Welcome to another cartoon recap! We’ve had a nice thing going the past few months and we’re going to keep rolling through with the Netflix series Baki.
Yesterday’s episode was the beginning of the actual tournament, but we learned that it wasn’t a competitive event in the traditional sense as it wouldn’t be held in the arena, but on the streets when fighters least expect it. The purpose of this is that anyone can train and fight on cue, but it takes a special kind of warrior to be ready when he doesn’t see it coming.
This has led to horribly gory fights happening on the streets of Tokyo in full view of civilians that apparently just treat these things as just another day in Tokyo. Hence, I will never visit Tokyo.
Yesterday’s episode ended with Baki out on a date with his neighbor Kozue Matsumoto and though all was quiet, it was revealed at the end that the two were being watched by escaped prisoner, Spec. Seeing as how these episodes pick up where the last left off, I’d expect that to hold true today. No sense in waiting any longer, let’s get to it.
Season 1, Part 1, Episode 5: Want Some More?
Baki and Kozue are indeed walking in the night for what appears to be the end of their date. Kozue brings up a memory of Baki at a tournament and how it affects her. She doesn’t understand the fighter’s mentality and how they’re able to beat others into submission when those people have families or people who care, just as she cares for Baki.
Baki tries to put Kozue at ease, but as he pulls her in for a kiss, he sees Spec hovering over them. Baki gives him his Baki death-stare, which freezes Spec, but stepping in and taking Spec out of the picture is Kaoru Hanayama, the head of the Hanayama Yakuza and feared street fighter. Spec and Hanayama engage in what immediately becomes a cutthroat fight in the park out of range of Baki and Kozue.
We cut to the downtown section of Tokyo where we meet Chiharu Shiba. Shiba gets a video package where it’s said he’s another accomplished fighter who idolizes Hanayama. In this instance, Shiba comes upon two kids fighting on the street and teaches them a lesson about fighting with respect rather than weapons.
Spec fires up with a barrage on Hanayama who settles into a defensive stance of just absorbing the blows as best as he can before seizing an opening and counter-attacking. Hanayama punishes Spec, repeatedly asking if Spec has had enough until he finally relents that he has. Hanayama is prepared to show mercy but Spec shove a handful of bullets into Hanayama’s mouth and punches him causing the ammo to explode as we go to credits.
This episode was completely based around Spec and Hanayama with some backstory given on both men. Hanayama is shown getting the scars that decorate his body, while Spec is displayed in surveillance videos as completely unable to be harmed by even the most dangerous of police-issued weapons.
The big takeaway is that the combatants in this battle are barely human. They’re monsters, forces of nature and can only be stopped by one another. The police keep attempting to come up with ways to capture and contain, but they’re of no use. The only thing that will do it is if all these guys kill each other. What a world.
The episode left off with the explosion in Hanayama’s mouth as the bullets were set off by Spec’s punch, but after seeing all the shit these guys take and shrug off, I’m not even sure that would kill him. It would kill me, but I’m not them and they’re not normal.
So we finish the week having started our new show and will pick right back up on Monday! Give it a whirl on Netflix if you haven’t. Like I’ve said previously, it has a kind of Bloodsport/Street Fighter feel to it so if that’s something you’re into, you’d definitely be into this. Enjoy your weekend and see you all on Monday.
Until next time.