3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Unlike the great review that S. Bunche put together, focusing on the story, I'm going to return to my original Fist of the North Star: TV Series 1 (6pc) (Full) review and focus on the technical aspects over the story. I don't honestly think I could put together a review on the story that even comes close to rivaling the S. Bunche review, so I won't even try.
Once again, this set is VIOLENT. PROBABLY NOT FAMILY FRIENDLY OR CHILD SAFE. I leave the parenting decisions to the parents on this one, but need to make the general masses aware this isn't Pokemon.
Another disclaimer: this set is SUB TITLED ONLY. The first box set used the dub Manga created and since they only dubbed the first 36 episodes, none of the remainder of the series will be dubbed. This is disappointing for English dub fans, for sure, but considering the small niche this series fills and the high cost of dubbing so many episodes, hopefully fans can look past this and enjoy the series as it is being released.
The story obviously picks up right where the first set left off. In this series Kenshiro and Rei team up and become a kick-butt duo of violent butt kicking martial artists fending off Kenshiro's thought-to-be-dead brothers.
Again, Eastern Star has released a set that looks pretty amazing. They are still using the remastered video masters Toei created and just as the original set, this set looks amazing. For a series created in the 1980s to be lacking many issues from scratches and dirt(well, not completely, but some dust/dirt/scratches inevitably make it through), is just stunning. Toei took a lot of time and effort to clean this up properly and I thank them for this and Eastern Star for releasing it properly on DVD instead of letting just languish in on-line only streamed purgatory.
FotNS was traditionally animated and Toei used cheap cells for the series to maximize profit as many Anime studios did. Despite the lack of quality in the original cells, the fact that this set lacks dust/dirt/scratches and contains some minor cell jitter, is awesome.
You have a single audio option on this one. Japanese. You also have optional English subtitles that are on by default. It is a stereo mix and sounds pretty good all things considered. There are no pops, hisses or clicks from what I can tell. This is the audio stream that the Japanese DVD release received.
I copied the below 2 sections from my original TV series review, since they still stand and I can save some time not writing it up again.
The subtitles that Discotek include appear to be cleaner and better English than the subtitles that Toei offered up for the series to various Anime streaming services. It seems they used the work Toei had done as a base, then went back and corrected the mostly minor issues (clunky sentences). They did a good job.
In a word: LAME. What Discotek is selling us is a typical oversized DVD case that holds all 5 discs. The artwork/silk screen/whatever you call it on the discs is clean and bright and looks good. The cover art is the only artwork included with the exception of the unique pictures on each of the 5 discs. Honestly I didn't expect much, and for a series that I thought would NEVER see a proper DVD release, I am really happy we got anything at all on packaged media! And given the video/audio appear to be on par with the Japanese DVD release, this bargain set is still worth the price.
The set IS in an M-Lock case, and the discs aren't piled on top of each other as has been done on many a budget Anime release, and that makes this set a higher quality budget title in my opinion.
There is a lack of any real extras, as expected. You have the character bios again, some screen shots and a couple trailers. Nothing amazing and slightly disappointing. For a budget release, in all honesty, this is what I expect so I don't let this shadow my opinion of the set or series as a whole.
If you bought the first set and enjoyed it, buying this is a no brainer. Just do it. If you bought the first set and grew tired of the formulaic episode format, you may still wish to give this one a try. Whereas there is still some level of formula to it, the story really breaks out and starts to become something more than an "enemy of the week/month." And Rei actually becomes almost likeable!
If you want an English dub, you'll have to pass. Perhaps catch it streamed and don't pay for the DVD release? Up to you.
If you like old school Anime that is notoriously violent (even if the violence is highly stylized), get this without question.
If you're looking for something with jaw dropping Animation, a complex story and keeps you engaged throughout; you'll want to skip this set. While the animation is good for the time, it's TV based animation and isn't nearly as good as an OVA or theatrical release and given the length of Manga basis for the series, there will always be filler.
For me, I love it and will continue buying the other box sets as they are released. Eastern Star/Discotek has done a great job releasing this for us and I appreciate it. I still hope they pick up the Galaxy Express TV series as well, given they have the movies (at least 2 of them) and like FotNS, GE999 is a LONG TV series that already has a free subtitle only streaming version available.