Warning: The entire page contains major, unmarked SPOILERS for the entire series, so beware!
Celestial Emperor Arc
A bounty hunter hired by the Army of the Celestial Emperor, Ein wants to claim the reward on Kenshiro's head to support his "little lady" (actually his daughter Asuka). Kenshiro defeats him, but spares his life; convinced by Bat to help the weak and liberate the populace from the tyranny of the Celestial Emperor and his army, Ein joins the Hokuto Army. He uses an unorthodox fighting style which he dubs "Kenka Kenpo" (the "art of brawling").
- Badass Normal: Ein has no formal martial arts training, but he's still more powerful than the average mook.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: No Supernatural Martial Arts here - he's just a self-taught brawler who happens to be strong enough to punch down a mountain.
- Cool Car: He has a Bulldozer With a recliner seat and nitrous oxide injectors.
- Eagleland: Ein exists as a giant love letter to the American action heroes of The '80s.
- Emotional Bruiser: Lampshaded"I understand how Falco feels! Anyone who kills women and children are NOT human beings!!"
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Probably the only straight example in the series, since he's more of a brawler than a martial artist.
- Happily Adopted: In the anime and Ken's Rage, Asuka becomes his adoptive daughter. Her real mother was a young widow who befriended Ein before she was killed by bandits.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dies from his injuries after rescuing Rui 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.
- I Have a Family: Ein will always ask his targets if they've got a lucky lady waiting for them at home (complete with a pinky hand gesture), so he knows whether or not to feel guilty about the can of whoopass he'll be opening.
- This gets turned on him in his fight against Kenshiro, who deduces he has a lucky lady of his own due to the inner sadness Ein seems to be displaying in their fight. As a result, Ken pulled his punches while Ein was expecting his end then and there.
- Loveable Rogue: Bounty hunter or not, he's an admirable guy
- Mighty Glacier: Relatively speaking. He has the strength to match a trained martial artist, but not the speed.
- Nice Guy: In Ken's Rage, it's shown Ein is respectful and protective of women.
- Papa Wolf: Do anything to harm Asuka and you're pretty much screwed. In the manga, Mooks decide to kill his daughter when Ein was away to free a district from the Army of the Celestial Emperor with the Hokuto Army. Ein goes to his daughter's aid just in time and punches so hard his fist goes straight through a thug's face.
- Tender Tears: Sheds them when Rin and her sister Rui are reunited
- Unskilled, but Strong: His strength and straightforward brawling style will allow him to easily defeat most people, but he is hopelessly outmatched by anyone who has diligently trained in martial arts.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: His outfit is covered in stars and stripes.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: The "hammer" in this case being Ein's fists. He has enough punching force to shatter rocks and kills bad guys simply by punching them into a bloody mess, so after Jakoh makes Ein, Bat and Lin fall into a pit and they find out a steel device that blasts rocks when hit with enough force (originally intended to dig pits for water), they figure that by activating it, the subterranean water will push them out, but they have no tools to activate it... except for Ein's inhuman punch force. He literally breaks his arms punching it, and although he suceeds, his bleeding arms' and body injuries (from blocking a huge boulder that fell on him from crushing the whole group) are too much and he dies soon after that.
Two convicted wrestlers previously captured by Ein, wanted by the Army of the Celestial Emperor for rebelling against them, Buzz and Gill Harn have been imprisoned for attempting to defeat Falco multiple times, but failed. Freed by Kenshiro and Ein, the brothers journey with the Hokuto Army to combat the Celestial Emperor. In reality, Buzz and Gill are masters of Nanto Sōyōken ("South Dipper Twin Hawk Fist"), who not only seek to defeat Falco in order to avenge the deaths of other Nanto Seiken users by his hand, but to assist the successor of Hokuto Shinken, proclaiming that "when Hokuto moves, so must Nanto".
- Animal Motif: Just like the Nanto Rokusei Ken masters before them, their fighting style is also patterned after a bird, in this case the hawk.
- Beauty = Goodness: Very much subverted. Though they may not look much different than the common post apocalyptic thugs, they are actually quite heroic and selfless fighters. One notable example of this is when they volunteer themselves to carry out a suicidal task of blowing up a warhead to kill off Falco (who is unwillingly serving Jakoh at this point) and his soldiers.
- Badass Boast: They approach Falco and his forces with a bomb they threaten to detonate killing both his soldiers and the Hokuto army. Falco responds thusly.Falco: Don't you realize you'll blown up as well?Buzz (smirking): Look into my eyes and say that again.(beat)Falco(to his soldiers): Withdraw.
- Death by Adaptation: In the manga, Gill outlives his brother and helps out Hokuto Army take down Jakoh to avenge Buzz. In the anime, he's not as lucky.
- Emotional Bruiser: Gill
- He Will Not Cry, So I Cry for Him: In the manga, when Asuka refuses to cry at Ein's funeral so he can rest easily, Gill sheds tears in the brave little girl's place.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Blatantly based on Road Warriors "Hawk" and "Animal"
- Nuke 'em: Buzz attempts to stop Falco with a bomb to give the Hokuto Army enough time to escape from the Army of the Celestial Emperor. Falco's soldiers shield him with their own bodies, making Buzz's Heroic Sacrifice meaningless.
- Only One Name: Inverted; they are the only characters from the manga with a surname.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Both are Nanto Seiken practitioners and proud of their arts to the point where they have the Nanto Flag on their person as a belt. They oppose Falco and the Gento practitioners because they've been killing off other Nanto practitioners.
- Scary Black Man: Played straight initially with both brothers, but averted with Gill in the manga. See He Will Not Cry, So I Cry for Him
- 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.
Falco is the successor of Gento Kōken ("First Dipper Imperial Fist"), 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 Emperor and will do whatever it takes to protect him. Although an honorable man, Falco is forced to do Viceroy Jakoh's bidding, as Jakoh has kept the Emperor hostage and will kill him without hesistation if Falco disobeys his orders.
When Rin and her older twin sister Rui were born, Jakoh ordered Falco to kill one of the twins, as two heirs to the throne of the Celestial Emperor violated the law. Fortunately, Falco could not bring himself to kill an infant, and relegated to bringing Rin under the care of his aunt and uncle, far away from Jakoh's knowledge. When Rin is kidnapped by Jakoh's son Jask and taken to the Land of Shura, Falco heads to the land ahead of Kenshiro to retrieve her, but is untimely defeated by an unknown Shura warrior upon arriving. He manages to avenge his loss by killing the warrior with Kenshiro's help, but Falco's wounds takes its toll and he dies at peace, knowing his wife Myu is carrying his child, who will succeed him as heir to Gento Kōken.
