Well…we made it. After five weeks, we’ve come to the end of our journey with Baki Hanma who was more some guy that we happened to drive by and wave to rather than an active participant on our trek.
As much as it’s seems as if I’ve been hate-watching this for the past couple of weeks, things weren’t all bad. The first half of the series was awesome and exciting, but just seemed to completely lose its way and become oatmeal. Total mush with nothing of substance.
I’m really not expecting a lot out of this finale. Which sucks because I’d like to see this go out with a bang, but I just don’t believe that to even be an option at this point in the series.
When we left off, Baki was mortally wounded, but was being healed by noted shaman Andre Stallone (not his real name, but may as well be) when Kaioh Retsu comes back from the dead after digging himself out of the earthquake crater to become Baki’s new guardian and…I dunno…what do you do with kids? Take them to the zoo? Sure. Retsu’s going to take this dying teenager and his girlfriend to the fucking zoo.
Oh, and did I mention the Chinese are here in a goddamn helicopter? Because that’s a thing. Let’s find out what any of this has to do with Muhammad Ali.
Season 1, Part 2, Episode 26: The Centennial Tournament
The Chinese helicopter lands and out pops four soldiers as well as Tokugawa who are here to save Baki’s life. Baki’s loaded on board and Tokugawa instructs the crew to get him to China before he dies. For what it’s worth, Kozue has no idea who they are or where they’re going.
While Baki is in bed recovering and eating medicinal Chinese food Retsu is making the case to have Baki entered into a big tournament which is odd because I thought Baki was supposed to be in a tournament this whole time. What do I know?
Retsu lays this all out to Baki and even though he looks to be completely emaciated, Baki’s totally on board because if Retsu believes in him, he believes in himself. Power of positive thinking, bro.
Baki’s matched up against some guy who looks like Guile from Street Fighter who is supposed to be the next candidate for Kaioh. Baki probably shouldn’t be fighting, but he’s not even sweating this. Not-Guile is throwing everything he has at Baki, but Baki just keeps hugging him and putting him down politely to let him know he could merk him anytime he wishes. Baki never strikes Not-Guile, but just the knowledge that he could destroy him forces Not-Guile to concede. This win will allow Baki to be entered into that exclusive tournament.
Kozue is scared shitless about Baki fighting in this, but Retsu impresses upon her that this will be how Baki resurrects himself: through fighting and getting back to being himself in this competition that happens only once every hundred years.
Retsu gives us a nice history lesson on the history of tournament fighting which is actually pretty cool. I love that kind of stuff. Baki takes all this in and questions if he’s actually capable of having a chance in this, but Retsu’s master chuckles and knows that Baki has to enter because of who he may face: his own father, Yujiro Hanma.
While discussing the tournament with Retsu, Baki and Kozue, Master Ryu is informed that someone has arrived wishing to enter the tournament. Ryu is excited to find out that this is Muhammad Ali, Jr. Ryu informs him that he’ll need to win a preliminary fight to show that he belongs which, of course, he does easily.
Baki is training, practicing his technique which is definitely sketchy right now. He’s spitting blood between every move and even though she hates this idea, Kozue encourages him to not give him because he was bred to finally face his father.
It’s now tournament day and the introductions are being made and…nothing.
Like, that’s it. They left us with a cliffhanger because they hate us and never want us to see Baki fight.
Well…that was 24 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. This went out with an absolute whimper and me questioning if I even want to spend the time sitting through the next season. It doesn’t seem like an appealing option right now.
It’s been five weeks watching an episode of this each day and Part 2 is absolutely brutal. It’s bad and there’s no way around it. I didn’t want it to be, but man, you can’t get past just how terrible Part 2 was compared to Part 1. Night and day.
They gave us absolutely nothing of substance, characters disappeared, re-appeared, were killed by goddamn meteors only to show up in caves…just none of it made any semblance of sense and was so ridiculous that it wasn’t even entertaining.
And what was the payoff for sitting through all of this?! NOTHING! Just Baki doing some bullshit shadowboxing and looking weak AF just so I can watch introductions for a fight that I don’t even want to see anymore because I’m a hundred shades of fucking pissed off right now. You got some fucking balls, Baki writing team! Some fucking balls!
This is how you reward me for sticking with this show?! For putting up with a motherfucker getting hit by a goddamn meteor?! How dare you!
I can’t believe I sat through five weeks of this just to be disrespected in such a manner. What a completely unfulfilling end to this. I get accused of liking to much in these blogs, well here you go, people: read the last bunch of these and find cranky Joe shitting all over this.
A MAN CAME BACK TO LIFE AFTER BEING HIT BY A METEOR!
Welp. That was certainly something. I don’t even know what else to say. This was just a complete and total letdown. Hopefully, whatever we start next won’t end up with the same result.
Until next time.