£14.99 Online, £19.99 High Street
25 May 2005
Braaains, delicious exploding braaaains. As someone who has never seen the original, the first 5 minutes came to a bit of a shock, as the heads of at least 6 men exploded in a mess of blood and gore. I laughed, I cried, and, it was exactly I was expecting.
I cannot say what relation this new series has to the 100+ original series and movie as I simply do not know. What I do know, is that the new series is completely redone. Its crisp, it kicks arse, and it sounds great and it’s an excellent revival of the Fist of the North Star franchise. Let me tell you a bit more about it.
Kenshiro is back. Mr Magic finger of death and is apparently, aggravated with the badness in the world and is here to fight injustice in whatever form it takes. Essentially, this big scary dude which hypnotic muscles, pokes his amazing finger onto pressure points on his enemy’s body and their heads explode. He is literally, a one man army, and kicks the arse of Rambo and those other pussy heroes. I think you can guess how the series goes already. Any fight this guy gets into, he wins using some smart arse pressure point using the martial arts techniques passed down and taught to him (the name of this completely escapes me, sorry!). The story of the first volume/episode is quite simple. Village gets beaten down by ruling dictator and army who controls all non polluted water. Kenshiro comes, villagers rejoice. Villagers all die when army kills them all. Kenshiro gets mad. You can guess the rest. Needless to say, justice runs its course nicely, and heads explode.
All said and done, I may be becoming a fan of this series. Yes, its gruesome. Yes, you can see the individual hemispheres of the brains as Kenshiro blows their heads to pieces, but, this series, when you look at it more closely, is highly funny and mockable. This is a series you watch with mates, drink beer, and applaud to when you see people murdered with his magic finger. This series is also Post-Apocalyptic. I love series like this. Series where the world gets destroyed, or is threatened to be destroyed. The more Mad Max it is, the better.
So, is this a good remake/reconstruction based on the original material, simply put, yes. The artwork and effects are highly modern and extremely clear. It’s obvious a fair amount of money was spent making this series, and doing the animation, it does show.
I tried watching the show in Japanese, I really did, but laughing on a train doesn’t do me good. The English dub was much more sober in its tone and as usual, the ADV dub is very well done.
I cannot fault the presentation of the series; the series is highly watchable if you do not take it too seriously. The stories span over an entire volume in nice digestible 60 minute lengths on average. The fight scenes are a bit limited, a bit gruesome, but enjoyable. I can understand why Fist of the North Star is such a big franchise in Japan. It is essentially, their animated version of Mad Max, with the gore multiplied a hundred times.
If you are after a good night in with a pint which doesn’t involve a seedy dance club, then definitely give this a watch.