Dear Smug Jerks,
The Hunger Games is not Battle Royale.
Sure, both properties have an authoritarian government forcing teenagers to do battle-to-the-death. And sure, both have serious political undertones and social satire. Nobody can deny this, and I think it’s reasonable to assume Battle Royale, either in film or manga form, was a considerable influence on The Hunger Games.
Other influences on The Hunger Games? The Most Dangerous Game, The Running Man, Soylent Green, Death Race 2000, The Giver, and many other sci-fi films and books.
But The Hunger Games is not merely the sum of a bunch of influences. While I am not the biggest proponent of the novels—I find them entertaining, but also quite poorly written—I do think they cover really interesting thematic and allegorical ground in a unique and accessible way.