Keisuke Itagaki’s fight-themed manga Baki Hanma explores the coming-of-age journey of the eponymous character in true shounen style and, in doing so, retains its uniqueness with the exaggerated, self-aware tone of the narrative. Netflix’s anime adaptation of the manga is currently in its second season, the first part of which has already been released in the last month. With the second part slated to premiere later this month, a trailer has been released to tease the upcoming action. The first season chronicled Baki’s conflict against some of the world’s strongest fighters, while the first part of the second season pitted him against the strongest fighter in human history. As the trailer suggests, the second part will finally shed light on the long-awaited confrontation between father-son Yujiro and Baki Hanma, so in order to assess the buildup and ramifications of the battle, let us discuss some of the storyline expectations from part two of the second season of Baki Hanma.
How Did The First Part End?
The very first episode of Baki Hanma properly established the central conflict as a feud between Baki Hanma and his father, Yujiro Ogre Hanma, the strongest man in the world. In order to prove his worth, Baki battled the strongest man in America, and the fearsome criminal, Biscuit Oliva, and emerged victorious. This win even earned him Yujiro’s respect, and it seemed like the battle between father and son would be the focal point of the second season.
However, at the end of the Baki Hanma Season 1 finale, a gigantic, prehistoric humanoid was discovered, who turned out to be alive, and was dubbed Pickle. According to the scientific assessment, Pickle had existed since the Cretaceous era, battled the largest dinosaurs, and devoured them for survival, which undoubtedly makes him the strongest fighter in human history. Not being able to resist the temptation of testing their mettle against the strongest there ever was, the topmost martial artists of Japan clash with him in brawls. And all three of them—Kaiou ‘Sea King’ Retsu, Katsumi Orochi, and Jack Hanma (Baki’s elder brother)—display brilliant fighting prowess, but all of them get beaten and partially eaten by Pickle. Finally, Baki enters the arena to square up with Pickle, and an epic battle ensues where, using guile and varying fighting tactics, Baki almost overpowers his opponent. However, too confident of himself, when he decided to turn the battle into a contest of stamina and strength without relying on guile, Baki was beaten by Pickle, even though the limited attendees agreed in unison that he squandered a chance of a sure-shot victory by himself.
At the end of the first part’s finale, Pickle broke out, evaded captivity, and disappeared among the masses in Tokyo, and surely this plot point will be addressed in the second part as well, even though the central focus will be different.
How Will The Second Part Of Season Two Shape Up?
Now, with no obstacles or distractions in front of him to interfere, Baki finally has the chance to engage in the most anticipated battle of his lifetime and prove himself against his father, Yujiro Hanma. It is hinted in the first part that there was some bad blood between the father and son, which can be traced back to Baki’s younger days, as he considers his father responsible for his mother’s death. Even though he absolutely loathes his father for his past actions, he can’t help but revere the fighting genius that he is and has an immense sense of respect for the strongest man in the world, to the point that he has trained himself to emulate his father’s capabilities. On the other hand, a sense of respect for his son had stemmed in Yujiro after Baki’s win against Biscuit Oliva, and now that his son has valiantly fought and almost defeated Pickle, there is a chance that Yujiro might see him as a formidable opponent as well. In any case, from whatever we know of the Hanmas, their proclivity to go to extremes means mutual respect will not be a hindrance during their battle, as both of them will go all out in an intense matchup. Their past, along with the complex relationship dynamic, will be of vital importance in their eventual clash, and perhaps the flashback sequence will reveal some undisclosed secrets.
Aside from the battle between Hanmas taking center stage, the trailer indicates that the emotional conflict with Baki will be addressed as well, as the involvement of a romantic interest has been teased. Baki never got over the death of his mother, Emi Akezawa, which resulted in a void so deep that he hadn’t been able to emotionally connect with anyone since. His drive to fight and train harder than ever was fuelled by the last memories of his mother, as seen in both seasons, but no matter how strong a fighter he becomes, the trauma of losing someone close will never cease to exist. In the worst-case scenario, his willingness to become the best might take him down the same path as his father, whom he despises so much. Perhaps the feeling of being loved can provide him with some closure in that regard and, in a way, can also help to differentiate him from his father’s cold, emotionless demeanor, proving once and for all who is really better among the two Hanmas.
Except for the father-son drama, the second part will deal with a number of esteemed fighters across the world challenging Baki and Yujiro to prove their mettle, as is hinted at in the trailer as well. Shinshinkai masters and the strongest fighters across the world, like Guevaru, Oliva, and others, will battle with the Hanma duo to resolve their own issues, and Baki will pick up necessary lessons to hone his skills even further.
Lastly, more than the intense battles, over the top fight sequences, fans of the series will be interested in witnessing the emotional payoff the series so deserves, and judging from the way the storylines of even minor characters were treated, we can safely assume that the makers will be able to respect the most pivotal arc of the manga.