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  • Anvilicious: The most subtle thing to happen in this series is the movement of Ken's eyebrows, and even those look like caterpillars.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Shin, Souther, Ryuga and Raoh.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Bolge, the final villain of the manga, although cool, is nowhere nearly as memorable as Raoh or even Kaioh.
  • Ass Pull: Quite a few due to the fact that Buronson and Hara wrote the story as they went along. The most obvious being the "UD" mark on Mamiya's shoulder. How come nobody noticed it when she was undressed in front of everyone by Rei? Or how about Raoh and Toki coming to Japan along with an infant Kenshiro as refugees from Shura in Hokuto no Ken 2. Didn't we see the ruins of Raoh and Toki's home village in the original series?
  • Awesome Music: Got its own page. YOU WA SHOCK!
  • Better Than Canon: Hokuto Musou has a "Dream Mode" wherein Rei manages to beat Raoh and live happily ever after with Mamiya. It turns out to be a prophetic vision and Rei goes on to meet his intended fate (to die at Raoh's hands) regardless, as he feels that he can't prolong his life at the risk of his friends. Possibly justified, as Shu ends up dying in Rei's Dream Mode and Rei blames himself for it. Alternatively looking, Rei became inspired with Mamiya in Dream Mode to risk her life for the right cause, fighting against Souther's army despite the information that if she rebels, she will face death, therefore once he wakes up, he realizes that trying to go down the Dream Mode route would basically be the coward's way out.
  • Common Knowledge: Due to the franchise's currently niche reputation in the West (Combined with the popularity of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure today), some or many fans occasionally mistook the characters' designs as they're made by Araki Hirohiko. 
  • Crazy Awesome: Juza of the Clouds, definitely. The Humiliation Conga he delivers to Raoh and repeatedly shaming the crazy thousands-year old martial arts schools with a style he just made up is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Deader Than Disco: See So Bad It's Good.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Even if Shin was Kenshiro's closest friend and greatest rival, there's no excusing the atrocities he committed as an overlord trying to win Yuria's love.
    • Raoh. A lot of fans play up the "noble" aspect of this Noble Demon, conveniently ignoring all of the sympathetic and likable characters that he kills, some for no rational reason (like Fudoh).
      • Actually, what happened regarding Fudoh was perfectly rational... if one accepted as true the really bad conclusions Raoh took from that second fight with Kenshiro.
    • Souther's still thought to be a appealing character, especially by women, despite all the atrocities he has committed. Most famously Yuko Goto, the voice of Mikuru-chan from the Suzumiya Haruhi franchise (and recently, the producer of Hokuto Musou).
      • This also becomes a Casting Gag when she ended up voicing Menace, who uses many of Souther's moves in her repertory.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Despite only appearing in two episodes, Mr. Heart has had a place alongside major villains and heroes. He's appeared in the Arc System fighting game, the Xbox 360 beat-em-up game and the 1996 film thanks to his off-the-wall style, even by the show's standards: he's a morbidly obese martial artist whose mighty gut keeps Kenshiro from hitting his pressure points, and the sight of his own blood makes him flip from from "effeminate man-glacier" to "unstoppable killing machine". Due to his name, Mr. Heart has been quite popular for troll pics involving him replacing someone with a cutesy feel (Magical Girls, cute girls or someone with a Heart in their name (like Arcana Heartino)) to make a high-caliber LOL Squick.
    • Rei. So, SO much. If a fan's favorite hero is not Kenshiro, it's Rei, with practically no exceptions.
    • Amiba, despite his relatively minor role in the overall scheme of things, he gets a bit of added exposure in the Gaiden spin-offs, particularly in the manga version of Raoh Gaiden, as well as in Toki Gaiden and Rei Gaiden. He even becomes Jagi's best buddy in the Dream Mode of Hokuto Musou
    • Juza is the only Goshasei to get his own spin-off so far.
    • Mamiya also has quite a fan following, if only for the fact that she's the only female character of the series actually able to do something useful. Added to that her being one of the most heroic females of the 80's animés.
