Daily Cartoon: BAKI Ep. 26 “The Centennial Tournament”

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. Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: BAKI Ep. 25 “God and the Devil”

Welcome to the penultimate Baki episode recap! Five weeks is a long time to stay consistent and I give you all a lot of credit for coming back each day to keep up with the happenings in Tokyo.

For half of that time, this show has been a jumbled mess with no real direction or apparent endgame and that certainly continued in yesterday’s episode where it was revealed that there’s some kind of history between Yujiro Hanma and – I still can’t believe this is a thing – Muhammad Ali.

Yep. THAT Muhammad Ali.

They can’t possibly have the rights to use the character of Muhammad Ali, can they? I mean, it’s on Netflix; someone must have noticed. But…really?

Look: there’s two episodes left. I shouldn’t let this drive me crazy, but here we are. Going crazy. I just…ya know what? I’m not going to do this. I’m just going to hit play and see where this takes me. You do the same. Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: BAKI Ep. 24 “Defeat”

Welcome back to another Baki episode recap! Just a few days remain before we can put this show to rest and move on to something that hopefully remembers what it’s actually about.

In yesterday’s episode, we got more new bad guy vs. old bad guy stuff with one of the newbies cutting off one of the oldie’s hands. His dangerous hand. His poisonous hand. The hand that rocks the cradle. Hands across America. Hands up, baby, hands up, give me your heart, gimme, gimme your heart.

Sorry, got lost for a second

Yanagi is now worthless since he had his hand cut clean off by the newly-arriving Izuo Motobe. Whatever, man. These writers are going to do whatever they’re going to do and they don’t care about what some guy with a cartoon blog thinks about it.

Either way, it seems like curtains for Yanagi as Yujiro Hanma is on the scene and is encouraging Yanagi to pack it up, pack it in.

As with all episodes, we shall pick up where yesterday’s left off. Let’s go. Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: BAKI Ep. 23 “The Real Attack”

It’s time for your Wednesday cartoon watchalong and we keep rolling with Netflix’s Baki. Just four episode remain and honestly, this has become a hate watch for me. Part 1 was fine. It was something that was new to me with intense action sequences and a pretty easy to follow story: a bunch of guys are brought to Tokyo and are competing in a no rules, no holds barred, anything or anywhere goes fight to be the best in the world.

Since getting to Part 2 (Episode 14), everything has gone out the window and it’s become just a bunch of bullshit thrown on screen to take up time and go nowhere. I don’t even know where some of these grudges causing new fights are coming from as characters are just thrown together and then given full episodes (or longer!) to fight or tussle, but not advance any part of the story whatsoever.

Each character pairing at this point feels like some kind of independent happening that has no consequence for anything else occurring within this universe anymore. It’s rough. But at least it’s almost over. That’s all I have to motivate me to continue this: it’s almost over. Maybe you think I’m nuts and that this show is legit. Please hit me up and tell me why. Not even being sarcastic. I want to know what you like about this show. Open my eyes to something I’m not seeing. For now, it’s Episode 23 on a Hump Day watch. 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