New Fist of the North Star Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: D+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 55
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: New Fist of the North Star

New Fist of the North Star Vol. #2

By Paul Jacques     February 13, 2006
Release Date: June 20, 2005


New Fist of the North Star Vol. #2
© ADV Films UK


What They Say
In the aftermath of Kenshiro’s attack on the citadel of Last Land, the boy known as Lord Dohas falls deatkly ill. Sara’s prognosis is dire: only a few days before he dies. The serum to save his life is a two day drive each way. When pressed by Kenshiro, Sara admits there is a shorter path… but it runs through Cliffland, a land haunted by demons who practice a mysterious killing technique.

Fates collide as Kenshiro takes up the quest and departs for Cliffland. Suddenly, another mysterious martial artist arrives in Last Land, pursued by two of the dreaded Clifflanders. The fighter gives his name as Seiji and vows to take all that Sanga has owned. The balance of power is once again thrown into chaos as fist is pitted against fist in a struggle to see whose justice will prevail. Meanwhile, Sara anxiously awaits for Kenshiro to return… if he returns at all.

The Review!
What’s this, a golden oldie resurrected for our delectation? Does the new North Star hold a candle to old mid 80’s post apocalyptic hokum? In part two of this trilogy we get more of the same.

Audio:
Wow, 5.1 Japanese and English! Both sound tracks delivered clean audio, although not much in the way of directional sound, still, at least it gives the speakers a work out, just don’t expect any swirling sound effects. All-in-all a complete waste of the surround sound experience.

The opening track is called Luna The closing track is called OASIS I particularly liked the opening sequence with the music and action fitting perfectly- it rocks! And here’s a game you can play, one of the characters is voiced by the singer, but which?

Video:
The video is mostly excellent, with nice colours and sharp lines, although it does lapse in cheap looking 2 D cell. The wide screen presentation has come through the transfer process very well, with no defects detected. And it’s visuals in this series that make it stand out from the original, as they make some use of the 3D CGI to give this a look of it’s own.

Packaging:
We get this first volume with a clear case and reversible covers. It’s just a pity they didn’t capitalise on the opportunity to make a different graphic for both sides of the cover. As it is, we have the same picture of Kenshiro and Seijia on both sides.

Menu:
A simple blue menu with Kenshiro in classic pose, with a looping Mr Gackt entertaining us with his dulcet tones. The menu has a link for Languages, Scene select and Extras. All links work quickly and no dead ends were encountered.

Extras:
The main interview is with singer and pop idol Gackt. If you are a big fan of his, then feel free to lick the screen for 12 minutes.

More interviews, but this time with a real life martial artist Michael Zang. Check it out as it’s fascinating stuff if you’ve never done any martial arts, and Mr Zang is big on street fighting. It should be noted that street fighting is big on practical application and less on showy movements… hey, there is even some hint’s at how Mr Spock is able to incapacitate with his Vulcan nerve pinch.

A 5 minute behind the scenes which film which shows each of the male USA VA in the recording booth. It starts off interesting, but gets a little same~y after a while.

And last, but not least, a few character bios with voice over for the hard of reading.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain some spoilers)
We have to sit through ~4minutes of recap from volume 1. Then we have Kenshiro, and Sara try and work out what to do next, now that Lord Sanga has been given a one-way ticket to the afterlife.

In the last battle young Bista was seriously injured and now his big brother, Tobi, waits by the bedside. Sara pronounces that Bista has an infection and requires medicine, so Kenshiro is sent out to find some medicine.

Kenshiro drives north to get the medicine and encounters a band of very unfriendly monks called “Clifflanders”. After showing them the error of their ways, Kenshiro is accepted as a Master and they agree to help him. In honour of Kenshiro’s skill the Clifflanders reveal to him the secret they are guarding, and boy is it a doozy. As a farewell gift they give Kenshiro the medicine he needs and warn him about an evil man called Seiji, who has designs upon Last Land.

Back in town a stranger, Seiji, enters and decides he wants to be ruler now that Sanga has popped his clogs. And just to show how tough he is, he wups the ass of a couple of Clifflanders himself, just to prove a point. He then proceeds to take over his late father’s estate and molest Sara like the cad he is (boo, hiss, hiss).

Tobi manages to escape the dungeon and stir the peasants into revolt. And so they all storm the castle and a very nasty hand-to-hand fight breaks out, but it looks like the guards may well win…….. if only Kenshiro can get back in time to help.

In summary-
This second volume is an improvement on the first, but it’s still crude in it’s scripting, with dialogue frequently repeated, and don’t even get me started on the revolving door that is the plot. You don’t even get enough mindless violence to pass the time.

The use of 3D CGI and 80’s style 2D cell work is quite an anachronism, very ill- fitting, with more reliance on static 2D cell work in this volume. All it says to me is that they tried to make this as cheaply as possible. And you have to wonder why anyone ever bothered to resurrect this oldie, as it has nothing new to offer.

The only thing I really like about FoTNS is the Op\ Ed and the rather nice scenery pans.

Features
Japanese Language 5.1,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles,VA Interviews,Character profiles,Professional Martial Artist interview

Review Equipment
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment, 19” SM930bf LCD, ATI X700 & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & headphones and a duck.

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