Lurkers' Retreat
Manga Manga Video
MANV 1001

Cert  18

Fist of the North Star

Manga's first official release (before anyone emails me to correct this, Akira was released by Island World Communications, Manga Video being the result of the success of that film) is based on the manga by Buronson and Tetsuo Hara, which starts with a little dose of betrayal. Ken and Julia are going to be married, but following a little run in with Ken's friend Shin during a trip to the countryside (which looks pretty bleak since the war killed most things off), Ken finds himself on a quest to get his lost love back. While doing this, he also manages to sort a few problems out for other folk, not to mention sort out a few family problems with his two brothers, Jacky and Raul.

It rates its 18 cert for good reason, though I sometimes wonder if some of the gorier scenes have been touched up to spare the less strong of stomach the agonies. Certainly there are quite a few very bloody endings for some of the characters, not to mention some gory dubbing courtesy of Streamline Pictures and the infamous Carl Macek. The main plotline is sometimes unclear, but the basic premise is that the strong shall dominate, bigger is better and all that, though it does have an underlying line that states that might without perception is nothing, which is possibly the one thing that saves this from being just another gore-filled beat-em-up.

Watching this again, I realise that I was a little quick to purchase as much as I could back in those days, and I possibly would not have touched this now, had I had the choice, and I certainly will not be bothering with the series that was issued later on, but it isn't the total crock that some make it out as either. I certainly could not call myself a fan of the story, nor the stylings, but with brain in neutral I can laugh at some of the throwaway jokes (the village headache comment was a giggle) and some of the story concerning Lynn and her flowers kept the whole thing from getting too macho.

Review: 27-Jan-2003 Chika

[2 stars]

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