Fist of the Northstar
Fist of the Northstar has earned itself a bit of a reputation. Part of this is due to it being one of the first titles to be brought over to North America, and it doesn't hurt that it's incredibly violent, either. Heck, a quote from the box cover describes it as a "post-apocalyptic splatter-fest".
Unfortunately, Fist of the Northstar is a bit confused about what it's all about. The story takes place in the distant future, with the world having become a post-apocalyptic wasteland where only the strong survive. One of the strong, Ken, tries to protect the weak, all while on a quest to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend from his jealous rival. Fist tends to be quite character-oriented, except that the characters themselves were rather uninteresting, ranging from big and mean to even bigger and meaner. There are various subplots involving the main characters, but these are generally excuses for them to beat the living crap out of each other, which they do in earnest. There's also an environmental message which gets sneaked in at the end, since this is a post-apocalyptic world, after all. However, the scenes during the ending credits just left me scratching my head in confusion. I'd say the plot was an excuse for lots of violence, and this is generally true, but I still couldn't shake the feeling that Fist of the Northstar could have been something more.
The action is, well, incredibly violent. This title is one of the goriest I've seen, and any action fan will be in heaven here. All of the main characters have special abilities and fighting techniques which only enhance their aptitude for carnage. Limbs get severed, heads explode, and blood goes everywhere.
The artwork is pretty good, even if a little old in appearance. The post-apocalyptic look of the world is well captured and the characters are fairly detailed. The animation isn't overly smooth, though, and tended to look poor during some of the fights. The voice acting was generally average and not painful to listen to.
If the phrase "splatterfest in a post-apocalyptic world" tickles your fancy, then go ahead and watch this movie. Anyone looking for substance, though, should probably give it a pass.
The Verdict: * * (poor)
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