Shuya Nanahara: Wikis

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Shuya Nanahara (七原 秋也 Nanahara Shūya?) is a fictional Japanese student and one of the three main protagonists of the violent and controversial novel, manga, and film Battle Royale. In the English-language manga he is nicknamed Shu.

Shuya is portrayed by Tatsuya Fujiwara in the 2000 film and the sequel Battle Royale II: Requiem.

Contents

Personality

Shuya, who lives in Shiroiwa (the novel and manga set the town in Kagawa Prefecture, while the film sets the town in Kanagawa Prefecture), is deeply emotional and somewhat sentimental; he is impulsive and quick to trust people (this particular aspect often proves to be a liability during the course of The Program, nearly resulting in his death several times). He is also very caring, honorable, easy going and likable. It is more than once said it is hard to be sad around him even in sad times.

He is a dreamer and an idealist, and never remains silent when he feels anyone around him is being mistreated, regardless of the consequences.

Shuya was born in Autumn (the first character of his given name (秋), which means "autumn," reflects this fact).

Shuya's blood type is B. Shuya is 171 centimeters tall and weighs 58 kilograms. His eyesight is 1.2 in his right eye and 1.5 in his left eye. In the novel, Shuya's hair is described as being wavy and long. Megumi Eto, who had a crush on Shuya, stated that Shuya had once told her his hairstyle was to imitate Bruce Springsteen.

Shuya's strongest subjects in school were the humanities, English, and literature.

His watch in the novel is described in page 82 as an "old, domestically manufactured Hattori Hanzō limited-edition diver's watch" that was donated to him through the orphanage.

Ilya Garger of TIME magazine describes Shuya in the first film as "a somber schoolboy who survives more due to luck than killer instinct."[1]

Background

Shuya Nanahara as he appears in the manga.

In all versions Shuya is an orphan due to different circumstances. In the novel version his parents were killed in a car accident; in the film version his mother abandoned him and his father committed suicide; and in the manga version it is suggested that his father was killed by the government for struggling against the regime and his mother dies from an unknown illness which she caught after giving birth to Shuya (in a flashback another child in Shuya's class says "I bet it's something like AIDS".) and Shuya's remaining family rejected him, Shuya was put into an orphanage where he met his best friend Yoshitoki Kuninobu. In all versions he is taken into the Charity House (Jikeikan), a Roman Catholic orphanage run by Ryoko Anno.

In volume 14 of the manga Shuya tells Shogo Kawada and Noriko Nakagawa that when, he first went into care, he felt like nobody cared and that he wanted to be noticed. One day he jumped off a bunk bed and when everybody cheered him, he felt accepted and kept jumping off anything he could. This stopped when, on one occasion, he landed on top of a little girl, injuring her. He felt guilty about it and stopped jumping; by then he felt accepted.

He has seen unpleasant events in his past although quite what alternates between versions. He is sporty and over versions has been seen playing basketball, baseball and Football. While in the orphanage, in the novel and manga, he sees a program update and is told it is "a bad lottery."

He is young when he goes into care in the novel and manga; in the film version he is already 14 years old when he goes into care. He meets his other friends (the athletically gifted Shinji Mimura, the disciplined young martial artist Hiroki Sugimura, and the quiet and sweet Noriko Nakagawa) in different ways in all the versions but in all he thinks very highly of them and is held in high regard before the Battle Royale program begins.

He also learns how to play the guitar whilst in the orphanage, and has a serious dream of becoming a rock star even though rock and roll is outlawed. In the novel, a middle-aged handyman who worked at the Charity House gave Shuya his first guitar. The handyman had an upbeat character and hair that formed a "duck's tail." The handyman gave Shuya the guitar before he was placed in a forced labor camp in Sakhalin Island. In the film, Yoshitoki Kuninobu taught Shuya how to play the guitar.

In the novel Shuya is a big fan of Bruce Springsteen and especially likes the song "Born to Run." In the beginning of the manga he is seen singing a song that has similar lyrics to "Born to Run" (in the Japanese version it is "Born to Run" but it had to be changed for the English translation because of copyright issues).

In the novel, his pre-program nickname is Wild Seven (both because the first kanji of his family name is 七, "nana," meaning seven, and could play in almost any position. Because of this, his number on the basketball team was seven); he shares this name with a large brand of cigarettes (which Shogo Kawada is very keen on in the novel and manga). In the first film, this nickname is not mentioned at all. In the 2nd, the terrorist group formed by him is called Wild Seven. In the manga his basketball number is 7 but the nickname is not used at all.

