Here it is, the latest season of Baki, and this time it covers the Great Chinese Challenge, the Godlike Clash of the Kids, and Revenge Tokyo, which was a spin-off of the Baki Manga series adapted for a One-Shot episode. In my last review, we covered the first season, which was the Most Evil Death Row Convicts Arc adapted from the Manga. Baki is quickly rushed to China after a deadly battle with a Poison Hand User by the name of Ryuukou Yanagi, Baki’s body ravaged by the poison and his only hope is to fight in a Tournament that is held every Hundred Years, the Great Raitai Tournament! The Prize? The title of Kaioh, a title given the best fighter with skills worthy enough for the Chinese Martial Arts Association; His father, The Orge Yujiro Hanma, and Muhammad Ali Jr (Son of the Great Boxer, Muhammad Ali) also enter the Tournament, can Baki find a cure for the poison and win the Tournament?
Staying true to the Manga, each scene is done with prowess and the battles even more fierce than the last, one of the most impressive things I would have to say about Keisuke Itagaki’s Grappler Baki series is the research that was put into each fighting style, while most of it might be exaggerated in terms of science and fantasy but in terms of showing how fierce a human being could be and their determination; it is fascinating, to be honest. If you’re not familiar with Mangaka Itagaki’s background, he served in the First Airbourne Brigade in Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force and holds a degree in Shorinji Kempo. Back to the story on hand, each fight was animated well, though the physics in most of the fights such as Yujiro Hanma vs Kaioh Kaku was extremely odd with it being an anime, it doesn’t always need to make sense (Had my eyes closed at times, was afraid it would be a massacre!) The battle with Baki and the Poison Hand user Kaioh Ri had to have been one of the goriest battles of Season Three; Biscuit Oliva’s strength is one of the remarkable, but scariest things to encounter for a fighter, his Weightlifting physique reminds me of Lou Ferrigno when he was in the tip-top shape of his time during the 1983 film, Hercules.
To balance the serious tones of the story, there was a hefty dose of comedic moments to balance, Muhammad Ali Jr’s attempts to woo Kozue started off stale, I say this because his attempt to play mind games with Baki did not work out so well because Kozue may look innocent and kind but don’t let that fool you, she may not have the physical strength like the fighters that Baki has faced but when it comes to emotional and mental strength, she is on a whole new level. Muhammad Ali Jr even if it is just a fictionalized character (both the Senior and Junior) he and his father are great fighters and the skill that his son had going up against Baki’s previous opponents was both not only a test of the strength he has but of his fighting spirit. The one thing I will give the series credit for is that it embodies the fighting spirit of humankind, whether it be real or fictionalized, and if you write the series off as one big cheesy anime, Keisuke Itagaki and TMS Entertainment did an outstanding job on this season of Baki.
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