Some claim that 'The Hunger Games' is a rip-off of the 1999 Japanese series 'Battle Royale.' But the storyline of a death match being employed by authoritarian rulers dates back to the Roman Empire.
It's not unusual that "The Hunger Games" movie's arrival in theaters has been accompanied by feverish anticipation on the Internet. The online world is easily and often set ablaze by enthusiastic fandom, and Susanne Collins' wildly popular series of novels about a dystopian future where teenagers fight to the death on television has sold millions of copies.
But it's not just fandom that's fueling "The Hunger Games" online fire. It's also being fed by controversy: specifically, whether Ms. Collins' series is a "rip-off" of Japanese novel "Battle Royale."
Certainly, the debate online is energetic. A quick Google search of "hunger games battle royale" turns up half a million results with headlines like "Why the 'The Hunger Games's Snub of 'Battle Royale' Matters," "5 Reasons The Hunger Games Isn't Battle Royale," and "Who Would Win in a Fight?: Battle Royale vs. The Hunger Games." YouTubers debate the similarities and differences among clips and trailers of the originals.