When I first started Hokuto no Ken, I did not know a thing about Fist of the North Star. I had heard the name before, and I knew it was a popular franchise with bloody exploding heads. When I started watching the series, it looked so incredibly 80s.
In fact, the Shin arc made me stop watching it for a while. The endless mooks in poorly drawn 80s style really turned me off. A few weeks later, I decided to try it again. I am so absolutely glad I did. Hokuto no Ken is a post-apocolyptic epic, and I don't use that term lightly.
The story is
fairly simple. Shin (Kenshiro's rival) steals Yuria (Kenshiro's love), and Ken goes to rescue her. However, in the background, darker, more dangerous forces are moving. The story is cunning in its simplicity, and quite well executed.
The art is of course, very old, and often shows its age. It is the biggest downfall the series has. The series is backed up by strong, memorable music, and one of the most comically catchy OPs (YOU WA SHOCK!) I've heard.
One of the things that Hokuto no Ken does interestingly is the characters. 90% of the major characters are large, stoic men, with pecs of iron and manly logic. The two children, Bat and Lin, are there to cheer Ken on, and be terrified/annoying, respectively. The men Ken meets are almost all evil beyond redemption. However, in the legions of mooks and generic evil, are some interesting, legitimately cool characters, such as Rei, Juza, Toki and Raoh.
To today's viewer, it would seem like you've seen all the elements of this before in other things. The reason for this is that Hokuto no Ken has inspired every single action show to come from Japan, especially the long-running shounen of today, in some form or another.
I cannot give this series a 10, between the early filler (which is just about completely gone after the Shin arc), and the recap episodes. I will, however give this a 9. What I thought would be a hilariously corny 80s romp through a field of exploding heads turned out to be a amazing, epic journey though a post-apocalyptic wasteland, starring, the manliest man to ever be placed on paper. With exploding heads.
I remember first watching Fist of the North Star in the action channel. I was but a little kid at the time and I really did not know what was going on. Unfortunately, the exploding heads and cussing was a deterrent at the time and I stopped watching it.
Fast forward almost ten years later and I decide to watch it and honestly, I am glad that I did.
The story is fairly simple. It takes place in a post apocalyptic world where the strong live and the weak die. Crime is at an all time high. Bandits and cut throats kill, pillage and rape to no
end. Kenshiro is a man who was betrayed by his best friend, one who kidnapped his wife and nearly killed him, leaving him for dead. Kenshiro, who survived, is now out on a mission to find the man who betrayed him, kill him and save his wife.
While the exploding heads are a neat treat, it is the characters that really shine. Don't expect any teenage heroes in this show. While I do like watching Belach and other Shonen that are chuck full of teenage heroes, this show has none.
All the characters, from Kenshiro, Shin, Rei, Raoh, Toki, Shuu they are all memorable and likable in their own way. This heavy focus on adults is a breath of fresh air and is a nice distinction from all the teenage shonen that is out there. Kenshiro especially has to be one of the manliest protagonists out there and hearing him say "You are already dead." has you know that he is dead serious and is not willing to play games.
The music is catchy, especially "We are Shock!" is a nice opening theme and flows nicely with the action scenes.
If there is anything that takes away from this show is the art. This show was made in the early 80's and is heavily influenced by it. Everyone in the show has shoulder pads in one form or another and the bad guys all seem to have mohawks. Many scenes are used over and over again and there are times where the characters' look are somewhat inconsistent from episode to episode.
Even so, this show is must watch for those who are into action packed, bloody fights without having to hear a bunch of whiny sermons. Overall, I had a blast watching this show, it was great through and through.
Now if you excuse me, I am going to watch Kenshiro use some ATATATATA action against some unfortunate fool and see his head blow up!
After the nuclear apocalypse of 199X, Kenshiro begins his quest to rid the world of evil & bring hope to humanity. Initially, North Star begins as a revenge tale where Kenshiro is searching for his fiancé Yuria whose been kidnapped by his rival Shin. Afterwards the story then focuses on Kenshiro's destiny to bring back peace to this "age of power" where humanity have become savage & desensitized to love & affection.
Essentially, most humans are now primitive causing murders for the sake of resources such as food. Only those with power, ambition & a cold heart can survive this wasteland. As a savior
to the masses, Kenshiro battles many tyrannical martial artists with his assassination art of "Hokuto Shinken" causing his enemies to explode. Further in the series is where Kenshiro's battles his eldest brother Raoh giving a satisfying ending to the series.
Kenshiro as a hero is almost one of a kind as he features a stoic yet kind attitude who faces tragedy on a constant basis. Bearing humanity's existence on his back, Kenshiro gives his all to protect the innocent & punish the guilty.
When people think of "MANIME", this series started it all & owns up to its reputation. While the animation is obviously dated, there's no greater adaptation than this version as it portrays the sorrow & various "MANLY TEARS" moments with the greatest execution in voice acting & music. In North Star, it may not follow the typical shonen tropes of today & can be very slow at times (especially its 1st 22 eps) but manages to display character in a very tragic form. Expect to see many great men & heroes to sacrifice themselves for the sake of peace as their battles will take residence in your soul. Also it might make a MANLY MAN out of you.
