The legends of the true savior: the warrior who fights with sadness in the deep heart
Fist of the North Star: the legens of the true savior is the celebration of the anime series of Kenshiro in its 25th anniversary. The animated films comprises three films and two OVAs which were projected in cinemas in the span of 2006-2008. First of the North Star relives the episodes of the animated anime/manga episodes in a very concentrated way. Each narrative arch is dedicated to a particular character which has marked the faith of the Hokuto Shinken. If you’re a fan of harsh, bloody fights you may not miss this Insight. In the modern age of Dragon Ball Super (DBS) where the consequences of the pure combat have been omitted from the screen, Kenshiro does not betrays the expectations, typical of ’80s. Let’s go on in case you’re not already dead!
Table of Contents
Beyond the fighting. The post-apocalyptic scenario.
Kenshiro‘s story takes place in the post-apocalyptic screenplay of 1990’s where a nuclear war has barely reset humanity. Earth has deeply changed its appearance turning into a real Wasteland. Life no longer exists as we know, the every day routine is for survival: the law of the strongest is the only effective one. People are organized in small villages builded around the ruins of the civilazation. In this context, the First of the North Star rises: Kenshiro, the 64th successor of the Hokuto Shinken, the 1800 years-old assasination style which passed down only from father to son. we have to remember that Kenshiro animated series has been firstly released in 80’s and the cold war, the chance for a nuclear war was one the topic of that age.
First of North Star: the legens of the true savior, the films.
We can identify the following films that celebrate the legendary master of martial arts of Hokuto:
Legend of Raoh: Chapter of Death in Love.
The film concentrate on the conflict between Kenshiro and Thouzer. Part of the narration is dedicated to the character of Reina which covers an important role on the growing-up process of Raoh. Raoul, the superlative warrior, finds out to feel emotion and starts realizing the need for the final battle to be with Ken. A very touching moment is dedicated to Shu, the one who saved a young Ken from Thouzer in exchange of his sight. Shu sacrifices himself to protect the children and it ready to bear all the burden that is needed.
Thauzer (left) and Shu (right).
Legend of Yuria.
This constitues an hour-long OVA. The story telling is made from the perspective of Yuria. New images and details are added spanning from the childhood of the girl. The spectactorget ackwowledged of more information about Yuria’s illness. The special focus on the Nanto General is reported till the end of the previous films in which Ken faces Thouzer.
Legend of Raoh: Chapter of Fierce Fight.
This film constitutes the very heart of this spin-off films. Kenshiro-Raoh fight is the main protagonist of the story. Some facts are reported from Raoh’s view and we can realize the maturation process of Emperor Raoh. Some important topics are the Raoh’s defeat with Fudo and the subplot of the sacrifice done to manage the soul trasmigration tecnique.
Legend of Toki.
The OVA dedicated to Kenshiro’s brother, Toki, the first which would been elected as the successor of the Hokuto Shinken if only was not for his weak health. In this animation the key role of Toki and his therapeutical function towards the other character is highlighted. On the other side, the strong virtues of Kenshiro emerge.
Raoh and Toki.
Zero: Legend of Kenshiro.
In the final film Ken takes the storytelling side: an episode, a crucial event in which for the first time realizes the need for action. The action only a warrior with a sadness filled-heart can take. It’s the definitive born of the Legend of Kenshiro.
Plot explanation and topics insight.
Pain and sadness: the positive inside the negative.
Some typical topoi are touched through the storyplot. The importance of enduring pain, the puryifing process of keeping up are the pillar of Ken development. In the First of North Star, every charcater has its own position established by the faith. Destiny which is indissolubly bound to that decided by the star. Each star has appointed a warrior and its passing is strictly related to it. At the end of the story, the three brothers Ken, Raoh and Toki understand their “brotherhood” and each one accept his own faith. In this context the three warriors cannot be divided into good and evil, since at the end the spectator can appreciate their turn.
The warrior who fights with Sadness inside the heart.
In particular, the feelings of sadness is revalued. Not only positive emotions are the only one elected to be carried within our experience. An apparently negative feelings such as sadness is the real means which makes Kenshiro different from the other rivals.
On the whole these 5 animated films add something to the series in terms of sights, visions connectiong facts which are not truly explained in the original anime. On the drawing side, the films are brought to the modern age standards and Kenshiro fights even sometimes cruel mantain the original characteristic.
On the other side, one may say that the events may appear to be too condensed. It’s true, the slow path of Kenshiro has to be accelerated to fit the cinematic times: the sentimental touch in that may appear to be faded. However, the result is still very good and a fan of the series cannot miss the appointment with the First of the North Star.
The pain of these wounds will only last a second. The pain of your death will last a lifetime.