MyVisionity wrote:I actually think the HnK movie is the kind of thing that should be watched after the series itself. Not only because of the spoilers, but because the overall tone and style of the film might give viewers the wrong impression of the series. I understand that a lot of people saw the movie first way back when, but if given the choice I would think the fans might be better served with the series.
Not everyone has the time or the inclination to sink hours upon hours of their time into an enormous, hundred+ episode long, continuity-heavy series. I know this might come as a shock to die-hard Shonen fans, but most people generally have these things called "lives" they also have to be concerned with. Masenko, right in this very thread, just noted that he has a difficult time getting into long series, and prefers movies for a more compact, bite-sized experience. TOTALLY understandable place to be coming from.
Within that context, the '86 Fist of the North Star anime film makes PERFECT sense to use as a "summarized/compressed" version of the first quarter or so of the series. It does an all around excellent job at hitting on and encapsulating almost all the important points, events, and characters of those stories (save for Toki and Yuda, who are really the only particularly noteworthy/important characters from those arcs that didn't make it into the film), with mainly the chronology/sequence of certain key events being re-arranged for the sake of serving a feature film's "3 act structure" format (like Ken having his final fight with Shin at Southern Cross right before he goes to Cassandra, as opposed to well before he meets Rei and has to fight Jagi).
For people who don't have the time, the energy, or the patience to sink into a great big Shonen series (Fist's TV anime series clocks in at around 152 episodes total, only one episode less than the original pre-Z DB anime), the 1986 anime movie does a MORE than adequate job at giving them the basic gist of the series in one two hour long shot.
And if it REALLY does grab them that much (as it certainly did a damn good job at instantly hooking a fuckton of other fans back in the early 90s, like myself) then there's absolutely nothing at all stopping them from moving on to checking out the main series either way. And even though the movie will "spoil" most of the main, key events of the first two arcs, there's still PLENTY of extra/important details to be had in the main series that VASTLY expands on and fleshes out those stories, and of course even some notable characters (namely Toki in particular) whose absence from the movie means that they'll still be plenty new to anyone coming into things from the movie. And once past the first two arcs, there's still another 4 more to go after it that are comprised of 100% all new material from the movie.
Basically, the movie works as a great "free sample to taste test before you commit to the full main course meal".
And as far as the "tone" and "style" differences: I frankly flat out disagree on both those counts and honestly don't even really see what you're referring to. The main stylistic differences are that the movie has a different musical score from the main series, as well as overall MUCH better animation (obviously, considering its a theatrical feature film). And of course the movie gets to have even WAY less restrictions on gore/violence, so it gets to go even more nuts with that stuff than the TV anime does.
With regards to the different scores: even though the movie has a different score from the TV series, its still overwhelmingly
in the same tonal/stylistic wheelhouse as the main series; that of a big, brassy, bombastic, classical Wuxia score. In terms of "tone" and "style", the anime film and TV series are still very much in keeping with one another: the movie just has a MUCH bigger budget and better production values to play around with.
All that being said though: if you ARE someone who has all the energy and enthusiasm for diving headfirst into another big, hundred+ episode, multi-arc, continuity-heavy Shonen megafranchise, with no questions asked up front... then BY ALL means check out Fist of the North Star's main TV anime series first ASAP, followed then by the movie for a fun (and gorgeously animated/scored) bonus extra.
In terms of these kinds of massive Shonen action mega-series, Fist of the North Star is about as good as any of them ever get (topped maybe only by Yu Yu Hakusho), and certainly kicks Dragon Ball's ass around the block if I were to directly compare them overall. And its certainly a FAR better use of your time commitment than godawful, insufferably sanctimonious and maudlin Hallmark sap like One Piece and MHA and whatnot (which are generally WAY longer and WAY more tedious to get through than Fist ever even comes close to being).