Here we have the cast of the 80s Manga and Anime classic, Fist of the North Star. The characters are placed in order of appearance.Warning: The entire page contain major, unmarked SPOILERS for the entire series, so beware!
, a deadly martial art that has been passed from one master to a single student for over 1,800 years. Kenshiro was adopted by Ryuken as the youngest of four sons alongside Raoh, Toki, and Jagi, all whom vied for the Hokuto Shinken succession. After being named as the rightful successor, he wished to settle down with his fiancée Yuria, but his rival Shin abducts Yuria and defeats Ken in combat, engraving the seven scars on his chest that form the Big Dipper. This sparks Ken's quest to become the Savior of Century's End.
Berserk Button: Don't abuse a kid in front of Kenshiro or let him find out you killed them. Just don't. Zeed, Spade, Diamond, The Godland Army, Jackal, The Kiba Clan, Jagi, Souther, etc. all learned this the hard and painful way.
It's also a VERY bad idea to abuse women in front of Kenshiro, see the Wife-Basher Basher entry below.
Beware the Nice Ones: Very kind, very heroic and very selfless. Unless you're a bad guy, in which case you are already dead.
Bruiser with a Soft Center: Yuria doesn't love Kenshiro for his hyper-masculinity, but rather for his gentle, sensitive and kind-hearted side.
Bullying a Dragon: Are the thugs and mooks really that dumb to try to taunt and torment this guy?
Most of those mooks are at least a head taller than him and are usually armed. Now, the ones who attack him AFTER seeing their pals explode are either not very smart to begin with or have BOSSES who will kill them if they run; either way the poor bastards just don't have it easy.
Bully Hunter: And those he hunts never live to learn from their mistakes...
Catch Phrase: Omae wa mō shindeiru ("You're already dead"). There's the Omae wa sude ni shindeiru variation, which means the same thing, but it's nowhere near as prevalent.
Charles Atlas Super Power: He had to work his entire life to become what he is in the show. In contrast, Toki may have had more 'raw' talent, but his illness reduced him too much for him to be successor.
Desperation Attack: Tenha Kassatsu. According to Kenshiro, it's an attack that rescues the user from the brink of peril.
Determinator: Ken will not stop until the right thing has been done, preferably with his own fists.
Earn Your Happy Ending: In Ken's Rage, Yuria was Spared by the Adaptation (read more in her entry below), in the game's continuity Yuria never contracted radiation poisoning and Raoh achieved the Musou Tensei for other reasons, so Ken gets to live happily ever after with Yuria in the end. This change is quite strange since it happens in its main (Legend) story mode, all of the other characters who get their respective happy endings get pushed in the Dream Mode territory, it also make Kenshiro's own Dream scenario worthless, he dreams of defeating Raoh and living together with Yuria once again, while the same happens in the main storyline, albeit in the Dream Mode it was for different circumstances.
Easily Forgiven: One of the flaws that Kenshiro gets called upon by fans is the ease and frequency with which he applies this trope towards the most vile and undeserving villains in their final moments, whilst butchering armies of Mooks without a second's hesitation.
The worst case is Kaioh: at least with his other opponents he'd defeated them first!
It generally depends on the Freudian Excuse the villain had. Shin did everything out of his love for Yuria (and was prodded heavily by Jagi, although Kenshiro didn't know that at the time), and Souther did everything out of devotion to his fallen master (however misguided). Jagi, on the other hand, has no such excuses, and as a result is given one of the most agonizing deaths that Kenshiro ever dishes out.
Flanderization: The three-episode New Fist of the North Star OVA series didn't really try to make Kenshiro appear soft and gentle, or a genuine protector of the innocent, making him look like a cold-blooded killer. However, while Kenshiro is a lot harsher and colder in the OVA, the characters were also a lot less sympathetic, and any character he actually felt sympathy for forced him to kill him in one way or another anyway. In fact, none of the villains are sympathetic in the OVA. Furthermore, the smaller amount of characters and the length of the OVA reducing his time spent not killing villains and showing his gentle nature outside of battle much.
Hitman with a Heart: While Kenshiro does not accept contracts to murder people, the Hokuto Shinken art is one of assassination, and Kenshiro is one of its most kind-hearted practitioners, if utterly merciless toward his enemies.
Ideal Hero: "I refuse to build my own future on the blood and tears of others!"
Identical Grandson: To one Professor Kasumi Kenshiro, 62nd Successor of Hokuto Shinken and dean of literature at Tokyo's University for Proper Young Ladies in 1935. The final few story arcs of Fist of the Blue Sky leaves the possibility open that Kenshiro is actually a reincarnation of Professor Kasumi.
I Have Many Names: Feared far and wide as "The Man With 7 Scars", and revered far and wide as "The Savior of Century's End".
In the manga against Baran, a Hokuto Shinken "imitator" who'd been strongly influenced by Raoh: "HOKUTO GOU SHOU HA!!"
And taken to another level in Hokuto Musou: "HOKUTO TENKAI SENRETSU SHO!!!"
Ki Attacks: He can use his "fighting ki" to attack an opponents pressure points at a distance... though, the only time he's ever done this has been Tenha Kassatsu against Souther.
Kung-Fu Jesus: The prequel film Legend of Kenshiro makes explicit allusions to Kenshiro being this trope; right down to his resurrection from being literally crucified by a tyrant, and multiple references to God (Kami-sama) instead of Heaven (Ten).
His title is the "Savior of Century's End"*
for a reason.
Lightning Bruiser: While he may not be the most agile fighter in the show, he's far from slow, and very damned strong to boot.
Also applicable to his Hokuto Musou incarnation; while the Nanto fighters tend to be faster, he's the fastest of the Hokuto brothers and relies on this. ABUSE the dodge cancel or jump cancel for invincibility frames ahoy! And that's not even including Musou Tensei... which in-game gives him fifteen seconds of invincibility frames.
Meaningful Name: In the Hokuto no Ken pilot illustrated by Tetsuo Hara before working with Buronson, Kenshiro's name was written in kanji characters that literally meant the "Fourth Son of the Fist"(拳四郎).
Nice Guy: Very much so. Just do not do anything that can be considered as evil under his eyes, or he will brutally kill you.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Failing to put Jagi out of his misery when he had the chance not only ruined his own life, as well as Yuria, Shin, Rei and Airi, but threw away the lives of countless innocents in the process. Thankfully, Ken learned his lesson, and did not show mercy toward him in their second fight.
Power Copying: Kenshiro is able to learn an opponent's techniques just from fighting or observing them. (When fighting Shu, he claimed that this itself was a Hokuto Shinken technique.) Probably the two most notable examples are how Kenshiro defeated Souther the second time around (he found out that Souther's pressure points were actually on the opposite side from the normal locations), and when Kenshiro confronts Raoh in the Nanto capital, he ends up using both Toki's stance and one of Rei's attacks, after which Rihaku (and in the anime, Raoh) see the spirits of the most notable fighters that Kenshiro has fought and learned from.
More explicitly evoked by a blinded Kenshiro in the anime when several of Raoh's biker troops tried to stop him from reaching the Nanto capital first:- the troops deliberately rev up their engines in hopes that it would drown out the sound of their attack, so Kenshiro drew upon his experience with Shuu to defeat them.
Tender Tears: Being a merciless death machine on two legs notwithstanding, Kenshiro is still one of the most sensitive and kind-hearted men of 1980s manga. He may actually cry these more than Manly Tears, if you can believe it.
Think Nothing of It: Helping innocent people to him is not even a duty, but simply the right thing for a man to do.
Touch of Death: In increasingly elaborate forms. It's sort of his thing.
Tragic Hero: Anyone tied to him via the bonds of family and friendship are doomed to a violent and tragic death; hence his refusal to ever settle down after Yuria's death.
When He Smiles: Kenshiro unsurprisingly doesn't smile much during the series, but when he does, it is the warmest, most loving smile imaginable. Children are the most common reason he'll crack a smile (indeed, the first smile he gives in the series is to Lin).
Wife-Basher Basher: You think Ken's usual techniques are cruel? Then you ain't see what he does to those who dare hit women yet... Whoa boy.
Proclaiming himself 'Ken-Oh' (拳王, the King of the Fist), the Conqueror of Century's End, Raoh is the Aloof Big Brother of Kenshiro and Toki. He leads his army to deliver order to the land with an iron fist. Despite being a cruel and ruthless tyrant, Raoh is shown to have compassion deep down in his heart and mourns for the fact that he has to kill his brothers to achieve his goals, but places his ambition above anything else. He later finds that Yuria is the last Nanto General and eventually admits his love for her and sorrow over her fate, which enables him to learn the ultimate Hokuto Shinken technique Musou Tensei. Later defeated by Kenshiro, he commends his brother and raises his fist, dying in a pillar of light with no regrets.
Anti-Villain: For what its worth, he did make the world a better place.
