45 user 12 critic

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.



(comic), (comic) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Fist of the North Star (1984–1988)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

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 ... See full summary »

Stars: Akira Kamiya, Shigeru Chiba, Teiyû Ichiryûsai
Fist of the North Star 2 (1987–1988)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Peace was brought to the land by Kenshirô years ago. But now he is gone; merely a legend. Along with the peace came a distinction in classes, and soon a new era of violence began. A new ... See full summary »

Stars: Akira Kamiya, Shigeru Chiba, Mîna Tominaga
New Fist of the North Star (TV Series 2003)
Animation | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Kenshiro is back to make more people's heads explode in this 3 episode anime OVA.

Stars: Takehito Koyasu, Robert Ashker Kraft, Yurika Hino
Action | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

Based on a graphic novel, this apocalyptic adventure centers on a man who must reverse the cataclysmic conditions of his world.

Director: Tony Randel
Stars: Gary Daniels, Malcolm McDowell, Costas Mandylor
Animation | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Ken is backstabbed by Shin (Fist of The South Star) who kidnapped his love, and claimed Kens powers to stop conflict . So Ken now almost dead , goes through the post apocalyptic wasteland to learn to fight for the innocent ,and reclaim his title as the legendary fighter .

Director: Kôbun Shizuno
Stars: Hiroshi Abe, Yuriko Ishida, Romi Pak
Animation | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Hidehito Ueda
Stars: Hiroshi Abe, Takashi Ukaji, Yuriko Ishida
Animation | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Takahiro Imamura
Stars: Hiroshi Abe, Takashi Ukaji, Ko Shibasaki
Animation | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Stars: Hiroshi Abe, Takashi Ukaji, Yuriko Ishida
Animation | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After killing the son of a powerful oil tycoon, an assassin-for-hire becomes the target of American soldiers and superhuman killers.

Director: Osamu Dezaki
Stars: Tetsurô Sagawa, Gorô Naya, Toshiko Fujita
Animation | Action | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young girl requests the help of a vampire hunter to kill the vampire who has bitten her, and thus prevent her from becoming a vampire herself.

Director: Toyoo Ashida
Stars: Kaneto Shiozawa, Michie Tomizawa, Seizô Katô
Wicked City (1987)
Animation | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two agents - a lady-killer human and a voluptuous demon - attempt to protect a signatory to a peace ceremony between the human world and the "Black World" from radicalized demons.

Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Stars: Yûsaku Yara, Toshiko Fujita, Ichirô Nagai
Ninja Scroll (1993)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A vagabond swordsman is aided by a beautiful ninja girl and a crafty spy in confronting a demonic clan of killers - with a ghost from his past as their leader - who are bent on overthrowing the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Stars: Kôichi Yamadera, Emi Shinohara, Takeshi Aono


Cast overview, first billed only:
... Kenshiro (voice)
Yuriko Yamamoto ... Yuria (voice)
... Raoh (voice)
Chikao Ohtsuka ... Jagi (voice)
... Shin (voice)
... Rei (voice)
Tomiko Suzuki ... Lin (voice)
Teiyû Ichiryûsai ... Bat (voice) (as Mie Suzuki)
Arisa Andô ... Airi (voice)
Junji Chiba ... Ryuken (voice)
Hidekatsu Shibata ... Zeed (voice)
Junpei Takiguchi ... Heart (voice)
... Fox (voice)
Hiroshi Ôtake ... Jackal (voice)
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


He'll blow your mind... Right out of your skull! (Discotek Media re-release DVD) See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 September 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fist of the North Star  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


(some footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Similarly, Kenshiro makes a cameo in Vampire Hunter D as a villager during the scene where the Count's messenger arrives in the village to give the candle to Rei Ginsei. 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 »


Kenshirô: You are already dead.
See more »


Referenced in Honest Game Trailers: Batman: Arkham City (2016) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Genre fans will enjoy it for the gore and style, casual viewers will find that these do not cover the other problems
13 August 2009 | by See all my reviews

Mankind has finally destroyed itself and those that have survived find themselves on a barren, dead planet. All men are afraid and this leads to tribalism where strength and power over others is all, leading in turn to cruelty and violence. With this as a backdrop, powerful Fist of the North Star Kenshirô, is left for dead when his equally powerful friend Shin defeats him and takes his lover Julia for himself. Kenshirô somehow survives this and returns to seek justice, aided by fighter Rei, whose sister has been kidnapped by Kenshirô's brother Jagi (who was the one who poisoned Shin against Kenshirô in the first place). Meanwhile Raoh's rebuffed claim to be the rightful Fist has left him bitter and hungry for power with his army and individual powers seeing him grow in strength and power, creating a world of repression that is at odds with the hope manifested in two young children who find themselves under the care of Kenshirô and Rei.

Somehow or other I managed to watch and comment on the live action remark of his famous film/series. That version was pretty poor so I decided to go back to the source material and see how that comes across. Everything opens well, with a visual depiction of a nuclear holocaust that has a real sense of scale and suffering about it and I hoped that it would use this backdrop well. Sadly it doesn't really manage it and, while there are plenty of things to appreciate about the film, it never manages to get away from a key problem – one that you may already have a feel for from my plot summary.

The genre and the approach of the film suggests that a tight plot with a simple narrative would suit it best. However what we get are lots of characters moving around, causing the film to feel a little slow and complicated. It is not that it is hard to follow per se, just that there seems to be a lot of plot and characters for a film that does so little with all of them other than use them to create a convoluted narrative. It is messy and it doesn't bring much to the film than an impression of clutter and mess that it could easily have done without. Those kids and their entire "subplot" could have been cut from the get-go; although calling their material a "sub-plot" suggests that it is a plot worth following which, other than their roles early on as trigger for one character's return, they do not work in any way of interest.

What it does do well though is create some stylishly cool violence and gore. It won't be to everyone's taste but certainly fans of the genre will love it. Technologically the animation has been superseded so will look a little dated but this is not to say that it is "bad" or even "of its time" because certainly does not feel like something that is over 20 years old. The violence is cool even if it is a little silly as well – but this comes with the territory. I loved the scenes of the aftermath of destruction though, these were mostly creative and impressive in their scale. The voice work was also surprisingly solid – often English dubs are awful but, with the exceptions of Julia and the kids, everyone was pretty good.

Overall though this is a solid piece of anime but not the classic that many claim it to be (a look at the 10* reviews here will show you what I mean). The imagination behind it and the delivery of gore is impressive but it is undermined by the passage of time making it less impressive to modern eyes but also the problem of such an unnecessarily cluttered plot that leads to some overly-sentimental nonsense as the conclusion. Worth a look for genre fans but casual viewers will not see the film that the fans are seeing.

7 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 45 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed