasher Smile: In the film only.
  • 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.
    • Not So Stoic: The closest thing to emotion he showed in the novel, was slightly gasping when Hiroki knees him.
  • Unable to Cry: He doesn't have emotions...
  • 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.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Although he is the primary antagonist and a sociopath to boot, he has quite the fan base.
  • 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.

     Other Students 

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.

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.

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.

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
  • Dying Dream
  • 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: Horribly deconstructed 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

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.

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.

Yutaka Seto (Boy #12)

The male class clown and Shinji Mimura's loyal friend throughout his story arc. Yutaka admires Shinji to the point of 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.

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.

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."

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.

Hiroshi Kuronaga (Boy #9)

The fat guy in the delinquent gang, who doesn't do much.

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.

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.

  • Axe Crazy: He eventually becomes like this when he snaps from the fear and imagines those who bullied him will try to kill him.
  • Butt Monkey
  • Chew Toy: In his class, especially to the bullies like Ryuhei.
  • Gentle Giant: In the manga, Shuya calls him "gigantor".
  • 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 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.

Haruka Tanizawa (Girl #12)

The best friend and second-in-command of Yukie Utsumi and one of the lighthouse girls.

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.

Chisato Matsui (Girl #19)

The smallest and shyest of Yukie's friends, who take refuge in the lighthouse.

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 high school, so class clown is as good as any.

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.

  • 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.
  • Ms. 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."

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.

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.

Keita Iijima (Boy #2)

A whiny "friend" of Shinji Mimura who seeks his protection during the Program.

  • 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
  • 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 Needa, or even an Oda, but he's still scum.
  • Number Two: He's Boy # 2

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.

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 looked 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.
  • Ojou: In fact, if not in character. Her dad's a town representative.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye

Tatsumichi Oki (Boy #3)

  • Axe Crazy
  • 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
  • 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.

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.

  • Axe Crazy: It only took a little push to make him start killing his classmates.
  • Bullet Proof Vest: His assigned weapon, which he makes good use of.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: He gets bullets fired into his crotch in the manga.
  • 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?
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: 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.
  • 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 / Jerk Ass: 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.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: He thinks that anyone who tries to be altruistic is doomed to failure.
  • Off with His Head!: In the movie.
  • Rich Asshole
  • 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.
  • Technician Versus 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 Bullet Proof 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.

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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Mayumi Tendo (Girl #14)

A girl who wore her hair in a lobster braid. She is the first death in the Program proper.

Fumiyo Fujiyoshi (Girl #18)


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.


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
  • Death Seeker: May have become this by the end of the film: 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.
  • The Danza: In the movie.
  • 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
  • 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.
    • This is also the reason why no student is given a gun more powerful than an Uzi: so they'll always have less firepower than Kamon's soldiers.
  • 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.
  • Takeshi Kitano: Portrayed by the man himself.

Ryoko Anno

In 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
  • Tender Tears

Masao "Dragonfly" Hayashida

The teacher of Year 3 Class B. A very kind and moral person who taught his students not to judge others by their reputations. He is killed when he objects to his class' participation in the Program.

The Bartimaeus TrilogyCharacters/LiteratureThe Belgariad

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