I finished reading Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games over the weekend and was slightly surprised at the end of the book where the author revealed how she came up with the idea of the story.
You see, as I was reading the novel, I couldn't help but feel that there were elements taken from Battle Royale..
Battle Royale is a Japanese story about a class of school children who are placed on an island to battle each other to the death. In The Hunger Games, two children from twelve different districts are placed in a futuristic reality show to fight each other until there is a sole survivor.
Like I noted, there were many more similarities if you compare the two stories so it was quite puzzling to read that Collins came up with the idea of the book after watching television and seeing the contrast between a reality series on one channel and actual coverage of war on another.
I had a look at the reaction to The Hunger Games on the Internet and there are a lot of websites and message boards reacting to the similarities.
For the record - when I first watched Battle Royale, my initial thought was 'this is like The Running Man'. Only a few years ago, I watched the WWE movie The Condemned and I felt 'this is like Battle Royale'.
Upon further reflection, I should have gone further back in history and decided that all these stories and films were reminiscent of the Roman Empire and how they found entertainment sending gladiators to compete in an arena.