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Having recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, to the uninitiated, Fist of the North Star might seem like a relic of the past that has been outdone and forgotten, but even after all this time, it is still very much alive and kicking (and punching). If you are already a hardened fan, read on for nostalgia's sake, and if you did not witness it yet, sit down and let me convince you that some series simply do not age and are still worth the watch even after a quarter of a century has passed. I am living proof of this, because I have, I must admit, only delved into the world of Fist of the North Star a little more than a year ago. So put on your shoulder pads, tighten those bandages on your forearm and let us take a trip back to when "bad-assery" had but one name: Kenshiro.
Something has to be said first and foremost, though. Yes, Fist of the North Star is still very pleasing to watch even to this day, but it simply isn't enjoyed in the same light as it used to be. The series takes itself very seriously, but when anyone in this day and age witnesses its plot, it is hard to take any of it as serious. The main character is closer to God than he is to a human, bad guys redefine bad fashion in every episode, the story is riddled with clichés, you will be shown ways to die that you thought would only be possible with some sort of explosives, facial expressions will be hilariously exaggerated... And here lies the whole magic: Fist of the North Star attains its epic status by being both hilarious and awesome at the same time.
Let's take a closer look at Kenshiro, the protagonist of the story. In most shounen anime, the main arks will almost always be based on an opponent that seems unbeatable at first, and the hero will somehow find a way to surmount these odds and win in the end. However, with Kenshiro, there's just no suspense at all: He will obliterate the opponent, without breaking a sweat, and will take time to taunt them or play with them before they explode in a fountain of white blood ( yes, blood becomes white quite often ). For a big part of the anime, Kenshiro simply meets no one that can stand up to him at all, but that doesn't matter, because half the fun is watching him deal with them in a variety of exotic ways. You will see the next bad guy show up, kill some innocent villagers and laugh it up, and you will try to guess how many hits it will take for Kenshiro to crack his skull open.
You see, Kenshiro fights by striking precise pressure points on his opponent's body. Depending on which points were hit, the attack will have different effects. The classic, and first encounter you get with this technique, is to have the opponent's head explode after a couple seconds, preferably after uttering the words “You are already dead” as the thug boasts that he doesn't feel anything. But as it goes on, things get ridiculous. Kenshiro shows us just how close to God he really is when he uses pressure points to make the bad guys do just about anything: Walk by themselves off a building, unwillingly point in the direction of the enemy fortress, hug someone so hard he breaks in two, or force them to follow his orders to the letter, else the pressure points will activate and proceed to make their heads pop like a cork. Oh, and Ken doesn't need his fingers to press them either, he can use blunt objects, or his feet. Also note that there seems to be a pressure point in your balls that can make your head explode. After some time watching the series, one can't help but wonder if the people of this world die horrible accidental pressure point-related deaths by hitting their big toe on the side of the bed.
The fun doesn't end there either, the world of Fist of the North Star is filled to the brim with a slew of arbitrary, unwritten rules that are a joy to pinpoint and call out, almost to the point where you could make drinking games based on some of them... A~! Wait, this anime's targeted at young boys isn't it? Scratch that. Regardless, a bullet list is of the essence:
• Kids and women cannot die, ever. If any of them are threatened, don't worry about them. Unless you are watching one of the movies or a flashback, in which case they are free game.
• The main event of the episode will almost always be spoiled in the very title of the episode.
• Newly introduced fighting styles will always be the strongest on the face of the Earth.
• General appearance, faces, clothes and accessories are in constant artistic evolution. • It is O.K. to rip off your clothes, they will grow back after the fight.
• Ken can take out nunchucks at any given time, even though there appears to be no way he can carry them in his clothes.
• Kids are the sole creatures with the power to make Kenshiro smile. • Similarly, little girls can summon Ken at any time by screaming his name.
• All towns on the continent are less than a day of walk away from each other.
• Any visible wounds less serious than dismemberment will heal in the next shot or two.
• Bricks can become sharp if thrown fast enough.
• If you are a thug, you are automatically at least twice the size of a normal human.
And what to say of the countless moves shown? Enough to make Captain Falcon proud. Whenever a new move has just happened, before the effects of said move appear, time will stop and the announcer will scream out the name of the move. This, quite frankly, becomes a drug. Whenever it happens, you must stand up, make grand gestures with your arms, scream out the name of the move yourself with your gravest tone of voice, remain immobile and reward your senses with the festival of blood, impossibly bent bodies and screams that will be unraveled before your very eyes.
