Souten no Ken
Souten no Ken
-From Rage Quitter 87's Fist of the North Star site
Souten no Ken -known as Fist of the Blue Sky outside of Japan -is a manga series that serves as a prequel to Hokuto no Ken, taking place in the 1930s. The manga was created by Tetsuo Hara, whilst Buronson was the plot supervisor (both of them had worked together to create Hokuto no Ken). The manga started in 2001 and finished in 2010, whilst an anime series was broadcast from 2006 to 2007. The anime series was 26 episodes long, and did not get to cover every story from the manga.
The series stars Kenshiro Kasumi, who is known as "Yan-Wang" (King of Death) and is the current master of Hokuto Shinken. Currently living in Japan, he travels back to Shanghai when he learns that some of his old friends are in trouble. Kenshiro was a former gang member who helped his boss, Pan, become the strongest force in Shanghai. His journey not only has him face the other gangs in Shanghai, but also other martial artists, including ones who are masters of Hokuto styles and other fighting styles.
As mentioned above, the manga was adapted into a 26 episode anime series, only 22 of which were actually broadcast. The series was also released on DVD in Japan, which contained the four missing episodes. The series apparently didn't do that well in terms of ratings, which led to it being cancelled, only getting to what would be the end of chapter 8 in the manga. One of the reasons for it being cancelled is possibly because of this:
I mean, damn, what the hell is that?! The animation of the Souten no Ken is legendarily awful, being a lot worse than the original Hokuto no Ken anime, despite there being a 20 year difference. Quite why the animation is so terrible is something nobody seems to have any idea on, but compared to other anime around at the time, Souten no Ken looks very bad. Would I like to cover it for this site? Having read a good chunk of the manga, I would say yes, even if the anime looks poor. But as the anime was only released in Japan, and getting a hold of Souten no Ken stuff is an even bigger pain than getting Hokuto no Ken products, don't expect coverage of it any time soon.