    • Jagi has a bit of a following of his own for being the only Hokuto brother who was a total irredeemable bastard.
    • Souther, too. Partially because of his Draco in Leather Pants Jerkass Woobie appeal, partially because his story arc signalled a change of pace from the Raoh storyline.
    • Joker, Shin's Canon Foreigner Dragon, became this thanks to Shigeru Chiba's creepy performance and being one of the few villains to not fear Kenshiro, even when he was about to die. He was enough of a Darkhorse that Jakoh was created as a canon Expy of him.
  • Escapist Character: Kenshiro, seriously; this guy is almost certifiably the epitome of this trope: Hot, muscular guy with lots of Shirtless Scenes? Check. Awesome fighting skills? Check. A major badass good guy that gets to mow down villains by the hundreds while still being considered a borderline messiah? Check. Known to most of his enemies as "The Man with the Seven Scars", and mentioning this nickname is sometimes enough to make the mooks run away in sheer terror? Check. Widely praised as "the savior of the post-apocalyptic world" by many people without even trying to gain their respect? Check. Typically portrayed as utterly invincible? Check. Performs such feats include bending open prison bars, wielding a steel I-beam like a broomstick, stopping the charge of a 500 kg man with six fingers, and plugging a burst dam by carrying a huge chunk of a mountain to it? Check. Always leaves the most powerful of bad guys cowering in terror? Check. Can relentlessly, inexorably pursue all forms of evil and oppression without anything slowing him down? DOUBLE CHECK. Yes, you totally want to be him, and if not: You Are Already Dead.
  • Fashion Victim Villain: And how. A lot of the bad guys dress like Conan the Barbarian characters, only more colourful. See any grunt who has twin ponytails... on an otherwise bald head. Most of the major villains avert this trope, though.
  • Faux Symbolism: The villain Yuda is named after Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus in the New Testament. Yuda's role is betraying the Six Stars of Nanto by siding with Raoh in a time of chaos, and all because he was jealous of Rei's elegance.
    • More recent adaptations only hammer the point home by romanizing his name as Juda (still pronounced "yuda" though).
  • First Installment Wins:
    • More like "First TV Adaptation Wins". Many fans of Toei's adaptation consider it to be superior to North Star Pictures' later adaptations, as Toei's version is more emotionally driven and has a stellar voice cast including the likes of Kaneto Shiozawa, Kenji Utsumi, Banjo Ginga and (of course) Akira Kamiya.
    • The entirety of the Raoh Arc is the most well-known part of the manga, while everything that comes afterward isn't regarded as highly. The Shura/Kaioh Arc was considered to be not as good as its predecessor, but still entertaining. The third arc, however, is criticized for being directionless until the Bolge chapters.
  • Fixer Sue: By the post-Shura arcs of the manga, Kenshiro had become so predictably invincible and ludicrously powerful that the only way Buronson and Hara could utilize him in a fresh manner is turning him into a passive observer who occasionally steps in to give a (heavy) helping hand, but mainly to teach Anvilicious moral lessons than to administer the asskicking that the audience had come to love him for. The authors could not even be bothered to throw one last big villain at him, having exhausted the Big Bad coolness pool long ago with Raoh's (and, to a lesser extent, Kaioh's) death. Toei Animation chose not to animate the post-Kaioh storyline for this reason.
    • It's not a coincidence the Hokuto no Ken 2 anime series was the only adaptation of the Shura/Kaioh stories, period. All other depictions have concluded their timelines with Raoh's death, though Kenshiro Den's opening goes slightly further and essentially serves as an epilogue.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With several of the manly Anime/manga series, including Jojo fans.
  • Funny Moments: Jagi, while still monstrous and a bastard, still pulls one off in the Hokuto Musou, when he made the usually Comically Serious Souther misspell his name.

Jagi: "I'll give you just one chance! Say My Name!"
Souther: "J-Jacky?"

