Hold onto your entrails, because Fist of the North Star (1986) is the Greatest Movie EVER!
Click on the DVD cover or the title above to download our review of the film,
featuring Daryl Surat of AnimeWorldOrder and M.O.M., the Mistress of Malapropisms.
Review in a Nutshell: A compilation film encapsulating a huge chunk of a television series that ran for over 150 episodes, Fist of the North Star is a movie that doesn’t bother to apologize or explain. It’s an acquired taste, and at best an unlikely starting point for budding anime fans.
We completely forgot to mention:
The Mud Golem scene.
Jeff Tatarek’s Horse.
Wow – Surat and MOM? That’s running the gamut, Paul!
I wasn’t aware there was a movie cut-down of the series. Some years back, I watched the however many episodes (it wasn’t any 150, though – more like 26) that was out in English on DVD at the time. It had a complete story arc – but of course, there was more Ken had to do in his quest for vengeance! That’s where the English-language discs ended back then – I tried a few of the Japanese-language ones that continued the story, but I lost interest thanks to the “Engrish” subtitling, poor quality of the transfers, and the fact that the story just got repetitious as it went on.
At the time, there were a lot of Bargain DVD/Porn stores in NYC, which stocked mainly Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian and Italian action, animation and horror movies of dubious provenance for $0.99 – $9.99 each – one of the few good side effects of Giuliani’s authoritarian regime and War on “Quality of Life” Crime! I ended up with copies everything from the BIBLE BLACK hentai to the “green-jacket” LUPIN III to the original SAKURA WARS OAV to Argento’s TRAUMA (not one of his better one, IMO) to Woo’s a A BULLET IN THE HEAD – and lots of FIST OF THE NORTH STAR.
Reminded I once was the owner of the 35mm dubbing materials and audio reels that once belonged to Streamline Pictures when they produced their dub of the film, including a D2 videotape master.
Sadly I had to part with these babies to a guy in Italy who was a bigger Ken fan than I’ll ever be.
Great review as always! Somebody else is bound to mention this too but the title “Fist of the North Star” is actually correctly translated if you look at the kanji, though I guess one could translate it as “fist of the big dipper” which sounds less awesome…
Wow, Daryl and Mom were a perfect pairing for this. Makes me want to hear more of that team up on GME. 😀
First Daryl does a podcast with Sean then one with Mom. How long before a Daryl/Catherine episode?
Wasn’t there a contest many years ago to get mom to watch this. Better late than never.
I’ve only seen the Japanese audio version of this movie, so I can’t comment on the Streamline dub. Carl Mecek made a living butchering anime and creating frankenstien creations (cough*Robocrap*cough). So, I have no doubt that version does not repect the original creator’s story.
However, one of the worst cases of localization I’ve come across is the American release of The Storm Riders. Its a pretty fun Hong Kong fantasy action movie realeased in 1998 starring a very scenenery chewing Sonny Chiba as the big bad. The American version hacked it down from 128min to about 90min. A character lost his arm and they cut the scene where he gets it replaced, leaving the audience questioning where the hell did the new arm come from.
P.S. Eaters of the Dead is the only Michael Crichton book I’ve ever read and I thought it was better than the film adaptation, The 13th Warrior.
I haven’t seen this since, like so many others, I rented it from Blockbuster in the early 90’s. I do remember it as being a bad translation, but it has to be said that I’ve seen worse (or at least far more disappointing) hatchet jobs done on an anime show/movie.
I’m really late on this, but oh well. Ironically, despite being born in the era of X-files (1990), aside from one or two episodes, I saw the second X-files film first before revisiting the television show. I also saw the Fist of the North Star film first, English dub and all, and ….somehow I still liked it and sought out the show. I loved the show, but I never revisited the film. Great episode, I learned a lot I didn’t know… and now I need to revisit the film in Japanese. Thanks, Paul.