In a post-apocalyptic Earth, the water has become entirely toxic, except for some kept safe in a reservoir. A fortified zone has been created by a man named Sanga, he calls it The Lastland. A group of villagers have discovered safe water, and Sanga wants it. He and his band of killers go to kill everyone and steal it. As they do a mysterious man appears out of nowhere, instantly killing some of Sanga's men. His name is Kenshiro, and he can beat any man with his martial art, Hokuto Shin Ken. Sanga will do anything for the water, and Kenshiro will do anything to try and stop him.
Throughout the years, when long time anime fans in my group would get together with intentions on discussing some of the most brutal, and violent anime titles to ever exist. Fist of the North Star aka Hokuto No Ken was one of the titles that would always come up. The series and movies were the very definition of gratuitous violence. The New Fist of the North Star continues to follow that bloody path packing a little more depth than the original movie. There is a small amount of substance to be found, and the subject it does hit on can be frightening.
The series does have a stable plot overall. At least one of the characters fill his role in pushing the story and delivering a very realistic plot twist. The main character Kenshiro, even though he's the hero of the story is kind of overshadowed. Kenshiro is mainly present to deliver final justice, by engaging in some uninspired hand to hand battles. However, he is still very easy to cheer for. Kenshiro appears to almost be an antihero with his merciless streak, but when looking at the crimes committed by the villains; their very gruesome and painful deaths are well deserved. He also delivers some pretty good lines before delivering execution. The second main character named Tobi proves to be the most interesting with his transition that I refuse to spoil.
This is a very violent series, this is a point that must be driven home for those whom shun these type of shows. For those that love it brace yourselves, because it maintains the brutal tone almost completely throughout. Fist of the North Star knows what it wants to be and the comedy is kept very low. The fight scenes are very well detailed with its gore. You practically get the whole nine yards: decapitations, bodies chopped in half, brains and guts exploding out of people left and right, brutal deaths by various weapons with lots of blood. I believe this series is a gore hounds wet dream. Plus you get quite a bit of fan service.
The original movie gave some detail but this series somewhat paints a better picture of the misery taking place in this world. The rulers are very evil and abusive to the weak. Plus, you see the negative effects taking place with the people and how it influences their behavior.
The apex of the series to me is the depiction of people's belief in a higher power. I believe this is the most over looked point of the series. The writers hit the mark to me by displaying the fanaticism in a higher power when people have lost all hope, and their only salvation is to believe in a god; the thing that helps this theme work better is the fact there is a god they can actually see, which helps give them the will to fight and die, because they believe they're going to end up in god's hands. This makes their fanatical ways all the more believable.
Animation and artwork is a mixed bag here. As the series went on I noticed a decline in both. The character designs are very good, especially with the women(but then again isn't it always?), but I did notice it wasn't consistent. Sometimes characters would appear bigger than what they really were, and there wasn't too much variety in generic characters. The animation was hurt badly with the use of CGI which ruined some of the backgrounds.
The characters also seemed too stiff and lacked some movement, especially during the fights. The animation didn't really flow well at all. There are also a large use of stills and some reused scenes. As always, music is subjective but I didn't find the rock soundtrack to be anything special.
The New Fist of the North Star could have been a very well above average series but several other things dragged it down; such as the ending and the female lead Sara. She served a small purpose, but I found her personality at the end to be too unrealistic. This also goes for Kenshiro as well. I will also mention that there is a non too graphic rape scene.
Overall, I don't find the series to be bad. It's good if you're looking for some gory fight scenes. As a matter of fact, along with fans of the franchise, those are the only people I would recommend this to.
Highs: Lots of action, plot twist, interesting and realistic theme
Lows: Gratuitous violence will put off some, weak ending, sub par animation, missed potentialread more
Okay, I know a lot of people out there think that Fist of the North Star is a fantastic series with tons of ultra-violence in it. Well, at least that's what some people told me about it however, after this little run-in I have to say, I'm never going to be watching any series like this again.
Story: Well, the story simply put is bad, close to unwatchable. It's set in a post-apocalyptic world in which people beat the living crap out of each other with martial arts. Our hero, Kenshiro, is the greatest martial artist on the block because he knows the Fist of the North Star and therefore cannot be injured. Very very weak plotwise.
The beginning of the first episode is where it all starts to go downhill in a hurry, you have to listen to the dialogue which is terrible. I watched the dubbed version so maybe the sub is better but I doubt it, it's hard to take crap and make it into something good.
However, it must be said that the second and third episodes are distinctively better in the story category but not by much. (1000 times 0 is still 0.) So really, you don't want to pick up this anime for a good story. No, people out there watch Fist of the North Star for violence, which I've got to say, isn't very good either.