- A Father to His Men: Most interestingly about Falco, is that unlike many elite or master mooks who treat their soldiers as cannon fodder, disposing of them for cowardice like Shin, or lord over them gaining their obedience and allegiance through fear like Raoh, Falco is repeatedly called "The Light that Moves our Hearts!" constantly by his soldiers/sons. He is also seemingly unconditionally loved by a lot of people, even though he and his corrupt superior Jakoh have enslaved them to power his fancy lighthouse, and to keep his equally rotten rich friends in fine clothing. If you'll see below, this can be related to the deal he made with Raoh during those turbulent times and now a great many people; citizen, soldier and forced labor alike all look to him as much of a messiah as the world does to Kenshiro of Hokuto, so much so that they're all willing to fight and die to protect his well-being from any threat. This means at the very least the members of his golden army, and many other Gento Masters.
- Anti-Villain: The only reason he's considered a villain is because he's working for Jakoh.
- Artificial Limbs: His left leg is a prosethetic, sliced just above the knee, as a truce offering to Raoh to pass through and not harm the Celestial Emperor's village during the early days of his campaign to conquer the world. It's implied that he might had been more powerful than Kenshiro had he still had both of his legs.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: In his bid to defeat the "Nameless Shura" at the start of the next arc, Falco requests the use of the pressure point Sekkatsukō; it works and Falco swiftly defeats his foe, but succumbs to his wounds post-combat.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: After serving as Kenshiro's rival for a story arc and killing off Jakoh, Falco is mortally wounded by a Nameless Shura at the start of the next arc.
- Emotional Bruiser: Falco's soldiers state he has no tears left to cry; instead, it's his prosthetic leg that does the weeping whenever Falco staggers. Note also he wouldn't have spared an infant Rin if he didn't have a heart.
- For Want of a Nail: He really should have listened to Raoh's advice to kill Jakoh. Had Falco had the willpower to do so, everyone in his village and city later on would've been better off. Even better, the Celestial Emperor wouldn't have been held hostage, and he wouldn't have been humiliated on a daily basis. Instead, he spares the asshole when he sees his mother crying.
- Ki Manipulation: The basis of Gento Kōken
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: His facial appearance is based on Dolph Lundgren.
- Worf Had the Flu: Kenshiro notes that Falco was still recovering from their previous fight when the Nameless Shura overpowered and wounded him to the brink of death. As soon as Kenshiro restores him to a semblance of health via the Sekkatsukō pressure point, Falco proves him right by wiping the floor with his killer.
- Worthy Opponent: He starts out like this, but once Empress Rui is rescued, Falco pulls a HeelFace Turn and kills Jakoh. Unfortunately, he does not last long as one of Kenshiro's newest allies.
Governor-General of the Army of the Celestial Emperor and his Viceroy, Jakoh enforces the Celestial Emperor's will to the world with an iron fist. At the same time, he's also a corrupt opportunist; to that end, he secludes the Celestial Emperor from Falco and his Gento masters to do his bidding, else the Emperor's life is forfeit. During Raoh's campaign to conquer the world, just before leaving Falco's village, Raoh advised Falco to kill Jakoh, sensing his evil intentions, but also so that Falco could maintain peace. However, 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 Celestial Emperor's power by locking her away in a secret dungeon beneath the Imperial Capital.
- Big Bad: Of the Celestial Emperor arc
- Darkness = Death: This is Jakoh's greatest fear, because the Seven Stars of the Northern Dipper (北斗七星), the symbol of Hokuto Shinken, shine their brightest in the darkest night. To fight this, Jakoh surrounds himself with as much light as possible in order to drown out the night sky. Just being in the dark is enough to send Jakoh into a blind panic.
- Dirty Coward: He repeatedly shows signs of cowardice, and easily snaps due to a major fear of the dark.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Inverted. Falco's mother raised Jakoh as her own and loved him dearly. When Falco seriously considered killing Jakoh at Raoh's advice, he stayed his hand when he saw his mother crying and praying silently for Jakoh's life. Left to his own devices, Jakoh lived to bring misery and death to countless people as a result of his adoptive mother's mercy.
- Fantastic Light Source: The Imperial Capital shines so brightly it lights up like a giant light bulb. This is because Jakoh developed a fear of the dark after his encounter with Raoh left an overwhelming terror in him.
- Jerkass: He's easily angered, cruel, and prone to beating on his inferiors should they aggravate him. Jakoh is never pleasant to be around.
- Laser-Guided Karma: When Rui is finally saved, Falco kills Jakoh in an act of vengeance, burning him alive. For added irony, Falco's Gento Kōken represented the light to Hokuto Shinken's darkness. In the end, it was the light that killed Jakoh, not the darkness.
- Light Is Not Good: Jakoh is primarily associated with light. The Celestial Empire has progressed in the post apocalypse into relying heavily on electrical energy and as such the capital is always bathed in bright electrical light. Jakoh fears the dark and revels in the production of artificial light. His empire is also built on the backs of slaves who keep the light on with their backbreaking labor and Jakoh himself is one of the most depraved characters in the series. Fittingly, much like the Joker from DC comics, Jakoh's color palate and dress all stew towards whites and bright colors.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Pretty rare for this series but he is totally incapable of fighting, since he relies on his sons Jask and Shiino (replaced by "Taiga of the Green Light" and "Boltz of the Blue Light", both renegade Gento masters, in the anime) to enforce his will.
- Practically Joker: Based on The Joker
Solia is a general of the Army of the Celestial Emperor and fellow practitioner of 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.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the manga, he attacks Kenshiro on Falco's orders and after he's defeated, he claims he sacrificed his life for Falco. In the anime, he attacks Mamiya's village and kills the village's elder in order to draw Kenshiro out, expressing no remorse for his actions, and never mentions Falco.
- Anti-Villain: He all but admits he's only fighting Kenshiro to ensure he's ready to face Falco.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: His death in the manga.
- Eyepatch of Power
- Ki Manipulation: Rather than gold/yellow like Falco's, Solia corresponds with purple.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger with an eyepatch.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: The first serious adversary Kenshiro fights during the second half of the manga.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: The only other user of Gento Kōken in the manga (Shok was only a Gento practitioner in the anime), yet only appears to fight Kenshiro.
Another general of the Army of the Celestial Emperor and a close friend of Falco, years earlier before the story arc, Shoki encountered a wandering Kenshiro and Yuria sometime after his duel with Raoh and provided shelter to the two by allowing them to stay in his nearby home village, where Yuria spent the rest of her days in peace. When Jakoh became Viceroy to the Celestial Emperor, Shoki time after time attempts to convince Falco to rebel against the corrupt official.
- Ascended Extra/Adaptational Badass: In the manga, Shoki was merely a common acquaintance of Falco and Kenshiro, only to be unceremoniously killed off by one of Jakoh's son Shiino. In the anime, he is one of four Gento generals who serve Falco (the other three being Solia, Taiga and Boltz) and gets to show off a bit of his Gento expertise against Kenshiro.
