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The characters of Battle Royale and associated tropes.

We're gonna be here awhile...

Main Characters

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. 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 a bit of a Purity Sue. 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.

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. 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. A Jerkass Woobie through and through.

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, he puts everything he has into it. In the Film of the Book, he is portrayed as a mute psychopath instead, and voluntarily signed up for the game.

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.
  • 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.


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)

  "SHINJI YOUR AWESOME"

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
  • Ho Yay: With Shinji. The above quote says it all.
  • 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."


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 for some reason.

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
  • 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.
  • Offhand Backhand: How she's killed by Kazuo in the novel.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Okay, two chapters in the manga, but they're back to back.
    • And one chapter in the novel.
  • 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.

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Has a crush on Shuya in the novel, Mimura in the film.
  • Camera Fiend: In the movie.
  • Cell Phone: Her mother gave her one before the school trip. She tries to use it, only for Sakamochi/Kamon to pick up and abuse her. She hangs up in disgust. This ends up biting her in the ass when Mitsuko shows up.
  • I Miss Mom
  • Mauve Shirt: She gets a few sentences of dialogue before Mitsuko kills her.
  • Spell My Name With An Extra U: "Etou" in the original Japanese.


Keita Iijima (Boy #2)

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

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.

  • Bulletproof Vest: His assigned weapon, which he makes good use of.
  • Complete Monster : One of the most repulsive students in the whole series, even the author clearly despises 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. Where exactly does he get fatally shot by Kazuo?
  • Four Is Death: Gee, I wonder who's boy # 4?
  • It's All About Me / Jerkass: If you're less rich than him, you're vulgar. If you're taller and/or more handsome, he resents you. If you're richer than him (i.e. Kiriyama), he resents you yet again. If you're female, he thinks you're only good for kids, decoration, and "entertainment". If your actions are even a little less than utterly refined, vulgar again. It's worth noting that this extends to the family business, a food packaging empire; being a violinist is so much more genteel. He can't even stand the thought that even if he does manage to get back up to his original violin level after his hand is wounded, people will "qualify" his success with how he overcame his disability. Maybe he'd like to run the Republic bakufu, too?
    • To further elaborate, in at least the manga, he muses for a little while about the apparent source of the kanji signifying "people", a pictograph of one person supporting another. That is, people are defined by mutualism. Oda, however, thinks that this is a complete error (and from hereon, this is definitely in the novel, too). People aren't defined by what they actively do for others, but by their wealth and connections, the alleged proofs of their inborn, immutable greatness or lowness. Pretty standard feudalistic understandings, thus far, if a little more focused on the wealth than on the duties (no noblesse oblige for Oda). Where it well and truly careens into It's All About Me is that Oda's definitions stop at wealth and connections. The wealthy aren't a community of the upper class; it's all about coaxing this favor or that favor out of someone who can accomplish it. In other words, Oda's view of society, high and low alike, is completely atomistic. Empathy and sympathy are just alien for Kiriyama; he doesn't judge them, though. To Oda, they're nothing but feints to garner favor. He thinks to exist is to regard life as All About You, that other and other must always be scheming against each other. There's no way to transcend that "zenith", so why pretend there's such a thing as worth beyond tool-hood? They're perfect synonyms!
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: "Oh! You broke my finger!" (No more violin for you) In the novel, it's a little more understandable; Hiroki shot his ring finger off.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe
  • Off with His Head: In the movie.
  • Rich Asshole
  • Smug Snake
  • The Social Darwinist: Very much so.
  • The Sociopath
  • 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 Bulletproof Vest. Cue Kazuo Kiriyama jumping at him with sword in hand. In the manga: he has a butcher's knife, and his vest keeps him alive after getting shot. So he decides to fake a death rattle, so Kazuo will come near him and check if he's really dead, enabling Toshinori to stab him. Kazuo checks if he's dead by firing a volley of bullets into Toshinori's unprotected balls. 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 Oda's dead via headshot.
  • Unbuilt Trope: Of the book's semi-sociopathic Misaimed Fandom, who wish to take part in the BR Program themselves. You really think you're exempt from suffering a brutal death just like the ones you wish to inflict? 'Cause you only have a 1 in 42 chance of survival.


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.

  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
  • 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.

  • Complete Monster: He's a sexual sadist who fully embraces the chance to rape and kill his classmates. One of the first things he does is take a weapon from the body of a dead classmate and he says "Should'a at least fucked her first." Later on he propositions Takako Chigusa because "they're both going to die", showing that he knows his chances of survival aren't good but he's more interested in raping and killing and when she refuses he tries to rape her and smashes her face to a pulp in the process.
  • Eye Scream: One of the several things that happen to him.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: To Takako Chigusa.
  • Jerk Jock
  • 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
  • You Don't Want to Die a Virgin, Do You?: He even says the actual phrase.

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)

 "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.

Others

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, 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.

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.

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