http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/souten_8141.jpg
[[caption-width:239:If you got a problem with Hokuto, tell it to me.]]

''Fist of the Blue Sky'' (''Souten no Ken''), is a {{prequel}} to ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' by Tetsuo Hara, with plot supervision by original writer Buronson, that was published in the ''Weekly Comic Bunch'' from its debut issue in 2001 and throughout the magazine's final issue in 2010.

Kasumi Kenshiro was a bumbling, bespectacled literature professor in 1935 Japan, playfully joking around with his students in the Towa Women's College at Tokyo...

...or so he seemed to be. The unusually large yet mild mannered scholar was invited to a restaurant by an aging Chinese gentleman called Li, who served as a poison taster for the Last Emperor of China. Just as the duo started to remininsce on old times spent amongst TheTriadsAndTheTongs, said-Chinese Emperor's Assassins held Kenshiro at gunpoint, "inviting" him to fulfill his "centuries old duty" as the Emperor's bodyguard...

...only to have their heads painfully and ''literally'' popped open from the inside as he gingerly struck hidden points across their faces with but a single finger.

It turns out that Professor Kasumi is none other than Yan Wang, the "King of Hell," the 62nd successor to Hokuto Shinken and the future [[IdenticalGrandson uncle]] of Kenshiro, the [[AfterTheEnd Century's End]] [[KungFuJesus Savior]] who will bring peace to [[AfterTheEnd a world torn apart by nuclear fire]] many decades later.

Back in 1935, Kasumi Kenshiro returns to Shanghai where he tore a bloody swathe across the Chinese Underworld a year ago by the side of his ''Peng-You'' (Friend) Pan Guang-Lin, ''Dai Lo'' (Big Brother) of the ''Ching Bang'' (Turquoise Brotherhood) Triads; to wipe out the ''Hong Hua Hui'' (Red China Organization) Triads for murdering his sworn-brother Guang-Lin.

Since his departure to protect Guang-Lin's little sister from bloody feuds of Hokuto-Shinken's legacy, the corrupt ''Hong Hua Hui'', allied with the French Government, has all but wiped out the ''Ching Bang''. The ''Hong Hua Hui'' leaders have been rendered grotesque ClockPunk cyborgs after being disfigured by Kenshiro yet living to gloat about it.

Kenshiro did warn them to "get out of Shanghai" after literally popping their arms, jaws, spines and legs open. [[TooDumbToLive Crime bosses, however, are just too proud to listen]].

Soon upon returning to the infamous "Devil City" of the 1930s, not only does Kenshiro have to contend with the warfare of TheTriadsAndTheTongs, he will clash head on with three rival Hokuto branches (each inheriting the names of the Sun, Cao and Liu factions from the ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'' era), jealous with the superiority of the master branch, Hokuto Shinken.

Centuries of hate clash with brotherhood and honor as Shanghai is set to explode with the flames of open war.

