Nanto Sei Ken is a martial arts style featured in the Hokuto no Ken anime/manga series. It is the opposite (the yang to Hokuto Shinken's yin) assassination art to Hokuto Shinken, as their names serve to reflect their contrasting natures (Hokuto is the North Dipper, whereas Nanto is the South). While Hokuto Shinken targets vital points to destroy enemies from within, Nanto Seiken teaches how to kill from the outside. This style not only incorporates weaponry but the more advanced schools allow fighters to kill with their bare hands, ranging from hand-to-hand stabbing techniques to slice enemies apart with air pressure (pictured right).
In the official English versions of Fist of the North Star, this style is referred to as the Fist of the Southern Cross or Fist of the South Star, depending on the translation. The former is used in the Viz edition of the English manga and the live-action movie, whereas the latter is used in the English dub of the anime. The Raijin Master Edition alternates between the two names, using Southern Cross in the early volumes and South Star for the rest. While the Nanto asterism is unrelated to the Southern Cross, the Southern Cross itself serves as the symbol of Nanto Seiken in the series and it is also the name of Shin's stronghold.
Originally, Nanto Sei Ken was the fighting style used by Shin, the first major antagonist in the series. According to the backstory provided, Nanto Seiken, along with Hokuto Shinken, are the two most powerful assassination styles in Chinese martial arts. It follows a different principle from Hokuto Shinken, in which it has the power to destroy an enemy's body from the outside through powerful stabbing techniques, as opposed to Hokuto Shinken's use of the body's Keiraku Hikō to destroy the enemy from within. While Kenshiro and Shin were forbidden to ever fight each other, Shin broke the rules by defeating Kenshiro in order to claim Yuria (Ken's fiancée) for himself. The first story arc centers around Kenshiro's quest to reclaim Yuria from Shin. It was really Jagi who made Shin betray Kenshiro.
After Shin's death, several other Nanto styles and fighters were introduced in order to expand the story beyond the initial ten chapters. These styles, such as Nanto Muon Ken and Nanto Suichō Ken, are established to be sects of the main Nanto Seiken school. The organization structure of Nanto Seiken is eventually established in manga chapter 80. There are said to be 108 sects of Nanto Seiken, with the six primary branches being the Nanto Roku Seiken.
The story arc after Yuda's and Rei's deaths (chapters 83-97) centers around the rivalry between two of the remaining masters: the benevolent Shuh and his arch-enemy, Souther, the strongest of the Nanto warriors. After the death of Souther, the Last General of Nanto appears to confront Raoh. The Last General is revealed to be none other than the previously thought-to-be-dead Yuria, a descendant of the Rightful Nanto Lineage (南斗正当血統, Nanto Seitō Kettō).
Nanto Roku Sei KenEdit
Nanto Roku Sei Ken (南斗六聖拳, Six Holy Fists of South Dipper): There are 108 sects of Nanto Seiken. The six strongest Nanto masters are called the Nanto Roku Seiken, who correspond to the six stars in the Nanto Roku Sei constellation. In ancient times, these six masters each guarded one of six gates of the Emperor's palace.
After the nuclear war, Nanto Seiken was split into two camps, one seeking peace and one seeking power. When Yuda, one of the Nanto Roku Seiken, joined forces with Raoh (along with 27 subordinate sects), the fates of the Nanto Roku Seiken were cursed.
- Nanto Hakurō Ken (Shu, Jingi) (南斗白鷺拳, South Dipper White Heron Fist): This versatile style focuses on kicking techniques but is adept at destroying enemies with open hand attacks. Its successor is born under the Star of Benevolence (仁星, Jinsei).
- Nanto Hōō Ken (Ogai, Souther) (南斗鳳凰拳, South Dipper Fenghuang Phoenix Fist): This freeform style typically has no stances and instead focuses on incredible speed and power. However, there is one stance which is only assumed when facing a worthy opponent. Its successor is born under the Star of Leadership (将星 Shōsei).
- Nanto Kōkaku Ken (Yuda) (南斗紅鶴拳, South Dipper Flamingo Fist): This style destroys enemies with long-range, vertical attacks. The speed of its techniques can slice the victim apart from the back without touching it. Its successor is born under the Star of Enchantment (妖星, Yōsei).
