For this week I decided to go old school and review an anime that would press on our power points with delight, I am talking of course about Hokuto No Ken aka Fist of the North Star.
Created in that golden era known as the 80s, Fist of the North Star takes the mysteries of martial arts and takes them to a level that few animes can match. Written by Buronson and illustrated by Tetsuo Hara the mangas were first published in the Weekly Shonen Jump in 1983 til 1988, the anime would be aired from 1984 til 1988 thanks to the producers Toei animation. One thing I will say now, I freaking love this anime.
The storyline is that the world has been turned into a wasteland thanks to a nuclear war, to add to that the radiation has caused some of the humans left on the planet to become savages with some becoming huge and monstrous. During these hard times where innocent lives are taken on a daily basis there is a man who fights for the weak named Kenshiro, what makes Kenshiro special is that he is the sole successor of the deadly martial art ‘Hokuto Shinken’ which involves killing enemies by attacking the bodies’ hidden power points causing a death so gory it puts Tarantino to shame. Kenshiro also has 7 holes in his chest which resembles the death star constellation which was inflicted by Shin as he took away the Ken’s fiance Julia ( or Yuria in Japan), Shin is a student of ‘Nanto Shinken’ (South Star) school that has been corrupted by power. The first episodes of the anime revolve around Kenshiro making his way to the South City to rescue Julia and kill Shin, along the way he has to battle bandits and practitioners of Nanto Shinken that worship for Shin. There are also two young orphaned children that travel with Kenshiro named Bart and Lynn who provide some warmheartedness to a bloody world, although one of them tends to shout for Kenshiro so much it could become a meme.
Kenshiro hoped that he would be able to rescue Julia from Shin and be able to live happily ever after, but unfortunately Julia commits suicide before Ken and Shin fight and even after Shin is defeated Kenshiro has to carry on fighting. However as he carries on fighting he befriends a warrior named Rei who is a practitioner of ‘Nanto Suichoken’ and is looking for his sister who was kidnapped by a man with seven scars on his chest like Kenshiro. Later on he finds out that Ken has seven scars on his chest but he doesn’t kill him as he told Ken that the kidnapper also wore a special helmet, this man would later turn out to be Lord Jagi who was trained alongside Kenshiro and his two other brothers Toki and Raoh. And so Kenshiro sets out to find his brothers in order to settle the dispute over the succession of Hokuto Shinken, and that;s basically the show.
(There is more to the plot but I won’t spoil it for you).
The reason why I love this anime is that it has created the formula that animes such as Dragonball Z follow which makes them memorable throughout our childhood. One signature instance is when Kenshiro performs a special move known as ‘Hokuto Hyakurestu Ken’ (Hundred Crack Fist of the North Star), below is a video showing this awesome move in action. There are other moves such as the fist of lingering regret and the thousand way slash but you’ve gotta watch the anime to see them in action.
In conclusion this is an anime that I urge you to watch, because this would be the anime that I would take with me on a desert island and after watching it I think you will too.
P.S. I know there is a Fist Of The North Star video game and if you are lucky I will review it for a Thursday.