Though superficially sharing thematic elements of the Martial Arts from ''North Star'', ''Blue Sky'' is first and foremost a Crime Drama with occasional martial arts thrown into its rich, somber, smoky mix.
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!!This show provides examples of:
* AdolfHitler - This being a UsefulNotes/WorldWarII {{Manga}}, the dictator makes a cameo; and is portrayed frankly as the pathetic loser he really is.
* AmnesiacLover - Pān Y-Lng. Not only did Mng Kung-Yn erase her memory, he put a BoobyTrap in her brain so that Kenshiro cannot directly tell her about their shared past.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy - Kenshiro is very prone to doing everything on his own and belittling his opponents at every turn. Zhang Tai-Yan even notes, that when Kenshiro stands in the pool of his own blood, and his opponent is completely unharmed, he probably should stop acting like he's invincible. Kenshiro's habit of talking down to his opponents might be justified, as a way of provoking them into attacking rashly, but his overconfidence bites him in the ass a couple of times, when he avoids death only through factors beyond his control.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking - Liu Zong-Wu (Gestapo Captain) and Zhang Tai-Yan (Sub-Boss of the ''Hong Hua Hui'' Triads), both Grand Masters of their respective Hokuto schools of Martial Arts.
* BadassBookworm - Kenshiro ''is'' a Literature Professor at a Women's University, after all.
* BadassIsraeli - Yasaka. ''Holy crap'', just Yasaka.
* BeenThereShapedHistory - Kasumi Kenshiro has ''literally'' slapped-up TheLastEmperor of China, not to mention clashing with the ''Kuomintang'', then ruling party of Nanjing's republican government and China's nominal seat of power.
** Considering who said Last Emperor is... doesn't sound that hard.
** And Kuomintang, seeing it as a matter of Chinese honor (and prestiege of the National Revolutionary Army in such a time of turmoil [[spoiler:as Kenshiro killed one of their generals- even though every Kuomintang official agrees that the said general had it coming]]) and not really an act of war, have refrained from just employing army troops to gun him down and insisted on defeating him fair-and-square with the best Chinese martial artist they can find. Therefore Chiang Kai-Shek and company got their [[http://www.mangareader.net/1057-39954-8/fist-of-the-blue-sky/chapter-105.html Generic Handsomeness treatment]].
* BerserkButton - Crime bosses tend to be ''homicidally'' sensitive about the freakish appearance of the cybernetic replacements to the limbs Kenshiro mutilated off them, or their inborn deformities. In particular, do ''' ''NOT'' ''' remind Zhang Lie-Shan, the ''giant'' boss of the ''Hong Hua Hui'' just how tall he is if you value your skeleton intact. See IAmBigBoned below for more details.
* BlackAndGrayMorality - Though innocent people don't (usually) die in the crossfires of the Shanghai underworld's civil war, one still has to remember that Kenshiro is helping a ''Drug Lord'' rise to supreme power, beloved ''Peng-You'' or not. See EasilyForgiven for more details.
** Notably, Kenshiro does realize that Pan Guang-Lin and his underlings still are evil, albeit a lesser evil than their opponents, and this is one of the reasons he quits Shanghai before the start of the series.
** The founding master of Hokuto Shinken killed off the practitioners of Seito Gekken[[spoiler:, many of whom would have been his future in-laws, after studying their martial art and blending their fighting techniques with his own]] simply out of the fear that Seito Gekken could potentially be abused by external interest groups in the future.
* BloodBrothers - The whole concept of the Peng-You relationship is very much akin to this.
* BloodKnight - Kenshiro in his youth, picking fights with other martial artists for no reason and nearly dying at least twice as a result. He becomes much more level-headed by the time the main story begins.
* BoringInvincibleHero - Kasumi Kenshiro actually is less suspectible to this trope than his nephew, as firearms make {{Mooks}} a more credible threat, and all serious opponents use versions of Hokuto Shinken as well.
* If you've got a problem with Kenshiro's CatchPhrase... tell it to him! *asskicking ensues*
** And much like his descendant, he is fond of telling his enemies that "You are already dead" though as opposed to Ken's Japanese "Omae wa mo shindeiru", he speaks it in the Chinese language: "Nǐ yǐ jīng sǐ le"
* ClockPunk - The technology through which arrogant 1930's crime bosses can be given arms, legs, jaws, spines and ''hair'' blown off by Hokuto Shinken.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass - For all his boisterous and jolly disposition, one has to remember that Kenshiro is '''still''' a master of the head-popping martial art Hokuto Shinken.
* CulturedBadass - Professor Kasumi can speak and read half a dozen languages, play the piano, dance, cook, grade your university thesis AND pop you head open with Hokuto Shinken. [[IndianaJones Henry Jones Junior]], eat your heart out.
* CutShort - The manga went down with the sinking ship of ''Comic Bunch''. And although it didn't exactly end on a cliffhanger, it didn't really dovetail nicely into ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' either; lots of questions were left unanswered. How did Ramon/Ryuken become successor? Did Yan Wang die (or become Koryu)? Who was the Old Taoist? The introduction of Jukei (the future Hokuto Ryuken successor) [[AbortedArc never led to anything interesting]] either.
