Baki: New Grappler Baki
Story & Art: Keisuke Itagaki
Translation by: Richard Jesner/Momosuke Inc.
Originally published by Akita Shoten, 2000
Published by Media Do, 2018
Copies purchased from ComiXology
Punch your lights out
Hit the pavement
That’s what I call entertainment
Causing problems makes you famous
All the violence makes a statement
-‘Lights Out‘, by Mindless Self Indulgence, 2008
What is it?: New Grappler Baki is the second series in the intimidatingly long Baki series, which clocks in at its (currently, as a new series is incoming) completed length of some 132 volumes across four individual series, with New Grapper Baki being volumes 43-73 of the run.
This era of the mega-series follows Baki Hanma, a martial arts expert and high school student, newly crowned champion of Japan’s underground fighting circuit, as he’s faced with a strange moment of synchronicity; five of the world’s worst, most animalistic and violent criminals have all been inspired to escape prison and make their way to Japan, so that they may ‘taste defeat’. An ultraviolent series of ‘anywhere, anytime’ bouts begin, where who lives, dies, or is impossibly maimed can only be decided through martial combat.