Hokuto no Ken Episode 1
God or Devil?! The Mightiest Man Appears from Hell
-From Rage Quitter 87's Fist of the North Star site
For a detailed overview of this episode, click here.
The world has been devastated by a nuclear war. From the desert wasteland, a single man appears!
Original broadcast date: 11th October 1984
2) In the manga...
The opening scene reveals that, in the year 199X, the world was largely devastated by a nuclear war. However it turns out that many people did survive and in this new age, violence rules. Zeed and his gang are hunting down some villagers who have various food supplies. Killing the villagers and stealing their goods, the narrator says that in this age, the strong rule over the weak. There are no governments any more and no police, so those in power can do whatever they want. A man is shown walking through the barren wasteland alone. His name is Kenshiro, a master of Hokuto Shinken, and he walks towards a village, desperately wanting some water. He tries to get some from a well but a villager stops him and he is thrown into a prison cell. Inside the cell is a boy named Bat, who offers to team up with him so they can rule in the village. Ken says nothing as a little mute girl called Lin appears, offering him some water. Bat suddenly grabs her and tells Ken to take the cell keys she has, but he stops Bat and hits a pressure point on the back of Lin's head.
Ken is taken before the villager elder, who is worried that he may be one of Zeed's men. However when Ken is searched, it is revealed that the formation of the big dipper is scarred onto his chest. The elder believes this is a bad omen. Just then Zeed's gang attack the village. Kenshiro has been placed back in his cell when he hears the attack and sees that Lin is called into battle. As she goes she throws the keys to the cell down, but as Bat tries to use them he tells Ken that she will surely die with the other villagers as Zeed's gang show no mercy to anyone. Ken can't believe this and rather than wait for Bat to open the cell door, he rips apart the cell bars, much to Bat's surprise. Ken and Bat head out where they see that Zeed's gang have killed several villagers, but worse yet, Zeed has captured Lin. He threatens to snap her neck unless the villagers bring him all of their food and water supplies. Kenshiro walks forward, taking out three of Zeed's men with a single kick. These men get up and charge at him, only for their heads to explode! Ken continues heading on when Lin screams out, telling him to stay back.
Bat and the villagers are astounded that Lin can suddenly talk. Ken gets right up to Zeed and uses the Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken technique on him. Zeed falls down as Ken catches Lin. Zeed gets back up and says that Ken's punches are week and now it's his turn, but before he can do anything his head explodes, killing him instantly. Later on Kenshiro is allowed to leave the village. Bat follows him, believing that by being with a guy as strong as Ken, he will never go hungry again. Lin also wants to also follow him but the village elder stops her, saying that where ever Kenshiro goes, chaos follows.
In the manga...
-There was additional violence in the anime in the opening scene with Zeed. A woman is shown running away with a single can of water, but Zeed shoots her in the back with an arrow. This wasn't in the manga.
-The manga had no scene showing Kenshiro being briefly captured by Zeed's scouts.
-Rather than have Ken just walk up to a well, the manga had him head toward Lin's village but get caught in a net trap.
-The manga mentions Lin's family getting killed but the anime actually shows how they died.
-The anime is censored for the heavier violence, such as for the head explosions. Bodies turn a single color before the explosion, and blood is either removed or turned white. The manga shows everything.
-Ken doesn't rip his shirt off when fighting Zeed. The anime has him rip his shirt off as often as possible, it doesn't happen anywhere near as much in the manga.
-Lin's family is briefly shown. As well as having a mother and father, she also had a brother.
-The money Zeed is shown throwing away at the start seems to be transparent.
-There are three scouts that try and capture Ken. Ken kills them off-screen (it's implied he also killed some other scouts). When Zeed's gang finds the bodies, however, two of the dead scouts are back in his gang, examining the bodies! They both have lines, too.
-When Lin is watching Bat roll around on the floor in pain, her bandanna is missing.
-Zeed goes from being just a bit taller than Ken to an absolute giant after he is hit with the Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken. The same thing did happen in the manga, though.