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Life is a game. So fight for survival and see if you're worth it.
~ Kitano explaining Battle Royale

Kitano (キタノ Kitano) is the main antagonist in the 2000 Japanese tragedy dystopian thriller film Battle Royale.

Much like his counterparts in Light Novels and mangas, he is the supervisor of the Battle Royale program and is also a teacher at Shiroiwa Junior High. He is played by Takeshi Kitano, who is credited as "Beat Takeshi" in the film. Kitano shares the same surname as the Shiroiwa Junior High School 3-B student Yukiko Kitano, but they were unrelated together.

He is portrayed by Japanese actor Takeshi Kitano (北野 武) who is best known as the main antagonist of one of Japanese most iconic gameshows, Takeshi's Castle and Chief Daisuke Aramaki in the 2017 american film adaptation of Ghost in the Shell.

Personality

Unlike the antagonists of other adaptations in Battle Royale such as Kinpatsu Sakamochi and Yonemi Kamon, Kitano is portrayed as the less sadistic of the three as he is utterly apathetic towards his students deaths and he is much more played sympathetically in this version as one of the students found him to be a lonely man in the end of the day. In addition, he is a man who has a problem on contacting his family judging by his phone call to his daughter to the point she tells him not to return home in the end of the film.

Role in Battle Royale

Kitano was at some point stabbed in the anus by Yoshitoki Kuninobu.

In the movie, Kitano takes the students to the island where Battle Royale is going to take place. After verbally and physically abusing Yoshitoki, Kitano proceeds to show the students a video explaining Battle Royale, but is interrupted by Yoji Kuramoto whispering to Yoshimi Yahagi and responds by hitting Yoji. He is then interrupted again by Fumiyo Fujiyoshi whispering, so he kills her by throwing a knife into her forehead. Yoshitoki is then stabbed in the anus with the knife by Kitano with the knife, prompting Yoshitoki to berate Kitano, who proceeds to detonate his collar and kill him.

Later in the movie, he tracks down Noriko Nakagawa and saves her life from Mitsuko Souma by scaring Mitsuko off (the only time he is shown entering the field of battle; exactly how he knew when to save Noriko is left unexplained). Afterwards, he then gives her his umbrella telling her "not to catch a cold". On the morning of the final day, after Shogo Kawada supposedly kills Shuya Nanahara and Noriko Nakagawa and is declared the winner, Kitano orders the military to leave the island and to not bother to check for the bodies of Shuya and Noriko. When Shogo arrives to meet Kitano, Kitano reveals that he knew Shogo had deactivated Shuya's and Noriko's collars and then threatens to kill him.

Shuya and Noriko both burst into the classroom in time. Kitano then reveals a painting he had created with all the other students dead, and Noriko triumphant. Noriko, deeply emotionally hurt and angered by Kitano's murder of innocent boys and girls, rejects this and joins Shuya Nanahara in killing Kitano. Shuya promptly shoots him with a machine gun; Kitano rises and fires his gun (which turns out to be a harmless water gun). Shocked by the fake gun, Shuya accidentally lets loose another volley and supposedly kills him. Kitano rises again once more to answer his cell phone. After hanging up angrily on his daughter, tossing the phone to the floor, shooting it with a real gun and then eating the last of Noriko's cookies (complimenting the cookies while doing so), Kitano dies.

Trivia

  • Kitano returns in the sequel Battle Royale II: Requiem in a flashback scene of his daughter Shiori Kitano.
  • The name of the character, Kitano, is an obvious reference to the name of the actor that portrays him, Takeshi Kitano. This may have been done in reference to the fact that the name of the Battle Royale instructor in the novel, Kinpatsu Sakamochi, is a warped reference to Kinpachi Sakamoto, the kind-hearted protagonist of the manga Kinpachi-sensei.
  • It seems that when a student dies in the program Kitano will eat a cookie representing each dead child. For instance at the start of the program we see him eating two cookies representing Kuninobu and Fumiyo. At the end, when the trio confront him he eats the last cookie representing the last pupil to be killed in the program.
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