Fist of the North Star
"You are already dead." - What Kenshiro says at the end of EVERY. FUCKING. FIGHT.
"ATATATATATATATATATATA!!!" - What Kenshiro says at the beginning of EVERY. FUCKING. FIGHT.
Setting aside the fact that it's manga and anime and thus Weeaboo for a moment, this is the single manliest show in existence. (by Japanese standards, but still pretty manly) If you got Vance Motherfucking Stubbs, Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken, General Sturnn, Gabriel Angelos, and Commissar Fuklaw, Khârn and every World Eater in existence to come together and produce a show using only their pure manliness, this is dangerously similar to what they would probably come up with. Except what they'd come up with would not be Weeaboo and would probably feature more Steve Blum and Scott Fucking McNeil. But this show was created by an acupuncturist who wanted to make a manga about martial arts. LOLWUT?
The result is a show filled with hypocritical moralfags, and villains who don't rape because somehow 'they're above it', despite eagerly slaughtering men, women and children with reckless abandon beforehand (which actually is something criminals do; murderers view rapists as worse than themselves). Which pleases Him. It also features monstrous villains getting the ever-loving shit kicked out of them and often violently exploded, which also pleases Him.
Whenever people think about martial arts in animu the first thing that will come to mind for a lot of people is Dragonball Z; many wapanese see this as the beginning of all fighting animu and their respective cliches. As well as a source of memes-a-plenty. Interestingly, however, Fist(ing) of the North Star - also known as Hokuto No Ken - pre-dates it by nearly half a damned decade. Long before Nappa asked Vegeta about Goku's power level or when nigra Cell charged his lazer, or when everyone's power aura ripped up the earth for 10 episodes and destroyed planets, there was:
FIST(ING) OF THE NORTH STAR.
Fist of the North Star was notable for several reasons when it hit - it started several of the common cliches for works that would follow (both animu and otherwise), such as huge muscle-bound dudes beating the shit out of each other, guys fighting whilst observers sit around gawking and do the equivalent of running commentary on the fight, and dozens of memes (THE HORSE IS AMAZING). It also broke about a dozen or so ongoing cliches all its own just to fuck with conventions - it was jaw-droppingly violent, dealt with a lot of mature subjects in a fairly impressive way, and it actually developed its villains rather than made them evil for evil's sake, which was kind of rare at the time.
To get an idea of what this was like, imagine the movie the Road Warrior, with Australia replaced by somewhere in Asia (they never quite elaborate on where), replace Mel Gibson with a Space Marine-sized version of Bruce Lee, and give him a martial art that makes peoples' heads explode. Now set him up against villains who make the above seem moderate in contrast.
Fist of the North Star is a series taking place in a post-apocalyptic world wherein mankind has descended into barbarism and the strong prey upon the weak. Into this horrid world, there is a man who is trained in a martial arts style called Hokuto Shin Ken, which is centered around punching people using their pressure points and causing them to explode in fountains of gore, like an Angry Marine feeding someone a Plasma Grenade. This man is Kenshiro, a genuinely good-hearted protagonist who protects the weak and who is searching for his Fiance, Yuria. And it only gets more epic from there. The series leads across a dizzying array of support characters and antagonists, ranging from hilarious and uplifting to terrifying and tragic.
Like Eisenhorn for the 40K universe, this work is known for its genuinely touching moments as well as its fuckawesome action sequences and hilariously over-the-top violence. It all-but-single-handedly broke the "men aren't allowed to cry" schtick of the 1980s, bringing us the source of MANLY TEARS that would eventually give rise to the Manly Marines.
Paradoxically, so much is in the series that was simply absent from other works of the time, that it stands on its own, like Rogue Trader, even to this very day. Even minor characters are well-developed and well fleshed-out - even the fucking horse. The villains are monstrous (often being as depraved as people can get), but are very human characters and you get a sense of how far they've fallen to get that way. The setting is dark and disturbing, but has bits of genuinely uplifting moments and more than a few bits of hilarity brought about by the dry humor of several characters (Mostly the Protagonist, Kenshiro, and supporting cast members Bat and Rei).
It is a work of such power and depth that it truly transcends its medium. It's a powerful show - as well as a hilariously awesome campaign setting for GURPS or d20 Modern if you want to take it to its extreme, and several fa/tg/uys have already done so.
There's also a prequel series focusing on one of Kenshiro's ancestors, set in China just before WWII. It is also damn good, and features Kung-fu Jews punching Hitler, though those who like the moralfaggotry of its predecessor may have... issues with some of the protagonist's friends.
Even Khorne tolerates this series, despite the moralfaggotry, weeaboo-ness, and the fact that the Blood was openly censored (by making it glow white, which usually worked, but occasionally resulted in comic gold) in order to get the show past censors and allow it on network TV in its anime format. Presumably the huge body count the show had helped sway the blood god's opinion.
Near the end of the 20th century, a nuclear flame engulfed most of the Earth's surface, reducing most of the world into a vast desert wasteland. The survivors of mankind banded together in tribes in order to fight over the few supply of uncontaminated food and water still left in the world, with the strong often preying on the weak. Kenshiro, the successor of the assassination art known as Hokuto Shinken, wanders the wasteland after being separated from his fiancee by a rival martial artist. Accompanied by two young children, Bat and Lin, Ken becomes a savior to the weak and innocent from the various gangs threatening their survival. Throughout the course of his journey, Kenshiro encounters various formidable rivals and adversaries, ultimately culminating with Kenshiro's eldest adoptive brother Raoh, an oppressive tyrant who challenges Ken for the right of the Hokuto Shinken succession.
Several years afterward, Kenshiro reunites with the now grown Bat and Lin in order to stand up against a corrupt Imperial Army. The three, with the help of other rebels, manage to expose a conspiracy within the Imperial Army to keep the Heavenly Empress (Lin's estranged twin sister, Lui) imprisoned. The Empress is saved, only for Lin to be taken to the "Land of Asura", a country of warriors where only the mightiest survive. Kenshiro crosses to Asura in pursuit of her, only to find himself fighting against the three generals who rule over the land. Kenshiro finds himself fighting not only against his own blood brother Hyou, but also Kaioh, Raoh's own brother. After defeating Kaioh, Kenshiro goes on a few further adventures with Raoh's orphaned son, Ryu.
