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Legends of the Dark King - A Fist of the North Star Story

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In the wastelands following the great nuclear war, a legend grew of a man. "Hokuto No Ken." The Fist of the North Star. Master of a legendary fighting technique. A man of impossible strength and endurance. Yet before Ken claimed the title of the Fist, the

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Widescreen, Animated, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
  • Run Time: 325 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002FOQY4U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,295 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By [KNDY] Dennis A. Amith TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 1, 2009
In 1983, the manga "Hokuto no Ken" (Fist of the North Star) was unleashed in Japan. Illustrated by Tetsuo Hara and written by Buronson, the manga went on from 1983-1988 and has spawned anime TV series, two films, OAV's, novels, video games and more.

Needless to say, in Japan, this series has been a staple of storylines that has touched Japanese pop culture showcasing good vs. evil as the series focused on a post-apocalyptic era in which the world now unstable with fear across the land. Where power is justice and power ruled. Those without power are left in fear. Those who have power command great armies or a ragtag group of the men who have succumbed to evil.

"Hokuto no Ken" featured four adoptive brothers who were taught the "Hokuto Shinken" (aka "God Fist of the North Star"). The four are eldest brother Raoh, Toki, Jagi and Kenshiro. With the main storyline focusing on the eldest, Raoh and the youngest Kenshiro. In the "Hokuto no Ken" (Fist of the North Star) series, Kenshiro has been chosen as the successor to Hokuto Shinken, a martial art that is 18-centuries old and involves using the body's 708 vital pressure points to either destroy or heal a person from within. Kenshiro is a man who is in love with Julia and instead of having a happy life, his evil brother Jagi uses his influence over Shin, who controls the rival to "Hokuto Shinken" known as Nanto Seiken (aka Sacred Fist of the South Star). If Hokuto Shinken is the Yin, Nanto Seiken is the Yang. Two can't exist without each other.

Earlier on, Shin has defeated Kenshiro but given a chance to live when Julia gives herself to Shin in order to rescue Kenshiro. Because of this pain, Kenshiro has learned from sorrow and vowed to get better, fight alongside the people and defeat evil.
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When George Lucas decided to make the Star Wars prequel trilogy, fans got a chance to finally see how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. While that concept sounded cool, in its execution, it fell short and ultimately lessened the legend of Darth Vader, imo. So, when I saw that a Raoh backstory arc had been created, I had my doubts that it would do anything beneficial for that character. I was wrong.

It takes that villain, and turns him into the antihero, faced with trying to use his training and talent to forge a new world order out of the post-apocalyptic chaos before him and his friends (yes, Raoh has friends). His ethos had always been decidedly different from Kenshiro's, but even the King of Fist had to learn lessons and travel way down "the path of Asura", before he truly became the Dark King. Where Kenshiro learned to use his sorrow and love in his struggles, Raoh learned to dull his to augment his demon power...and all the episodes in this series show that subtle, yet profound evolution in how he treated his subjects and, even, his most trusted friends, Souga and Reina.

The story arc runs in parallel with Kenshiro's journey (starting just before Ken's first fight with Shin), right up to their (Ken and Raoh's) first reunion, and any fan of Hokuto No Ken will recognize the plot holes and questions from Kenshiro's story being filled in. I have never read the original manga ("The Conqueror of the Heavens: Fist of the North Star Raoh Side-Story"), or seen the recent "Fist of the North Star: The Legends of the True Savior" works, but from what I can tell, it is true to that story arc and characters.

The graphic style is modernized, yet retains the same gritty feel of the original TV series (now with actual blood, instead of shadow spurts and squirts!).
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This series was a very insightful and intriguing explanation of Raoh's origin as arguably the most powerful character in The Fist of the Northstar saga. A must have for any fan of Fist of the Northstar.
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