Hokuto no Ken

Hokuto no Ken
-From Rage Quitter 87's Fist of the North Star site

Hokuto no Ken is an anime series which was broadcast between 1984 and 1988. The anime is an adaption of the manga series of the same name. After a nuclear war the world is left battered, but human life still exists. Those with power are those who rule in the new world, and the masters of various martial arts styles begin to make their moves to obtain domination.

The series stars Kenshiro, a master of the Hokuto Shinken style. Kenshiro has his girlfriend Yuria taken away from him by Shin, a Nanto Seiken master. Kenshiro recovers and goes on a quest to rescue Yuria, but as events unfold, he soon finds himself on a far greater journey than he imagined. Hokuto no Ken consists of 152 episodes. The first part of the series has four chapters and is 109 episodes long. From episode 110 and onwards the series is called Hokuto no Ken 2, done so because of the time skip the story has (HnK 2 is set 10 years after HnK) and consists of 43 episodes.


1) Hokuto no Ken
1a) Hokuto no Ken Episode List
2) Hokuto no Ken 2
2a) Hokuto no Ken 2 Episode list
3) Reception
4) Releases

Hokuto no Ken

As stated above, the first part of Hokuto no Ken consists of four chapters, for a total of 109 episodes. The Hokuto no Ken manga started to be published in 1983 and was a massive hit. In order to ride of the wave of popularity the manga had, the anime started to air late on in 1984, whilst the manga was still running. In order to prevent the anime from overtaking the manga, the anime has a lot of "filler" episodes -particularly in the first chapter -which feature new, largely one shot stories with new characters who weren't in the manga. The animation for all episodes of the series was provided by Toei Animation, who's other works include Dragon Ball Z, The Transformers and Sailor Moon.

Hokuto no Ken episode list

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4

Chapter 1

Chapter 1 involves Kenshiro looking for Shin, intending to fight him and take Yuria back. Befriending two children called Bat and Lin, the trio make their way from village to village, trying to find Shin's city whilst helping those in need and dealing with Shin's various armies. After a long journey, Kenshiro finally finds Shin's City (Southern Cross) and confronts Shin. The chapter ends with Kenshiro meeting Bat and Lin again, following his confrontation with Shin.

God or Devil?! The Mightiest Man Appears from Hell
The Deadly Fist of Lingering Regret! The Future is Sighted in the Barren Wasteland!!
In the City Without Light, a Lone Fist Burns! The Furious Death by the Five Exploding Fingers
Attack the Bloody Cross!! Secret Technique, Ju Hazan
Can the Flames of Love Burn in Hell? You Are Already Dead!!
Search Order from Satan. Find the Man with the Seven Scars!
Villains! Shall We Have a Countdown to Death
Strike the Hidden Power Point! No Requiem for the Wicked
Villains! Say Your Prayers Before You Die!!
Rekka Gyakuryuken! There Are Too Many Who Must Die!!
Villains!! Listen to the Blues of Hell!!
I am Death Itself!! I'll Chase You to the Ends of Hell!!
Rakan Nioh Ken! Once Released There's No Stopping It!!
A Miserable Era! The Good Die So Young!!
Count to Three! You're the One Who'll Die!!
Try to Sing Villains! The Counting Rhyme of Hell!!
A Man Lives to Fight! The Door to the Showdown Finally Opens!
Life or Death?! Beyond the Wasteland Lies the First Circle of Hell!
Villains! Ready Your One-Way Tickets to Death!!
A Nightmarish All-Out Battle! My Fists Pack 100 Volts!!
The Evil Palace in Flames! Shin! Only One More Step to You Now!!
Conclusion of Chapter One - Yuria Forever... As Well as Shin!

Chapter 2

Chapter 2 deals with the Hokuto Shinken legacy -after befriending Rei (a Nanto master) Kenshiro learns that his 3 "brothers" (not related by blood) who trained with him in Hokuto Shinken are still alive. It is down to Kenshiro to confront them all, as the rules of Hokuto are only meant to allow one master at a time. As this is going on, Kenshiro also helps Rei and learns more of his past, as the history of the Nanto Roku Seiken is explained here. The chapter ends with Kenshiro saying farewell to Rei, the latter of which has finished his battle with another Nanto master.

