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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 4,077 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 14 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 ...
Ken (voice)
Yuriko Yamamoto ...
Julia (voice)
Kenji Utsumi ...
Raoh (voice)
Chikao Ohtsuka ...
Jagi (voice)
Toshio Furukawa ...
Shin (voice)
Kaneto Shiozawa ...
Rei (voice)
Tomiko Suzuki ...
Lynn (voice)
Teiyû Ichiryûsai ...
Bat (voice) (as Mie Suzuki)
Arisa Andô ...
Alei (voice)
Junji Chiba ...
Ryuuken (voice)
Hidekatsu Shibata ...
Zeed (voice)
Junpei Takiguchi ...
Heart (voice)
Takeshi Aono ...
Fox (voice)
Hiroshi Ôtake ...
Jackal (voice)
Daisuke Gôri ...
Uygle (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:

Not Rated | 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:

Fist of the North Star  »

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

Kenshirô: You are already dead.
See more »

Connections

Version of Fist of the North Star (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Purple Eyes
Written by Tsuyoshi Ujiki
Performed by Kodomo Band
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hokuto no plot, no good characters but lots of violence.
16 December 2009 | by (http://thexamtaroshowvault.blogspot.sg) – See all my reviews

"Muscle Bound Maniacs duking it out in a Post Apocalyptic wasteland" sort of sums up this classic anime movie nicely. Like many of the main adult male characters, this movie is all rippling sinews and blood soaked brawn with little to no "brain". Quite possibly this was one of those anime that, for a while, made "anime" synonymous with bloody mindless violence.

Set in a post apocalyptic wasteland on earth where powerful tribes of fighters vie for supremacy at the expense of the dying human populace, "Fist of the North Star" Kenshiro(or Ken for short) is defeated in battle by his old friend Shin who then claims Ken's girlfriend Julia as his prize. With Ken out of the way, his brother Raoh stakes his claim as the new "Fist of the North Star" and proceeds to amass a legion to conquer the world. Surprisingly Ken survives and after years of wandering aimlessly, decides to embark on his quest to rescue Julia and get revenge on those who betrayed him. Along the way he meets other fighters, some out for justice, others for their own selfish ends. He also encounters Bat and Linn, two children whom he rescues from a gang of thugs.

The story a lot better than what it is presented in the movie. There are just too many characters and subplots flying around. Events literally jump from one point to the next. One moment, the story is revolving around Ken, the next Ken is totally out of the picture and we are treated to a "side quest" of a character named Rei trying to rescue his sister from Jagi who was impersonating Kenshiro at the time. And then, we come back to Ken but he has apparently traveled halfway across the world in a few minutes to some other village.

If anything, Hotuko no Ken's lame excuse for a plot serves merely as a glue to tie one fight scene to another. Sure the fights are visceral and extremely violent; heads are imploded, guts are spilled, limbs are flayed and blood spurts in fountains. But none of the fights actually have any sense of danger or peril for the main characters. Kenshiro comes across as this uber powerful fighter with "god-mode" turned on, being able to cause anyone to explode in a shower of blood and limbs with a punch or two. Other than that, he is as likable as rock with all the personality and charisma of a horse.

Halfway through the movie, the characters become even more bizarre and the violence gets so over-the-top that it actually looks funny. The blatant ham fisted acting does not help matters at all. It just makes an already absurd film sound even more absurd.

Beautiful animation and highly detailed art is not enough to save Hotuko no Ken from its bizarre nature. Its lead characters are boring, plot is unnecessarily convoluted, dialog is cheesy and its violence is excessive. There was a poor attempt at a love triangle story that was marred by terrible execution. All in all, this movie scores for its animation and attention to detail. Its portrayal of a world gone to hell is hauntingly effective too and one of the more original settings of a post apocalyptic earth. However Beyond those few points of praise, Hotuko no Ken's lack of depth in the elements that do matter is its main downfall.


3 of 4 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
Anyone else like the dubbed version better? steven_t-2
Uncle Phil!!!! danketch69
One of the biggest movie mysteries ever? FilmernasGud
Anime like this? Broken_Guitar
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