It’s been fifteen years since the wasteland’s protector last took to the small screen in Fist of the North Star: The Legends of the True Savior-Zero: Legend of Kenshiro, but thanks to Warner Bros. Japan, it appears Kenshiro will soon be returning to fight against the evils of the post-apocalyptic wastelands once more.
Announced on September 13th – otherwise known in Japan as Hokuto no Ken day in honor of the original manga’s first publication date – the series will reporetedly be a completely new adaptation of writer-and-artist-duo Tetsuo Hara and Buronson’s seminal manga, replete with voice actors brand new to the franchise.
Speaking in celebration of the announcement, the aforementioned Buronson declared (translated via Crunchyroll), “A work from 40 years ago will be reborn as an animated work.”
“I took a step back from animation at the time since it is a little different from manga,” he continued. “Now animation and movie technology has evolved tremendously. How will that cook-up FIST OF THE NORTH STAR: Hokuto no Ken? Moreover, the principle of new anime production is to depict the original work with great care. I am so looking forward to it. My work, which has been loved by many fans over the past 40 years will make a comeback as an anime. I look forward to enjoy it with everyone.”
Offering his own thoughts, Hara asserted, “I am grateful for a new anime project. While serializing the manga series, I would never have dreamed of FIST OF THE NORTH STAR: Hokuto no Ken to have its 40th anniversary and also to be recreated as an anime.”
“Time has passed☆ I was happy to hear that voice actors are reading the original manga as if to listen to characters’ voices and to visualize how they will act them out,” he further expressed.” I am very much looking forward to seeing how the manga that I put my heart and soul into 40 years ago will be reincarnated by the production staff, who are full of love for the original work, and how they will be brought to life!!””
Making its debut in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump on September 13, 1983, Fist of the North Star (originally titled Hokuto no Ken in Japan) is set at the end of the 20th century where an unprecedented nuclear war has left the world desloate and with little resources, which in turn has resulted in a worldwide culture of ‘the strong reign over the weak’.
It is in this world that Kenshiro, a renowned martial artist of the Hokuto Shinken style, sets out to save his fiancée Julia from the man responsible for leaving him with seven scars on his chest, the Nanto Seiken disciple known simply as Shin.
In the forty years since the initial manga’s 1983 release, the franchise has gone to become a worldwide phenomenon, launching a franchise’s worth of anime, video games, and even a live-action Hollywood film adapatation.
Notably, the series has even continued on in manga form with the Hokuto Gaiden spin-off series, wherein various manga artists illustrate a solo story centered on one of Fist of the North Star’s many characters.
Its latest installment, Fist of the North Star Side Story: Genius Amiba’s Another World Overlord Legend – Even If I Go to Another World, I Am a Genius!! Huh? Was I Mistaken by Sokra Nishiki and Natto Gohan is follows the isekai-parody adventures of Ambia, who after being killed by Kenshiro, awakens to find himself in a world exactly like his own but where magic rules over physical prowess.
Warner Bros. Japan’s upcoming project will mark the fourth time the fist-filled exploits of Kenshiro has been adapated to animation.
The first was, of course, Toei Animation’s original anime. Broadcast in two parts – the first consisting of 109 episodes and the second of 43 – from October 1984 to February 1988, the series was so massively popular that it not only served as many’s first introduction to Fist of the North Star, but also an eponymous 1986 film.
Worked on by the same team behind the anime, the film features an alternate retelling of the manga’s first few arcs, with events rearranged but all the blood kept intact.
Next up was New Fist of the North Star – or Shin Hokuto No Ken – a three-part OVA produced in 200 by the OB Planning subsidiary of A Certain Scientific Accelerator (2019) animation studio A.C.G.T. and helmed by Slayers director Takashi Watanabe.
Based on Buronson and Hara’s 1996 novel Fist of the North Star: The Cursed City, the OVA trilogy takes place after the events of the original manga and finds Kenshiro interceding against the plans of a man named Sanga to control every last drop of his region’s local water supply.
Finally, in 2006, TMS Entertainment produced Fist of the North Star: The Legends of the True Savior.
Consisting of three movies and two OVAs, the series tells another ‘reimagining’ of Kenshiro’s original adventures, this time mixing up some events, adding details, and even introducing brand new characters.
As of this writing, Warner Bros. Japan has not confirmed a release date or which streaming platform Fist of the North Star: Hokuto no Ken will be hosted on.