Daily Cartoon: BAKI Ep. 16 “Slash”

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. Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: BAKI Ep. 15 “Tremendous Muscle Power”

Welcome to your Friday cartoon recap! Coming off a subpar showing yesterday let’s hope Baki gives us something with a bit more direction today.

Just to recap: Tokyo Police has finally has enough of their city streets becoming an arena for some of the most vile criminals in the world to try to kill each other. You would think that this would have been an issue from the beginning, but no, it took a while for them to get to that point.

They’ve enlisted the help of Biscuit Oliver who is an American prisoner apparently based on Street Fighter’s Balrog. Oliver handles the biggest criminals the government can find in exchange for a luxury lifestyle in his prison.

Oliver’s brought to Tokyo to round up the remaining death row escapees and it looks like he’s already got one of the three when he appeared to kill Sikorsky at the end of yesterday’s episode. But knowing what we know about this show, Sikorsky is not dead and will never die because nobody in this show can die no matter what.

The Mr. Oliver train rolls on as we try closing the week strong. I’d like to see this show get back on some kind of track as the entire premise of it has consistently devolved as the show’s gone on. Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: BAKI Ep.14 “Ungranted Freedom”

Welcome back to another exciting cartoon recap! Today, we’ll begin Part 2 of Season 1 of Baki on Netflix which – to simplify things – I’m just calling “Episode 14” since there’s really no line of demarcation between Parts 1 and 2.

Yesterday, we met Mr. Oliver: an American convict who doubles as a mercenary for hire who is more than happy to assist the government with capturing some of their more high profile suspects so long as he is provided with certain fringe benefits. As Tokyo police are trying to find a way to stop the madness currently taking place on their streets, it is suggested to them to bring in Mr. Oliver to round up the three remaining death row escapees still on the loose: Doyle, Yanagi and Sikorsky.

Speaking of Sikorsky, he’s started some static with Baki and even took Kozue, Baki’s love interest, as a hostage to spur Baki to come get some. Good plan in theory, but something tells me Sikorsky will look back one day and chalk this up as an egregious error in judgment.

With that said, we begin Part 2. Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: BAKI E.13 “Mr. Oliva”

Welcome back to another Baki recap! Today we launch into the final episode of Season 1, Part 1 and I’m sure it’ll be a doozy because, I mean, every episode thus far has definitely been something.

I’ve stopped trying to follow along with the idea that there’s some kind of fighting tournament going on right now because, well, the show seems to have abandoned that concept as well in favor of just having people get attacked and then needing to settle scores without anyone really getting killed off or eliminated.

I mean, there was Spec getting beat up and then his body breaking down into a frail 90 year-old man and yesterday it appeared as if Dorian had lost his mental capacity to continue to be a threat in this battle, but with the way people keep returning in this series, I’m not going to be able to count out anyone until the show has completed and I’ve been forcefully told otherwise.

So where does that bring us? Glad you asked! After becoming the focus of this show, Dorian has finally tasted defeat and his mind has reverted to that of a small child who wants candy. Baki and Kozue are keeping their flirtations going, but – following a date – Kozue was captured by Sikorsky in what I’m sure is an attempt to draw Baki into a fight.

There’s a lot going on and even though this is the Part 1 finale, I’m not expecting some kind of definitive conclusion on anything simply because it doesn’t feel as if the show has been built that way. Sure, anything can happen, but coming into today, it feels as if we’re more approaching halftime than full time. Only one way to find out. Let’s hit play. Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: BAKI E.12 “Candy”

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! Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: BAKI Ep. 11 “Tiger Slayer”

Welcome to Week 3 of Baki recaps! With all the chicanery that went into Friday’s episode, I’m pretty sure you can’t wait to dive back in with me today.

Dorian is still a hunted man by everybody who’s ever heard of Shinshinkai for his savage beating of Koto, but after being – for all intents and purposes – kidnapped and brought to an amusement park to face the wrath of the Shinshinkai, he (I think) kills strongman Atsushi Suedo by throwing him out of a moving roller coaster. I say “I think” because I’ve thought a lot of people have been killed thus far and, honestly, I don’t think a single one has wound up dead. Maybe Spec, but he’s also 97 years old and had a good run.

We were left with Dorian coming face to face with Katsumi Orochi and Kaioh Retsu where Retsu connects some pieces of his past and realizes that Dorian is a legendary Kaioh from his old dojo. He immediately drops the need for vengeance and shows respect to Dorian by telling him that it’s a pleasure to finally meet him.