* DarkerAndEdgier - Since ''Souten no Ken'' was published in a ''Seinen'' (mature readers) anthology, it covers several adult subjects such as drugs, rape, prostitution, and misogynistic disfigurements, stuff that the comparatively campy ''Hokuto no Ken'' either glossed over or would not dare touch with a ten foot pole.
* DragonsUpTheYinYang - The Five-toed Imperial Dragon appears in the final battle between Kenshiro and Liu Zong-Wu.
* EasilyForgiven - If you thought Kenshiro the 64th successor is bad with this trope, his uncle Yan Wang is arguably worse. For a [[BelatedBackStory last minute sob-story]] of a [[FreudianExcuse traumatic childhood]], Professor Kasumi is willing to embrace drug dealers (Pan Guang-Lin) homicidal sociopaths (Liu Fei-Yan), serial rapists (Zhang Tai-Yan) and '''[[ThoseWackyNazis Nazi Captains]]''' (Liu Zong-Wu) as dear ''Peng-You'' and beloved BloodBrothers.
** In Zhang Tai-Yan's case, it is '''after''' he murdered the little sister of another one of Professor Kasumi's ''Peng-You''. Granted, he ended up becoming remorseful about it[[spoiler:, just not when he did it]].
* {{Expy}}: Liu Fei-Yan is a dead-ringer for Rei from the original series, and the bandage-bound Ye is based on Film/{{Darkman}} played by Creator/LiamNeeson.
** Kasumi Kenshiro himself is based on three previous Tetsuo Hara protagonists. He's essentially ''Hokuto no Ken'''s Kenshiro with Keiji Maeda's (of ''Hana no Keiji'') sense of humor and Rintaro Nakabo's (from the detective manga of the same title) sense of irony.
* ForkFencing: Kenshiro ''loves'' to use a variation of this trope wherein cutlery is ''rapidly launched'' like machine gun bullets, after being launched off the table with a hefty slap.
* [[GenericCuteness Generic Handsomeness/Beauty]] - Kenshiro and his friends, ex-villains who renounced their evil ways, and even [[PunchClockVillain punch clock villains]] with [[FromACertainPointOfView reasonably good]] intentions are all portrayed as handsome or beautiful whereas fundamentally-dishonorable personalities are disturbingly intimidating at best and comically ugly at worst; but Tetsuo Hara is not for judging people's characters by their appearances- rather he is for judging people's appearances by their characters, with Zhāng Ti-Yn being perhaps the best example. The viewers know it's the same person with the same visual features, but Zhāng still managed to look significantly different before and after he made the transition into an [[TheAtoner Atoner]].
* GunsAkimbo - Ye's primary fighting style.
* HolierThanThou - The corrupt clergyman who takes confessions of criminals BEFORE they commit crimes and forgives them for exorbitant amounts of money so they can go rape, steal, and kill without guilt.
* HollywoodCyborg - The grotesque, rusty and creaky ClockPunk ''Hong Hua Hi'' crime bosses, original disfigurements courtesy of Kenshiro.
* IAmBigBoned: Boss Zhang Lie-Shan of the ''Hong Hua-Hui'' Triads is a ''darkly'' funny version of this trope in action. He is a man gifted with "exceptional stature"... as in "literally the height of a three stories tall building exceptional stature. However, Lie-Shan is ''incredibly'' sensitive about being out of the ordinary, and gets ''very'' unhappy about being called "too big"... as in "smother his tree sized cigar into your face and drown you with his car-sized shot glass of whisky" unhappy.
* IdenticalGrandson - Or rather, Nephew. Kenshiro Kasumi is basically what happens if you give his nephew a chain smoking habit and a jolly sense of humor.
** Liu Zong-Wu, the Hokuto Liu Family Fist successor, is a dead-ringer to Raoh and his [[BackupTwin brother]] Kaioh. While its yet to be established whether his actually related to Raoh and his siblings, it should be noted that the Liu Family Fist later becomes Hokuto Ryuken, the same style practiced by Kaioh and Hyoh.
* IdentityAmnesia - Pān Y-Lng believes herself to be a Manchurian nomad named Lǐ Xi-Bǎo.
* LargeAndInCharge - Zhang Lie-Shang, Boss of the ''Hong Hua Hui'' triads, ''literally'' the size of a building. Don't remind him about it though, [[BerserkButton just don't.]]
* LastOfHisKind - Yasaka. His Yuezhi people were supposed to have died out after being double-crossed by the founding master of Hokuto Shinken in the 2nd century AD.
* ManlyTears - This ''is'' a prequel to ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' after all.
* MeaningfulName ('''Qing''' Bang = blue; '''Hong''' Hua Hui = red)
* MightyWhitey - French Colonel Charles [=DeGuise=], who somehow manages to be a Master of the "Hokuto Sun Family Fist" after under a decade of study.
** His Hokuto techniques aren't very good, though, and [[spoiler:he eventually gets killed by Fei-Yan.]]
* MoodWhiplash - The black humor involving the disfigurements of the bosses is quite jarring when placed next to the rather serious Martial-Arts combat and genuinely touching drama.
* NotWorthKilling - Liu Zong-Wu ''could'' have killed AdolfHitler (the man for whom he betrayed the Chinese Warrior World to join the Nazis) himself if he wanted to, but spared him instead. Not that he did this out of any decency or compassion mind you; he held the tyrant in such unadulterated ''contempt'' that it would dirty his fists to stain it with his pathetic blood.
