FIST OF THE NORTH STAR (Japanese : 北斗の拳, Hepburn : HOKUTO NO
KEN, lit. "Fist of the
Fist of the North Star
The original manga was published in English by Viz Communications as
a monthly comic book, and later by
Gutsoon! Entertainment as a series
of colorized graphic novels, although neither translation was
completed. English adaptations of other
Fist of the North Star
* 1 Plot * 2 Production
* 3 Media
* 3.1.1 Prequel * 3.1.2 Spin-off works
* 3.2.1 TV series * 3.2.2 Films and OVAs
* 3.3 Novels * 3.4 Live-action film * 3.5 Video games
* 4 Reception * 5 Notes * 6 References * 7 Bibliography * 8 External links
Further information: List of
Fist of the North Star
In the 1990s, civilization was ruined as a result of a worldwide nuclear war and many creatures died out. In spite of these events, 30% of mankind survived and entered an age where the strong ruled over the weak, as the few survivors fought over whatever supply of food and uncontaminated water remained in the wasteland of the world.
Kenshiro , successor to the ancient assassination art of "Hokuto Shinken", wanders into a village in search of water when he is caught in a trap and imprisoned by the local defense force. In prison, he befriends a young orphaned girl named Rin who nursed him back to health. When the village is attacked by a biker gang and Rin is taken hostage by their leader, Ken breaks free from his cell and rescues Rin, defeating the gang leader with his deadly martial art technique. Kenshiro leaves the village and continues his journey, now accompanied by a young thief named Bat . He becomes involved against the King organization after witnessing the many atrocities they have committed. As he infiltrates the gang's stronghold in the city of Southern Cross, he finds out that the leader of King is his old nemesis, the Nanto Seiken master Shin , the man who engraved the seven scars on Kenshiro's chest and kidnapped his fiancée Yuria . Kenshiro emerges victorious in his rematch with Shin, only to find out from Shin that Yuria killed herself in despair. Shin, not wanting to die by Kenshiro's hand, kills himself in the same manner.
Kenshiro continues his journey, fighting against the Golan army, Jackal's gang and the Fang Clan. After being reunited with Rin and meeting new allies such as the woman warrior Mamiya and the Nanto Suichōken successor Rei , Kenshiro learns that Jagi , a violent thug who sought to torment Kenshiro after losing the Hokuto Shinken succession to him, is still alive. Jagi seeks vengeance against Kenshiro by committing heinous crimes while impersonating him, seeking to defame Kenshiro, but is quickly exposed and eliminated. Just before dying, however, Jagi discloses to Kenshiro that their other two brothers-in-training are still alive. Kenshiro goes on to search for the second brother, a gentle healer named Toki , and learns that he is being kept prisoner in the dungeon city of Cassandra. After rescuing Toki, Kenshiro learns that Raoh , the eldest of the four brothers, has become a ruthless warlord known as "Ken-Oh" (King of the Fist) and is now seeking to conquer the post-apocalyptic world. Kenshiro goes on to challenge Raoh, but the long grueling battle ends in a stalemate and the two warriors are forced to settle their differences another day. Rei is fatally wounded as a result of a previous battle with Raoh and he spends the last few days of his life tracking down his nemesis Juda , successor of Nanto Kōkakuken, who once tormented Mamiya in the past. After defeating Juda, Rei goes on to die, at peace with himself.
With Raoh still recovering from his wounds, another warlord, the Nanto Hōōken successor Thouzer , proclaims himself as the Holy Emperor. Kenshiro joins a resistance movement led by an old benefactor, the Nanto Hakuroken successor Shew . When Shew is captured and executed by Thouzer, Kenshiro confronts Thouzer and foils his ambitions. With Thouzer now gone, Raoh recovers from his wounds and goes on to resume his reign of conquest. Toki, who is on the verge of dying as a result of intense radiation poisoning, challenges Raoh as part of a childhood promise they made to each other, but is ultimately no match for him. Raoh can't bring himself to land a killing blow on his own brother, and leaves after defeating Toki. After Toki dies in a battle against the freelance warrior (and Yuria's brother) Ryuga, Kenshiro is left as the only one who can defeat Raoh.
