Welcome to the penultimate Baki episode recap! Five weeks is a long time to stay consistent and I give you all a lot of credit for coming back each day to keep up with the happenings in Tokyo.
For half of that time, this show has been a jumbled mess with no real direction or apparent endgame and that certainly continued in yesterday’s episode where it was revealed that there’s some kind of history between Yujiro Hanma and – I still can’t believe this is a thing – Muhammad Ali.
Yep. THAT Muhammad Ali.
They can’t possibly have the rights to use the character of Muhammad Ali, can they? I mean, it’s on Netflix; someone must have noticed. But…really?
Look: there’s two episodes left. I shouldn’t let this drive me crazy, but here we are. Going crazy. I just…ya know what? I’m not going to do this. I’m just going to hit play and see where this takes me. You do the same.
Season 1, Part 2, Episode 25: God and the Devil
Ali is giving an interview and asks the journalist outright if he knows of Yujiro Hanma. The journalist gets shook just hearing the name like when you say “Voldemort” aloud. The journalist asks why Ali would ask about Yujiro and Ali begins telling a story of training in Japan when all his training partners suddenly disappear leaving Ali with a young Yujiro. Ali was famous for lowering his guard in fights, but says that seeing Yujiro face to face made him immediately put his guard up as he recognized Yujiro’s power right away.
Yujiro recognized Ali’s style for what it was: his own unique form of martial arts. Ali throws some shots that Yujiro ducks, but what Yujiro really wants is to shake Ali’s hand for being his own man, taking risks on behalf of doing the right thing when it came to civil rights and the Vietnam War as well as the fact that he’s a great fighter. This is…half of the episode now and it’s…weird.
Ali asks Yujiro what his goal is and Yujiro responds that it’s to be the strongest in the world. To harness power and to be able to wield it. Honestly, he sounds like Dr. Doom and he’s basically about to call the Fantastic 4 on the phone and spit out his master plan. Ali takes this all in and the first thing he thinks to say is that he wants Yujiro to meet his son. Oh, but of course! Yeah, this guy just took out your whole training squad, was able to dodge every single one of your punches and just said he wants the power that comes with being the strongest being in the world and the first thing you want to do is introduce him to your son. Absolutely.
This actually makes me think my own dad did a real shit job of parenting by never bringing a power-hungry madman who holds no value for the lives of others over to the house for coffee and a piece of pound cake. Be better, dad.
We cut to present day where an absolutely emaciated Baki goes to the woods to meet some guy who wrestles bears and looks like a combination of Sly Stallone and Andre the Giant. Baki explains what’s been going on and Andre Stallone cooks up an original recipe using 11 herbs and spices off his kitchen shelf that he says will help nullify the effect of the poison in Baki’s blood, but that it will take some time. In the meantime, he can go fishing as he waits for the remedy to take effect.
Another thing he does is take Kozue to a cave where the walls are lined with skeletons. Baki trained here and swore he’d never lose. Today he comes a decimated version of his former self looking for answers before trekking back to Andre Stallone’s quaint little home in the middle of the woods.
When he arrives, though, Andre has a guest waiting for Baki: Kaioh Retsu who was apparently not sucked into a crack in the earth during an earthquake like we were led to believe, but coincidentally hasn’t been seen since we were told he had been sucked into a crack in the earth during an earthquake. How convenient.
Retsu greets Baki by punching him in the chest which forces Baki to drop like a rock. Retsu tells Andre that he’ll take care of Baki from here all while Kozue is crying and like, “But, yo money, what in the fuck?!” Suddenly and without warning, a helicopter makes it’s way from over the trees with clear markings signaling its from China as we cut to credits.
Literally more than half of this episode was spent in the Ali flashback and I guess there’s more episodes to come since it just seems they’re setting up for an angle with Muhammad Ali, Jr. Why? How? Who cares?
Baki is really fucked up. If not for Andre Stallone being the only person in existence with the knowledge to make Baki a vegetable smoothie to kill the poison, Baki would probably be dead. But he’s not. Because it’s his show and he’s
a major character that we can brand this whole property around a fine chap.
Retsu is back just in the same way that Biscuit Oliver was apparently not killed by the fucking meteor. Retsu was said to be a victim of an earthquake, but whatever…fine…maybe he got out. I don’t know, man. What do you want me to tell you at this point? I don’t have any fucking idea what’s happening either.
And now with the Chinese coming after Baki? Pssssssssh. I’m all out of ideas.
With one episode to go this isn’t even about tying up loose ends because this entire premise is one giant loose end at this point. I honestly can’t even imagine how they’ll leave things off after the next episode. Like seriously, we just introduced one of the most famous PEOPLE – not just athletes – one of the most famous people to ever exist into a cartoon series that is about to close up shop and for what? Is this just so Muhammad Ali, Jr. can fight Baki? The fucking Chinese apparently found him first MA, Jr! You’re too late, son!
Dude, I have no idea what’s happening. We’re going to do a special Saturday recap tomorrow to close out the series and then crack open my dad’s liquor cabinet to get into some deep thought on what we will have seen and also because he was a bad dad who never wanted me to meet Yujiro Hanma so now I’ll wipe out his booze.
Until next time.