* OneSteveLimit - Averted. Liu Zong-Wu and Liu Fei-Yan are not related, despite their almost identical surnames (the difference being that they're spelled with different Chinese characters).
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname : Luo Hu-Cheng's troops only know that he is Shogun Luo, but they dont even know his real name. This actualy become a rather... significant plot point
* {{Prequel}} - Set in 1930's Shanghai, around 60 years before the nuclear apocalypse.
* ProtagonistCenteredMorality - Professor Kasumi is presented as a hero through and through in spite of [[EasilyForgiven forgiving and befriending rapists and Nazis,]] not to mention helping to ''protect'' a massive shipment of opium that will poison Manchuria from being contaminated with Black-Death because it is his ''Peng You's'' base of financial power.
* RapidFireFisticuffs - A staple of all four Hokuto Schools of Martial Arts, it seems.
* RedBaron - Kenshiro has earned the notorious nickname of ''Yan-Wang'' ("Hell's King") a year prior by massacring a sizable portion of the ''Hong Hua Hui'', while leaving its leaders disfigured cripples.
* {{Reincarnation}} - Towards the end of the series, Kenshiro starts getting VisionsOfAnotherSelf after encountering a mystical statue. In one past life he brought Hokuto Shinken to Japan with his two older brothers (a pair of Toki and Raoh lookalikes) and Kukai. In another he honorably executes OdaNobunaga (who coincidentally got his own manga by Tetsuo Hara after the end of ''Blue Sky''). This concept brings up the obvious question of whether Kasumi is the past-life incarnation of ''Hokuto no Ken'''s Kenshiro.
** Liu Zong-Wu, Yasaka and Liu Fei-Yan were all speculated to be past-life incarnations of Raoh, Toki and Rei respectively due to their resemblance to their respective counterparts.
* {{Retcon}} - One of the series' attractions for old fans of ''[[Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar Hokuto no Ken]]'' is its promise of how it will finally justify the continuity travesty that is "The Land of Shura." Yet in the first ten pages Hara has already dug himself a new hole to jump into by making the Kenshiro we have known to love be a baby ''born in Japan again.'' Which is he? Chinese or Japanese?
** The original ''Hokuto no Ken'' series had Kenshiro, the 64th Hokuto Shinken successor, be the very second Hokuto Shinken praticioner to perform the ultimate ''Musou Tensei'' art, the first was the Hokuto Shinken founder himself, and the third to use it was Raoh. Comes ''Souten no Ken'' and Kenshiro's uncle Kasumi, the 62nd Hokuto Shinken successor, performs the ''Musou Tensei'' against Liu Zong-Wu.
* ScheduleSlip - ''Fist of the Blue Sky'' only enjoyed sporadic and unannounced releases since 2005 due to Hara, its illustrator, becoming blind in one eye from a condition suffered by one in a ''million.'' Having lost depth perception, '''all''' his panels had to be re-drawn and inked by an assistant; the fact that his insisted style was realistic and intricately detailed did '''not''' help to alleviate the problem.
* ShoutOut - Liu Zong-Wu performs Steven [=McQueen=]'s famous motorcycle jump in ''TheGreatEscape'' '''onto''' the fleeing Bence Mercedes of his father's murderer. A nice ironic touch considering that whereas [=McQueen=] was fleeing ''from'' Nazis in his jump, Zong-Wu '''is''' a Nazi.
** Kenshiro's slapping the last emperor. Complete with the infamous line and a TookALevelInBadass. It isnt the same type as BrightSlapping though, since Kenshiro do it for sake of {{Revenge}}
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: More cynical compared to the sequel, HokutoNoKen, in spite of being set in a shiny city of Shanghai. TheHero is helping his best friend - a drug lord, to take over the entire city by eliminating a gang that is even worse than theirs. There are also much fewer villains who receive redemption than in HokutoNoKen.
* SmokingIsCool - And therefore so are all the men of ''Ching Bang'', Kenshiro included.
* {{Tearjerker}} - When Mang Kuang-Yun aka ''Ling Wang'' spares [[spoiler: the life of Yu Ling, his fiance, who has fallen in love with Kenshiro, upon seeing her tender kindness towards a dying baby girl. Instead, he wipes her memories to give her a new start at life, free of persecution from the Hong Hua Hui.]]
* TenderTears - Shed even moreso than in ''Hokuto'' by women '''and''' men.
* TheTriadsAndTheTongs - The primary genre of this manga series, ties to ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' notwithstanding.
* ThoseWackyNazis - If you thought a garden-variety Nazi is nasty enough, meet Liu Zong-Wu, the Nazi ''Hokuto Ryukaken'' Master.
* {{Wuxia}} - Stylistically closer to this genre than its post-apocalyptic predecessor; being set in Classical China in its twilight years helps.
* XMeetsY - Creator/{{John Woo}}'s ''A Better Tomorrow'' meets ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar''
* YouAreAlreadyDead: Yup, just like [[FistOfTheNorthStar the original.]]
* ZeerustCanon - The birth of the infant Kenshiro at the opening prologue is established to be sometime during the 1970s, keeping in line with ''Hokuto no Ken'''s "[=199X=]" setting.
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