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Originally posted 3-31-2013 by myself on Examiner.com

‘Fist of the North Star’ is the 1986 anime directed by Toyoo Ashida. Screenwriter was Susumu Takasku. Based on the manga series by Buronson.

Humanity struggles to survive after a nuclear war. Battles fought and lost over uncontaminated food and water. Master Ken and his environmentalist fiancée Julia wish to replant trees and plants. To return the world to an Eden like paradise. She thinks it’ll return hope to everyone. They run into Master Shin who issues a challenge to Ken.

Shin has extensive knowledge of pressure points. He uses it against Ken to inflict great damage. Using his fingers to drill seven wounds into his chest. Shin takes Julia as his prize. The mortally wounded Ken falls into a deep chasm and is presumed dead. Ken’s Brother Master Raoh saw the whole thing and did nothing.

Raoh is furious Master Ryuken named Ken his successor. This includes the title of Fist of the North Star. Who is supposed to be the ultimate unbeatable Master. Raoh demands his Master proclaim him the best of the best. Ryuken’s refusal leads to his death. Raoh goes on to become a ruthless war lord. He amasses a great army to terrorize the world.

A year later finds Master Jaji impersonating Ken. He’s done his best to destroy everything good about the man. Only Ken isn’t dead. He used the force to heal his injuries. He’s been looking for Julia ever since. Jaji turned Shin against him. But he redeems himself by revealing Julia’s present day location. She’s with Shin in his palace fortress Southern Cross.

Ken has an ally in Rei. The martial artist is looking for his sister Airi. They were traveling together when she was taken. Both men agree to help each other. Raoh is also on his way to Southern Cross. Shin is the only obstacle to him having total worldwide domination. Julia’s attitude hasn’t changed. She still wishes Shin would drop dead.

She loves Ken and tries to escape when she learns he’s alive. She’s captured by Raoh. Shin tells Ken where she is before dying. Raoh took her to the City of Wailing Demons. Rei found Airi. She has hysterical blindness and was driven mad. Raoh used her as his sex slave. Rei is devastated when she doesn’t recognize his voice. The final showdown between Ken and Raoh is worth the wait.

The good: Inspired by Bruce Lee and Mad Max. Xena could’ve learned a thing or two from Shin. Repeated clash of titans result in bloody epic fights and mass destruction.

The bad: Ryuken picked the wrong men as disciples. The unbelievable ending. Julia escapes her cell but rather than be reunited with her beloved Ken. She replants lush gardens all over the world.

The ugly: Females are exchangeable goods. Damsels in constant need of saving. Where are the warrior women?