Long before Kenshiro said, "You're already dead," a different Kenshiro walked the violent streets of Shanghai. The city is in constant crisis as two mafia families battle one another for supremacy. In the crossfire, a little girl named Erika is orphaned and soon taken under the wing of martial artist Liu Fei-Yan. Sorrow seems to follow the girl, as every time Fei-Yan attempts to hand her off, her new guardians end up dead. Fei-Yan decides to bring the girl to a man named Guise but instead crosses paths with powerful Kenshiro Kasumi.
Ok, now you guys are gonna read something different from the others:
This anime is Underrated. A LOT.
Souten No Ken RE:Genesis is a prequel for Hokuto no Ken series.
It tells the story of Kasumi Kenshiro, one of the Hokuto Shinken masters that came before the Kenshiro we know.
First of all, I am writing this as a Hokuto no Ken fan.
Now the thing is, before I write the rest of the review, let me tell you, this anime is GOOD. Most of the people just complained because of the CG, and saying that the artstyle is bad of the plot itself is bad aswell, as an excuse
to hate the anime because of the CG. I know this because I know people that told me exactly this. Now, let's begin:
As a person who enjoys some old anime, aswell as Hokuto no Ken itself, I must say that the feeling I got when watching this anime, is the same feeling I had when watching the Original Hnk. If you enjoyed the old series plot, you will probably like this one aswell. Some character deaths made me cry, just like the original HnK made me too.
It is a bit cliché, of course it is. It's HnK series we are talking about. But HnK is basically the father of battle-shounen animes, so it created the cliché. But if you like the story depends on your taste.
Ok ok, this is where most of people will think that I'm crazy.
The art is good, ok? It IS good. Don't let the CG haters convince you otherwise.
The way they created the 3D models, is identical as the original artstyle from the series.
I really don't understand people who say: "This ungly disproportionate characters..."
First, it's anime we are talking about. If someone says that to Souten no Ken, why don't say for Jojo's wheels shoulders aswell? Or for CLAMP's freaking tall characters? (Btw I love these 2 :v)
And second, if a person says this to Souten, it probably never watched the Original series where Kenshiro faces a HUGE man. Like, literally, the guy is bigger than a house. This huge muscle guys are the artstyle that HnK has, so it is wierd to say this to the anime.
Oh, the only aspect that annoyed me, is the 20 FPS lool like animation. It took me a while to get used to it. BUT IT'S NOT LIKE I'M GONNA DROP THE ANIME JUST BECAUSE OF IT, RIGHT? Because I think it has a lot more to offer then just animation, right?
And btw, when big fights start, the animation looks really amazing though (60 FPS :V )
Not much to comment. The soundeffects are cool and the music are awsome aswell. (I love that opening)
I LOVE KASUMI SO MUCH. The silly way he taunts the enemies, and the sarcastic jokes... it's like the original Kenshiro, but with the difference that he doesn't have depression.
The side-characters are good, and their evolution aswell. Made me happy, and made me cry.
I really loved to watch this, and I'm ready for season 2!
I missed HnK so much, and watching this and having the same feelings I had when watching the original series is amazing. It's literally as if I'm watching the original series again!
So, resuming everything I just said:
If you are a generic anime-watcher, who just like the new and popular stuff, and hates the typical Shounen cliché. Just leave. HnK series, aswell as Souten no Ken, is not for your tastes.
BUT, If you did watched Hokuto no Ken and really enjoyed, and loves battle shounen with badass protagonists who kicks everyone's face, but yet is an amazing but not perfect character and has his flaws.. This anime is for you.
Try it, JUST TRY IT. Ignore the comments about the animation. Animes are more then just that. The design is amazing and faithful to the typical HnK artsyle.
You will like it, for sure.
I rarely ever write reviews, but after finishing this dreadful thing that calls itself an anime, I felt like I just had to put my opinion out there.
A wise man once said, "Never go full retard". That's something Souten no Ken Re: Genesis seems to completely ignore.