Fist of the North Star and /tg/
Fist of the North Star is considered one of the only manga/anime works that /tg/ will openly tolerate, if only because it's widely considered fucking awesome and 100% distilled manliness, despite the fact it's main character screams like a version of Bruce Lee crossed with Doomrider when attacking. General gist is that it's about the only manga/anime /tg/ will openly tolerate, and that's fucking unique.
Suffice to say, there's a few amusing examples of Fist of the North Star's influence on /tg/.
One of several commanders of the Manly Marines is a reference to Kenshiro.
If this isn't enough, several DMs have run humorous and hilarious campaigns in GURPs and d20 Modern by using Fist of the North Star as an example. The combination of a post-apocalyptic world and the fact that the martial arts the protagonists and antagonists use is a form that makes people explode (unless they are using Nanto Seiken, in which case it tears them apart in a matter similar to an Eversor) is a bit of curiosity that has never truly gotten old.
An ongoing bit of interest is that many of the villains in HNK seem to fall into the archetypes put forth by Chaos champions in the WHFB and WH40K universes. Raoh's martial prowess, ludicrously high body count, and massive strength are all indication of a Khornate, though Raoh falls into the category of a Warhammer Fantasy pre-Matt Ward Khornate in that he's actually coherent, careful, and intelligent (so a azn Hrafn Untam). Shin's manipulation and ultimately setting things for Raoh's downfall are indicative of a Tzeentchian champion, Juda's self-indulgence and hedonism make him indicative of a Slaaneshi Champion, and the world being a radiation-flooded hell-hole makes the bulk of the HNK world a praise to the Plaguefather.
In turn, this means that HNK has the approval of all four Chaos Gods, as well as of the other races - Kenshiro being a good example of humanity in that he is both noble, good-hearted, and flawed, Mamiya being an idealist willing to fight for a common cause, Rei being willing to fight overwhelming odds despite the fact that it will result in his doom, Amiba being a douchebag who's in it for his own diabolical ends, Juza being in it primarily for the lulz, and the teeming masses of mooks being willing to throw themselves at the various heroes in villains out of the desire to bring them low for their own survival.
So, yeah. /tg/ likes this.
Kenshiro and assorted faggots aside from Raoh, Juza, and Kaioh
The main character's name is Kenshiro, clearly modeled after Bruce Lee dressed in Mad Max's clothes, who possesses the legendary "Hokuto Shin Ken" fighting style. By punching or poking the correct areas, Kenshiro can make opponents' heads (or any other body part he so chooses) fucking explode from internal pressure, often with results that can only produce lulz. But his signature move which spawned imitations that go on to this day is the "Hokuto Hyakuretsu-Ken" technique which is moonspeak for AAAAAA ATATATATATATATATATATA!!! Basically this attack is Kenshiro screaming like a little girl and punching his opponent in a fury of 1,000 fists.
Bluntly, he makes you fucking explode, after countless fucking power fist punch you look like mosquitos the size of Rhinos bit you. There is lot of confusion and dispute about this attack, but people usually saying "ATATATATATATATATA" part is Hyakuretsu-Ken, and each final strike performed differently depending on how victim behaved.
This attack seems to have the same effect on enemies as hitting them just once (causing their head to explode) but just makes it better due to the delay of the head-explosion enabling Kenshiro to deliver his famous line: "You are already dead." Which is listed above.
Part of his Hokuto Shinken mastery unlocks his body's full potential at will; doing this inevitably causes his Mad Max shirt to fucking explode like his enemies are about to. Mysteriously, it appears to regenerate completely in between story arcs. There are many possibilities to explain this: Perhaps Hokuto Shinken allows its wielder to store incredible amounts of spare shirts up their own ass. Perhaps it was a very popular shirt in the pre-apocalypse, and the wasteland is just lousy with the things. Perhaps Kenshiro can use his powers to heal fabric like flesh. Perhaps his clothes are actually made of Tarrasque skin, and share its frightening regenerative properties. Or, most likely of all, perhaps Bat and Lin are just *that good* with needle and thread.
Other notable attacks in Kenshiro's arsenal include:
- Hokuto Zankai Ken: He makes you fucking explode, but gives you time to think about what you've done first.
- Hokuto Ujou Mosho Ha: He makes you fucking explode, but you feel no pain while exploding.
- Ganzan Ryozan Ha: He splits your head with a karate chop no matter what defensive measure you got. You may or may not fucking explode afterwards.
- Goshi Retsu Dan: He makes your hands fucking explode.
- Ten Ha Kasatsu: He makes you fucking explode, but with lasers.
- Muso Tensei: He goes incorporeal and charges through you like a ghost, then makes you fucking explode.
- Nishi Shinku Ha: He reflects your petty arrow or any other ranged weapon at your head, which will promptly fucking explode, even though that never happens when you try shooting people.
- Sui Eishin: He makes you fucking explode with his own Hokuto-Shinken, but steals your special abilities and uses them against you first, just for fun.
KENSHIRO'S TRUSTY MEAT-SHIELDS/SEX TOYS/GENERAL PEOPLE WHO DO SHIT:
Called Bart in the western release. A bratty thief who serves as Kenshiro's de-facto sidekick early on primarily because Kenshiro lacks wheels. He's a resourceful little son of a bitch though, and even manages a few kills (using grenades) within the first 8 episodes. When Ken can't ATATATATATATATA his way out of a situation, Bat's usually the one who saves his ass. Greedy and selfish, Bat initially follows Kenshiro because Ken's an easy way to secure food and water, but becomes a better person through proxy as Kenshiro rubs off on him (and bitch-slaps him for being a cunt in one of the earlier episodes), being willing to throw down by the end of the series, and even having learned some Hokuto Shinken from Ken by the time the second season comes around.
Bat comes across as really fucking obnoxious and annoying early on, coming into his own as he stops being such a faggot and becomes more manly, and he throws a fairly humorous moment down later as he pulls a hilarious trolling move in copying Kenshiro when fighting Amiba's troops.
By the second season, he's in full-blown badass mode and generally is much closer to being This Guy than he is That Guy, which is a hell of an improvement; he's a full-blown revolutionary, taking on the forces of the Celestial Empire and winning, leaving their forces panicking as the Hokuto Army, under Bat, continues its advance.
