You are probably thinking what real connection the title of this post has got to do with picture you are staring at above this text. Well, rest easy as I break down yet another manga-inspired beat I made more than a couple of years ago.
For those who don’t know:
“Fist of the North Star (北斗の拳 Hokuto no Ken, literally “Fist of the Big Dipper”) is a Japanese manga series written by Buronson and drawn by Tetsuo Hara that was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1983 to 1988, spanning 245 chapters. Set in a post-apocalyptic world that has been destroyed by a nuclear war, the story centers around a warrior named Kenshiro, the successor of a deadly martial art style known as Hokuto Shinken. The manga was adapted into two TV anime series produced by Toei Animation which aired on Fuji TV affiliates from 1984 through 1988, comprising a combined total of 152 episodes.”
FOTNS to me is like the “Rocky” of anime. The meteoric rise of the under dog despite being placed in impossible situations, oh yeah and with the help of the infamous exploding fist technique. No matter the predicament, the seemingly invincible enemies and mental torture is used. Kenshiro always finds a way to overcome adversity and restore balance to a more or less bleak world.
Besides the animation being a bit “meh”, the story lines somewhat simple (but enjoyable) and the villains being plain megalomaniacs (seems 90% of the world suddenly went power hungry), the other thing that drew my attention was the music. You got to give these guys props for that, unlike most cartoons in the 80s where there was an over reliance on cheesy rock songs. FOTNS took it up a notch, from jazzy tunes to ballads to epic orchestra pieces.
This particular piece I used for The Invisible Enigma’s “Austere Guinevere” was one of those slow ballads. It wasn’t a simple chop and loop cause the way the singer did it didn’t quite match what I had in mind so if you ever hear the original sample you may not even recognise it straight away. I probably made about 4 to 5 beats using samples from FOTNS at the time so expect a few more beats coming this way.