Warner Bros. Japan has revealed that production is underway on Fist of the North Star: Hokuto no Ken, a new series adaptation of the hugely popular manga created by Buronson and Tetsuo Hara.
The original Fist of the North Star manga debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump on September 13, 1983 – 40 years ago today – and ran for five years. The manga has sold over 100 million copies.
Toei Animation produced the first anime series adaptation of Fist of the Northstar, which ran from 1984 to 1988. The franchise has added several animated features, a live-action film, video games, OVAs, and several spinoffs in the years since.
Details for the new series are scant, but here’s what we know so far. The quotes have been edited for clarity:
- A press release from Warner Bros. Japan didn’t indicate which studio is animating the series but did say the show will feature “all-new casts and creators using [the] latest animation technology.”
- Synopsis: In 199x, the world was engulfed in the blaze of nuclear war. With the oceans drying up and the Earth torn asunder, all life seemed to be lost, but humans stubbornly survived. However, what dominated the post-apocalyptic world was sheer violence. The remains of humanity were split into two groups: those who killed and took whatever they could and those who were exploited. When all hope seemed lost for the weak, a man in ragged clothes appeared. He is Kenshiro, the successor to Hokuto Shinken, an ancient martial art of assassination, with seven stud-like scars in the shape of the Big Dipper. His journey to becoming a legendary savior begins!”
- Said Buronson, who wrote the original Fist of the North Star: “A work from 40 years ago will be reborn as an animated work. I took a step back from animation during the time since, and it is a little different from manga. Now, animation and movie technology has evolved tremendously… Moreover, the principle of new anime production is to depict the original work with great care. I am so looking forward to it. My work, which has been loved by many fans over the past 40 years, will make a comeback as an anime. I look forward to enjoying it with everyone.”
- Hara, who illustrated the manga, added: “I am grateful for a new anime project. While serializing the manga series, I would never have dreamed of a Fist of the North Star: Hokuto no Ken 40th anniversary or that it would be recreated as an anime… I was happy to hear that voice actors are reading the original manga as if listening to the characters’ voices to visualize how they will act them out. I am very much looking forward to seeing how the manga that I put my heart and soul into 40 years ago will be reincarnated by the production staff, who are full of love for the original work, and how it will be brought to life!!”
- In their announcement, Warner Bros. Japan didn’t reveal any distribution details but said a release date and streaming information will be announced “in due course.”