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Fist of the North Star (1986)

Hokuto no Ken (original title)
Not Rated | | Animation, Action, Drama | 27 September 1991 (USA)
A practitioner of the deadly martial art "Hokuto Shinken" allies with two children and an expert in "Nanto Suicho-Ken" to fight against the rivals who kidnapped his lover and threaten the prosperity of mankind.


Toyoo Ashida


Buronson (comic), Tetsuo Hara (comic) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Akira Kamiya ... Kenshiro (voice)
Yuriko Yamamoto ... Yuria (voice)
Kenji Utsumi ... Raoh (voice)
Chikao Ohtsuka ... Jagi (voice)
Toshio Furukawa ... Shin (voice)
Kaneto Shiozawa ... Rei (voice)
Tomiko Suzuki ... Lin (voice)
Teiyû Ichiryûsai Teiyû Ichiryûsai ... Bat (voice) (as Mie Suzuki)
Arisa Andô Arisa Andô ... Airi (voice)
Junji Chiba Junji Chiba ... Ryuken (voice)
Hidekatsu Shibata Hidekatsu Shibata ... Zeed (voice)
Junpei Takiguchi Junpei Takiguchi ... Heart (voice)
Takeshi Aono ... Fox (voice)
Hiroshi Ôtake Hiroshi Ôtake ... Jackal (voice)
Daisuke Gôri Daisuke Gôri ... Uyghur (voice)


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


You're already dead! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

27 September 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fist of the North Star See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Black and White (some footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Vampire Hunter D of the 1985 anime movie of the same name makes a cameo appearance as a villager in the scene where Raoh's second-in-command, Uighur, reveals the pot of flowers to the people. Toyoo Ashida, the director of the film, directed Vampire Hunter D one year prior to directing the anime Hokuto No Ken movie. See more »


At one point during his fight with Raoh, Kenshiro's arm bands are back on even though moments earlier they ripped off when he activates his Hokuto Shinken, a moment later they vanish again. See more »


Ken-Ô: [Opening the doors] Ryûken, the fist of the north star has been defeated. Shin crushed him as he would an insect. When you chose Ken as your successor, I told you that it should have been me and I was right! Stand up, I'll prove it to you! I challenge you to a test of strenght!
Ryûken: Physical strenght is no substitute for perception. For perception is the key which unlocks the intangible powers of the spirit. You perceive nothing.
Ken-Ô: You silly old fool. Stop hiding behind your metaphors and metaphysical ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The English Streamline Pictures dub (released in the UK by Manga Video) features a drastically altered script from the Japanese original. The exact nature of the Hokuto Shinken and Nanto Seiken schools (North Star and South Star in the English dub) are never fully explained and Yuria's Nanto heritage is never mentioned. The English dub also features an instrumental version of the ending theme, Purple Eyes, instead of the vocal version by Kodomo Band in the Japanese original. See more »


Referenced in Atop the Fourth Wall: Fist of the North Star, Ch. 1 (2017) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

12 June 2003 | by Perfect-BlueSee 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.

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