The Last General of Nanto appears and decides to side with Kenshiro in order to defeat Raoh, sending out her five guardians, the Goshasei , after Raoh. Kenshiro and Raoh both learn that the General's true identity is Yuria, Kenshiro's missing fiancee, who had been saved by the Goshasei after her suicide attempt early on in the story. After a series of numerous events and battles, Kenshiro emerges victorious over Raoh and he is finally reunited with Yuria. However, the victory is bittersweet, as Yuria, having affected by radiation sickness, has only a few years left to live. Kenshiro leaves his friends and spends the final few years of Yuria's life with her.
The peace that follows Raoh's downfall does not last long and the world returns to turmoil several years later. Kenshiro rejoins his former traveling companions, Bat and Rin, in their battle against an oppressive Empire, fighting under the banner of the Hokuto Army. The Hokuto Army rescues the rightful Empress Rui , who is also Rin's estranged twin sister, foiling the plot of the usurper Jakoh , who was blackmailing Rui's guardian, the Gento Kōken successor Falco , to do his evil bidding.
However, Rin is taken captive by the remnant of Jakoh's forces and is sent off to the mysterious Kingdom of Shura, a brutal land of warriors ruled by three overlords who have all mastered the ways of Hokuto Ryūken, a martial art which branched off from the same clan alongside Hokuto Shinken into the ways of darkness. Kenshiro defeats Han , the third-ranking overlord, who reveals that the Kingdom of Shura was Kenshiro's birthplace. Moreover, Kenshiro also learns that Hyou , the second overlord, is his biological older brother. After a grueling battle, Hyou and Ken reconcile their differences and Kenshiro seeks out the highest-ranking and most powerful of the three overlords, Kaioh , who is Raoh's biological older brother, and plans a conquest to rule the post apocalyptic world in the name of evil after wiping out the followers of Hokuto Shinken. However, Kenshiro is ultimately helpless against Kaioh's evil powers, and the man known as Shachi, a feared righteous warrior throughout Shura, helps him nearly escape death. After having recovered from the harrowing fight, Hyou reveals to Kenshiro that the homeland of the progenitor clan of all Hokuto style martial arts, the Hokuto Soke, lies in Shura, and holds the secrets of overcoming Kaioh's overwhelming power. Upon gaining the favor of the spirits of the Hokuto Soke, and rightfully bestowed the ancestral techniques in a race against Kaioh, Kenshiro goes to confront the conqueror. When Kenshiro and Kaioh meet up again, the latter hits a pressure point on Rin that renders her unconscious and amnesiac and will force her to fall in love with the first person she sees; Kaioh then sends her away on a horse before rematching Kenshiro. The final battle concludes with Kenshiro defeating Kaioh, who makes his peace with Hyou as both of them pass away.
Afterward, Kenshiro rescues Rin and leaves her under Bat's care as he goes on an adventure with Raoh's orphaned son Ryu. Meanwhile, a villain named Bolge appears, seeking revenge against Kenshiro for blinding him in a fight a long time ago. Bat brands himself with Kenshiro's seven scars and fights in his place, only to be crucified by Bolge and tortured to near-death. Kenshiro rescues Bat, then fights and kills Bolge, while Rin regains her memories and professes her love to a recovering Bat. Afterwards, Kenshiro leaves and continues his role as the Post-Apocalyptic Savior, defending the weak and fighting off the greedy and violent, as the world finally begins to recover from the nuclear war.
Tetsuo Hara, illustrator of the series.
