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Not Rated
Copyright 1986 Toei Animation Company LTD
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Ken - Martial arts master known as the Fist of the North Star. Not only can he perform clothes bursting sequences reminiscent of the Incredible Hulk, anything he punches explodes, including people.
  • Ray - Powerful fighter whose style cuts enemies to ribbons. Searching for his kidnapped sister, after finding her he tries to take on Raoh. Ray is not with us at the end of the movie.
  • Julia - Ken's true love, taken prisoner by Shin then Raoh.
  • Bat and Lynn - Two kids, she has special powers enabling her to grow plants even though the world is an arid wasteland. Mostly I have been wondering about parents who would name their son "Bat."
  • Ryuukin - Father to Ken, Jagi, and Raoh. His ideals and knowledge might be among the most noble, but only one kid turned out to be anything except a dangerous megalomaniac. Killed by Raoh.
  • Shin - The Fist of the South Star. Betrays everything sacred in his desire to possess Julia, though first being pummeled by Raoh and then finished off by Ken is probably ample punishment.
  • A Limitless Supply of Fodder - Thugs, bandits, and giants. Despite their own strengths and weaknesses, like being large enough to make Richard Simmons cry or transforming their skin into metal, all are destined to meet gory ends. Zendah falls into this category.
  • Jagi - Ken's brother, a previous argument between the two led to the mutilation of his head. The second encounter proves to be a very messy affair.
  • Raoh - Ken's older brother and probably the most powerful warrior alive (by a smidgen). Wanders around doing evil stuff like raising armies and massacring people.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

I tend to wax nostalgic when thinking about this film, but what young lad wouldn't? First off - it is (decently drawn) Japanese Animation, secondly - people get punched then explode into fountains of guts and blood! Forget the Internet and television, how did our parents make it growing up without this movie?

All that and an acceptable plot too, which we will now go into more detail about (for some reason I imagine you all cowering under tarps like the audience at a Gallagher show). As so many other films here the movie begins with a nuclear war devastating mankind and the Earth in general. Even though many large buildings are destroyed (including one with a oil tanker through it) I would like you to ignore the large amount of unbroken windows in evidence. This is secondary to more important plot points, like the development of martial arts that cause massive trauma to anyone struck.

Yeah, what about that? I honestly don't know, though that fact does not tarnish my joy at watching Ken glow with power as he stomps a hole in someone the size of Goliath. Or squeeze some guy's skull in, can't forget that.

In his quest to rescue Julia from Shin our hero encounters Bat and Lynn, which proves fortunate since the little girl has a green thumb. Unfortunately the seeds which everyone hopes will save the world appear to be weeds and annuals to further the insult. Terrific, the last darn photosynthetic organism on Earth and it's a weed.

Besides this the movie has fighting, lots of it. Plenty of people getting punched, smashed, or cut into pieces. Whether it is Ken defending a town against marauding bandits or Raoh leading his armies across the dusty wastes, you're going to see some messy stuff. I recommend this film to people who like over the top splatter.

On a final note, try counting the number of times someone says "Fist of the North Star." I gave up around twenty.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Eyes are more resistant to damage than muscle and bone.
  • People are little more than pressurized sacks full of blood and intestines.
  • After a nuclear war the Aurora Borealis are really spectacular.
  • A dirt buggy is fully functional and the occupants unharmed after plummeting twenty stories.
  • If some guy makes things explode when he hits them then (for crying out loud) don't let him punch you in the forehead.
  • Fat guys are just like tar babies.
  • Trying to kill a woman's boyfriend is not the best start to a relationship.
  • Sometimes not having rhythm is fatal.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 4 mins - It is the middle of a nuclear war, why are you idiots walking around?
  • 25 mins - Want to know what I'd do after seeing some guy knocking down skyscrapers with punches? The phrase is "run like a little bitch."
  • 33 mins - Zendah seems to change size...
  • 48 mins - You have to admit, fatboy had a lot of guts. Okay, no more puns this review, I promise.
  • 60 mins - How did Lynn know Alei's name?
  • 70 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT! (Feel really funny saying that about ink.)
  • 86 mins - Flowers are against the law? What is this, California?
  • 102 mins - Where in the heck did this change of heart come from?
  • 104 mins - Obviously some bees survived and pollinated the first flower.


