Fist of the Blue Sky

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Fist of the Blue Sky
FistoftheBlueSky1.jpg
Cover of volume 22, featuring most of the main characters.
蒼天の拳
(Sōten no Ken)
Manga
Written byTetsuo Hara, Buronson
Illustrated byTetsuo Hara
Published byShinchosha
English publisher
DemographicSeinen
MagazineWeekly Comic Bunch
English magazine
Original runMay 2001August 2010
Volumes22 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Souten no Ken
Directed byYoshihiro Yamaguchi
Written byYasuhiro Imagawa
StudioA.P.P.P.
Original networkTV Asahi
Original run October 4, 2006 March 14, 2007
Episodes26 (List of episodes)
Manga
Sōten no Ken: Re:Genesis
Written byHiroyuki Yatsu
Illustrated byHideki Tsuji
Published byTokuma Shoten
DemographicSeinen
MagazineComic Zenon
Original runOctober 25, 2017 – present
Volumes2
Anime television series
Souten no Ken Re:Genesis
Directed byYoshio Kazumi
Written bySatoshi Ozaki
StudioPolygon Pictures
Original networkTokyo MX, Sun TV, KBS Kyoto, BS Fuji
Original run April 2, 2018 December 17, 2018
Episodes24 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Fist of the Blue Sky (Japanese: 蒼天の拳, Hepburn: Sōten no Ken) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tetsuo Hara, with plot supervision by Buronson. It was serialized in Weekly Comic Bunch from 2001 to 2010, with the chapters collected into 22 tankōbon volumes by Shinchosha. It is a prequel to the popular 1980s manga Fist of the North Star, which Hara originally illustrated with Buronson writing. Set primarily in Shanghai during the 1930s, the series centers on the 62nd successor of the Hokuto Shinken martial arts style, Kenshiro Kasumi, the namesake and predecessor of Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star. The manga was adapted into a 26-episode anime series that aired on TV Asahi from 2006 to 2007.

A continuation of the manga, titled Sōten no Ken: Re:Genesis (蒼天の拳 RE:GENESIS), began serialization in the December 2017 issue of Comic Zenon. It is written by Hiroyuki Yatsu and illustrated by Hideki Tsuji. An anime adaptation of this series began airing from April 2 to December 17, 2018.

Plot[edit]

The main protagonist of this story is Kenshiro Kasumi, better known as "Yan Wang" or "The King of Hell". Kenshiro is a laid back and chain-smoking Tokyo professor who is secretly the successor of the deadly Chinese assassin martial art Hokuto Shinken. He travels to Shanghai after hearing that his Triad friend Pan Guang-Lin and love interest Pan Yu-Ling are in trouble.

In Shanghai, Kenshiro fights the three Hokuto families, the Hokuto Sankaken (based on the royal families of Romance of the Three Kingdoms). At the same time he helps Pan's Qīng Bāng triad against their rivals, the immoral Hóng Huá Huì, in gaining territory and influence in Shanghai.

Production[edit]

Many of the plot points mentioned in the comic contain real historical facts, such as how Shanghai was controlled by the foreign concessions (the story focus mainly on the French settlement) during the 1930s. Also seen are Jewish refugees who escaped from Nazi persecution in Europe, and the invasion of China by the Japanese Army. Chiang Kai-shek and some historical Kuomintang figures appear in the story as well.

Tetsuo Hara wanted the fights in the manga to look more like traditional Chinese martial arts, so the action is somewhat faster and more detailed than those in Fist of the North Star. Hara went to Shanghai in person to get his inspiration. Tetsuo Hara describes the protagonist Kenshiro Kasumi as a combination of the strength of Kenshiro, the good nature of Keiji Maeda from Hana no Keiji and the sarcastic attitude of the title character of Nakabo Rintaro.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Written and illustrated by Tetsuo Hara, Fist of the Blue Sky was serialized in Weekly Comic Bunch throughout the magazine's entire history. Beginning in its first issue with the cover date of May 29, 2001,[1] the chapters were published irregularly until the final issue in August 2010. Publisher Shinchosha collected the chapters into 22 tankōbon volumes.

An English version of Fist of the Blue Sky was serialized in the now-defunct manga anthology Raijin Comics published by Gutsoon! Entertainment from 2002 to 2004. Four collected volumes were published by Gutsoon under their Raijin Graphic Novels imprint before the company went out of business and ceased publication of all their titles.