Chapter 2 Begins: The Tumultuous Dragon and Tiger! Are Battles All That Await Me!!
Nanto Suicho Ken! The Tragedy of the Mighty Begins!!
Sinners! Thy Name Is The Fang Clan!!
Tremble & Die! Villains Of Night Fog Valley!!
Only Villains Can Smile! How I Hate This Age!!
Rei! I’ll Stop Your Tears with My Fist!!
It’s Too Late to Beg for Mercy! Go to Hell, King Fang!!
Destiny Draws Near! Jagi, Who are You!!
The Hellish Iron Mask! He Who Terrorizes in the Name of the North Star!
Four Linked Punches of Fury! Wait for Me in Hell, Jagi!!
This is the Village of Miracles! A Fallen Angel Has Arrived!!
Toki! Are You an Angel or a Devil!!
Evil One! Toki, Your Heart Has Been Corrupted!!
There Is No Looking Back! Only Hating Evil, And Striking Toki Down!!
Instead, I Shall Reject Love! For I Bear the Cursed Star of Death!!
Ranzan Kurenai Ken! A Sad Woman Living in This Age!!
A Wicked Legend! The Gates to Cassandra Open Now!
Villains Need No Graves! This Is the Hellish Cassandra!!
The 2,000 Year-old Tragedy of Hokuto! Hear the Footsteps of Ken-Oh!!
A Century’s End with No Tomorrow! Ken, I've Been Waiting For You!!
Cassandra Collapses! The Legend of Hokuto is Reimagined!!
The Harbinger of Death Shines! Ken-Oh, Can You Rule Over Death as Well!!
Those Who Fear Death! Listen to the Cry of Lin’s Fiery Heart!!
Voices from Hell! Rei, Did You See the Harbinger of Death!!
Nanto Suicho Ken's Dance of Death! I Will Give Up My Life for Love!!
Explosion of Secret Techniques! The Destiny of the Two Hokuto Brothers Surpasses Hatred!!
The Greatest Battle in History, Raoh vs. Ken! You'll Be the One to Die!!
72 Hours to Live! The Harbinger of Death Drags Rei In!!
Fate Without Tomorrow! And Yet, A Woman Believes in Love!!
Yuda of the Nanto Roku Seiken! I Am the Most Beautiful of All!!
The Harbinger of Death Approaches! Rei! The Heavens Plays Cruelly With Time!!
Beloved Mamiya! The Harbinger of Death Shines in Those Eyes!!
You're Going to Die, Rei! A Man Has Never Been More Beautiful Now!!
Beautiful Fighters, Rei vs. Yuda! No Tears Are Shed in a Man's Exit!!
Conclusion of Chapter 2: Farewell Rei! Your Heroic Legend Will Be Told Throughout Time!!

Chapter 3

The third chapter has two main story arcs. The first involves Souther and Shuu, two Nanto masters who are at war with each other. Kenshiro sides with Shuu as the two try to defeat Souther, who is the strongest Nanto master. The second arc has Kenshiro having to deal with Ryuuga, a warrior who has sided with Raoh and is determined to defeat Kenshiro. Chapter 3 is the shortest one of the lot, with just 20 episodes.

Chapter 3 Begins: Military Rule in Troubled Times. When Nanto is in Disarray, Hokuto Appears!!
The Star of Darkness Engulfs the Heavens! Time Evolves Beyond The Deathmatch!!
Shuu of the Nanto Hakurou Ken! What do you see at the end of this century!!
Love on the battlefield! Will this era tear love apart!!
I'm the Holy Emperor, Souther! Both Love and Compassion are Forbidden!!
The Young Warrior Challenging Fate! The Cry of his Soul moves the Heavens!!
A Bloody Battle, Shuu Vs. Souther! Love is drowned by the tears of the star of benevolence!!
The Bloody Holy Cross Mausoleum! Shuu! My Heart Will Hold Your Tears!!
Run, Kenshiro! Another friend is going to die!!
Clash of the Two Command Stars, Ken vs. Souther! Only My Star Can Guard the Heavens!
Souther, the Sorrowful Holy Emperor! You Were Exhausted with Love!!
The Strongest Era of Hokuto! The Fate of the 3 Brothers is Finally Moving!!
Another Hokuto Shinken Successor! Raoh Gives Himself to Darkness!!
The Secret Origin is Revealed! Heaven Desires Tragedy!!
Farewell, Toki! A Man Only Cries Once!!
The man of the Lone Wolf Star, Ryuuga! I Will Grasp the Rainbow from This Chaotic Era!!
The Wolf Who Dashes to the Horizon! The End of Love and Hatred!!
Forgive me, Sister! It is my Star's Destiny to confront Hokuto!!
An Iron Fist for the Roaring Wolf. Toki is in Danger!!
Let the New Age Awaken! The Wolf's Howl Moves the Heavens!!

