Fans of Kung Fu, Karate, or “Ninja” fighting movies where characters are thick-headed, gymrats who are constanly searching for the newest technique are all over the place. These people love shows like Baki the Grappler, Dragon Ball (and DBZ), and the more contemporary Naruto and Bleach. Count me among this group because I loves me some Dragon Ball and DBZ; but up until a few years ago, I didn’t even know something like Fist of the North Star existed. What’s the big deal? Well, Fist of the North Star is supposedly the “John Carter” from which all the popular and “classic” Shonen series have spawned from. However, where watching a movie like John Carter (came out earlier this year) now, it was a good, but not great sci-fi movie that’s known more for failing to do any real damage at the box office. Fist of the North Star’s stomping grounds were the 1980s. For those who have never seen the original film I’m writing about (the 1986 movie) but have somehow seen other stuff from the 80s like Akira; The animation style is somewhat similar as in this movie’s art doesn’t seemed to have aged well. There’s also alot of violence. That last sentence I just wrote, the one before the one your reading now. The sentence I went back and highlighted and bolded. That sentence is an understatement. Check these pictures out:
Looks like a lot going on for a movie about a guy tryingn to get his girlfriend back, huh? The setting of this story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world that has been ravaged by nuclear war. They planet is a barren, dry place with little plant life or water. The people still left alive on the planet are either hunted for their food supply or other amenities; while others have formed gangs and run amuck. One day, Ken (the fist of the north star) is betrayed by his “brother” (a guy he trained in martial arts with under the same teacher). Ken is brutally beaten and later thrown off a cliff. The rest of the movie Ken searches for his girlfriend, the one who betrayed him, and also helps out a few people along the way. Throughout the course of the movie, Ken uses his all powerfull Hokuto Shinken style of martial arts to charge through the countless number of bandits and thugs he finds littered throughout the land. Ken’s story of vengeance (or revenge) isn’t what really kept my interest. The bloody, over-the-top skrimishes that take place throughout is where the movie brings home the bacon. As I continued to watch this movie I started to see bits and pieces of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z series; as well as a little bit of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira. What I mean is that I see many similarities in the way fighting scenes and “power-up” scenes are framed. From the way the aura of strong characters blows around debris down to the chessy dialouge thats sprinkled in and around such scenes. Characters either brag about their training, boast about their bloodlines, or simply glow the color of their spirit in an attempt to intimidate their enemies. Here’s Ken glowing his trademark blue:
Anyway, to sum it all up: the original Fist of the North Star is a VERY, VERY, “manly” movie! It’s big, it’s deadly, and it’s bloodthirsty. Not a movie for the squeamish by any means! Here’s a look at the trailer below, and while I won’t post a link to the movie on Youtube; it’s definetly there for to watch.