He also appears to have stolen his headwear from Dragon Quest 2.
A little girl. Simultaneously the most touching and most annoying character in the entire series, and alternates between being unspeakably cute and soul-scarringly annoying. Representing both innocence and the loss thereof, Lynn witnesses the death of both her parents and becomes mute. She shows kindness to Kenshiro and Bat at the beginning of the series, and Kenshiro, saddened over Lynn's past, decides to help her restore her voice, a move which most of /tg/ considers an error in judgement, as her English VA is high-pitched and shrill. She becomes a traveling companion after an attempt to go find out what happened to Kenshiro leads her to be sold as a slave, and alternates for the rest of the series between being useful (her cuteness tends to get doors opened and she tends to be a good judge of character) and being more useless than Vespids in the current Tau Codex.
Hilariously, one could write a book on possible interpretations of her relationship with Kenshiro, and every single one of them would probably involve a pedophilia joke or two. To be fair, however, there's a lot of scenes with her that help flesh out the world of HNK, and being a little girl in a world gone Grimdark and giving Ken a constant reason to keep going and not be a whiny shit that dwells on his failings goes a long way towards making her a bit more likable. She's managed to kill about 10 people out of necessity by the time Raoh kicks the bucket. On the other hand, however, it's her feelings for Ken that cause Bat to go and have a sad later.
She marries Bat in the sequel, then is left by him and then marries him again, because -4 STR. To her credit, she is generally a fuckton more competent than Mamiya ever was portrayed as being in the first season. She still gets captured a bunch; she just is less fucking obnoxious about it.
Kenshiro's girlfriend, though pretty much everyone on Earth wants to fuck her because she's both that hot and that powerful - she's a super double secret Nanto master. She gets stolen away by Shin (to be discussed later), only to attempt to become an hero after being unable to handle the deaths of countless innocents that Shin caused for the lulz. She only reunites with Ken at the very end of the first series (yes, there are two, but the second one is nowhere near as good, and she ends up dying of radiation sickness anyway, but Raoh uses his pressure point magic to ensure she has enough time to enjoy at least a few more years with Ken first.
GOOD GUYS WHO AREN'T KENSHIRO:
A blind practitioner of the Nanto Sei Ken style Hakuroken. Unlike most Nanto users (who as a rule focus on agility), he is actually quite manly - focusing on raw power - and is the sworn protector of a small village. He kicks so hard he can split people in half, and eh fucks with Souther and doesn't afraid of anything. Sadly, Souther is the reigning king of assholes and captures Shuu, forcing Shuu to prove his manliness by carrying a block of stone that probably weighed at least 100 tons on his shoulders up the stairs of a huge pyramid, and makes it to the top despite having enough blood spurting out of him to start a bar for vampires, courtesy of Souther taking pot-shots at him with a bow. Shuu takes the moralfag route, carrying this huge-ass rock for the sake of some kids, but earns points for being harder to kill than even Juza.
Shuu's a bit more developed with some of the manga's spinoffs; he lost his eyesight when Kenshiro first encountered the Nanto and challenged them. Shuu was the one he fought - and Kenshiro got his ass kicked. By demands of his fellow masters, Shuu was told to finish him off, but chose instead to claw his own eyes out and force the others to shut the fuck up through a display of balls-out self-sacrifice.
Not to be confused with TEH REI, Rei is a pretty boy martial artist who uses Nanto Suicho Ken, a style that lets him wave his arms in FABULOUS ways while yowling like a dying cat, and as a result, slices his enemies to bits. His first appearance in every version of the series has him pose as a woman with a cloak, using his Nanto Suicho Ken to cause air currents to maintain the disguise, which he then uses to rob (and murder) a group of bandits for their food and supplies.
Hilariously, he winds up being fucking manly in his own right.
He becomes friends with Ken after Ken helps him save his sister. Later on he pulls a noble move and tries to kill Raoh so Kenshiro doesn't need to fight him, and nearly succeeds (he would have if Raoh's aura and what he had learned from Amiba hadn't given him insight onto what Rei was about to do), but Raoh nails him in a pressure point that will cause him to die in agony within three days. Knowing he's doomed, Rei shows balls worthy of an Imperial Guardsman, uses his remaining time to hunt down and fuck up Juda's shit (for the sake of Mamiya, who Rei fell in love with) while his body is being slowly torn the fuck apart by what Raoh caused. Juda, being a fucking pussy, flees repeatedly, hoping to pull a Tankred vs. Donovan and win by default, but Rei buys himself one more day with help from Toki, and catches Juda off-guard, turning him into HNK's equivalent of Abaddon by chopping his arms off. Rei dies soonafter, like a man, sealing himself away in an abandoned house so that his companions need not see him die, at peace with himself and with the world.
A former slave of Juda's who had the pleasure of watching the psychotic Ronald McDonald look-alike murder both of her parents and then abduct her for his harem and rape her repeatedly for good measure. After she escaped, Mamiya returned to her parent's village to lead it. Instead of sobbing over what happened to her all the time, Mamiya decided that she wasn't going to take that shit from anyone ever again, and learned how to fight, proudly entering the fray on behalf of her village in order to kick some ass, in spite of her -4 Str. She never did learn any crazy flesh-melting kung-fu superpowers, but she compensated via using her feminine wiles to catch opponents off guard and the ancient Chinese art of bringing grenades to a fistfight.
She gets a bit sweet on Kenshiro when the two meet (and who could blame her?), but is largely oblivious to Rei, who actually gives a damn about her. Naturally Kenshiro is kind of hung up on Yuria, so Mamiya keeps her distance. She gets captured by Juda later on, who wants to welcome her back with a spree of delicious rape, but Rei turns Juda into hamburger and encourages Mamiya to live her life and seek happiness. So she does and GB2Kitchen, fulfilling Rei's last request in understanding of his love for her. It's a touching moment that kind of adds a touch of D'aaaaw to a world filled-to-the-brim with grimdark. She spends the rest of the series peacefully running her village with Rei's sister, and whenever Ken needs to drop off an innocent child somewhere safe they go to her.