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: His death could be interpreted as this, since not only did he not leave a body behind when he died, but also died without regrets, a sign of higher understanding of the human condition.
Blond Guys Are Evil: Raoh originally had blond hair in the manga, but was given black hair in the early anime series and movie, although Raoh's earlier design for the movie (as seen in a pre-production teaser) depicted with blond hair. The Shin Kyuseishu Densetsu movies and the video games gave him platinum hair, and the Raoh Gaiden TV series reverted back to his blond hair.
Easily Forgiven: Is revered with honour and love posthumously, despite murdering his own adoptive father, sentencing Rei to a slow and agonizing death and brutalizing anyone else who stood in his way.
Emotional Bruiser: Much as he tries to deny it, he has a heart just as sensitive and kind as his little brother Toki's.
Even Evil Has Standards: For all the blood he has shed to build his empire, Raoh does love and protect his citizens like a father, and does NOT tolerate senseless torture and brutality of helpless innocents who are (despite his issues) loyal to him; as his army of sadistic henchmen who thought he had "disappeared" found out rather painfully... He has a practially chivalrous hatred towards those who beat, kill or rape women. Also see Wife-Basher Basher below.
In Raoh Den: Gekitou no Shou he justifies himself to the ghost of Ryuken by claiming that in effect, his unitary force is actually preventing them from being unleashed onto everyone else, and that he's planning to remove them when the time is right. Fortunately he's not kidding about that last part, but he'd felt that he couldn't tell anyone else.
Despite his ambition to conquer the world, he (like ironically Jagi in Jagi Gaiden) would never completely turn himself away from Hokuto Shinken. Raoh went to Kenshiro's second fight with Souther to watch Kenshiro die, but even he felt obligated to verbally retort when Souther started mocking Hokuto Shinken.
Kung-Fu Jesus: He LITERALLY brings light and hope to the world by giving his remaining-life force to Heaven itself.
Large and in Charge: REALLY large - 6'11" according to his official bio. Only Fudoh and Devil's Rebirth are definitely larger. His imposing presence means he's somewhat rarely drawn larger than them anyways.
The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: He helps Kenshiro escape from Souther's men at one point, and has him bandaged up after the defeat by Souther for this very reason in Raoh Den: Jun Ai no Sho.
Posthumous Character: Became one in the story arcs following his death. It was easy to tell if a character was going to be important by whether or not Raoh was somehow involved in their back-story (see Falco, Jakoh, Akashachi, or any of the Hokuto Ryūken practitioners). Bonus points if the character was actually related to Raoh (like Raoh's brother Kaioh, or his son Ryu from the manga-only final chapters).
Serious Business: He had a real-life funeral arranged for him, although mainly done as a publicity stunt for the second Raoh Den movie.
SNK Boss: As Ken-Oh in the Fighting Game, he got increased offense and defense, and has a new super which fires a huge devasting Kamehame Hadoken (Basically the true version of Tensho Honretsu or Heaven Command Charge) at his opponent.
Wife-Basher Basher: Not only is Raoh one of the few tyrants in the post-war world to have never struck a woman, he himself despises those who do so. This is demonstarted in the manga wherein he literally SLAPS THE HEAD OFF A RAPIST who served in his army upon finding out the bastard has been up to his old tricks in his absence. This major Pet the Dog moment is unfortunately ruined in the animated adaptation, wherein the slapper is changed to Kenshiro.
The second of the Hokuto Shinken brothers, Toki uses Hokuto Shinken as a healing art, working out of his "Village of Miracles". He is also Raoh's blood brother, and the two of them trained under Ryuken after leaving the Land of Shura (originally after their home village was destroyed). Although he is as skilled as Raoh in Hokuto Shinken, he is dying of radiation poisoning and does not fight unless he is pressed to do so.
The Ace: Subverted. Toki's radiation sickness saps much of his physical might, which, even though he's still one of the absolute deadliest fighters in the entire FOTNS universe, severely handicaps him from being the top. If he WASN'T affected by radiation sickness, Toki could easily be called the most enlightened, physically capable, unbeatable human being on the face of the planet.
Badass: Originally chosen to be the successor to Hokuto Shinken before contracting radiation poisoning, and roughly on-par with Raoh even while succumbing to his illness. Just let that sink in for a moment.
Bittersweet Ending: In Toki Den, after the events of the last battle with Raoh, instead of getting entangled into the Ryuga plotline he apparently returned straightaway to his village and his de facto girlfriend, presumably to live out his remaining days in peace.
Heroic Sacrifice: Twice. He contracted radiation poisoning after closing the doors of a containment shelter from the outside to save Kenshiro, Yuria, and dozens of women and children. Then he agreed to go peacefully against Ryuga to awaken true sadness in Kenshiro and help him unlock Musou Tensei.
Subverted and played straight at the same time. While letting Raoh go was partially out of love for his brother and not wanting to see him die, he acknowledged that if the three of them kept fighting, they would all die that day. Ken, Toki, and Raoh all agree that a world with all of them dead is far worse off than one with them all alive.
Hope Bringer: Oh so much. He dedicates his life to easing the pain of the forsaken and defending the weak.
The third of the four Hokuto Shinken brothers, and one of the top contenders of being the most ruthless, sadistic character in the series (competed with Souther). He is outraged that Kenshiro received the succession and attempts to kill him, but Kenshiro easily beats him and disfigures his face in the process. Now forced to wear an iron mask to hide his ugly face, he swears revenge and convinces Shin to kidnap Yuria as a slight against Kenshiro. He also gives himself seven scars and calls himself Kenshiro to tarnish his brother's reputation, killing anyone he doesn't fancy. He also fights dirty, using weapons in battles meant to be fought hand-to-hand.
Accidental Hero: In his Dream Mode in Ken's Rage, this is what the entire plot is all about. He and Amiba show up at a village to raid it, only to arrive a fraction of a minute after the Fang Clan and Zeed arrive, joining the villagers' favor over to their side simply by showing up and killing them. Then they manage to run into Souther's army while pursuing Zeed and the Fang Clan, eventually managing to defeat the entire Nanto army as a result, and actually earning recognizion as a Hokuto Shinken user from both Kenshiro and Toki in the process. And then when they finally decide that enough is enough and decide to take revenge on Kenshiro and Toki once and for all, it is later revealed that they actually defeated another set of impersonators, boosting their reputations even more while actually believing they had enacted their revenge.
Bad Boss: It's a miracle Jagi even HAS henchmen, considering his complete willingness to slaughter them on a whim.
Berserk Button: Rape his girlfriend to death and then gloat about it? You're dead. Call him by his name instead of Kenshiro's while he's dirtying Kenshiro's name? You're dead. Anything involving a "little brother"? You're dead. Reel in terror at his disfigured face? You're really, really, REALLY dead.
Black Sheep: Jagi is a disgrace to Hokuto Shinken AND a disgrace as a human being. It's no coincidence that the "Hokuto brothers" means Raoh, Toki, and Kenshiro; even in Hokuto Musou, Jagi is considered "Unique" type instead (the same category as Mamiya, both being weapons-based characters). Things have changed in the 2nd game, as Jagi is constantly labelled as one of the Hokuto Brothers and the interface pits him along Kenshiro, Raoh and Toki, even though still gets forgotten after his death, like in all other adaptations.
Calling the Old Man Out: Happens twice with Ryuken during the Jagi Gaiden manga, and both times it is a defining moment in Jagi's life. First, Jagi calls him out for not teaching him Hokuto Shinken (which Ryuken did not want to do because he loved Jagi as his adopted son and wanted to spare him the tragedy that befalls practitioners of Hokuto Shinken). Eventually, Ryuken relents. This is a bad idea. The second time is after the bombs have fallen and Jagi's lost his girlfriend. He threatens Ryuken and calls him a fool. Kenshiro does not approve, and the rest is history.
Combat Pragmatist: Jagi makes using underhanded tactics into an art form. He spits needles while charging, uses a gun, and picked up a pillar to use against Kenshiro. The arguably ultimate example of this is where he makes a hole in a oil tanker, jumps on said tanker, and sets the oil on fire while Kenshiro is down on the ground. It didn't work, but it's such a great example that it was made into Jagi's Fatal KO in the Arc System Works fighting game.
Despair Event Horizon: He clearly was close to losing all sense of hope completely when the bombs dropped, but he truly crosses it shortly after the death of his girlfriend Anna after being raped at the hands of a gang. Combined with the news of Kenshiro's succession shortly after, this is what drove him to flat-out monsterdom.
Dirty Coward: Has the ignonimy of being the only Hokuto practitioner to beg and grovel for his life in the tradition's entire 2000 year history.
Evil Chancellor: He serves this role temporarily to Shin, kicking off the series. One of his many, many moments of pure unadulterated assholeness.