Firstly, I would like to start with the most prominent thing that I have on my mind right now: The bad guys that have their own designs and don't look like random background or cannon fodder characters OR as I like to call them, the medium tier enemies.
All of them look like pigs OR some variation of pigs. Both
in appearance and in intelligence. Even the sounds they make are like those of pigs. I assume this was intentional, I don't understand however the 'why'. Was it for comedic purposes? I don't think so, I never once found myself smiling because of their looks. Was I supposed to go "Oooh! He looks like a pig lmao!"? Was this the reaction they were hoping to get? I am as confused as you are about this decision. Making them look like everybody else would've been far better than what we got.
There is this one dude towards the end. He's a bad guy who infiltrated the German army and acted as a "spy" for Kenshiro's enemy. That same guy can barely hold a normal conversation and is as dumb as a brick wall. I am very curious how in the hell he ever managed to trick ANYONE and didn't blew his cover on the first day. Or maybe I was supposed to take it at face value and not give a fuck about anything? That is a high possibility.
That's another thing btw, the soldiers in this anime are as dumb as they come. They all have guns, but rarely will you see any of them actually using their weapons effectively. They prefer to get reeeeeeaaaally close to Kenshiro and the rest, you know, the guys who know deadly martial arts and can kill people with one hit? Yeah...
Admittedly, however, I did come to enjoy a few episodes here and there. I don't know if it was me or the show itself, but it suddenly went into "it's so bad that it's good" territory, and I had quite a few laughs. That, however, didn't last as for some reason they introduced two idiots that served no purpose whatsoever to the story and are only there to make you laugh. Or in my case, make you regret ever watching this anime. They're PigManWithAMask-kun, and OldManWithAMetalWig-kun (I have no idea what their actual names are). Would you look at that, another character who looks like a pig! At this point, I just think the author has a weird pig fetish.
Most of the dialogue is pretty cringy. In some other anime it might've worked, but SnK Re: Genesis jumps between comedy and seriousness far too often to warrant itself great and convincing speeches and/or dialogue. It just falls flat like so many other things in this anime.
Let's talk about something nice for a change. The main cast is pretty decent. I have no major qualms with them. Sometimes they can be cheesy, but I can take that, no problem. The little blonde girl is the one who steals most scenes. She sometimes acts too mature for her age, but I still ended up liking her.
Yin-Ling? I think that's her name? She's also some really nice eye-candy if you know what I mean ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Let's address the elephant in the room now. The CGI "animation". I don't know if this is how Polygon Pictures has done all of their other anime, I haven't seen any of their other projects yet, but boy this show has some terrible frame rate. A small DISCLAIMER here: The "animation" might hurt your eyes or even make you feel dizzy, for me it was the latter until I got used to it 2-3 episodes later. So, just be careful when watching this show.
The characters are disproportionate. Their hands are gigantic, their heads are small. It's especially obvious whenever Kenshiro smokes, the cigarettes look like toothpicks in his hands. And he smokes a lot, like, all the time 24/7. So, you can't really ignore it even if you wanted to. Their wounds magically disappear. I don't know if super fast healing is a thing in this universe. If it is, then just ignore this part. If it isn't, then...Well, I'm not sure what to say.
I'd like to take the time and praise the Opening. Both the music and the intro animation and editing are really well done (it was the main reason I started this anime, to begin with). It works well with hyping you up about the episode.
I think this is all I wanted to say. Thank you for reading. I'm leaving a TL;DR below since this ended up being much longer than I expected.
TL;DR - The anime has some of the worst writing I have ever had the displeasure of witnessing, not to mention that utterly horrendous CGI "animation". The anime cannot decide what it wants to be, it tries to walk the thin line between seriousness and comedy but falls flat on its face every single time. It is not worth it, if you want to watch something truly great that doesn't insult your intelligence at every turn, go watch Megalo Box.
This is Hokuto no Ken, so the story is just to contextualize the fighting and action. However, the story in this adaption is an insult to the original, this is modernized-Anime-only garbage. It's barely acceptable if you've never read the manga but the charm of the original has been stripped away.