Mamiya's played up for uselessness in the anime compared to her manga appearance, which had her killing people fairly brutally with a flamethrower, blade-festooned yo-yos, a crossbow, grenades, and sharpened metal stakes. Canonically, she has killed hundreds, and in the video game adaptation her ranged powers make her the second most powerful character, after the crazy hurricane of energy blasts that is Raoh. Conversely, her appearance in the anime is studded with her being captured repeatedly and generally being about as useful as a grot. In the manga she manages to wear sensible fight gear, but the vidya gaems gave her a suit of Female Fantasy Armor to shame a Night Elf, and enough bounce to really get on your nerves.
Raoh's biological younger brother and the guy who would have been the successor to Hokuto Shin Ken if he hadn't contracted radiation poisoning after sacrificing himself during the setting's nuclear fallout to seal the blast doors of a bunker full of women and children after they malfunctioned. He looks exactly like Jesus and is a pacifist, even opting to teach Hokuto Shin Ken as a medicinal practice instead of purely being a killing art. However, he can bring the thunder and uses a form of Hokuto Shin Ken which he modified so it causes you to orgasm to death whilst you explode, ergo ensuring you feel no pain as you die. He gets permanently incapacitated by his radiation poisoning after attempting to stop Raoh, and meets his end some time later after being fatally-wounded by Ryuga. Not to be confused with the arguably-superior Toki Wartooth from Metalocalypse, a show approximately as manly as HNK (if not more so).
He is apparently Asian, despite having white skin and blue eyes. Go figure. Radiation has a tendency to screw up skin pigment that you'd look white as a ghost (Before his radioactive dusting, Toki had roughly the same skin color as Ken and Raoh) and Asians getting blue eyes via parental heredity isn't something out of sci-fi.
Ultimately failed to stop Raoh - but came closer than perhaps anyone else in the series had to that point, and did so with powerful humanity, trying valiantly to save his mad brother from Khorne, and many manly tears were shed when it came out that he had used a dangerous technique that drained away his already-weakened life force to do it. Even that crazy warlord admits that the only reason he won was because Jesus had radiation-poisoning-induced cancer.
Juza is the king of trolls. A self-taught master of his own martial arts style, Juza serves Yuria and is Raoh's ultimate foil, providing lulz and win whilst Raoh offers naught but SRS. His exploits include hitting Raoh with Eggs, stealing his lunch, telling Raoh to kiss his ass in front of his entire army, stealing Raoh's horse, calling Raoh a dickhead in front of everyone, and when being tortured by Raoh, giving the colossal Khornate superman the finger. Raoh murders him brutally (natch), but Juza proves so balls-out difficult that Raoh is actually moved by his attempt to stop him and orders his men to give Juza a respectful burial.
Oh, and pretty much every woman that isn't Yuria is willing to have sex with him. All at once. On both sides of the fourth wall.
High-point of the second season protagonist #1. One of the higher points of the second season, Ein is the only American (Fuck Yeah) in Fist of the North Star, and a bounty hunter who drives a bulldozer... With a reclining seat and nitrous oxide injectors. He is hilariously awesome and is every single positive American stereotype rolled into one character, as a giant love-letter to the action heroes of the 1980s. He has a daughter named Asuka who he fights to provide for, but eventually leaves her in the care of Mamiya and Airi and joins the resistance against the Celestial Emperor. In the end, he survives an attempt to kill him with Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, and ultimately sacrifices his life to breach the floor with all of his strength, unleashing a torrent of water that saves Rin, Bat, Myu, and the Celestial Empress, bringing an end to the conflict, and forevermore being remembered as a hero - exactly as he intended. Asuka gives Kenshiro her father's Flag-Printed Glove as a keepsake thereafter, which Kenshiro accepts.
High-point of the second season protagonist #3. Shachi is the son of a pirate, who was part of a doomed expedition to Ashura, the land of the damned, and was forcibly left behind due to his father's raiding party being utterly annihilated. Despite growing up in Ashura, a land akin to being in a continental version of Dwarf Fortress, and learning to use Hokuto Ryuken, a style of martial arts infamous for corrupting its users, Shachi is an honorable and noble man who preys on the Shuras as an entity called the Rakshasa, leaving their mangled corpses as grim reminders of his passage.
He eventually sides with and saves the life of Kenshiro, even fighting Kaioh, an individual who could swat him like a gnat, and holds the fucking line. He rips out his own eye to defend Kenshiro from Ken's biological brother, Hyou, and adopts his father's eyepatch. He is brutally killed by Kaioh later, but his sacrifice causes Kenshiro to go into Black Rage Mode and kill Kaioh with righteous rage. As was the case of Rei, he dies for the sake of his fiance, pushing himself onwards and not stopping until his body's collapsed.
He also has feathery "whitesnake" hair and is quite possibly the only one in HNK who can rock that 'do and actually look manly doing it. He then adds an eyepatch, which of course makes him even more manly because everything's better with pirates.
High-point protagonist of the second season #2. Originally a Lawful Stupid hatchet-man for the Celestial Empire, it turns out Falco is an unwilling pawn in a greater scheme by some jackass to control the throne of the Empire. He fights Kenshiro, though unwillingly, using a style whose aura can reduce a man to blood and sand. Ken wins, but refuses to kill Falco, citing that he has no reason to, and when Ein saves the Celestial Empress, Falco has no reason to obey to the usurper anymore, choosing instead to rip his fucking face off. He then goes with Kenshiro to Ashura, and is ambushed by Shuras, getting terminally-wounded by a rankless, faceless murderer. Kenshiro hits a pressure point to revitalize Falco, and Falco uses the last of his strength to obliterate his attacker and die with honor, wishing Kenshiro luck as Ken hunts for Rin in the land of Murder. As he collapses, dying, his sole regret is that there is no successor for his fighting style, Gento Token, but a Carrier Pigeon arrives as he's bleeding out, revealing that Falco's wife is pregnant with a son. Smiling, he dies without regrets.
EVIL BASTARDS WHOM YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT:
Otherwise known as the Psyker Kung-Fu Antichrist, Raoh is Ken's adopted brother and generally looks like a mix between Genghis Khan and a Chaos Champion after he becomes a warlord. He is also the proud owner of the Horse who kills for the lulz. He's so bad-ass that he declares himself Ken-Oh, which quite literally means "King of Fists."