If you enjoy series like Jojo's Bizarre Adventure & Toriko, this is the show for you. This anime is my all time favorite but may not appeal to everyone. It certainly is a required taste to truly be appreciative of all its concepts on how masculinity & love for a woman play a part to make a society peaceful again. Expect some episodes to be slow & major fights to be done in 3-4 episodes as Fist is manliness in its purest form. Representing themes of 80's shonen, Fist Of The North Star still stands tall as a source of inspiration for all things MANLY.
I started it because I like post-apocalyptic stuff. But I have no idea why and how I've continued almost to the end.
It's repetitive as hell, something akin to DBZ in a desert. Except the fights are more boring and only last for 1-2 episodes each. Every character is one-dimensional and story is about big muscular men who fight each other for world dominance, nothing else.
If you are bored wit first episodes, drop it. It never gets any better/different.
Not recommended under any conditions. Unless maybe if you're 3 years old.
Having watched the movie, which is the condensed version of the series, and now actually watching the 36 episode series from Manga Entertainment, I find that this is one of the corniest/greatest animes that I've seen. I love it. I really like the opening theme that has thundering bass drums that ride you thru a monta'ge of violent clips of the anime. Kinda makes you want to fight, or at least watch one. This has alot of violence that is gorey at times and corny at times. Ken can pretty much do anything. He's a Japanese, Rambo looking, Bruce Lee sounding BAD ASS. Story is
pretty good, but the little girl Lin and the boy Bart are annoying as F@*%. I laugh alot while watching this. From the goofy names they give his attacks to the cheesy narrator who reads the wierd and hilarious titles before each episode. There are parts of an episode that are right out of the movie Road Warrior. The circle town surrounded by desert, even a bus as a gate and flamethrowers stationed on each side. I loved that movie and I love this anime.
Now the review for the 109 ep series which was on subtitled dvd. Although subs were not the greatest as far as translation, I get the gist of the story based on this being an expanded version of the 36 ep eng dub dvds. It is quite the epic and tragic story at that. I found myself looking forward to the next episode and that is what's important to me to avoid boredom with the series, especially 109 eps. I never got bored with the violence either. They found ways to change it up and introduce new styles and moves/punches. Highly entertaining for the fans of older titles like Armored Trooper Votoms or Space Cobra, those of us who hold these in high regards as compared to the G.I Joe or Transformer cartoons I grew up on. I only wish I could have seen these as a kid.
this was the anime I watched when I was only six years old and recently I watched it again from the strart to the end and I'm still trying to enjoy it.
it is about after a nuclear war that brings desaster to the earth and appearance of martial artists from long times ago.
the main character is fantastic and has become my hero till now.
I kinda feel like being in kens place when watching mostly when he is angry and tries to fight back seriously.
putting all things aways I have watched it 16 years and now and I can say I really enjoyed it every time
I watched it.
It is long but worthy.
you can see the change in animation through the episodes and the astonishing picture attracts people.
Seriously go for it. it isa 10 out of 10 always for me.
I watched them; watched all these 109 episodes; these episodes that made me suffer; suffer from the repetition...repetition...REPETITION!
This is one of the most anime I ever encountered that suffer from this problem; the repetition; the repetition of episodes events, the repetition of same kind of the damn villains, the repetition of animations...
But isn't this the case with most long-ass anime? Fillers right?
No! People who watch this anime will go through alot of meaningless repetitive fillers AND filler-like canon episodes, fillers are skippable; but some episodes sometimes provide a small piece of info related to the actual plot, which sucks.
These boring episodes tend to be like:
guys doing evil things.
-Kenshiro beat up the the evil guys
-Evil guys tell their boss that they got beaten up
-Boss gets angry and hunts Kenshiro with his guys
-Kenshiro beat the boss
and then the episode ends, NEXT EPISODE:
-Evil guys doing evil things...
and so on.
The side characters are so pathetic;
-Bart is just a comic relief nothing else is known about him.
-Lin is just an annoying little girl who always gets in trouble so she can be saved by Kenshiro.
-Mamiya is portrayed as a manly woman; but then her feminine side shows slowly, nice but that's it.
-Rei was interesting at first, but after his case with his sister; author throwed him in trash and kept him as a white knight just like Kenshiro.
Even though the most main/side villains are pathetic, the actual plot features few decent main villains, but they are very few unfortunately.
IIRC, there are only three main villains that are related to the main plot; and they are: Shin, Souther, and Raou.
So if you're looking for the "main plot", I suggest you to watch the newer pentalogy (3 Movies + 2 OVAs).
This is a review of Fist of the North Star the anime series, not the movie. I am talking about the original 109 episodes of GLORY that follow the original manga! Time to examine the anime that completely changed everything and was HUGELY influential on every other anime in the 1980s!
Firstly, we need to get a little bit of background and history out of the way. This anime ran from 1984-1987 and was based on the manga that ran from 1983-1988. That means that the anime did have to create some filler to keep it from catching up to the manga, but amazingly enough this
filler material is actually GOOD, unlike so many other examples of shonen anime filler. This also means that the first anime had to stop and take a break in 1987 in order to let the manga get ahead. This first season of the anime is what I will be reviewing today! As stated above, the manga finally finished in 1988 and that same year a second season of the anime wrapped up the rest of the manga's story.