- Ki Manipulation: Red, but only in the anime (he uses 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 the guardian of his village, providing Kenshiro and Yuria a safe shelter before Yuria passed away. Kenshiro repays the favor by hurling the spear Shiino used to kill Shoki back at him.
- Remember the New Guy?: Kenshiro recognizes him the moment the Hokuto Army encounters him, despite having never appeared in the series up to that point. Admittedly, it occurred during the Time Skip.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Just as soon as it seems like Falco is able to smuggle Shoki out from the Imperial Capital, Shiino assassinates him.
A Governor of one of Tentei's captured lands he issues the bounty on Lin and Bat when they defy the empire. He's a Villain of the Week who's most distinguishing feature is that he bears a strong resemblance to Hulk Hogan.
- '80s Hair: Big ol' blonde mullet.
- Badass Mustache: A horseshoe mustache.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: His main attack is to grab something with his arm and spin his entire body, twisting and tearing off whatever he's grabbed. Naturally Kenshiro No Sells it and turns it back on him.
- Hope Crusher: When an underling accidentally captures two random people when pursuing Bat and Lin, Basque orders them to be executed publicly. It doesn't matter that they aren't the real duo but that everyone thinks they are so that their deaths can simultaneously crush the hope that Bat and Lin bring with the rebellion.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He's Hulk Hogan.
The Celestial Emperor (Tentei) is the successor of a royal family to whom Gento Kōken is sworn to protect. Representing the "Imperial Star" (better known as Polarisnote ), the unnamed Emperor rules much of the wasteland following Raoh's death, ensuring his reign is everlasting and unopposed. With the mighty Falco and Jakoh at his beck and whim, the people are at the Emperor's mercy, until the Hokuto Army began its rebellion, led by a returning Kenshiro, to combat his tyranny, liberating one district after another, all the way to the Imperial Capital.
In reality, the Celestial Emperor is Rui, Lin's estranged, older twin sister. The two were seperated when they were babies, upon which Jakoh ordered Rin to be put to death, as neither one can compete for the throne. However, Falco showed mercy and had the infant Rin taken to safety, thus Rui ascended to become the Emperor. Unfortunately, Jakoh took Rui hostage, proclaiming himself as her representative, and blackmailing Gento Kōken masters into servitude, forcing them to destroy rival martial arts in her name.
- Big Bad: Averted
- Long Bus Trip: Post-Celestial Emperor arc, Rui is neither seen nor mentioned again.
- Long Lost Sibling: She is Lin's estranged, older twin sister.
- Twin Telepathy: As Rin draws closer to the Imperial Capital, she hears the Emperor's voice via ESP.
Land of Shura Arc
Hokuto Ryūken (北斗琉拳; "North Star Lapis Lazuli Fist") is a fighting style which branched off from the main Hokuto bloodline along with Hokuto Shinken. Like its counterpart, Hokuto Ryūken uses 1109 keiraku hakou ("destructive channeling points") Pressure Points of the human body as the basis of its techniques. In contrast to Hokuto Shinken who manipulates touki, Hokuto Ryūken masters use matouki (魔闘気; "evil fighting spirit"), with results that can drive its practitioner to The Dark Side. The three Rasho (羅将; "The Lords of Shura") that Kenshiro faces in the Land of Shura arc are all masters of Hokuto Ryūken.
The Third Rasho of the Land of Shura and the first Hokuto Ryūken master Kenshiro faces, Han is constantly under the threat of assassination. He claims to have lost count of the number of assassins he disposed of after the hundredth time. His style of Hokuto Ryūken uses hurricane-like techniques that are so fast they don't leave trails of a shadow, including strong wind currents with his fists. As Han succumbs to his wounds during his fight with Kenshiro, he reveals that the Land of Shura is where Kenshiro was born.
- Anti-Villain: In the manga, where he's remarkably short on Kick the Dog moments compared to most other Shura. He's a respectful Worthy Opponent to Kenshiro who spends most of his time fending off assassins with a mixture of amusement and boredom, and even spares a couple of them on the grounds that they don't look like they'd put up an interesting fight.
- Badass Mustache: An immaculate chevron moustache that resembles Freddie Mercury's. It's actually a badge of his badassery - he has it trimmed by Shura soldiers in the hope that one of them will try to slit his throat and give him a fun fight.
- Blood Knight: He's an apex predator in an empire built on violence, and he's constantly on the lookout for someone who can provide an entertaining challenge - it's why he's so friendly and open-minded where assassins are concerned.
- Chunky Updraft: Exaggerated. During his fight with Kenshiro, they're both pumping out enough ki to lift massive boulders into the air around them, which they sometimes either use as cover or throw at each other.
- Disney Villain Death: After being beaten down by Kenshiro, he falls off his castle and plummets hundreds of feet into a river.
- Even Evil Has Standards: His final words are spent warning Kenshiro to turn back instead of fighting Hyou. Considering he knows Ken's origins, he doesn't want the two brothers fighting each other.
- Kick the Dog: The anime gives him a couple, casting incidents from the manga in a less sympathetic light:
- He's introduced meeting a newly inducted Shura who'd fought enough to earn a title. Han kills the man when he admits that he doesn't want anything as a reward and simply wants to serve him. It's especially noteworthy for how pointless the act was (Han killed him because he had no ambition) and how the man came off as one of the more pleasant Shura. In the manga, meanwhile, he simply refuses the man's service and then kills him when he attempts to backstab him out of fear.
- When a servant tries to kill him with poisoned wine, he feeds it to his dog as a test and it dies. Then he drinks the poison anyway, gloating that it has no effect on him. In the manga, he simply hands it back to the servant without drinking it and asks her for something less poisonous.
- Lightning Bruiser: He's one of the few people who can come close to matching Kenshiro in speed, strength, and durability. It soon turns out that neither he nor Ken can see each other's attacks coming, and their battle descends into a brutal slugfest as they discard any idea of defence and simply lay into each other until one of them stops moving. Kenshiro wins, of course, but it's a surprisingly close-run thing where Han gets in a lot of good hits, even temporarily paralysing his legs at the end.
- Noble Demon: He may be one of the three people at the heart of one of the worst places in the entire story, but he at least isn't too much of a jerk about it (in the manga, at least). He only deliberately kills people in self-defence (collateral damage is another matter, but anyone in the Land of Shura who wants to hang around and see him fighting is usually a blood-crazed psycho who has a horrible death coming anyway), gives Kenshiro a fair, honourable fight, and freely answers his questions and gives him a sincere warning about the tragedies he'll unearth as he lies dying.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: His facial appearance is based on Freddy Mercury
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Compared to the other two Rasho, we see little of Han's backstory about how he came to learn Hokuto Ryūken
- Worthy Opponent: He and Kenshiro appear to share a mutual respect, if not any particular fondness, throughout their battle - Ken points out that he has no reason to hurt Han, and when Han picks a fight with him anyway to test his strength, he's a Graceful Loser even after Ken fatally wounds him.
