Battle Royale

For the manga, please go to Noriko Nakagawa (Manga). For the film, please go to Noriko Nakagawa (Film).


Noriko Nakagawa (中川 典子, Nakagawa Noriko) has a younger brother. She was not a member of any clubs or groups at school. Literature was one of Noriko's best school subjects, and it was her ambition to become a teacher. Noriko was a good cook and a very humble and sweet person. She was the only girl to call any of the boys by their nicknames.

Noriko was very kind and caring; she was also quite clever and trusted fewer people than Shuya Nanahara, who was willing to see everyone as an ally during the program. Noriko was a very good poet and she had good spelling and handwriting as well. She was the best at composition in the class and she wrote Shuya a love note. She often helped Shuya during breaks by editing or reviewing his song lyrics which he wrote in the margins of his books. That was how she got to know him.

Noriko was more quiet than most of the girls though she was friends with many. She wasn't too shy and often got to know people that her friends hung out with such as Shinji Mimura. She was oblivious to the massive crush that Yoshitoki Kuninobu had on her but she made similar moves on her crush, Shuya.

Noriko was caring of her family and was willing to follow those who she trusted. She didn't want to stop people because of her actions and tried to alleviate people's worries over her, such as when she got a fever, by pretending it wasn't as bad as it looked.


Noriko at first seems ordinary except for her dark eyes. She had well defined eyebrows, soft eyelashes, a cute nose with a flat tip and full lips. Her hair went slightly past her shoulders.

Friends and Enemies[]

Noriko wasn't too close with anyone in her class but she did have friends which were Yukie Utsumi, Haruka Tanizawa, Chisato Matsui, Izumi Kanai, Fumiyo Fujiyoshi, and Satomi Noda.

She was also on good terms with several other girls such as Megumi Eto who she knew had a crush on Shuya Nanahara. Noriko also had a crush on him, as she admired for his music and song-writing. Unknown to her, Shuya's best friend Yoshitoki Kuninobu had a crush on her.

In the Program[]


When Yoshitoki was shot, Noriko (who was sitting behind him) ran to him and screamed his name. This would be a mistake as Tahara aimed his gun at her calf and shot her. She collapsed on top of Yoshitoki as Kinpatsu Sakamochi told her that she would not leave her desk without permission. Noriko was pale after looking at Yoshitoki's corpse and overwhelmed with anger, she asked Kinpatsu to get some help for Yoshitoki. His response was to get Tahara to kill Yoshitoki by shooting him. Noriko's face was covered with his blood. As she could do nothing more for her friend, Noriko just stood there until Shinji Mimura asked if he could help Noriko get back to her seat. Kinpatsu nodded and Shinji took out a handkerchief and cleaned up Noriko's face and helped her back to her seat. She tried to thank him but Shinji stopped her and she withdrew, looked back at Yoshitoki's corpse and started to cry. Later Shinji tries to buy time by using Noriko's injury as an excuse but Kinpatsu idea to just kill her makes her freeze up and Shinji withdraws his plan. Shortly afterwards, her friend Fumiyo is murdered just for whispering. As she couldn't do anything to save her friends, all Noriko could do was just listen to the rules of the game. Later as Shuya was leaving, he quickly whispered if she could walk. Noriko nodded and Shuya left.

The Program Starts[]

As Noriko made her way out of the school, she arrived to see Mayumi Tendo was dead, Yoshio Akamatsu was knocked out, and Shuya looked scared. As she was taken in the situation, Shuya quickly checked to see if Mayumi was still alive but she was already gone. Shuya ran up to Noriko and took her by the hand, telling her to do her best to run and they headed towards the grove.

Ten Minutes later, Shuya and Noriko stopped running, The two sat down in a grove and then Shuya asked her if she was all right. Noriko told him that she was and Shuya decided to open his day pack. He found the water bottle and then his weapon which was an army knife. Shuya then went through Noriko's bag to discover her weapon which was a boomerang.

After checking the water, Shuya asked to look at the condition of Noriko's leg. He got out a bourbon flask and two clean bandannas from his sports bag and poured the bourbon on her wound to disinfect it, afterwards he pressed one of the bandannas on her wound and wrapped another on her leg to help stop the bleeding. The two briefly talked about their situation and who they could trust not to kill them. When he asked her why she could trust him, Noriko answered that it was because she could tell he wouldn't be that type of person to betray her. Shuya then asked her if she could walk and they left the grove to find a place to rest.

