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One of my all-time favorite anime series is Fist of the North Star. This hardcore story about a man seeking revenge during the apocalyptic year of 199X was easily one of the best series to come out of the 1980s. There’s also a manga (which we have in our collection) that I would like to recommend to you today. The artwork is beautiful and the story is still an emotional gut-punch, no matter which format you experience it in.

The story of Fist of the North Star revolves around Ken, the last surviving practitioner of an ancient killing art called Hokuto Shinken or The Divine Fist of the North Star. By touching specific pressure points on various parts of the body, Ken can do everything from healing wounds to controlling people’s bodies to making his enemies explode. In the year 199X, where most of the world has been devastated by nuclear warfare, supplies are scarce, and roving gangs terrorize the survivors, an art like Hokuto Shinken is incredibly valuable, and Ken often offers up his services as a means of divine justice.

But, despite his propensity for helping the weak, Ken’s actual mission is all about vengeance. Years before, his best friend Shin, who is a practitioner of a similar killing art called Nanto Seiken or Fist of the South Star, betrayed Ken’s trust, disfigured him with seven scars, stole his fiancée, Yuria, and left him for dead. Ken survived, however, and has devoted his life to rescuing Yuria and killing Shin. Along the way, this powerful warrior gathers a small band of friends, and as they travel from town to town, they dispatch evil in all its forms whenever it rears its ugly head, all the while trying to survive violent gang attacks, hunger, thirst, and a series of increasingly dangerous enemies.

Fist of the North Star is a beautiful, if graphic series, perfectly capturing the balance of post-apocalyptic tragedy with a message of hope and the will of humanity to survive. If you enjoy beautiful artwork, over-the-top action, and memorable characters, then this manga series just might be perfect for you!

Erin

I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.