‘Baki Hanma’ Season 2 Part 2 Recap & Ending, Explained: Did Baki Finally Defeat His Father, Yujiro?

The quest to be known as the strongest being in the world gets overshadowed by the complicated father-son relationship between the Hanmas as the second part of the second season of Netflix’s anime adaptation of Baki Hanma releases worldwide. It all eventually comes down to this one fight, as all the hardships Baki endured, the beatings he took, the inhuman training he went through—everything was his preparation to match up to his father, Yujiro ‘Ogre’ Hanma. The fight for which the fans have been waiting for almost three different series (Baki the Grappler, Baki, and Grappler Baki OVA) takes place in the final arc of Baki Hanma and ends in the most surprising fashion as well.

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The Hanma bloodline is explored further, and Baki’s traumatic memory of his mother’s death is revealed as well through the course of the series. Alongside the main plotline, a subplot also shapes up in the form of Kaiou ‘Sea King’ Retsu’s journey to test his mettle against leading boxers in the world, which comes to an abrupt end—which will make viewers question the necessity of its inclusion. All in all, the second season of Baki Hanma rounds off in a brilliant way, with Pickle’s arc in the beginning and a father-son battle to finish things off, making it possibly the best part out of all the Baki anime adaptations.

Spoilers Ahead

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A Traumatic Past: What Motivates Baki To Fight?

The second part of Baki Hanma Season 2 picks up right from the ending of the battle between Baki and Pickle. To assess the physical condition of Baki after a grueling brawl with possibly one of the strongest human beings in human history, some medical tests have been done, along with a full-body MRI scan. However, the medics are taken aback after seeing the imagery of Baki’s brain—in true Hanma fashion, his skull has more creases, folds, and curves, making it appear as if an emblem of Oni were carved in his brain.

After quite a long time (since the prison arc in Baki), Baki’s girlfriend Matsumoto appears in the scene, and it is revealed that she and Baki are still on great terms, despite Baki’s absence from her life for a prolonged period of time. Baki acknowledges her importance in his life; the emotional void that was created five years ago after his mother’s passing away was somewhat filled by Matsumoto’s presence, and despite the circumstances forcing him otherwise, he longs to be with her. The scene shifts to his conversation with Hitoshi Kuriyagawa when Baki recalls the fateful night of his mother’s death.

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A former servant of Emi, Kuriyagawa, asks whether Baki has decided to fight against his father as an act of revenge for the death of his mother, and Baki’s statement reveals that his motivation is not as simple as he thinks it to be. Emi Akezawa, a dignified woman of the most affluent background, had fallen in love with Yujiro after witnessing a true estimate of his strength. She was fascinated and attracted by the brutality Yujiro subjected his opponents to and wanted to attain the love of this so-called strongest person in the world. Yujiro accepted her love, and the duo had a son named Baki, whom Emi raised with the utmost care, providing the best education and physical training humanly possible. Baki longed for the love of his mother, but Emi was fixated on her goal of gaining Yujiro’s love, and in doing so, she was preparing Baki as merely a present of whose strength Yujiro could feel proud as a father.

However, after learning that 13-year-old Baki was severely weaker than his expectations, Yujiro threatened Emi that he’d break up their relationship unless his son was able to prove his mettle. Eventually, the duo clashed, and Baki was miserably beaten by his father, who was almost driven in fury to end his life. Seeing her son on the verge of death, maternal instincts kicked in, and Emi attacked Yujiro, who embraced her with such force that it killed her. The one act of motherly kindness has motivated Baki ever since to go through all the hardships, and he wants to measure himself against his father to honor the kindness of his late mother.

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Unfinished Challenger Arc: Which New Journey Did Kaiou Retsu Embark Upon?

