Episode 26 – The Pilgrimage

After Drew went to Japan (and returned), the crew went to Anime Weekend Atlanta (and returned), Marc and Drew began promoting Seishun Con while Richard went to Japan (and later returned), we’ve still managed to get some podcasts together. Please accept our apologies for the delays. With that said, episode 26 features a do-over for Richard and Drew as they review again the Fist of the North Star movie from 1986 and then tackle the 2008-2009 OAV film Hokuto no Ken: Kenshiro-den. This time, we’ve managed to escape Soviet Russia and the clutches of KGB major/Prime Minister/man-about-town, Czar Putin.

Hosts: Drew Sutton and Richard Hoelsher

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Show Notes:

Fist of the North Star, or, as known in Japan as Hokuto no Ken, is a series that was published in Weekly Shonen JUMP in the mid 1980s which was turned into a TV anime in 1984. In 1986, they released a compilation movie. In a post-apocalyptic nuclear holocaust, humanity struggles to find food, water and shelter. It’s an expectedly horrible life that most people eak out and there is a massive class disparity as resources are controlled by the strong or charismatic (or both). Fortunately, some of the strong, namely our savior, the great Kenshiro, still have a sense of justice and will defend those much weaker then him. If you’re only slightly weaker then him, he’ll make your head explode. Also keep in mind that most of the villains truly aren’t that bad, despite their occupations as conquerors, slavers or other sundry professions. Except for Jagi, who is that bad.  This is a film where images must be seen to be believed.

Nuclear Bombs Go Boom
The Holocaust after all-out Nuclear Warfare was a popular topic in the 1980s.
Kenshiro of the 3/7 Scars
Shin (Right) stabs Kenshiro after taking his woman. In this post-apocalyptic future, women are a resource as important as food, water, gasolene and shelter. Also in this post-apocalyptic future, every one seems to know one of three matial arts where leaving holes in someone with your fingers is low key.
Raou does not tolerate bullshit.
Raou, the Fist King and future ruler of the world (?) will not tolerate your bullshit.
When we mentioned heads exploding, it's not like that smarmy neckbeard in Birkenstocks who's got some stuff that'll "blow your mind".

Fast forward some two decades and Hokuto no Ken remains a force to be reckoned with in regards to Japanese cartoons. However, while HnK isn’t being marketed towards young to teen boys any longer, it still tugs on the heartstrings of older salarymen who grew up with the original. In an attempt to capitalize on this, several new OAVs have been in the works. While the 2003 series showed little success, the later series of character featurettes seemed to have found a bit more of an audience. Hokuto no Ken: Kenshiro-den enlightens us on some details left unmentioned at the beginning of the older film and television series.

You could almost say he is Christ-like
Remember when we called Kenshiro the savior? We didn't think of that metaphor.
Would you call this a spoiler?
Spoiler Alert: Even the new version of Kenshiro kicks ass.

A magnificent film transfer of the original Hokuto no Ken film is available from any number of fine anime retailers brought to you by little-known, schizophrenic licensor, Discotek. The new OAVs are not yet available in the States but if enough people are buying the old movie and television series, then there might be a shot at the new OAVs, too.

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