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Fist of the North Star (TV Series) 
Written by: on July 31st, 2010

Theatrical Release Date:
Japan, 1984, 1985
Directors: Toyoo Ashida, Ichirô Itano
Writers: Buronson, Tetsuo Hara, Yukiyoshi Ôhashi, Hiroshi Toda, Shozo Uehara
Cast: Akira Kamiya, Teiyû Ichiryûsai, Yuriko Yamamoto, Tomiko Suzuki, Kenji Utsumi, Toshio Furukawa

DVD Released: July 27th, 2010
Approximate Running Time: 800 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese, Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Eastern Star / Discotek
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $59.95

Synopsis: In the future the world has been ravaged by nuclear fallout. The hero of this story Kenshirô is betrayed by someone close to him and left for dead. Down but not out, Kenshirô searches for the woman he loves and in the process he is forced to take on those who threaten to destroy what is left of mankind.

Fist of the North Star is based on a Manga that was created by Tetsuo Hara and Buronson. In 1984 Toei animation would adapt Tetsuo Hara and Buronson’s Manga into a TV series which lasted for 109 episodes. Followed by a sequel TV series that lasted for 43 episodes and a feature film that was released in 1986.

This box set release from Eastern Star contains the first 36 episodes. The first 22 episodes were adapted from chapters 1 through 25 of the Manga. The main villain for these episodes is Shin, who is also the main villain in the feature film. Episodes 23 through 36 were adapted from chapters 26 through 83 of the Manga. These episodes see an introduction of a new character named Rei, who becomes an integral part to the ever evolving story.

Even though there are several story arcs which span over several episodes. Each episode more than holds their own as standalone adventures. All of the main characters are well defined and given just the right amount of time to flesh out their personalities. The fight scenes are a lot of fun as the Kenshiro character announces each move that he is performing as he breaks bones and crushes skulls. Another area where this series stands out is its abundance of gore via exploding bodies and heads. Ultimately Fist of the North Star is a fast paced  apocalyptic martial arts adventure that deserves its reputation as one of the best Anime series.

The DVD:

All thirty six episode include with this collection are presented in their original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. Colors and black levels fare well. Details look crisp and the image remains stable throughout.

This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Japanese and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes are in very good shape as everything sounds clear and balanced. Two English subtitle options are provided with this release. The first English subtitle translates the Japanese audio track, while the second English subtitle translates all Japanese test / dialog that appears when watching the English dubbed version.

Extras for this release include a trailer for Fist of the North Star theatrical movie (2 minutes 29 seconds – 1.33:1 full frame, in Japanese with English subtitles), a photo gallery and characters bio’s for Kenshiro, Julia, Lin, Zeed, Bat, Shin, Sergeant Madd and “The Jacks”. Also included with this releases are previews for many of the episodes and they all play at the end  of each episode. Overall this a strong release that fans of this TV series should be very happy with.

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