Hokuto Renkitōza
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• 10/16/2015

Souten no ken is...

Souten no Ken is... Not great.

Had to come somewhere and vent. I am a long time Hokutonoken fan, since the 80's. Used to borrow the Japanese editions from a friend, follow along with the pictures and then have her translate the lengthier bits of exposition for me. Owned a couple copies myself, plus the eventual Viz releases. Of course, nowadays the manga and anime are commonly available fully translated into English and I have watched and read through the series several times. First found out about souten no ken when I saw it in a Japanese bookstore. Even bought the first two volumes (I speak and read just a little Japanese). But I never really gave the series much of a try until recently. And I just finished the series in scanlation a few days ago.

All respect to the hard work of the scanlators. I appreciate their efforts. But man, what a disappointment the manga was itself! The humor seemed to repeatedly fall flat for me. For example I found Kenshiro's constantly shoving 3,4,5 or more cigarettes into his mouth at a time to be ridiculous to the point that it would take me out of the story. And speaking of the story, I found the whole Qing Bang backstory to be completely boring. I never became invested in it at all. In fact, the series never got good for me until the final couple volumes when it was all about the history of Hokuto, Zong Wu and the initiation ritual. Having said that, I wasn't happy with what they did with the Hokuto mythos either!

I mean, no Nanto??? At all??? Instead we get a half dozen other Hokuto styles when the whole thing that made Hokuto unique was that they had one style and one successor (as opposed to Nanto which had 108 with 6 "stars")! I was able to forgive the existence of Hokuto Ryu Ken in the original series because it was basically the evil version of Hokuto Shinken and still only had one successor. But now we get Soka Ken, Sonka Ken, Kyokuju Sei Ken, Seito Gekken alongside Shin Ken and Ryuka(Ryu) Ken! And what's worse is that they all were rather poorly defined in both history and their respective abilities. And what was up with Ryuka Ken? No demonic angle. Very few similarities to how it was portrayed in the original series. Not the same at all.

Continued...

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• 10/16/2015

...But all that I could have forgiven had the action been better. Instead many of the fights were anticlimactic. They were short, had too many false starts, and didn't make very good use of the different techniques and differences that should have been present in the styles. Instead they each seemed like Hokuto Shin Ken light. Except for the Sei Ken style which was exactly like a Nanto style except that for some reason they kept saying it used the same techniques as Hokuto, even though clearly it didn't. I actually read somewhere that it was supposed to be what eventually became Nanto Sei Ken, but I hope that's not right. I always thought the whole idea was that Hokuto and Nanto had existed together for their 2000 year history as complimentary opposites. Hence the "Hokuto and Nanto should never fight" theme we saw running through the original series.

Anyway, I guess I still enjoyed it a little since it is set in the same world and alongside the story I love. But I can't help feeling like it was a wasted opportunity.


FRAT version: I found Souten No Ken to be for the Hokuto No Ken universe the same thing as the prequels were for the Star Wars Universe.

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A FANDOM User
• 2/5/2017

That's like, totes your opinion brah, and I respect it. I liked it. Read only, didn't watch yet. It's more of a crime drama than martial arts, but I'm cool with that.

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A FANDOM User
• 2/5/2017

Holy crap! Finally a reply to something I posted a year and half ago! Lol. Thought this place was dead.

Anyway, just curious. Were you fan of the original series?

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• 9/4/2017
lol do you guys remember a fan site called theheartofmadness.org (??) ? it had all episodes of the original 2 series and the series of movies created a number of years back. Ive been looking for someone to pick up where they left of. Too bad no one aquired that site.
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