[source: http://hw001.gate01.com/otimusya/hokutonoken.htm]

[translated by: Ragey]


Hokuto no Ken
Fist of the North Star

(1986 FC Toei Animation)

In the year 1983...

This has its origins as a manga, back when they were still popular.

Any kid who looked at it then must've been shocked by the content,

especially since the likes of the cartoon were a lot more tame.

「The Grief-Filled Story of Fate」

Stories that depicted the realistic and brutal events

surrounding the tale of Kenshiro's war against Raoh

The men were living wonders, and in admiration, young fans looked to the heavensto be as strong as these characters.

That's right.

This manga was「Hokuto no Ken」

And even today it is read by many; it is legendary.

The 27 volumes of Hokuto no Ken are so incredible they should be dubbed 「The Bible of Men」

And it was made into a game!!

And it was produced by Toei Animation themselves!

Kids must have been delighted at this news,

and some might have been moved to tears of joy.

Why? Because Toei made the Hokuto no Ken cartoon!

"That's the perfect company to make it!"

That alone would make a child's dream come true.

Toei, as talented as they are, though...

The game was destined to go wrong.

And when I say that, I mean they probably sabotaged it.

Let's proceed into the world of Toei

Where am I? Who am I?

... wha?

There's no explanation of where I am or what's going on. Who am I?

I'm getting some serious Alice in Wonderland vibes going on here.

The life gauge is captioned「Ken」

But there's no way in hell that's Kenshiro in the centre of the screen.

... I'm just not seeing it. That can't be Kenshiro.

Talk about slapdash.

Those are not Kenshiro's clothes; it looks like he's wearing tights from head to toe.

It... looks more like a swimming suit than his usual garments.

After all the bloodshed, Ken swims away from his troubles.

Okay, I'll accept it's Kenshiro,

after all, he's got the Hokuto Shinken fighting stance.

He's not holding his hand in a tactful manner, though.

Is this traditional of Hokuto Shinken, or is his hand just broken?

He's meant to punch with the power of Mickey Rourke, not a beckoning cat.

Take a look at Kenshiro's head.

The featureless face of death

Can you see that?

Have you ever seen such a sight in your life?

Yeesh, that's unnerving.

I've got to rectify this.


What do you think?

You don't like it?

I guess there's something charming about the faceless look...

... but Kenshiro,

can you really challenge your foes without a face?

Tell me your thoughts, Ken!

"There was once a man who, even without his eyesight, still committed himself to continuing his fights..."

... is that so.

Progressing further into the game (remember that?)

I encountered a terrible situation.

Is the background glitching?

I feel like I'm going in circles...

That's actually normal, believe it or not.

I suspect it's a ruse to lure players into resetting the game.

Toei must get their jollies waging psychological warfare on the player.

Moving on...

As always, 「Hokuto no Ken」 is about Kenshiro kicking the crap out of bad guys,

but thanks to some meddling limitations, you simply keep going through the same area over and over,

Not even killing all your adversaries can let you escape the dreaded Toei Trap.

Anguishing in the Toei Trap Marching confidently is Kenshiro, our hero.

You have to hand it to Toei, they do great silky smooth animation.

However, don't you think

It looks like he's doing the Moonwalk?

Even Michael Jackson is stunned by his footwork!

No, this completely surpasses Michael's skills.

"It's a tough call... but you win, Ken."


... beating Michael must require a lot of talent.

Hey, is that a Mohawk punk up ahead?

It's the arrival of our first insignificant foe, the Mohawk.

Speaking of insignificant foes, nobody is more trivial than the Mohawk goon.

This little runt won't last long in the realm of explosive martial arts.

Mind you,

They can take to the skies with quick attacks...

That are almost impossible to avoid.

Those kind of lightning-fast cheap reflexes seem to be a staple of Toei's games.

... Toei are heartless monsters.

How can they even use those aerial combat skills?

"Because it's like that one scene in the cartoon?"

That's no excuse, Toei.

And if you think they look familiar,

take a look at this...

See what I mean?

(see Volume 1 of Comic 30, page 29)

Those bikes seem to be levitating, from the looks of it...

... oh, Toei.

True to the Hokuto no Ken lore,

Kenshiro has plenty of enigmatic ways of dispatching his foes.

A single high-kick sends the goons hurtling through the stratosphere.

Wow, Ken - you are strong!

One punch can burrow a hole through a man's chest - such is the strength of Hokuto Shinken.

Wow, Ken - you are amazing!

And if Ken succumbs to his foes,

he flails through the air kicking like a baby.

... oh.

Wow, Ken - that was pretty shitty!

It's always heartbreaking when you realise your protagonist is a weakling...

Let's get back at that punk by punching some holes in his face.

His bodily structure pulses after my striking blow...

... before it finally ruptures. What a mess.

There isn't much of a future left for our little deceased Mohawk man now.

Well, maybe he can hang out in Loch Ness.

Or perhaps take part in Lake Angel.

God rest his soul.

