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Fist of the North Star (1986)

Hokuto no Ken (original title)
Not Rated | | Animation, Action, Drama | 27 September 1991 (USA)
A practitioner of the deadly martial art "Hokuto Shinken" allies with two children and an expert in "Nanto Suicho-Ken" to fight against the rivals who kidnapped his lover and threaten the prosperity of mankind.


Toyoo Ashida


Buronson (comic), Tetsuo Hara (comic) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Akira Kamiya ... Kenshiro (voice)
Yuriko Yamamoto ... Yuria (voice)
Kenji Utsumi ... Raoh (voice)
Chikao Ohtsuka ... Jagi (voice)
Toshio Furukawa ... Shin (voice)
Kaneto Shiozawa ... Rei (voice)
Tomiko Suzuki ... Lin (voice)
Teiyû Ichiryûsai Teiyû Ichiryûsai ... Bat (voice) (as Mie Suzuki)
Arisa Andô Arisa Andô ... Airi (voice)
Junji Chiba Junji Chiba ... Ryuken (voice)
Hidekatsu Shibata Hidekatsu Shibata ... Zeed (voice)
Junpei Takiguchi Junpei Takiguchi ... Heart (voice)
Takeshi Aono ... Fox (voice)
Hiroshi Ôtake Hiroshi Ôtake ... Jackal (voice)
Daisuke Gôri Daisuke Gôri ... Uyghur (voice)


After a nuclear holocaust tears the world apart, mankind is forced to the harshness of not only the oppression of others who are much more powerful, but the dead earth which seems to be getting worse with every passing moment. But a savior has risen from the ashes, a man who will defeat those who would torment the weak and make the world a livable place once more. A man named Kenshiro..... Written by Chuck "Dark-Side" Williamson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The most violent and action packed animated film of all time! (Discotek Media re-release DVD) See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

27 September 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fist of the North Star See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Black and White (some footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Similarly, Kenshiro makes a cameo in Vampire Hunter D as a villager during the scene where the Count's messenger arrives in the village to give the candle to Rei Ginsei. See more »


At one point during his fight with Raoh, Kenshiro's arm bands are back on even though moments earlier they ripped off when he activates his Hokuto Shinken, a moment later they vanish again. See more »


Kenshirô: Say your goodbyes lard-ass because you're already dead Aaahhhh
See more »

Alternate Versions

The English Streamline Pictures dub (released in the UK by Manga Video) features a drastically altered script from the Japanese original. The exact nature of the Hokuto Shinken and Nanto Seiken schools (North Star and South Star in the English dub) are never fully explained and Yuria's Nanto heritage is never mentioned. The English dub also features an instrumental version of the ending theme, Purple Eyes, instead of the vocal version by Kodomo Band in the Japanese original. See more »


Referenced in Atop the Fourth Wall: Fist of the North Star, Ch. 1 (2017) See more »


Purple Eyes
Written by Tsuyoshi Ujiki
Performed by Kodomo Band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A thrilling, blood-soaked, post-apocalyptic anime
16 October 2012 | by patryk-czekajSee all my reviews

Watching Fist of the North Star proves to be an anime experience like no other. Surprising, as it may seem, the perspicuous rough-and-tumble attitude made this film an instant classic in its genre. Being mostly an expressive testosterone-infused bloodbath, Fist of the North Star presents its own thought-provoking nature with utterly graphic scenes of animated violence. And still, it's able to draw one's attention with the engaging and fast-paced storyline about a post-apocalyptic universe, where people have given up their faith in humanity and exterminate each other in a grizzly fashion. Note: this is a review of the version released in the United States, with English dubbing, and with the original ending from the first official release.

After the opening credits fade away the movie attacks with a heavy thump. Literally in the blink of an eye, even before we get acquainted with the main characters, bones start to crack and blood starts to spill all over the screen. As it's soon revealed, those two men fighting in the middle of a vast dessert are former friends, who are now deadly enemies both seriously in love with one beautiful girl. The only problem is that Julia (voiced by Melodee Spivack) is engaged to Ken (John Vickery), who, after this short combat, is very close to death. In order to save her fiancé she agrees to go with the evil Shin (Michael McConnohie), leaving semiconscious Ken in the lurch. And if this wasn't enough, a few minutes later two mysterious strangers grab his lifeless body and throw it into a deep hole. A year passes and all the previous events gradually begin to connect, just to unravel the actual meaning behind the whole blood-soaked intrigue. While saving two youngsters from the vicious hands of slow-witted bullies Ken shows his – this time bearded – face once again. Chock-full of revenge thoughts, he embarks on a dangerous journey not only to save his woman, but also to discover the sense of his existence in this chaotic, stolid world full of thugs. Paradoxically, apart from Shin, the people who stand on his way to happiness are his two brothers Jagi (Dan Woren) and Raoh (Wally Burr). Following various traces Ken slowly claims his vengeance through the indelicate art of kick-and-punch, which – for the viewers' sick amusement – always results in spectacular head explosions.

Those people who've read the manga or watched the anime series of the same name won't be surprised by anything that happens throughout the whole film. The only shock might come from the extensive brutality that beams from the screen. As for those who don't know the story – at first, it might be hard to follow the events without being a little confused. Fortunately, due to the film's well-balanced plot everything begins to make sense after a short period of time, giving the viewer a great amount of proper fun.

The picture's rather simple, even obscure, animation leaves a lot to be desired. In comparison with the TV series, the theatrical version doesn't really upgrade the raw visual style. Also, when it comes to character development the movie fails miserably. Every individual is mindlessly implanted into the storyline, leading to a contest of poor one-dimensional encounters. What's more, the cheesy English dubbing gives the characters a nerve-racking attitude, only worsening the final effect. That's why it's better to restrain from evaluating their personalities and focus on many thrilling, gore-ific action sequences instead. Surely, this aspect of Fist of the North Star won't disappoint anyone.

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