Credible action stars are a rare breed in Japanese cinema, but Hideaki Ito is the real deal: tall, handsome and with a rippling athleticism that makes him equally convincing playing a rescue diver, samurai or lumberjack.
He would have been a natural choice for a screen version of “Fist of the North Star,” the classic manga series about a beefcake martial artist fighting for justice in a post-apocalyptic world. As the eponymous hero of Takashi Hirano’s “Kappei,” Ito gets the next best thing — only the setting is today’s Tokyo, and the apocalypse never happened.
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