Raoh is a huge, overly-muscled bastard who also knows Hokuto Shin Ken, though he's so huge he can overwhelm his foes through sheer muscle. Like Souther, he wants to rule the world, and has an army of countless men to help him. Sometimes he seems like Commissar for frequent execution on his servants shitting their pants, and if he is tired of taking care of those faggots, his big-ass horse executes his men instead. Or he gets his bad-ass second-in command, Ryuga to do it if he feels like enjoying a show.
Somehow, his Army contains a lot of sick bastards like a brute disguised as a giant granny to kill Kenshiro, or some sick fucks(probably an Ork and a Dark Eldar) having fun with human-throwing tournament. but with some reason, all sick fuckers turn into nice family-oriented guys right after Raoh's death. Or at least pretend to. Before someone kills them, because nobody likes a smartass.
Raoh is a villain with a sense of honor and fair play that belies his status; he is an old school Warhammer Fantasy-style Khornate. He will mercilessly murder anyone who stands in the path of his ambition, but will respect any worthy fighter who is willing to face him in battle. He kills numerous good guys no one cares about, but ultimately gets his ass handed to him by Kenshiro, but an-heroes by simply raising his fist in the air and screaming really loud. Because Raoh and/or Kenshiro killed just about every other antagonist in the fucking series, This results in everyone left alive (and that's a fucking short list) living happily ever after, albeit more than a bit physically and emotionally scarred by everything that happened. In Japan, Raoh has a huge fan base, so much that he has his own spinoff anime, and even had an IRL funeral. Also notable is that after Toki's death, the manga is arguably more so about Raoh then Kenshiro.
He obviously worships Khorne, as indicated by his screams of painting his way through history with blood. How else do you possibly describe a man like this?
Kaioh may be from the largely-disliked second series, but is without a doubt, the single most despicable - and powerful - villain in the entire series. If Raoh is a Chaos Lord, then Kaioh is an Ascendant Daemon Prince. Kaioh differs from many other villains in Fist of the North Star in that he has no humanizing element; whereas many villains have some mitigating factor in a dark element that turned them to evil - Shin's love of Yuria, Jagi's jealousy of Kenshiro, Amiba's rage at Toki, or Thouzer's denial of what otherwise made him human - Kaioh is unequivocally, irredeemably evil; he is a monster in human form. He had a horrifyingly sad past, but quickly decided that Evil was the only constant in the world, and as such, he intended to embrace it.
He is also a fucking genius; he spreads the rumor of Raoh's inevitable return to Shura whilst disguising his true nature, knowing full well that he resembled Raoh, so that when the time was right, Kaioh could arise claiming to be him and assume control of not only Ashura by popular demand - but of Raoh's disparate forces on the mainland as well. He proudly calls himself a demon. He rides a demonic-looking horse, roughly Kokuoh's size, named Hayabusamaru, in a pretty open attempt to channel Archaeon from Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
Kaioh is so formidable that he is able to see past Kenshiro's use of Musou Tensei - Hokuto Shin Ken's ultimate technique - and utterly crush the otherwise-skilled master of Hokuto, who by this point has faced down foes that would freeze lesser men's blood. Were it not for Kaioh's gloating buying Shachi the time to grab Kenshiro and run, Kaioh would have obliterated Kenshiro then and there. He later fights Ken to the death in a polluted sulfur bog, ignoring the harmful vapors as Kenshiro struggles to even breathe.
He's the strongest user of Hokuto Ryu Ken, a variant of Hokuto Shin Ken reknown for corrupting its users with its raw power. Khorne smiles on this man and bestows upon him great favor. Kaioh grew up in Ashura, a continent which rivals a Death World in brutality; to say he's the king of a land full of psychopaths is an understatement; Kaioh is so powerful and vicious that even Thouzer seems temperate in contrast. Whilst not as fleshed-out as other HNK villains, Kaioh is actually better for the lack of characterization; he's that much more imposing specifically because the utter lack of a moral center he has makes him absolutely terrifying to see on the battlefield. It later turns out that Kaioh dedicated himself to evil entirely of his own volition; though he had a staggeringly tragic backstory, this alone does not explain his descent into madness; it took his own inner evil to warp him into something wholly inhuman, and it was a trip he made without hesitation nor remorse. In the end, he shows his only shreds of decency as he muses that he could have changed his course had he met Kenshiro sooner, but that he still would have lost, and dies alongside his only actual friend (and Ken's biological brother), Hyou.
Also known as Thouzer depending on your localization (it's pronounced the same either way). One of the only characters in the series Raoh genuinely fears, he claims to have a special armor that protects him from fucking exploding. The truth is somewhat more mundane: born with dextrocardia, a condition in which his heart is on the opposite side, all of Souther's pressure points are reversed, ergo meaning that he is virtually invulnerable to the Hokuto style of pressure-point-striking-make-body-explode punches unless his opponent knows that. And he isn't about to tell them.
A master of Nanto Ho-oh Ken, the strongest of the Nanto styles, Souther's power is virtually unmatched and he reigns over a huge stretch of territory without an ounce of pity, empathy, or mercy. Basically, he's what Failbaddon could do if the fucker actually applied himself. The self-proclaimed Holy Emperor, Souther rules Commissar-style, openly executing anyone who pisses him off and using slave labor to construct a massive pyramid as a declaration of his power. His army clashes with Raoh's countless times, and though Raoh's superior troops usually ensure victory, the fact that Souther is damned-near-invulnerable to most has done a bang-up job of keeping Raoh in check. He's also a dick. In the games, his soldiers can't betray him fast enough, because he kills them in fits of dickery like normal men take a piss. In the manga, there's a scene where he rounds up countless starving orphans, makes them watch as he has a twelve-course banquet set in front of him, and eats half a plate of it before ordering the rest thrown away. Just to watch orphans cry.
Ironically, Souther actually has a fairly impressive background despite being a complete monster of the most despicable sort. Nanto Ho-oh Ken successorship demands that the student kill their teacher, and Souther killing off his master (the only person he ever gave a shit about) left him a bitter fuck of a man who abandoned all humanity for the sake of ambition. Ironically, when Kenshiro finishes Souther off, he unwittingly ensures that nothing lies between Raoh and total domination of the world. Way to break it, hero.
