Released in 2000, 'Battle Royale' acted as both an adrenalin shot for Japanese cinema, and as a parable on the growing levels of youth violence in today's society.
In the opening prologue of the movie we learn that at some point in the near future the economy has fallen, resulting in the increase of violent crime and disorder amongst the youth of Japan. In the hope of regaining control, the government comes up with 'The Battle Royale Initiative', a means by which to regain their power once again. Under the guise of a school field trip, Class B is selected for the next round of this deadly Royale. Once aboard the bus, the students are drugged and taken to a secret island off the coast of Japan. There they discover embittered ex-teacher Kitano ('Beat’ Takeshi, Violent Cop), as well as two ‘exchange students’. One of whom is a past winner of the deadly game, while another is a sadistic volunteer. The pair join them in the game weeding out any who refuse to fight. From the buttoned-down nerd exploding into a violent rage at the girl who spurned his advances, to the bullied girl happily taking revenge on those who tormented her, the ethical questions come thick and fast: Do you submit to the game? Do you kill your friends in cold blood? Or do you run and hide like a coward?