CG is clunky and awkward, mo-capped to hell and back in the worst way, people sway like trees in a thunderstorm when they're talking. Fight scenes and overall quality of models make it somewhat redeemable. Nothing to write home about, go watch Houseki no Kuni.
It's hard to screw this up.
I write this
review as someone whose watched and read many of the works in the Hokuto no Ken series including the original Souten no Ken manga. I had hopes for this to be a proper adaption that took a different approach from the original 2006 adaption, unfortunately I was very wrong.
I'm going to have to say this though, if this is your first time delving into the Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star) universe, back out right now. Go watch one of the movie originals, heck, watch the original Fist of the North Star anime, if you want Souten no Ken, read the manga, any of those are better than this anime. Don't waste your time reading the rest of this review, go enjoy literally any other works in the universe besides the Souten no Ken adaptions.
==Read this part if you've read the Souten no Ken manga==
Right so this is more of an extended rant than a review where I go off on the stupid decisions made in the anime.
I went back and re-read the entire Souten no Ken manga a second time while watching so I can properly compare the two.
I went into this adaption expecting a proper adaption of the manga's plot, hopefully start from some major arc in the middle rather than from the beginning. However this anime starts off smack in the final arc while stripping many plot points and characters away. It keeps most of the setting with the Green Gang members in the List of Hope arc but they make it very obvious that this is an anime original plotline by the end of episode 1.
The directors and writers make obnoxious decisions in attempts to gear the show to a younger audience. This includes things like modelling atagonistic characters in ways that make them look like pigs and animals and turning two minor Red Flower Gang member into a recurring comedy relief side plot.
Liu Zongwu and the Hokuto Ryukaken subplot was completely removed to focus the spotlight on Yasaka, which they stretched out over 8 episodes because of awful, awful pacing. They even scrub out Fei-yan's badass older brother and replace him with some little edgy younger one who just runs around asking for Fei-yan. At the 8 episode mark I was confused, because they should all be sitting at a restaurant in Shanghai and laughing while the END card comes on screen. However, that was actually when the REAL ANIME ONLY storyline begins. This new story is generic and cliched in a completely different way from Hokuto no Ken.
They introduce new anime only big bads with the leader looking like the masked claw-user from Street Fighter that uses a martial art where all he does is shoot explosive rainbows out of his hands. The guy's part of a bloody organization of secretive black-clad KKK lookalikes sitting in a dark room around a table speaking of some inane "secret plot". If Kenshiro walked in and poked everyone to death in the following 4 episodes then fine, alright, but no. The shit show continues.
Regenesis is getting a second season, seemingly to continue this awful anime-only story. Dear god why, I can go on all day about how they ruined things.
Souten no Ken has no chance of getting another adaption after this. Just go read the manga.
Souten No Ken Re:Genesis - Well, this show wasn’t bad at all as I originally thought. Not great yet still something you can watch and enjoy.
Souten No Ken Re.Genesis picks up where the first adaptation left off. It’s the 1930’s in Shanghai and the good gang just destroyed the last members of the bad gang. And it’s all thanks to Uncle Ken! [Kenshiro smoke] However not all is in peace as a little girl named Plot device enters the scene. Why is she a plot device, well she possess photographic memory and the germans wants her since she remember the list. Luckily she has
a bodyguard who is voiced by Take-A-Hinto who is our kind of nanto user in this story. However, as this story progresses, we learn that the plot device has more secrets than we knew. A story with revenge, forgiveness, sadness, betrayal and two comic reliefs is full motion. Not to mention that season 2 turns into Souten No Cult. But are these any good?
Okay let get the most distracting thing out of the way. Yes, this does use 3D models all the time and yes, the speed of said models in movement seems to laggy. This of course does not mean the show’s way of presenting the story to be bad, the later just is distracting when you are watching anything else. Although I want to confess that the 3D models are good for being a weekly show. The details of each character really work for this adaptation. I guess the studio doing this had more confidence and knew what to do with its resources, unlike Berserk 2017.
