Illustrations by Tetsuo Hara
In a dystopian future, the world has become a desolate wasteland full of biker gangs jockeying for land, power, and resources (think Mad Max). Kenshiro is a warrior, the sole suriving practitioner of the Hokuto Shinken (Big Dipper God Fist), an ancient martial art that relies on power over a body's meridian points, giving him considerable strength over his enemies. Kenshiro has become determined to fight against the gangs that threaten peaceful villages. Along the way, he gains a travel companion, a young thief named Bat, and later, a little orphaned girl named Rin. Kenshiro comes up against several overly strong individuals, including his old friend Shin, a practitioner of the Nanto Koshū Ken (South Dipper Lone Eagle Fist) martial art. The men have become enemies because of their mutual love of the same girl, Yuria, and Shin's actions in getting Yuria to love him instead of Kenshiro.
This widely popular series in Japan is getting another localization in America (third time's a charm?), and it could be come the next Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. Fist is very obviously from the 80s when many writers were exploring the possibilities of nuclear fall-out. There are some definite post-apocalyptic problems like others in the genre, like where are they getting all the fuel for their motorbikes? How is everyone so jacked when food is so scarce? But all of that really doesn't matter when you really get into the story and the action it contains. There is plenty of blood and guts for the voracious action readers and just enough of a storyline to be entertaining. The first volume ends in sort of a weird place, so readers will want the second one pretty quickly.
The art in this series capitalizes on the very thick, heavy lines that were popular in 80s manga. It is extremely reminiscent of the art in Jojo's. There are some full color pages, as well as the orange-wash pages that were also popular in 80s manga.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley.
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Action Adventure, Dystopian
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