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Fridge Brilliance

  • The reason Kiriyama lost in the novel? He's an Empty Shell. He wasn't even trying.
  • The movie version of Kiriyama lacks the backstory of his novel counterpart that establishes him as someone who can master anything he tries instantly. So why does he still rack up a large kill count? It's noted that he volunteered to participate in The Program. He likely trained beforehand in order to be as deadly as possible. There's also the fact that he's a complete stranger to the rest of the class and has no camaraderie with any of them, so psychopathy aside he has no hang-ups gunning down everyone in his path, regardless of their threat level or attempts to rebel against The Program (as Shinji tragically found out). The deck is actually stacked in his favor quite a bit.
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  • That The Program would let someone volunteer to participate actually makes perfect sense. There's the ever present possibility that the kids selected for their game may not be willing to kill each other in large enough numbers for a clear winner to emerge, and some students may chose to rebel against The Program entirely (like Shinji or Kawada). Adding someone like Kiriyama keeps everyone occupied with a threat that isn't anyone directly connected to The Program.
Fridge Horror
  • In the novel, just image the kids Shogo had to kill... and he still kept his sanity.
  • In the film, Shogo tells Shuuya and Noriko that Kiriyama sighed up to join the game willingly. While the idea that such a thing is possible, and people actually DO IT is terrifying enough. Shogo also mentions that his year had one. Considering how terrifying Kiriyama is, one can only imagine what the 'volunteer' of that game was like.
  • The realization that The Program has been around for years, meaning that hundreds of children have gone through the same thing.
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    • Thousands, even. In the novel, at least, it's been going on for 50 years, and 47-50 classes of ~40 students are selected each year - something on the order of 100,000 students have been put through the grinder.
      • 94,000 at minimum, that means 2,350 people have survived the game, and how many of them were already budding psychos because of how the most ruthless or crazy the winners would mostly be?
  • If you win The Program, they expect you to live life as though you didn't slaughter your classmates.
  • In the novel, Sakamochi tells his superior his wife is expecting their third child, as they are eager to fight the dwindling youth in the country. Pause. Think. Despite being the cause of said dwindling youth, the country wants more kids. They are encouraging people to have kids that may end up in The Program.
    • Also, consider another reason why the number of youths in the country might be dwindling. Perhaps The Program is such an effective scare tactic that people in the country aren't having kids as often out of fear that they might have to see them go through The Program someday.
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