Today I wanna tell you about one of the greatest anime that was ever made. Animation quality drops and simple plot can not ruin the awesomeness of this creation. When you for the first time hear Kenshiro say his famous “yayayayayayayayayaya” and see him do a hundred punches per second, at that moment you know you’ve got to love this show. And when you see that every punch he performs hit a “pressure point” and that makes opponent’s head explode, well, you know that you were not mistaken. Let me tell you about anime in its glory, Fist of the North Star.
Fist of the North Star is a pretty big franchise. There is a hundred episodes long TV show, one old movie from 1986, a series of newer movies, an OVA and who knows how much more stuff. They all share the same characters (more or less), but the TV show tells the main story, the old movie is a short summary for the main plot points and the newer movies illustrate some particular story arcs. And so here I am going to talk about the 1986 movie.
I think this movie is the best way to start watching Fist of the North Star. It is not as long as the TV show and yet it has some interesting plot that develops in a good pace. And it offers all the awesomeness you want to see in a show like this.
The show tells a story of Kenshiro, a practitioner of Hokuto Shinken, a martial art that uses bare-hand fighting techniques. They learn about pressure points on human body, which, when touched, can cause great damage. Kenshiro lives in a post nuclear war world, destroyed and ruined, with no water, no food. It is all just deserts and bands of punks trying to robe anyone they can find. There are some good people left in that world, and Kenshiro uses his strength to protect them. He is not very successful at protecting, but well, that is not the selling point of the show.
The selling point, at least for me, was how funny it is. And it is really funny. People who were making this show wanted to show Kenshiro’s strength, and they went way over board with that. The examples of that are countless. Like there is a scene at the begging of the movie where Kenshiro walks near a skyscraper and he punches it, I guess just to show how angry he is. And the skyscrapers falls. On him.
That by itself is pretty funny and stupid, but that is not it. Kenshiro proceeds to walk through the skyscraper, as if nothing happened. I don’t think a normal person would be able to walk through a sheet of paper without some struggle. Here Kenshiro just go through concrete walls.
And that is not the end, that is just the beginning. There are more practitioners of Hokuto Shinken besides Kenshiro. Some of them are even more overpowered. One of them is not even dismounting from a horse to fight. But well, you really need to see that for yourself to appreciate how good and funny it looks.
The animation here is not the strong point, but it isn’t too bad. As I mentioned, there are some quality drops, but they are rather interesting. On of them looks like they lost a few seconds of footage and recovered by using a recording made during a screening, or something like that. It still looks better than the animation in the TV series, but if you are used to nowadays standards you might not be amused by it. But if you like old style anime, here you go, hurry up and get this movie, it would be a great treat for you. Just as it was for me.
The art style and character designs are a thing in itself. I mean, if you are a medical student, and you forgot how a particular muscle looks, glance at Kenshiro and you will see it. And you don’t need your glasses, every muscle on Kenshiro’s body is bigger than all of them on yours. Even is you are a heavyweight boxer, I don’t care, it still applies. In that sense the anime is a little similar to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures, which was inspired by The Fist of the North Star.
The music isn’t too outstanding. I watched the movie some few months ago and I don’t remember any music from it, so yeah. The newer Fist of the North Star movies have some really good music though, hopefully I will get to write about them too.
As good as the movie is, I am not sure it is safe for kids to watch. Tons of corpses, blood, extreme violence, lots of very graphic murder scenes. If you are not at least 14, don’t even come close (should I change this number to 16 or 18? I dunno..).
It is up to you to decide if you want to watch this anime. I’d say, give it a try. See you next time (^_^)/