One way that Fist of the North Star was hugely influential as both a manga and as an anime was that it was EXTREMELY dark and violent for its day. By coming out in 1983 it actually predated the so called "Dark Age" of Western Comics and was ahead of its time. For the West, the Dark Age of comics started in 1986 thanks mostly to Alan Moore and Frank Miller. In 1983, things were still pretty campy and goofy, so Fist of the North Star was an absolute slap in the face that was radically different from anything young Japanese audiences had ever seen before! The key inspiration for Fist of the North Star actually wasn't comics, but rather cinema. In 1982 a movie came out called The Road Warrior about a nuclear apocalypse leaving the world as a barren wasteland. The fragments of civilization left are ruled over by strong badasses in outrageous costumes, who settle absolutely everything with violence. The plot and premise from Road Warrior were borrowed and combined with the over the top, Chinese Kung Fu movies that the author of FOTNS, Tetsuo Hara, was absolutely obsessed with. Tetsuo Hara was especially fond of martial arts superstar Bruce Lee, and decided to give his protagonist Kenshiro several of Bruce Lee's traits including (of course) the wild, shrill screaming whenever he does basically anything. ATATATATATATATAT WAAAATTAAAAAA!
Story and characters: 7/10
Although it did basically just take the plot and premise from a certain cheesy Australian action movie, it is the WAY the story is told that makes FOTNS a memorable and worthy anime. The wasteland is dominated by 2 superpower Kung Fu schools that must try avoid fighting or else the remainder of civilization will be destroyed! This was written during the height of the Cold War when the threat of nuclear war between the US and USSR was very present on people's minds. Our hero is Kenshiro, who is the noble successor of the Hokuto school. Kenshiro is a badass action hero who is merciless to his enemies, but always saves the innocent and can show mercy when his opponent isn't a complete douche bag. Kenshiro is very muscular, rugged, and personifies all things manly. He also has a strong sense of honor, loyalty, and embodies the Bushido Code that Samurai held dear. However, Kenshiro is also shown experiencing great sorrow and even crying manly tears on several occasions. It is actually this ability to feel empathy for others and experience sorrow that allows Kenshiro to learn the final technique of the Hokuto School. This technique is denied to Kenshiro's powerful rival Raoh the Conqueror, because he is too much of a sociopath to actually experience sorrow. Kenshiro is basically the anti-Shinji. The more depressed he gets, the stronger he gets and the more he will beat the living shit out of his opponents. In each episode, Kenshiro wanders the wasteland helping civilians and punishing evil. FOTNS can be rather episodic at points, but there IS an overarching story line. The main story in the first anime season deals with a succession crisis for the Hokuto school of mystical Kung Fu. A rival student named Raoh is furious that Kenshiro was named sucessor instead of him, so he murders the sensei of the school and starts killing the other students who oppose him. Kenshiro also has a beautiful fiancee named Yuria, who unfortunately keeps getting kidnapped. Along his journey, Kenshiro meets many allies including the adorable orphans he keeps having to rescue over and over, and a few fellow badasses like Rei, although no one is as badass as Kenshiro himself of course. Although FOTNS doesn't attempt to be an extremely in depth psychological case study like Eva, many of the characters actually demonstrate a surprising amount of depth relative to Mad Max or other 1980s action movies. It is the combination of well written characters, excellent action, and engaging storytelling that make FOTNS such a treat to watch.
The art may look VERY dated today, but in the early 1980s this was pretty good. The anime series didn't have the ludicrous amount of blood that the 1986 FOTNS Movie had, but the blood is still there and in rather shocking amounts for an anime of its day. The character designs are interesting, and the desolate wasteland is rather sobering to look at.
The music sounds very much like other 1980s anime. If you have heard the Japanese soundtrack to the original Dragonball, you will know what I'm talking about. It certainly isn't in the top 10 great anime soundtracks, but it isn't bad by any means.
Is FOTNS the perfect anime? I would unfortunately have to say no. Is FOTNS a very good anime that you should bother watching? Absolutely it is! This is an absolute thrill with gloriously cheesy action, over the top manliness, and to top it off pretty damn good plot and characters for an anime of that time. Don't go in expecting something artsy like Tatami Galaxy, or quite the same character depth and psychology of Berserk, but instead appreciate that compared to most other early 1980s anime like Go-Lion(Voltron) and G-Force, the plot and characters are Shakespearean in quality! I give FOTNS a very well earned 7/10
Currently everyone knows or heard of the three most popular anime that dominates this decade: One Piece, Naruto and Bleach. This is essentially the case for most decades, being the 80's most prevalent anime Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya and Hokuto no Ken - or Fist of the North Star. This may leave potential audiences wondering whether these are worth their time, and in the case of Hokuto no Ken, I can definitely recommend it for viewers interested in action based anime.
The story is simple, having its setting in a post-nuclear apocalyptic world in which humanity regressed, where slavery and struggle for survival is commonplace. Martial
arts are the main foundation for defense, and in the midst of it are two powerful schools, Hokuto Shinken and Nanto Seiken. There is one man, Kenshiro, who seeks to retrieve his love Yuria from Shin, a powerful member of the Nanto Seiken school.