Generally, the most amusing arks are the shortest. A group of idiotic bad guys who will show up and be swiftly dealt with by Ken. They will always think they're tough stuff and show some ridiculous moves or techniques. One gang will catapult themselves in the air and dive sword first into Kenshiro, like darts, others will act like chameleons, scorpions or even lobsters, I kid you not. Luckily Ken always has the right punch for the situation. Even if he's benevolent to anyone whom he considers worthy of living, when it comes to bad guys, he is merciless. He even has a strong penchant on using the enemy's own perks and use them against them. For example, if a clan leader likes taking long baths while the villagers are dying of thirst, he'll push a pressure point that makes it impossible to rise up while the guy's head is underwater. Or when he faces a tank, he'll kick the tank until it's about to explode, and when the pilot tries to escape, he'll trap him inside by paralyzing him and say “Now die inside your precious tank!” with a straight face. Priceless stuff.
But that's not all! Raoh doesn't travel on foot, oh no, he travels by horse. And not just any old horse, a MAN'S horse: Kokuoh-Go. This stallion has more personality than most delinquants in the anime, so I will address the stallion as a “he” so as to not lower him to a mere animal. Although he looks normal when the humongous Ken-Oh rides him (if you consider eyes of pure white rage, the earthquake-like thumping sound of his hooves on the ground or his loud, piercing screams normal), he is a black steed of gigantic proportions that inspires respect and strikes fear into anyone that dares come near him. In fact, Raoh won't come off his horse for anyone, until he thinks they are worthy, otherwise he will just ask Kokuoh-Go to trample them to death, an activity that Kokuoh-Go seems to thoroughly enjoy.
I could let my ramblings go on for much longer, but the bottom line is that Fist of the North Star is bliss to watch when you can appreciate what it has to offer: pure, cheesy, unadultered muscle-filled buckets of kick ass. It is too many people's mistake to shrug it off as an old anime that isn't worth the watch, and I aim to bring as many lost souls to my cause as I can! Haul a friend or two over, watch the first few episodes and surrender to the fact that you will want to marathon through the whole thing and laugh harder than Kenshiro's biceps, I know I did.
Hanasakeru Seishonen - an epic 39 episode series - follows Kajika who is a 14 year old girl with a peculiar charm. She is the only daughter of the president of the well-known Burnsworth Company. One day, her father makes an odd proposal to Kajika to find a spouse whom she would like to share her life with.
Although the series itself is a masterpiece in itself, episode 38 was particular moving, at least for this writer. Throughout all the drama, there was one scene that sticks out more than any other does during this second to final episode of the series.
The episode helps to answer a number of questions, which have plagued and held watchers in suspense for most of the series 39 episodes. The scene in particular which was compelling is where the main character Kajika turns to her father and asks him to break all ties with her. She removes herself from the position of his heir and from the fortune and position for which she holds by right of birth.
While in addition to being the heiress to a huge financial empire, she is also the rightful ruler of a throne, one of the biggest surprises of the series. Her father willingly complies, something that most financial giants would be unwilling to do, especially for their only heir, and sends her on her way. Her father Harry Barnsworth is secure in the knowledge that she will be taken care of by the male friends in her life, as well as her cousin who is King.
She thanks her father and runs off intent on rescuing the Leader of the Fang group Lee Leng who is her romantic interest. The scene is moving, touching, and shows both true romance and love. It shows the willingness to give up everything without a second thought for the person you love.
More importantly, it shows that these types of sacrifices are not to be viewed as a loss or something that is being given up as an equal or greater thing to love, but to be viewed as something that is less important than having true love in your life.
While the main character is, still a teenager she shows remarkable wisdom and maturity in determining and knowing what is more important in her life, position and wealth, or the love in her heart for a man who has grown up with her and loves her just as deeply for exactly who she is.
Did you know that Leiji Matsumoto, creator of Captain Harlock, Space Battleship Yamato, and Galaxy Express 999, worked with Daft Punk to create the animated movie Interstella 5555? Of course, this is quite obvious since his character designs are so iconic.
With the Espada gone, the Visoreds are now able to confront Aizen. Having been unwilling test subjects in Aizen’s past experiment, the Visoreds make no effort to hide their hatred toward the man who destroyed their lives. Hiyori, unable hold in her anger, is the first to attack Aizen with her blade. Meanwhile, Chad, Renji, and Rukia continue their fight against Yammy in Hueco Mundo.
The new semester just started, and Kio's class erupts as an unlikely surprise befalls them. Bizarre transfer students appear before them: an alien, a robot, a extremely wealthy ojousama, maid soldiers. The boys of the class have their hearts stolen, the girls seethe with jealousy and with that, chaos comes...
Word of the Day
ディスる (pronounced: dee-sue-roo) This verb means to diss someone.
Example: ディスってんじゃねーよ (di su tten ja ne-yo), which means "Don't be dissing on me."