After the Earth is devastated by nuclear war, society breaks down into a system where only the strong survive. Often, there are raids on normal people when 'the strong' decide that they need something. Into this desolate world comes Kenshiro, master of the Hokuto Shinken style of martial art. This style destroys the body from within by striking at one of the numerous acupuncture points. Kenshiro is a wanderer on a quest to find his lost love Yuria...taken from him in a battle with Shin long ago. The battle left Kenshiro with scars in the pattern of the Big Dipper. During his wanderings, Kenshiro defends the victims of 'the strong' for he is pledged by his art to defend the weak. Kenshiro is an extremely honorable, though somber man...almost the archetype of the tragic hero. The series is high in the amount of gore created, but the strong central characters seem to rise above that in audience appeal...
As the synopsis says, it is VERY gory. This is the definitive shonen anime, and is quite possibly the most violently bloody work of animation ever created. Personally, I found it to be plodding, mindless, and just plain excessive. Add to that the rather uninteresting art style and you have a very lame piece of animation. Granted it does pretty much define a genre, it is still a genre we could REALLY do without in most cases. I can only think of one reason why anyone should watch it, so you can get some more of the jokes in Project A-ko. Otherwise, avoid it. And most DEFINITELY avoid the live action remake, itís even worse (if thatís possible...)
Available subtitled or dubbed through Streamline Pictures.
Hokuto no Ken - Fist of the Northstar