This seems very generic, yet its main strength lies in its presentation and narrative. At first the story is of episodic nature, introducing different martial arts styles and characters, however as it progresses, arcs are introduced with more interesting characters and fleshing the main ones out. The battles presented are varied and engaging, where characters death are meaningful, and remain dead, and brutally so. Dialogues are simple and held to a minimum, yet meaningful to the story. Some viewers may wonder how martial arts can be a viable way to protect themselves, being in a post apocalyptic world where fire weapons should be abundant. This issue is solved by making the use of guns to a minimum, and having those considered as non-existent and forgotten, due to technological limitations.
There is a great variety of characters in Hokuto no Ken, being the main ones the different martial artists presented throughout the anime, dominated mainly by very "manly" man. However, character are plain and simple, and lack depth. For example, Kenshiro, successor of the Hokuto Shinken, is one dimensional with the only objective of defeating his opponents, undergoing barely any character development besides of some background information of his past. He may seem as an emotionless character, yet viewers observe how he actually has emotions. Nevertheless, this an issue that may be overlooked, as they're very likable as well formidable fighting machines. After all, it is pretty amusing to hear Kenshiro announce to his opponents "You are already dead" or "You don't deserve to live - Die!", which adds to the overall awe of the characters.
The martial artists of importance have background stories attached to them that explains their behaviour and motives in a convincing way, different to the stereotypical, one dimensional villains prevalent in other anime. The supporting cast of is mainly composed of two parties, the oppressed and helpless people, and the gangs composed of bandits with a Mohican hairstyle - yes, a Mohican hairstyle, which is hilarious. There is however other thing to mention, being the two children that follow Kenshiro: these have no purpose in the story other than to create unnecessary and typical situations. Nevertheless, the focus upon these are lessened as story progresses, which I personally found a good thing, as it could get pretty annoying and inmersion-breaking.
~Animation and sound~
The animation quality is dated, but after all this anime is from the 80's. Combat scenes are well drawn, yet some parts are rehashed and at times are simple static images. There is an evolution in the art style, being clearer and with more attention to the characters detail. There are some small inconsistencies to be found to, such as the infinite supply of Kenshiro's clothing, but this is easily overlooked, as it adds to the characters overall awe. Backgrounds are however limited to bleak and colorless wastelands, which is a bit depressing to look at over the span of 109 episodes. Not to mention how people die in the most bizarre way.
The character's voice actors matched well with the characters personalities, easily transmitting their emotions, being probably Kenshiro's voice actor the most memorable with his constant "ATATATATATATA" when fighting. Soundtracks used are very 80's like, yet matched well the story, with some very memorable tracks.
Hokuto no Ken was overall a very enjoyable experience, which main focus lay in martial arts and its different styles presented through the different characters. The story itself is plain and simple, yet its presentation is the strongest point. Some scenes were very predictable and fillers were to be found, yet were entertaining. Recommendable to anyone who likes action based anime without unnecessary fan service, sharing similarities to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series in its "manly" battles. Not suitable for anyone looking for a deep story.
Alright. I dropped it after 29 episodes. I'm not sure if I'll pick it up again.
This is a classic influental anime, that has historical value. However... it turned out to be much worse than I expected. Much, much worse. There are old hidden gems like Devilman Lady, and this is not one of them. Poorly made characters, recycled animations (tons of recycled animations), lots of time wasting techniques employed to cut costs. Designs of characters aren't bad, but that alone doesn't help.
The main reason for watching it is some historical value or if you saw it as a kid, and seeing it again make you
Detailed breakdown below:
You have an overpowered clone of Bruce Lee going through post-apocalyptic land fighting bad guys and making them explode. To be more specific - murdering bad guys in incredibly sadistic ways, in the name of good or something. The premise isn't that bad, however the story has a problem where it becomes incredibly repetitive. Meaning, for example, bad guys never back away or run away from Kenshiro, they always charge in and die. There are too many of unnatural situation when somebody gets killed in incredibly stupid way because of incredibly stupid reason, while kenshiro heroically watches it happen, doing nothing. Some characters exist solely to act stupidly at the most convenient moment, endangering everybody or getting themselves killed. And then the anime has a problem of pointlessly killing many people to make a point. And the point is always "See, the bad guy of the week is dangerous!". It gets tiresome.
Now, the first arc wasn't bad, but in second arc characters started acting in brain-damaged ways, and I decided that I had enough.
Designs are nice. Adult proportions, or, to be more precise - "heroic" proportions, similar to characters in JoJo's bizarre adventure. However, the problem is that a lot of animations are recycled all over the show, and it is noticeable. There are a lot of scenes where the anime blatantly wastes time saving animation budget, and simply shows a panning still (or several cells) that isn't even animated. Usually that happens when there are "cackling villains".
Another issue is that the anime can't decide what does it want to do with gore. See, villains go splat when killed. However this is usually shown as silhouette, and the blood is replaced with white water-like liquid. On some occasions blood is shown black. However, on some other occasions the anime has no problem showing somebody sliced to pieces or being deformed before they explode... except the blood is still censored. Blood splatters that land on someone in the next frame, however, are usually red. This.... this doesn't make any sense, and there isn't any logic in this kind of censorship.
