Fist of the North Star is one of the most popular manga and anime franchises in Japan, and it has been making an impact for decades. In 1986, the manga was adapted into a feature film that was known for its intense violence and blood. In fact, it remains one of the most violent anime films ever made, to this day.
To commemorate this over-the-top and wacky martial arts bonanza, you just have to watch the most brutal fights in the entire movie. It’s definitely not a movie for the squeamish, so be careful before buying a copy, even out of curiosity.
10 Kenshiro vs. Shin: Shin attacks and seriously wounds Kenshiro
The feature film anime adaptation of Fist of the North Star He wasted no time in differentiating himself from the TV series, specifically when it came to mass violence. The first act shows the main antagonist Kenshiro and his lover Julia approached by his former friend Shin of the Southern Cross, who decides to take him out and claim Julia as his own.
Kenshiro becomes unable to defend himself early in the fight, and Shin begins to torture him by pushing his fingers through his chest, giving him his famous seven fist wounds. It’s a torturous and stomach-churning introduction to the movie, but it doesn’t even come close compared to what was yet to come.
9 Rei vs. Nunchaku Thug: Rei faces a thug wielding a Nunchaku
The audience met Rei early in the first act when she ran into a thug armed with nunchucks. At first, it seemed as if Rei was a woman, as she was wrapped in a long, flowing robe. When it was finally revealed, Rei confronted the bully and prepared for a showdown.
The two raced at each other like horsemen in a tournament, only to turn and face each other. The nunchaku bully believed he had the upper hand, only to realize that he had indeed lost both arms. Rei threw them at the screaming bully before agreeing to spare his life in exchange for information.
8 Kenshiro vs Shin, Round 2: Kenshiro delivers a fatal blow against his rival Shin
After suffering a terrible defeat at the hands of Shin at the beginning of the film, Kenshiro refocuses and manages to quadruple his strength as the story progresses. Finally, he returns to confront Shin and retrieve his lover Yuria from his clutches, but the fight does not go as expected.
Kenshiro easily overpowers Shin and knocks him down, but little does he realize that Shin had recently fought Raoh, who inflicted a death touch on him. The kill move takes time to move through his system, and is finally activated after Kenshiro’s strike. Shin dies violently from the wound in utter regret for his actions.
7 Kenshiro vs. Zeed: Kenshiro hits Zeed with a fatal punch to the forehead
Zeed was a member of a ruthless gang who roamed the wasteland with their pack of bandits, murdering innocents and stealing their supplies of food and water. They ended up choosing the wrong fight when they infiltrated the village where Kenshiro was recovering. Zeed grabbed Lin and threatened to split her in two unless the population agreed to his demands.
Kenshiro engaged Zeed and his men, brutally massacring several of them before executing a series of fatal blows against the ringleader. Zeed prepared to retaliate, but Kenshiro simply informed him that “he was already dead”. Seconds later, Zeed’s body exploded in a fountain of blood and guts.
6 Rei vs. Uyghur: Uyghur confronts Rei, not realizing he’s already dead
Rei decides to take matters into her own hands in the film’s final act by directly confronting Raoh in Kenshiro’s place. He mistakenly believes that he can surpass the mighty Fist practitioner, and it only serves to his own undoing. His overconfidence was his weakness, particularly due to his actions just before the fight.
Raoh’s second-in-command, Uyghur, tries to teach him a lesson in respect by unrolling his dual whips and attempts to cut Rei into strips. Rei responds by casually turning the Uighur’s back and hitting him. The Uighur turns to look at Rei once more, but her body melts into a bloody mess.
5 Kenshiro vs. Heart: Kenshiro hits the heart with a deadly touch to the stomach
Heart was one of the more gleeful villains in Fist of the North Star, and not particularly aggressive. He preferred a good laugh to a good fight, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t good at both. Kenshiro learned this the hard way when he tried to get past Heart and into Jagi’s territory, proving that not all characters were easy to master.
After Heart literally slapped him face to the ground, Kenshiro stood up and realized he needed a new strategy. He used a rapid-fire circular kick technique to soften the rolls of fat on Heart’s stomach to reach the sensitive tissue underneath. A simple death touch later, and Heart’s intestines swelled from her sides, until they erupted in a cascade of blood.
4 Kenshiro vs. Jagi: Kenshiro ends his evil brother Jagi once and for all
Jagi serves as a manipulative third party in the rivalry not only between Kenshiro and Shin, but Raoh as well. He incites Raoh to claim the mantle of Fist of the North Star in a secret attempt to get rid of Kenshiro, who had horribly mutilated him years before. When Jagi takes revenge on Ken, he assumes it will be the last time they see each other.
Later in the movie, Ken confronts Jagi, who has posed as the Fist of the North Star and terrorizes the population. This time, he humiliates his brother forever by hitting him with the full power of his powers, causing his head to explode violently in the middle of a spiel.
3 Kenshiro vs. Raoh: Kenshiro and Raoh unleash their full powers against each other
The final battle is the culmination of all the violent clashes that came before. Kenshiro and Raoh face off one last time to stop the latter’s mad conquest for dominance of the wasteland. It is also his chance to punish Raoh for abusing the power of the North Star for his own selfish acts.
The battle is long, exaggerated, and excruciatingly bloody. The grueling fight saps their stamina until they are both sprawled on the ground. Raoh barely manages to beat Kenshiro and prepares to kill him before he is interrupted by the girl known as Lin, who softens his heart long enough for him to change his ways.
two Raoh vs. Fang: Fang turns his body to steel to attack Raoh’s men
This particular fight takes the lead, and it occurs at the end of the film after Raoh has amassed considerable power and an army of loyal fans. After conquering territory after territory, he decided to do battle with the local warlord known as Fang. Raoh and Fang’s troops fought to the death in creepy fashion before the latter decided to have fun.
Fang turned his entire body to steel and began slicing Raoh’s troops into bloody trifles. The level of explicit violence and blood in this scene is so exaggerated that it is dizzying. Everything comes to a halt when Fang confronts Raoh head-on, only to suffer the true extent of his North Star powers.
1 Rei vs. Fox Gang: Rei cuts and cuts a gang of thugs to tapes
Rei’s fighting skills were downright terrifying, and those who came across him surely regretted the day. While searching for the Fist of the North Star, Rei came across a group of bandits who claimed to work for him. Believing that the Fist was responsible for the kidnapping and abuse of his sister, he sought revenge.
In reality, Jagi had been impersonating the Fist the entire time and sending his minions to terrorize the population. He cut them into ribbons with his unique martial art that allowed his fingers to slice through meat like hot butter, culminating in one of the most horribly gory scenes ever seen in an anime movie.
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