Fist of the North Star - Legends of the Dark King the Complete Collection DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.1
Video 7.9
Audio 7.0
Total 8.0
Distributor: Siren Visual
Classification: MA15+
Minutes: 385 minutes
Reviewer: Kyle Sudukis

8.0


Fist of the North Star
Legends of the Dark King the Complete Collection

This anime series is considered by some the definitive answer to this genre and after spending the weekend, sitting through 385 minutes of an amazing mind F**K experience of gore and violence, I must whole heartedly agree.

Before I get to the crux of the story, I need to explain the back history of this universe. The story of First of the North Star is set in a post apocalyptic future that has seen the Earth decimated by war and order has been vanquished. Vicious gangs and man-made Kings now rule the lands with violence to those who stand in their way.

Fortunately for the survivors, four brothers have banded together to not only protect the innocent but have become a law unto themselves. These brothers created their own armies and trained the soldiers in the art of the legendary North Star (Hokuto Shinken), an ancient form of martial arts that can devastate their enemies by just a touch. Whereas nuclear war may have ravaged the lands once, it is now bloody violence... my perfect recipe for anime!

This story First of the North Star - Legends of the Dark King takes place before this uprising and when the dust from the nuclear war settled, a man called Raoh rose from the ashes who was the first King of the Fist, the Divine Fist of Heaven and more specifically, the master of Hokuto Shinken. He is also the main responsible for creating a new order on this broken planet.

Although knowing the back history of this series is probably a good idea, the creator of this series, Youkow Osada still makes the characters from this prequel quite accessible on anime. However, if you have never read or watched any of the Fist of the North Star's before, you can still thoroughly enjoy this impressive collection. Just to cement this idea, knowing the back history only compliments the story but its not a necessity.

Roah is the main character of this current instalment who is disgusted at how the world has fallen and he wishes to bring order to this world, even if it means being something that he is not. Human or Demon? That remains to be seen but Roah has the help of Souga and Reina, a brother and sister who believe his path is quite righteous.

Together they defeat the so-called Kings of this land, one by one as their power levels grow. And without spoiling the story any further, there is quite a bit of strategy involved in knocking these thugs from their thrones. There is even a touch of mysticism involved in this story and ultimately, you believe that for Roah to succeed, he must die.

The only aspect of this collection that had me scratching my head is that at times, the story seems a little broken and disjointed in relation to pacing and motivations of some of the characters that they encounter. Of course, when the battles begin, you immediately forget about any inconsistencies and watch the blood splatter as people start to get decapitated in the most  deadly ways possible. Finally we have the dialogue that is a little cheesy at times but suits this Conan the Barbarian meets Steam Punk type of story.

I enjoyed this collection thoroughly and this was the tasty large morsel of anime I needed after too much shiny pop anime. The video quality is presented in widescreen and showcases some truly impressive animation that is matched with a great 5.1 English score. At the end of the day, this is real men anime... not that cutesy CGI that we see today!

Recommended!






 
 



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