The two one-shots were well received in the reader's surveys of Fresh
Main article: List of Fist of the North Star chapters
Hokuto no Ken premiered in Japan in
Weekly Shōnen Jump in Issue 41
on September 13, 1983 and was serialized weekly until Issue 35 of
1988, lasting 245 chapters. The original collected volumes or
Hokuto no Ken were published under
To celebrate the series' 30th anniversary,
Tokuma Shoten re-published
Hokuto no Ken in an Extreme Edition comprising 18 volumes that were
published two books per month from September 20, 2013 through July 20,
2014 (with a three-month gap between January and April 2014). These
Extreme Editions feature new cover illustrations by
Viz Communications published the first sixteen chapters of Fist of
the North Star in English as an eight-issue monthly comic in 1989,
which were later reprinted in a single graphic novel collection in
1995. During the same year, Viz resumed publication of the series as a
monthly comic until 1997, lasting eighteen issues (adapting chapters
17-44), which were subsequently republished in three additional
graphic novel volumes. A second English adaptation was published by
Gutsoon! Entertainment under the title of Fist of the North Star:
Master Edition,which featured newly colorized artwork, but retained
the original right-to-left orientation. Each volume from the fourth
one and onward featured new cover illustrations by
A series of
Fist of the North Star
* Ten no Haō by Youkow Osada. A series that was serialized in Weekly Comics Bunch featuring Reina and Souga from The Legends of the True Savior movie series. All 42 chapters (as well as a two-part epilogue published sometime after the series' conclusion) were collected in five tankōbon volumes. It was adapted into a 13-episode anime series which aired on Tokyo MX in 2008. The anime adaptation was licensed to Sentai Filmworks under the title of Legends of the Dark King. * Jibo no Hoshi by Ayumi Kasai. Serialized in Big Comics Superior in three parts that ran from March 10 to April 14, 2006 and six subsequent chapters from March 9 to June 8, 2007. A single tankōbon volume was released. * Sōkoku no Garō by Yasuyuki Nekoi. Originally began as two separate one-shot stories that were published in the March 22 and December 8, 2006 issues of Weekly Comic Bunch. The one-shot version of the manga is subtitled The Magnificent Avenger. Rei Gaiden was picked up as an ongoing series, which began in the April 27, 2007 issue of Weekly Comic Bunch. The serial was originally subtitled The Hungry Wolf Saga, before receiving its finalized title. * Shirogane no Seija, a series by Yuka Nagate that began serialization in the August 24, 2007 issue of Weekly Comic Bunch. * Gokuaku no Hana by Shin-ichi Hiromoto, which began serialization in the December 26, 2008 issue of Weekly Comic Bunch. * Hōkō no Kumo by Kakurai Missile, which began serialization in the February 12, 2010 issue of Weekly Comic Bunch. * DD Hokuto no Ken by Kajio, which began serialization in the December 2010 issue of Monthly Comic Zenon . * Kin'yoku no Garuda by Yoshiji Yamaguchi, serialized in Monthly Comic Zenon from April 2013 to August 2013. * Hokuto no Ken: Ichigo Aji written by Yūshi Kawata and illustrated by Imōto Yukito, began serialization in 2013 on the Web Comic Zenyon website.
Further information: List of Fist of the North Star episodes
Hokuto no Ken was first adaptated into a weekly anime series by Toei Animation . The series aired on Fuji Television from October 11, 1984 to March 5, 1987, lasting 109 episodes. It was immediately followed by a sequel series, titled Hokuto no Ken 2, which aired from March 13, 1987 to February 18, 1988, lasting for 43 additional episodes (a combined total of 152 episodes between both series).
The full series was never released on
The first 36 episodes of the first series were translated and dubbed
Manga Entertainment in 1999, although only 24 episodes were
In 2009, William Winckler Productions produced six compilation movies voiced in English. The movies cover major story arcs from the TV series, each one centering on a specific character (Shin, Rei, Toki, Thouzer, Raoh, and Kaioh). These compilation movies had not been officially released in North America and Europe yet, but were distributed to video streaming websites in Japan in 2012.