When dawn arrived, Shuya and Noriko figured out they were around sector C-4, they tried to discuss what to do but couldn't come up with anything. Noriko looked into Shuya's eyes and could tell something was troubling him so she asked him what was wrong. At first he said it was nothing but then said he hoped she wouldn't think of killing herself. Noriko looked down and said she wouldn't unless they were the only ones left, that way he would be able to live. Shuya shook his head frantically and told her not to think like that and they will be together until the very end. Noriko then told him that she liked his positive force and that is what she really liked about him. She told him that she made up her mind about what to do with her family if she gets out alive but then asked Shuya about his crush, Kazumi Shintani, since he wouldn't see her again. He just said it wasn't a big deal and before he could go on. they were interrupted by Kinpatsu's voice.

It was the Six A.M. announcement so they would learn who died since the game started. A total of nine names were called, one of which was Noriko's friend Izumi. Shortly afterwards, the forbidden zones were called although none of them were close to them. After Kinpatsu's announcements were over, Noriko and Shuya discussed some of their classmates who had died such as Sakura Ogawa, Kazuhiko Yamamoto, and the fact that almost all of the Kiriyama Family was dead.

Their thoughts were interrupted by a noise in the bushes, which turned out to be a cat, but then Shuya noticed someone was nearby and it was Tatsumichi Oki, who was holding onto a hatchet. Shuya reflexively raised his hand to his knife, which set off Tatsumichi. Shuya shoved Noriko out of the way and lifted his daypack. The hatchet went right into it and split it open, and some of the blade hit Shuya which caused him some pain. Shuya leaped back while Tatsumichi glanced towards Noriko and then back to Shuya as he continued his attack.

The two eventually fell down the slope and left Noriko.

Gaining An Ally[]

Noriko, dragging her leg, made her way through the thicket and found the corpses of Tatsumichi and Kyoichi Motobuchi while Shuya and Shogo Kawada facing each other. Shogo pointed his shotgun at her but Shuya told him that she was with him and they were not fighting. Shuya then shouted to Noriko that Shogo had saved him and he wasn't an enemy. Shogo lowered his gun while Noriko raised her hands to show that she didn't have a weapon and made her way next to Shuya. Shogo explained why he had to kill Kyoichi and then asked why Shuya and Noriko were together and both of them were at a loss for words which made Shogo grin and then he told them that they need to hide out and all three left their location.

They returned to the thicket and picked up their bags as Shogo remarked that their view wasn't good and they moved towards the mountains. Shogo briefly left to get Kyoichi and Tatsumichi's bags while Noriko and Shuya rested. Noriko gave him a band-aid and wrapped it around his earlobe. She wondered how all five of them ended up at the same location and Shuya suggested it was because they were all thinking that it would be safe. Noriko then sensed that Shuya was bothered and he replied that he was scared, especially since he just killed someone. Noriko held Shuya to comfort him. After she asked him if he was okay, she let him go and Shuya told her that she smelled nice as Shogo returned. Shogo puts up a primitive alarm system so they would be safe in their location.

Later Shuya questioned if Shogo had killed anyone before Kyoichi but he only said this time it was his first, which confused them. The two talked about their two classmates as Noriko listened in. Later Noriko agreed with Shuya that once they stop trusting people, then they will lose. Shogo thought this was noble thinking but told her that she needed to be careful. Shogo then asked them if they were a couple to which an embarrassed Noriko said they weren't to which Shogo laughed and told them that's why he trusts them. Shogo then asked to see her leg before they could make any more plans.

Noriko's "operation" took ten-minutes as Shogo stitched her up and hoped that her wound wasn't infected. He then gave her some pain relievers. As Shuya and Shogo discussed the gassing incident on the bus, Noriko was confused as to how Shogo knew what was going on but he told them that it was a story for later. Noriko then took a drink of water with her pill while the boys discussed who to trust and how to get off the island without setting off the time limit. Shogo mentioned that he had a plan but it was only for the three of them as everyone else had to die. Noriko and Shuya protested this idea until they heard the voices of Yumiko Kusaka and Yukiko Kitano.

Shogo, knowing they were in danger of attack, didn't want to risk his life by answering their call for an alliance. Shuya and Noriko, on the other hand, wanted to go to them to get them out of danger. Shogo advised against doing this so he fired off a warning shot, hoping that it would scare them enough to stop but sadly, they still were exposing themselves to danger.

Suddenly, they heard the sound of a typewriter and witnessed the murders of the two girls. Shogo only told them that it was over so they should head back as there was nothing else they could do for them as Noriko questioned how awful things were going to get as they had to move from their location due to Shogo shooting, which gave away their location. Once they moved about one hundred meters southwest of their last location, they talked about Yumiko and Yukiko as they realized that even the good ones will die out there. Afterwards, they wanted to know more details on how Shogo could help them escape but he held off at the moment. He did decide to share one piece of important information, he already played the game before which explained why he knew so much.

