The meaning of Iconic "Fist of the North Star" nonsense phrases are simpler than you'd suspect
The Fist of the North Star manga and anime by Tetsuo Hara and Buronson is a classic tale of doomed romance, human frailty, and brotherly love set in a post-Apocalyptic wasteland. More importantly, it's a martial arts adventure where the main character, Kenshiro, knows a secret art of assassination that makes his enemies freaking explode.
Normally, it goes something like this: the bad guys do something terrible. Kenshiro gets mad, sad, or both. He then hits them with a secret technique, such as the Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken ("100 Crack Fist"). Often this is accompanied by Kenshiro's signature battle-cry, which is something like: "ATATATATATATATATATATATATA!"
Since Kenshiro has manipulated the bad guys' internal energy by pressing special secret pressure points, the bad guys proceed to explode gruesomely, but not before shouting various nonsense phrases, such as "hidebu!" and "abeshi!".
Many fans have wondered over the years if these particular phrases had any significant meaning to them. Well, wonder no longer, Fist fans, because on a recent episode of the Nakai no Mado variety show that aired on May 27. 2015, manga artist Tetsuo Hara explained the origin of these nonsense words.
"Hidebu!" is actually supposed to be "痛ぇ ブー", a modification of the Japanese phrase "ittai desu" ("it hurts!"), but since the villains are in the process of exploding, the vocal sounds are shifted. Hara observes that when something really hurts, one is more likely to let out an exclamation like "achi!" or "hoachi!" than a grammatically correct word.
"Abeshi!", on the other hand, is the combination of a powerful "Aaaaaa!" scream - like the kind you would make if you broke a limb - with "べしっ" ("besshi"), the Japanese onomatopoeia for getting punched in the face.
Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. (The other half is making your enemies explode with your fists.)
Paul Chapman is the host of The Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast and GME! Anime Fun Time.