Netflix’s Baki Hanma Season 2 has ended in spectacular fashion, much to the amusement of the series fans. After a wait of almost two decades (not for manga readers), ardent followers of the Baki anime series were finally able to witness the epic showdown between two generations of the Hanma dynasty, Yujiro and Baki, which led to an emotionally turbulent reconciliation at the end. Yujiro ended up being the winner at the end, but he himself acknowledged Baki’s greatness, declaring his son to be the strongest being on the planet. After all, this was the only fight during the Ogre’s adulthood (except the one with Kaiou Kaku) where he was not bored to death and unleashed his true strength.
With the end of this battle, the Baki Hanma series came to an end, but the journey of Baki and other associated characters is far from reaching its end, as the manga series is continuing to this date in the latest series, Baki Rahen. There are multiple storylines that can be adapted from the available plot points, and the main series is likely to continue as an adaptation of the still-to-be-adapted series like Baki-Dou and Bakidou. Let’s take a look at how a new series can shape up by discussing available plotlines and some of the important manga arcs.
The Hanma Bloodline: The Exploits Of Yuichiro Hanma
The battle between the Hanmas reaches a new height when the spirit of Yujiro’s father, Yuichiro Hanma, appears to verbally humiliate his own son and encourage his grandson Baki, even going so far as to state that he can beat Yujiro. The sudden appearance of his father’s spirit startles the Ogre, and as unbelievable as it might sound, Yujiro seems scared for the first time in his life. Even Pickle, the prehistoric giant, seems visibly startled by the sight of the apparition.
With a stature larger than even Yujiro and the signature ‘Oni’ even larger in his shoulder musculature, the seemingly level-headed Yuichiro disappears as abruptly as he has arrived. Hearing the name after a long period of time, the underground arena overseer Tokugawa delineates the person Yuichiro was to the Japanese Prime Minister. He states that even before Yujiro’s inhuman strength display and fierce exploits rattled America and forced the nation to bow down to his presence, Yuichiro had managed to beat them using his superhuman might.
Tokugawa narrates that during the Second World War, the US forces bombarded a tiny, solitary rock island off the coast of Okinawa with thousands of tons of explosives and ammunition, just to kill one person, Yuichiro Hanma, to no avail as he remained unscathed. The US general who was assigned to this mission even called for a nuclear strike but met his end when Yuichiro slammed his head right through the thick floorboard of the battleship Iowa. He then proceeded to display a special technique known as ‘Dress,’ where he rag-dolled a human all around him like a nunchaku at extreme speed, creating the appearance of a veil around his body. Needless to say, the sight terrified the soldiers; all two thousand of them jumped off the battleship right into the ocean and escaped with their lives.
Viewers don’t get to know much more about Yuichiro beyond this, but the conversations reveal that his relationship with his son, Yujiro, was not on the best of terms, and his demeanor was the polar opposite of Yujiro’s. In all probability, Yuichiro was the strongest being alive before Yujiro, and the mantle was later passed down to his son, mimicking the result of the Baki-Yujiro feud. What’s even more interesting is that in the same episode where Yuichiro appeared, titled Father, Son, and…, an exploration team discovers engravings in gigantic walls inside a pyramid that reveal a historical figure with a similar ‘Oni’ back, more prominent at that, fighting against a similar-looking yet larger figure. This emphasizes the tradition of parent-child feuds that has been embedded in the Hanma tradition. With such fascinating family lore teased, fans are going to be more than eager to see the family tree explored in future seasons.
Kaiou Retsu’s Journey
Aside from the Hanma family feud, the second part of the second season of Baki Hanma had the Chinese martial arts master Kaiou Retsu’s journey to the West as a subplot, where he tested his Kenpo skills against top-billed boxing champions of the world. In the end, Retsu emerges as an undisputable heavyweight champion by defeating Wilbur Bolt, but the manga series explores his adventures even further than conventional fighting disciplines. After the completion of Baki-Dou, in a 2020 spinoff series titled Baki Gaiden: Retsu Kaioh Isekai, the character gets reincarnated into a fantasy world, and as he takes on multitudes of supernatural enemies, Retsu hones his skills even further. Who knows? Perhaps an anime adaptation focused on the handicapped Kenpo master is already on the cards. The same goes for Yakuza boss Hanayama, whose solo adventures in Baki Gaiden: Scarface have a fanbase of their own.
After being recognized as the strongest being on the planet, teenager Baki has reached the topmost, solitary point where there is nothing more left for him to attain. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that his fighting instincts have dissipated at a mere 18 years of age, and the fact remains that he has to grow a lot more to know the world beyond his singularly focused objective of gaining strength. To ensure his growth as a protagonist, mangaka Keisuke Itagaki has continued writing about new adventures to date, with the latest sixth manga series, Baki Rahen, being released as recently as the previous month. Before that can be chosen for anime adaptation, Baki-Dou and Baki Dou are next in line, which directly follow the narrative of the aftermath of Baki Hanma and introduce a number of new adversaries. Without spoiling much, we can hint about anticipating the arrival of a historical warrior whose appearance will definitely test Baki and his associates in some of the most gruesome ways.
As of now, a third season of a new Baki anime series has not been announced yet, but that may change soon, given the popularity of the character among hardcore Shounen fans.