Welcome to a brand new week of episode recaps! This will begin our fourth week watching the Netflix series Baki and, my god, has it really shit the bed the past few days.
Feel free to go back and read the prior blogs, but – to make a long story short – this show just has no idea what it’s doing story-wise and just throwing fight scenes in the middle of everything so maybe you’ll forget about everything else.
Well, hate to break it to the writers, but I don’t forget anything, especially not to the degree that they’ve forgotten the entire premise of the show.
Counting today, we’ve got 11 episodes to go and I’m really hoping that this doesn’t become a hate-watch for me to get through. I can understand that not every episode is going to be great, but the past few days have been really bad and even before that, the show had just gotten away from any kind of story. Hopefully that changes soon. Preferably today since I don’t want to sit through another stinker.
Season 1, Part 2, Episode 16: Slash
We open where we left off last Friday: with Oliver tossing jabronis like ragdolls in the Tokyo PD judo dojo and taunting Sonoda to give him a black belt. Sonoda refuses because Oliver tossed his opponent with no control so he’s awarded zero point. Oliver starts running through all the “world class” fighters Sonoda can offer as Shibukawa wonders if Sonoda is waiting to see someone die before giving Oliver a black belt.
Even Oliver’s getting bored of beating up clowns and I don’t blame him one fucking bit because I’m fucking bored of watching it. Thankfully, Goki Shibukawa steps up and says that if it’s a real challenge Oliver wants, then just bring it.
Oliver gets hyped at the thought of destroying this little old man in front of all these trainees who worship Shibukawa and goes for a big throw on the master. Goki lands on his feet with a smile and Oliver pauses before telling Sonoda to keep his fucking black belt since Goki ripped up Oliver’s wrist and turned it into a pretzel as he was attempting his move. Oliver turns to walk out of the dojo, but Goki throws his own black belt at him from behind. Oliver questions it, but is told that he’s now certified by Goki Shibukawa. Respect the legend, bro.
We cut to Shinshinkai dojo where some fat, aging 80s rocker looking guy named Kosho Shinogi is training by using karate chops to destroy fully-inflated basketballs that are being thrown at him. It may be the most unimpressive introduction in the series thus far. Two weeks ago a man dry-heaved a goddamn grenade and now they want me to be wowed that this guy popped a basketball. Go put some gas in your car and get lost.
Apparently this idiot has what’s called a “cord-cutter” attack which severs his opponent’s nerves and permanently immobilizes them. Yeah, I may believe that if I haven’t already seen 17 dudes get their throats ripped out only to launch a counterattack in the next episode. I’m sitting right here, Kosho. Do better. For what it’s worth, Katsumi Orochi thinks this shit is the bomb dot com and is preaching to his student about how amazing it is to watch Kosho cut paper towels with a knife-edge chop.
Kosho and Katsumi go out for coffee after training and Kosho is chomping at the bit to get involved in the tournament.
You know the one.
With the martial arts…and the death row inmates…to become the greatest fighter.
The one that hasn’t been mentioned since like 3 minutes into episode one.
Yeah…that one. Kosho wants in even if everyone thinks he’s not at that level since he got his shit pushed in by Baki in the last tournament.
You remember him.
The guy the show’s named after.
Who really isn’t in this show.
He’s the only one that has a girlfriend or any outside interests.
We cut to Doyle who’s been staying at a nice hotel that Katsumi has had under surveillance. He brings Kosho over there so they can pay a visit. Doyle, for his part, is flexing while naked in front of a mirror which is incredibly relatable because, if you got the body for it, you gotta kill it. The only difference between when Doyle and I do it is that he has razor-sharp blades that pop out of his joints when he flexes so yeah, I can’t do that.
Doyle’s not only doing this for himself, he’s got a guest who’s entranced by this performance: Gary Strydom, a US Army colonel who’s an old friend of Yujiro Hanma and is wondering how Doyle can go through everyday life with blades popping out of him all the time. Which, if we’re being honest, is a more than fair question. For his part, Doyle explains something to the effect of a remote control being embedded in his hand that gives him complete control. I don’t fucking know, man. I didn’t write this shit.
Now we’re getting a powerpoint presentation about the kind of shit people will have surgical implanted in their bodies to do all sorts of stupid shit like Doyle having weapons implanted or – get this – magicians having tubes to do parlor tricks.
Finally, Kosho knocks on Doyle’s door, but Strydom answers. Kosho knocks the old man on the floor and throws down the challenge to Doyle. Since there’s no rules, I don’t think the need was there to really challenge, but I guess Kosho is a gentleman. We don’t get a big fight, but Kosho does show a quick advantage before we cut away.
Cut away to some guy named Baki out skipping stones by the river with Kozue when they’re approached by Hanayama the Yakuza boss who hasn’t been seen since…I have no fucking idea. Probably since Spec blew off half his face.
Hanayama offers Baki some of the most beautiful women in Tokyo, but Baki’s certainly not going to accept that deal in front of Kozue. Plus, there’s not even another mention of the rest of the deal. Hanayama literally just showed up to offer sexy ladies to Baki without any other explanation.
Back to the hotel room fight, Kosho is way too cocky for someone who literally hasn’t proven shit and sure, he got some shots on Doyle, but now he crouches down to talk shit and Doyle blasts him with some subsonic laser that’s installed in his fist which mangles Kosho’s grill piece.
We come back to Hanayama and Baki and Kozue is pissed because Hanayama never mentioned her name. She starts talking shit and delivering some kicks to Hanayama before Baki pulls her back. Either way, Kozue is fucking done with this shit, bro.
Hanayama asks Baki again if he really wants to be with “her” and Kozue throws a rock at him for not saying her name again.
Back to the hotel, Kosho is resetting the jaw that Doyle just broke and preparing his cord-cutter technique while Doyle is activating all his joint blades. Game on.
I’m quickly losing interest in this show. I mean, it’s nice that they acknowledged that there was some kind of tournament at some point, but it’s just gotten to the point where it’s comical to think that still exists.
Did I hate this episode as much as the previous two? No, I did not. But I have no idea why we’re still introducing new fighters when this whole thing has been underway for quite some time now.
I don’t know. I don’t have a lot to say today. Most of this just felt like it was here, but I don’t see how this advanced anything. We’ll be back tomorrow with another episode, but now I’m getting to the point where I can’t wait to get to the end just to be done with this.
Until next time.