In 2005, during an Anime Boston convention panel, Media Blasters explained why hadn't licensed Battle Royale. The movie was originally screened in the US around the time of the Columbine shootings, and received a negative reaction from the test audiences. Toei then screened it for lawyers who told them that they'd go to jail if the movie was released in the US. Times changed and it's now here.
From the announcement
Available for the first time in North America on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download on March 20th from Anchor Bay Entertainment
BATTLE ROYALE. A title that has shocked, thrilled and unnerved audiences. A film whose fiendishly simple premise has inspired many imitations, including the upcoming The Hunger Games motion picture. Based on the 1999 global best-seller by Koushun Takami, the futuristic tale first came to the screen in 2000, directed by the legendary Kinju Fukasaku. Authors, filmmakers and film fans the world over consider the film and its 2003 sequel Battle Royale II: Requiem sacred cinematic classics. And now, fans can own them on high-definition Blu-ray and DVD!
On March 20th, Anchor Bay Entertainment proudly brings the Battle Royale: The Complete Collection to Blu-ray and DVD for the first time in North America.
42 students, Three days, One survivor -- No Escape. Welcome to the world of Battle Royale!
In the near future, the economy has collapsed, unemployment has soared and juvenile crime has exploded. Fearful of their nation's youth, the Japanese government passes The BR Law: Each year, a 9th grade class is sent to a remote island where they will be locked into exploding neck collars, given a random weapon, and forced to hunt and kill each other until there is only one survivor left. Chiaki Kuriyama (Kill Bill) and screen legend Takeshi Kitano (Boiling Point, Brother) star in the movie that has been argued, acclaimed and banned around the world. More than a decade later, it remains one of the most savage, shocking and emotionally powerful films of all time. Now experience the complete Director's Cut of Kinji Fukasaku's uncompromising masterpiece -- nominated for 10 Japanese Academy Awards® -- available uncensored and unrated for the first time ever in America.