We surely remember Chinese martial arts master Kaiou ‘Sea King’ Retsu’s battle against Pickle in the first part of the second season, which ended with Retsu getting defeated and losing one of his legs. As we meet the character in the second part, the adept fighter seems to be seeking a new challenge by trying his hand at the most popular discipline of fighting: boxing. As he easily beats champion boxer Akio Mani during a sparring session at the gym, legendary promoter Kaiser decides to take him to Las Vegas to once again introduce him to the strongest boxers in the world. It’s a reverse Ip Man situation, where a Kenpo-trained fighter has arrived to challenge the West, and the inevitable question arises: Which form of fighting is superior? Whether a four thousand-year-preserved school of martial arts can indeed dominate a rather upstart, entertainment-based fighting style that’s no older than two or three centuries

Retsu battles against the former heavyweight champion, the giant known as Andrei Valev. The martial arts master wins by dodging every hit thrown at him with ease without hitting a single jab and landing a Musunkei (0-mm range, strong punch) to knock Valev out. For his next battle, however, Retsu is pitted against top-ranked heavyweight Joe ‘Smoking’ Cruiser, and he learns the intricacies of boxing by getting punched hard enough to rattle his brain. However, using his childhood memories of training at Bailin Temple, Retsu turns the tables in his favor and beats Cruiser, much to the astonishment and amazement of the audience. His next fight is against the top boxer, the reigning champion, Wilbur Bolt. The battle happens off-screen, and we only get to know in the epilogue of the season that Retsu has won it, and it is because, in the manga, details of their battle scenario were missing as well.

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Father-Son Bonding

Baki has also found a sensei in a cockroach and realizes their physiological advantage as invertebrates, which allows them to dash at unthinkable speeds. Baki trains to imagine himself in a similar liquefied relaxation position to attain the optimum speed. Soon after, Baki takes on Chiharu Shiba, one of Yakuza Bodd Hanayama’s associates, whose indomitable fighting spirit and unconventional, relentless approach in battle act as lessons for Baki. During their battle, Baki wins every single time, but Chiharu turns out to be extremely persuasive, which leads Baki to end the battle once and for all by blitzing his eyes on Chiharu’s fingers, thereby breaking them.

On the other hand, Yujiro battles with and crushes Biscuit Oliva pretty easily, emphasizing the unthinkable strength difference between the strongest person in the world and the second strongest one. The legend of Yujiro’s strength—how he managed to make even superpowers like America bow before him, fear him, and seek his friendship—comes to the attention of the Japanese Prime Minister. The world awaits the inevitable battle between father and son, as the Battle of Hanmas has already been touted as the greatest battle in human history. Baki contacts General Strydum to let him know that he wishes to invite his father, Yujiro, for tea, a seemingly unthinkable offer given how much bad blood there is between the father and son. An infuriated Yujiro still arrives at his doorstep and drinks coffee, and just as Baki goes to provoke his anger by asking him to make some, he threatens him and leaves, not before ‘tearing’ the coffee table in four.

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Days later, Baki invites Yujiro to dinner and prepares a full-course meal for him. His father shows up and unexpectedly seems much more gentle and sensitive while enjoying delicacies, even advising Baki to not consume frivolously and to value the worth of the food itself. So far, Baki’s experience has only portrayed Yujiro as an ultraviolent brute, incapable of philosophical understanding or engaging in finer, more complex processes. The dinner scene proves how mistaken he is, as Yujiro turns out to be a much more sensible, practical, and pragmatic person. Understandably so, this was a man who protected the poor and hapless, who fought against America in the Vietnam War and singlehandedly made them bow before him, taking on the worst attacks thrown at him. There are more shades to Yujiro than Baki is aware of.

However, on this occasion, much to Baki’s amusement, Yujiro invites him to a fine dining restaurant the next day to return the favor. Baki arrives at the venue and, while enjoying a luxurious spread with Yujiro, gets disciplined by him on food etiquette, table manners, and dressing sense. These are the things Baki had never been taught, partly due to his preoccupation with becoming the strongest and partly due to his strained relationship with Yujiro, who never allowed him to spend time together.

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Did Baki Finally Defeat His Father, Yujiro?

However, a couple of ‘time well spent’ occasions aren’t enough to mend the broken relationship between the two, and right after dinner, Baki initiates the bitter conversation without beating around the bush. His question is straightforward but exceedingly daring, considering he is facing the most dangerous and strongest person on the planet, as he wants to know the reason why Yujiro killed his mother, Emi. To provoke him further, Baki straight-up pulls Yujiro’s collars, and this enrages him so much that his sheer rage sends tremors through the entire building. Yujiro decides to discipline his son using a hands-on approach and starts toying with Baki. As he throws Baki and himself through the window of the high rise and freefalls several dozen floors below onto the street, bystanders are alerted to the commencement of the greatest battle.

