Welcome back to another Baki recap! This is the penultimate episode of Part 1 and, to be honest, I have no idea where this show is going or how they’re going to leave this off. It appears as if there was about six months in between drops of Part 1 and Part 2 so I’m assuming there has to be some kind of cliffhanger consistent with each episode, but I don’t know whether or not it’s going to be something “huge” to leave you with that “ohhhhh dip” feeling or just another fighting moment that leaves you with bug eyes over what just happened which is basically par for the course in these chapters.
Twelve episodes in, I can truly state that I’m happy I went out of my comfort zone a bit and started checking this out. Anime has never really been my thing even though it has definitely influenced some of the shows I’ve been into over the years, but this series has a nice frantic pace and the fight scenes are unlike anything I’ve ever been accustomed to.
Yesterday left us with Doppo Orochi challenging Kaioh Dorian with Doppo having been able to break Dorian’s hypnosis power enough to be able to keep focus and continue fighting the actual person rather than the illusion that Dorian is able to project as we’ve seen in other fights (most notably against Kato in Dorian’s underground lair). For the first time, Dorian is being pushed to the point where he starts to think he may be in a fight he can’t win.
We did actually get a check-in on Baki who was again on a date with his maybe-not-quite-yet-official girlfriend Kozue, and though they are not interrupted, they are being watched, this time by Baki’s own father Yujiro Hanma who is supposedly one of the stronger characters in this universe.
All this and more as Part 1 winds down! Let’s get to it!
Season 1, Part 1, Episode 12: Candy
We pick up right where we left off: with Doppo holding the upper hand against Dorian. Dorian continues to attempt a counterattack, but Doppo is just too skilled and powerful. He is systematically breaking down Dorian with a flurry of strikes. Dorian knows he’s done for, but Doppo doesn’t administer a final strike; instead he has Kato brought out to see the man who left him in critical condition cowering and on the brink of being eliminated.
Kato’s doctor argues against this saying Kato needs to be in the hospital, but Doppo laughs it off saying Kato needs to end Dorian. Kato rises from his wheelchair, pulling out his IVs and goes into a fiery rage like Super Mario just eating the flower. Dorian cries out, finally getting his wish: defeat at last.
At the hospital, the doctor and his assistant are looking over an X-Ray of Dorian’s right arm. There seems to be some kind of implant near the base of the hand that the doctor theorizes may be a kind of detonator to an explosive that could be set off with a simple palm clap. The assistant laughs that off, saying it’s been a long night, but there is something odd about Dorian’s arm being the only piece of him still intact. Almost as if he was saving it as his final weapon.
We are shown Dorian’s hospital bed which, of course, is empty. I mean, he was just beaten within an inch of his life, why wouldn’t he be up and about? And where is he? Standing at the bedside of Kiyosumi Kato who is back in the hospital, heavily sedated and resting. Dorian almost laughs down at Kato and says that he is finished, but instead of killing him in his bed, Dorian jumps out of the window and leaves.
Doppo Orochi returns to his home and immediately senses something is off. His wife is gone, his house is trashed and he knows exactly who’s behind it. Doppo screams out and is blindsided by the right hand of Kaioh Dorian…the right hand with the detonator implanted that explodes against the face of Doppo leaving him a charred mess on the floor of his own home.
Can we take a moment to appreciate the great lengths Dorian has gone to to outfit himself with toys for literally every occasion? I mean, there’s the wire that slices through flesh and bone like hot knife through butter, there’s the grenade he swallowed just in case, there’s the bottle of fucking acid he swallowed – also just in case and now he has a goddamn bomb implanted in his hand! A FUCKING BOMB! Listen, as an opponent, you may be able to plan or prepare for one of those things, maybe two, but not all of them. Not even close.
Doppo Orochi is walking into his house, he’s in a toe-tapping mood, ready to see his wife so he can celebrate his big victory and money gets a fucking bomb upside the head. What a dramatic turn of events.
Speaking of drama, Baki and Kozue are still on their date and neither one is good at communicating that they’re DTF so both are going to end up home alone with the ole blue balls. It’s cute, remember that Baki’s still high school age so he shouldn’t just be out there slinging dick, but he’s also supposed to be one of the top fighters in the world so you’d think his testosterone is through the roof (even more so than normal considering his youth) so you’d think he’d be better about getting it in.
Dorian has a meeting with Retsu. Dorian’s explosive right hand is a bloody mess, bandaged sloppily. Retsu says that Dorian’s desire to feel defeat means that he’s never truly won. For his part, Dorian thinks that’s hilarious before attempting to surprise Retsu who counters with a damaging right hand that flattens Dorian.
Dorian’s being transported back to the hospital by ambulance and police escort and Retsu assures the cops that Dorian is no longer a threat. Dorian rises off his gurney and starts looking at the Tokyo skyline saying, “candy.” Having finally been defeated, his mind has checked out and he’s now the equivalent of a little boy mentally.
Kozue heads home and gets ready for bed, still wishing she’d have had the nerve to suggest Baki take her to his place when she hears a tapping at her window. She’s hoping it’s Baki, but c’mon, we all know better than that, right? It’s gotta be Yujiro, Baki’s dad who was stalking the two during their date.
Kozue goes to the window, but doesn’t see anyone. She sticks her head out and…still nothing. A noise spooks her so she locks the window again and draw the curtains, but there’s someone already inside the room. It’s…
Yujiro…uh…I mean Sikorsky.
When was the last time we even mentioned Sikorsky?
Sikorsky grabs Kozue and tells her to stay quiet so he doesn’t have to hurt her or her mother. And now we wait.
OK, that Sikorsky reveal definitely caught me. Where the hell did he come from? For the past…pretty much week, this show has been so Dorian-centric that everybody else has gotten pushed so far back that they’re not even on the burner anymore, they’re completely off the stove.
Now that should change going forward as Dorian has been eliminated as a threat, but it’s still odd placement episodically to – for all intents and purposes – kill off your big bad guy with just one episode remaining in the “Part”.
There’s been a lot about this show that doesn’t make sense to me from a storytelling perspective, but – thankfully – it’s still able to be an easy and enjoyable watch because they completely nail the action and intensity in the fight scenes. For a show in which the entire premise is based around fighting, they do an excellent job of keeping things fresh and feeling new despite having to design at the very least one battle in each episode. You’d think there’s only so many ways to have a fight, but through twelve installments, each one has had it’s own identity.
I’m kind of surprised at how little I care about Baki and Kozue, but I’m hoping that this whole angle with Sikorsky is the springboard to seeing what makes Baki this target for all of the other fighters. We’ve literally seen nothing to support the hearsay.
One more episode to go before we’ve completed Part 1 and what a ride it’s been. Check back tomorrow for that so we can find out how Baki reacts to Sikorsky fucking with his #1 gal.
Until next time.