So many gruesome anime are getting more attention like Attack On Titan, which I’m watching on Crunchyroll, yes, this kind of splatter anime was since Fist Of The North Star, aka Hokuto-No-Ken (北斗の拳) also on Crunchyroll. It is said to be one of the greatest grand epic anime from the 1980s if Attack On Titan is considered as the 2010’s greatest epic anime. Oh boy, it was horrible. I felt really sick to my stomach.
Why we don’t need Fist Of The North Star? Because it is the nikushokukei (肉食系 “carnivore”=macho) anime. And nikushokukei, in Francis Fukuyama’s words, is the First Man, driven by megalothymia. And Raoh, aka Ken-oh (拳王 ‘King of Fist”), the tyrant ruler of the end of the century (Seikimatsu Hasha “世紀末覇者”), was the embodiment of the First Man. The strongest man of the 2000 years history of Hokuto-shin-ken. He was megalothymia itself.
Back in the early 1980s, the Reagan administration came into power, completely turned Americans into nikushokukei. John Lennon died and the 70’s isothymia was over. The world went back to megalothymia. America/Soviet conflict became once again the First Man’s war.
And in Japan, school violence was at its peak. Motorcycle gangs (暴走族) were going rampant. So, taikukaikei (体育会系 “P.E.”) teachers were recruited to suppress school violence. Meet evil with evil. Some of these violent school kids were sent to Totsuka Yacht School, and some died there because of so called “discipline,” severe corporal punishment, i.e., torture to death. At first Totsuka was hailed by the media, strongly supported by Ishihara Shintaro, a nationalist writer, ex-Tokyo Governor. But after the torture incident, Totsuka was arrested, and the public opinion shifted to a softer approach.
Totsuka’s education was based on konjou (根性 “root character, gutsy mental spirit” i.e. “manhood”), based on pseudo-science noukanron (脳幹論 “brain root theory”). The Japanese manga were predominantly supo-kon (Sports-konjou) during the 60s and 70s, heavily promoted by Kajiwara Ikki, who himself was a violent thug, critical of post-war democracy, gender equality, pacifism, and children’s rights. Hideaki Anno makes fun of supo-kon by making an OVA, Aim For the Top (spoof of Aim for the Ace).
Konjou is a ghost of Japanese militarism which made the whole East Asia suffer. Motorcycle gangs proudly put the imperial navy flag of Japan to their bikes, glorifying Japanese militarism. Kajiwara’s theme of “manhood” was all about Battle Royal violence. His manhood ideology was probably influenced by Ishihara Shintarou’s novel in 1955, or at least sharing the zeitgeist. It’s well known that Ishihara’s novels are all about rape and murder (true definition of “sex and violence”).
Rape is glorified as summation of manhood, equal to military aggression like the Rape of the Sabine Women. Girls would be all raped under Raoh’s reign of terror. This madness was what Airi and Mamiya went through. Girls were only something to conquer and subjugate! Just like the military dictator enslaves the masses. Just like Raoh squeezes Yuria with his over-muscular arm if she doesn’t comply with his sexual advance! Mad sadism there!
Ken-oh, the First Man that all nikushokukei boys idolize at one point in their lives, dismissed pacifism with his fist, smashing the head of Mahatma Gandhi. “Non-violence can’t be a weapon to stop Ken-oh!” In other words, satyagraha was totally meaningless in a chaotic Madmax situation. Raoh would just slaughter us all if we’re singing “Give Peace A Chance” or “Te Recuerdo Amanda” by Victor Jara. There is no place for peaceniks in the time of terror. Even soshokukei (草食系 “herbivore”) had to fight in such chaotic time, with a great resistant leader like Shuu, whom John Lennon would’ve praised, “Shuu was much cooler than Che Guevara!”
Then, after the fall of Berlin wall, the bubble collapse, and the beginning of the Lost Decade, the nikushokukei values have crumbled, so called “Showa values (昭和的価値観).” The Heisei period started in 1989, the year of the fall of Berlin wall. Yes, the age of the First Man ended and the new era of the Last Man has started. And the Last Man is soushokukei-danshi (herbivorous boys)! And the most prominent ones are otaku!
So, we don’t need Hokuto-No-Ken anymore. Konjou education has gone and Yutori education has been implemented. And school uniforms have changed from gakuran to blazer, blazer can’t be modified, so that yankees (school gangs) have been driven out, no more broken glass window. So, school uniforms have become more feminine. Ahh, so cuuute. Probably the advent of blazer has also contributed to the rise of soshokukei.
Yet, in America, the First Man myth still lingers on. Capitalism requires everyone to fight. Children are taught to fight from their early age.
“You’re on your own. Fight to survive.” “一日不作一日不食 (He who does not work shall not eat.)” was not only the motto of Zen Buddhism, Samurai’s spirituality, and Marx-Leninism, but also Calvinism, Protestant work ethics, and capitalism. “By the sweat of your brow” is “By the blood of your brow.” In other words, “一日不戦一日不食 (He who does not fight shall not live).” That’s why capitalism creates inequality, makes society utterly dangerous, gangs terrorizing our neighborhoods, and girls only date aggressive macho man. Totally survival of the fittest mode. (While in socialism, if you refuse to work, they send you to gulag, forced labor, or involuntary servitude. Totally terror system.) Why can’t be more yutori (relaxed, lazy)? Don’t we have the right to be yutori?
Raoh’s funeral was held in 2007. Finally the world seemed to have moved on from the nikushokukei era. Raoh’s death was the symbolic demise of the First Man. Yet, in the recent anime, especially Attack On Titan fever, the First Man myth as a grand narrative is coming back. The First Man is basically a dude with too much muscle, and a nation with too much nukes. All the male characters of the Fist of North Start were over-muscular, but in Attack on Titan, even a girl is over-muscular! And here in America, the First Man’s system (i.e., capitalism) is still going on. This fortress must crumble just like the Bastille was brought down and prisoners were freed. Because now is time for soshokukei, the Last Man, eco-prince, le petit prince with petites récits!
Seikimatsu Hasha (ruler of end of century) was Raoh. But now, our Shinseiki kyuuseishu (新世紀救世主 “savior of new century”) is Mikage from Silver Spoon, a very cute high school farm girl in Hokkaido, yes, JK (joshi-kousei “high school girl”). And she explains horses are very delicate and sensitive, yes, soushokukei, just like us! Thus, Raoh’s black horse becomes Mikage’s black horse, yes, from megalothymic horse to isothymic horse. From konjou to yutori, from Shouwa to Heisei, from Cold War to Post Cold War (apres-guerre), from bubble to post-bubble, from nikushokukei to soshokukei, from megalothymia to isothymia, from over-muscularness to slenderness. From terrorism to perorism. From man on top (La Dolce Vita) to woman on top (La Matriarca). And now, we no longer strive to become Raoh the First man to ride on a horse, but rather fancy ourselves to become a horse itself that Mikage, Krista, or Sawa mounts on. Yes, horse is soushokukei! From moe pig to moe horse, from buhi (oink) to hihiin (neigh)!