So, blatant reuse of art and odd censorhip pretty much ruins visuals in the show.
Nice opening theme. Ending theme isn't bad there. However, loarge portions of anime have no music in it. Kenshiro voice isn't bad either ("omae mou shinde iru").
This anime has the worst female characters I remember. Their primary purpose seems to be crying, getting into trouble, trying to act tough when they have no capability of doing so, and get kenshiro in trouble.
Villains are largely acting as idiots. As I said, they always charge in to attack kenshiro even after seeing how powerful he is. ALWAYS. No personality behind them.
Kenshiro itself is rather badly done. His stoic nature makes me question his mental abilities in situation where he patiently waits till villains finish killing innocents. This happens often.
Then we have one of kenshiro's romance interests, who manages to do the most stupid thing imaginable at the most convenient moment possible. This one left me facepalmed for some time.
I think the only half-decent character is Bart, because he is pretty much the only one that has chance to display his character. Everybody else is either a disposable figure that is going to be murdered to make a point, another cackling villain, or some redshirt villagers.
Interactions between characters are wooden and not believable.
First arc wasn't bad. It was a bit silly, corny, but kinda was making sense. However, I lost my patience on the second arc that became really drawn out, dull, and included many situations where people acted in a very, very, VERY dumb fashion. Poorly done characters didn't help my impression.
I didn't like it, and I think this one could be skipped. Or maybe you could watch the first arc, and drop it afterwards. You could try watching it if you have absolutely nothing else to watch at all.
However, there's one gotcha here. I believe the original manga is worth reading. I haven't read all of it, but I checked the first pages, and ithe manga is visually quite impressive (not on berserk level, but similar), and the stories that are drawn out and annoying in anime format, look more believable, and work better in manga form. So, I'd recommend to check out original manga instead.
This is pretty much the first review I've EVER done on this website so be gentle with me. I had to write this because I want everyone on MAL to watch it.
Hokuto no Ken to me is simply put the pinnacle of shounen. Some say that it's either Dragon Ball or Dragon Ball Z, but not to me. It is so good that it can make a grown man cry from the beautiful story. I watched Hokuto no Ken way back a few years ago and since then my love for it never went away. For every Shounen Anime I watch and complete, I
always end up loving Hokuto no Ken more above the rest and for good reason.
Hokuto no Ken is about a man named Kenshiro who essentially knows badass martial arts. This is in a post apocalyptic era after wars in which the world is pretty much in ruin. Every man,woman,and child has to defend themselves or get killed. The story of Hokuto no Ken will grab you and never let go. Every character introduced will have an important role in how the story plays out. The Opening and Ending will stay in your brain forever. Hokuto no Ken makes you feel like you are there in the wasteland struggling with Kenshiro and others just trying to get by. The one flaw I can only say from this Anime is that sometimes there are recaps but it's not too much at all.
I don't want to give much away but please just please give it a chance I assure you that you will fall in love with everything that Hokuto no Ken has to offer. Sure yes, it was made in the 1980s, but even in 2015, the influences of this masterpiece can still be seen in Shounen Anime.
If you can get past the lame opening theme song and the horrific distorted gory fighting graphics that make up the introduction to the series, you may find that there is actually a plot.
In short form, the story is based on a power struggle created by a martial arts master who had no son to pass on his art to in the traditional fashion. His remedy for this situation was to adopt four young boys and train them. Since only one of them could be the master’s successor, the four adopted brothers had to battle for the title by defeating the other three.
world, in the meantime has been through a nuclear holocaust and only remote pockets of people exist in tiny villages, or in nomadic groups. The four brothers have been separated from each other, and must find each other to compete for the title of Master of the martial art known as Hokuto Shinken.
The main plot focuses on the efforts of the youngest of the four adopted sons, Kenshiro, who uses the art to defend and help the innocent people whose path he crosses in his travels. On one of his travels he hears of a village referred to as the “village of miracles.” This village is so called because of a man who came into the midst of the sick and injured and healed them by using his fingers on “power points.” Kenshiro is pleased when he hears the name of the man who preformed these miracles. It was his adopted brother, Toki! His pleasure is short-lived when he hears that the man who preformed these miracles had become evil and was now busy doing evil experiments on innocent people. Could this man really be his gentle adopted brother whose only ambition was to use Hokuto Shinken as a healing art instead of a fighting method? How could such a change have taken place? Was it his Toki, or an imposter? Follow the episodes to see where Kenshiro’s travels take him and what adventures await him.
As Anime’s go, I would rate this four out of five stars. It is a worthwhile plot and can hold your interest. The fight scenes are a bit gory, but that is expected due to its TVMA rating.
Available in, VHS Format
Are you feeling tired of high school girls in miniskirts and pre-pubescent skinny high school boys that pander to every single weeaboo on both sides of the pacific? Tired of being spoonfed the same Isekai and moe shit year after year. Stop whatever you are doing, pull up your pants, close your hentai tabs, slide the chair back and stick around as Fist of the North Star teaches you the art of manliness!
