Forty years since the birth of ‘Fist of the North Star,’ Why does it remain popular even after the serialization ended?

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The manga “Fist of the North Star” has a cumulative circulation of over 100 million copies and has celebrated its 40th anniversary. Although it has been 35 years since the original manga series ended, another anime adaptation has been announced, and it has even become a topic of discussion for professional baseball and sumo wrestling. Let’s examine the reasons for its continued popularity.

Worldview, special moves, and a convincing story
“Fist of the North Star” was initially written by Buronson and illustrated by Tetsuo Hara and was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump (Shueisha) from 1983 to 1988.

The story depicts the activities of Kenshiro, a user of the legendary assassination of Hokuto Shinken,” in a world devastated after a nuclear war. When I had the opportunity to interview him previously, I asked Mr. Buronson about the birth of this film. He said that, along with the violent film Mad Max 2,” which depicts a world after a nuclear war, is ruled by the dictator Pol Pot and many Others.

Buronson visited the country, which had just emerged from dictatorship, and was escorted by a child to see a mountain of skeletons in the town. In Fist of the North Star,” the main character’s nemesis and eldest brother, Raoh, attempts to control the chaotic world by force, but there is an experience that forces him to consider that that’s one way to go.”

Also, the world was threatened by nuclear weapons at the time due to the conflict between the US and the Soviet Union, so it was very persuasive. It contains elements that anyone can relate to at any time, such as the pain of the oppressed and the weak, and it is captivating even when reading it today.

Furthermore, Kenshiro’s strength had a significant impact. When you poke the enemy’s body with your finger, the enemy’s body explodes like a bomb, quickly knocking down the big man and firing projectiles back at the opponent… and so on.

The setting of the secret hole, a vital point, reminded me of the pressure points of Oriental medicine, so it had a strange sense of reality. The settings for the special moves were also exquisite and would have aroused the interest of children and young people.

Also, diverse and attractive characters are essential for a famous work, and “Fist of the North Star” does not fail in this respect. In addition to Kenshiro and his nemesis Raoh, there is also Toki, the kind-hearted second brother, Rei, who fights for the woman he loves. Fudo, the giant man who protects children, and more (the list goes on and on).

Furthermore, the hated characters also have a great impact. Jagi pretends to be Kenshiro and commits evil deeds, Amiba continues to carry out cruel human experiments, and Jakou takes hostages and threatens to spread the word. Readers will be relieved to see how it ends.

And even the minor characters quickly defeated by the main characters had their flavor. The characters with mohawks, skinheads, and evil faces were so impactful that they were used in newspaper advertisements and made into stage plays. Even nameless small fry have this power. Once again, I can feel the depth of the content called “Fist of the North Star.”

At the time of serialization, the dark and dangerous worldview of the end of the century” was fascinating. Some people have uttered lines such as you are already dead” at the end of a battle, Hidebu” when you are defeated, and “What color is your blood!” when you have done something terrible? There are many. “Fist of the North Star” is so popular that it has held the top in the magazine’s rankings for three years.

However, the manga was serialized for about five years, not 10 or 20 years like today’s popular manga. Also, the TV anime was broadcast only for a short period. So how did “Fist of the North Star” maintain its popularity?

Thorough utilization of content A variety of related works and projects. Of course, this is due to the overwhelming power of the series. Still, it is also because even after the serialization ended, they thoroughly utilized the content and continued to create projects that became a hot topic.

A live-action movie was released immediately after the series ended in the 1990s, but things were relatively quiet. However, it became active in 2001 when the manga Fist of the Blue Sky”, a prequel to Fist of the North Star”, began being serialized.

Pachislot, which started in 2003, was a big hit. In 2007, Raoh’s funeral “Shokon Ceremony” was held, and about 3,000 people burned incense, which became a hot topic. It was part of the promotion for an animated movie, but it had such an impact that it blew everything away.

Related works based on the prominent manga are also being released one after another. While there are serious routes starring characters such as Raoh and Toki, there are also parody versions. DD Fist of the North Star”, in which Hokuto Shinken becomes a useless object” without a nuclear war, Kenshiro and Raoh work part-time at a convenience store, and “Hokuto”, in which Souther, a strong enemy who tormented Kenshiro, makes a series of stupid remarks. Fist of Strawberry Flavor” were both made into anime.

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