The Second Rasho and Kenshiro's biological older brother, Hyou is admired and praised by the commoners of Shura for being a benevolent, kind ruler when compared against the tyrannical Kaioh. Hyou and Kenshiro are the descendents of the main Hokuto bloodline, but were separated when they were children, as Raoh and Toki took the infant Kenshiro with them to the mainland to train under Ryuken, while Hyou remained behind with Jukei, the master of Hokuto Ryūken. Unfortunately, his memories of Kenshiro were sealed away by Jukei; the scar on his forehead was a result of this. When Hyou finds Han's body floating down towards his castle, he swears revenge at the one who killed him. Kaioh takes advantage of this through manipulating Hyou by killing his fiancée Sayaka, Kaioh's younger sister, blaming her death on Kenshiro. Hyou turns insane and becomes possessed by matouki, hellbent for the successor of Hokuto Shinken.
Fortunately, Hyou returns to normal after fighting his brother, even regaining his memories. He realizes why Jukei had to seal away his memories during his training, but is accosted with the fact that Kaioh also had a hand in sealing his memories. He rescues Rin from Kaioh's warriors, intent on taking full responsibility for his actions. After his fight with Kaioh's army, he is badly wounded but desires to witness Kenshiro fight Kaioh. He arrives just too late, and dies in his arms.
- Anti-Villain: Hyou is one of the most noble of the Rasho. He's powerful, honorable, and not the Bad Boss Han and Kaioh are.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: No thanks to Kaioh
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Severely wounded fighting off an army of Kaioh's Shura mooks to protect Rin.
- Even Evil Has Standards: A warlord like the other Rasho, Hyou is nonetheless much kinder. A scene shows him bartering with a Boro and offering compensation for the transaction rather than simply taking it per the standard might is right mentality of the land.
- FaceHeel Turn: The noblest of Shura's overlords until the death of Sayaka sends him into Ax-Crazy.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He's got a distinctive x-shaped scar on his forehead. It's the result of Hokuto Ryūken procedure done to mess with his memory.
- HeelFace Turn: Upon fighting Kenshiro, his memories of his brother are retriggered, including the fact that Kaioh lied to him.
- It's All My Fault: Dying in Kaioh's arms, Hyou's last act is to beg him for forgiveness. He said that if were he stronger in the past, Kaioh wouldn't have been held back by Juukei and thus his hatred and resentment would never come to be. Kaioh was utterly touched by Hyou's forgiveness and kindness.
- Long Lost Sibling: A big part of his backstory and character arc is that he is Kenshiro's older brother.
- Reluctant Ruler: As the eldest of the main Hokuto Sōke family, Hyou was meant to eventually become the rightful king of Shura. He considered Kaioh to be a more suitable person to rule the land and was actually somewhat happy when Kaioh overthrew the previous Shura government. In fact, Hyou was content with being Second Rasho, letting Kaioh rule the country as First Rasho.
- Why Couldn't You Be Different?: As a teenager, Hyou was a kind, sensitive person. Back then, Juukei was irritated that Hyou wasn't the strong-willed, ruthless, talented warrior that Kaioh was and he often forced Kaioh to hold back in order to make Hyou look better in the eyes of their peers.
The Big Bad of the Land of Shura arc, Kaioh is the First Rasho and the strongest of the Hokuto Ryūken masters. Clad in black armor, which he wears not for protection, but to control the flow of matouki he emits, Kaioh proclaims himself the "Creator of the New Century" (新世紀創造主; Shin Seiki Sōzōshu). The elder biological brother of Raoh and Toki, Kaioh remained in Shura to train with Jukei in Hokuto Ryūken. Kaioh despises the primary Hokuto bloodline with a passion, and Kenshiro is the next person to incur his wrath upon entering the Land of Shura to rescue Rin and challenge the three Rasho. Much of Kaioh's hate for Hokuto stems from being forced to play second fiddle to Hyou, despite being the more gifted disciple of Jukei. This is ultimately solidified when his mother died saving Kenshiro and Hyou during a fire that claimed her life. The other part comes from being descended from Ryuoh, one of two sons of Hokuto Sōke, the bloodline that gave birth to both Hokuto Shinken and Hokuto Ryuken. The other son, Shuken, would become Hokuto Sōke's successor and develop the refined style known as Hokuto Shinken after the Heroic Sacrifice of Lady Ouka, Ryuoh's mother, for the sake of both sons and her younger sister Shume, who bore Shuken. Ryuoh, who spent the rest of his days without the love of a mother and grew hard and bitter, developed Hokuto Ryuken.
- And Now You Must Marry Me: To Rin after he takes her from Kenshiro, in hopes she will bear him a child.
- Big Bad: Of the second half. He is the ruler of Shura and much of the trouble Ken encounters is a result of his actions. The Shura Arc's prominence within Part 2 as one of the meatier narratives essentially makes him Raoh's successor as the Big Bad rather than just an Arc Villain.
- Birthmark of Destiny: One that's only shown near the end of the arc. Kaioh has a big dipper birthmark near his hairline which marks him as a Hokuto Sōke practitioner rather than solely Hokuto Ryūken.
- Card-Carrying Villain: One of the few Fist of the North Star villains who openly brags about how evil they are.
- Casting a Shadow: Likely the closest it gets.
- Composite Character: Think Thouzer, mixed with Oedipus Complex turned Up to Eleven, added with Raoh's character design, plus a few facial scars. Now shake and bake - hell, the manner in which Kaioh dies by jumping into the air and falling into Kenshiro's fist is exactly identical to Thouzer's.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
- He's a dead ringer for Raoh with a host of personality and design traits shared with him. The pair are both Darth Vader Clones, ride gigantic horses, and are powerful martial artists with a personal connection to Kenshiro. There is a notable difference though as Kaioh takes many of Raoh's evil traits and turns them up whilst downplaying many of his sympathetic ones. Raoh conquers because he believes he can make the world a better place whilst Kaioh's pursuit of power is purely personal. Raoh tried to enforce some degree of order on his captured territories whilst Kaioh's domain is largely "the strong can do what they want." Raoh tried to steer clear of hurting innocents whilst Kaioh revels in it. The violent way Kaioh murders his own sister is something that Raoh would never stoop to.
- Kaioh shares a lot in common with Souther personality-wise. The pair have few physical similarities, but Souther's violent darwinistic tendencies are quite easy to see in Kaioh. Kaioh and Souther are both cruel despots who's Freudian Excuse and tragedy are only revealed right as they die. Their defeats are also quite similar.