Souther's troops are, like Souther himself, assholes, often to a hilarious degree. Several of his men are seen in the manga and animated series alike killing "undesirables" in the wasteland with flamethrowers. The Sisters of Battle approve of both this and their screams of "cleansing the filth." Sadly, a Flamer does not stop Hokuto Shin Ken from making you fucking explode.
A Slaaneshi champion in the Hokuto No Ken universe, Juda feels he's the most beautiful thing in the fucking universe and is a colossal dick. Notorious for resembling a steroid-using androgynous Ronald McDonald, Juda is a colossal dick who makes hundreds of people suffer for the sake of his own ego, mostly because he was jealous of how graceful Rei's style was. He keeps a harem of girls to worship his perfection (and kills any that resist or does not satisfy his esthetic value), and is a notorious backstabber, making a lot of the minor villains in the series seem pleasant by comparison. A double-agent and traitor to his own school, Juda is a Nanto master working for Raoh, though he puts forth a facade that he's working for Souther.
In truth, he's playing both sides. What a dick.
Juda's dickery and being a colossal faggot gets him what he deserves when Rei hunts his ass down, forcing Juda to flee repeatedly and use every despicable tactic in his arsenal to Tarpit Rei, throwing dozens of his own men to their deaths to slow Rei down for a few seconds. Seeing a chance to stop Rei, Juda detonates the dam providing the water supply to Mamiya's village, miring both Rei and himself in water and ergo hindering Rei's footwork by ensuring that Rei's superior mobility is hindered, and he has his men prepare to dump low-level radioactive contaminants into the water to not only potentially poison Rei (knowing his constitution is weakened from the ongoing effects of Raoh's pressure-point stab) but to render the village uninhabitable. Kenshiro stops Juda's men, and Rei drives his arms through Juda's shoulders, ending his reign of douchebaggery.
Juda is the single biggest source of gay jokes in HNK, and considering the sheer volume of muscle-bound half-naked men in the series, that's a hell of an accomplishment. This is in spite of the fact that the manga openly reinforced that he was a rapist and kept a harem of women (including Mamiya, canonically) to satisfy his needs, which is pretty hilarious. Between his makeup (reminiscent of a courtesan's) and obsession with beauty, he comes across as kind of a queen - but the most hilariously awesome example is in the show itself; when Rei finally turns Juda into Abaddon by slashing his shoulders, Juda spits up blood - which due to the excessive lensflaring to get it past the censors, was white. He then dies in Rei's arms, which Rei clearly is fighting not to facepalm over.
Oh, the unfortunate implications.
The so-called Lone Wolf, Ryuga is Raoh's closest lieutenant, and Yuria's brother. Maintaining a force as disorganized as Raoh's takes discipline, and Ryuga is Raoh's Commissar in this regard. He mostly keeps the giant dicks in Raoh's army in line, by scooping giant chunks of bloody meat out of their bodies if they piss Raoh off, which Raoh purportedly finds hilariously satisfying - after all, you don't need to *BLAM* people if you can scoop bloody chunks out of their bodies with your bare fucking hands.
When it becomes apparent that the time for confrontation between Raoh and Kenshiro is approaching, Ryuga attempts to test Kenshiro to see which brother the future needs more - knowing that the only way to anger - and thus get Ken to fight him - is to kill innocents, but otherwise being a noble and honorable sort, Ryuga critically wounds himself before going on a killing spree against the five Chariot Guardians. He loses to Kenshiro, but keeps him on the defensive for the bulk of the fight and is actually the one who strikes the wound that inevitably ends Toki's life. Realizing that Ken is the brother the future needs, Ryuga dies in peace, explaining his actions and why he believes Raoh must be stopped.
Amiba was a self-proclaimed genius who studied Nanto Suicho Ken with Rei and lost the successorship to him; unlike a lot of lost successors, Amiba wasn't an ass about it and let Rei ascend proper without argument. Wanting to help people, he sought out Toki because he wanted to learn Hokuto Shin Ken for its use as a healing art, but because Toki is not the rightful successor of Hokuto Shin Ken, Toki refused to teach him, following the tradition of the art, despite Amiba asking numerous times. He wasn't even allowed to know who could teach him, since Toki wasn't even supposed to mention it. Amiba tried to learn it on his own through study and practice later, but failed and nearly killed some people, causing Toki to make him look like an idiot in front of everyone.
Amiba harbored a serious grudge and with help from Jagi later, impersonated Toki and started experimnenting with Hokuto Shin Ken on people, learning new pressure points and techniques the old-fashioned way (trial and error). This absolutely scared the living shit out of Toki, who sought to stop him - despite lacking formal training, Amiba was nonetheless brilliant and actually managed to began unlocking Hokuto Shin Ken's secrets on his own, and even techniques that had not been considered - a service for which Raoh richly rewarded him. Unfortunately, his trial-and-error tactics for learning them left behind a huge body count of innocent people who were either dead or wished they were. And his constant testing never ceased to leave him hungry for more.
Raoh dealt with Toki before he could take Amiba down, so Amiba could continue his experiments, and provided Amiba with a slew of test-subjects in exchange for Amiba giving Raoh insights on what he found out; through this, Amiba taught Jagi a technique to bolster his physical strength, and Raoh a technique to render himself virtually impervious to pain. So basically, he became a post-apocalyptic Joseph Mengele. His techniques include a strike that causes the victim's heart to explode, after 30 seconds, with such force that the shrapnel can injure those nearby.
Kenshiro fights him and at first, thinking he's Toki, isn't really able to bring himself to kill him (and actually gets his ass kicked), but when Rei shows up and points out who he is, Kenshiro breaks free of his pressure-point induced paralysis (because Amiba didn't hit the point with the proper precision) and Amiba gets his ass kicked harder than a Guard player facing down three Manticore Rocket Launchers. Amiba tries to use the Mighty Arm Point (the move he taught Jagi) to hulk out and crush Kenshiro, but in his rage, he once more fucks up the pressure point, causing him to hulk out, then suffer his hands blowing the fuck up.
