Anime Meta-Review


Fist of the North Star


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: Hokuto no Ken
  • type: movie
  • grade: watchable
  • genre: magic_war
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title has been commercially released in Australia.
    • This title may offend the sensitive.
  • made: 1986
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

I saw this movie years ago, but the suprise was I hated it then whereas I was simply ambivalent towards it this time. It worries me that all the anime I've seen has degraded my taste, but I think it was just that I knew what to expect. Because this is one of the archetypal Magical Warrior Genre films, and the entire story is largely a prop for that. Anyway, the world has gone up in a mushroom shaped cloud and the remnants of the population have scoured the world for leather, spikes and motorbikes in order to do the full neo-savage bit. And as a bonus for nuclear obliteration some inhabitants of this world have gained super-powers. One particular group of gifted super-powered martial artists have turned on each other, and it is this conflict we largely follow.

There is a sub-plot, involving a woman two of them desire, who may also be important for any hope of the world recovering. And a younger girl with the same power, but this is a relatively weak story. It could also be said that the brothers are examples of how people react to the loss of hope. But let's not be too generous, the truth is that this plot serves simply as a background to a total splatterfest. And if you like gore and super-powered martial arts then this long (2:15) film will deliver. Gouting blood, dismembered limbs and exploding body parts are delivered in sufficient quantity to please even the most ghoulish. A side order of `cool', tough guy posing and dialog and dramatic entrances round off the deal. And if this doesn't sound like it appeals to you then you can safely ignore this movie.

Of course the age of the production has somewhat reduced the visual impact. The exploding heads and epic super-powers are restricted in how horrible they can be, but it still makes a good enough try to bother anyone upset by violence. In addition the voices and dialog do the film few favors, being fairly corny, although I cannot be sure how much of that is due to the dub script. The action scenes are not logical in any way, trying more for being impressive, but some interesting effects can be seen. The world seems more like a stage than a believable future. Still, as long as you can accept that the movie was made to be a tough-guy splatterfest, and has dated, you might find it delivers on what it promises.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:18 WST 2009