Melodic Musings: Fist of the North Star – Ai Wo Torimodose & Offshoots

You wa SHOCK!

The line resounds boldly and the speaker is so assured of this proclamation that it bears repeating.

Hokuto no Ken – Ai Wo Torimodose

You wa SHOCK!

If there’s any other shout from animelyricdom that has had a bigger impact upon first listen, I’d be hard-pressed to think of it. With that emphatic scream, everything that follows after drips with manliness, whether that’s the passionate crooning about fiery, burning love, the badass electric guitar accompaniment, and, if you were to look at the opening sequence, rugged dudes with stern, glowering looks whose punches and kicks cause enemies to spontaneously combust. It doesn’t get more over-the-top than that, and, for those looking for a respite from moe anime, Hokuto no Ken provides some good nostalgia fuel for the days where anime characters kicked their opponents’ asses and damn well liked it.

You wa SHOCK!

In looking at this immortal line, it’s amusing how well it translates to both an English and Japanese audience. When I first heard it, my amusement stemmed from the amalgam of English and Japanese at play in a way that nevertheless works (it’s a staple whenever I go karaoke-ing with a certain crowd). The song has also become an icon over in Japan and has seen some good parodies/homages over the years. If you were to look at parody anime, for instance, you can expect Hokuto no Ken (if not “Ai Wo Torimodose”) to appear somewhere.


Gintama – I am Shock

Given Gintama’s modus operandi, it’s not surprising to see them take a stab at “Ai Wo Torimodose.” This parody rearranges some of the notes in the opening electric guitar riff, paralleling the original closely enough that most people should recognize the gist of what it was shooting for. And then there’s the iconic line, which changes to the more interesting “I am SHOCK.” By doing so, the parodists bring two things into play: 1) the singer’s focus shifts away from the person he loves and to himself (ie. “you are a shock [to my desire]” versus “I am a shock [to myself and how awesome I am]”) and 2) because the line is sung rather than shouted, it’s definitely meant to be playful. Which means, yes, I am looking at this with the interpretation that the singer is being playfully narcissistic and even slightly cheesy, but all in good fun.

That said, I did wish they added some more lyrics to extend the possibility of narcissism further, but I suppose those are a bit harder to work up and have it come out good. Oh well.

Lucky Star – Ai Wo Torimodose

The other instance that comes to mind comes from Lucky Star’s OVA which, for good or for ill, features the duo of Minoru Shiraishi and Akira Kogami (va: Konno Hiromi) from the Lucky Channel segment. Here, their rendition is probably meant to invoke a few chuckles, especially since, from a musical standpoint, this isn’t really anything to write home about. In fact, the pleasure is really to be had from how atrocious it’s sung. After all, Hiromi’s growls and snarls while she sings this in a deeper voice (or attempts at those aforementioned expressions anyway) and Shiraishi’s enthusiastic, if off-tune delivery during the second half (which falls within the normal parameters for any Shiraishi-sung Lucky Star song at any rate) leaves any serious music aficionado wanting. But as far as hilarity goes, it works…but only assuming one hasn’t gotten tired of the Lucky Channel duo’s antics by this point.

All these musings courtesy of ottocycle’s tweet.


Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

One thought on “Melodic Musings: Fist of the North Star – Ai Wo Torimodose & Offshoots

  • June 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I like these musings that just muse about anything you want without having a clear theme/conclusion in mind, though the somewhat-abrupt ending was pretty SHOCKing to me.

    (By pretty shocking I mean not really shocking at all, but I had to force a pun in somewhere.)


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