Welcome back to another Baki episode recap! These episodes go pretty quickly so being up to the fourth one already seems crazy. When we left off, Tokugawa had assembled all five of the prison escapees at his underground arena, but before anything could really pop off, Baki arrived and then Doppo Orochi.
There’s not a lot to say other than that. It’s not like I have any theories or deep-dive questions with what’s gone on thus far. It’s simply, there’s going to be a fight and we’ll see who the strongest is. Sometimes, simplicity is best.
So we begin with Episode 4!
Season 1, Part 1, Episode 4: The Battle Begins
What I like about this show is that each episode thus far has picked up exactly where the last left off. It makes an easy narrative when these chapters can kind of be sewn together without missing a beat.
Thus we begin in the underground arena belonging to Tokugawa with a face off between our babyfaces and heels. The way they’re lined up makes this look like a promo for Survivor Series (Teams of five strive to survive!).
Right away, we go into our little promo videos introducing people who are being introduced. There’s Doppo Orochi: the founder of the Shinshinkai Dojo and Kaoru Hanayama: a Yakuza boss who is a feared street fighter. The group also includes Goki Shibukawa, the little old man from a couple of episodes ago and Kaioh Retsu who I assume has some kind of relationship with Doppo Orochi since he has been shown training at the dojo.
Tokugawa tells of a recent martial arts tournament thought to have the greatest collection of talent in history. It was held in Tokugawa’s arena and has been described as the most exciting tournament ever. Who was the winner? Baki Hanma. Ahhh, no wonder everyone wants to take a shot at him.
Tokugawa then says that there are some – Sikorsky, for instance – who place no value on scheduled combat and that he thinks there’s something to that; that a warrior should be ready for anything at anytime. So basically, rather than a staged tournament, these fights will be taking place in everyday life. Like, you can be taking a dump and be attacked by your opponent. I think I speak for everyone when I say, that shit cray.
Our first fight is between Kaioh Dorian and Doppo Orochi. It looked as if it was going to be Kaioh Retsu seeking revenge on Dorian for what happened in the dojo, but Doppo couldn’t help himself and started shit.
Sikorsky is walking around town, but is stopped by Kanji Igari, the wrestler from yesterday’s episode who Sikorsky beat the shit out of in the middle of the street after beating his young boy, Tateoka within an inch of his life. Igari brings some backup goons this time and they end up capturing Sikorsky and taking him as a prisoner.
Back with Dorian and Doppo, Dorian uses some special wire and slices Doppo’s left hand clear off. This shit is fucking bananas. My man’s hand is just fucking laying on the ground and Dorian standing here giving a science lesson on the technology behind the creation of the wire. Doppo stops the bleeding because this is a cartoon and tells of spearhand training he did way back when that made him wish he didn’t have fingers to hurt. He uses his new nub to smash Dorian’s face in before disappearing into the night.
At Igari’s private wrestling dojo, Sikorsky is shown tied up in the ring ropes. Igari unloads four rounds from his gun into Sikorsky’s chest, but he don’t even feel silly shit like bullets. Sikorsky jumps up and destroys Igari’s goons before Igari himself just raises his hands and gives up. Igari begs for mercy, but Sikorsky will have none of that either and the champion wrestler has his head smashed in by a barbell. Ring the damn bell!
Sikorsky puts the icing on the cake by literally TAKING OUT HIS DICK AND PISSING ON THIS GUY!!! What in the bluest of fucks?! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
Baki is out on a date with his neighbor Kozue Matsumoto and they’re doing regular teen stuff: just walking and talking, but they’re approached by a little street gang claiming to be the wallet inspectors and Baki is pretty damn sure that they’re not the wallet inspectors. Baki gives them “the look” and these dudes can’t get out of his way quick enough. Kozue has no idea what the fuck just happened, but she’s happy to go get ice cream or whatever the fuck kids do.
During this whole date, none of the heels from the tournament have even approached Baki which I thought was strange as he’d probably be vulnerable while laughing over sushi or something, but I’ve never been in one of these tournaments so what do I know?
As Baki and Kozue are walking home, however, it’s revealed that they’re being watched.
And Spec can’t even hide his excitement.
This is a weird fucking tournament. How are you going to go to all the trouble of having all these death row inmates break out and come to Tokyo and then not even sell tickets and foam fingers for the damn thing?
Dudes just attacking dudes in the middle of the street, putting civilian lives in danger and having to see guys’ hands getting clipped off with fancy science wire! Could you fucking imagine going to the bodega to pick up a bacon, egg and cheese on a roll and seeing that shit when you get to the corner?! Is there no army or anything in Japan that can be sent in to stop this shit?!
At some point wouldn’t you want to see Tokugawa arrested and off the streets, never to hold a tournament again so this sort of wave of street violence never overtakes Tokyo again? I mean, call me crazy, but I would never want to live here if I’m just going to see motherfucking hands laying in the middle of the street.
Other than the fact that I’m now terrified to ever visit Tokyo, the episode was fine.
Until next time.