I watched this anime, no this MANime and a foot-long beard popped out of my glass chin, my max bench increased by 100lbs and my testicles doubled in
sheer size. Fear not as this is not caused by some kind of testicular cancer or overdose on protein shakes. The sheer amount of testosterone that oozes from this show is enough to turn you into a badass gorilla with the strength 10 men and the swag of Carlos Santana. Thats right, this is a show for men and men only.
Fist of the north star is a glorious tale about Kenshiro fighting to survive in this cruel Mad-Max like universe and searching for his long lost love, Julia, who was take away from him by force by douche-bags and their loser henchmen. It is impossible not to shed manly tears during this show. From exploding heads to Kenshiro single-handily beating up a tank until it explodes, truly a mans tale worth writing a few words about. I will not reveal much more about the story as it is something that one should experience uncorrupted and with purity.
The artwork is majestic as fuck, never has the bombastic phrase "Every frame a painting" been more true, from the landscapes to the characters to the dynamic use of colors its as if Da vinci himself crawled out of the earth to produce these godlike frames. Now some people might disagree and tell you things like that its outdated or bland looking. Pay no attention as the complaint is more than likely uttered by a fucking creep with half naked lolicon posters in their room.
The opening title ''You wa shock'', is responsible for the emergence of the Y chromosome and male pattern baldness. Its a perfect blend of classic rock, jazz and hard vocals. Its the the kind of song you put on before injecting yourself with fake synthol and proceed to beat up the neighborhood bully, his mother and his cat.
Overall i feel like there is nothing more to be added or said. The show peaks in every category from story to animation to sound and so on. Now the choice is bestowed upon you. Will you watch this glorious tale and experience rebirth or will you rewatch Vampire knight for the 13th time like the pathetic loser you are.
From my personal Bias I would've gave this Legendary Series overall a 10, however I have given it a 9 because I can't ignore the faults others may find in it such as it having Plotholes similar to Dragonball Z or the Animation itself etc.
But enough about the "bad" things and instead I'll focus on the good things. The memories of me watching this series the first 36 Episodes in Dubbed on Youtube and then the rest in Subbed on Megavideo back in 2011 when I was 16 are perhaps timeless; it was the greatest experience I had as an Anime fan that can never
be replicated and I have also never found Anime cool again after Megavideo came to an end. The Series is emotion driven, filled with both fun & gritty action, full of manly virtues along with a range of noble, awesome, strange, silly and annoying characters.
I've been sober from Anime for quite a few months and this review might get some heat for saying what I'm about to say next but looking back I've come to the realization that Fist of the North Star(or Hokuto no Ken) is not only my favorite Anime but also the Greatest Anime! And that's all Anime is; it's just nostalgia, you shouldn't be overanylising these Gay Japanese Girl Cartoons nor should you be watching them unless maybe you grew up watching them. However, this Series is NOT a Gay Japanese Girl Cartoon; it's simply a Classic and the Best in the World at Everything it does.
Hokuto no Ken is an anime that was so far ahead of its time that I'm not sure we're even in its time right now.
It's easy to dismiss this anime as a product of a bygone time where people's anime tastes were less refined and they would accept the complete lack of character development and repetitive nature of Ken's trials and tribulations. And, to some extent, I agree. The only thing that distinguishes one episode from the other is the ridiculousness of the villain that Ken will ultimately defeat with his Hokuto Shinken martial arts style. However, this seeming negative is actually a positive.
If you are a fan of boxing or mixed martial arts, you still watch. You know it's going to be two guys (or girls these days) punching, kneeing, crushing, smashing, and you know someone is getting knocked out, tapped out, or put to sleep in every fight. Yet, you still watch. Why? Because you want to see the fight.
And that is what is so great about Hokuto no Ken. You keep coming back because you want to see the fights. Last week Ken was fighting a fifteen foot tall five hundred pound guy who can turn his skin to steel. Next week, he's fighting his long-lost older brother who wears a mask to cover the disfiguring facial injury Kenshiro left him with years earlier and is currently driving his bloodthirsty rampage. Yeah, all of them are ultimately going to die a horrible gruesome death when their heads blister and explode, but that's what I want to see.
Unrelenting in its brutality and nihilism with an unending smorgasbord of super-powered martial arts villains, Hakuto no Ken stands alone in the world of anime. Never before, and never since has there been a series so devoted to dramatizing a world so completely wasted and fucked up with a smattering of poor, helpless sods trying to scrape by while being terrorized by gangs of murderous nuclear mutants.
I've watched so many clips of the anime that while reading the manga I found dozens of parts I already knew despite not having exactly watched it in a precise order. Basically I've done more that watching the anime now that I've read half the manga. So I'm not sure if I should put "completed" on the anime or not.
Watch the anime, it looks perfect.
Read the manga.
