Fist of the North Star's influence on JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure contains many references to other things including fashion, media such as other manga or popular movies, and most notably, western music. One of the most prevalent of these influences is the manga Fist of the North Star, with references not only spanning the parts of JoJo itself, but also in Araki's earlier work Baoh the Visitor too.
Baoh the Visitor
Baoh the Visitor is Araki's first manga series to feature over-the-top gore in the same vein that Fist of the North Star does.
The character Sumire may be influenced by Rin from Fist of the North Star as they're both 'young girl'-type characters with psychic powers. Although they slightly differ in that Sumire has clairvoyant powers while Rin telepathically calls out to Kenshiro despite being previously mute or far away from him.
- Sumire's pet Nozzo may have also been inspired by Pel, a small dog Rin takes care of that only appears in the Fist of the North Star anime.
To demonstrate the power of the Baoh parasite to the Dress Organization, Kasuminome has a dog with the parasite fight a tiger similar to a scene in Fist of the North Star where Ryuken has Kenshiro and Raoh fight a tiger to train them in the Hokuto Shinken martial art.
The antagonist Walken also scars his exposed chest in a fashion similar to how Jagi scarred and exposed his chest to disguise himself as Kenshiro. When Walken's headphones/bandana is destroyed and he goes berserk his psychokinesis attacks cause some Dress members to explode in a similar fashion to how Hokuto Shinken causes its victims to.
In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure itself, the most obvious influence is the almost identical appearances of Kenshiro and Jonathan Joestar, especially in their original black-and-white manga forms. Both feature a heavily muscular build and largely blue clothing and both are depicted with either blue or brown hair in various mediums.
- Jonathan and Dio are also adoptive brothers in the same way Kenshiro and Raoh are.
Hamon and Hokuto Shinken are also alike in that not only are they both martial arts, but they both feature wide offensive capabilities that go beyond traditional sparring methods, including the involuntary controlling of their opponents and removing poison from their blood flow.
- In Chapter 32 Zeppeli describes a doctor who used Hamon to heal a patient's leg wound simply by touching it, similar to how Hokuto Shinken can be used to treat one's injuries by pressing certain pressure points.
- Then in Chapter 38 Dire uses Hamon to create afterimages that follow him in a similar vein to Hokuto Shinken's ultimate technique Musou Tensei.
Some panels in the Phantom Blood manga are almost one-to-one with some from Fist of the North Star which can be seen in the Reference Gallery
The characters Caesar and Shu both have similar deaths, being fatally crushed by stone bodies of religious significance after being gravely wounded by their ultimate rivals. After being beaten by Wamuu, Caesar is crushed by a stone cross that falls from the ceiling of the fortified hotel. Shu after having his leg's tendons cut, shot by arrows, and impaled by a spear by Souther, is ultimately crushed by the capstone of Souther's Holy Cross Mausoleum.
- The characters of Stroheim and Akashachi share similar backgrounds; being gravely injured in the past only to come back with prosthetic and robotic parts that are versatile in combat.
The overall design, and more specifically the shoulder pads, of Star Platinum are similar to the ones of Kenshiro, Rei, and a few other characters in Fist of the North Star.
- Star Platinum's Stand cry of "ORA ORA ORA" is much the same as Ken's battle cry of "ATATATA" which was inspired by the high-pitch sounds martial artist Bruce Lee makes.
Silver Chariot's mask is similar to the helmet worn by Jagi, covering everything except their eyes and having spikey downward protrusions that guard their mouths.
- Silver Chariot producing afterimages in Chapter 126 is also comparable to Hokuto Shinken's Musou Tensei.
- Again in Chapter 126, Avdol throws a knife down to Polnareff who is buring alive as a way to less painfully way to take his life. This is similar to a scene in Fist of the North Star where Kaioh throws a knife down to Kenshiro who is losing consciousness from Kaioh's poisonous gas telling him that he refuses to kill him as a martial artist.
Polnareff's search to avenge his sister is also similar to how Rei searches to reunite with his lost sister Airi.
In Chapter 256 the force of Star Platinum and The World's punches cause Jotaro and DIO to begin to lift into the air similar to how Kenshiro and Raoh's fighting auras cause them to be propelled into the air during their fights too.
During Phantom Blood, Battle Tendency, and Stardust Crusaders's serialization, Araki said he was influenced by the hyper-masculinity of Tetsuo Hara's artwork at the time, something that would begin to fade out with the publication of Diamond is Unbreakable.