Amiba was notably gayed-up in the Anime, replacing his kinda tragic backstory with him being a self-obsessed whiny bitch whose only motivation for going after Toki was that he bitch-slapped and reprimanded him after he fucked up a medical treatment on an old man. He remains, however, both hilariously fucked-up and an inspiration to Dark Eldar Haemonculii everywhere.
Some weeaboos have issues with how Kenshiro reacted to Amiba in the 1980s Fist of the North Star series, for (surprisingly) different reasons from those of fans of Amiba's original origin story, and that Ken pussed out through the whole deal, arguing that Ken behaved far more heartlessly than the complete monster that is Amiba in the episodes he showed up in, not being willing to take action at the right times whilst Amiba actually got shit done in the episodes he showed up in. There is a reason for this: In the original Manga, Amiba killed the child brought to him, as well as his father (by making his heart explode) and mother (using her as a human shield against Kenshiro). Due to a bit of blastback against media depicting child deaths, the Anime destroys the pacing by having Ken cure the child, and letting the mom survive. Fucking 1980s.
Third of the Hokuto Brothers, Jagi was a bad student and skipped out on class occasionally to be a biker, and went into a deep melancholy after some dickheads killed his girlfriend. Needless to say he lost the successorship and was kind of pissed about this, confronting Kenshiro and challenging him. Ken kicked his ass, so Jagi brought a shotgun to a fistfight, and Kenshiro kicked his ass even harder, nearly causing his head to almost explode but Ken relented from delivering the killing blow to allow his head to explode in a shower of gore due to him being unable to kill his brother at the time. This did however, leave Jagi with a giant growth on his head where his brain was suppose to explode from, which he only managed to partially fix with some crude medical implements.
He disguised himself with a mask and to be a complete asshole, ruined Kenshiro's rep by scarring himself similar to how Shin scarred Kenshiro, and then going around and committing rape, murder, and arson. Suffice to say, Kenshiro tracks him down and fucks his shit up. He does, however, have a badass intro and one of the most iconic lines of the entire anime:
"SAY MY NAME!!(Ore-no Na-o itte miro!!)"
Ken's blonde half-brother and practitioner of Nanto Sei Ken, the opposing style to Hokuto Shin Ken. Amongst the various feudal lords that arose in the aftermath of the apocalypse, such as the Holy Imperial Army under Souther or the North Star Army under Raoh, Shin's fiefdom is arguably the third-largest in the series. Shin is a leader of men, and he knows it - his armies, predominantly made up of Raiders and former soldiers of Raoh and Souther's armies, are fanatically loyal, though his poaching officers from their forces did little to endear him to them. His troops remain a thorn in both their sides and Kenshiro's until he dismisses the lot of them, willing to face Kenshiro fist-to-fist, like a man.
Shin covets Yuria above all else, having loved her deeply for at least as long as Kenshiro - if not longer. Jealous that Ken won the right to bang Yuria, he beat the shit out of him, then stabs seven holes in his chest, giving Kenshiro his signature seven scars. After that, he steals Yuria away. Kenshiro ultimately comes back and beats the shit of him. But before he can die, Shin reveals that Yuria is already dead - having killed herself in despair for Shin's willingness to burn down the fucking world to create a better one from its ashes for her - and Shin an heroes to avoid the humiliation resulting from dying via Ken's techniques. Kenshiro's desperation and sorrow resulting from this is ironically what sets him on the path to be able to defeat Raoh.
BUT THERE WAS MORE! In truth, Yuria wasn't dead at all - Shin said that and made the whole damned thing up because he knew that Raoh loved Yuria too. Consigned to the fact that Yuria would never love him as he loved her, Shin decided to keep her safe from Raoh whilst at the same time ensuring that Kenshiro could focus entirely on moving forward. In essence this means that he was trolling both Kenshiro and Raoh the whole time. Suffice to say, there's little question that Shin served Tzeentch, since he set everything up Just as planned. All in all, Shin's a hard character to not like; a classic example of how love can make even the best of men fall from grace, whilst at the same time finding a small shred of redemption for himself in the end.
To make Shin even more hilariously awesome, he was voiced by Steve MOTHERFUCKING Blum in the dubbed series, and Michael FUCKING McConnohie in the movie. Bad. Fucking. Ass. Michael needs to do a voice for Warhammer 40K.
The most badass fatass ever seen, and one of Shin's primary officers. Normally gentlemanly and polite - until he sees his own blood, which causes him to fly into a psychotic, Khorne-worthy rage and destroy everything in sight until he's taken enough abuse to beat him into a less-combative state. After he has his men kill numerous escaping slaves, Kenshiro gets filled with RAGE and kills all of Heart's men, then attacks him. At first, Ken's attacks are ineffective due to Heart being so fat (and thus Ken being wholly unable to strike his power points and make him explode), but after a creative use of ATATATATATATATATA, Ken makes Heart explode. Heart is absurdly, ridiculously popular among the Japanese fan crowd for some reason, having beaten out both Shuu, Amiba, and Juza in a popularity contest for who would be the DLC character in Ken's Rage, and also got a longer fight with Kenshiro in the anime adaption. Thankfully, by the second game, the people who actually matter won out, and now Shuu, Amiba, and Juza take priority over Heart. To be fair, he stands out for being the first character not to be one-shotted by Kenshiro, managing to withstand an attack from the hero and actually forcing him to get creative.
Kokuoh is Raoh's horse, and the size of an Indian Elephant. This horse is amazing. Drawn from a species of warhorse that has survived the wastelands in the aftermath of the nuclear war, Kokuoh is a monster of a horse - big enough to carry Raoh's phenomenal mass - and happens to be the alpha male of the herd he came from (however since Horses are matriarchal that just means he was the herd's sex toy). He is also extraordinarily intelligent. Leading his herd across the steppes, Kokuoh and his herd trampled to death anything that dared threaten them - until one day, when a Tiger ambushed his herd and killed 3 of the herd's foals. Raoh showed up and killed the Tiger with his bare hands, and then used his Hokuto Shinken to alleviate the foal's suffering so it would die painlessly, since it was too far gone to save. Touched by the display of kindness, Kokuoh elected to follow Raoh, quickly becoming his closest companion and one of the most lulzy things in the entire series.
Kokuoh only allows the worthy to ride him; Raoh, Kenshiro, Juza, and Bat (as an adult) are the only ones who ever successfully ride this one horse of the apocalypse.
