For many western '80s kids, Akira was their first introduction to anime, with Katsuhiro Otomo's dystopian classic being one of the first anime movies to get a major push by the mainstream media. For me, however, my first anime encounter was the 1986 movie version of Buronson's post-apocalyptic manga, Fist of the North Star. I had a third-generation, blurry-as-fuck VHS, which I had to keep hidden under my bed because my upbringing was wholly censored.
I remember, like many fans experiencing FOTNS (or anime) for the first time, being blown away by how incredibly violent it was, and also being hugely confused by the movie's massively unsatisfying non-ending, a culture shock for a kid brought up on movies that always tied narratives up neatly by the end credits. Still, that movie - and its AMAZING mid-fight rock track - are ingrained in the membranes of everyone who's experienced it.
Sega's Team Yakuza were clearly also impressed and influenced with the ultra-macho tale of massive dudes, ridiculous martial arts, and exploding heads. They have, essentially, given their Yakuza engine a new coat of paint, based on the story of Kenshiro, Shin, Yuria, and top motherfucker, Raoh. But does Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise ease my pain, ease my loneliness, or is it already dead?