Fist of the North Star is set in a post-apocalyptic future where the world has been torn asunder. In this darkness, men travel from town to town, pillaging and murdering for fun and sport. Volume two continues the journey in this world by Kenshiro, the sole master of an ancient martial art style known as Hokuto Shinken or “The Divine Fist of the North Star.”
The second volume picks up where Volume one left off, with Kenshiro assisting people as he continues his travel in this lonely world. It also introduces nomadic warrior, Jackal, and ends with the story of the God Army/Golan and a brief introduction to Rei, another important and ongoing character in the series.
As I mentioned in the previous review, I am a little bit familiar with the anime, but I’ve never read the manga. This volume I enjoyed more than the first one, as there were several stories and enemies spread throughout.
Ken’s attitude is different than most heroes. I would call him a bit of an anti-hero, because he is more than willing to kill someone if they hurt his friends or threaten them if they don’t cooperate, like when he asked someone to watch some orphans for a month.
He does not play around, knows how powerful he is, and enjoys a fight even though he knows he will win immediately. There’s not a lot of depth to him but he is willing to help others without hesitation which I liked.
This volume shows more of the world and how evil it is. Gangs, assassins, or fighters will kill for sport and without mercy. Ken, even though he is just as ruthless, protects the weak and does what he can to fix the brokenness around him with his fists and techniques.
I’m still waiting for a more concrete story, but so far I’m enjoying the ride and want to see who is able to stand up to Ken and his Hokuto Shinken style.
I have a problem and the problem is that I get hyped too easily. When I was told I would get to review the next volume of Fist of the North Star, I was so ridiculously hyped. Thankfully, it did not disappoint, .
The battle sequences continue to be dynamic, the characters are interesting, and the villains are evil.
One of the things a lot of modern fiction has done is create relatable villains; villains who have tragic backstories that make you feel bad for how they became the evil character they became. While there are well-written, nuanced characters, a lot of the baseline villains are just evil for the sake of being evil. They do not have some tragic past, they made the conscious decision to commit horrific acts of evil in order to get ahead in the world.
Overall, once more I really enjoyed this and can’t wait for the next volume to be released.
Overall Rating: 8 (Samuru); 8.5 (MDMRN)
Art: 7 (Samuru); 8.5 (MDMRN)
Tetsuo Hara’s art style is always so dynamic. It makes each action scene feel cinematic and epic. Yes, it is more of an older style than modern manga, but I am 100% here for it. Also, with each successive volume, I feel Hara’s art is improving. (MDMRN)
The art during fights or the backdrops of the ruined cities is done with great detail. It is an older style, but I sometimes have to remind myself that this is not a new manga. When it comes to the gory bits, I would have preferred it to be less graphic but it certainly brings home how dark this world is. Like MDMRN mentioned, I also believe it is improving as I liked this volume much more than the first. (Samuru)
Characters: 7 (Samuru); 9 (MDMRN)
Rei is a great character and their introduction was fantastic. Also, the ending with the God Army and Jackal was very well done. I appreciated each of these evil for evil’s sake villains we were introduced to throughout. (MDMRN)
The orphans and their aunt gave a realistic perspective on how hard it is to live, from looking for water to protecting what little food is left. The last part of the volume though was my favorite. The introduction of Rei and Mamiya sets the stage for the next volume and hopefully a powerful rival to Ken. (Samuru)
Story: 7 (Samuru); 8.5 (MDMRN)
As someone who has watched the anime through this point, I knew what I was getting into with this section. This section of the plot is kind of a villain-a-week style so far without a continuous villain arc throughout. That’s okay and it’s fun, but having a more overarching narrative beyond “Kenshiro is righting wrongs with his fists,” is nice. That said, we’re getting that as the story continues past this volume and I can’t wait to see it. (MDMRN).
Unlike MDMRN, I don’t remember how far into the anime I watched and I certainly don’t remember what I read in this volume. I was glad to see that a few characters made Ken break a sweat and even have to go all out because it seemed he was untouchable. So far, it’s just been Ken cleaning house with all the ruffians he runs into so I hope volume 3 offers more to the plot than killing everyone in sight. It’s a wild ride, but I want to see what is the goal of the story and I haven’t seen it so far. (Samuru)
Story by Buronson
Art by Tetsuo Hara
Fist of the North Star, Volume 2 is published by Viz Media.