Shin Kyuoseishu Densetsu Hokuto no Ken:
Raoh Den Junai no Shou
At a Nanto training ground, Kenshiro is taking part in a test known as the 10 battles to the death. Defeating nine opponents, Souther, Raoh and Shuu have seen everything. Shuu decides to be the final opponent, but he easily defeats Kenshiro. Rather than kill him, Shuu asks for him to be spared, as he believes that Kenshiro has the potential to be stronger than any of them. He knows there must be a consequence for his actions, and blinds himself so Kenshiro can be spared. As he walks away, Souther remembers that Shuu has acted like this as he is the star of benevolence.
Years later, war rages across the Earth, getting worse and worse to the point where nuclear weapons are used. Countries are destroyed and the world is put into a new age, where the strong rule over the weak. The weak pin their hopes on a savior to appear. Kenshiro, Toki and Raoh have all survived. Kenshiro is the successor to Hokuto Shinken and lives his life changing sadness into strength, as he defeats the evil warlords and bandits who prey on the weak. Toki is dying, but he uses Hokuto Shinken to cure people of illness. Meanwhile Raoh gave himself the new name of "Ken-Oh" (Fist King) and wants to bring order to the world, with him becoming it's leader. To achieve his goal, Raoh uses extreme violence and his ways have seen great success so far.
Kenshiro saves a boy from a gang. The next day, he, Bat and Lin go back to Bat's village, where they see a white knight and some punks. The knight is killing the punks, but then rides off when she sees the scars on Kenshiro's chest. Another older woman appears, who Bat knows. The old woman calls out to Bat and tells him that he's got some nerve to come back here, but he says she shouldn't scream like that and that she's an old hag. However the other children of the village run out and are pleased to see that Bat has returned. Later on, Raoh talks to Souga, his second in command, about the Holy Emperor, Souther.
However, they have come with the army to fight another warlord called Mei-Oh, who has come to challenge them. His army is defeated and then Mei-Oh himself is killed by Raoh. He and his army return to their fortress, where Souga has a surprise for them: Mai, a beautiful dancer from the Land of Shura. She starts to dance, gracefully making her way towards Raoh...
...when Reina, the white knight, kills her at the last moment, stopping her from assassinating Raoh. Raoh thinks Souga has betrayed him and kills him almost immediately, despite knowing him for so long. In the evening, Reina has a burial for her brother, something which Raoh attends. She demands to know why he has come here after killing Souga and how he could kill him after he trusted him. Souga had done everything he could for Raoh's cause and she also says that she and her brother followed him because he once told them to trust him -he was going to one day save the Land of Shura from disaster. Something he hasn't done yet. He gets down off his horse and tells her that is why he came here. Reina breaks down and starts to cry, as Raoh tells her that until their quest of complete domination is complete, nobody can harm his body. For this quest, he has thrown away all attachments and that everything that happens, even Souga's death, is for their goal. Later that night, Reina is alone in her room when Yoh, her servant, enters.
He says he has something that may ease her pain and passes her a letter from her brother. He then turns around and admits that the assassination plot with Mai was something he set up. He was doing it for a reason other than to kill Raoh, however: he wanted to instill some order into the troops and motivate them into working for Ken-Oh's cause. Souga had already told Ken-Oh of this plot before it happened, and he had agreed to it. Yoh apologises for not telling Reina about it, but he couldn't. He also explains that Mai also knew about her role in this and that she knew the stakes involved. The next battle against the Holy Emperor would require the forces of Ken-Oh to be much more disciplined than they are now. Yoh says that Souga also planned to try and get Toki and Kenshiro to join Raoh on his quest.
Reina later heads out, thinking of what Yoh told her. She met Kenshiro earlier and if he was there, she is sure that Toki must be nearby. She wants to find them both. However suddenly she comes across a fire and a lot of troops. Looking at the armor they are wearing, she realises that they are Souther's troops and they are very happy to have found her, as she will make a beautiful present for their master. Reina manages to get away from them, but is injured, and stumbles into Bat's village. A truck on route to Toki's village happens to be there, and Reina is put on it, with Lin going with her.