In the novel, Shuya played for as a shortstop in a little league team when he was in elementary school. When he entered the seventh grade, he joined the baseball team and the music club. Shuya decided to leave the baseball team because of its militaristic "win at all costs" attitude. The coach, Mr. Minato, harassed players who loved the game and were not very good at the game. In addition, if Japan's national baseball team lost to the U.S., the directors of the National Baseball Federation were required to commit seppuku. Shuya used a four letter diatribe in order to quit the baseball team.

In the manga, when the coach decided to cut a student from a baseball game, Shuya decided to quit as well after attacking the coach. When Shuya asks the student to start a baseball team with him, the student tells Shuya that he is does not want to be associated with trouble as it is coming up to the high school entrance exams.

In the novel Shuya is at first smitten with Kazumi Shintani (新谷和美 Shintani Kazumi), a music aficionado who is one year ahead of him. Kazumi, Shuya, and the other members of the Shiroiwa Music Club would play rock music when their supervisor, Ms. Miyata, wasn't present. Shuya's dreams of being Kazumi's boyfriend ended when Kazumi told him that she had a boyfriend. In one of Shuya's dreams he encounters a previous teacher named Kazuko Okazaki, who taught literature.

Story

In the story, Shuya is in the class picked to go on The Program, and is gassed on the supposed school trip like the others. Shortly afterward, he wakes up, and the psychotic teacher (Kinpatsu Sakamochi in the novel, Yonemi Kamon in the manga, and Kitano in the film) and organizer of the program reveals that the class are the latest participants of The Program. Shuya is supplied with an Army knife to begin with (A saucepan lid in the film) and as he leaves the classroom, he tells Noriko he will wait for her. While walking through the school he is thinking of the best people he can rally to help him escape and avenge his best friend Yoshitoki. All he finds when outside is Girl #14, Mayumi Tendo (in the novel and manga, she is dead, while in the film, she is dying), and Boy #1, Yoshio Akamatsu, who has gone mad thinking all the people who used to pick on him would try to kill him. After knocking out Akamatsu with one of the arrows used by Akamatsu to kill Mayumi Tendo, Shuya runs off with Noriko, who has just come out, and they run off into the woods where Shuya dresses the wound to Noriko’s leg (her arm, in the film version) and they then agree that they trust each other and they will stick together. The way in which Shuya saves Noriko from Akamatsu results in Akamatsu’s death at the hands of Boy #16, Kazushi Niida.

Over the next few hours Shuya and Noriko ally with Boy #5, Shogo Kawada, and Shuya witnesses the deaths of:

  • Boy #3 Tatsumichi Oki, who tries to kill Shuya and Noriko but dies when he and Shuya fall down a hill (In the novel, his face is cut in half with his own hatchet. In the manga, a machete is stuck in his head. In the film, his axe hits the top of his head.)
  • Boy #20 Kyoichi Motobuchi who has gone mad and is trying to win for his father and almost kills Shuya with his revolver, but is shot twice by Shogo Kawada with his shotgun before he can.
  • Girls #6 Yukiko Kitano and #7 Yumiko Kusaka: They are gunned down from behind by Kazuo Kiriyama while trying to tell everybody not to play.

Noriko then falls ill and Shuya starts to take her to the island clinic.

In the novel and manga, he sees Girl #10, Hirono Shimizu, and Girl #20, Kaori Minami, having a shoot out. According to the novel, Shuya intervenes and calls out to both of them to stop fighting. Kaori is distracted, allowing her to get fatally shot by Hirono, who runs off with an injury. In the manga, Kaori has gone mad but Hirono expresses an interest in going with Shuya before she is shot by Kaori, who then turns the gun on Shuya after Hirono runs off. Kawada then saves Shuya by shooting and killing Kaori. He and Shuya then treat Noriko at the clinic. Kawada’s father was a doctor so Kawada knows how to treat her.

When leaving the clinic Boy #11, Hiroki Sugimura, turns up and he and Shuya agree that they are on the same side and that Sugimura will come with them later but he is looking for Girl #8, Kayoko Kotohiki. They agree when he finds her he will light two fires so that Shuya and the others can see the smoke and then Shogo will use a birdcall device and they will home in it and hook up.

