Another anime I've watched a lot of times over and over again. I stumbled upon this anime by accident and at first I expected some boring post-apocalyptic story
like Mad Max or other classic cold war era cinematography story. But I've been proven wrong.
Could you imagine a world devastated by a nuclear war. Cities in ruins, dry oceans, green plains turned into desert. Civilized society destroyed, people struggling for survival. Strong preying on weak. Now imagine you put there a single man. He is really pissed off, because his supposed friend kidnapped his love Julia. His name is Kenshiro and he is the only successor of the most deadly material art in the history.
The first part of description makes Hokuto no Ken hardly original or even interesting, but the second part added to the mix changes everything. The story starts slowly and so does action. Watching all those scum praying on weak crushed by Kenshiro like little insects, I've to admit, it brings feeling of satisfaction.
The story is slaughter of bandits and gangs by single man Kenshiro. Yes, slaughter, because no matter how many attacks him he kills them easily. At first only small groups then bigger and bigger, whole army. I think the whole absurdity of some scenes and techniques made me literally ROFL. There are of course few enemies on equal power level, but honestly I find this boring. It's more fun to watch hordes of minions to be killed in gruesome way rather than fancy touki techniques. Except the fight between Kenshiro and Shin.
In summary the story is great. However after 42 episode it gets gradually dull, except some few episodes now and then. It looks like scenarist or should I say mangaka was slowly dying in the deserts of Hokuto no Ken. Before the end of the first season there are 3 episodes solely for the purpose of recapitulation. The second season is just stupid. It's just prolonging of already exhausted story. It doesn't have the greatness of the first season. My rating would be much better if story were shorter.
Hokuto no ken is 80's anime so it has this nasty habits of those time cinematography especially reuse of previous shots. Therefore I give only 5/10 for animation.
You would not watch this anime because of its awesome animation, but because of its hilarious action. I think action would be much better if there were less repeating and static shots. I've seen some attempts to completely remake animation in some movies, but I didn't like them at all. Just by replacing repeating scenes and, static shots, I would be perfectly happy.
Music is excellent. It gives you this immerse feeling of brute force. Music makes action much better. "Now, he is going to kick your ...!"
Main hero is without the doubt the best character. Kenshiro is inspired by Bruce Lee. And there is his famous
"Atatatatatata wachaa ... You are already dead" (あたたたたたた わちゃあ… お前はもう死んでいる )
There are many famous badass lines that leave happy smile on your face.
Other characters are simply pale and meaningless. I probably wouldn't care if side kicks were a pair of chimpanzees.
I definitely recommend to watch. Even if just only to see the famous Kenshiro against tank scene in episode 18. When I've seen Hokuto no Ken for the first time I laughed a lot. There aren't any other action anime that made me laugh (in a good way - not because it's pathetic). Hokuto no ken is old anime, but still beats many of new 21th century anime in fun.