‘Garouden’ Anime Ending Explained & Series Recap: Does Fujimaki Defeat Himekawa?

Netflix is inarguably the best at adapting manga, and now they’ve come up with one of the most adrenaline-filled animes I’ve watched in a long time. Based on Baku Yumemakura’s series of martial arts novels, Garouden: The Way of the Lone Wolf is guaranteed to enthrall the audience to watch the series on Netflix. Juzo Fujimaki, a martial artist who’s been a wanted fugitive for years, is forced to gear up and fight again when unavoidable circumstances and his own past catch up to him.


Spoilers Ahead

Why does Fujimaki not want to fight anymore?

Fujimaki is first introduced when two hikers come across an injured brown bear who’s growling in pain and wants to kill them. Fujimaki fights the bear with his bare hands and manages to kill him. A detective named Tamon wants to get to Fujimaki, but Fujimaki being a criminal is not the only reason Tamon wants him. A long time ago, Fujimaki beat Tamon in his own dojo, and Tamon wants a rematch. After Fujimaki fought the bear, he was seriously injured, and a group of men wearing black cloaks rescued him. Fujimaki senses that something bigger is at play here, but he doesn’t have much time to hide himself. He once killed a robber using his finishing move, Tiger King, when the man raped his master’s daughter Saeko, and Fujimaki hasn’t been able to forgive himself ever since. Saeko’s eyes still haunt him, and he thinks that the beast inside him is better if kept tamed. 


What is KODOKU?

Tamon’s assistant, Hikita, tells him a rumor about an underground martial arts tournament he found on the internet. Meanwhile, Fujimaki fought with an esteemed Sensei, Chisaki Shino, who challenged him to a fight just after Fujimaki saved his daughter from thugs. Fujimaki uses the style of the Takemiya school, and his stance is relaxed. Fujimaki’s core is straight and limber, resembling bamboo, and the defended midline baits his opponents to attack his face. After a formidable fight, Fujimaki beats Master Shino, and when the police come looking for Fujimaki, Shino doesn’t tell them anything. Fujimaki leaves for Bell Island, where a certain Buddhist monk named Master Ranbo helps him to control his inner beast. On the same island, boxer Joze Carlos Nagato beats three students of Master Shino, who originally came to avenge their master and beat Fujimaki. Ranbo takes Joze under his wing, and soon Fujimaki teaches him a certain move called the “Shikuchi,” which helps a fighter deceive his enemies. Soon, three assassins show up on the island, and Fujimaki, Master Ranbo, and Joze fight them off with ease. Fujimaki leaves the island, thinking he has to go back to the mainland to protect his school, and Joze offers to go with him. On the ferry, Joze challenges Fujimaki to a duel, and he says it’s nothing personal, he just has to beat him in order to enter the tournament. Fujimaki has no idea what Joze is saying, and Joze is a master of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well. Their fight ends with Fujimaki dislocating Joze’s shoulder, and a helicopter lands on the ferry, and a lady congratulates Fujimaki for officially entering the KODOKU tournament. Fujimaki can’t refuse, as the doctor who treated him earlier has implanted thousands of dormant eelworms embedded with semiconductor nanoparticles. They could kill Fujimaki with the press of a button, and he would only get the antidote if he made it to the final. Joze offers to go with him as his advisor, and with a crack in the bones, Fujimaki fixes his dislocated shoulder.

Does Fujimaki win the KODOKU?

The lady is known as the Sergeant, and she hosts this underground martial arts tournament to determine the best fighter in the world. There aren’t many rules, and the fighters are basically allowed to kill their opponents. The contestants come from different backgrounds: a former World Kickboxing Champion, an undefeated Jiu-Jitsu fighter, a sekiwake Sumo legend, and a pro wrestler who’s called the “King of the Cage.” There’s one mysterious fighter that Joze has never heard of, and that’s Oleg Jaitsev, an assassin who’s also a war veteran. After cleaning up and walking all over his opponents, Fujimaki meets Oleg in the finals. Oleg has killed every single opponent on his way, and Fujimaki’s attacks prove useless in front of him. Oleg looks at his wife, whom he found in a war zone while enemy combatants.


The woman is bloodthirsty and enjoys witnessing Oleg kill people. The Sensei of the Hokushinkan school, Matsuo Shozan, is also watching the fight with his apprentice, Himekawa. Shozan had earlier sent Himekawa to learn the Takemiya style from Fujimaki’s master, Izumi. Himekawa has never been beaten in a fight, even though Shozan broke his arm once. He didn’t surrender the fight, but Shozan took him in to make Himekawa strong enough to beat even himself. Himekawa has also grown close with Master Izumi’s daughter, Saeko. Shozan and Himekawa watch Fujimaki deliver  the Tiger King on Oleg, and they’re stunned by the fierceness of the move. Shozan describes Fujimaki’s legs as fangs, and they bite the opponent’s head like pincers. The Sergeant offers to erase Fujimaki’s name from the criminal records and a chance at a life abroad, but he refuses. Fujimaki found out that a man named Tanba Bunshichi had defeated Master Izumi and left him injured, and he wanted revenge. He asks the Sergeant to get Joze off the murder charges so that he can get back to professional boxing, and he leaves for Japan to see his master. Shozan is planning something bigger, as he wants his own martial arts tournament to show it to the world, and he wants the best fighters around the world to headline his event. 

What happens when Fujimaki goes back to the School of Takemiya?

