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Fist of the North Star: TV Series 2 [DVD] [1986] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Format: Animated, Box set, Colour, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Eastern Star
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Nov 2010
  • ASIN: B003ZJ9536
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,376 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Here is where this series became an all-time classic 2 Nov 2010
By S. Bunche - Published on Amazon.com
The first boxed set of FIST OF THE NORTH STAR obviously got the ball rolling and is entertaining enough, but us longtime fans have long said that the first story arc is interminable (22 episodes of largely repetitive stuff), which is a problem the TV version inherited from its manga source. The simple fact of the matter is that Kenshiro's quest to rescue his fiancee from the evil martial arts maser Shin is fairly standard and it re-arranges the manga's early story struggle for no good reason, and it is not until that arc ends and flamboyant anti-hero Rei shows up that FIST OF THE NORTH STAR truly takes flight into greatness (the same can also be said of the manga). This may sound like some load of over-analyzed egghead horse hockey, but Rei provides the Enkidu to Kenshiro's kung fu Gilgamesh and the pair of them form an ass-kicking combo that is simply unbeatable. The chemistry between the two is terrific, specifically that of two hardcore masters of death who have a deep respect for each other that grows into a classic friendship. Rei became a wildly popular character with fans, offering a roguish and snarky counterpoint to Kenshiro's classical Japanese warrior stoicism, and his introduction was just the shot in the arm that the proceedings needed.

But while Rei's intro allowed for more fun to be had with the characters, the real point of the entire series is shortly thereafter brought into play, and that happens with the arrival of Kenshiro's presumed dead elder brothers, Jagi, Toki and Raoh, and from there it's an escalating opera of family dysfunction and literally deadly sibling rivalry as the brothers sort out who will become the true successor to the family's fighting style. Much like the immortals in HIGHLANDER, there can only be one active master of Hokuto Shin Ken per generation thanks to the art's super-humanly lethal capabilities, and for the first time in the style two-thousand-year history a monkey wrench was thrown into the established rites of succession by the unexpected happenstance of World War III taking place and the world consequently being rendered a post-apocalyptic wasteland. With that, the laws of the super-human martial world are thrown out of order and Kenshiro is thrust into direct conflict with two of his brothers -- the incredibly skillful and sweetly pacifistic Toki would have been named successor and he would have used his skills to heal the sick and infirm, so he and Kenshiro have no beef -- one of whom is a sadistic martial arts sociopath with a very personal grudge against Kenshiro, while the other is the world-conquering self-proclaimed "King of Fists" who seeks to save the world via his "my way or the highway" approach, and he is quite literally just about the toughest bad guy ever (who, as we get to know him better, reveals himself to be a very complex and misunderstood man). All of this forces Kenshiro to confront his eventual destiny as the world's savior while having him accrue more and more power and skill by taking on an escalating wave of ultra-sadistic and evil warlords from assorted branches of Rei's opposing martial discipline of Nanto Sei Ken, "the Southern Cross."

This is gripping stuff, a soap opera of sheer manliness writ crazily large, punctuated by loads and loads of creative and highly entertaining super-powered kung fu fights and exploding/dismembered bodies. We're talking wall-to-wall badassery in each and every episode, and since this show becomes one very long story from episode 23 onward (the meat of the story of Kenshiro and his brothers runs from episode 23 through episode 108) occasional half-hour segments are taken to refresh the viewers of the details of the story so far and provide histories and explanations of the various characters and their individual martial arts styles. The highlights in this boxed set include the first proper adventure involving Rei (he was introduced in the last boxed set but not yet seen to good advantage), Kenshiro's quest to put an end to Jagi's reign of terror, and Kenshiro's search for Toki, who has been imprisoned by Raoh (a truly spectacular arc, that one). All of this is compelling and chock full of violent action, so what more could you want? It's also interesting to note that in its native Japan, this series was created as a kid's show, and I cannot imagine a show aimed at children in this country ever containing an outright avalanche of literally explosive violence like that found in FIST OF THE NORTH STAR. Even by the standards of the Japanese audience (who famously enjoy things rather bloody), this series was highly controversial due to its violence, and it's rather telling that every iteration of the series that has come since the TV series and the 1986 theatrical film has considerably toned down the content. This boxed set, however, is the real thing and should not be missed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TRUTH 28 Sep 2012
By Justice For Humanity - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Episodes 37 to 72 of the series press on in a refined approach. Fist of the North Star ("Hokuto no Ken") has heart and soul yet simultaneously also carries the elements of love and loss. In addition to those qualities the series has great character designs and is accompanied by fantastic and memorable music. The narrative is broadened by many characters and is carried out admirably with its philosophical and spiritual components. These episodes 37 to 72 really elevate the series to new heights that justly place it to the status of being called a classic.

Highly Recommended for those who enjoy animation, martial arts, and good music.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great Show! 16 Dec 2012
By Long Nguyen - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This show is great! It keeps you wanted to know what's gonna happen next. The video quality is excellent. I was kind of disappointed with the audio because it has no English audio, but at least it contained English subtitles. I should've read the product details for carefully next time. Overall, the show was getting good, and I can't wait for boxset 3 to arrive, so I can complete my collection. It's gonna be rare in the future!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good Release 28 Oct 2011
By Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is the part in the FOTNS saga where it gets really good. It shows Kenshiro get into some pretty intense fights and shows some very interesting side characters. Rei and Shu come to mind. Also shows Raoh and Toki for the first time. The subtitles are pretty good. Didn't see any problems with the translations. Proper English. Minor typos if there are any. One thing to take note in these sets, well specifically the 3rd one is that sometimes skipping the chapters take you past some material. From the beginning of an episode, it takes you to the episode title and there is some stuff before those. So take note of that. But other then that, everything is there and it's a good quality release. Get this and show your martial arts and FOTNS dedication!
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Eastern Star has hit it out of the park again! 14 Dec 2010
By Stephen Lerch - 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.

VIDEO:

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.

AUDIO:

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.
SUBTITLES:

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.

PACKAGING:

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.

EXTRAS:

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.

Final Verdict:

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.
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