Shuya gets separated from the others shortly after they leave the clinic when Kazuo Kiriyama fires at them. Shuya leads him away from the others but is shot and almost killed. In the novel, one of Girl 2, Yukie Utsumi's scouts finds Shuya and brings him to the Lighthouse. In the manga and film, Shuya is saved by Boy #11, Hiroki Sugimura, who turns up just in time to help him. Hiroki then leaves Shuya with Yukie and the group she has formed in the Lighthouse.

Shuya has a dream in which he sees Yoshitoki, Shinji and his mother and father and Noriko at which he wakes up and finds out that Mimura is dead and Yukie also reveals to him she has a crush on him and she kisses him using the excuse that they could be dead the next day and that she had to express her feeliings.

Girl #9 Yuko Sakaki, who witnessed Oki getting killed with the hatchet and believed that Shuya did it, hears that Shuya is well and tries to poison him with her weapon of Hydrocyanic acid (cyanide), but accidentally poisons Girl #16 Yuka Nakagawa instead. This leads to the culmination of Girl #17 Satomi Noda's paranoia which ends up killing all the girls except Yuko. Shuya breaks out of the room he was locked up in when he hears all the gunshots, believing that Kiriyama has come back but finds a literal blood bath of dead girls and a hysterical Yuko. Shuya tries to calm her down, but she runs to the top of the lighthouse and almost falls over the railing but Shuya catches her. Yuko realizes what her inner demons did to her and how they killed her friends, and so she decided to pay for her mistakes. In the novel and manga, she pries Shuya's fingers open and falls to her death. In the film, she jumps to her death after Shuya runs down to check on the other girls.

In the manga, when looking for Shogo and Noriko, he finds Girl #1, Mizuho Inada, who was ill with schizophrenia before the Program (her obsession with Dungeons and Dragons only adds to this, making her believe she is the chosen daughter of the 'Elder Gods') and has been messed up even more and he jumps off a small cliff to escape from her and finds himself standing in the area Shinji's bomb destroyed and he also finds Shinji Mimura's dead body. In the novel, she is only seen once, attempting to kill Kiriyama from behind with a knife, believing she is space warrior Prexia Dikianne Mizuho. She is instantly shot and killed by Kiriyama.

In the novel, Shuya finds Shogo and Noriko again soon after they see smoke from two fires, which was the sign that Shogo told Sugimura to set up after he had found Kotohiki, but the fires were actually Kazuo who made the fires after overhearing a dying Sugimura telling Kayoko Kotohiki how to build the fires to find Shuya, Shogo and Noriko. Mitsuko Souma kills Kayoko soon after, and Mitsuko in turn is killed by Kazuo.

In all versions, Shuya's affections for Noriko grow as he starts calling her simply by her first name, "Noriko." In the novel Shuya calls Noriko "Noriko-san" up to this point; the English language translation usually omits the honorific, but still includes the fact that Shuya used the polite form "Noriko-san" before this point. In the film, Shuya calls Noriko by her family name, "Nakagawa," up until this point.

Kazuo dies soon after he attacks Shuya and the others. In the manga, Shuya kills Kazuo. In the novel, Noriko and Kawada shoot Kiriyama, and Kiriyama dies after the gunshots. In the film, Kawada kills Kazuo by shooting into his collar.

In the novel and manga, Shuya, Kawada, and Noriko hijack the government boat. In the novel, they kill all of the government officials, while in the manga, some of the soldiers are kept alive. Masayuki Taguchi, the coauthor of the manga, decided to make Shuya spare the lives of some of the soldiers. (Battle Royale, Volume 15, Page 213). In the film, Shuya fatally shoots Kitano, the teacher.

Shogo Kawada later dies from his injuries and the story ends with Shuya and Noriko alive and on the run.

Post-Program

In the novel, Shuya and Noriko are given the address of a doctor in Kobe who will help them by Shogo Kawada. Kawada has died from his untreated wound inflicted by the battle between Kazuo Kiriyama. The doctor once knew Shogo's father and he happily helps them and tells them how they can escape to the United States. Later the two are at a train station in Umeda in the city of Osaka when a policeman recognizes them. Shuya and the policeman get into a very brief gunfight as Shuya and Noriko run off, uncertain of their fate.