- Cool Horse: His horse "Hayabusa-Maru" is just as large as Koku-Oh, only completely red.
- Covered with Scars: As a consequence of causing them himself via self-infliction to drown out his conscience.
- Dark Is Evil: Dark armor, a demonic aura, and he self identifies as a Majin.
- Darth Vader Clone: Moreso than Raoh, as he also is a member of the Evil Counterpart to The Hero's tradition, has his helmet initially obscuring his face, and having Vader's Mage Knight/Kung-Fu Wizard schtick.
- Died Standing Up: Kills himself with a flux of lava, becoming a statue of molten rock.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: His primary motivation to evil.
- Eviler Than Thou: Similar to Raoh in many ways but is far more morally black. He even states that Raoh's emotions are what made him weak."Emotions like love... are reserved for fools! Since Raoh was obsessed with them, his death was appropriate."
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: When holding Rin hostage
- Irony: As Kenshiro reveals after discovering the origins of Hokuto Shinken, Kaioh is also part of the main Hokuto bloodline.
- Kung-Fu Wizard: Unlike other Hokuto Ryūken users, Kaioh's techniques seem more like magic than martial arts.
- Kick the Dog:
- Seeking a way to spark hostilities between Hyou and Kenshiro, Kaioh violently murders Sayaka, his own sister. The act may also be a Kick the Morality Pet save for Sayaka's status as his morality pet was largely told to the audience rather than shown.
- In the manga, he crushes his pet dog's head while mourning his mother's death. In the anime, this is Bowdlerized by letting the dog drown in a river.
- Legacy of Service: Because Lady Ouka, Kaioh's ancestor, chose to commit suicide in order to save the lives of her sister, Shume, and their respective sons, Shume's descendants were chosen to be the main Hokuto Sōke family while Ouka's descendants became a servitor family in order to prevent a violent Succession Crisis. Two events led to Kaioh's deep resentment of his servitor status: his master Jukei kept forcing Kaioh to hold back when competing against Hyou (a Shume descendant) and his mother died saving Hyou and a baby Kenshiro (another Shume descendant) from a fire in an eerie case of History Repeats. Insensitive to Kaioh's suffering, Jukei declared the mother to be a loyal, dutiful servant of the Hokuto Sōke. Blaming the entire Shume lineage for his misery and his mother's death, Kaioh swept away the original Shura monarchy and installed a Social Darwinist dictatorship in its place.
- Lightning Bruiser
- Monster Sob Story: Suddenly told to Kenshiro before their final battle.
- Psychotic Smirk: He has one on his face almost consistently, in contrast with Raoh.
- The Sociopath: Murders his own sister and claims that Kenshiro was responsible in order to get Hyou and Kenshiro to kill each other.
- Start of Darkness: Kaioh Used to Be a Sweet Kid but developed mommy issues.
- Strong Family Resemblance: When he takes his helmet off Lin remakes on how similar he looks to Raoh, whom Kaioh then reveals is actually his brother.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute/Backup Twin: Basically Raoh with an X-shaped scar on his face.
- Virtue Is Weakness: In Kaioh's eyes, his mother's compassion towards others resulted in her death. Because of this, he vowed to embrace evil and violence as his life's path.
- Walking Wasteland: His matouki is especially powerful and his aura can damage and even kill people around him. His armor is actually a Restraining Bolt for him, allowing him to channel his energies more efficiently. Kaioh still exudes a lot of power, at one point his footsteps melt the ground he walks on and pulverize tables and statues near him.
The estranged son of Akashachi, Shachi ("Orca") was separated from his father and crew during their first voyage to the Land of Shura, after they were ambushed by a lone Shura warrior. Relegated to staying in Shura, Shachi fell in love with a local girl named Leia, but in order to protect her from the authorities, he decides to train in Hokuto Ryūken under Jukei, adopting the identity "Rakshasa". While his original goal was to use the kidnapped Rin as bait and force Kenshiro to fight and destroy the three Rasho, he becomes Kenshiro's loyal ally in Shura after reuniting with his father for the briefest of time, even sacrificing his left eye to Hyou so a wounded Kenshiro following his first fight with Kaioh would not be captured. After helping Kenshiro restore his brother Hyou's memories, Shachi sacrifices himself to buy Kenshiro time to master the secrets of the Hokuto bloodline and faces Kaioh, but is mortally wounded and dies in Leia's arms.
- Armor Is Useless: Averted. When he first fights Han he wears some crude metal plate armor under his shirt (or possibly some metal he warped to be plate armor). Han's initial blows injure him, but his Hokuto Ryūken isn't as fatal as it should have been as the armor prevented Han from striking his pressure points.
- Death by Disfigurement: In his fight against Kaioh, he loses an arm due to Kaioh's horse and a leg due to Kaioh himself, and succumbs to his wounds shortly afterwards.
- Eyepatch of Power: Picks up his father's after sacrificing his left eye in order to convince Hyou to let him through, while carrying the gravely injured Kenshiro.
- Eye Scream: When passing as a Boro and ferrying a coffin carrying Kenshiro, Hyou happens upon him and comes close to blowing his cover by examining the coffin. Hyou remarks that his eyes are that of a determined man and Shachi rips one out and presents it to him as proof of his determination. Hyou respects the gesture and leaves him be.
- Freudian Excuse: A rare case where this is revealed gradually and not near the end of the character. Shachi was part of a crew of sailors who invaded Shura and was left behind to grow up in the brutal country that hated foreigners. Growing to manhood hardened him and made him into the brutish Well-Intentioned Extremist he was when he was first introduced.
- The Lancer: As a character with many similarities to Rei he assumes a similar position to Kenshiro as Rei did. Shachi's cynicism and ideas of social darwinism contrast with Kenshiro's beliefs in kindness and good. As such, Shachi is inspired by him and adopts many similar beliefs before becoming Kenshiro's traveling companion and friend.
- Mysterious Watcher: Shachi first appears as a mysterious, cloaked figure watching Kenshiro from afar.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Rei - both men are willing to cast away morality in order to achieve their goals, becomes a straight-up Face after meeting Kenshiro and fiercely loyal to him, has a woman he loves and devotes himself to, and dies fighting the Big Bad before the latter is defeated by Kenshiro, with his final words directed to his lover before passing. Shachi's white hair is the same as Rei's during his last days.
- Undying Loyalty: To Kenshiro, after witnessing the latter's heroism.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Before meeting Kenshiro
- White Hair, Black Heart: Subverted; Shachi is initially portrayed as a ruthless individual, but goes through Character Development thanks to Kenshiro, and becomes selflessly heroic.