  • Julia: "This is madness, the fists of the north and south aren't ever supposed to fight! You know that!"
  • Raoh: "All right, if you're that eager to die I'll oblige you. Any time you're ready."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note fistnorthstar1.wav Ryuukin: "Power without perception is virtually useless, and therefore of no true value."
Green Music Note fistnorthstar2.wav Zendah: "Refuse me and the girl will be the first to die."
Villager: "If we give up you'll most likely kill us all anyway."
Zendah: "Maybe so, but if you don't I'll break this kid into pieces and stuff her down your throat."
Green Music Note fistnorthstar3.wav Evil Guy: "Hey I thought you was a girl! Either way, you die."
Ray: "Sorry, I don't agree, I believe you are the one who is about to die."
Green Music Note fistnorthstar4.wav Ray: "Quit stalling Raoh, come on!"
Raoh: "Death shouldn't be rushed, one should savor it like fine wine and enjoy it's aroma. But if, in consideration of your impatience, I must kill you now - so be it."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipfistnorthstar1.mpg - 2.5m

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3 ... 8
Fist of the North Star
Reply #1. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by DaveS
Uh, Dim Mak roughly translated means "horse s**t." I was reading some of the other comments and someone mentioned that this "ancient and deadly" martial art was the inspiration for Hokuto no Ken. While it may indeed have influenced the anime, I can't believe some people give credence to the idea that there was ever a martial art so deadly that one touch could kill. Give me a f**king break. It's a cool concept for an anime, but in the real world it's just wishful thinking.
Fist of the North Star
Reply #2. Posted on December 10, 2001, 11:16:57 PM by marco
I love fist of the north star it is my favourite anime and movie in the world .Iam 16 and i saw this anime when i was 6 and i still watch it and its still the best and i never get sick of it and never will cause its f**king sweet.
Fist of the North Star
Reply #3. Posted on August 06, 2000, 08:52:39 PM by Matthew Revert
I think it's great that you put Fist O' the North Star up on your site. Its certainly one of the best anime's I have ever seen. It probably gives Dead Alive a run for its money in the gore steaks.
Fist of the North Star
Reply #4. Posted on August 07, 2000, 02:27:11 AM by gash
I have to agree this is one of those films that make you say what did I just see?!? The plot is a little convoluted, but the song before the final showdown is well worth it.
Fist of the North Star
Reply #5. Posted on August 11, 2000, 01:03:57 PM by Squishy
Awful, true, but nothing compared to its live-action version--featuring Malcolm McDowell, Downtown Julie Brown, Clint Howard, and Chris "Stalin." And NO on-screen exploding heads or guts. What the hell was it made for, the great storyline? Ewwwwwwwww.
Fist of the North Star
Reply #6. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Allen
I had both the Anime and the live action movie (directed by Tony Randal!). A friend of my daughter borrowed and lost both. Lesson learned, never lend your good movies out.  Good news! I found and bought the DVD live action movie at Fry's Electronics in California and just bought the DVD anime on Ebay!  It's out of print everywhere else.

Anyway, I'm having a "Fist Fest" this weekend!
Fist of the North Star
Reply #7. Posted on October 02, 2000, 01:17:22 AM by Bill
"Boo dot com" here says "its one of the brst mangas!"  With 'brst' he/she/it could be meaning 'best', but I think perhaps 'burst' is a better typo correction.  I don't think even Frankenhooker had better exploding people, though the hookers blowing up WAS impressive.  It also provides some handy medical advice:  Next time you have a splitting headache, poke some holes in yourself with your finger, and you'll be right as rain (with a little tissue damage, perhaps).
Fist of the North Star
Reply #8. Posted on October 21, 2000, 03:49:56 AM by Paul Gadaloff
  I saw this one a few years back, and two things stand out in my memory (other than all the points you've made in the review).  

(A)  I was TOTALLY WRONG all my life thinking that "Ken" ain't a particularly he-man name,  and

(B)  In the parched, poisoned, irradiated futuristic nightmare world, there's enough food around for men to be thirty feet tall, 8000 kilograms and mega-muscular....


  You couldn't want to change a thing about Fister of The North Star.
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