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Fist of the North Star (1986)
"Hokuto no Ken" (original title)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,728 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 13 critic

After a nuclear holocaust tears the world apart, mankind is forced to the harshness of not only the oppression of others who are much more powerful, but the dead earth which seems to be ... See full summary »

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Title: Fist of the North Star (1986)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Akira Kamiya ...
Kenshirô (voice)
Yuriko Yamamoto ...
Yuria (Julia) (voice)
Kenji Utsumi ...
Ken-Ô (Raoh) (voice)
Chikao Ohtsuka ...
Jagi (voice)
Toshio Furukawa ...
Shin (voice)
Kaneto Shiozawa ...
Rei (voice)
Tomiko Suzuki ...
Rin (Lynn) (voice)
Teiyû Ichiryûsai ...
Bat (Bart) (voice) (as Mie Suzuki)
Arisa Andô ...
Airi (voice)
Junji Chiba ...
Ryûken (voice)
Hidekatsu Shibata ...
Zeed (voice)
Junpei Takiguchi ...
Heart (voice)
Takeshi Aono ...
Fox (voice)
Hiroshi Ôtake ...
Jackal (voice)
Daisuke Gôri ...
Uighur (voice)
Edit

Storyline

After a nuclear holocaust tears the world apart, mankind is forced to the harshness of not only the oppression of others who are much more powerful, but the dead earth which seems to be getting worse with every passing moment. But a savior has risen from the ashes, a man who will defeat those who would torment the weak and make the world a livable place once more. A man named Kenshiro..... Written by Chuck "Dark-Side" Williamson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

27 September 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hokuto no Ken  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Real anatomy was studied to depict the gory explosions of the villains. See more »

Quotes

Brave Old Villager: Why? Why would the man who killed Zender and saved our village send these animals here to kill us? I can't believe the fist of the north star would do such a thing!
Abusive Bad Guy: Oh yeah? Guess again!
[Raises his big hammer to kill but gets forcely and unexpectedly hit by Rei]
Abusive Bad Guy: Who's that guy?
Rei: My name is Rei and I am looking for the man you describe. The man with the seven wounds who calls himself fist of the north star.
Abusive Bad Guy: I'll give you this much. You got gutts walking in like this. Give me that! So, with all ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of New Fist of the North Star (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Heart of Madness
Written by Tsuyoshi Ujiki
Performed by Kodomo Band
See more »

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User Reviews

"A-ta-ta-ta-ta...!"
12 June 2003 | by (Chester, England) – See all my reviews

First of all I have to admit I'm a fan of 'Fist of the North Star', what can I say, maybe this movie is not the ultimate in classic, dramatic anime.. but come on, we all need to unwind sometimes.

Those people who often dub this movie as total garbage should realise that Streamline Pictures totally edited most.. ( To be fair, about 80% ) .. of the dialogue and story. This was common back in the day that anime was first coming around over in the West, as Streamline obviously thought.. "Wow, this is too complex for idiots. We should make the dialogue totally different and cliché, and market this as a big violent massacre!" .. which in some situations, you get the picture of this. Streamline Pictures have a reputation of this to be honest.

'Fist of the North Star' or 'Hokuto no Ken' was originally a manga/anime series, it basically chronicled the journey of Kenshiro, or Ken, deep into the dead, barren wastelands of the bleak future, the year 200X in which the world has been devastated by Nuclear War and the world has finally given into pure corruption. The strongest take control, and the weak are picked off like animals, if you didn't actually know, 'Fist of the North Star' was inspired by 'Mad Max' more specifically 'The Road Warrior/Mad Max 2'.

Of course, 'FOTNS' only uses minor elements from the classic movie, the difference between Max and Kenshiro is that Kenshiro is virtually indestructible. He is the practitioner of a sacred Martial Art known as Hokuto Shinken, the fighting skill uses pressure points of the human body, striking these points in a certain method has different effects. Strike a certain combination, you can cure disease or blindness, strike another series however, you can tear a human body apart.

One of the most well-known moves of the Martial Art is Kenshiro's 'One Hundred Crack Fist', in which he performs a combination of lighting fast punches whilst yelling the famous scream inspired by Bruce Lee.. 'A-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta!' To which the victim explodes within seconds. Truly impressive!

This movie is a bad condensation of the entire first series of the anime, it leaves out a lot of the more major characters such as Toki ( Ken's -other- brother who is infused with nuclear radiation. )and Mamiya. For instance, in this movie, and the anime, Shin is established as the major villain, however, Shin is the first real main character to die in the manga. ( He is killed by Kenshiro in the first volume. )

The running order of the plot dramatically changes, Ken fights Jagi -before- Shin, and Raoh is still alive after the final battle, at the end of the movie. While I understand that the whole world of 'FOTNS' could not be put into a movie, this was a little odd. It seemed like a rushed version of the story, which shows at certain points.

The animation was rather good, but the age of the piece does show, the animation is eighties style anime, rather similar to the classic anime movie 'Vampire Hunter D'. However, the art was rather nice, brilliant for the time it was made and the effort put into it all shows off well.

Very graphic violence, and bloody, unrelenting animation. This movie has exploding heads, and bodies ripping apart, this is -NOT- a movie for children. Ironic because the Japanese used to publish 'FOTNS' in Shonen Jump Magazine, a manga comic that a lot of young people have grown up with in Japan. People who hate the sight of blood will probably find themselves physically throwing up.

I've not managed to catch the Japanese version yet, but I had the bad luck of the Streamline Dub. As I mentioned, the entire story and dialogue were changed to make it more appealing to Western audiences.. for instance, the scene in which Rei attacks Jagi's men in the small town and drives a saw into someone's skull..

Rei: 'Silly me, what a foolish mistake..'

Random Thug: 'I've got a splittin' head-ache!'

-Rei drives it further into his skull, killing him.-

Random Thug: 'Uwahhhh ~!'

Rei: 'Better, now?'

What can I say other than stupid? Cliché, stupid dialogue that would not look out of place coming from a lame action movie. Which is basically what Streamline Pictures turned this classic movie into. I liked certain voices, to say the least, Ken, Shin, Rei, Raoh, and the maniacal Jagi were done rather well. Also the Leader of the Fang Clan, dubbed by none other than James Avery! Best known for his voice of Shredder from the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' cartoons, and Phillip Banks from 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air'.

Glad to see that the familiar, famous catchphrase of 'You're already dead!' remained in this movie. Another classic one-liner involves the huge, obese fat warrior known as Heart exploding into a lot of human matter to the tune of Kenshiro's.. 'Say your prayers, Lard-Ass!'

Heart has a lot of guts.. literally.

Worthy of a night in, or a gathering with some friends, you could also make the Streamline dub into a drinking game, taking a slug each time you laugh at the nonsensical, cheesy dialogue!

At the end of it all I would recommend this movie to people who aren't too serious about what they watch, fans of violent anime, and to a lesser extent, fans of martial arts movies. This is not to be taken seriously, although I might add that it is rather well respected in Japan, and still remains to this day. ( There is a series set during World War II known as 'Fist of the Blue Sky', or 'Southen no Ken', and I hear that a new anime series is also in production. )

Hollywood should snap this thing up and make it into a live-action movie, when I say live-action, I mean better and higher budget than the piece of crud 'Fist of the North Star' movie, starring Gary Daniels.

A classic anime that could've been a -lot- better.


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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anyone else think it just sucked? naubrian
What did Ken meanth by 'What a waste.'? FilmernasGud
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Uncle Phil!!!! danketch69
One of the biggest movie mysteries ever? FilmernasGud
dubbing sync question (japanese to english)? fulanito_uk
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