January 27, 2011

Legends of the Dark King: Fist of the North Star

I have been feeling pretty ambitious in the New Year when it comes to getting through my anime collection. I started Legends of the Dark King: Fist of the North Star a couple of days ago and managed to complete the 13 episodes this evening. I really don't know what I was expecting when I picked this series up. All I really knew was that I wanted to watch something with action that was short, having just come off Gundam Seed Destiny on Sunday.

After Playing Fist of the North Star Ken's Rage and only having seen the two Fist of the North Star movies (one of which was a live action film), I found myself curious about the story for the series. Although I cannot compare Legends of the Dark King to the original Hokuto No Ken (Fist of the North Star) series, I can say that I was entertained with this show.

The story depicts Raoh's conquest to rule the world after the Nuclear Holocaust that destroyed the world. He has claimed his name as King of Fist (Ken-Oh). The story begins with Raoh having nothing but his Divine Fist of the North Star, and ending with him in a battle with Souther. Although reference is made to Kenshiro, he doesn't actually appear in the show. Some notable appearances are from Reina, Toki, Juda, Juza, Ryuga, and Souther among a few others. The series ends with news of Kenshiro taking Cassandra and freeing Toki from imprisonment.

One of the more entertaining parts of this show was the really cheesy 80's dialog that you would expect to see in the movie and the series. It is very stiff. Many of the threats made in the dialog are so outrageous that you can't take them seriously and have to laugh. Its almost as though many characters come across as being so righteous that they are oblivious to the fact that they are just as wrong as the "bad guys". The music was just as dated as the dialog as well.

I did like the art used for the show. Everything used dark and aggressive colors. There was so much black and red in the show it was like staring at the sun for 13 episodes. That being said, I didn't dislike the use of color or the design of the characters. I actually found that the artwork was something that made me feel that some of my expectations of what I anticipated Fist of the North Star to be were validated.

Overall...the show was pretty good. I would certainly recommend it. Having little knowledge of the Fist of the North Star franchise, I found this was an easy show to follow. After watching this, I am heavily contemplating taking a shot at getting through all 166 episodes of the original series. I will also be rewatching the anime movie for the series so stay tuned for a post on that.

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