Friday, April 8, 2011

New Fist of the North Star Anime Review

New Fist of the North Star
Shin Hokuto no Ken
ADV Films
Complete Collection - 3 episodes
175 mins. - 1 disc
$14.98 (2013)
$19.98 (2009) w/Neo Tokyo
$19.98 (2008) w/Neo Tokyo
$29.98 (2005)
$29.98 (2004) Vol. 1-3/ea.
$34.98 (2004) Vol. 1 w/Artbox
ISBN 702727132728
English/Japanese Audio - English Subtitles
Director: Takashi Watanabe
Studio: OB Planning

Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic world where a nuclear holocaust has destroyed civilization the remnants of humanity face extinction.  The physically powerful exploit the weak and take what they want.  One man bearing tell-tale scars roams the wastelands helping the helpless as he confronts their oppressors.  He is Kenshiro, the Fist of the North Star!  Master of a martial art based on pressure point techniques, Kenshiro's first move kills any regular mortal.
Kenshiro saves Freedom Village from the nasty henchman of Sanga
He comes upon a rare oasis in the deserted wastelands of the world called the "Last Land".  Here water is plentiful, but this paradise is ruled by a psychotic despot who rules with an iron fist.  The lovely healer Sara catches his attention, but she is just another victim of Sanga, the dictator of the Last Land.  Only Kenshiro can put an end to this shameful exploitation of the weak!
Sanga has set up this boy to be a fake messiah who 'brings water to the land'
Pros: Heads explode!!!, brief nudity, decent CGI/effects, nice update to the classic series
Sanga forces himself upon Sara the healer
Cons: Somewhat short and doesn't delve too deeply into Kenshiro's past, relatively bland story and ending, originally released as three volumes with one episode each for $30 bucks - ridiculous!
This dork preys on the weak and is just begging for Kenshiro to kick his ass!
Mike Tells It Straight: Accept no substitutes, if your Fist of the North Star does not contain exploding heads, then it sucks!  Fortunately the exploding head count in this OVA is more than acceptable.  My original introduction to Fist of the North Star was the '80s movie.  This updated version will take you back and impress you with its slick animation,  but it can't top the older version for sheer guts and an intense storyline.
Sanga's secret technique - titty twister!
We don't get to see any of our old favorites like Raoh, Rei, or Jagi (the guy you love to hate).  I still prefer the classic movie or the TV series if you can get your hands on a copy.  The updated version presented here is still pretty good and they stay faithful to the orginal manga.  I guess back in the '80s the anime was just more hardcore compared to today.
The original Fist of the North Star was a 27 volume manga series which evolved into a 109 episode television series.  Pretty impressive and really epitomized the '80s anime works and pop culture at the time - grim and gritty just like the Punisher in the US.  

TO BUY and Recommendations: