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Tear Jerker / Fist of the North Star

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Violence and brutality be damned, Fist of the North Star is arguably the most warm-hearted and sensitive anime series of the 1980's. There IS a reason that it's the Trope Codifier for Manly Tears.

  • Any moment where a character with any shred of fundamental human decency cries Tender Tears or Manly Tears.
  • When Kenshiro finally confronts Shin at the end of the first arc, the latter mocks Kenshiro, telling him that Yuria has forgotten him. After all the hell he's been through just to reach them, Kenshiro finally breaks down, tearfully whispering that he doesn't care if Yuria has forgotten him, just as long as she's safe.
    • Shin's fate. After his fight with Kenshiro, he tearfully reveals that Yuria threw herself out of his tower out of horror of what he committed in her name. It's later retconned that Yuria survived, and that Shin knew this but acted otherwise to keep her safe from Raoh. Horrible as he was, and as much as he misunderstood her, Shin genuinely loved Yuria and wanted to make her happy, but he had no chance to ever redeem himself in her eyes. Star of Martyrdom indeed.
  • The death of Mamiya's brother, Kou during her introductory arc. And oddly, during the same arc, the way in which the Wolf Fang Clan mourns for the loss of its members is actually quite touching.
    • What makes Kou's death sadder is why he died. He went outside the protection of the village to gather wild strawberries, Mamiya's favorite food, to put on her birthday cake. Even worse is when Lin finds the strawberries that Kou picked and puts them on the cake in his stead, singing a saddening "Happy Birthday to you" as tears well up in her eyes.
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  • Kenshiro taking Taki home, shot to death for stealing water for his adoptive mother, and her anguished cry "He was only seven years old!" will likely make you want to pop the heads of Jackal and his band of bastards yourself.
  • When Bat's adoptive mother Toyo is killed by the impact of a stick of dynamite thrown away from a terrified little boy that it was tied to via Jackal. Even moreso heartbreaking in the manga when he calls her "Mommy" for the very last time as she dies with a warm smile.
  • The final three days of Rei's heroic life... oh God.
    • He gets two Crowning Moments of Awesome in before he dies, and they are very awesome.
    • Rei's death: He was already dying in absolute agony because of Raoh's attack, but then he undergoes Toki's even more painful treatment, which is so painful it turns his hair white, just so he'd have his strength back and a little more time to fight Judah. And the reason for fighting Judah? Just to avenge poor Mamiya's honor. Kenshiro himself says that of all the men he's met, Rei's the only one that was his true friend.
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  • If you thought a rock guitar theme cannot make you cry, you have not heard Asunaki Tabi yet. The most heartbreaking uses of this song were when Shuh wept in the graveyard of the children murdered by Souther and when he himself was tortured and murdered by said monster of a tyrant.
  • It's a minor example when compared to the rest of the franchise, but after Mamiya is rescued by Kenshiro and Rei while she was investigating the whereabouts of Toki, Kenshiro picks Mamiya up off the floor. And just when she thinks she and Ken are having a moment with each other, complete with gaussian blur and both looking into each other's eyes, Kenshiro kills this would be moment by sternly ordering her to go home, as the matters concerning the rest of the Hokuto brothers are a personal affair. The shut down is so abrupt even Rei flinches on Mamiya's behalf. As their rendezvous point was a chapel, Rei sees fit to sound the bell.
    Rei: A toll for an unrequited love...
  • Fudoh's battle against Raoh had "crying time" written all over it from the start. Raoh, having felt fear when Kenshiro manifested Musou Tensei before him, concludes he needs to purge himself of all fear, and to do it he must first face the one man to make him feel fear for the first time (and also the only man to have ever made him feel fear before Kenshiro): Fudoh. Raoh kidnaps Fudoh's adopted children and threatens to kill them if Fudoh does not face Raoh, and Fudoh must break his vow of peace to face him. Raoh demolishes Fudoh, but Fudoh refuses to give up and actually instills fear in Raoh by showing him how hopeless it is for him to fight without love and sadness. And then Fudoh ends up shot fatally with an arrow fired by Raoh's henchmen, defying Raoh's orders. Fudoh then declares that Raoh lost to him, and that as long as he continues to be oblivious to sorrow, he will continue to live in fear and never, ever defeat Kenshiro. Then he dies surrounded by his children, all crying for their loss, as a Really Dead Montage of Fudoh's life begins to play with the first ending theme in the background. SNIFF.
    • This is supplemented by an awesome moment immediately afterwards, one in which Raoh for the first time displays true chivalry, declaring that he lost, and should have been shot instead, before sending his entire army running for the hills.
  • The death of Juza the Cloud.
  • When Asuka, Ein's adopted daughter, was asked why she is not crying at her father's funeral, she replies "If I cry, Daddy won't be able to rest." Kenshiro hugs the brave little girl with warmth and kindness and weeps Tender Tears of sadness in her place.
  • Actually, Fist of the North Star is able to combine a few of these with the raw badass of the characters to be a Manly Tear Jerker series. There are a few, generally involving the deaths of major villains. Shin, declaring his love for Yuria even as he dies from Kenshiro's techniques and throwing himself from his throne room is an early example. One of the most effective involves the death of one of the protagonists, however. The battle between Raoh and Toki ends as Toki, who has been dying of radiation sickness makes a last, desperate series of attacks in order to try to kill Raoh, his older brother. As the fight goes on, Raoh realizes that Toki's dying body means that Toki has no chance to win, but continues to fight regardless, and Raoh himself begins to cry even as he continues to fight, out of love for his younger brother, and because the destiny of their style makes a tragic fate such as Toki's unavoidable. The title of the episode that ends the fight says it all: "Farewell, Toki! The Tears Fall Only Once!"
