Fist of the Northstar Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B-
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Manga Entertainment
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 120
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Fist of the North Star

Fist of the Northstar Vol. #2

By Andrew Tei     August 22, 2003
Release Date: March 25, 2003


Fist of the Northstar Vol. #2
© Manga Entertainment


What They Say
Volume 2 of the explosive, post-apocalyptic martial arts series Fist of the North Star!

Contains Episodes 8-14:
8. STRIKE THE HIDDEN POWER POINT! No Requiem For The Wicked
9. VILLIANS! Say Your Prayers Before You Die!
10. RAGING FLAME REVERSE FLOW PUNCH! There Are Too Many Who Must Die!
11. VILLIANS! Listen To The Blues Of Hell!
12. I AM DEATH! I Will Chase You To The Ends Of Hell!
13. THE ARHAT DEVA FIST! Once Unleashed, There's No Holding It Back!
14. A MISERABLE AGE! Good People Die So Young!

The Review!
After being left on a cliffhanger for the last episode, Kenshiro has defeated almost all the forces of the most recent gang of hoodlums sent after him by Shin. Only the Colonel is left, and there's still a lot of Fist of the North Star ahead.

Audio:

For my primary review, I listened to the original Japanese stereo sound track. While it is encoded in stereo, though there is really no use of directionality. Sound and dialogue were clear for the most part, but there was a static pop during one of the ending credit sequences. The English soundtrack sounded fine.

Video:

Dating back to 1984, the video for Fist of the North Star just doesn't look pretty, like the show. Colors are not bright and compression relation artifacts show up everywhere. This is what happens when you put seven on episodes on a DVD. The age of the show doesn't help of course. There are plenty of scratches and blotches that were clearly on the master also.

Packaging:

The second volume of Fist of the North Star comes in a single keepcase featuring Kenshiro in one of his fighting stances against a blue sky background. The ruins of a city are behind him, with the Red Berets featured on the bottom, a gang sent by Shin to defeat Ken. Volume numbers are listed on the front and spine. The back cover features the names of all seven episodes available and features pictures of the various bad guys in the series. One picture is just disturbing. The insert inside features another cover, plus a listing of the titles again.

Menu:

The menu starts up with a sequence of various video shots before the main menu loads up, which features Kenshiro pointing into the distance against a moving sky background. The opening music also plays. Menu options include Play, Episode Access, Set-Up, and Special Features. Scene Access only allows you to select the beginning of an episode. Menu response time was good.

Extras:

The extras include a character bios section, a photo gallery, and a prologue. The prologue sets up the series, and only has English dialogue. It seemed more like a trailer.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

When we left off the first volume, Kenshiro, the master of Hokuto Shinken, was taking care of the last batch of thugs that Shin sent after him. The Colonel was the only one left, and Kenshiro was determined to remove him also. On the way to the Colonel, add in tons of pathetic bad guys which Kenshiro proceeds to make one head explode after another. Finally, the Colonel is reached, who is a master of Nanto Muon Ken (South Dipper Silent Fist). As you can see, most styles seem to be related somehow to the stars.

After the first episode on this DVD which cleans up the last arc from the previous DVD, we get into a new arc featuring Bart, the young boy Kenshiro encountered. Bart had run away from his previous village. When the water supply at the village gets low, Kenshiro, Bart, and Lynn take a visit in order to help. It turns out that one of Shin's minions, Madame Patra, is controlling the water supply in the area. The villagers try to make their own well, but enemy forces attack. Kenshiro again takes care of everything, but his encounter with Madame Patra leads to information on Shin's whereabouts.

The village arc continues for quite a while as we also get introduced to Jackal, another leader of the many gangs in the area. After Jackal kills someone though, Kenshiro goes on a mission to single handedly kill the man. More death, more destruction. With each step, Shin's forces are reduced.

The last episode on the DVD just seems to be filler. With all the major characters set up in the first episode, all the episodes on this DVD focus on Kenshiro getting rid of more of Shin's forces. We don't learn anything more about the past of Kenshiro and Shin. Bart gets development though as we got back to his previous village.

Again, Fist of the North Star isn't for everyone. If you're looking for a deep story, then you probably want to go watch another series. Bone crunching, blood dripping, and bodies being torn apart are on the menu here, and Fist of the North Star delivers a seven course meal of it.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Bios,Photo Gallery,Prologue

Review Equipment
Panasonic Qube to a Toshiba 36” Cinema Series via s-video, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver via optical, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears

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