Fate Worse Than Death: Despite being spared by Kenshiro in their first fight, Jagi had to use metal implants to stop his head from erupting, causing him excruciating pain and fueling his desire for revenge against his little brother.
For Want of a Nail: So much could have gone better had his minions in Jagi Gaiden not gotten to him in time to give him the bad news about Kenshiro's succession...
Freudian Excuse: The Gokuaku no Hana manga does reveal many of the reasons he grew up the way he did.
Give Him A Normal Life: Jagi was Ryuken's adopted son, an orphaned child whom Ryuken rescued from certain death. As such, Ryuken refused to teach Hokuto Shinken to Jagi, since not only could he not show favoritism, he also wanted to spare Jagi the tragic fate that follows practitioners of Hokuto Shinken.
Gonk: In the Yuria Den OVA, child Jagi resembled a psychotic gremlin.
One time mocking a defeated Kenshiro during training: "Only those who can overcome their feelings of anger and hatred can learn Hokuto Shinken!"
And of course, his sheer drive over "the younger brother exceeding the elder," when Jagi's own ambition growing up was to exceed both Toki and Raoh.
I Have No Son: Played with. In Jagi Gaiden, Ryuken refuses to let Jagi call him father when he decides to teach him Hokuto Shinken, as their relationship has changed from father/son to master/pupil, but it's not really disowning him so much as establishing the change in their relationship. However, Ryuken does later shun Jagi after he becomes more ruthless and underhanded.
Jerkass: He's easily the biggest dick in the whole series. In fact, his feud with Kenshiro is basically the catalyst that caused a considerable amount of the conflict in the series.
In Hokuto Musou, he even have a move where he removes his mask and scares the enemy.
Parental Favoritism: Subverted: Jagi thinks Ryuken will not teach him Hokuto Shinken because he prefers Raoh, Toki and Kenshiro over him. The complete opposite is true: Jagi is the favoured one, since Ryuken sees him as a son, not a pupil.
Ryuken's three talented students... and Jagi: After Jagi's death, he is never mentioned again for the remainder of the manga and whenever Ryuken's students are mentioned, they usually refer to them as the "three Hokuto brothers", leaving Jagi unaccounted. This can be justified at first, since Jagi has already played out his role in the story after his end, but even when Toki (and later Raoh) dies, the series continues to act as if only Raoh, Toki, and Kenshiro mattered (especially considering Jagi had no role in the Shura story arc).
Sibling Rivalry: Most prominently with Raoh, since Toki and Kenshiro actually cared for Jagi and tried to not be competitive, but eventually Raoh overshadowed Jagi WAY too much for the rivalry to be sustained. However, when his rivalry with Kenshiro blossomed, it became the driving force in Jagi's life.
The Unfavorite: Jagi feels this way because of not being taught Hokuto Shinken.
Unreliable Narrator: Though Jagi Gaiden is commendable in not making everyone else in Jagi's life a Jerkass (like most Sympathetic Murderer retellings unfortunately do) while still making him a genuinely sympathetic victim, unless the manga itself is endorsed as canon by Buronson and Hara, it can only be at best viewed as the warped and deeply biased flashbacks of an already mentally-disturbed individual; further twisted out of context by an exploding brain in the final moments of his life.
Shin Hokuto Musou (which supersedes Jagi Gaiden in canon) makes no mention of Anna whatsoever, which would imply that she was a manifestation of the love that he failed to understand in his lifetime.
“Well Done Son” Guy: One of the reasons Jagi wants to learn Hokuto Shinken is that he desperately wants Ryuken's approval, failing to realize that Ryuken does not want to teach Jagi Hokuto Shinken because he loves him, and that there was no need to seek his approval at all.
Subverted upon Kenshiro's succession (when Jagi found out) and when he's dying: Jagi came to hate Ryuken, but never could completely turn himself away from Hokuto Shinken.
The first major adversary in the story, Shin is also the first of the Nanto Rokuseiken*
(South Dipper Six Holy Fists)
masters to appear. Shin is the successor of the Nanto Koshūken *
(South Dipper Lone Eagle Fist)
style and carries the fate of the Star of Martyrdom. Shin was secretly in love with Kenshiro's fiancee Yuria, but refused to do anything about it until Jagi convinced that Ken was too weak to protect her from the horrors of the post-war world. After defeating Ken in combat and engraving the seven scars on his chest, Shin took Yuria with him and amass his own army of loyal thugs, taking on the title of "King" and establishing the city of Southern Cross as his kingdom.
Air Jousting: Probably the most famous example of this trope is when he crosses aerial kicks with Kenshiro in their battle.
All There in the Manual: The name of his martial art style was unknown until it was revealed in the All About the Man guidebook, which established it to be Nanto Koshūken.
Badass: Not only the first warrior to put up a decent fight against Kenshiro, but also the one who gave him the seven scars after a nasty beat-down.
Bad Boss: His introduction shows him executing mooks who had the audacity to survive a fight with Kenshiro by running away.
Despair Event Horizon: If Yuria's failed suicide attempt wasn't a big enough hint, she unconsciously whispers Kenshiro's name, finally breaking Shin's hope. He entrusts his love to the Five Chariot Stars shortly afterwards and resigns himself to fight Kenshiro to the death, sure that if Kenshiro wins, Yuria will be taken care of.
Heel Face Turn: The Dream Mode of Hokuto Musou is basically one to make Shin finally have a genuine Heel Face Turn by finally comprehending about good and love rather than being a dickhead about it all along.
Love Makes You Evil: His obsession with Yuria turned him to the dark side, with a little goading from Jagi.
Love Redeems: When he meets the Chariot Stars and learns that Raoh is coming to Southern Cross, he prefers to entrust Yuria to them instead of allowing Raoh, who's much more ruthless, to have her. He then tricks Kenshiro into thinking she's dead to keep her safe from Raoh, before dying in battle with his former friend.
Posthumous Character: In the manga, his character was fleshed out throughout postmortem flashbacks after his arc was over, particularly when it came to his position within the Nanto Rokuseiken; the revelation about Yuria's survival was one.
Retronym: Since Shin was the first Nanto Seiken practitioner introduced in the story and the future of the manga was uncertain at the time, his specific style was never given a proper name. After other Nanto branches were subsequently introduced, Shin's own style became retroactively known as Nanto Koshūken.
Starter Villain: He sets off as Kenshiro's old nemesis, but doesn't last beyond the first story arc.
Token Motivational Nemesis: In the manga, he is unceremoniously killed in the end of the tenth chapter, having served his purpose of giving Ken his scars, traumatizing him and taking Yuria away from him. Given somewhat better character development and treatment in the TV series' Adaptation Expansion, where he gets his own moment of glory when he thwarts a traitorous General and his entire Army by himself.
The second of the Nanto Rokuseiken, Rei is the successor of the Nanto Suichōken style *
(South Dipper Waterfowl Fist)
, who represents the Star of Justice. He wanders the wasteland looking for his kidnapped sister Airi, who was abducted by "The Man With The Seven Scars". He runs into Ken and Mamiya while they battle the Fang Clan, and eventually discovers that the Fang Clan are holding Airi hostage. After teaming up with Ken, he saves Airi and Ken reveals his seven scars to Rei. Rei laughs it off, saying that he's seen that Ken is far too kind of a person to do something like kidnapping. He later comes into conflict with Yuda over Mamiya's time as Yuda's slave.
Adaptation Dye Job: From black in the manga to light blue in the Toei anime. This caused some problems when it was time for him to be Locked into Strangeness. The 1986 movie streamlined this by giving him white hair from the beginning.
His bleached hair in both Hokuto Musou games is more of a faded teal color.
Amazon Chaser: Rei finds Mamiya very attractive and respects her courage and strength, but he would still rather have her stay on the sidelines, if only because he's not comfortable with the idea of her getting hurt.
Anti-Hero: Whilst searching for his kidnapped sister, before reverting back to a straight-up hero later on.
Bad Ass: Rei is the only hero other than Kenshiro to take out a major villain in the original series.
Cruel and Unusual Death: Rei is the only protagonist in the entire series to die in the usual Hokuto-caused way: gorily and painfully (even if he does get to keep a complete corpse). A discretion shot is used to not show him dying this way explicitly, almost as if the creators themselves wanted to spare him the indignity. This just drives home how utterly tragic his death is.
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: A milder version: Rei forbids Mamiya from despairing over his death, instead asking her to live life fully from then on.
Dying Alone: To spare his friends the displeasure of seeing him die explosively, Rei locks himself in a house to die by himself. As if his death wasn't tragic enough...
Dying Moment of Awesome: Right after he dies, at the funeral (read: burning the house down) Mamiya stares into the heavens and realizes that she cannot see the Death Star anymore. Anyone who sees the star is doomed to die soon, NO EXCEPTIONS. Mamiya is the only character in the series spared this fate because Rei gave his life to save her.
