In my previous post, I said the first arc or book of a longer series is for world building and it gets better after that.. Arc two definitely proved that. More characters, good, bad, and mixed, are included, more locations are explored, and the meat of the series is starting to be unveiled. Basically, the series has started doing it’s own thing and that’s usually when they get good. This arc surprised me in a lot of ways. I first thought this was going to be just a big muscular guys hitting each other show. Fist of the North Star does not disappoint in that department, but there is more emotion going on. Kenshiro, despite how low key and silent he is, carries a lot of emotional baggage with him and there is only more and more baggage to add on as Fist of the North Star continues.
Going into the second arc, we already know the main three characters: Bat, Lin, and Kenshiro. Since Kenshiro and crew stay at a village for a long time, more people are added to our character list. First is the female head of the village, Mamiya, who leads her people to the best of her abilities and doesn’t know martial arts, but isn’t that bad of a fighter compared to most of the population on Earth. Next we meet Rei, South Star Master of the Water Fowl Fist. He is searching for his long lost sister, Airi, who we also meet up with eventually. We also meet Kenshiro’s three adopted brothers who were also in the running for the succession of Kenshiro’s martial arts: Jagi, the character who missues the North Star martial arts because he uses other means to win, Toki: the king hearted brother who is sick from nuclear radiation, and Roah: the brother with infinite ambition and declares his challenge against the god. With these new characters, the meat of the story is starting to reveal itself and it looks like a lot of fun.
Usually I go into animation, but not much has changed since the first arc. Sure, there are more scenes of Kenshiro moving and performing martial arts by blocking people and then punching them so they can explode, but there are a lot of repeated stills and frames of animation. Still, that is nothing to complain about. The story and characters are the driving me through this series and there isn’t much disappointment on those fronts. Music in the series is nothing special besides the opening of the series. The opening hasn’t changed, but it’s still as hot blooded and energetic as ever. I look forward to it every time I put a disc into the Blu-Ray player.
The weakest part of this arc and Fist of the North Star in general is the blatant sexism. Females letting go of their woman hood to fight is a thing that is going on the series and I’m not a fan of it at all. Mamiya is told multiple times not to fight because women shouldn’t be fighting. The same goes for a character named Bella who also dropped her woman hood to become a fighter, despite what her mother wants. I know that this is from the 80’s and values used to be different back then, but in today’s world it feels so wrong. Still, I need to keep reminding myself that Fist of the North Star is an artifact of the past and studying this shows what societies state of mind was like back then.
So in the end, if you have watched the first part then watch this one right now. There are martial arts battles for the succession of between Kenshiro and his brothers and then the continued fight of The North Star vs The Six South Star Fists. The love stories that are never meant to be, I won’t tell you who they are between but yeah, are truly tragic and are a big emotional point of this series. Go ahead and watch this. It’s worth the long episode length because you will come to know these characters personally. A huge advantage over shorter twelve to twenty-four-episode series.