Then watch the anime again, it looks like cavemen were doing a mockery of the manga with graffiti. And the anime is half the manga. This is long, mutilated, stretched, counts on the hateful bad guys and the gore,
the martial artists look like robots, while in the manga they've enriched with well placed flashbacks and speeches on motivation, discipline, emotions, they talk about what they've always wanted and how they're now close to achieving it. Instead on the anime, they look like just bragging, but they can affford to because plot. Raoh looks more human in the manga than Kenshiro in the anime. There's not much to say, it's Kenshiro but cut into pieces and drawn badly while the manga is one of the best drawn ever. They should have adapted better the language of comics. In this anime every single part drags for minutes while the subplots and scenes are pretty simple.
what can be said about one of the Greatest MANimes that hasn't been already said, probably one of the best, although some said it was ripped off by another great MANime, Ramenman, but amplified by 10 this is the Gold Standard of all MANime.
if you finish this series you will become a man if you already weren't before..even if you're a girl
as User Stingzy said if you watch this great MANime of the 80s you will indeed have all those things happen to you
and if you want a rest from all those giggle and peace sign schoolgirl BS this is the perfect remedy
ATATATATATATATAWATHAAAAAA( you're already dead)! Those are the words from and revered anime charachter, and an EVEN MORE legendary anime show wich was at its height in japan in the 80's and very populair. I saw the HoK movie from 1986 first before i even knew about the serie's, and man am i glad that i have seen the show from biginning till the bloody end, and the whole serie is somewhat bloody! about the Animation, i din't care much cuz it was that time, what loads of kids these days cant appreciate from oldskool anime! Storywise , excellent, loads of twists and turns, disputes,
personal problems and LOADS of tragic moments. But be warned, this show is NOT for the light/weakhearted!
NOTE: There are going to be some spoilers in this. Yes, I know I’m not supposed to do that on this site, but I can’t critique Fist of the North Star to any satisfying degree without talking about certain specific details. If you don’t want the show spoiled, stop reading now. If you don’t care, go right ahead.
The Positive Side: This is a show about a man who looks, and talks, and fights like Bruce Lee, traveling a nuclear wasteland and making comically evil people explode with his fists. For what it’s worth, Fist of the North Star embraces what it
is with every fiber of its being, and never once attempts to be anything else. There’s a kind of courage in treating an absurd premise as seriously as Fist of the North Star does, a kind of charming naivete. It’s a bit like the anime equivalent of a B-movie.
Fist of the North Star hails from the bad old days of anime, the 80’s and 90’s, so the art isn’t very polished and the relative sizes get pretty wonky, but there are some beautifully painted settings, and the action feels consistently dynamic, hot-blooded and over-the-top.
Some of the music is pretty great, and the opening theme of Part 1, “Ai no Torimodose!!” (yes, that second exclamation mark is absolutely mandatory) is sure to put you in the right mood for this show, with its echoing shouts of “You hua SHOCK!” and its dramatic, fatalistic lyrics.
The story is very melodramatic and morally uncompromising, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While the characters are exaggerated, there are still moments where we are moved by their suffering.
The simplicity of the show’s morality has a certain charm as well: when evil people do evil things, the hero shows up and punches them to death, and all is well again. Don’t you wish the real world was this simple?
If I could separate Part 1 from the rest of the series, I would give it a 7 out of 10. There’s a surprising sophistication to the irony of the plotting, and the anti-villain, Shin, is memorable and intriguing, but his sympathetic aspects never detract from his menace.
The Negative Side: This show neatly captures both everything good and bad about Shonen. The series comes to a neat close in Part 1, and then insists on dragging on for a hundred more episodes, well after the show’s artistic merit has been wrung dry.
This show is very repetitive, which is fine if you consistently enjoy watching our hero, Ken exploding bad guys, but gets boring pretty quick if you’ve grown used to more mature anime. Adding to this repetition is an abundance of animation recycling. I hope you liked that shot of Ken using the 100 Crack Fist of the North Star on Zeed in the first episode, because you’re going to see that about fifty more times before the series is done.
The character development is also lacking. While a few of the major villains are well-developed, the majority of the villains are two-dimensional, which isn’t too bad at first, but becomes truly grating as the series wears on and we are forced to trudge through one heartless, irredeemable megalomaniac after another. Kenshiro is supposed to be loved for his compassion and kindness, but that’s a bit hard to buy when you look at the sheer number of creative and sadistic deaths he inflicts on his foes. Ken’s sympathy is also hindered by how over-powered he is compared to the majority of his foes. For every villain who manages to significantly injure Ken, there are a dozen whom he effortlessly slays with a single blow.
There are a few side characters who are more interesting than Ken himself, but nearly every single hero not named “Kenshiro” dies a tragically stupid and pointless death trying to stop some over-powered villain. It’s not only predictable, but irritating to watch characters we care about strive so hard to live honorably and justly (like Kenshiro gets away with constantly), only to be effortlessly slaughtered by a villain to get the point across that the villain is a threat.
It’s a bit unsurprising that a Shonen from the 80’s would have trouble with gender, but the way Fist of the North Star’s handles women is consistently cringe-worthy. A disproportionate amount of time is built setting up Rei, a supposed hero who, to the modern audience, is more likely to come across as a sex criminal than a crusader. It is very hard to weep for Rei’s death when his first interaction with a major character (Mamiya) consists of him leering at her and ripping away her bath-towel. I was honestly amazed the scene didn’t end with Rei raping Mamiya. This isn’t the only time he forcefully strips her of her clothing, and to make matters worse, Rei and Mamiya are set up as love interests to each other later on. Insisting that a woman become romantically invested in a man who sexually harassed her the first time they met isn’t just unrealistic, it’s insulting.