Famed in Story: If Kenshiro is about to instill an asskicking on someone and reminisces about following the path laid by those who came before him, Rei will ALWAYS be shown front and center, even over Toki.
Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: When he first appears, his alignment as a potential hero or villain was pretty ambiguous, so he was drawn with rather shifty eyes. It isn't until his good guy credentials are established that he's drawn more consistently with big eyes.
Go Out with a Smile: DoubleSubverted. After bidding his friends goodbye with a warm smile, Rei is stricken with a look of intense pain just before dying... but when Mamiya looks up to see the Omen Star of Death gone, she sees Rei's smiling face right next to the Big Dipper.
Mr. Fanservice: To the point where he was given a de facto hentai doujin-disguised-as-manga, Soukoku no Garou: Hokuto no Ken Rei Gaiden ("Bloody Wolf of Blue Darkness: Fist of the North Star Rei Side Story").
Sacrificial Lion: After forming a strong bond with Kenshiro and his True Companions, as well as receiving plenty of attention as a major character, Rei is the first one to fight against Raoh. It ends badly. The anime even uses his death to mark the end of the second story arc of the first series.
Senseless Sacrifice: As a show of gratitude to Kenshiro, Rei tries to take down Raoh to spare him. Raoh dooms Rei to a slow, painful, helpless death.
Stay in the Kitchen: He did say that Mamiya shouldn't get involved in physical fights since she is a woman but it was more out of concern and noble chivalry (as well as budding feelings) than generic Jerkassery. Since she wouldn't listen, he decided to make his point more bluntly.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Practitioner of Nanto Seiken? Kenshiro's best friend? Hopelessly in love with a woman he can't have? Sounds a lot like Shin in his younger days...
The relationship is inverted in this case. Whereas Shin was Ken's friend until he turned evil, Rei wasn't exactly on the best of terms with Ken when they first met. Interestingly, the reason why both were after Ken (or in Rei's case, the man with seven scars) was because of Jagi.
Taking You with Me: Dankou Sousaiken is meant to be this... except Raoh counters it point blank so he avoids getting to die with Rei.
Tender Tears: He sheds these for the suffering of Mamiya, the one true love of his life.
Yuda is the one of the Nanto Rokuseiken, representing the Star of Beauty/Enchantment (also known as the Star of Deception, or Star of Betrayal). In the past, he trained alongside Rei in the ways of Nanto Seiken, but grew to resent him as Rei's Nanto Suichōken style was considered more elegant than his own Nanto Kōkakuken style *
(South Dipper Crimson Crane Fist)
. He gathers his own army, the UD gang, and uses them to gather concubines for himself, leaving them to his men when he considers them no longer beautiful. He had kidnapped Mamiya at one point, but she escaped and he eventually discovered her location, bringing himself into conflict with Rei.
Berserk Button: As the original Fighting Narcissist, Yuda goes ballistic after receiving some minor cuts on his face.
Camp Straight: Possibly. The guy looks like a walking Camp Gay stereotype, but he's introduced with a harem of women. It's his comments after his defeat at Rei's hands that make the whole thing ambiguous.
Combat Pragmatist: Knowing Rei's style depends on his footwork, Yuda chooses his battlefield to be flooded by the breaking of a dam, resulting in the mud bogging Rei down and Yuda's Razor Wind based style to cut him up. Still loses, though.
Flanderization: The Ten no Haoh spinoff (or at least the animated adaptation) took Yuda's eccentric and treacherous side, topped it OVER NINE THOUSAND, and cast a screeching, reckless caricature instead of the devious opportunist he really was.
Razor Wind: Whilst most Nanto styles make some use of this, his Nanto Kokakuken particularly favours long-ranged attacks.
Rummage Sale Reject: Even for the show's standards, especially for a major character. Nice, uh, scarf...
Sissy Villain: Nail polish, makeup, higher voice tone than most of the cast, flamboyant mannerisms and flashy outfits... Yup.
Spell My Name with an S: Yuda, Juda or Judah? Yuda is the literal transliteration of his name, which in turn is the Japanese transliteration of Judas Iscariot's name, but Juda gets the point across quicker.
What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Yuda is named after Judas Iscariot, the infamous 13th disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ. Yuda himself betrayed the Nanto Seiken school by joining Raoh's army at the time of the Nuclear War.
The strongest of the Nanto Rokuseiken and the self-proclaimed "Holy Emperor", Souther is the Star of Leadership and the successor of the Nanto Hō-ōken style *
(South Dipper Phoenix Fist)
, a style that can only have one successor. A ruthless tyrant who seeks to conquer the world like Raoh. Unlike Raoh, he does this not to promote stability in the wasteland, but merely to satisfy his own ego. He targets children for use as slave labour on his "Holy Emperor's Mausoleum", a massive pyramid that he intends to use as a everlasting symbol of his reign, which also doubles as a monument to honor his master that he had to kill to master his style. Of the armies opposing Raoh, his is by far the most formidable and he also claims to be immune to Hokuto Shinken.
0% Approval Rating: In Hokuto Musou, Souther's own soldiers will periodically betray him because of how cruel he is. Shin even uses this to his advantage.
Animal Battle Aura: Gets one in the anime in the shape of a phoenix, befitting his Nanto Hō-ōken.
"Fine, You may band the wounds on Shuh's legs: All it will cost you is your family's life! Go on, go right ahead!"
Better to Die than Be Killed: In Shin Kyūseishu Densetsu, Souther takes a leaf from Shin's book and kills himself instead of dying at Kenshiro's hand.
Blond Guys Are Evil: In both the manga and the anime adaptation: Unlike Raoh, the art directors decided to let him keep his original hair (and skin) color, making him the picture of an idealized "Aryan Superman" that Raoh was also meant to represent.
Blood Knight: So supremely confident in his invincibility that he welcomes with relish any attempt to take his life, just so he can prove the would-be assassin wrong.
Evil Laugh: For someone who claims to have no emotions left, he REALLY loves doing this.
Its even better in Hokuto Musou: his laugh can kill people from a distance!
Evil Sounds Deep: His villainous bass is impressive as is (as in, one could be forgiven for assuming voices didn't naturally come that deep), but his ability to project is what knocks him out of the park with this trope.
Fallen Hero: Subverted. Despite showing all the signs of being a fine young man, and his master's every intention that he grow up to be a hero, Souther never did anything heroic after becoming the master of Nanto Hō-ōken.
Jabba Table Manners: Sets up a banquet of a dozen courses just to watch the attending slave children shake in hunger at the sight of it. After eating less than half a plate, he smashes the entire table, ordering all the scraps to be thrown into the trash, just so he can take twisted joy in watching a child being beaten for trying to eat a single drumstick.
Light Is Not Good: He's associated with crosses and bright light, and he's called the Holy Emperor.
Made of Iron: While everyone who masters a certain school's technique is one, Souther's the most literal one, so much that his blocking pose in the fighting game is simply him showing off his chest. Subverted when it's revealed that his pressure points are just reversed, after which he proves just as vulnerable as any of the other strong martial artists Kenshiro has already fought.
Meaningful Name: "Souther" is an actual word meaning "southerly wind", which seems to fit in with both, the fact that he is the strongest of the Nanto (South Dipper) successors, and the avian Theme Naming of their martial arts.
Redemption Equals Death: In the anime, not long after Shuu's blood seeps out from under the stone that crushed him, the Holy Cross Pyramid starts to inexplicably crumble and collapse, and Souther makes no attempt to escape its destruction.
Spell My Name with an S: "Souther" or "Thouzer"? One would think its Souther, seeing how his style is Nanto Seiken (or "South Dipper Holy Fist") after all, but more recent merchandise seems to favor the "Thouzer" convention. That's not even counting other variations such as "Thouther", "Sauzer" or even "Thoutoher". Strangely, in Ken's Rage, it's spelled Thouzer, but the English voice actors pronounce it as either "Suh-ther" or "Sow-zer"
Start of Darkness: It began with 'To master Nanto Hō-ōken... you have to be tricked into killing your beloved master and father'.
Straw Vulcan: It can be said that Souther is a heavy-handed (though totally valid) example of the kind of villain you become when you cynically claim to give up your emotions.
“Well Done Son” Guy: Well, he tried. Though his kind-hearted old master would most likely weep tears of shame at what his beloved son has done in his memory, after all the trouble he died for.
If you successfully use Souther's "Fatal KO" Tenshō Jujihō in the fighting game, he poses and declares while an image of his late master appears and declares, "Your Holy Cross Pyramid will be completed soon!"
and the Nanto Star of Benevolence. Before the nuclear holocaust, Shuh was once Souther's second-in-command and challenged a very young Kenshiro to a death match between their rival martial art schools. Shuh defeated Ken, but instead of taking his life as the rules ordered him to, Shuh forfeited his eyesight to Souther, sensing the untapped potential within Ken. Years later, he leads a resistance against Souther's army.
