Now, I don’t review academically like Mike, and I only crank out good review with Claymore. But let’s look at this movie anyhow.
it’s no doubt a GAR movie, which Goto Yuko would love and perhaps get cloudy-eyed over, but compared with 80’s pure machoism and all muscle sales, it adds two interested elements:
Music – by Kajiura Yuki, and songs by Fiction Junction with Kaori.
Actress – no long truly mature voiced women acting all helpless, but younger, and almost more innocent women (read: Hirano AYA) acting innocent and hopeful.
I was surpised to see Kajiura Yuki as the composer, I mean, she added the flair (but quite familiar and similar to her previous works ) to the movie. I’m not sure if the somewhat middle eastern flair to the movie fits the theme. As little as I can remember, fist of the North Star really was just a violent manga expressing the violent and destructive urges of young men. It may have some scenes about redemption and struggle, but it’s been so long that I can’t remember, even having read the manga. The only thing I remember is that it was impossibly violent and bloody.
Some of the other presentations are different than what I remembered as well. For example, I don’t remember they had Shaolin style martial art demonstrations, but instead, it was always somebody hitting someone, with a side explanation, and someone literally blows up. I mean, the old manga and movie was about “icons”. Every character was drawn with heavy, sculptured lines and shades with exaggerated personalities and ways of talking. This manga was the lord of macho (something that Major from Section 9 would definitely disapprove, but Goto Yuko may drool over).
However, in this film, which is about the possibly softest character of all the macho guys – Toki, clearly doesn’t have that much macho in mind.
He heals, he sacrfices. he uses a “softer” and “gentler” killer attack – Hokuto no yujo attack, or something like the North Star COMPASSION attack. Oh, it still kills all right, and the opponents, two all of the sudden out of proportion giants died by exploding. But they feel great before dying…Yeah.
There really isn’t much plot for me to talk about, nuclear explosions all over the globe, people starting to take over using fists, kicks, and hand to hand combat weapons (mainly martial arts skill, of course), Raoh, the older brother of Toki, trying to take over the world with force, Toki trying to prevent him from doing it.
The concept of the Fist of the North Star seems to combine a lot of things, from acupuncture points, to astrology, to destiny, to post-apocalyptic world, and so on. But as an 80’s child, I immediately realized that no matter how much they try to package it and make it more general and acceptable to the audience of today’s era…
The concept is dated. It felt closer to 80’s I would have to say though, that they did a good job making it less 80’s by adding non-80’s elements, like the music and voice acting. Here, Ken doesn’t do much except commenting, ala Initial D style (or all other shonen battle style), and we have Sakamoto Maaya as an audience member (the girl).
However, they did a decent job portraying the life of Toki, and what do you know, he did lose, but…oh well, watch it for yourselves.
I liked the seiyyu dynamics but this isn’t anything spectacular. Fans of the series and the manga may want to check it out, though. The music is dynamite and Aya does her job competently. Fans (read: fangirls) of GAR don’t miss it! It has enough muscles galore without all the punk elements of the old manga.
I’d even say this is the sensitive side (gasp!) of the Fist of the North Star!
P.S. NOOOO!!! They forgot to say: “You’re already dead.”