Another powerful Hokuto Ryūken practitioner and a protector of the Hokuto Sōke bloodline, Kuroyasha is a short, dwarfish man who appears before Kenshiro, claiming he was once his guardian when he was an infant. When Hyou goes insane and orders his brother's death, Kuroyasha heads to his lair at Raseiden to defeat Hyou. Unfortunately, he is no match for Hokuto Ryūken, but Kenshiro manages to restore Hyou's memories. Kuroyasha continues to accompany Hyou until his death at the hands of Kaioh's army in order to protect Lin.
- An Arm and a Leg: When engaging Hyou, he loses an arm.
- Bald of Awesome: Though he has long white hair around the sides of his head, he's bald at the top. His baldness emphasizes the scars he's accumulated and makes him look more like a rugged badass.
- Cool Old Guy: An old master and still a powerful combatant.
- Covered in Scars: His face is matted with scars.
- Flash Step: He's incredibly fast and often uses this trope in his attacks or just traversing the wasteland.
- Handicapped Badass: After losing his arm he and Hyou take on over 300 of Kaioh's men and come out on top.
- It Has Been an Honor: Spoken to Hyou after their battle with Kaioh's men concludes and Kuroyasha expires from his wounds.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: He's able to pass as a Boro, one of the many short older men that roam Shura, but nake no mistake, Kuroyasha is quite fast and tough.
- Wolverine Claws: Notable for being one of the few Hokuto Ryūken practitioners to incorporate weapons with his techniques; Kuroyasha wields a pair of these.
The previous Hokuto Ryūken successor, Jukei is the master who trained the three Rasho and Shachi. Many years ago, Jukei went on a crazed killing spree due to misusing the style and was consumed with matouki. It would take Ryuken of Hokuto Shinken to stop him, but by then it was too late, as he had killed his wife and child. Sending away Raoh, Toki and Kenshiro to train with Ryuken, Jukei began Kaioh, Hyou and their mutual friend Han in their training, who hoped the three could save the war-torn Land of Shura from its oppressors. In reality, Jukei believed the three were too "weak" to learn Hokuto Shinken: Kaioh's heart was filled with hate over the loss of his mother and Hyou was too emotionally attached to his younger brother Kenshiro. Despite the risks, he taught them Hokuto Ryūken, under the belief that a Hokuto Shinken successor such as Raoh will return to Shura and save it.
Unfortunately, his students became oppressors themselves following the nuclear war, ascending to their status as the three Rasho; even Shachi, whom he took as his fourth discipline, soon fell to violence. When Jukei learns that Kenshiro is the one arriving to Shura in Raoh's place, he decides to take matters into his own hands by undoing the seal on Hyou's memories to prevent both brothers from killing each other. However, he did not expect Kaioh to have tampered and compromised the seal himself, rendering Jukei's attempt fruitless. Just as he realizes what Kaioh has done, Hyou delivers the killing blow; as Jukei lays dying, he states his regrets, citing he may have doomed all of Shura to his evil disciples.
In Fist of the Blue Sky, Jukei appears as an orphaned child belonging to Hokuto Ryukaken.
- Jerkass: As a master, Jukei did everything to ensure his disciples would screw up - blackmailing Kaioh into becoming Hyou's patsy, and attempting to erase Hyou's memory of his darling brother Kenshiro was just a few of the things he did.
- Jerkass Realization: By then it was too late.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: One of his abilities is to seal memories and he does it on Hyou. However, Hyou later revealed that Jukei's own hesitation had caused the technique to fail and Hyou just pretended it worked.
- Old Master: Jukei still is an old hardened master of Hokuto Ryūken, but Kaioh and Hyou have since surpassed him. While he could defeat Kaioh easily during the man's youth, in the present they're stronger than him.
- Tragic Hero: Jukei's pride was ultimately his undoing. He tried his hardest to do what he felt was right, but gradually the world suffered from his actions. His mastery of Hokuto Ryūken lead him to go crazy and kill many, including his wife and child. Atoning for that he sent Raoh, Toki, and Kenshiro to train under Ryuuken while he himself trained the future Hokuto Ryūken practitioners. He made a lot of questionable choices with his raising of the Rasho and his attempt at sealing Hyou's memories just caused the boy even more pain. His attempts to raise a generation of saviors lead to a generation of oppressors and every attempt he made to try and fix his mistakes just dug him in deeper."I couldn't even use my own life to rectify my mistakes!"
- What Have I Done: After murdering his wife and his child in a violent frenzy
Akashachi ("Red Orca") is a one-legged, one-eyed captain of the pirate ship, the "Dual-Hulled Orca", who reluctantly tranports Kenshiro across the Dead Sea (the last remaining sea on Earth) to reach the Land of Shura. Years earlier, he was separated from his son Shachi when a hundred of his men were slaughtered by a young, Shura warrior when they landed on the shores. Upon reaching Shura, Akashachi requests Kenshiro to find Shachi, who somehow got lost in Shura during their last voyage. Portrayed as a brutal pirate, Akashachi saves a heavily injured Kenshiro in his first bout with Kaioh, but is killed while rescuing him. However, he manages to find his son, including meeting the love of his life Leia, giving both of them his blessing before death.
It's revealed Raoh personally thanked Akashachi some point in the past, when he crossed the Dead Sea to meet Kaioh before he began his conquest of the wasteland.
- Artificial Limbs: His right hand and right leg has been replaced by a grappling hook and a knife respectively.
- Badass Baritone: Daisuke Gori, having previously voiced Uighur, voices Akashachi with the same bottomlessly deep voice. Gori used more emotion in Akashachi voice to help convey him as a more sympathetic person than Uighur.
- Badass Normal: He has no martial arts training, but he's got a lot of weapons and the dirty tactics of a pirate. When he makes landfall he challenges and defeats a Shura commander.
- The Cameo: Appears briefly in Legend of Raoh: Chapter of Fierce Fighting, speaking with Reina about Raoh
- Combat Pragmatist: As a pirate he's accustomed to fighting dirty. He actually manages to get the better of Kaioh of all people, dousing him in acid and harpooning him when he goes to recover. It wasn't a complete victory, but against the man who curb-stomped Kenshiro, it's a feat.
- Cool Old Guy: Elderly and past his prime as a warrior, but nevertheless he's a strong and capable fighter even without knowledge of a superpower martial art.
- Eyepatch of Power: He lost an eye when he first visited Shura. His eyepatch has a mechanism that shoots a series of tiny needles as a surprise attack.
- Eye Scream: Lost an eye to the Nameless Shura when he first attacked the Land of Shura. His tear duct is still intact though as he can still cry from the useless eye.
- Manly Tears: He mourns the crew he lost to Shura including his son. There's a dignity in how Akashachi cries; freely showing emotion all the while never losing his composure too much. Even his injured eye is still capable of crying.