- Nanto Koshū Ken (Fugen, Shin, Jugai) (南斗孤鷲拳, South Dipper Lone Eagle Fist): This style focuses on rapid hand strikes which stab the enemy to death and also uses flying kick techniques. Its successor is born under the Star of Martyrdom (殉星, Junsei).
- Nanto Saigo no Shō (Dharma, Yuria) (南斗六聖拳最後の将,, The Last General of South Dipper): This is a title held by the last member of the Nanto Rokusei. Their role is to unite with Hokuto in times of chaos. Its successor is born under the Merciful Mother Star (慈母星, Jibosei).
- Nanto Suichō Ken (Rofu, Rei, Zaki, Rugy, Linley, Amiba) (南斗水鳥拳, South Dipper Waterbird Fist): This style's movements are compared to a graceful water bird. However, its destructive power is without equal and can slaughter enemies with its devastating slicing techniques. Its successor is born under the Star of Justice (義星, Gisei).
Nanto Gosha SeiEdit
Nanto Goshasei (南斗五車星, Five Chariot Stars of South Dipper): These are the five guardians sworn to protect the Last Nanto General. They each represent one of five cosmic elements (wind, fire, sea, earth, and sky) and are trained in their own unique fighting styles. With the exception of Juza's self-taught style, the origins of each of these styles are never fully explained and they are not counted within the 108 sects of Nanto Seiken. In the original manga, Rihaku was only a military strategist, but he was given his own martial art in the TV series.
- Garyū no Ken (Juza) (我流の拳, Self-Taught Fist): This style is free-form with no set stance and focuses on offensive power. The style is comprised primarily of rapid kicks and grappling techniques.
- Gosha Enjō Ken (Shuren) (五車炎情拳, Five Chariots Passionate Flame Fist): This style allows the user to manipulate phosphorous to incinerate his enemies, whilst they are protected from the flames.
- Gosha Fūretsu Ken (Hyui) (五車風裂拳, Five Chariots Wind Split Fist): This style allows the user to manipulate air currents to slice enemies apart and can also augment their own speed.
- Gosha Hasui Ken (Rihaku) (五車波砕拳, Five Chariots Wave Crush Fist): This style replicates the strength of a tidal wave with powerful flying attacks.
- Gosha Sanga Zan (Fudoh) (五車山峨斬, Five Chariots Mountain Slash): This style focuses on crushing the opponent with the user's brute strength and stature.
Nanto Shugo SanninshuEdit
Nanto Shugo Sanninshu (南斗守護三人衆, Three Guardians from South Dipper):
Nanto No JushaEdit
Nanto no Jūsha (Tō) (南斗の従者, South Dipper Servant):
Other Nanto stylesEdit
As previously stated, Nanto Seiken composed of over 108 sects. However, only a few of them outside of the Roku Seiken appear in the manga. The majority of the Nanto Seiken styles were featured in the Hokuto no Ken anime series, as well as the spin-off material.
In the original mangaEdit
- Nanto Hiyoku Ken (Dagar) (南斗比翼拳, South Dipper Conjoined Wing Fist): One of the subordinate sects of Nanto Kōkaku Ken. It uses vertical slicing techniques.
- Nanto Jarō Geki (Jagi) (南斗邪狼撃 South Dipper Wicked Wolf Attack): A stabbing and slicing technique. Origin unknown.
- Nanto Muon Ken (Colonel) (南斗無音拳, South Dipper Silent Fist): This assassination style centers primarily around the use of weapons like finger-claws and allows the user to attack without making a sound.
- Nanto Sōyō Ken (Buzz Harn & Gill Harn) (南斗双鷹拳, South Dipper Twin Hawk Fist): This style appears to emphasize cutting in a cross-motion (cutting both vertical and horizontal simultaneously).
- Nanto Sōzan Ken (Beji & Giji) (南斗双斬拳, South Dipper Twin Slashing Fist): This style is composed primarily of juggling knives back and forth between its two successors.
In the anime seriesEdit
- Nanto Anshō Ken (Zaria) (南斗暗鐘拳, South Dipper Dark Bell Fist): Is based on use of sound waves and hypnosis. The style's sound waves tend to come from bells. It kills by causing the cells in the body to destroy themselves, thus cutting its intended target.
- Nanto Bakusatsu Ken (Jackal) (南斗爆殺拳, South Dipper Explosive Kill Fist): This style specializes in concealed blades and explosives.
- Nanto Fūsha Zan (Baron) (南斗風車斬, South Dipper Windmill Slash): Involves the use of a large, two-headed, axe which is spun around in a destructive whirlwhind.