The following 5 episodes are simply clip shows, originally broadcast after Chapter 3 ended, but before Chapter 4 started. Therefore, they don't belong to any particular Chapter.

Shin of Nanto Seiken! You Gave Your Life for an Unrequited Love!!
Rei of Nanto Suicho Ken! He Was a Man Who Died For His Friends!!
Yuda of the Nanto Koukaku Ken! His Beautiful Smile Calls For Tragedy!!
Shuu of the Nanto Hakurou Ken! The Heavens Only Bestows Cruel Destinies!!
Holy Emperor Souther! Your Deep Affection Consumes You In Love!!

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 is the final chapter. With the other Hokuto masters gone, only Kenshiro and Raoh are left to decide who the true successor to the Hokuto Shinken style is. But there is also a Nanto Roku Seiken General left, who's appearance changes everything for both Kenshiro and Raoh. Kenshiro's journey is about to come to an end, as he must challenge Raoh to a final battle.

Chapter 4 Begins: Raoh Must Die! The Legend Turns to Terror!!
Nanto Strikes Back! The Wind Army Protects the Last General!!
Preclude to a Death Match! The Screams of Hyuui of the Wind Echoes in the Heavens!!
The Burning Crimson Army! Shuren is Drenched in Tears of Flame!!
Five Chariot Stars in Danger! Raoh Has Finally Pierced Through the Flames!!
The Five Chariot Stars Approach Kenshiro! Fudo, Who Are You?!
The Crisis is Near! Ken, Destiny Awaits at the Nanto Capital!!
I Am Juuza of the Clouds! I Shall Move with the Flow of Time!!
The Clouds Remain! The Masked General is Finally Revealed!!
Juuza of the Clouds Resurrects! I Have No Fear for Raoh!!
Juuza vs Raoh! An End of the Legend of the Invincible!!
Fudo in Peril! Hurry Ken, A Man Must Not Abandon His Friends!!
Treacherous Quicksand! Will the Hand of Salvation Reach Fudo!!
Juuza Falls! I'll Give My Life to Protect the Woman I Love!!
Farewell, Yuria! A Strong Man Does Not Speak of Love During His Death!!
The Nanto Capital Trembles! The 2 Hokuto Brothers Finally Arrive!!
Sadness of the Five Chariot Stars! You're the Woman Burdened by Love and Fate!!
Ultimate Secret Technique, Musou Tensei! Raoh, you've finally been Cornered!!
Will Raoh's Ambitions Perish With His Fall? The Heavens Are Still in Disarray!!
Raoh, the Confused Giant! I Don't Believe in Love!!
A Challenge From the Demon! Fudo, Be the Demon for Those You Love!!
Fudo, the Gentle Warrior! His Tears Awaken a Fiery Soul!!
Protect the Merciful Mother of Nanto! Even If It's the End of the Five Chariots!!
Raoh, Shaken by a Nightmare! Yuria, You Are the Only One!!
Showdown at the Hokuto Renkitouza! No One Can Stop Them Now!!
Farewell, the 2 Brothers of the North Star! They're Beyond Love and Sorrow!!
Conclusion of the Final Chapter: Now Revealed!! The 2000 Year History of the North Star!!

Hokuto no Ken 2

Set 10 years after the events of the last episode of the first part, Hokuto no Ken 2 has Kenshiro make his return to help Bat and Lin fight the forces of the Emperor, who has put the world into another dark age. Hokuto no Ken 2 started to air just one week after the first part ended, and has a total of 43 episodes. Unlike the first part, Hokuto no Ken 2 isn't devided up into chapters, and instead consists of just two major story arcs, with the second arc being far longer than the first. Hokuto no Ken 2 originally aired between 1987 and 1988.