    • There's more to it: Turns out that part of the reason this is happening is that while growing up, Raoh had made Toki promise to stop him were he to go down the wrong road, and had previously scolded Toki for crying. Raoh couldn't bring himself to kill Toki, and instead delivered a knockout blow.
    • Later on, Ryuga, himself a tragic character, comes along to finish the job. What makes this all the more soul shattering was that just mere seconds before Ryuga arrived, Toki expressed that he had found new hope in using his powers to heal the sick people of the Village of Miracles.
  • The ending credits of the 1986 movie, in which Kenshiro imagines himself walking through a beautiful forest and seeing Yuria happy, only to have everything fade back to the desolate nuclear wasteland it all really is, all to the haunting theme of ''Purple Eyes''.
  • Somewhere around half the cast is composed of tragic heroes and villains.
  • The murder of Ryo, an innocent little boy, by Souther's poisoned bread in the original manga and the first Raoh Den film. Watching a massive warrior weeping with his beloved baby son limp in his arms, you'd either have to be as kind as Kenshiro or as evil as Souther if you believe the tyrant deserves any forgiveness.
  • The death of Shuu's son, Shiba. Kenshiro can't even find the words to describe it.
  • The undisputed champion of tear-jerking deaths in this series is Rei. His death is SO important, it's even used to signify the end of the second 'act' of the first anime series.
  • Shuu's death was made into an even greater Tear Jerker in the first Raoh Den movie, as it's accompanied by Soundtrack Dissonance with the song "Where The Lights Are".
    • Kenshiro's long, echoing Say My Name cries really drove it home. And then Shuu lasts just long enough to miraculously regain his eyesight and see Kenshiro as an adult. Cue Kenshiro being the most pissed off he's ever been.
  • Kenshiro Den has one of the most devastating ones in the entire franchise: Yuria, dying of radiation sickness, reveals to Kenshiro that she is pregnant with Kenshiro's child. The big man himself lets the waterworks flow at the revelation.
  • Jagi Gaiden can best be summed up as one long Tear Jerker after another from start to finish. From seeing Jagi as he was, his relationship with Ryuken, Anna's death and Jagi's reaction to it, Ryuken's sorrow at what Jagi had become, Jagi's final moments looking back on his miserable life, Kenshiro's anguish over having killed Jagi despite everything he did, and Jagi possibly reuniting with Anna in death Honestly, it's hard not to weep at how thoroughly Jagi's life has been screwed by both his own actions and bitter fate.
    • The fact that this manga could make you sympathize with Jagi of all characters, one of the biggest bastards in all of Fist of the North Star, is saying something.
  • In a rather tasteful use of drama by Toei Animation, Kenshiro, after crossing Raoh's battle aura, tells him how much he and Toki admire him and how the feeling will never goes away from his heart, he full-blown sheds his Manly Tears in this fight. Who else wouldn't?
    • In the same episode, after Yuria tells Raoh of her fate (by radiation sickness like Toki's), he sheds tears of his own (again), mourning of her eventual fate and deciding not to sacrifice her to obtain Muso Tensei, but achieving it by the sadness that fills him with this revelation.
  • Souther may be an irredeemable monster, but there is one way to ignite some sympathy even for him: He Used to Be a Sweet Kid who genuinely loved his master and father figure Ougai like no other. Unfortunately, Ougai purposely left out telling him about how he would have to kill him in order to become the Nanto Houou Ken successor - very likely because had Souther known, he would have rather let Ougai kill him instead. When Souther found out the hard way, after he had already fatally wounded him and only finding out after the fact on account of having been blindfolded, he tearfully declared that if love hurts so much, he had no need for love, leading him to become the brutal tyrant he is. Could be just a Freudian Excuse, but it's a pretty powerful one to see how the Crapsack World turned one of the most loving kids in the verse into a brutal tyrant. Then when Kenshiro beat him, all of the sudden, he felt like a child again, after commending Kenshiro over his victory, he slowly pulled himself up the side of the pyramid and crawled into the statue of his master, wept for his master and begging him to comfort him again, well just in time for the whole pyramid to crumble, taking him with it too. His acts may be unforgivable, but how he ended up that way... damn.
  • The ending credits. For 22 minutes we are shown a desolate, nuclear blasted wasteland. The credits cue up and show scenes of natural beauty...waterfalls, ice melt, forests...just to remind viewers of how beautiful the world once was. Made even worse in the first season ending that makes it seem like Kenshiro's dream. We see a farmland ripe with wheat and an image of Yuria carrying a basket as if she was welcoming Kenshiro home.
  • Ryuken's death at Raoh's hands becomes this with the revelation in the 20th episode of Souten no Ken Re:Genesis that he witnessed the death of his father, Tesshin, at the hands of Kenshin, his and Kasumi Kenshiro's adopted older brother. Not only that, but Tesshin died while performing the exact same secret technique as Ryuken did against Raoh, namely the Shichisei Tenshin. Ergo, Ryuken perished the same way his father did all those years ago: at the hands of his own adopted son while attempting to seal his fist.


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