Hello everybody! For this week’s anime club we are checking out a violent and gory classic…Fist of the North Star.
FIST OF THE NORTH STAR
DIRECTED BY: Toyoo Ashida
NO. OF EPISODES: 109
GENRE: Martial Arts, Post-Apocalyptic
In the year 199X, human civilization has been all but destroyed by a nuclear holocaust. In an age where the strong rule over the weak, the survivors of the fallout struggle over the remaining supply food and water left. Kenshiro, successor to an ancient, deadly martial art known as Hokuto Shinken (Fist of the North Star), wanders the wasteland with seven scars in the shape of the Big Dipper on his chest. This infamous style uses the body’s hidden 708 pressure points to destroy opponents from within and allows practitioners to unleash 100% of their humanly strength. Accompanied by a young thief and an orphan girl, this messiah brings justice to this lawless world with the strongest fist in the world.
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.
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.
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. That said, Fist of the North Star was never intended to appeal to the deep thinkers, and does manage to capture a nostalgic, epic feel – and unlike the artwork, at least that is timeless. If you don’t mind your anime violent, gory, and light on the cerebral side, spend a little time with one of the founding fathers of this genre.
- Creator of the genre.
- Blood and gore.
- Limited filler episodes
- Hasn’t aged well.
- Story is only skin deep.
SCORE: 7.2 / 10
If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!
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