Cruel and Unusual Death: After carrying a capstone up Souther's pyramid with severed tendons in his legs, he is then bombarded with arrows, skewered with a javelin thrown by Souther himself, and finally crushed under the capstone.
Papa Wolf: Arguably the greatest in the series next to the big guy Fudoh himself... his love for his children conflicted with his duty as a warrior; costing him a priceless opportunity to slay a completely defenceless Souther; then his dignity, and finally his life.
Spell My Name with an S: "Shu", "Shuu", "Shuh" or "Shew" ? Depending on the Kanji, 'Shū' can mean "kick", and Shu's style, Nanto Hakuroken, specializes in just that.
Tender Tears: Has a heart that is softer than both Kenshiro and Toki's.
Too Good for This Sinful Earth: One of the very few unambiguously good person in this wasteland torn by nuclear fire. Even Raoh, who would usually sneer at benevolence, reverently admits "a magnificent end."
The first of the Goshasei (Five Chariot Stars), the five guardians of the Last General of Nanto, who faces Ken-oh. The leader of Wind Brigade, Hyui carries the fate of the Chariot Star of the Wind and uses a style where he slices his opponent using air currents.
Apologetic Attacker: The only person in the series to utter the words "forgive me" after killing a henchman.
Razor Wind: Controls the actual element of wind, whereas the other Nanto fighters concentrate air pressure.
Spell My Name with an S: A promotional poster released by Raijin Comics when they were publishing the short-lived "Master Edition" of the manga spells his name as "Huey". Supposedly he was named after singer Huey Lewis.
We Hardly Knew Ye: Only lasted two episodes. In the manga, he dies faster than Zeed does.
The second of the Goshasei and leader of the Crimson Army, Shuren carries the fate of the Chariot Star of Flames and is a master of the "Gosha Enjo Ken" style (the Five Chariot Fiery Passion Fist), which allows him to cover his body in flames. He leads his army against Ken-oh to avenge the death of Hyui, his younger brother.
The Chariot Star of the Clouds, Juza is a master of his own self-taught martial art style with fighting skills said to equal that of Raoh's. A childhood friend of Yuria, he fell in love with her while growing up together and wanted to pursue a relationship with her until he learned that they were half-siblings from the same father. After the war, Juza began living a carefree life of promiscuity, indifferent to the battle between Raoh and the Last General of Nanto, until he learns the true identity of the Last General.
Defiant to the End: Rather than betraying Yuria, he decides to meet his end by insulting Raoh.
Demoted to Extra: The fight scene between himself and Raoh was omitted in the Shin Kyuseishu Densetsu movies and he only makes a cameo appearance as one of the spirits attending Ken and Yuria's wedding in the last of the five films, Kenshiro Den.
Once a terrible outlaw known as "Fudoh the Ogre," Fudoh was a self-centered ruffian who cared about nobody else until a young Yuria stood up to him to protect a pregnant dog. He learned the importance of life from this experience and became Fudoh of the Mountains, one of the Goshasei, as well as a protector to all children. When Ken-oh begins to mobilize his army to the Last General's lair, Fudoh is dispatched to make sure Kenshiro gets there first.
Adorkable: His clumsiness is what makes him endearing as a character.
Badass: He's the first man to inspire fear in Raoh, and even though Fudoh loses against him, Raoh nearly retreats.
Badass Adorable: Fudoh is a big cuddly teddy-bear of a sweetheart who is kind to children, and is the only character to really qualify for this trope in the franchise (Mamiya is far too butch to be adorable and adult Rin is too much of a Distressed Damsel to be Badass).
Doomed Moral Victor: Raoh may have killed Fudoh's physical body, but Fudoh absolutely demolishes the tyrant's belief in himself as a man:
"My body may die; I may be reduced to but a single drop of blood. But those with courage will rise time and again to face you; while you, Raoh, will live for the rest of your life but a mere terrified coward!!"
The Dreaded: Before his Heel Face Turn he was this, scaring the crap out of Raoh. He still knows the trade, as he was able scare the crap out of him again while Raoh was killing him.
The Chariot Star of the Ocean and leader of the Nanto Goshasei. Unlike the other Goshasei members, Rihaku possesses no martial arts training (in the manga), but he is a military strategist. He prepares a series of booby traps for Raoh when he attacks the headquarters in search of Yuria.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If it weren't for the traps he put to fight Raoh, Raoh wouldn't have escaped from his fight with Kenshiro, nor captured Yuria on his way out.
Non-Action Guy: In the manga, he had no actual martial art skills, but rather his speciality came from his military planning and his ability to set up traps. The anime gave him his own fighting style (Gosha Hasuiken or "Wave Crush Fist") and had him have a tussle with Raoh.
Sole Survivor: Of all the Nanto Goshasei, only Rihaku survives his battle with Raoh and helps Bat and Lin form the Hokuto Army in the second series.
A young boy who decides to follow Kenshiro as his self-appointed sidekick and manager after witnessing Ken's battle with Zeed. At first, Bat seems to be nothing more than a spoiled brat who sees Ken as a tool for his own self-benefit. He gradually matures as he witnesses the hardships Kenshiro and his friends and rivals have to go through, as well as witnessing the death of his mother figure Toyo at the hands of Jackal. After Kenshiro leaves with Yuria, an Older and Wiser Bat becomes the second-in-command of the Hokuto Army.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In the manga's final arc, he refuses to marry Lin, who falls in love with him under Kaioh's spell that made her fall in love with the first person she makes eye contact with, wipes her memories, and tries to hook her up with Kenshiro, the person she's had a crush on for years.
Joke Character: He once tried to be this when up against one of Amiba's Mooks, trying to punch one of the soldiers and tricking that soldier into thinking that he somehow performed a Hokuto Shinken move on him, deliberately invoking Kenshiro's own catchphrase and mannerisms. It worked: the frightened soldier froze in fear, leaving Bat to run off and leave the humiliated goon be.
A young mute girl who was traumatized after witnessing the deaths of her family at the hands of bandits. She befriends Kenshiro when he wanders into her village, who helps restore her voice by using one of her vital points. After being rescued from Zeed by Kenshiro, she follows him into the wasteland and becomes a loyal traveling companion. Years after Raoh's defeat, she forms the Hokuto Army with Bat as they fight off the now-corrupt Army of the Heavenly Emperor. She later finds out that she is the twin sister of the current Heavenly Empress, Lui, whom she was separated from when they were infants.
Adaptational Badass: In Ken's Rage 2, like Mamiya before her, she can use a crossbow. She can also pick up a makeshift mallet, something Mamiya herself cannot do in the first game.
Combat Stilettos: After the time skip, when leading the Hokuto Army alongside Bat.
Cute Mute: Before Kenshiro restores her voice in the first chapter.
Dumb Struck: As a result of seeing her family murdered right in front of her.
Faux Action Girl: As an adult. Ken's Rage 2 averted this, having her being as armed as Mamiya.
Kenshiro's fiancée, she grew up alongside Kenshiro and his brothers at Ryuken's temple. Several men fell in love with her (Raoh, Toki, Kenshiro, Juza, and Shin), but she loved only Kenshiro. After Kenshiro was named successor, she was captured by Shin and kept against her will in Shin's stronghold of Southern Cross. Unable to tolerate the atrocities Shin was committing in her name, she attempted to take her own life until she was saved at the last minute by the Nanto Goshasei, who revealed that Yuria is the Star of Motherly Compassion and destined to become the Last Warrior of Nanto.
Adaptation Dye Job: From black in the manga to red (or violet during the Southern Cross arc) in the Toei anime.
The Heart: She's the only member of the Nanto Rokusei *
(South Dipper Six Stars)
who does not possess any actual martial art skills, but her kindness and compassion can move the hearts of even the most merciless of tyrants.
MacGuffin Girl: Kenshiro, Shin, Raoh and the Goshasei all fight to find or protect Yuria.
Posthumous Character: Yuria seems to become this at first after the Southern Cross arc, where she is mentioned a lot by other characters. Doubly Subverted in that she's not actually dead at all and then dies for real.
Save the Princess: Kenshiro's objective in the first arc is to save her from his old rival Shin. Later, she gets kidnapped by Raoh to lure Kenshiro for their final battle.
Silk Hiding Steel: Such is the unconditional love and compassion of Yuria, the fiancée of Kenshiro, that even the tyrant Raoh, whose fists could shatter Heaven and Earth itself is utterly helpless before her redemptive kindness.
Single Woman Seeks Good Man: For all the violent and cruel warlords wanting her as their consort, Yuria loves Kenshiro for his kind and caring nature.
Spared by the Adaptation: In Ken's Rage, while the game follows the manga very closely, with only a few cuts then and there, a major point in Raoh's reason to achieve the Musou Tensei and consequently Yuria's fate was changed. Here he achieves it just for laying his hand against Yuria (not for sadness due Yuria's radiation poisoning and her impending death). In his last words he even says that Yuria will live for several more years (originally she lived just one year after Raoh's death), in fact, in the game, Yuria's radiation poisoning isn't mentioned at all.