In the village, Reina soon recovers and talks to Toki. She says that Souga is dead and that she wants him, Kenshiro and Raoh to fight as one. However Toki refuses, saying that if they were to fight using Raoh's methods, they would create peace through violence. The peace obtained from that would be fragile at best. People need a savior who appeals to their hearts, not someone who tries to force them into following them. The next morning, Reina is feeling good enough to leave. Toki warns that Raoh cannot defeat Souther. The Holy Emperor has a secret that makes him invincible until Raoh learns what it is. She asks why he is telling her this, and he says that she is able to guide Raoh's actions, for better or for worse, more than she thinks.
Elsewhere, Shuu, master of the Nanto Hakurou Ken (South Star White Heron Fist) style, defeats some of Souther's troops, just as Kenshiro appears. The two fight, but Kenshiro can tell Shuu is holding back and eventually knocks him down. He then remembers who Shuu is, and how he saved him in the past.
Shuu takes him and Bat to his secret headquarters. He explains to Ken that Souther is the command star and wants to take over the world. Souther has no friends or family, only himself. The style he practices, Nanto Ho'oh Ken (South Star Phoenix Fist), only allows one successor. He is the strongest Nanto fighter and Shuu knows that he cannot defeat him. He instead has been staging guerilla operations against his forces to try and protect the children he keeps capturing, who are forced to work on his Holy Cross Mausoleum. Kenshiro heads out and finds Souther, challenging him to a fight -but he is defeated! His Hokuto Shinken techniques fail to destroy Souther, and he is cut up badly. He is imprisoned in the Holy Cross Mausoleum.
However, Shiba, Shuu's son, rescues him and the two attempt to escape. They manage to make some distance between them and the Holy Cross Mausoleum, but Souther's troops find out what has happened and start to search for Ken. As they get close, Shiba leaves Ken and sacrifices himself, destroying all of the troops via explosives. Raoh finds the unconscious Kenshiro, and says that he cannot die just yet -there is only one person who will have the honor of killing him and that person is Ken-Oh. When Ken wakes up, he is back at Shuu's base. Ken goes to Shuu and tries to apologise for what happened, but Shuu says he has great pride in his son. The next morning, Shuu has given Ken medicine that should make him fully recover from his injuries, but it will make him sleep first. Just then several large explosions rock the base -they are under attack! Souther's troops have found the base.
Shuu takes bat and Ken down to the sewers and puts them on a small raft, sending them out. He then goes back and confronts the troops, killing many of them and then tries to take on Souther, but is defeated. Shuu is dragged away, but as he is he quietly says for Ken to hear the cry from his soul, and he then yells Kenshiro's name. Kenshiro does hear him and wakes up, ripping apart his bandages and revealing that his wounds have healed. Meanwhile Shuu is taken to the pyramid and made to carry the final piece of it up to the top.
Having found out what has happened to Shuu and where Kenshiro is going, Raoh, Toki, Reina and Raoh's army head out to the Holy Cross Mausoleum. They succeed in wiping out many of Souther's troops, but Reina is injured when she saves a baby from being hit by arrows. As the rest of the army continues on, Kenshiro arrives at the pyramid.
He races up towards where Shuu is, but just as he reaches him, Shuu gets hit with many arrows and is critically injured when Souther throws a spear at him. But as Shuu opens his eyes, it is revealed he can see again. God has granted him the one wish he had, as he can now see the grown up Kenshiro. Shuu tells Kenshiro to go on and live in the new era. He will be forever watching over him. He then drops the last piece of the pyramid on himself and dies under it. Ken says that he will live on forever inside him and then turns around and points to Souther, saying that when he is done through with him, there will be nothing left. Souther goes up the pyramid, and Kenshiro uses a rapid series of kicks, but again, they do not effect Souther.
Souther then jumps forward, so Ken stabs into his chest. Souther laughs and just tells him that it won't work. Ken lifts Souther above his head and can feel his pulse...something is wrong! Ken rips his shirt and says that he has discovered Souther's secret. Souther says he is talking nonsense, but suddenly screams in pain as his right arm bulges up, destroying his own shirt in the process. As Ken walks up the steps, he says that Souther's heart is on the opposite side it should be. So that means that all of his pressure points are reversed. Now that he knows Souther's secret, defeating him will be easy. Souther says he really is a master of Hokuto Shinken to have figured that out, but it still won't be enough. He leaps back to the top of the pyramid and goes into a stance, using his ultimate technique, Tensho Juuji-Ho (Heaven Soaring Cross-Phoenix).