Kenshiro is an unstoppable brick wall and every fight, besides the last, is over in a matter of seconds. He hits a pressure point on their head and then they blow up sending blood and guts everywhere, not much for fighting. Even when they actually do have a real fight, it is still ridiculously unrealistic and it turned me off.
Art: Well, the art's pretty good. It matches the art of the manga and tweaks it a little bit making it look prettier and more full of colors, except when they go into the 3D look. I don't know what it is with animators wanted to do things in both 2D and 3D but it turns me off, Fist of the North Star is no different.
Some shows seem to be able to pull off bringing the two worlds of 3D and 2D animation together, but this is not one of them. Everytime it shows the landscape it's nothing but poorly rendered sand and nothing else, I know that they are in a Post-Apocalyptic world but there would be at least something to break up the monotony every once and a while. However, the makers of this series did a cop out on the 3D so there's nothing to really see.
It's truly depressing because without all the 3D that they threw in, I might've given this series an 8 or 9 in the animation department but since it had it, and it clashes so badly together, I had to drop it down.
Sound: The sound is right next to being completely and utterly terrible. The opening theme is alright and the soundeffects of people's heads exploding are well done. But the voices are hideous, mainly because of what they're saying, and there's really no music whatsoever throughout the series. Every once and a while a heavy guitar rift will start playing in the background of a fight scene but these always seem to be timed badly and are few and far between.
Character: What character? The characters are severely lacking in the personality department. It's almost as though they reached into a bag of over-used anime cliches and handed them out to the characters like candy. Kenshiro is the badass strong silent type, who never gets hurt. Sara is the buxom healer. And I can't even mention all the stupid but powerful henchmen that proliferate this anime. But the list goes on and on. It made me sick.
I guess the character designs are fairly interesting but the characters themselves could have used quite a bit more personality. Throughout the series they just acted like robots, and annoying robots at that.
Enjoyment: If you can't tell, I did not like this anime. It had a lot of potential for being good but the writing and everything else just tore that potential to pieces.
Overall: I'd say stay away from this anime unless perhaps you've seen the other Fists of the North Star, then you might enjoy this one. Your average anime fan however I think will hate this anime almost as much as I did. I guess that if you really have absolutely nothing better to do on a rainy day you could check this one out, although you probably won't enjoy it at least you get to see people's heads explode. read more
Fist of the North Star, one of the first series/movies I'd ever seen. Basically story is post-apocalyptic with martial arts being the main defense/offense for all rogue citizens. There are certain martial artists that practice Hokuto style which is the "creme of the crop" the type of martial arts that can debilitate, kill or heal others with a single touch. A wandering traveler, Kenishiro meets and decides to help save a country from a false leader.
Story: 8/10- it's a classic, straight up action martial arts anime with a simple to follow story line and lots of violence.
Art: 9/10- A great thing about OVAs is that animation is always brought up a level, with a lot of detail and clarity involved.
Sound: 9/10- I love Gackt (which is the intro & outro songs) plus who doesn't love "Watatata!!!"
Character: 7/10- Not a whole lotta development for characters, but they're still likable and you want Ken to succeed in all he does.
Enjoyment/Overall: 8/10- I love this story, action and strength of martial arts, so its an enjoyable OVA for me. read more
If you're reading this before watching, skip the intro theme when you do watch it. There's pretty much no animation in it. Not worth the few minutes it takes.
The plot is the same as any of the plots used throughout Hokuto no Ken. Bad guys enslave innocent villagers, innocent villagers try to find peace and get slaughtered, Kenshiro avenges them by painting the walls with the innards of the baddies. I watched all the episodes in the original series, and it really was just that over and over again, just with a new, more powerful main villain to replace the last.
I think the only real reason people watch Hokuto no Ken is to see people get axed in the back, showered with arrows, slashed apart, and to see heads explode... And I suppose you'll find that here. Senseless, excessive violence with a weak plot.
I don't know exactly how long it's been since the world ended (or if it was mentioned, I forgot), but it's probably been at least 10 years judging by Lynn's age... Kenshiro's name spread across the lands and instilled fear in gangs everywhere. He defeated every great power. I really don't get why they'd still dare try to mess with peace when they're guaranteed certain death. Really, he defeated the baddest of bad in Hokuto no Ken 2. I suppose what these OVAs are saying is that the series will never have a true ending.
Well, it's kind of entertaining to watch. I suppose you'll have a hard time finding other anime with this kind of violence. Watch Hellsing Ultimate - it has better animation, story, more intense fight scenes, and more blood, but less guts. read more