Sadly corrected in Ken's Rage 2, the game follows all of the source material till the very end, so Yuria living through all of it would force the plot to be changed drastically.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Lavender/purple in the anime. Interestingly, it was a natural shade of red in the flashback where Shin kidnapped her. No explanation for her change in hair color is given. And then it turns gold during the Last Nanto General arc. Again, no explanation is given. In Hokuto Musou it's purple at all times.
Zettai Ryouki: Her outfit after she is revealed to be the Last General of Nanto.
A kind-hearted philanthropist, Toyo is an old lady who takes it upon herlself to become a mother for orphans who lost their parents to death or abandonment. Raising them in the saftety and prosperity of an oasis, she once took in a foul mouthed but tender-hearted pickpocket called Bat as her own son, until he left to give his smaller siblings more food to eat. The well in her garden is a magnet for marauders, barely kept at bay by her possession of one of the few remaining rifles in the world. Her cold-blooded murder at the hands of Jackal sent Kenshiro on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge of huge proportions...
A female resistance leader whose village is being assaulted by the Fang Clan. Her brother Kou is murdered by them and she vows revenge. After she helps Ken and Rei rescue Rei's sister Airi from the Fang Clan, Rei falls in love with her. Yuda, unfortunately, finds her whereabouts, coming to collect her, as she was one of his concubines before becoming leader of the village.
Action Girl: Though still prone to getting captured, Mamiya is still one of the more heroic and competent women of 1980's shonen.
Defeat by Modesty: Rei, who was beginning to feel for her, symbolically defeated her by ripping off her clothes to expose her body and prove that, no matter how much she denied it, she was still a woman and that she had no business on the battlefield.
Hotter and Sexier: In the Hokuto Muso game however, there are a lot of Fanservice shots of her, her clothing now includes a thong and transparent skirt and her breasts are about twice as big.
Team Mom: If Ken and Rei are the fists of the team, she is easily the heart.
Tsundere: One of the earliest prototypes. She seems Type A around Rei and Type B towards Ken. She isn't called a Fiery Redhead for nothing.
Weapon of Choice: Apart from her bladed yoyos, combat needles (Gabishi) and a crossbow.
Xenafication: While Mamiya was pretty badass compared to most of the other women in the original manga, her skills are greatly exaggerated in both the Arc System Works fighting game and in Hokuto Musou, to the point that she can fight on the same level as the Hokuto Shinken and Nanto Seiken successors. This may be due to her being based on the very badass manga Mamiya rather than the distress-prone anime version, although even then beating up Raoh is a bit of a stretch.
Zettai Ryouki: One of her outfits in the manga consists of a miniskirt and thigh-high boots with heels.
Rei's younger sister, who was kidnapped by Jagi on the day of her wedding and then sold into slavery. The Fang Clan got hold of her after they killed her previous captor and used her as leverage against Rei. Such was Airi's suffering that she blinded herself in despair. She was rescued by Rei and Kenshiro, the latter of whom restored her sight. She remains in Mamiya's village and gains the courage to stand up and defend herself with the help of Lin when Ken-Oh's army invades the village.
Adaptation Dye Job: From blond in the orignal manga and Hokuto Musou to pink in the TV series to blue in the movie.
The 63rd successor of Hokuto Shin-Ken and the man who trained Kenshiro, Jagi, Toki, and Raoh. He eventually chose Ken as his successor, prompting Raoh to challenge his decision by refusing to surrender the art. He almost defeated Raoh, but suffered a stroke before delivering the finishing blow, giving Raoh the perfect opportunity to finish him off. Whenever Kenshiro or one of his brothers faces an ordeal, they reflect back on Ryuken's teachings.
Doppelgänger Spin: Uses one against Raoh. One that travels in a Big Dipper-shaped path, no less!
Horrible Judge of Character: Subverted, Jagi believes Ryuken is this but actually he never intended Jagi to the successor in the first place and Jagi was infact a pawn to train the real succesor.
Jerkass: For the sake of producing a savior, Ryuken is willing to throw children down canyons to test their strength and expels students too weak (like Kim) to advance onto higher levels of training to fend for themselves. For a great warrior, Ryuken is truly lousy father material.
Subverted, if you believe Jagi Gaiden, which has a much more flattering view of his personality.
Succession Crisis: With his older students turning to evil or falling to illness, Ryuken ultimately put faith in the younger and more naive Kenshiro.
Raiga and Fūga
Voiced by: Yuji Mikimoto (Raiga) and Ikuya Sawaki (Fūga)
The twin gatekeepers of Cassandra. They are masters of the Nishin Fūraiken style, a martial art that can only be practiced by twin brothers with the same physique and mentality. They work for Uighur, who has their younger brother Mitsu held hostage.
Ascended Extra: They survived a bit longer in the anime, where they get to fight their former sensei in one filler scene.
, a style in which he scoops the chunks of his victims' flesh while leaving them with a feeling of bitter coldness. Ryuga's star is the Heavenly Wolf Star, also known as Sirius, a solitary star destined to serve the Hokuto Shinken successor. Ryuga is actually Yuria's elder brother, who pledged his loyalty to Raoh after witnessing the chaos of the post-war era. At first, he believes that only Raoh can restore peace and order through his sheer force, but begins to question his loyalty when he meets Kenshiro, his sister's fiancé.
Anti-Villain: Only wanted peace for the new world, but misguided in his actions.
Expanded upon in Shin Hokuto Musou, where it's better established that he killed a number of innocents in order to see if Kenshiro was the hero the world needed.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Invoked. He wanted to bring out Kenshiro's sadness and anger so he learn Musou Tensei could gain the power to defeat Raoh - something that Toki tried to do previously when he first fought Raoh.
Love Martyr: Harbored unrequited feelings for Raoh, and took her own life in front of him just so that Raoh would remember her. Raoh was unimpressed.
Voiced by: Eiji Kanie (TV series)
A giant mo-hawked ruffian with the characters "Z-666" tattooed on his head, Zeed is the leader of the Z-Gang, a biker gang that has raided numerous villages and delivery crew for their food and water supply. A man who does not know the meaning of mercy, Zeed and his gang are notorious for killing even women and children. As the main villain of the manga's very first chapter, Zeed falls prey to Kenshiro's Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken (Hundred Crack Fist) technique.
Would Hit a Girl / Would Hurt a Child : Kenshiro was exhausted and dehydrated to the point of death when he was trapped in that cell with Bat... and then hearing that Zeed is infamous for the above two tropes gave him the Heroic Second Wind to LITERALLY tear the bars off his prison to kick evil's ass.
One of the four lieutenants in the KING organization and the first one encountered by Kenshiro, Spade is the weakest of the group, barely above the average punk in strength. Not really a martial artist, Spade uses a variety of weapons like a wrist-mounted crossbow, dual axes and a spear to fight.
Kick the Dog: In the manga, Diamond forces a little girl to hold up her father who has a noose around his neck, a scene inspired by Frank's most despicable act in the movie Once Upon a Time in the West.
The scene was too cruel to adapt for the anime, so in that version he forces a father to play the "William Tell" archery-game with his son balancing the targeted-can on his head.
Monster Clown: His face paint makes him resemble one in the manga.
The third of the four KING lieutentants, Club is a martial artist trained in the Praying Mantis style and enhances it with the addition of iron claws. Known for training in his style by butchering unwilling, helpless villages, Club is suprised when Kenshiro is more than a match for him.
The last of the four KING lieutenants, Heart is a large overweight fighter whose stomach is composed of a rubber-like substance capable of absorbing any external impact, earning it the nickname the "destroyer of martial arts". Ken faces Heart in the throne room of Southern Cross.
Acrofatic: In the anime, he jumps off a cliff by doing a somersault before fighting Ken.
Affably Evil: When calm. He seemed to be the only nice guy in Shin's army as he scolds his own men for harassing a Bartender. Unfortunately he changed as soon as he noticed that he actually got his hand cut by a shard of broken glass in which that cut drew blood.
Ascended Extra: In the manga, he was a Giant Mook who lasted for only four chapters before he was killed (and only two episodes in the TV series). However he's a recurring character in various video games despite his fairly minor status (when it comes to Shin's card-theme named minions he is usually either given the most attention or the only one to get any attention). His popularity can be attributed to the fact that he is one of the first adversaries in the manga who proves to be more than a mere pushover against Ken.
There's a reason why he's called "Mr. Heart" (or "Heart-sama") and everyone else is just "Spade", "Diamond", and "Club".
He's even a playable character in Hokuto Musou via DLC, and he's unique in that he's a "Special" type character who doesn't use weapons. Instead, his body literally is rubber-like, as he can inflate his belly and hand. Also he can breath fire and fire a beam of ki from his mouth.