Hokuto no Ken 2 episode list

The Past has Gone! The Dawn of a New Age!!
When will he awaken...!?
The Savior Comes From the North!!
The Mysterious Bounty Hunter, Ein! Kenshiro's Head is Mine!!
Another Art of Assassination! The name of it is Gento Kouken!!
The Celestial Emperor's Rage! Falco, Obliterate the North Star from Earth!!
The Wrath of the South Star! The Illustrious Harn Brothers!!
Ein is in Danger! An Evil Figure Approaches His Loved One!!
Falco, the Brave General of the Source Star! There Lies the Shadow of Raoh...
The Emperor's Cries Echoes Through the Imperial Capital! Where Is Falco...
The Celestial Emperor is Finally Revealed!!
An Elegy for Ein! Die Bravely Than Live Without Honor!!
The Imperial Capital Falls! Jakoh, You Can Dream in Hell!!
The Endless Trial! Kenshiro Crosses The Sea!!
What Is Waiting In the Dark Continent! It Is the Legendary Land of Shura!!
Good or Evil? The Mysterious Hokuto Ryuuken style appears!!
Love is Preached in the Century's End! Her Name is Leia!!
Rasho Han! The Man Who Stains White Snow Into Blood Red!!
The Legend of Shura's Savior! His Name is Raoh!!
Kenshiro's Secret is Revealed! The Land of Shura is His Motherland!!
A Cruel Prophecy! Kenshiro, You Cannot Be the Savior!!
The Hero on Horseback, Rock! I Don't Believe in Kenshiro!!
Men Who Need No Introduction! Finally, the Seven Warriors Attack Ken!!
Rock's Message of Death! Kenshiro, Hang on to Your Friend's Life!!
Announcing the Creator of the New Century! My Name is Majin Kaioh!!
The Seal of the Devil! The 2000-Year-Old Tragedy of the Hokuto Soukei Family Is Told!!
Brother Ken is in danger! Hyo, open up your kind soul!!
Kenshiro on the Execution Stand! The Heaven has Unleashed the God of the Sea!!
Kaioh's Declaration of Victory! The Ghost of Hokuto Attacks!!
A Destined Encounter of Hyo and Ken! Both Are Yet to Know Their Secrets!!
Majin Kaioh's Choice! Cold Blood Runs Through my Body!!
A Challenge From Kenshiro! I Never Lose Twice!!
The Ruthless Hyo and His Sad Army! Who Will Stop Him!!
A Match Between Brothers of Flesh and Blood! There Are No More Tears in Hyo's Eyes!!
Hokuto in Danger of Extinction! Kaioh's Evil Hand has Reached the Daughter of the Emperor!!
The Brothers Meet Each Other with Tears! Kenshiro, I Have Been Waiting for You!!
Shachi's Battle Of Love! Kaioh Will Ridicule With Laughter!!
The Fighter of Love, Shachi, Dies! My friend, Love Is Everything!!
A Sad Victim of Love! This Is The Origin of The Evil Kaioh!!
Kaioh's History of Shame! The Heavens Change Lin's Life!!
3 More Episodes Remain! 2000 Years of Hokuto Soukei's Harsh History!!
The Last Introduction! The Third Man Who Holds Lin's Fate Appears!!
Farewell Kenshiro! Farewell, Hokuto Shinken!!


In Japan, Hokuto no Ken is one of the most beloved manga/anime series of all time, and heavily influenced many other martial arts series. It was ranked no. 26 in a 2005 Japanese poll for the 100 greatest anime series. The success of the manga and anime led to a movie adaption in 1986.

The reception outside of Japan is much more mixed however. In the early days of the Internet, I remember reading reviews about how Hokuto no Ken either sucked or was a Dragon Ball Z rip-off and sucked. The main problem with the series was, at the time, only a limited amount of episodes were released in America, and chapter 1 is a very tough chapter for a newcomer to sit through due to the huge amounts of filler episodes. Things do pick up a lot by the time chapter 2 starts, but some people may never even make it that far.

But as time went on things started to change. Episodes people had never seen were put on Youtube, usually with subtitles created by fans groups. And as people did a little more digging, it turns out Hokuto no Ken actually wasn't a Dragon Ball Z rip-off, since it predates that series by 5 years, and even predates the original Dragon Ball by 1 year. Thanks to word of mouth and the Youtube uploads, the Hokuto no Ken series became popular. Episodes were available on streaming sites, and then the whole series was released on DVD via Discotek Media.

As well as being a hit in Japan and America, Hokuto no Ken has a large fanbase in Italy, and is available to watch in other countries -click here for a little more info.


Hokuto no Ken has seen several video and DVD releases. The latest releases are the DVD sets. In Japan, the entire series has been released on DVD. In America and Europe, Manga Entertainment released the first 36 episodes, but went no further than that. Discotek Media started releasing box sets in 2010, and got the entire series out on DVD by 2011. Their sets are the best ones to go for, and have the added advantage of being region free. Other countries have had DVD sets also, I believe the entire series has been released in Italy and France.

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