Rao vs Kenshiro (Final Fight) n Fist of the North Star
This fight wasn’t awesome just because of the effects and animation that went into it, which were phenomenal for the 1980’s, but the buildup as well. This is a fight that had over 99 episodes of buildup. Ever since the beginning of the series, Fist of the North Star was leading up to this clash. Backstories and the building of history and chemistry between the two opponents took a lot of time. While Kenshiro and Rao always had it in for each other in some way, the fact that Rao was either the direct or indirect route of how Kenshiro lost some of his greatest friends adds so much to the conflict too.
The fight was fantastic. Both opponents traded blows with each other and blood was spewing everywhere. Just so well-choreographed for the time and had so much visual flair compared to a lot of the episodes before it. The best thing about it is that this fight wasn’t spread over 5 or so episodes like a lot of modern shonen. This final conflict was an episode and a quarter and it had so much impact because of it. I also loved the result. Rao finally recognized his younger brother as the successor of their chosen martial arts style.
Nice. I picked the final, climactic fight between Nanashi and Luo-Lang from “Sword of the Stranger.” 🙂