Kung-Fu Proof Mook: due his Kevlard he's apparently immune to Kenshiro's pressur point strikes. At least until Kenshiro moves the fat and hits his pressure points once, that's it.
Macho Camp: One of the fairly uncommon confirmed cases of this in the whole shounen genre namely in the TV show, as just before he fought Kenshiro he was admiring Kenshiro's marvelous physique in a flirty tone of voice. (Though that doesn't seem to be the case in the movie though.)
Wake Up Call Boss: The last and most powerful of Shin's Quirky Mini Boss Squad, and the first villain to beat Kenshiro until he vomited blood onscreen, reminding us that even our hero is still human.
What Could Have Been: Mr. Heart was originally going to be renamed "Elephant" in the 1986 to go along with the animal-themed naming of Jackal and Fox (Jagi's other two underlings in the movie).
Voiced by: Kōji Yada (TV anime, movie)
The founder and leader of the Golan organization (God's Army in the anime), a military gang composed of religious zealots, the Colonel is a veteran warrior gifted with extra-sensory perception who also mastered the deadly Nanto Seiken art of Nanto Muonken*
(South Dipper Silent Fist)
, which uses claws and boomerangs. The Colonel was once a patriotic member of the elite Red Beret special forces, until he lost his faith in his country when he was summoned to a meeting with the corrupt politicians and businessmen who actually controlled his nation. After his superiors inadvertently caused the nuclear holocaust, the Colonel and his Red Beret soldiers survived and they eventually founded the city of Godland, attributing their survival as a divine destiny. His army kidnaps young women in order to use them as breeding stock for his soldiers.
Demoted to Extra: In the TV series, he went from being the feared leader of his own organization to a deluded lackey of Shin who worships him as a god. He had it worse in the movie, where he was simply an informant who is killed by Shin without putting much of a fight.
Rummage Sale Reject: Averted. The Colonel and his men holds the distinct honor of being the only characters in the entire franchise (not counting Souten No Ken) to wear a complete and recognizable modern set of clothing that is not dishevelled, torn, missing sleeves and/or liberally mixed with Arabic/Medieval/Viking elements.
Social Darwinist: Believes that men who are unfit to join his army must be eliminated.
A ruthless biker who roams the deserted wasteland with his gang in search of a new hideout. He possess no real martial art skills, but fights using concealed blades and dynamites, and is a bit more cunning than the average thug. He incurs Kenshiro's wrath after he kills Bat's adoptive mother, Toyo, although he manages to elude him for awhile, Ken eventually catches up to him. He eventually tricks "Devil's Rebirth" into fighting Kenshiro by tricking Devil into believing that they're long-lost brothers, but this eventually proves to be his ultimate undoing.
Animal Theme Naming: The members of his own gang (including himself) are all animal-based, although only two of his lackeys are named in the manga (Fox and Hawk).
Bad Boss: Gleefully betrays his employees long as it can be profitable to his wealth or health.
Demoted to Extra: Despite his role as a central villain in an entire story arc of the manga, he appears in the movie as an unfortunate lackey of Jagi whose head gets blown up by him just for taking a peek at his unmasked face. Even in the TV series, he's nothing more than an underling for Shin whose ass gets saved by Joker on one ocassion.
Genre Savvy: The reason why he never fights Kenshiro directly.
"If you want to live through old age, never pick fights with people stronger than you."
Kiba Daioh is the leader and patriarch of the Kiba Ichizoku (Fang Clan), a tribe of mountain bandits whose members are garbed in wolf fur. Kiba Daioh is a giant man who has mastered the art of Kazan Kakuteigi *
(Mt. Hua Horn Wrestling)
, an ancient martial art said to be the root of modern Sumo wrestling. He has the ability to to turn his flesh into steel.
Big Badass Wolf: His entire clan's thematic motif is that of wolf-skin clad Mongolian Warriors.
A Toki impersonator who attempted to tarnish his reputation by taking his identity (managing to change his face and reproduce the scar on Toki's back) and taking over the "Village of Miracles". A former student of Nanto Seiken, Amiba dropped out from the school and then attempted to imitate Toki's use of Hokuto Shinken as a healing art to steal his thunder. After Toki scolded him for misusing Hokuto Shinken on a patient, Amiba joined Ken-oh's Army and then began capturing villagers to experiment with them on his pressure point experiments in order to perfect his version of Hokuto Shinken.
Adaptation Dye Job: From black in the manga to white in the Toei anime, likely done to avoid the Continuity Snarl of Amiba being able trick Kenshiro when Toki's hair was whitened during the Nuclear War. His natural hair color though, is blond in the anime.
Toki Gaiden fixed the original manga's issue by giving Amiba white hair when posing as Toki.
Clipped Wing Angel: He enters a Super Mode by pressing his own power points to bulk up, only for his hands to explode and physique to regress back before he even had a chance to attack, leaving him completely defenseless.
Disproportionate Retribution: This guy becomes a sadistic murderer in order to ruin Toki's good name in retaliation to... being accidentally slapped in the face.
Easy Impersonation: Subverted somewhat. Amiba manages to disguise himself by literally rearranging his face so that he looks more like Toki and even goes as far as to reproduce the scar on Toki's back. The only real oversight is that Kenshiro later reveals that Toki's hair was whitened due to nuclear fallout, yet he is still tricked by Amiba's black hair. In the anime version, this was corrected by giving Amiba white hair.
In Hokuto Musou it's black hair, but Rei immediately calls him out (albeit not for this reason).
The Warden of Cassandra Dungeon, a prison city where many of Raoh's enemies are locked-up, never to see the light of freedom again. A giant Mongolian warrior who wield really sharp and long Taizan (Taishan) style whips and a powerful shoulder tackle, Uighur preserved Cassandra's Legacy as an inescapable prison until he fought Ken. He is one of the few villains to give Kenshiro a good beating.
Evil Laugh: One of the most ridiculous/hilarious ones ever recorded.
A bounty hunter hired by the Imperial Army who wants to claim the reward on Kenshiro's head to support his "little lady" (actually his daughter). Kenshiro beats him, but spares his life, and then does a Heel Face Turn and joins the Hokuto Army with Bat. He uses an unorthodox fighting style which he dubs "Kenka Kenpo" (the "art of brawling").
Badass Normal: He never received any formal martial art training, but he's still more powerful than the average mook.
Emotional Bruiser: "I understand how Falco feels! Anyone who kills women and children are NOT human beings!!"
Happily Adopted: In the anime and Hokuto Musou, Asuka is actually his adoptive daughter. Her real mother was a young widow who befriended Ein before she herself was killed by bandits.
Heroic Sacrifice: Dies from his injuries after rescuing Lui and the others by punching his way from a flooding underground dungeon. Kenshiro wears one of his gloves in honor of his sacrifice for the remainder of the series.
Spell My Name with an S: An actual spelling variation exists in the original Japanese media due to a misprint in the early editions of the manga. The Japanese spelling of the elder Harn brother varies between Bazu (バズ, with a dakuten)and Hazu (ハズ, without a dakuten). The anime went with Hazu, but the Kanzenban reprint of the manga replaced all instances of Hazu with Bazu.
, a martial art which destroys the opponent's body on a cellular level with ki-based attacks. He is the sworn guardian of the Celestial Empress Lui. Although an honorable man, he is forced to do Jakoh's evil bidding when the Empress is kept hostage.
Anti-Villain: The only reason he's considered to be a villain at all is that he works for Jako, who is holding the Celestial Emperor hostage.
Artificial Limbs: One of his legs is a prosthetic, having sliced his real one as a truce offering to Raoh. It is implied that he might had been more powerful than Ken had he still had both of his legs.
Worf Had The Flu: Kenshiro notes that Falco was still recovering from their fight when the Mook overpowered and wounded him to death. As soon as Kenshiro restores him to a semblance of health, he proves him right by wiping the floor with his killer.
Worthy Opponent: He starts out like this, but once the Empress is rescued by Bat and Lin, he does a Heel Face Turn and kills the true mastermind Jakoh. Unfortunately he does not last long as one of Ken's allies.
The Governor General of the Imperial Army, a corrupt opportunist who is blackmailing Falco and Gento masters to do his evil bidding. In the past, Falco was ordered by Raoh to dispose of Jakoh, sensing his evil intentions. But Falco couldn't bring himself to do it, since Jakoh was raised by Falco's mother as one of her own. After Falco's mother passed away, Jakoh took the opportunity to usurp the Heavenly Empress by locking her away in a secret dungeon and use the Gento masters.
Actor Allusion: His voice in the anime is provided by Shigeru Chiba, who in addition to being the show's narrator, also voiced the Filler Villain Joker. Given who Jakoh was modeled after, the casting of Chiba as Jakoh was obviously deliberate.