And as for the animation, you kind of get used to the lag as you go on. The action does defiantly make up for this. They are rich of techniques and gives many moments of suspense. The voice actors are also good. We have returning actors from the previous anime like Uncle Ken, who does a good job of someone like Kenshiro, but with a sense of humour. Ofcourse I need to mention the new voice actors, Dio and Gun Dad. When I saw that Dio’s voice actor was going to be in this anime and was going to use his Dio voice, my inner jojo squealed with excitement: Because I know that this voice actor will do a great job. Hell, considering the opportunity that we were going to have Dio’s voice actor against Uncle Ken, I made this video out of pure passion. And then we have Gun Dad, you know, this guy might be good enough to be consider a north star regular. There something in his voice that makes to be a great addition. Btw the voice actors name is Rikiya Koyama. Oh yeah, we have heard a lot from Rikiya this year. His reveal as the main villain is predictable, he played the silent guy for over 5 episodes he was in. I’m not gonna tell who is he, but I’m going to tell who it is. It’s the giant ass Raoh look alike with the MASK!
The rest of the cast where okay, not gonna find new favorite characters here however as we do have many side character to balance out with each other.
The both opening are great. One is more rock oriented with fast editing and dynamic looks, but my favorite is the first one. There something with the slow and smooth editing of the opening shoot. It’s like a gate is being opened slowly with Uncle Ken waiting for one and the rest of the thing is like a homemade music video. Just some weirdly camera angles and some rap music in the background. The second one is more of a montage of the anime, but I do find it neat how they changed it when the true villain was introduced.
What I need to comment on regarding the story, is that this is not a faithful adaptation from its source. This does not mean it is a bad thing, it just goes a different direction. You will notice after episode two that plot goes . And these changes, aren’t that great. Don’t get me wrong, I do like how miss plot device or Elika is more relevant to the overarching story, but at the same time it becomes less story about Uncle Ken and more about people around him.
One of the beauty of the original manga, was that it was more eccentric with Uncle Ken and the history of Hokuto Shinken successors as it left behind the story about gang wars. Here it seems that it’s put on hold as we need to tell the story of other branches close to Hokuto. Not to mention the manga had one of the best fights during the last chapters. In my opinion at least.
Some decisions on the plot just seems so bizarre. For example, did you know that the difference between the season 1 and 2 in universe are like 4 years? 4 years and the girl looks exactly the same? Why spend so long to get the plot started again if nothing seemed to changed? Because fuck you. Also I haft to say that, SPOILERS, I really feel bad for the sword jew, he dies like 3 times in this anime. Poor guy.
I do think we has lost something in this adaptation that we might not regain back. Like where are all the violence, the deaths are censor so that we don’t see the heads exploded per say. Where are the focus on Uncle Ken, it seems that Elika has more screen time than any other character in this story.
Furthermore, I haft to congratulate this series for finally making a human version of Frieza. After all those cosplays and reimagining, we finally reached perfection. I am not joking, the goonies seem more of a threat these times around due to how they where written. It fools you thinking these baddies are just for one episode, but then they introduce their powers and our heroes are taken off guard. I like these baits where you think the dumb raging brute would just be a dump lump of meat, yet here he seems to polling off some smart moves, for a dump lump of meat of course.
Even if we have these bad guys around, there are still some characters I raise my eyebrow at. To be more specific, it is the new comedic reliefs. It seems to be that these guys are around to push the plot around and to push jokes around. I thought they would play a bigger role, but they seems to be filler. I’m expecting more gory death than two goofballs being dreaming about getting jerked off. I don’t hate these characters, I just think they are too many scenes with them. If this anime was longer, then I might have forgiven some of the elements in the plot. But since we spend episodes and episodes of Elika and her drama, we barely had time to for Uncle Ken to shine.
With all said about this anime, this anime gets a pass for me. It isn’t a north star experience with the violence and brilliant. It’s okay, but not at the best. Would I recommend it, yeah, if you could watch the first adaptation, you can watch this one. At least this was better than DD Hokuto No Ken 2 that I can say!