Battle Royale – Kazuo Kiriyama

“One thing was absolutely certain – it was a given for Kazuo. Although he might not have particularly realized it, or more appropriately, perhaps because he was incapable of coming to such realization, this was what it came down to: he, Kazuo Kiriyama, felt no emotion, no guilt, no sorrow, no pity, towards the four corpses, including Mitsuru’s – and that ever since the day he was dropped into this world the way he was, he had never once felt a single emotion.”


When I first read this book, I felt a sort of pity for Kazuo. No matter how pitiless and blood-hungry he might seem to be, there’s always the fact that he can’t help it. To live without feeling a single thing – that’s very sad. We all experience joy and happiness. They may not amount to much, but these emotions certainly fill up the gap, an emptiness inside us. Kazuo didn’t have that. He has no foundation for values, he just chooses as he goes. An empty life. But now that I’m in a sea of emotions, I thought, maybe it’s not so bad after all, not feeling any emotion. It’ll certainly save you from anger and hurt. But it’s such a lonely existence.


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