Legends of the Dark King: A Fist of the North Star Story

Alt title: Hokuto no Ken: Raoh Gaiden - Ten no Haoh

TV (13 eps)
Fall 2008
3.534 out of 5 from 873 votes
Rank #5,375

The year is 199X, and most of the world's population has been wiped out by nuclear war. Raoh, the strongest warrior alive, survives by using a deadly martial art known as Hokuto Shin Ken; this powerful fighting style targets pressure points and is said to be unbeatable. Along with the feisty and beautiful Reina, her smart and cunning brother Souga and Raoh's trusty steed Kokuro-ko, Raoh sets forth to conquer what's left of mankind. Yet the world is not as we know it – it's filled with killers, thieves, warlords and the weak. With epic power and fear, Raoh will conquer his enemies where they stand.

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DISCLAIMER, I watched the English dub version so some of this review is based on the voices/delivery of lines. Also this does get a bit SPOILERISH. If you’ve been looking for an anime with little-to-no mercy, with a main character whose objective is to slaughter, conquer, and strike fear into pretty much everyone, this may be the anime for you. Roah is a ruthless go-getter who aims to have the world in his hands and rule the heavens. He’ll do whatever it takes to fulfill his goal and anyone who gets in his way has little time to regret their decision. His steadfast manner and refusal to back down aren’t exactly unique [in the anime-verse] but his personality makes him a pretty darn engaging character. And even knowing that he isn’t against killing his own people and those who bend to his will, his actions can still take the viewer by surprise. Human-life is of little value to anyone in this world. The torture portrayed episode after episode is more often than not done for amusement: to humiliate and to punish. The downside of this power-play is that most of the people who get tortured are women in the typical sexist and sexual fashion. The historical accuracy of women belonging to physically powerful men and men with high political stature is also present and is a large part of the domination/torture of the fairer sex. At times the delivery of dialouge was too comedic or over the top for the seriousness of what the character(s) were talking about. The anime makes light of torture (as mentioned above) and it doesn't have any hesitation to kill beloved characters the audience may be sympathising with/fans of. The classing “callout out the name of the attack before attacking” way of battle is present more so with some characters than with others, and it can be annoying -- unless you’re a fan of that. With that being said this wasn’t the typical predictable anime about a one-track mind character or those who gather around him and aim for one objective. The lengths Roah's followers were willing to go through to to aid him were commendable. Whenever someone offended Roah he was punished in a fitting way. People with nothing to offer, those who outlived their usefulness, those who lied, and those who just wouldn’t get out of Roah’s way had no reason to be kept alive and rather than giving in to their begging cries of mercy heads rolled. Surrender was never an option. In the name of the King of Fist, this was a good anime.

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