- Nanto Hyakuzan Ken (Dante) (南斗百斬拳, South Dipper Hundred Slash Fist): Use techniques consists of stabbing and boomerang attacks.
- Nanto Jaben Ken (Junk) (南斗蛇鞭拳, South Dipper Snake Whip Fist): It's user wields a single extending snake-shaped whip that is swung so fast it creates the illusion of many whips to confuse the opponent.
- Nanto Kōmori Ken (Two of Patra's henchmen) ( 南斗蝙蝠拳, South Dipper Bat Fist): This style involves the usage of gliders and claws; its main strategy involves diving down onto the opponent.
- Nanto Ningen Hōdan (Garekki, Gold Wolf Army) (南斗人間砲弾, South Dipper Human Cannonball): Closer to a move than a style, this technique involves the user being equipped with a sword and fired into the air via cannon. The user, upon getting above his target, can hold their sword outwards and drop down suddenly and with great, violent force. This is more of a siege style than a fighting style.
- Nanto Ressha Hō (Tōda) ( 南斗列車砲, South Dipper Train Cannon): This is not a martial arts at all, but actually a Kürze Bruno Railway Gun.
- Nanto Ryūjin Ken (Patra & Dragon) (南斗龍神拳, South Dipper Dragon God Fist): The style involves the use of pyrokinesis, in which the user can safely engulf his skin in flames to destroy his opponent, as well as use fire-breathing techniques. It also involves witchcraft, where Patra could use small crystal orbs in order to give the illusion of a dragon, which is actually concealed knives or flames.
- Nanto Shōten Ken (Joker) (南斗翔天拳, South Dipper Hovering Fist): This style consists of throwing playing cards, pseudo-teleportation, and mirror-imaging techniques.
In Gaiden seriesEdit
- Nanto Hien Ken (Hakka & Riron) (南斗飛燕拳, South Dipper Flying Swallow Fist): This style specializes in mid-air stabbing techniques.
- Nanto Hisui Ken (Masaya, Karen) (南斗翡翠拳, South Dipper Kingfisher Fist): This style is a subordinate branch of Nanto Hakurō Ken and uses kicking techniques.
- Nanto Kōjaku Ken (Zan) (南斗紅雀拳, South Dipper Red Munia Fist): This style is a subordinate branch of Nanto Kōkaku Ken and prides itself on being a beautiful yet deadly style.
- Nanto Ryūō Ken (Ryurou) (南斗流鴎拳, South Dipper Flowing Seagull Fist): This style focuses on mid-air slicing techniques.
- Nanto Shinchō Ken (Garuda) (南斗神鳥拳, South Dipper Garuda Fist): This style allows the user's fists rend the air at the speed of light and slice the victim. All those who are cut are burnt with fire by the incredible friction it produces.
- Nanto Shūga Ken (Habaki) (南斗隼牙拳, South Dipper Falcon Fang Fist): This style manipulates vacuum waves to slice opponents.
In the novels Edit
In the video gamesEdit
Ura - Nanto Roku Sei KenEdit
Ura - Nanto Roku Sei Ken (裏南斗六星拳, Six Sacred Fists of Reverse South Dipper): Is the Ura - Nanto Sei Ken (裏南斗聖拳, Reverse South Dipper Sacred Fist) equivalent of the Nanto Roku Sei Ken that appears in the Hokuto no Ken 4 video game. It was banished from the 108 branches of Nanto Seiken for its cruel power, during which time, it existed underground until the apocalypse brought it to the surface once more. There are six primary masters called the Ura - Nanto Roku Sei Ken, to correspond to the six stars in the Ura - Nanto Roku Sei constellation.
Nanto Shin Gosha SeiEdit
Nanto Shin Goshasei (南斗新五車星, New Five Chariot Stars of South Dipper): The new order of the Goshasei who appear in the Hokuto no Ken (Banpresto) video game. With the exception of Rihaku, the four new members are all replicas of their original counterparts.
Ura - Nanto Gosha SeiEdit
Ura- Nanto Goshasei (裏南斗五車星, Five Chariot Stars of Reverse South Dipper): The five guardians of the Ura - Nanto Doomed General that appears in the Hokuto no Ken 4 video game.
Other Nanto Sei Ken warriorsEdit
Other Ura - Nanto Sei Ken warriorsEdit