What we just saw was a regular Mohawk dude.

This new foe boasts some fearsome qualities, such as being pink.

When the pink fellow has his block knocked off

The letters 「あべし」 (ABESHI) suddenly appear in the sky.

Like so.

And when Ken grabs the letters in the sky,

He undergoes a fearsome transformation,

tearing out of his clothes and exposing his toned abs.

The letters seem to be a way to unlock Kenshiro's Incredible Hulk status.

Oh, so this is what ABESHI really means to our foes:


Okay, Toei, answer me - what's the deal with this endless loop...?

I've been marching for miles, ending the lives of countless men,

and an hour of my life has passed.

I haven't fought any bosses yet.

"Is this meant to be fun?"

I did a bit of research,

and apparently I'm meant to be looking for Bat

But I can't find anyone who looks like Bat amongst all these violent goons,

and my health's running low from all these beatings.

"Where are you, Bat?"

A passionate cry

... Bat, there you are!

But he's too shy to reveal himself.

He can barely be seen from those shadows.

It could be a ghost for all I know.

Ken ventures into the ruins, exhausted after his search for Bat.

He may not express it, but I can sense the weary warrior's misery.

But even after following Bat's directions,

I haven't found myself at the boss's lair.

In fact, now I'm more lost than before...

Ken looks like a bullied child running away from those thugs.

「I--I'm done for...」

Ken considers throwing in the towel

On the bright side, there's plenty of online walkthroughs I can look up.

I think I'll take a peek at one. (convenient, eh?)

Oh, the walkthrough has this to say about the subject.

【Bat is lying to you.】

... is that so.

Wait, Bat's a liar?

I don't believe it - he's been lying to me?!

Bat, how could you?!

Don't tell me you're part of the Toei Trap?!

You say Bat was lying, huh!

Well, I say this isn't Bat at all, it's an imposter!

Yeah, those goggles are actually his eyes,

and what you think are Bat's eyes are actually, in fact, his nose!

... even so, I'm still lost.

Well, I'm stuck where I am for now, so let's introduce the bosses.

Boss fights introduce Signature Moves to Ken's moveset, so I'll try and use as many as I can.

Boss #1

Our first boss is the charismatic blubber-guts Mr. Heart

Keep on your toes - this guy charges at you the moment the fight starts.

Heart's such a fatty that you can't even hit his pressure points; you need to kick his gut ten times to make a dent in him

and that's your chance to deliver the fatal blow.

Of course, you need to use the Signature Move to kill him,

and that technique is Hokuto Ju Hazan (death by soft strikes)

Fatty explosion!

Boss #2

Our next foe is the nimble and dangerous Shin

Though this guy doesn't look a thing like him.

I dig this move.

He's throwing projectiles at us!

Don't tell me he's forgotten the essentials of Nanto Seiken?

Sounds like Jagi... no, this is definitely Shin.

I think bringing him to his senses with a Signature Move might be the courteous thing to do.

Hokuto Juji Zan! (North Star Cross Kill)

... though he exploded as if hit by the Hundred Crack Fist...

Don't ask me why!

Boss #3

Our third opponent is none other than Kenshiro's neurotic little brother,

it's Jagi!

As a result of Jagi's desire to best his brother in combat, he abuses throwing needles in his fighting style.

That's about as difficult as he gets, really.

Seiei Ko! (Sobering Sharp Hole)

... so that technique is so strong it makes people explode now, is that it...?

Boss #4

Now we face the successor of the deadly South Star White Heron Fist technique,


His tactics include--

Wait, what?

Souther, is that you?

His attacks are just like Shin's, inappropriate projectiles and all.

That's not like you, Souther! You'd bring your poor master to tears over this display!

I'd like to dispatch this guy using the North Star Sentient Fierce Flying Smash technique, just like the original fight,

but it's mighty difficult to pull off the Signature Move.

You gotta punch Souther 3 times in midair - now that's unreasonable!

If you defeat Souther normally he'll draw his last breath while his breasts swell and explode.


Boss #5

Our fifth opponent, it should be no surprise we're facing the strongest practitioner of Hokuto Shinken,

none other than Raoh.

Because it's the decisive battle, it's only natural to emit some fighting aura

Let's face it, Raoh's the final boss, so he's gotta be super strong.、

A single blow from his fist will send you flying to the other side of the screen.

Jumping in and attacking his head is a good strategy, though be wary of his uppercut.

「Of this life, I have not a single regret!」

Upon his defeat, Raoh says one of the most famous lines in anime history.

In Raoh's final moments, Ken takes the mantle of world's strongest man.

The journey is over, and we can reunite with Yuria.

Looking closely, Yuria seems to be bigger than Kenshiro, though it should be the opposite.

It's not unreasonable to suggest that Ken just shrank from exhaustion.

「Phew, Toei Animation was a formidable opponent.」

(The End)


(return to Random Hoo Haas)

「This content is the property of Otimusya. I have merely translated them for an English audience. For details, see the disclaimer.」