- Nominal Hero: He quickly becomes Kenshiro's ally first by coercion, then out of genuine respect, but he's also the leader of a group of ruthless pirates. His men are introduced harpooning and killing two unlucky fishermen.
- Pirate: He's a pirate.
A Shura General who presides over the area that Kenshiro lands in. He is a master of Mōko-ryū Yōkin Shō, a fighting style that enables him to remove bones, organs, and blood from his foes without breaking the skin. He kidnaps Lin and holds a tournament for his underlings, the victor claiming Lin as a wife.
- An Arm and a Leg: When he fights Shachi he exploits an opening to close the gap and remove a rib. Shachi had baited him and took his right arm off (Shachi's own rib being broken rather than removed).
- Badass Mustache: A powerful General within the Shura continent and he comes complete with a nice 'stache.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: His fighting style is on a similar Body Horror level to Hokuto Shinken, and Kaiser is most decidedly a bad man.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He's got a number of facial and body scars that make him look intimidating. He reveals the scar on his chest was from Han.
- Starter Villain: The first major villain of the Shura Arc. In a twist he's more of a foe for Shachi than Kenshiro.
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 in the Land of Shura. At the age of 14, this boy singlehandedly destroyed a hundred of Akashachi's men during his failed attempt to raid the Land. Years later, when Falco crossed the Dead Sea to search for the kidnapped Lin the Nameless Shura takes him by surprise and deals a fatal blow. With Kenshiro's help, Falco is able to recover his strength and defeat him.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Many fans have voiced their disgust at how a non-entity like the Nameless Shura manages to gravely wound one of Kenshiro's mightiest rivals from the second series. Justified when the technical possibility of Falco losing so easily is immediately explained by Kenshiro that Falco still hadn't recovered from their nearly-fatal fight. Still, story-wise, this was perhaps the most pointless and spiteful death in the series.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: A No Name Given warrior of Shura; enough said.
- Informed Flaw: Even though he's so low ranking as to not have earned himself a name yet, he's an incredible powerful and resourceful fighter; downing a hundred men as a teen and matching Falco as an adult. Many higher ranking Shura who've supposedly earned their names don't even come close to him.
- No Name Given: He fights Falco and Kenshiro and any man who comes to the shore of Shura so he may finally earn a name for himself as up till then he is nameless.
- We Hardly Knew Ye
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 Land.
- Arranged Marriage: The Shura Warrior Kaiser promised him one to Rin if he kills Kenshiro.
- Doppelgänger Spin
- Master Poisoner: His cape is poisonous, and he tricks his opponents into striking it.
- Race Against the Clock: Self-imposed; he can kill most men in less than two minutes. Kenshiro defeats HIM within that limit.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He is modelled after bodybuilder, Robby Robinson.
- Scary Black Man
- We Hardly Knew Ye
A band of seven cowboys each hardened by a life in the Land of Shura. Uniquely they're all weapon based fighters rather than martial artists and have formed a band of men out to protect the innocent and stand against the Shura. Rock, the leader, formed the group after the loss of his mother and in honor of Raoh, a man they view as their savior. Even beyond the seven core members, a number of others have taken arms and provide them with support.
- Avenging the Villain: Zig-zagged in that Raoh was more of an anti-villain. They once tried to kill Kenshiro for killing Raoh, though from their perspective (and that of the people of Shura) Raoh was a hero and a savior. They give up the idea after Kenshiro rescues them along with dozens of hostages captured by Shura warriors.
- The Magnificent Seven Samurai: They're a pretty clear reference to The Magnificent Seven (1960). Seven cowboys that protect innocent villagers and their final battle is quite similar to the one found in that film.
- Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: Downplayed. Against the normally unarmed martial artists, their weapons do allow them some degree of victory. However, against more powerful martial artists, they fair about as well as anyone up against Kenshiro.
- True Companions: Hard life in Shura has molded the men into this. They care about each other and the lives of their compatriots.
The leader of Raoh's army. As a young man he attempted to protect a runaway Child Soldier, only for a Shura to be lead directly to him, killing Rock's mother. Since then he's resolved to resist the oppression of the Shura. When his father Kosem forged an alliance with Raoh, Rock was determined to serve with the Conqueror to help free their land. These hopes were dashed with the death of Kosem and Rock's only brother Chain followed by him learning that Raoh had since died. With his family and savior dead, Rock armed himself and his friends and declared that they were "Raoh's Army" and would stand up to the tyranny of the Shura on their own.
- Badass Normal: No freaky martial arts, just weapons and a lot of courage.
- Bishōnen: The older variant. Rock's got the pretty looks of one, but in the style of the older muscular version common to the series.
- Cynicism Catalyst: Losing his whole family spurred his hand and hardened his heart.
- Hero Worship: Many of the people of the Land of Shura hold Raoh in high esteem, but it's especially pronounced in Rock.
- The Leader: He's the head of Raoh's army, and thus of one of the major resistance groups.
Rock's second in command. He dual wield's swords.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dies facing down Hyou in order to let Rock live.
- The Lancer: Not apparent at first, but in their final confrontation he speaks more and plays off Rock in a way that suggests that he's the second in command. Contrasting Rock's decision to Face Death with Dignity, José tells him to live and warn everyone.
A member of Raoh's Army who uses whips.
- Cool Shades: They give him a relaxed appearance and their lack of opaqueness prevents the from becoming Sinister Shades.
- Oral Fixation Fixation: He seems to be chewing a piece of straw in a typical cowboy fashion. When it comes to a fight, it's revealed to actually be a needle that he uses to take down a mook.
- Whip It Good: His Weapon of Choice is a pair of whips.
Rock's sharpshooter, Wayne wields a scoped crossbow.
- Friendly Sniper: The team's sniper. He's a crack-shot and believes fully in the liberation of their land.
A cowboy that wields a gatling gun.
- Gatling Good: Fights with a gatling gun that shoots needles.
A laid back cowboy who specializes in explosives.
- Badass Beard: Franco's got a rugged goatee and blows through a number of foes.
- Demolitions Expert: The whole team uses explosives, but Franco is the one who solely relies on them.
- Go Out with a Smile: Cornered and dying he gives a defeated smile, and lights his last two dynamite packs with his cigarette.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Fitting with the Western theme Franco bears a resemblance to Franco Nero◊, famous western actor. He even has the same name.
- Taking You with Me: Much like Sancho, when it's clear he's beaten, he detonates his own explosives killing himself and his attackers.
Wearing a distinctive poncho and Sombrero, Sancho was one of the background members of Raoh's Army.
- Bandito: A few of the cowboys have this aesthetic, but Sancho is the most pronounced. He's got the pancho, sombrero, and bandoliers (but with grenades rather than bullets).
- Fat Comic Relief: He seems to be the most overweight of the group, and one of his few scenes to characterize himself is a strangely hilarious slapstick bit.