A continuation of the manga, titled Sōten no Ken: Re:Genesis (蒼天の拳 RE:GENESIS), began serialization in the December 2017 issue of Comic Zenon. It is written by Hiroyuki Yatsu and illustrated by Hideki Tsuji.[2]

Volumes
Vol. Release date [3] ISBN
01 2001-10-09 ISBN 4-10-771000-9
02 2001-11-09 ISBN 4-10-771016-5
03 2002-05-09 ISBN 4-10-771036-X
04 2002-08-09 ISBN 4-10-771051-3
05 2003-01-09 ISBN 4-10-771073-4
06 2003-05-09 ISBN 4-10-771089-0
07 2003-09-09 ISBN 4-10-771112-9
08 2004-01-09 ISBN 4-10-771129-3
09 2004-05-09 ISBN 4-10-771151-X
10 2004-08-09 ISBN 4-10-771167-6
11 2004-12-09 ISBN 4-10-771189-7
12 2005-03-09 ISBN 4-10-771206-0
13 2005-07-09 ISBN 4-10-771225-7
14 2006-01-09 ISBN 4-10-771258-3
15 2006-07-09 ISBN 4-10-771281-8
16 2007-02-09 ISBN 978-4-10-771318-6
17 2007-09-08 ISBN 978-4-10-771356-8
18 2008-03-08 ISBN 978-4-10-771387-2
19 2008-10-09 ISBN 4-10-771421-7
20 2009-03-09 ISBN 978-4-10-771467-1
21 2009-12-09 ISBN 978-4-10-771535-7
22 2010-11-09 ISBN 978-4-10-771601-9
English volumes
Vol. Release date [4] ISBN
01 2003-06-18 ISBN 0-9725037-8-1
02 2003-09-09 ISBN 1-932454-03-9
03 2003-11-18 ISBN 1-932454-09-8
04 2004-03-17 ISBN 1-932454-22-5
05 Unpublished ISBN 1-932454-33-0

Anime[edit]

A weekly anime series based on Sōten no Ken aired on Japan's TV Asahi on Thursdays at 2:40am from October 4, 2006 to March 14, 2007. The series lasted only 26 episodes, but four of the episodes (16-18, and 21) did not air during the original run. The complete series has been released on DVD in Region 2 format by Universal Entertainment Japan, including unaired episodes and uncensored content. The series adapts the storyline from the beginning and up to vol. 8. The Opening theme is "Bara ga Saku, Bara ga Chiru" (薔薇が咲く 薔薇が散る, "Roses Bloom, Roses Scatter") by Rina Aiuchi while the ending themes are "Kokoro no Rhythm Tobichiru Butterfly (心のリズム飛び散るバタフライ, Kokoro no Rizumu Tobichiru Batafurai, lit. "The Rhythm of the Heart is a Fluttering Butterfly") by doa and "Kissing til i die" by Jun Manaka.

On October 24, 2017, it was announced that Sōten no Ken: Re:Genesis would receive an anime adaption that premiered from April 2 to June 18, 2018 on Tokyo MX and other channels.[5][6] The opening is "Souten no Hate ni" by AK-69 while the ending theme is "Inori no Hoshizora" by Sumire Uesaka.[7] The second opening theme is "Soul Seeker" by Crossfaith while the second ending theme is "Kono Sora wo Subete Kimi ni" (この空をすべて君に) by Hiroya Ozaki. A second season premiered from October 1 to December 17, 2018. The adaptation received largely negative reviews from critics due to its CGI animation (given the fact that it was animated by CGI studio Polygon Pictures), character design, plot and fight sequences, with Ashley Bowman, narrator of anime top 10 videos for WatchMojo.com, calling it "atrocious", "so out of proportion it’s almost an eyesore" and "a slug to get through"[8]. Bowman also called the anime "nothing more than a colossal waste of time".[9] He also noticed Kenshiro's large neckline throughout his reviews of the series.[10][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "週刊コミックバンチ★コアミックス:バンチアーカイブス:バンチ表紙全集2001年". Archived from the original on 2007-07-05. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
  2. ^ "予告!『蒼天の拳』に『シティーハンター』 2017年コミックゼノン 新連載ラインナップ!!!!" [Announcement! Lineup of New Serials for Comic Zenon in 2017!!!! Fist of the Blue Sky and City Hunter]. Comic Zenon (in Japanese). Japan: Tokuma Shoten. July 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  3. ^ 週刊コミックバンチ★コアミックス:コミックス情報 (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
  4. ^ "Amazon.com".
  5. ^ "New Fist of the Blue Sky TV Anime Premieres in April". Anime News Network. October 25, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  6. ^ "New TV Anime To Adapt "Fist Of The Blue Sky"". Crunchyroll. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  7. ^ ""Fist of the Blue Sky Regenesis" Anime Adds Cast, Theme Performers". Crunchyroll. Retrieved January 24, 2008.
  8. ^ Ashley Bowman (29 June 2018). "Top 10 Worst Anime of 2018 (So Far) - WatchMojo.com". watchmojo.com. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  9. ^ Ashley Bowman (3 December 2018). "Top 10 Worst Anime of 2018 - WatchMojo.com". watchmojo.com. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  10. ^ Ashley Bowman (29 June 2018). "Top 10 Worst Anime of 2018 (So Far) - WatchMojo.com". watchmojo.com. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  11. ^ Ashley Bowman (3 December 2018). "Top 10 Worst Anime of 2018 - WatchMojo.com". watchmojo.com. Retrieved 14 May 2019.

External links[edit]