Films And OVAs
The first animated feature film based on the series, simply titled
Fist of the North Star
In 2003, a three-episode original video animation (OVA) mini-series titled New Fist of the North Star was produced by OB Planning, based on a 1996 Hokuto no Ken novel, Jubaku no Machi. An English dub version was produced by ADV Films in 2004.
In 2005, North Stars Pictures and TMS Entertainment announced the development of a five-part film series titled Fist of the North Star: The Legends of the True Savior . The series is composed of three theatrical films and two OVAs, which were released during a three-year period between 2006 throughout 2008, culminating with the 25th anniversary of the franchise.
An original novel was written by
There has also been two cell phone novels released via the mobile site Hokuto no Ken DX. Raoh Gaiden, a novelization of the manga of the same name, and Kenshiro Gaiden, an original novel by Jotaro Higashi.
Further information: Fist of the North Star (1995 film)
An American-produced live-action movie version of Fist of the North Star was released in 1995, directed by Tony Randel based on a script by Peter Atkins and Wynne McLaughlin. The movie, loosely based on the Shin storyline of the manga, stars Gary Daniels as Kenshiro, Costas Mandylor as Shin and Japanese actress Isako Washio as Yuria, with Malcolm McDowell as Ryuken and Chris Penn as "Jackal" (actually a renamed Jagi). It also featured a cameo by professional wrestler Big Van Vader as Goliath, and Kevin Arbouet as "Rao" (unrelated to the actual Raoh from the manga). The movie was released straight-to-video in the US and Japan (though it did receive a premiere on HBO). The Japanese dubbed version used the original voice actors from the 1980s anime series.
Numerous video game titles based on the
Fist of the North Star
In addition to traditional video games, the franchise has inspired a
series of typing software, an online MMORPG , and numerous pachinko
and pachislot machines, mainly produced by
Fist of the North Star
* ^ Hokuto (北斗), which literally means the "Northern Ladle", is
the Japanese name of the
* ^ A B "Interview with Hara Tetsuo". Raijin Comics. Archived from
the original on 2004-06-29. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
* ^ "Interview with Buronson". ADV Films Presents: New Fist of the
North Star. Archived from the original on 2007-02-18. Retrieved
* ^ "
Fist of the North Star
* Hokuto no Ken Special: All About the Man 北斗の拳SPECIAL ALL ABOUT THE MAN. 週刊少年ジャンプ特別編集 (IN JAPANESE). SHUEISHA. SEPTEMBER 5, 1986. * HARA, TETSUO . TETSU NO DON QUIXOTE 鉄のドン·キホーテ (IN JAPANESE). 2 (Jump Super Comics ed.). ISBN 4-420-13109-8 . * Buronson . Shōsetsu Hokuto no Ken: Jubaku no Machi 小説·北斗の拳―呪縛の街 (in Japanese). ISBN 4-08-703054-7 . * Team Muscle (April 1, 1999). Sekimatsu Haō Retsuden: Hokuto no Ken Kyūkyoku Kaisetsusho 世紀末覇王列伝 北斗の拳 究極解説書 . Home-Sha. ISBN 4-8342-1684-5 . * Team Muscle (December 1, 1999). Hokuto no Ken 2000: Kyūkyoku Kaisetsusho Part 2 北斗の拳2000 究極解説書 PART2 . Home-Sha. ISBN 4-8342-1685-3 . * Shiranui Pro (February 1, 2006). Hokuto no Ken Character File: Ransei Eiyūtan 北斗の拳キャラクターFILE 乱世英雄譚. Futabasha. ISBN 4-5759-4001-1 . * Shiranui Pro (March 1, 2006). Hokuto no Ken Data File: Ōgi Hidensho 北斗の拳データFILE 奥義秘伝書. Futabasha. ISBN 4-5759-4006-2 .