Non-Action Big Bad: Pretty rare for this series, but he relies on his sons Jask and Shieno (or Taiga and Boltz in the anime) to enforce his will.
Voiced by: Michihiro Ikemizu
A General of the Imperial Army and fellow practitioner of the Gento Kōken, also known as "Solia of the Purple Light". He lost his right eye during a sparring match with Falco, but still respects the man in spite of that. He challenges Kenshiro under orders from Falco.
Anti-Villain: He all but admits he's only fighting Kenshiro to ensure he's ready to face Falco.
A General of the Imperial Army and close friend of Falco. Shoki once encountered a wandering Kenshiro and Yuria sometime after the battle with Raoh and provided shelter to the two by allowing them to stay in his home village, where Yuria spent the rest of her days in peace. Years later, when Jakoh took over the Imperial Army, Shoki tries to convince Falco to rebel with him.
Ascended Extra: In the manga he was just a common acquaintance of Falco and Kenshiro who was unceremoniously killed off by one of Jakoh's sons. In the anime he is one of the four Gento Generals who serve under Falco (the other three being Solia and two filler villains) and gets to show off a bit of his Gento expertise against Kenshiro at one point.
Ki Attacks: Red, but only in the anime (he only uses his brute strength in the manga).
Meaningful Name: Named after the Chinese guardian deity Zhong-Kui, who awarded his best friend with his beautiful sister's hand in marriage. Before becoming an Imperial General, Shoki was a village guardian who provided shelter to Kenshiro and Yuria during Yuria's final years. Kenshiro pays him back by defeating Shieno for him.
Remember the New Guy: Kenshiro recognizes him the moment the Hokuto Army first encounters him, even though he never appeared in the series up to that point. Admittedly it occured during the Time Skip.
Lin's estranged twin sister and the Celestial Empress. She was separated from her sister when they were only babies and taken hostage by the despicable Jakoh. He uses her life to blackmail the Gento warriors, such as Falco, into servitude and forces them to destroy rival martial arts in the name of the Celestial Empress.
Akashachi ("Red Orca") is the Captain of the pirate ship in the world, the "Dual-Hulled Orca", who helps Kenshiro cross the Dead Sea (the last remaining sea on Earth) to reach the Land of Asura. He was separated from his son Shachi years ago when a hundred of his men were slaughtered by the Nameless Asura.
The estranged son of Akashachi the Pirate, who was separated from him when Akashachi and his crew were in the Land of Shura. To protect his girlfriend Leia from the authorities, he decided to train in the art of Hokuto Ryūken style *
(North Dipper Shining Stone Fist)
under Master Jukei, adopting the identity Rakshasa the Asura-devouring beast, and hunts down Shura fighters.
Eyepatch of Power: Pick up his father's after sacrificing his left eye in order to convince Hyoh to let him through, while carrying the gravely injured Kenshiro.
Mysterious Watcher: He first appears as a mysterious cloaked figure watching Kenshiro from afar.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He has quite many similarities to Rei: first appears as a man who's willing to cast away his morality in order to achieve his goal (liberating the people of Shura), becomes a straight-up good guy after meeting Kenshiro and fiercely loyal to him, has a woman he loves and devotes himself to, dies after fighting against the Big Bad before the latter is defeated by Kenshiro, says his final words to his lover before passing away. His hair is also white like near-death Rei.
The Third Rasho (a title which loosely translates to General of Shura) and the first of the Hokuto Ryūken masters Kenshiro faces in the Land of Shura. Always under the threat of assassination, he claims to have lost count of the number of assassins he disposed after the hundredth time. His style uses hurricane-like techniques and are fast enough that they don't leave any trails of a shadow. Han is the one who reveals to Kenshiro that the Land of Shura is his birthland.
Badass: Such as having a harem of beauties, willingly drinking poison to mock his assassins, and his ball-breaking fight with Kenshiro.
BloodKnight: He has no respect of anybody's life including his own when fighting.
The Second Rasho and Kenshiro's biological elder brother. After he and Kenshiro were separated when they were young, his memories of his brother were sealed away by Kaioh. Admired and praised by the common folks of Shura for being a benevolent ruler compared to Kaioh, he turns insane and becomes possessed by an evil fighting aura when his fiancée Sayaka is killed and is told by Kaioh that Kenshiro was the killer. He is the only one who knows the location of the secret technique of the Hokuto master family.
The big bad of the second series, Kaioh is the First Rasho, as well as the strongest of the Hokuto Ryūken masters. Kaioh is covered in a black armor which he wears not for protection, but to control the dark energy he possesses known as Matouki (the evil battle aura), which can only be possessed by those who were driven insane by Hokuto Ryūken. It turns out that he is Raoh and Toki's true blood brother, who went insane after his mother died while protecting an infant Kenshiro.
Composite Character: Think Souther's Oedipus Complex turned Up to Eleven mixed with Raoh's character design, add a few facial scars, shake and bake. Heck, even the manner in which Kaioh dies jumping into the air and falling into Kenshiro's fist is exactly identical to the blond-haired Nanto Hōōken master's.
Cool Horse: His horse Hayabusa-Maru is just as large as Kokuoh-Go, only completely red.
One of the most powerful Hokuto Ryūken practitioners, as well as a protector of the Hokuto Sōke bloodline, Kuroyasha was once Kenshiro's guardian when he was an infant. When Hyoh goes insane and orders the destruction of his blood brother Kenshiro, Kuroyasha goes to his lair at Raseiden to defeat Hyoh.
The previous Hokuto Ryūken successor, Jukei was the one who sent Kenshiro, Toki, and Raoh to train under Ryuken when they were children. Jukei also trained Kaioh and Hyoh (as well as their friend Han) in the ways of Hokuto Ryūken hoping they could save the already war-torn Land of Shura from its oppressors. However they ended up becoming oppressors themselves when they became the Rasho after the nuclear war. Jukei then trained a fourth student, Shachi, but he too fell to the ways of violence. With no other hope left, Jukei expected Raoh to become the next Hokuto Shin-Ken successor and save Shura from Kaioh's tyranny. But when it is Kenshiro who arrives to Shura in Raoh's place, he decides to settle matters himself...
A low-class Shura warrior who has literally not made a name for himself yet, he is a master of Shura Nindō, a style of Ninpō taught at Shura. At the mere age of 14, he killed a hundred of Akashachi's men during his failed attempt to raid the Kingdom of Shura. Years later, when Falco went to Shura in search of the kidnapped Lin, the Nameless Shura took Falco by surprise and gave him a fatal blow. Only with Kenshiro's help was Falco able to recover his strength and defeat him.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Many fans have voiced their disgust at how a nonentity like the Nameless Shura managed to wound one of Kenshiro's mightiest rivals from the second series.
The technical possibility of Falco losing so easily was explained by the fact that Falco still hadn't recovered from nearly-fatal damage taken in the fight with Kenshiro. Still, story-wise this was perhaps the most pointless and spiteful death in the series.
A high-class Shura warrior who claims to have defeated most of his adversaries in less than two minutes each, earning him the nickname "Alf of the Hourglass". He is one of the first Shura warriors Kenshiro faces in his venture into the kingdom.
Unnamed Parent: His mother is conveniently unidentified. Fans speculate that it may had been Yuria, who could have been impregnated by Raoh while she was under his captivity, if Raoh truly took advantage of her. The fact that she is hinted to be pregnant in the prologue of Kenshiro Den gives credence to this theory, assuming the child isn't Kenshiro's. However, Buronson and Hara have said nil about the subject. Other candidates includes Reina (Raoh's female general who appears in the movies) and Toh (who may have had an affair with Raoh at some point).
The first villain of part 3 of the manga, Kouketsu was an extremely minor henchman of Raoh who used his Genre Savviness to first create fertile, prosperous land and then enslave the people living near it. Responsible for the deaths of Ryu's foster parents.
Adults Are Useless: Toyed with when Kenshiro refuses to intervene, telling Ryu that he must "fight his own battles." Then averted when Ken steps in and saves the day, anyway.
The penultimate villain from the manga. Baran was once a young member of Raoh's army, who hoped to learn Hokuto Shinken to take revenge on God, believing He took the life of his little sister. Some years later, Baran takes over the once peaceful city of Blanca, and becomes known as the "Emperor of Light." He uses the power of Hokuto Shinken to dupe the people into believing he is a Messiah and spares no mercy to the unbelievers.
Straw Atheist: Is waging his own personal war against God because his sister died. Reconverts near the end to the odd monotheistic Buddhist/Hindu/Astrology mishmash that is Fist of the North Star's main religion.
The final villain in the manga, Bolge was a Mook whom Kenshiro had spared (but cut out his eyes), and went insane. he grafted all sorts of weapons to his body and went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against every single person who had wronged him in the past. Unfortunately, by the time he reaches Ken, Ken has lost his memory. It's up to Bat to save the day...