Mamiya does her best to serve the role of the powerful, independent and capable woman, but gets hit very hard by what I like to call “Sakura Syndrome”, named after Naruto’s Sakura Haruno. Sakura Syndrome is when a female character in a Shonen is supposed to be a competent warrior, but never (or nearly never) wins a significant fight. Sakura Syndrome is generally the result of a Shonen that wants to make a female character a badass, either to placate feminists or for purposes of fetishism, but also wants to make sure that the male heroes stay firmly in the spotlight at all times. Mamiya mows down plenty of random mooks with her razor yo-yos, but the moment she is placed in a fight against anyone important enough to be given a name, she is doomed. Mamiya also espouses the philosophy that one cannot be a woman and a warrior at the same time. Because, you know, it’s not like there’s thousands of women enlisted in the Armed Forces at this exact moment. Eventually, Mamiya gives up on her career as a warrior and gets shoved back into the kitchen, which begs the question of why Fist of the North Star played with creating a female warrior in the first place.
Part 1 is worth watching if you like action series and don’t mind melodrama and cheesy dialogue, but if you go any further than that, you’re wasting your time.
People who usually claim to have seen FOTNS for the most part are actually referring to the 1986 feature length animated movie of the same name and not this particular 109 episode TV series……..and when they become aware of this long running TV version of that movie people may very well assume this series just to be a dragged out gore fest version of the movie.
They may think to themselves how could you make that 109 episodes!?!
Well I’m here to tell you that…yeah….there is a little bit of truth in that line of thinking HOWEVER that movie only scratches the surface of the underlying story
told in this compelling TV series
The animation is pretty lacklustre and korny looking for the most part. Things like duplicated character designs, identically overused death sequences and a somewhat dull colour palette are the standout weaknesses for the animation but saying all that one has to take into consideration the time it was made….the early 80’s…..where digital animation was non-existent and funding for a long running animated TV series meant quality cuts.
From what other anime TV series I have seen made in the same era I would say the animation is actually on par with a lot of 80’s anime and as such I can forgive it for its visual flaws and honestly speaking I personally don’t find the animation god-awful but rather comical and vintage-cheesy if you will accept that as a viable description (lol)
For the most part I think the sound is pretty well selected and appropriate across the board
Firstly voice acting is actually pretty good, even to this day…I mean most of the characters are either thugs or crazy gang leaders and as such they give a convincing and consistently entertaining performance.
The opening is a pretty unforgettable rock ballad which oozes with both despair and energy and the closing theme is just miserable…..which is very appropriate for the theme of this series
The short lived English dub version of this series which only covered about the first 36 episodes I believe changed things up with the sound overall, opting to use a more electro mixed with drum and base theme which came off sounding pretty hit and miss tbh however the closing theme for the English dub is actually pretty cool……….but still the whole drum and base idea sort of a weird choice….meh
Strongest point for this series is the actual characters and how they interact with each other.
Even though this series is littered with countless foot-soldier type enemies that are squatted in mass volumes throughout the series, the CORE characters who are central to the actual storyline are written quite well and do a good job convincing you of their motivations, whether it be for good or evil reasoning’s.
Also, the interaction with the CORE characters were also very compelling and enticing which makes it easier for you as a viewer to get invested and curious about their futures. Even though it is pretty clear to everybody who is going to win what battle I had no idea what supporting character would actually survive…..and everybody is up for the chopping block in this series…kids included!
To the shows credit, it even made me get a little bit emotional about some of the horrible things that were happening to the weaker class of people…..oh the inhumanity….someone kill these evil &%$%ers already! @_@
This series IS very enjoyable because it ends up being more than what it appears to be on the surface and it actually hits a lot of different beats that you usually would not see in a single anime title such as ultra-violence, oppression, romance-drama, a hero story, martial arts story, post apocalyptic disaster themes, action comedy, compelling characters and last but not least a some korny 80’s animation.
Okay, actually that pretty much sounds like a number of shounen anime I’ve seen over the years…but hey that’s the crazy thing….even after all these years this show still feels original in it’s own right and is still very entertaining overall
This series is vintage shounen at its best really. Something negative about this series I did forget to mention up to this point however is people who have already seen the feature movie may actually find this series to be quite a drag as it takes about one third of the series to catch up to where the movie’s story ended and as such many people may give up on this series prematurely…..well that and the animation is actually a lot worse than the actual movie’s was
Well if you liked the movie you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how much better this series is in terms of storytelling….it’s EPIC compared to the movie and as such you will be in for a pleasant surprise if you give this a chance.
Total newcomers to the franchise should give this show a chance after you see the movie….(yes I actually recommend you watch the movie first) it starts off slow but once that Shin arc is eventually over there is no more filler and a much more compelling story awaits you.
For me this series is an anime classic that deserves the place it actually has in pop-culture and anime / manga history…..if you have no idea what I’m talking about check it out for yourself….at the very least the crazy 80’s violence will give you some great laughs….well….i think it should anyway :0P
I also made a super blog about the entire FONS anime franchise if your interested: http://bit.ly/TBVFQv