I know people or critics, has like their top anime movies list.. Of course, they have these titles like Miyazaki’s movies, then Akira, GitS and other notable anime movies, how about Ninja Scroll? For me, this movie I know it may not make to the all time greats, but damn, I really love it. This is a classic!!!
By the way, I watched different versions of it. From the american version, then the first original japanese version then the remastered version. When my elder brother came back from the US, he brought a lot of bootleg anime VHS tapes. This was one of them..
When you were like 11 or 12 years old, and seen like a lot of disney cartoons or transformers then you were shown like exploding heads and gory fight scenes, your childhood memories will change. hahaha
But those scenes never left me plus the lead character Kenshiro. Or Ken in the american version. Wow, after watching the original dub, that american version I saw was just bad. hehe Bad dubbing plus the quality as well. Anyway, let’s discuss some flaws. I have only 2 major flaws in this version. First flaw was the big plot holes. I mean, how in the earth Ken after some time just rise up and became an invincible fighter? The girl who has the seeds, I don’t know what’s her connection to Ken or even Raoh that made their fighting came to halt? It’s just weird and yes, puzzling. I don’t know if I missed something or what, but how many times I watched it, it’s just those holes.
Another flaw, yes, it’s just short and less backstory. I think, it entices you to watch the whole series, which I’ll do when I have time and got it.
Enough of the crap, let’s go what made it a classic for me!
First, wow, I mean one the reasons why I like old school anime is the intrinsic drawings and realistic ones. I mean how they really put the manga drawings into action, it’s just superb at this anime. I know the bodies are not proportionate but I did not mind how great the visuals, especially if you see the remastered version.
Second, when I was kid, I praised the american version, but when I got older and discovered the original one, I kinda hate the american version. Although the style of the anime or story, it’s like Mad Max plus martial arts story.. The american version, Ken is like a drunk hero. His voice in the american dub, was like drunk southern dude but knows kung fu. But in the original dub, wow, Kenshiro is really the man! Confident, badass and has a great heart. Willing to die for others indeed. Of course, who won’t forget the shouting parts of Kenshiro plus the other characters. In the american version, I couldn’t care the other characters because they have the same voices! In the original version, I could care each character, even Jagi, Rei, Shin and yes, even Raoh. All of them, just did a marvelous job in the original version.
Lastly, of course, the action!!!! Ah Kenshiro fist of the north star style or Hokuto Shin Ken is not only a killing technique but also it can heals! But enough of that kind part of his technique. Every action scene is epic. Like Rei’s intro, that’s was tight! Raoh’s fight with that iron war god, that was badass! How about the epic Shin vs. Kenshiro’s first fight? Plus you add like those chinese kung fu musical score and 80’s rock songs?! This is the only film can pull it off. hahahaha Yes, I hope I have Kenshiro’s jacket, I mean after it was ripped off, it comes back again. hehe That final fight scene is so epic. I don’t know how you are going to translate that into film. Its bloody great! Kenshiro is my favorite character when he power up or get mad. I mean in japanese anime, a lot of characters does that, namely Son Goku. But Kenshiro is bar none the best when he’s pumped up!! He’s quiet but God like when he’s mad. hahaha I want to be like that!
Anyway, this anime film really introduce you well into the Hokuto no Ken story. I did see the remake ones, even it has more visual appeal plus wow Abe and Ukaji as voice actors?!!! Those films just on par with this film but never better. I still prefer this one because of the violence and intensity still top notch.
Just skipped the american version because of a lot of mistakes in the dialogue plus yeah, same voices in all male characters. hehe
After watching this film, I always feel I want to shout like Kenshiro/Bruce Lee again!
Oh please, did I mention they did a live action of this?!
Skip it. =)