Detective Tamon is in search of Bunshichi Tanba, and he goes to visit Master Izumi to interrogate him. Izumi is regretting that even his body is suffering the ravages of time, and now he’s training Tanba because he deserves it. Soon, Fujimaki comes to Izumi, and he’s distraught when Izumi says that the Takemiya style isn’t the most effective technique. Fujimaki refuses to agree, as he thinks the technique is the most practical fighting style on the planet. Fujimaki asks Izumi to make him the heir of this technique, but Izumi says he’s already taught the technique to three people: Shozan Matsuo, Himekawa, and Bunsichi Tamba. Fujimaki says he’s going to fight them all to establish his supremacy, and he asks blessings from Izumi to ask out his daughter. Saeko arrives with Himekawa and tells Fujimaki that she’s seeing him. Saeko never forgave Fujimaki for leaving her alone, and her eyes only portrayed what her heart was saying, which was telling Fujimaki to stay. Saeko has wanted to marry the strongest man in the world since she was little, and now she asks Fujimaki if he can win against Himekawa. Fujimaki swears to overcome his opponents to inherit the Takemiya style and to win Saeko back. 


What do Fujimaki and Himekawa do to prepare for their battle?

The Sergeant and Shozan Matsuo talk about how Shozan is going to host the biggest martial arts tournament in the world to determine the best fighter. The Sergeant mentions a similar venture being arranged by a pro wrestling company, but the less we talk about it, the better. The only thing you need to know about that tournament is that Tamba won it using Tiger King in the finals. Fujimaki sneaks up on Tamba while he is jogging, and they engage in a duel, but a police siren breaks their fight midway. Detective Tamon finds Fujimaki and challenges him to a fight, and Fujimaki ends the fight in under a minute using Tiger King on Tamon. Meanwhile, Himekawa is practicing to counter the Tiger King using a swordsman slashing his sword at his neck and face, and he doesn’t flinch a bit. Himekawa has never accepted defeat, and as the Hokushinkan tournament draws near, he’s determined to beat Fujimaki and neutralize his famed finisher. 

Does Fujimaki defeat Himekawa?

Shozan commences his tournament with 30 thousand spectators cheering in a full-house stadium. Himekawa makes it to the final without any blows to his face, and his opponent is Nagata, who’s excellent in his brawling skills and has enormous brute strength in him. Fujimaki ambushes Nagata’s men and breaks his arm. Then he walks out of the dark to challenge Himekawa to a duel. Shozan is elated to see Fujimaki, and he makes the match official. Master Izumi gives his training gear to Fujimaki, and he proudly wears it to defend the honor of the Takemiya style. Izumi and Saeko watch it all unfold as Himekawa’s machine-like kicks pose a great threat to Fujimaki. As the fight continues, police officers arrive at the stadium to arrest Fujimaki, but Shozan stops them before his high-up friend, Kubo, settles the matter. The police agree to wait until the fight is finished, and Himekawa is still dominating Fujimaki. Master Ranbo, Miyuki, and Joze watch the fight on TV, and Ranbo thinks Fujimaki has worn Himekawa down.


Just when it looks like Fujimaki has gotten hold of Himekawa’s ankle, Himekawa swiftly breaks out of the hold. Injured Fujimaki remembers that, deep inside, Saeko was happy when he killed the rapist, and he made a mistake by burying the killer inside him and running away. Fujimaki decides that the softer version of him needs to die, and he unleashes his inner wolf. After landing several massive blows on Himekawa, Fujimaki goes for the Tiger King. Everybody thinks that this is it, but Himekawa counters the Tiger King with a rolling thunder kick. Fujimaki gets knocked out, and the referee announces Himekawa as the winner, but Fujimaki gets right back up. Now, he’s gone beyond his limit, and it’s his beastly instincts that want him to fight. Fujimaki thinks of a song his mother used to sing for him, and that gives him more strength and speed than he’s ever had. He attempts to finish Himekawa with a Tiger King for the second time, but Himekawa counters it again by relaxing and using his own weight to drop Fujimaki head-first into the ground. The move has every jaw dropped on the floor, and Himekawa emerges victorious. Shozan congratulates him, but Himekawa realizes how close he was to getting killed. He fears that he won’t be able to hold his own in front of Fujimaki if they meet again, but Shozan is too happy to listen to his words. Shozan hands Fujimaki over to the cops but promises him that he will remain active until Fujimaki completes his time in prison. Shozan will wait until he gets out to have a duel with Fujimaki. Saeko remembers how her heart screamed when Fujimaki left her, and she never wanted him to go. 

What To Expect Next?

The second season of Garouden: The Way of the Lone Wolf will surely pack more punches than the first. Now that there are multiple fighters who can execute the Tiger King, Fujimaki doesn’t have an extra advantage over them. After Fujimaki serves his time, it’s expected that he’ll go for Himekawa first to settle the debate once and for all. Tamba is back in Nara village to perfect his Takemiya style and fight Fujimaki. It was somewhat inevitable that Fujimaki would lose when he got back up after getting knocked out. He was driven by rage and fury, and the beast had taken over him completely. Himekawa stayed true to what he learned and practiced, and his discipline allowed him to conquer the stronger opponent. It’s similar to how Fujimaki defeated the big injured bear at the beginning of the show, and he himself met the same fate when he charged at Himekawa like a raging bull. The second season will definitely favor our protagonist, but for the time being, cheers to Himekawa and how hot they made him look. 


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Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket is a literature student pursuing his master's degree while trying to comprehend Joyce and Pound. When his head is not shoved in books, he finds solace in cinema and his heart beats for poetry, football, and Adam Sandler in times.

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