Fist of the North Star

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Fist of the North Star
Are you already dead?
Written By Buronson
Illustrated By Tetsuo Hara
Director Toyoo Ashida
Format Anime (TV), Manga
Made By Weekly Shonen Jump (manga)
Toei Animation (anime)
# of Episodes 109 (Season 1)
43 (Season 2)
# of Manga Volumes 27


Action, Shounen

Sum it up in a Sentence:

Fists fly, heads explode, foes already dead!

Main Description

In the near future a nuclear war results in an apocalyptic era where human kind fights simply to survive. The necessities of life, such as food and water, are warred over; while emotions such as hope, compassion, and love are seemingly lost. A few strive to make a difference, including Kenshiro, the successor of the legendary martial art Hokuto no Ken. With just a touch from this powerful art Kenshiro can cripple, control, or destroy an enemy. However before Kenshiro can restore light to the world he must first overcome the seemingly endless armies of vicious warlords who seek to rule it.

Season 1

Although Kenshiro and his fiancée Yuria survived into the post-apocalyptic world, Kenshiro's best friend Shin and practitioner of Nanto Seiken (opposite of Kenshiro's Hokuto Shinken) suddenly turns against him. Seeing how the world is now dominated by brute force, Shin realizes that only those with both power and the tenacity to take what they want will truly rule in the new age. With that, he no longer suppresses his jealousy and love for Yuria, and steals her from Kenshiro by ambushing him. He leaves a defeated Kenshiro with scars shaped like points of the Big Dipper constellation to mock his Hokuto Shinken (North Star God Fist) style, and whisks Yuria away to his his new empire of Southern Cross. It is here that Kenshiro begins his journey of revenge and carrying out justice against Shin and all those who would terrorize survivors of the apocalypse with the same attitude that Shin adopted.

Season 2

Kenshiro's adventures continue several years after the end of the first season. Bat and Lynn are now grown up and help any way they can to preserve Kenshiro's legacy. However, events lead Kenshiro back to the Land of Asura; a place from Kenshiro's past now ruled by even more fearsome warriors.

The Movie

In 1986 a movie was created that melted together many stories of the first arc. Due to limited time many characters were removed or altered from the series. For example Rei's death is shortened from three days. The American release of the movie showed the final battle between Raoh and Kenshiro ending in a draw, however the alternate Japanese version remains closer to the actual outcome from the manga and series.

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Supplements to the storyline:

More ultra-violence:

Personal Opinions


Fist of the North Star shouldn't be missed. This series borrows from many popular genres of the 1980's and molds them together into something too outrageous to imagine. From people exploding to biker gangs at war, there's nothing here that disappoints. Just don't watch that crappy live action movie; god is it awful. The animated movie however is a must! Rei's battle against Raoh to buy time is perhaps the climax in a movie that climaxes every five seconds anyway!


You're already dead. In the brief moments left in your misbegotten life, start reading Fist of the North Star.


A manly adventure full of muscle and where every villain get what's coming to them. If you don't like the fact that the hero is established as undefeatable right from the start or can't stand the charming 80s animation quality, you should look somewhere else. Otherwise, I think this gem of a series is the greatest example of shounen where the action doesn't stop and the protagonist isn't a snot-nosed teenager, but a real man's man.


Great anime. The first part of it is very formulaic but has some interesting characters. After that, new supporting characters are added and the quality of the show improves continuously until the very end of the series. A problem I had with the series is how many cool or interesting characters are introduced, only to be killed off within an episode (or sometimes less time), but I guess that helps reinforce the fact that post-apocalyptic hell is hell.

If you think that whatever part you're at is boring and are thinking about stopping, then I'd suggest skipping to whatever the next recap episode is and giving it another shot from there.


Even though the story doesn't have much depth, its a fun action series about a guy going around blowing people up with martial arts. Just be warned that sometimes the show focuses on some terrible characters including a completely useless woman whose weapon is a yo-yo.


Not many shows have been able to hook me solely on episode 1. Despite being old, these scenes have fantastic visual and audio work. The non-child voice actors have great deliveries that highlight the dramatic romance and anger intertwined in the story. The show doesn't push the boundaries of storytelling, yet you'll always be wondering what will happen next. Some of the episodes towards the middle of this series fail to be engaging because they unravel a side character who doesn't really have an impact on the storyline. They're pretty good about not reusing animations so you can still enjoy these episodes, but feel free to skip them.