    • In Ten no Haoh, when Raoh and his entourage make their way into the king's palace so that Raoh can kill him and take over, they're masquerading as entertainers with Raoh as the koto player. When asked to play the koto, he responds while not having a facial expression: "I will play the koto!" *smashes the koto on a pillar* "I cannot play the koto!"
    • A lesser character's Verbal Tic leads us to this rare moment of humor.
  • Genre Turning Point: It was NOT okay for men to cry in anime before Fist of the North Star. Afterwards, however, tears became a symbol of honorable masculinity tempered by a kind and gentle heart.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Jackal's made-up "Nanto Bakusatsu Ken" style is later used by Shu's son Shiba to save a wounded Kenshiro from Souther's goons in a tearjerking Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Just like how Gill outlives his brother Buzz in the manga, his real-life counterpart Animal outlived his tag-team partner Hawk (unless we're talking about the anime version).
    • God's Army is a militia composed of people who believe that they were chosen by God to create an independent nation in His name. They are incredibly brutal and easily suppress the people of a desert city. After the rise of numerous Islamist militias in the Middle East & Africa, most notably ISIS, these villains seem far more frightening than they've ever been.
  • Iron Woobie: Kenshiro bravely bears the sadness of the entire world on his broad shoulders alone so that nobody else ever has to cry again. As the big guy himself puts it:

"I refuse to build my own future on the blood and tears of others!"

    • Rei. Nothing ever goes right for the man, and if you don't want to give him a hug in his final days then there's something wrong with you. Hands down, his death is almost unanimously considered the most tragic and tear-inducing in the entire series.
    • Toki and Shu, who held the distinction of pulling two Heroic Sacrifices each.
    • Fudoh the Mountain.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Watching Souther weep for his beloved master during the last seconds of his life, it's easy to forget Souther is a genocidal child-murderer.
  • Love to Hate: A lot of the major villains qualify for this trope, especially Jagi, Amiba, Souther and Kaioh.
  • Macekre: Due to not securing the FOTNS license for Western gamers, the Sega Genesis game was retooled into a new IP known as Last Battle. The characters were all renamed (Kenshiro became "Aarzak", for instance) and most of them recolored, along with the blood being removed, but by and large, the plot is largely the same. The Opening Scroll even spoils most of it!
    • The Sega Master System game had it even worse. It was retooled into a generic kung fu-based side-scroller known as Black Belt, but Mooks still explode when hit with an attack.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Shin, for the extreme lengths he went to to protect the woman he loved.
  • Memetic Badass: A lot of people consider Raoh more Badass than Kenshiro... even though it was a plot point from his introductory flashback that he simply wasn't. The Film of the Series went with "Sure, Why Not?" and had Raoh win their climactic duel.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misaimed Fandom: Some people seem to think that Raoh's unambiguously heroic and admirable.
  • Motive Decay: After his parents were murdered and his sister sold into slavery, Rei didn't bother with his role as the Star of Justice until after meeting Toki.
    • Souther's original traumatic backstory was omitted in the Shin Kyuuseishu Densetsu movies, leaving him as a one-dimensional villain.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Jackal attempting to drown/hang children after he'd gotten possession of their water source. His other Kick the Dog moments (tying sticks of dynamite to said children, manipulating Devil's Rebirth into doing his dirty work and then leaving him to die after he fails to kill Kenshiro) at least had a reason behind them, if only to escape from Kenshiro. There was no real reason for killing the kids other than pettiness and sadism.
    • Jagi chaining a cinder block to a child's leg and stranding him in the middle of the desert to both spite Kenshiro and amuse himself is something only a truly amoral, evil individual would do.
    • Ryuga trying to murder Toki, who was already on the verge of death from radiation sickness and after his fight with Raoh - and that's just the bowdlerised anime version. In the manga, he also kills many of Toki's patients too for no reason.
    • Kaioh kills his sister Sayaka just so he could frame Kenshiro for her death and drive Hyoh insane.