This has basically become Kaioh Dorian’s show – especially since HE DRYHEAVED OUT A GRENADE AND PULLED THE PIN BEFORE ANYONE COULD EVEN REALIZE WHAT WAS HAPPENING – and this new development cements that he’ll play a major role in today’s episode as well.

Still waiting on anything having to do with the guy the show is named after… Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: BAKI Ep. 10 “Air Duel”

Welcome back to another Baki episode recap! Two weeks have come and gone now with this show and it has definitely been something. As I’ve said throughout, this is not a show I would have found on my own or that was in my wheelhouse, but it was recommended by a chum and I’ve been enjoying it.

When we left off, Dorian had killed Kato, slit his throat with that crazy technologically advanced wire he carries and left his body zipped in a heavy bag at the Shinshinkai Dojo. Except for one thing: Kato wasn’t dead. Yeahhhhhh, I have to let that go. Because, trust me, I watched it, that dude was fucking dead.

But he’s not.

So now over a million Shinshinkai members worldwide have it out for Dorian, but let’s be honest, how many of them have a legitimate shot against him? Probably just the two or three we already know about: Kaioh Retsu, Doppo and Katsumi Orochi. Maybe there’s another guy somewhere too. There’s always another guy.

I don’t even know if this tournament thing is still going on since this seems to be just about settling scores rather than becoming the best fighter in the world. At least that one I’m more comfortable with leaving to the writers seeing as how I don’t have much Kumite experience. Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: BAKI Ep. 9 “Shaken Shinshinkai”

Welcome back to another episode recap. It’s episode nine of Netflix’s Baki and we’re coming off one of the wildest fucking things I’ve ever seen where Kaioh Dorian hocked up a hand grenade in the middle of a fight and pulled the pin causing a massive explosion at the home of fight promoter Tokugawa.

All the good guys are MIA. They’ve all disappeared in the aftermath as did Dorian who retreated to a secret underground hideout he keeps. It wasn’t a good enough secret, though, because as Dorian settles himself in, he’s met by Kiyosumi Kato (apparently it’s “Kato” in the show and “Katou” in comics as I kept calling him yesterday), the “master” – as he’s called – of Katsumi Orochi who runs the Shinshinkai Dojo. Dorian warns Kato that he’s out of his league and when we left off, Dorian was dipping his hands in grease and rolling them in glass shards because he fights for keeps. Kato ain’t about this life, but he’s got no choice.

Now remember: this is happening in the immediate aftermath of a FUCKING GRENADE going off in someone’s house that both these guys were inside of. If I survived that, sticking broken glass to my fists would be the last think on my mind. Legit, I’m going to go home, order something from Uber Eats and lay on the couch. I’m not even going to shower. My couch is just going to have to suck it up and smell like explosion until I Febreze it.

But that’s where we are. Broken glass hands starts now. Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: BAKI Ep. 8 “A Match Vs. A True Fight”

Welcome to a hump day cartoon episode recap! Now that we’ve gotten into the thick of this series with most (all?) of the intros behind us, we’re starting to see expansion of the characters and what makes them tick, so to speak.

Baki Hanma, our title character, has surprisingly been on the back burner for most of this as the writers have kept the focus, for the most part, on the group of five escaped death row inmates, using that time to build them up and present them as a massive threat.

For his part, Baki has mostly been talked about and mentioned as this legit teenage wunderkind, but although his reputation proceeds him, we haven’t seen much of what made him the winner of the last big tournament that was held in Tokyo. Finally, yesterday’s episode gave us a taste of what he is capable of, but when Yanagi had finally had enough, he was able to put Baki down rather easily.

I’d imagine that this is a pretty tough pill for Baki to swallow and today’s episode will pick up in the aftermath of that as Baki is just coming to the realization that he was defeated. All this and more on today’s exciting episode of Baki! Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: BAKI Ep. 7 “A Formidable Team”

Welcome back to another episode recap as we delve further into Netflix’s Baki. Real talk, this shit has been bananas from the jump and now that Baki himself is finally involved in a fight, I’m thinking today’s installment is going to go to 11.

It’s about time Baki got himself into some shit. Before this, he’s been mostly an urban legend with some short flashes, but we’ve yet to see him really do some wild shit like cut a dude’s hand off or fill a man’s mouth with bullets. Ya know, the traditional honor code of fighting stuff.

Also take into account that when we left off, Baki was in school so this is yet another time where good innocent citizens of Tokyo are thrown into harm’s way for the sake of having a Bloodsport tournament. Moral of the story: never go to Tokyo.

Now that I’ve gotten my now-daily PSA about Tokyo out of the way, let’s hit play and watch a cartoon. Continue reading