- Finger-Twitching Revival: When the Army starts getting taken down it's revealed that Sancho's thought to be fatal tank crash has left him alive when the audience is shown his hand twitching.
- Funny Background Event: After witnessing Jukei walk on water, Sancho's astounded. When Rock and Jukei are having a big dramatic conversation, Sancho attempts to replicate Jukei's feat and accidentally falls in.
- Taking You with Me: After charging Hyo with one of the General's own tanks fails, Sancho is left pinned under it. While thought dead, he grabs two soldiers nearest to him and detonates one of his grenades, killing them.
Post-Land Of Shura
The orphaned, posthumous son of Raoh, Ryu was raised by the Hakuri family following his father's death. When "Uncle" Kenshiro returns to the mainland from the Land of Shura, he takes Ryu, full of wit and courage at a young age, to learn of Hokuto Shinken and its philsophies, journeying throughout the wasteland. After a few story arcs, Kenshiro abruptly leaves him under the care of Balga and his son Shingo, so that Ryu can train on his own. Although the character never makes an appearance outisde of the manga, he makes a non-vocal cameo in a flashback for New Fist of the North Star.
- Adults Are Useless: Toyed with - Kenshiro refuses to intervene on Ryu's behalf regarding Kouketsu and his men, telling the boy that he must "fight his own battles". Averted when Kenshiro steps in and saves the day, anyway.
- Kid Sidekick: To Kenshiro
- Knife Nut: Can be pretty dangerous with a knife, as one bandit leader found out the hard way.
- Put on a Bus: Is left behind in Balga's care before the very last arc.
- Unexpected Successor: It's implied Ryu will be the next successor of Hokuto Shinken.
- Unnamed Parent: His mother is conveniently unidentified. Fans speculate it may have been Yuria, during the time she was taken by Raoh, assuming he truly took advantage of her. The fact the prologue of the Legend of Kenshiro movie implies she is pregnant lends credence to this theory, assuming the child isn't Kenshiro's or they didn't consummate after their marriage. However, Buronson and Hara have said nil about the subject. Other candidates include Reina, Raoh's childhood friend and one of his generals who appears in Legends of the True Savior and Legends of the Dark King, and Toh, who may have had an affair with Raoh at some point in the past.
The first villain in the third part of the manga, Kouketsu was originally a horsefeeder in Raoh's army, who believed he could get into the tyrant's good graces by shining his shoes, but Raoh saw through his deception and threatened to kill him. Short and fat, Kouketsu used his intelligence and savviness to create false fertile land, then enslave gullible wasteland travelers to farm it. When Kouketsu's men stole and killed Ryu's foster parents over their abundant crops, Kenshiro and Ryu journey to Kouketsu's to deal with the dictator and liberate the slaves.
- Disproportionate Retribution: All of the murder, pain, slavery, and death was due to Raoh telling him to stop being such a brown nose or risk death himself.
- Expy: One of his henchman looks like Frankenstein's Monster; when he hops onto his minion's shoulders, both look like Master-Blaster.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Dies when one of his own traps springs on him.
The penultimate villain from the manga, Baran is the self-proclaimed "Emperor of Light" (光帝; Kotei), who rules the Kingdom of Blanca. Declaring himself God, he leads a cult of brainwashed followers to do his bidding and performs miracles to those who believe in him, while striking down disbelievers. In reality, Baran's abilities come from Hokuto Shinken: upon losing his younger sister to illness because of her devotion to the monotheistic diety of Fist of the North Star, believing she will be healed through prayer rather than medicine, Baran renounced his faith and swore to oppose God, whom he believes took her life. When a young Baran witnessed the power of Raoh, he joined his army and learned a few Hokuto Shinken techniques through him. Years after Raoh's defeat, Baran comes across the peaceful Kingdom of Blanca, and conquers it quietly by becoming the Emperor of Light.
- A God Am I: Of sorts
- Go Out with a Smile
- Ki Manipulation: Though he had mastered Raoh's Hokuto Gōshō Ha, Kenshiro demonstrates how it's exactly done.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Modeled after the singer Pete Burns during his Dead or Alive days
- Redemption Equals Death: Upon realizing the wrongness of his actions, he pretends to be an imposter who is killed so that the Kingdom of Blanca can return to normal and so its people no longer worship him.
- Straw Atheist: Is waging his personal war against God because his sister died. Subverted when Baran reconverts prior to his death.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid
The final villain in the manga, Bolge was originally a Giant Mook after a bounty was placed on Kenshiro's head (shortly after Bat joins Kenshiro in his travels). Rather than kill him, Kenshiro spared Bolge, but cut out his eyes, rendering him insane and harboring a deep hatred for the martial artist. Grafting all sorts of weaponry to his body, Bolge goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against anyone who has ever wronged him, especially Kenshiro. After Bat leaves an amnesiac Kenshiro and Lin, he discovers Bolge is alive, but is determined to prevent him from finding Kenshiro. Taking on his friend's identity, including his signature seven scars, Bat bravely faces Bolge, but is overwhelmed and brutally tortured. Kenshiro manages to find Bat, and when Bat's screams retrigger Kenshiro's memories, he easily defeats Bolge. However, it is the heavily wounded Bat who deals the final, killing blow.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: A random bandit seeking power who Kenshiro brutally disfigured in his wanderings. While Kenshiro gave the man no further thought, Bolge decides to live entirely just to take revenge for what happened.
- Combat Pragmatist: He almost rivals Jagi for this position.
- Coup de Grâce: Delivered by Bat, not Kenshiro
- Disability Superpower: Being blind doesn't seem to inhibit Bolge
- Disproportionate Retribution: Slaughters everybody who ever wronged him in any way by crucifying and torturing them to death
- From Nobody to Nightmare
- Gonk: Extremely ugly even for Fist of the North Star; of course, his head did deform from Kenshiro's fist, but as the flashback shows, he was pretty bad before he was blinded.
- Meaningful Name: Multiple weapons grafted to his body, including metal plating to his skull for protection. Another translation for his name is "Borg".
- Mook Promotion: From a simple bandit to the final villain of the manga
- Post-Final Boss: Exists mostly to serve as part of the last wrap-ups to the story
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Had Bolge just finished off Bat instead of slowly torturing him, Kenshiro wouldn't have regained his memories.
- Not Quite Dead: Survives Kenshiro's Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken just so he can try to take somebody with him. Bat is forced to finish him off when he goes for Rin.
- Remember the New Guy?: Bolge never appeared before in the manga, yet a flashback is provided to show when Kenshiro defeats him the first time, implying their encounter occurred sometime after defeating Shin.
- To the Pain: He wants his revenge to last
- Your Head Asplode: Actually happens, but he lives long enough to try for one last stab