  • Never Live It Down:
  • Nightmare Fuel: The opening sequence of the 1986 film adaptation, with people being vaporized Barefoot Gen-style.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The over-the-top violence and gore can go from Nightmare Fuel to absolutely hilarious.
    • In the manga, Kenshiro looks exactly like Mel Gibson in Mad Max 2: Road Warrior. In the anime, he resembles Bruce Lee (at least for the first three seasons).
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: There has been a fair share of rather mediocre Hokuto no Ken video games throughout the years, most notably the very first Famicom game, a Kung-Fu Master-style side-scroller. Entering a door to proceed requires the player to press up and both buttons simultaneously, but anyone who doesn't know this will get stuck walking in an infinite loop on the very first level. It was also quite a difficult game, with knives and enemies flying into the screen all the time and no full life recovery between stages. Despite the fact that it was quite a rubbish game by any objective standard, it managed to sell quite a lot of copies in Japan due to its timing (it came out at the height of the manga's popularity and during the Famicom boom).
  • The Scrappy: Of all the major martial artists, Yuda probably gets the least amount of love. Reasons for this include: being weaker than everyone else except perhaps Jagi, being a vain cross-dressing serial rapist, having a pathetic Freudian Excuse (he was jealous of Rei's martial art being more beautiful than his own), and him lacking Raoh and Ryuga's Noble Demon qualities, Shin and Souther's Tragic Villain appeal, or Jagi and Amiba's Awesome Ego trappings. The fact that his martial art is one of the series' less realistic ones does not help his cause, either.
  • So Bad It's Good: This is the Trope Maker for Shonen Jump series as we know them today (Dragon Ball is the Trope Codifier), and it was groundbreaking in its time... but that was twenty years ago, which leads to some severe Values Dissonance. The tongue-in-cheek Manga Entertainment dub of the TV series definitely qualifies.
    • The French dubbing is also (in)famous for being intentionally So Bad It's Good, and absolutely hilarious because of that.
  • Squick: Not for the weak of stomach, this franchise is.
  • That One Boss: Despite his status as a relatively minor villain in the manga and anime, Alf of the Hourglass is a notorious among players of the Mega Drive Hokuto no Ken as a sub-boss who can pin down Kenshiro with his ability to ambush Ken from behind with a clone of himself.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Whenever a piece of Fist of the North Star merchandise: video game, movie, OVA, whatever; uses a voice cast that is not the original voice cast (except for those that have already passed away) from the 80s anime, you can bet that a swath of angry fanboys on Nico Nico Douga are going to complain about it. This is especially pronounced when it comes to Hokuto Musou.
  • Too Cool to Live: Rei, Toki, Raoh, Shu, Juza, Fudoh, Ein, Falco.
  • Villain Decay: Happens to Raoh post-Hannibal Lecture and Curb Stomp Battle. The sting is slightly put off by his last-minute conversion to Anti-Villain. That was intentional on the part of Fudoh, who was giving that Hannibal Lecture.
  • What Do You Mean It's for Kids?: This was made for young boys in Japan. In fact, it's the Trope Maker for most of the tropes used by Naruto, Bleach, Dragon Ball (the Trope Codifier for most of them), and Yu Yu Hakusho. Not to mention it's a type of series where characters go around exploding heads, slicing them to pieces with their fingers, tear people apart with black magic, so on and so forth. Oh, and an Anti-Villain with a hugeass horse that literally curb-stomps random mooks, even the Big Bad's corrupted henchmen.
  • The Woobie: Plenty, especially the female characters. Fortunately, things get better for them once Kenshiro enters the scene.
    • Yuria spends most of her time being kidnapped and dragged around the wasteland. And by the time Kenshiro catches up to her, she's dying of radiation poisoning, although she does get a few years of happiness with him.
    • Airi, who blinded herself with poison after being sold into sex slavery by Jagi.
    • Poor Lin lost the ability to speak after seeing her entire family being slaughtered by a gang of bandits.
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