At the end of the first film Shuya and Noriko return to their home town and take some of their possessions, including the knife Yoshitoki used to stab Kitano, and are last seen running across a street.

In the manga version, Shuya and Noriko also get the name of somebody who can help them by Kawada and the two of them stay in hiding at his place for three months. Shuya goes and checks on the orphanage he grew up in, and sees that Ryoko Anno is still alive, and that she now seems to have a boyfriend. Shuya then goes to the point where Shinji Mimura's aunt helps them cross over the Pacific Ocean clandestinely aboard a cargo ship and land in the United States, where they decide to live in New York City.

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Shuya in Battle Royale II

In the film Battle Royale II: Requiem, three years after the events of Battle Royale, Shuya becomes the leader of a terrorist organization known as Wild Seven which is named after his nickname from basketball, formed by survivors of previous Battle Royales. With a massive bombing attack on Tokyo's Shinjuku district, he and his group declare war on the government that brought about BR, and the adults who support it.

When a new group of students raid Wild Seven's base, they fire upon the kids unaware of their predicament. It is only when they get close that the members of Wild Seven realize they are kids sent to kill them in a Program similar to previous Battle Royales. After hearing one of the collars beep, Shuya immediately orders Maki Souda to activate their EMP device and shut down the collars (by frying the electronics, in same time disabling the hidden microphones and satellite locators). He then meets with the surviving members of the new BRII Act, who argue over his view of the world and consequences of his actions.

While they are all resting, the Island is once again raided, this time by the Anti-Terrorist Attack Team (ATAT). The members of Wild Seven, and even some of the BRII students, manage to fend them off after a long battle. Several ATAT soldiers make it into Shuya's room, where he promptly kills all of them. In the confusion, one of the students, Shiori Kitano, attacks Shuya. However, she is unable to kill him. He takes the gun from her, and allows her to live, all the while unaware of her identity. After the fighting is done, Shuya tells the surviving students to leave with the children while he stays behind with the other Wild Seven members to distract the next wave. Shuya broadcasts a message to all adults around the world, telling them of his philosophies and his reason for his war upon the adults. After the recording, the base is struck by missiles (presumably from the U.S.). Shuya immediately has his group prepare for battle, and then evacuates the children and the BRII students. The final battle is less promising than the previous, and many of Shuya's comrades fall. In the midst of the attack, Saki Sakurai and Maki Souda demand Shuya to escape and keep fighting while they hold off the soldiers. Reluctantly, Shuya leaves with Shiori and Takuma Aoi (of the students). The trio manages to defeat many soldiers alone, but Shiori becomes fatally wounded in the process. As she lay dying, she reveals herself to be the daughter of Kitano, the previous administrator of the BR Act Shuya had killed in the previous film. Curious about her father's last painting, she asks Shuya about Noriko. Shuya briefly explains Noriko's character before Shiori finally dies in his arms. Together, Shuya and Takuma take one final rush at the soldiers, with the Island being bombarded all around them.

At the end of the film, it is revealed the two survived the bombardment. Shuya is reunited with Noriko, who finally welcomes him home.

Ilya Garger of TIME magazine describes Shuya in the second film as "the almost impossibly intense and charismatic—though still somber—terrorist mastermind" and "a teenage mix of Osama bin Laden and Joseph Conrad's Kurtz."[1]

Creation and conception

In the original novel Shuya develops an anger and feels remorseless when he kills soldiers on the boat. In the manga, Masayuki Taguchi altered Shuya's personality so the characters could differentiate themselves, as he believed the serialization of the manga requires more of this aspect than other mediums such as novel and film. Taguchi described Shuya as developing a justice-oriented personality like "the character of a shonen manga." As Taguchi developed Shuya's pacifistic characteristic, he decided to change the ending and allow for Shuya to spare the soldiers in the boat. Taguchi somewhat felt that Shuya pulled him into the story.[2]

Reception

Tatsuya Fujiwara, the actor who portrays Shuya in Battle Royale II, said that Shuya in the sequel is "standing on the side of justice" despite the fact that the main character is a terrorist. Fujiwara added that the Battle Royale II Shuya is "a good role model for young people."[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c Garger, Ilya. "Royale Terror." TIME. June 30, 2003.
  2. ^ "Final Chapter Memorial Discussion: Koushun Takami and Masayuki Taguchi." Battle Royale. Volume 15. Tokyopop

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