Fist of the North Star (condensed movie version)

release year: 1986
genre: anime, specifically animated martial arts/action
viewing setting: home DVD, 4/12/04

synopsis: A post-apocalyptic wasteland is lorded over by thugs, who meet their ends thanks to an untra-powerful hero on a mission of revenge.

impressions: This is a highly-condensed movie version of a lengthy miniseries (see that review) whose purpose was to make something that got the point across, but in one sitting. The main difference between this and the full-length miniseries is story/plot changes necessary for the condensing. The general notes are the same: this was some of the first anime, and is probably still some of the most violent. Not more than a few minutes goes by without a fight and some messy, well-deserved deaths. The storyline is simple: good guy and girlfriend are ambushed by bad guy, who used to be good guy's best friend but wanted his girlfriend so bad that he beat good guy to within an inch of his life, then took the unwilling girlfriend in the hopes that she'd decide to love him. Why bad guy didn't just kill good guy is beyond me. There's more...they had the same teacher for their ultra-powerful martial arts techniques, and there are brothers to the good guy, who covet his power and so turn evil. Bottom line: for bloody fighting and exploding of bodies, this series will fulfill.

something this movie has that no other movie has: A guy who can touch you and cause you to explode.

acting: Not really applicable. I would like to point out that in typical anime fashion, there is an annoying kid who seldom takes the overall situation seriously.

final word: Simple, bloody, and easily watchable. This is a pretty good job of compressing hours of a series into a movie format.

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