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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 [4] 5 6 ... 8
Fist of the North Star
Reply #25. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by No Nukes
This movie spawned a TV series and a bunch of really, really sucky video games. I'm sure you've been exposed to the Fist Of The North Star NES game at some point and I feel your pain. They were in such a rush to get the game over here that they forgot to translate it, so when you boot up the NES you're greeted by a screen full of kanji. Even worse, they kept the punchy-explode element of the story intact, which angered parents to no extent measurable by man. (the US version of the game, by the way, was the SEQUEL to the Famicom Disk System Fist Of The North Star game. I'm afraid to find out what THAT one looked like.) Take a look at this vile spinoff here:
Fist of the North Star
Reply #26. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by octo
This movie sucked as a kid... i watched it and instantly i could see it sucked especially the ending when two men fight to the death, they are both hurt immeasurably and then this little girl shouts out' stop...' and the action ends WHATS ALL THAT ABOUT??!! and ray... he was tops and he dies.
BUT later on i read alittle about the anime and its actually quite a good story despite the poor tv series. apparently the movie consisted of clippets of the full anime, so thats why when ppl watched it you are introduced to some wierd questions of why's and how's, later on you will discover the answers. The movie in my eyes now wasn't as bad as it seemed when i was young. the musical score was pretty good, the action was good and u have to understand the 2 difference types of art, the nerve exploding one and the cutting one...
You will c that all characters end up in the same place but in reality the movie has missed other powerful characters and the journeys of ken... the voice overs r better then the series and also better drawn!
Watch this movie, then read the anime, then watch the TV series and finally if u must watch the western movie (shrug).
Fist of the North Star
Reply #27. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Stoegen
I had seen "Fist of the North Star" last I was eight years old. Now (17) I had bought the Movie @ ebay! Last Sunday I watched "FotNS" on Television with all my friends. We had a good Time. There is no better "Anime" Movie! I can only recomand it to you!!!
Fist of the North Star
Reply #28. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Shaenharaz
My email is seriously jacked right now, so I thought I'd try to post a question via this comment and see if anyone later posted an answer. If as a neophyte I'm violating the rules, I'm sorry; please elucidate me. But on the subject of "Fist of the Northstar," my question is:

Does anyone know the meaning of the kanji character "ra" in Raou's name? I know the second character means "king," but I don't know what "ra" means. It even appears in that other name of Ryuuken, "Ramon." But every site I go to is like, "Raou left the dojo and changed his name to 'Kenou' (Fist King) and blah, blah, blah..." I know what "Kenou" means, so how about "Raou"?

Any help in this matter will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Fist of the North Star
Reply #29. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by HokutoLover
This is one of those animes that cannot be appreciated the first time you see it. The story of the hokuto brothers is a great tale. Too bad the movie version had to change a lot of things, including removing Toki, the fourth hokuto brother. But it is a good introduction nonetheless.

If you are interested in seeing the story as it was meant to be told, grab one of the TV series box sets from Ebay. I dare you to stop watching after episode 30, where the movie version leaves off, and the series really begins to shine.

Awesome, my favorite series next to Berserk !
Fist of the North Star
Reply #30. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Al Lopez
Hey folks! I remember back in 1988 when I was about 12 years old my cousin had a bunch of tapes entitled fist of the north star. He was a big fan of the series and took numerous trips from hawaii to japan just to buy anime comics and what not. Anyhow I remember the series being subtitled in english while being dubbed in japanese. The whole series rocked but it was so long ago I can't remember any specifics other than it was my favorite anime at the time (I was an avid comic book collector back then). Ok, it is about 1994 or so and I manage to see it at the local video store in NY. Now the series seems to be much shorter and I am rather disappointed in it. Trying to remember but I can remember at the age of 12 watching characters like Juzo of the Cloud and Raul's name was Ken-o or something like that. Now I am looking for that original series, is my memory correct? Was their a character named Juzo? Bah, it's really fuzzy now, that was like 15 years ago.... If anyone has any info on what I am talking about please feel free to e-mail me, I'd love to get some copies of those. Maybe I should try to locate my cousin in hawaii... sigh....
Fist of the North Star
Reply #31. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Craig
Fist of the North Star is by far one of the greatest animes ever and probably one of the longest next to DBZ... I got my box set on ebay and I've watched it twice... definitely worth the amount I paid for...
Fist of the North Star
Reply #32. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Paul
I loved this movie since the day I seen it. Which was when I was 9 years old.  I like the movie just the way it is, even though its not the original plot. I've seen it over 30 times and plan on seeing it a whole lot more!
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