Anime Vice News

FIST OF THE NORTH STAR #5 - - Watch & Learn

All this time, Ken's just been a big teddy bear.

Weakness, at last!

One of the most fundamental ‘rules’ of adventure fiction requires the odds to be stacked against the lead. Nobody wants to root for a sure winner, because our sympathies immediately gravitate to the underdog. As such, the hero’s got to be weaker than his foes, or one of his loved ones needs to be in jeopardy, or he must be starting from some place of disadvantage (the reason why so many heroes are orphans).

Up until this point, Ken hasn’t had any of these setbacks. He’s invincible enough that any bad guys are basically straw men to him. While he’s shown up to avenge wronged innocents, he’s had no personal connection to really make their plight personal to him. He’s displayed no character flaws (unless you consider him to be self-righteously judgmental). And his origins have been so mysterious that we really haven’t known where’s been coming from, at all.

We’ve kept watching because it has been absolutely thrilling to watch Ken annihilate this inexhaustible supply of scum, but our enjoyment has carried with it the same sort of guilt you get from, say, eating fried drumsticks over broiled chicken breast. Surely, the first few episodes of FIST would invite plenty of brow-beating, wagging fingers from writing professors telling us that we shouldn’t like it.

That all changes with this episode. In one fell swoop, we learn that Ken’s been searching for a love that’s been stolen from him. He was humiliated by a traitorous and much more powerful brother figure, and he’s actually had to go through Hell to get on any sort of path to retrieving his lady.

All along, he’s actually been struggling through insurmountable odds. So... his shrieking bursts of fist-flinging fury seem all the more cathartic, now, don’t they?

Watch this episode, Can the Flames of Love Burn in Hell? You Don't Even Know You're Already Dead!here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
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A lone martial artist that has mastered one of the deadliest arts in the world, Hokuto Shinken, seeks to rescue his beloved and right injustice whereever the strong prey on the weak.

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