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New Grappler Baki

Submitted by Druss on Fri, 2008-09-05 01:58

Grappler Baki is generally touted to be one of the most violent animes / mangas around. While the anime (especially the Saidai Tournament Hen) was below par, I was hoping that the manga would be (as is usually is) a touch better. And it is just a touch better, no more.

The first series does not seem to have been scanlated and so, I had to pick up the story from the second series which coincides with the conclusion of the "Maximum Tournament". To summarise the series, Baki and the "finalists" from the tournament are asked to champion the cause of "good" in defeating the "evil" superhuman death-row inmates who have escaped and arrived in Japan to "know defeat". Later on in the series, Baki is forced to take part in China's sacred martial arts tournament and (along with his friends) faces even crazier practitioners of the martial arts including a 146-year-old legend. Finally, believe it or not, Baki has to fight Muhammad Ali Jr., the son of Muhammad Ali himself, and at its end, decides to confront Demon-Daddy Hanma Yujiro, whereupon the series concludes.

It is all rather silly bordering on the stupid, with generally poor direction and a tiring plot. However, some of the outlandish scenes and generally crazy imagination piqued my interest enough that I flitted through each of the 270 and odd chapters there are and will very likely read the next series "Baki: Son of Ogre" as well (not least because it apparently features G.W. Bush shitting his pants in fear).