After a few rather harmless disciplinary rounds of kicking around, whip striker Yujiro proposes to get into the business by fighting for real. Military forces arrive and evacuate people from nearby neighborhoods, and half of Tokyo gathers outside to get a glimpse of their fight, with more people pouring in with every passing minute. Baki hits Yujiro with his ‘cockroach tackle’ to break through several portions of the building, and their fight reaches the street, where a humongous crowd has amassed. Among the interested watchers, Doppo Orochi, Strydum, Hanayama, Oliva, and the topmost fighters are present. 

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Three lightning flash strikes from Baki draw the first blood, but soon enough, the Ogre starts getting warmed up by viciously hurling his son around, making him tear up and bleed profusely. Baki heals himself by sheer willpower and strikes the pose of a Triceratops, channeling the strength of the prehistoric reptile in himself. Using the immense strength of an ancient behemoth, Baki pushes Yujiro by breaking through vehicles and street asphalt, earning the admiration of his father. Yujiro appreciates the very original fighting style of Baki, naming it Kyoruken, or dinosaur’s fist. In return, Yujiro displayed his own original stance and style, Yujiroken, by emitting force fields and shockwaves solely with his raw power.

As their battle intensifies, Yujiro acknowledges Baki’s brilliance, inadvertently making his son cry tears of joy. Bereft of parental affection, Baki always wanted to prove himself in front of his father, and after all this time, a simple compliment from him cracked his emotional barriers. Yujiro even pats his head by clutching him in a vice grip, but once again proceeds to beat the lights out of him to provide him with a reality check. All of a sudden, Pickle, the prehistoric giant, who was watching the battle from afar, comes to his friend Baki’s rescue by distracting Yujiro. This at once alerts Baki, who considers this a humiliation, and punches Pickle, letting him know that no one has the right to interfere in his most personal battle. Despite the difference in methods of communication, Pickle understands his message and leaves the arena to sit aside and watch the brawl.

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The battle goes to its next stage when both Yujiro and Baki are able to see the spirit of legendary Yuichiro Hanma (father of Ogre), who makes fun of his son and encourages his grandson. Seeing the sight of him, Yujiro reveals his Oni back and initiates his father’s special attack on Baki, known as “dress/guise” where he violently tosses Baki across his own body like a nunchaku, almost mimicking the appearance of a veil around his own body. His merciless pummeling activates Baki’s ‘Hanma Blood.’ and he starts countering as viciously as well. The father and son let go of any restraint and cut loose while beating each other, and in doing so, they reconnected with each other with a sense of mutual appreciation and love. Matsumoto appears right in the middle of the battle, and the ogre takes the time to thank her for helping his son’s emotional well-being, which he considers to be the key factor in his increased strength since the last time they fought.

Yujiro makes Baki memorize the first lesson of fighting he had taught him years ago: making a fist and punching, and the fighters engage in a good old-fashioned punching contest with each other, putting the entire essence of their might into each exchange. Soon, Yujiro stops punching, starts receiving all the blows, and embraces his son—just like he did Emi for the last time—and crushes Baki in a similar fashion.

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A wrecked-up Baki lies, almost unconscious, but his fighting spirit still continues to battle Yujiro as if in the form of a manifestation! Moved by this gesture, Yujiro prepares a make-believe Miso soup for his son, like a caring parent does to distract their children, and offers it to Baki as the crowd watches, shocked. Baki’s response shocks us even more, as he states the soup to be salty and throws it in annoyance, which infuriates Yujiro. Suddenly, Yujiro realizes that his son has managed to make him believe in this make-belief shenanigan, even if it was for a split second, and a sense of humility catches up to him. Yujiro himself formally announces Baki to be the strongest being on the planet, and the crowd erupts in joy. But Baki himself knows that the only marker of a victor in a battle is the one who is standing tall, and that he has lost this battle against his father. Irrespective of the result of the battle, Yujiro considers him an equal, and that’s more than enough to make Baki realize that his mother’s dream has been fulfilled.

Baki Hanma Season 2 ends with both the father and son locking their arms, grateful towards each other by sharing their feelings in such an unconventional yet endearing (to them, at least) manner.

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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