However, a combination of techniques from Kenshiro defeat Souther, sending him crashing into the pyramid. Souther refuses to admit defeat, and still has the power to fight, but is no longer a match for Kenshiro any more. Ken uses a move called Hokuto Ujou Moushou Ha (North Star Humane Fierce Flying Rip) to finish Souther off mercifully.
Rather than die via Kenshiro's technique, Souther stabs into his own chest and tells Kenshiro he was glad he was his final opponent. As Souther dies, his troops disband and the pyramid collapses. Toki tells Raoh that one of his most dangerous enemies is gone, and that he is left to rule the heavens now. But he will not be able to control anyone through fear. Raoh says that it doesn't matter for the moment -what has happened here today has made him realise that he must defeat both Toki and Kenshiro before he does anything else. He then turns around and leaves. The next morning, Bat returns to his village, but he has only gone there to say goodbye. Bat starts to leave, but as he does Toyo tells him to take these with him: a bag full of potatoes. At first he doesn't want them, but after all the other kids encourage him to have them he thanks them all and calls Toyo his mother. The two hug before Bat finally leaves.
Reina wakes up in Toki's village. She finds out from Toki that Raoh was the one who treated her wounds and that Souther has died. She then finds out from Lin that Raoh wants her to go back to the Land of Shura. Toki says that Raoh has finally found the path of righteousness, but she says he had already found that long a go. He has a warmer heart than anyone else. She thinks back to when they were young. The Land of Shura has been devastated in wars and Raoh tells Souga that he, Toki and Kenshiro are being sent away to Master Ryuken, to learn Hokuto Shinken. Reina starts to cry as she doesn't want them to go, but Raoh tells her not to worry. Once he has become powerful, he will return here and restore Shura to it's former glory. He gives her a pendant and promises that he will return one day.
Back in the present, Lin gives Reina her pendant back and says Raoh said to tell her she must never lose it. Reina begins to cry. Meanwhile, Kenshiro looks out and sees Raoh and his troops heading back to his palace. As Kenshiro looks on, he knows that his greatest fight has yet to come.
Box office performance
When released in Japan, the film grossed the equivalent of around 862,681 U.S. dollars. I don't know if this is good or not, but when you consider that the 1986 movie made over 18 million dollars at the Japanese box office, then I imagine that this movie was considered to be a major financial disappointment, especially as it failed to make over a million.
Further reading: Legend of Raoh DVD changes
The DVD version of the movie contains a great deal of differences to the theatrical version, mainly to do with the animation. Many shots were completely re-done, featuring changed character designs, and several errors were also fixed. Takashi Ukaji, Raoh's voice actor, was also called back in to re-record all of his dialogue, making Raoh sound a lot angrier in the DVD version. Finally, the DVD version also adds in two short battle scenes which were not present in the original version of the movie.
A novelization of the film was released around the same time as the movie, which features several extra scenes. Beji and Giji, Souther's two bodyguards, have a scene in the novel where they fight Kenshiro. Rizo makes several appearances in the novel, being present when Souther's troops attack Shuu's base, and the scene where he tries to help Shuu is also present. In the film, Rizo only appears in one scene, where he and some other troops try and capture Reina. Perhaps most bizarre is a completely new scene which involves brain washed children being sent out as suicide bombers, one of which almost succeeds in killing Reina.
-The soldier who says Reina would make a beautiful gift for his master is quite clearly meant to be Rizo. In the original manga and anime, Rizo is later seen trying to help Shuu, something he does not do in this movie. However, in the novelization, the soldier who talks to Reina is changed into a different character, and the scene with Rizo helping Shuu is restored.
-According to Box Office Mojo, this was the 127th highest grossing movie in Japan for 2006.
-There were a few errors in the original version which were fixed up for the DVD release -check the link above for more info on this.
-Right at the start, the narrator says that Ryuken taught 3 boys...uh, no he didn't, he taught 4! Did the writers forget about Jagi?
-Why on Earth would Kenshiro use a merciful technique to finish Souther off? Without the flashback scene explaining Souther's past with Ogai, it doesn't make any sense for him to.