By the second season, Kokuoh lost an eye in a fight with a Bear, becoming a horse with an eyepatch. If you don't understand why this is incredible, you probably don't belong on 1d4chan. He makes it all the way to the end of the second season before he is killed by a stray lightning bolt, proving that god himself is the only one who could stop this horse.
Hilarity and Win
Humorously: Both Dragon Ball Z and Hokuto No Ken's Manga formats made their first appearance in the same damned monthly magazine, Shonen Jump, which would, in turn, lead to the absolutely hilarious game that can never, in a billion years, be released outside of Japan, Jump Ultimate Stars.
DESPITE THE FAGGOTRY OF THE MAIN PROTAGONIST... AND ALMOST EVERYONE ASIDE FROM RAOH AND KAIOH, AND EVEN RAOH TENDS TO GET THE FAGGOTRY ON... FIST OF THE NORTH STAR SHALL BE SPARED THE WRATH OF THE BLOOD GOD! FOR THE BLOOD SPILLED DURING ITS SYNDICATION IS ALMOST ADEQUATE ENOUGH TO PLEASE ME!!! SUCH IS THE DECREE OF THE LORD OF BATTLES!!! - Khorne, the Blood God
"This show, along with Araghast's example, made me badass again!" - Lord Eliphas the Inheritor
"Amiba encouraged me to follow my dreams of being a complete bastard and experiment on sentient creatures!" - Dark Eldar Haemonculus
"HENCEFORTH ALL USERS OF DUAL POWER FISTS IN THIS CHAPTER WILL LEARN HOW TO DO THAT FUCKING RAPID-PUNCHING THING OR SO HELP ME I WILL DISCIPLINE YOU." - Temperus Maximus, Angry Marine Chapter Master.
"It's hilarious." - Cegorach, the Laughing God
"This ALMOST got near the body count I made during my Dominion of Fire." - Angron
"I know a certain cowardly Black Legion fuckwit who could learn how to stop failing and be a man from this. I say "could" because I don't think even this work could motivate him to not suck. But he could fail less often at least, which would be a fucking start." - Huron Blackheart
"I think those purple-armored faggots take their fucking fashion tips from that Juda guy." - World Eater Chaos Marine
Man, this reminds me of my days disciplining the fucking whiteshields. Those were good days." - Commissar "Fightin' John" Fuklaw
FIGHTING - 12: Unlike Dragonball Z, characters don't spend ages talking about how they're gonna fight or spend whole episodes powering up. So, there's there's lots of actual fighting to be had.
GURO - 9001: No wait, scratch that. The 'fights' in this show basically Kenshiro waving his hands in a general direction and everyone who were supposed to hate explodes in a spray of gore. Except for special cases at the ends of episodes. Khorne likes this show only because of this. Even the horse engages in wholesale slaughter.
Gayness - 9001: As is mandatory for all animu reviewed by /tg/, but it's not really because of anything especially gay on its own; instead this rating is given entirely because of Juda's appearance, which carries this rating all his own.
Character Depth - 9001: Even the fucking Horse has a detailed fucking backstory. The villains are huge dicks, and this is improved by fleshing them out, to make them more human in spite of them being cockbags. This makes their inevitable comeuppance that much more satisfying and meaningful; an example of what good fucking villains should be like. The one villain who doesn't get a fleshing-out is Kaioh, and that's to drive home the fact that he's a complete monster.
Mecha - 1: What giant robots? Kenshiro does punch a WWII-era T-26 Light Tank to scrap, however if it counts.
Manly Tears - 11: This show practically invented them. Some of the scenes in the show are so moving that even the manliest of Neckbeards are moved to tears (Rei's death and Raoh's fight vs. Toki both being well-known points for this). You can sniffle this once. Even Angry Marines are stirred into a slightly-more-reserved anger than usual.
Moralfaggotry - 11: Kenshiro's view of morality is shoved down your throat further than the cock of a forum admin. Fortunately when he does it, it's often done well (I.E. on someone who fucking deserves it) or absolutely fucking hilarious, as it is in this. Even so, it at least attempts to show how moral rightness is not just whimpering in the corner talking about love - It's about KICKING ASS for the sake of it. It actually shows how to be forceful in the name of righteousness.
Lulz - 7: Despite Kenshiro's rampant moralfaggotry, many innocents die in this series in truly hilarious manners. So do many villains. So do several random background people, as well as inanimate objects and plants. Everything fucking explodes. If you can't enjoy this show based on that premise alone, you are not human.
HOW TO TROLL FANS
Normally, /tg/ doesn't vilify something it likes, but, due to this being an anime and therefore, weeaboo, we feel it is our duty to provide the tools necessary to destroy it. Below are a few methods by which this may be accomplish, courtesy of the fine pedophiles of Encyclopedia Dramatica. Use them as you see fit.
Warning: 1d4chan will not be held responsible for any Kenshiro-esque acts of violence you suffer as a result. Many of these fans are crazy motherfuckers. You've been warned.
- Say that Naruto, Dragonball Z, One Piece, and Bleach are better. Fans of FotNS loathe these animes even more than a regular person does, and will explode into a fit of nerd rage at any positive mention of them.
- Say that the second half of the series was far better. Most fans show a virulent hatred for any of the episodes after the death of Raoh.
Predict that Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage is going to suck.It's already out and got squarely above-average reviews. Complaining about Koei's proud tradition of making it Dynasty Warriors style (and thus having only its own worldset and such to differentiate it from other similar games), and pointing out that most of the DLC for it is entirely (highly expensive) additional costumes, however, is still fair game and openly encouraged.
- Say that Kenshiro/Raoh is NOT the essence of all that is man. (They aren't, but it serves to piss them off to no end. The proof of this is that Ken and Raoh lack beards
and are AsianKEEP THAT RACIST SHIT OUT OF HERE!).
- Comment on how Kenshiro is flat and boring as a character. (We, at /tg/, do not really subscribe to this, but it serves to piss off hardcore fans brutally).
- Suggest that the ascetic Toki was in it for the bitches. (Although, as of the new movies, holy cow he totally was!)
- Find or make porn of it. (Already done, go search Danbooru).
- Say that Kenshiro is a hypocritical pedophile.