Welcome back to another cartoon recap! We’re getting toward the end of our run with Netflix’s Baki, but as the Macho Man would say,
This has become a strain to get through, but we’ve come way too far to turn back now. The only thing we can hope for is for things to pick up and begin to make some semblance of sense before we close out and move along to the next show.
Even the fight scenes have become less impressive as we’ve gotten further into things here. I don’t know if that’s because they blew their wad early into the series or if they’re just less striking purposely, but when the story was slow, you could usually hang your hat on a badass action sequence and that has gone away for the most part.
Maybe that’s also because we’re just recycling fighters to an extent and are already familiar with their specialties and go-to maneuvers, but regardless, they just don’t have the same impact.
So we check another box on the road to completion today. Being an adult means finishing the tasks in front of you and watching cartoons is no different. With that, we move to a fresh episode of Baki.
Season 1, Part 2, Episode 22: Clash of the Alphas
We open in the phone booth from yesterday where we left off where Sikorsky and Jack Hanma have slid in to join some dude just trying to call his girl. This must be the world’s most spacious phone booth because they start throwing shots for a bit before even breaking a single pane of glass.
As they tussle, the phone booth is shot into the air, comes down and then does a 180, landing upside down with Jack Hanma being the one to walk out. Jack is greeted by a group of what appears to be special agents who are all too happy to tie ropes around the phone booth securing a capture of Sikorsky. Oh wait, these aren’t agents, its the big Japanese wrestler from early in the series that Sikorsky kicked the shit out of in the gym and then pissed on. Talk about a callback that no one gives a fuck about. Fucking Sikorsky swung a barbell at this guy’s head and somehow didn’t kill him. Oh yeah, and he slit his throat…still not dead. What the fuck is this show even, bro?
But it’s cool. He’s getting payback now. By having him tied up in a phone booth.
Oh…and the poor bastard who was just calling his girlfriend is still in there too. Terrific.
The phone booth is loaded into the back of a truck and when the lights finally come back on for Sikorsky, he sees that he’s been transported to the underground fighting arena where a sold out crowd is waiting to be entertained. Tokugawa, the promoter comes out to inform him that he’s now in a bare-knuckle brawl if he chooses to accepts the terms or he could just run away. He’s greeted by Jack Hanma who’s excited to have round 2 with Sikorsky.
Sikorsky launches into a wild attack on Jack landing a series of strikes that Jack absorbs like nothing before catching him in a front facelock and then getting some heat of his own. Sikorsky gets knocked into the crowd and grabs an old fan’s cane that he tries stabbing Hanma with which also has zero effect. Sikorsky realizes Jack is on an entirely different level and starts shaking in his space boots, but Jack has grown bored of Sikorsky and walks off bringing in a new fighter to take a shot at the Russian.
Gaia is the new guy. He’s small, a lightweight and the crowd isn’t buying him. Tokugawa, however, sells it big saying that this guy almost killed Baki during training. He’s an “environmental fighter” which means that he’s adept at using his surroundings to his advantage. Sand, broken glass, lost teeth…anything that can be had can be used. So, of course, he runs his fingers through the sandy floor already littered with pieces of debris and begins his attack as we cut to credits.
Shouldn’t Baki be mowing through these assholes at this point gearing up for some big final showdown? It’s his show and he has defeated literally nobody throughout the entire fucking thing.
Sikorsky was introduced as one of the big bad guys; an death row inmate who would offer a serious challenge to become the best fighter in the world and now he’s put into a situation where…he’s kind of the good guy going up against top asshat Jack Hanma and some skinny guy who’ll be using broken teeth in the ground for weapons.
Did we really need to introduce yet another fighter into the fray at this point? Was that really necessary? Look, I don’t know if they’re making another season of this show or not, but for the way this was originally set up in the early episodes, this has completely devolved into a mishmash of nonsense.
To top it all off, nobody is ever really defeated. OK, maybe that’s not true since Spec turned into a 90 year old man and Kaioh Dorian was beaten so bad that he mentally became a child. But for all the other throat slashings and stabbings and gunshots and whatever else we’ve seen over 22 episodes now, these guys just keep showing up like the Undertaker when he smells a Wrestlemania paycheck. At some point, you just want someone to win and be done with it all.
This show has four episodes remaining to win me back and change my mind, but I’m not even hopeful. Not really expecting a lot from what’s left, but like I said earlier, we’ve come too far to stop now.
Until next time.