I saw Battle Royale last night and today. I see how it planted the seed of the idea for Hunger Games, but I believe Hunger Games was a much more fully developed story. In its imaginary framework, Hunger Games makes more sense. The pitting of one conquered territory against another in the games, with the reality TV element, fostering competitive enthusiasm between the former-rebellious territories even while each person is ambivalent about the fate of the players (some dreading to be chosen or having their children chosen, while others are bred for it). As a way for the government to subjugate the territories while co-opting them into the system. The parody of reality TV was very amusing in Hunger Games as well. In contrast, in Battle Royale, the selection of a single high school class to kill all members of the class except one has none of these elements. It really doesn't make a lot of sense, except for the idea that the mean adults are getting back at the kids for being disrespectful and creating social chaos. Also, the music in Battle Royale was horrific, this kind of canned 1960s off the shelf stuff that made my skin crawl. But the storyline, with the battling kids, was good, I'll grant you that. Had a Lord of the Flies quality, a little bit. I think it would have seemed more novel, though, if I had not seen Hunger Games first.
I'm curous to hear what you think of Hunger Games when you see it.