Anime & Comics

Baki anime series order explained: How to watch classic grappler story

What is the best order to watch the Baki anime series, including all of the prequel adaptations and OVA special episodes?

The nature of the modern anime industry means that there is a constantly moving conveyer belt of new fans discovering iconic series from around the world.

This includes the classic Baki series, which has experienced a significant re-emergence into the mainstream thanks to a solid reboot by Netflix; however, there is plenty of Baki content to enjoy before hitting the OTT giant.

So, what is the best order to watch the Baki anime series, and what is the basic plot summary of each part?

The best Baki anime series order revealed

Arguably the best order to watch the Baki anime storyline is as followed, and is also the order deemed the most popular order to watch amongst the global community:

  1. Baki The Grappler season 1: Kid Saga/Underground Arena Saga (2001)
  2. Baki The Grappler season 2: Maximum Tournament Saga (2001)
  3. Baki The Grappler: The Ultimate Fighter (1994)
  4. Baki: Most Evil Death Row Convicts Special OVA Anime (2016)
  5. Baki season 1: Most Evil Death Row Convicts Saga (2018)
  6. Baki season 2: The Great Raitai Tournament (2020)
  7. Baki Hanma: Son of Ogre (2021)
  8. Baki Hanma: Son of Ogre season 2 (Expected to release in late 2023)

Unfortunately, whilst you can find all available content through a bit of internet searching; only Baki season 1 (2018), Baki season 2 (2020), and Baki Hanma (2021), are available to stream via Netflix.

Baki The Grappler season 1: Kid Saga/Underground Arena Saga (2001): “Ever since he was born, Baki Hanma has always known nothing but fighting—strengthening every single muscle and learning different techniques from various martial arts under the supervision of his mother, Emi Akezawa. He trains in order to prepare himself to face and eventually surpass his own father, Yuujirou Hanma, a man feared by the masses as the “Ogre” and deemed the strongest being in the world.”

Baki The Grappler season 2: Maximum Tournament Saga (2001): “Mitsunari Tokugawa, the organizer of the historic Tokugawa underground fighting ring, has created a tournament featuring 38 of the world’s best fighters, many of whom are grandmasters in their respective form of martial arts. With the exception of weapons, anything goes in Tokugawa’s ring so that each fighter is able to showcase their true power and strongest secret moves.”

Baki The Grappler: The Ultimate Fighter (1994): “Doppo Orochi sits down to watch the final match of his karate school’s youth tournament. Atsushi Suedou, one of his disciples, faces off against Baki Hanma, a fresh teenage boy breezing through the matches. Intrigued by the boy’s strength, Doppo, alongside another of his disciples—Kiyosumi Katou— visits the notorious Tokugawa underground ring—a hidden freestyle fighting arena that prohibits only weaponry in its matches. Upon arriving, they learn that Baki is set to face none other than Koushou Shinogi: an infamous karate master and user of the lethal Cord-Cutting technique.”

Baki: Most Evil Death Row Convicts Special OVA Anime (2016): “As if bound by fate, five of the world’s most dangerous convicts escape from their respective prisons and converge at Mitsunari Tokugawa’s coliseum, where they seek but one thing: the taste of defeat. It is then Mitsunari who presents them with what they all desire—17-year-old Baki Hanma, the winner of the “most historic tournament ever,” along with four other hand-selected opponents. On the spot, it is decided that a five-versus-five battle will ensue between the fighters. The combat can take place anytime, anywhere, and without any restrictions.”

Baki season 1: Most Evil Death Row Convicts Saga (2018): “After emerging victorious from a brutal underground tournament, Baki Hanma continues on his path to defeat his father, Yuujirou, the strongest man in the world. However, he gets no time to rest when the tournament runner, Tokugawa Mitsunari, visits him at school. He reveals to Baki that five incredibly dangerous death row inmates from around the world—all skilled in martial arts—have simultaneously escaped confinement and are heading to Tokyo, each wishing to finally know the taste of defeat. Tokugawa warns that, due to his well-known strength, Baki is bound to encounter them sooner or later, and he will not be their only target.”

Baki season 2: The Great Raitai Tournament (2020): “Weakened by the poison from his last battle, Baki Hanma finds himself on the verge of death with no salvation in sight. However, after Baki’s friend, Retsu Kaiou, brings him to China, he learns about the centurial Raitai Tournament, where the fiercest warriors fight to be crowned as the strongest martial artist in all of China.”

Baki Hanma: Son of Ogre (2021): “The mauling of a vicious, prehistoric-sized African elephant makes international headlines. Featured in reports of the aftermath, the sole survivor of one of the animal’s rampages attributes its death to a lone, unarmed man—unknowingly describing Yuujirou Hanma, nicknamed the “Ogre” and often labeled as the “strongest creature on Earth.” Elsewhere, Yuujirou’s 18-year-old son Baki spars with an equally formidable beast: a praying mantis.”

Baki Hanma: Son of Ogre season 2 was publicly announced back in March 2022 and whilst a specific release date remains TBA, the anime is expected to return to Netflix sometime in 2023. The new season will focus on a primitive character called Pickle, who is described as “a powerful enemy and an ancient proto-human.”

By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]

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Tom Llewellyn

Tom Llewellyn is the Head of World Content, Anime, and Comics at HITC Entertainment and also helps oversee all things deemed ‘nerd culture’ at Forever Geek. After gaining a BSc degree in Animal Behaviour, Tom continued his education with a Master’s degree in Science Communication (MSc) and post-graduate research; with his own independent project being published in the Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens in 2021. Since joining GRV Media in early 2020, Tom has amassed over 48 million views on his content and has conducted interviews with various actors and filmmakers from the wonderful world of anime.

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