The legendary comic book “Fist of the North Star”, which has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, will be on stage for the first time in December 2021 at the Nissei Theatre in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward as the original Japanese musical “Fist of the North Star – Hokuto no Ken”. The cast includes Onuki Yuusuke, Katou Kazuki, and Uehara Takuya.

The original manga “Fist of the North Star” was serialized in “Weekly Shonen Jump” from 1983 to 1988 by Buronson (original story) and Hara Tetsuo (manga).
Set at the end of the century, when civilized society was lost due to the final war and violence ruled the world, the film depicts Kenshiro, a lore master of Hokuto Shinken, as he grows up as a savior with love and sorrow on his shoulders.

The musical “Fist of the North Star – Hokuto no Ken” will be staged this time. HORIPRO, which has been actively involved in international co-productions with overseas companies, will be co-producing with a Chinese company for the first time. The partner is Ranspace, a Shanghai-based theater production company, with top creators from Japan, the U.S., and China: Frank Wildhorn as composer, Ishimaru Sachiko as director, Takahashi Ako as writer and lyricist, and Jiao Ming as choreographer.

The main character, Kenshiro, will be played by Onuki Yuusuke, an actor who shocked the musical world by demonstrating his extraordinary physical abilities in the roles of Bert in “Mary Poppins” and Alder Billy in “Billy Elliot: Little Dancer”.
One of the highlights of this production is how he expresses Kenshiro’s anger, sorrow and love not only through singing but also through imaginative dance using his well-trained body.

Kenshiro’s older brother Toki will be played by Katou Kazuki and Onoda Ryunosuke in a double cast, and the roles of Rei and Juza, two of the most popular characters in the original story, will be alternately played by Irei Kanata and Uehara Rio. Ryuken, the mentor and father of Kenshiro and his siblings, will be played by Kawaguchi Tatsuya, an indispensable figure in the musical world. The role of Kenshiro’s enemy, Shin, will be played by a double cast of Uehara Takuya and Ueda Kandai, who have shown remarkable growth.
The roles of Kenshiro’s nemesis, Raoh, Kenshiro’s fiancée, Yuria, Rin, and Bat will be announced in the future.

The world premiere performance will be held at the Nissay Theatre in Tokyo in December 2021, followed by a tour of Japan and then a tour of China in 2022. This is sure to be one of the most talked about shows this winter.

■Original Author: Buronson

While I’m on the edge of my seat, wondering if they are going to hit each other before they sing and dance (laugh), I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of way they are going to capture the “fate” and “love” that were so important in the work♪

■Manga: Hara Tetsuo

Onuki-san, who plays Kenshiro, has a physique and physical abilities that are far from Japanese, and he has a voice in the high register that is full of warmth. No flattery! The stage was already ablaze with his dancing!

■Composer:Frank Wildhorn

It is a great honor for me to be able to bring the new musical “Fist of the North Star – Hokuto no Ken” to you with my valued partner, HORIPRO.
The original manga is so famous with the famous line “You are already dead”, that it was a great challenge to create the music for it. I hope many people, including fans of the original manga, will like it. I felt the same way when I tried my first work based on a manga, “Death Note: The Musical”, but the wonderful story and the fascinating characters in the original work always inspire me. That’s exactly what happened with “Fist”. I can’t wait for everyone to hear this song!
The world is going through a very difficult time right now, but I hope that things will turn around for the better, and that we can step out into a new adventure, just like the story of “Fist”!

■Director: Ishimaru Sachiko

The challenge of adapting “Fist of the North Star” into a musical. I couldn’t believe my ears at first. I was born and raised in the Showa era (1926-1989), and it was too great a work for me, and the appeal was the battles that were far beyond life-sized. But now that I can see the outline of the work, I am amazed at the wisdom of the producers. To fight. To search. To grow. To love. To find the light. It’s a musical full of important elements.
The year is 20XX, and beyond the carnage of what was thought to be the world’s final war, there are still people who survive, and a new world of the weak and the strong emerges. What kind of strength is needed in a world of disorder and chaos?
I had a series of discussions with Takahashi Ako, who adapted the script as a woman living in the present age, with great care for the original story.
Frank Wildhorn’s music is beautiful and gentle as it accompanies the emotions of people living under extreme conditions, and during the battle scenes, it enhances the sense of reality with its heartbreaking rhythm and groove, and at other times, it brings tears to the eyes with its passion.
Together with the wonderful actors who have been trained in karate, we will create a story of love and sorrow of fighting men that appeals to the present. The stage will be filled with song, dance, and action. Analog, high-tech, and shaking.
Kenshiro, played by Onuki Yuusuke, and the other long-loved characters will be nurtured to become characters that will deeply touch the hearts of both fans of the original story and fans of the musical.

■Script and Song Lyrics: Takahashi Ako

“Fist of the North Star” to be made into a musical….. I was surprised at first, but after reading the original manga, I changed my mind. It is famous for its fist-fighting scenes, but what really attracted me was the thick pillars of the story, which depicts the rebirth of a ruined world, and the way the characters clash with each other, each with their own beliefs. Every line of dialogue and every scene was dramatic, and I felt as if their thoughts were constantly flowing through the music. The director, Ishimaru-san, gave me many suggestions and Frank added his overwhelming music to my point of view. I was also blessed with the unique casting of Onuki Yuusuke to express the taciturn soul of Kenshiro with his dynamic body. My heart trembles at the thought of finally bringing this work to life, which I’ve been working so hard on for several years. I want to passionately and calmly create a drama about people who live for the light in an age of darkness.

■Kenshuro: Yuusuke Onuki

I feel a strong sense of responsibility to play the main character of a work that has been loved not only in Japan but all over the world for a long time.
I read the original story twice after I was asked to play the role, and I felt that I wanted to be like Kenshiro, who stands for justice and love. There are many great lines in the original story, and my task is to be able to say them with real feeling. I am currently training to build a strong body to be able to play the role of Kenshiro until the end. I have always wanted to go overseas from Japan someday, so this performance in China is one of my dreams come true. I am also looking forward to collaborating with Chinese dancers.
Wildhorn’s music is also wonderful, with melodies that make me cry just singing them. The role of Kenshiro requires singing, dancing, and acting, so I would like to make the best use of what I have cultivated as a dancer and search for a physical expression that only I can do. I would like to make “Fist of the North Star: Hokuto no Ken” a work that will be loved by both fans of the original work and fans of the musical.

(C) Buronson, Hara Tetsuo / Core Mix 1983 Copyright License GS-111