Later on, they heard faint gunshots and this made Shogo ask Shuya some questions on if he was prepared to kill those who were a threat to them as well as the truth of their government. They made small talk until it was time for the next announcements. The only deaths they didn't witness was that of Yoji Kuramoto and Yoshimi Yahagi. Once again, none of the forbidden zones were close by so they were safe. Shortly afterwards, Shuya realized that Noriko had been quiet for a while and saw how pale her face was. Shuya felt her forehead to discover she had a fever. The boys tried to make her feel comfortable as she kept telling them she was fine, just tired.


After a while, Noriko wasn't getting any better so Shuya wanted to take her to the medical clinic on the island but Shogo thought it was too dangerous to go at the moment. As the two argued about what to do, Noriko spoke up and told him that they wouldn't make it without him but Shogo decided to go along with them. Shogo's father was a doctor so he cared for her and treated her fever. After a while her condition improves but they still remain at the clinic so Noriko can get some rest.

Shogo realizes that there's somebody outside the clinic so they duck down and turn off the lights. The stranger turns out to be Hiroki Sugimura, a friend of Shuya's so they let him in, though Shogo is wary of him. They exchange places where bodies were found and then news. Hiroki reveals that Mitsuko Souma is playing the game as he found his best friend Takako Chigusa dying (Mitsuko's victim). Shuya asks Hiroki if he wants to join their group as Shogo has a way off the island, but Hiroki declines as he has to find Kayoko Kotohiki.

Shogo tells Hiroki that when he finds Kayoko with his GPS tracking device that he should make three fires and then leave as they will attract attention, then he should follow a whistle that will sound every fifteen seconds to find them. Hiroki thanks them and then leaves to continue searching.

Losing Shuya[]

Noriko soon makes a full recovery and it turns out that the area where the clinic is situated will become a forbidden zone. The three leave, but as they do Kazuo Kiriyama ambushes them. A shootout breaks out and Shuya offers himself as a diversion so Shogo and Noriko can escape. They arrange to meet up again at the shrine so Shogo and Noriko head there.

Reuniting with Shuya[]

After around thirteen hours Shuya finds them at the shrine, bandaged and injured. He explains how Yukie's friends at the lighthouse were killed much to Noriko's pain as she was friends with them. It soon begins to rain and they wait. Soon they see three fires so Shogo begins to whistle to get Hiroki towards them, however the 6pm announcement reveals that Hiroki and Kayoko are already dead, as are everyone else apart from Kazuo.

The Final Battle[]

The three suddenly realize that Kazuo somehow knows the signal and they run before he can find them. Kazuo however was anticipating this so he set up some wire traps at Shuya and Shogo's neck height to decapitate them as they ran into them. Luckily Noriko hit the wire traps instead of the boys so she only cut her eyebrow and hand. Shogo hotwires a car, as does Kazuo which ensues into a car chase. Neither side is able to fatally injure each other so the car chase becomes a shootout with the cars being used for shelter.

As nearly all their guns are depleted of bullets, one manages to hit Kazuo who plays dead with his bulletproof vest. The three all celebrate but leave themselves exposed to Kazuo who shoots Shogo in the stomach. Just as Kazuo is about to shoot Shuya, Noriko uses their last gun and kills Kazuo. Shogo then goes over to Kazuo and shoots him, claiming that he killed him to absolve Noriko of any guilt in the killing.

The Escape[]

Shogo then takes Shuya and Noriko up to the mountain peak to show them a final view of their home, then he pretends to kill them since he knows the collars are bugged with listening devices, he then removes their collars. Shogo is declared the winner and as he boards the winner's boat he gets Noriko and Shuya to cling onto the anchor and climb aboard. Shuya and Noriko kill various soldiers and burst in on Kinpatsu about to kill Shogo. He uses the distraction to stab a pencil into Kinpatsu's neck and kill him. Shogo then congratulates them and tells them what to do when they reach the shore and how to steer the boat. Shuya and Noriko wonder why he's doing this and then Shogo tells them he's dying much to their shock and sorrow. Shogo dies and the two are left as the only survivors from Class B.


Shuya and Noriko are given the address of a doctor in Kobe who will help them by Shogo Kawada. Kawada dies after he gives the address. The doctor once knew Shogo's father and he happily helps them and tells them how they can get out of Japan. Later the two are at a train station in Umeda in the city of Osaka when a policeman recognises them and chases them. Shuya and Noriko run off and the book ends.


  • The name Noriko means "rule, ceremony" (典) (nori) and "child" (子) (ko), which translate to "ceremonial child" altogether.
  • Noriko's surname Nakagawa means "middle" (中) (naka) and "river, stream" (川) (kawa/gawa).

Notes & Trivia[]