Like in Phantom Blood, some panels in the Stardust Crusaders manga are almost one-to-one with some from Fist of the North Star which can be seen in the Reference Gallery
Diamond is Unbreakable
Yoshikage Kira and Ryuga from Fist of the North Star are both based on British musician and actor David Bowie. Another Fist of the North Star character, Han, is modeled after Freddie Mercury. Many other Fist of the North Star characters are modeled after professional wrestlers.
Kira's Stand Killer Queen causes people to explode just by touching them, the same way Hokuto Shinken does.
Narancia's biography on the tailpiece of Chapter 572 lists his favorite TV show as Fist of the North Star. In Italy Fist of the North Star is known as Ken il guerriero and was actually quite popular there during the 90s so it is not unreasonable for it to be his favorite show. It even received a full Italian dub when a full English one was never made.
The Italian VHS release of the 1986 Fist of the North Star movie is also the famous source version of the lost uncensored gory parts originally removed by Toei Animation due to backlash.
An Italy-exclusive card game titled Ken il guerriero il gioco di carte also exists and an official Italian translation of the Fist of the North Star light novel The Cursed City was also made.
DIO's goal to achieve "Heaven" in Part 6 is similar to Raoh's ambition to obtain the Heavens for himself. DIO and Raoh seem to have overlapping ideas about predetermined fate and overcoming destiny to acquire their Heavens.
- Both Johngalli A. and Dagar share a similar death, being killed by the partner they were working with so that their identities and location would remain lost.
Weather Report and Enrico Pucci's backstory where they are revealed to be long-lost brothers after Weather regains his lost memories may have also been inspired by Kenshiro and Hyoh's relationship where after Hyoh regains his lost memories they are revealed to be biological brothers too.
In Chapter 701 Kenshiro and Raoh are mentioned in a news report as Anasui leaves to find Weather, being brought into reality by Bohemian Rhapsody.
Steel Ball Run
Ringo's Stand's namesake, Mandom by Jerry Wallace, is used in a commercial for male grooming products by a company of the same name which features American actor Charles Bronson who was the inspiration for the pen name of Buronson, the writer of Fist of the North Star.
Steel Ball Run is also notable for incorporating many religious themes, specifically of Christianity, which is something Fist of the North Star also experimented with:
- Shin's emblem is the Bloody Cross, a cross that is blood red.
- Kenshiro is treated as a messiah by the defenseless people he saves and is titled the Savior of Century's End.
- He is even crucified multiple times by Souther, Kaioh, and Bolge.
- Toki's appearance bears a resemblance to many depictions of Jesus Christ.
- The character Yuda[a] is seemingly based on Judas Iscariot and are both synonymous with deception and betrayal.
- Both names share the kanji of ユダ (Yuda).
- Raoh has an ambition to conquer the Heavens for himself.
- Souther and Lui are both leaders with religious titles, being the Holy Emperor and Celestial Empress respectively.
The female members of the Higashikata Family in the Steel Ball Run universe are named after the playing card suits "Heart", "Diamond", "Club" and "Sword" (Spade), similar to the members of the KING organization who, excluding Shin, are all named after playing card suits.
Some voice actors and staff share overlapping roles in Araki's works and in Fist of the North Star media:
- Araki's former assistant and co-author of The Lives of Eccentrics, Hirohisa Onikubo, was also Tetsuo Hara's chief assistant during the publication of Fist of the North Star.
- Dio's voice actor, Takehito Koyasu, also voices Kenshiro in the 2003 OVAs New Fist of the North Star.
- J. Geil's voice actor in the Stardust Crusaders Drama CDs and Iggy's All-Star Battle voice actor, and Yoshihiro Kira's voice actor, Shigeru Chiba, also voiced the narrator in the original Fist of the North Star anime.
- Junichi Hayama, character designer and chief animation director of the Stardust Crusaders OVAs and Phantom Blood movie was the animation director of the Fist of the North Star 2 anime.
Before working with Buronson, Tetsuo Hara wanted to be the assistant of Buichi Terasawa, author of Cobra, but was rejected and as Terasawa decided to support Araki. Terasawa and Araki then went on to make Cool Shock B.T., which debuted the same year as Fist of the North Star.[Note 1]
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and Fist of the North Star have crossed over multiple times before as manga serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump, appearing in anniversary artwork together and in crossover games such as Jump Ultimate Stars, J-Stars Victory VS, Jump Force and in mobile games such as Jump: Ore Collection!.
Both series have also started as shonen manga, but have since began serialization as seinen manga during major revampments (i.e. Steel Ball Run and Fist of the Blue Sky).
- sometimes romanized as Juda
- Brought to my attention by Morganstedmanms in the comments section