Friday, April 6, 2012

A double shot of 80s Anime

I generally don't watch much anime but have friends who do. I like it alright, but I'm the type of person who likes pretty much every genre of film, as long as its good! Both of these are from 1986 although I didn't plan that.

Fist of the North Star (1986)
Fist of the North Star features some gorgeous animation despite the fact that a lot of it takes place in a dirty, post-apocalyptic setting.
I liked it as the movie was violent fun yet still more intelligent than the anime below.
The story could be better but this was based on a Manga so it seems they had to condense a lot of it to fit the 110 minutes run time. Plus who watches this for the story, they just want to see a bunch of heads explode!
There actually is a live action version of Fist of the North Star but I've heard its pretty bad. Oh, I should mention that I watched the English subtitles for this movie.

M.D. Geist (1986)
I watched M.D. Geist with a group of friends right after we saw The Land Before Time XIII. This direct-to-video anime is pretty much the exact opposite of that children's movie as M.D. Geist is not just violent as hell but also features a topless woman! Although I don't watch much anime, MD (stands for Most Dangerous soldier) Geist has a reputation amongst anime lovers for being awesomely bad and it certainly upholds that high standard! I had actually seen this before a while back with a friend and it holds up as being a lot of fun even though it is incredibly stupid.
M.D. Geist
liberally rips off every action movie of the 1980s with the main two being The Road Warrior and Escape from New York. It probably even borrowed ideas from Fist of the North Star which started in manga form in 1983 and also has a post-apocalyptic setting.
I watched the director's cut as the animation in the original is said to be so choppy there is even a scene where you can see Geist's head flapping in the wind! M.D. Geist clocks in at a mere 45 minutes and is exact what you want if you are looking for silly over the top fun. I almost always go with subtitles when it comes to foreign language films but this time I recommend the English dub since it's hilarious. There actually is a sequel to M.D. Geist which I will have to check out sometime.
I wouldn't say this is good, but I always have a blast watching it! M.D. Geist is a textbook definition of "so bad, its good".


  1. Fist of the North Star is a cracking anime film. I think it too was heavily inspired by The Road Warrior - Mad Max and Kenshiro are basically dressed the same.

    Yeah, don't go near the live action version - it's pretty ropey.

  2. I love the Road Warrior so I actually didn't mind that, haha. And yeah, I'll stay away from the live action version unless I need a bad movie to watch.

    Have you seen MD Geist? The director's cut in on YouTube. It's not as good as Fist of the North Star but still fun.

  3. Thanks for the review of M.D. Geist. I just watched it over at with a few of my DISH coworkers. It really lived up to its reputation. I have seen some bad anime, and I have seen some cheesy movies, M.D. Geist is both. It seems your Fist of the North Star review was a little more favorable, I’m going to see if it is available to stream later.

  4. Hi Hunter,
    I'm glad you enjoyed M.D. Geist! Fist of the North Star is legitimately good so check it out when you get the chance. I'll have the read the manga it was based on and watch the TV series sometime. Thanks for the comment!

  5. The TV series of Fist of the North Star is the one that's gotten all the love from the old-school fans. It's available for streaming in various places, and I've been meaning to get to watching it for a while. Preview of what you're in for: apparently, in one episode, Kenshiro punches a tank, and it explodes. What anime from that era may have lacked in technical proficiency, it almost without fail made up for in audacity.

  6. Thanks for the info on the TV show Nate, it sounds like a lot of fun. I'll have to check it out when I get the chance.
    After I get all caught up I'll be watching (well re-watching part of it) the three Mobile Suit Gundam movies that were re-edited theatrical releases of the TV shows. And its subtitled, not dubbed!