Baki the Grappler

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Baki the Grappler
Grappler Baki.jpg
Cover of the English release of Baki the Grappler volume 1.
グラップラー刃牙
(Gurappurā Baki)
GenreMartial arts[1]
Manga
Written byKeisuke Itagaki
Published byAkita Shoten
English publisher
Media Do International (second series)
DemographicShōnen
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Champion
Original runOctober 1991April 2018
Volumes132 (List of volumes)
Manga parts
  1. Grappler Baki (42 volumes)
  2. Baki!! (31 volumes)
  3. Baki Hanma (37 volumes)
  4. Baki-Dou (22 volumes)
Original video animation
Directed byYuji Asada
Produced byChiaki Yasuda
Tsuneo Seto
Written byYoshihisa Araki
Music byTakahiro Saito
StudioSung San
Licensed by
ReleasedAugust 21, 1994
Runtime45 minutes
Game
Fighting Fury
DeveloperTomy
PublisherMidas Interactive
GenreFighting video game
PlatformPlayStation 2
Released
  • JP: October 12, 2000
  • UK: July 26, 2003
Anime television series
Directed byHitoshi Nanba
Produced byHiroyoshi Ōkura
Kenjirō Kawando
Executive producer:
Dynamite Tommy
Written byAtsuhiro Tomioka
Music byProject BAKI
StudioGroup TAC
Licensed by
Original networkTV Tokyo
English network
Original run January 8, 2001 June 25, 2001
Episodes24 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Maximum Tournament
Directed byKatsuyoshi Yatabe
Produced byHiroyoshi Ōkura
Kenjirō Kawando
Executive producer:
Dynamite Tommy
Written byAtsuhiro Tomioka
Music byProject BAKI
StudioGroup TAC
Licensed by
Original networkTV Tokyo
English network
Original run July 23, 2001 December 24, 2001
Episodes24 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
Baki: Most Evil Death Row Convicts
Special Anime
Directed byTeiichi Takiguchi
Produced byYu Kiyozono
Music byKenji Fujisawa
StudioTelecom Animation Film
ReleasedDecember 6, 2016
Runtime15 minutes
Original net animation
Baki: Most Evil Death Row Convicts
Directed byToshiki Hirano
Produced byKei Watahiki
Yuki Yokoi
Executive producer:
Tetsu Kojima
Written byTatsuhiko Urahata
Music byKenji Fujisawa
StudioTMS Entertainment
Licensed byNetflix
Released June 25, 2018 scheduled
Runtime24 minutes
Episodes26
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Grappler Baki (Japanese: グラップラー刃牙, Hepburn: Gurappurā Baki), known as Baki the Grappler in North America, is a manga series written and illustrated by Keisuke Itagaki. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion from 1991 to 1999 and collected into 42 tankōbon volumes. It was followed by three sequel series; Baki!! (バキ!!, officially romanized as "New Grappler Baki: In Search of Our Strongest Hero"), which was serialized from 1999 to 2005 and collected into 31 volumes, Baki Hanma (範馬刃牙, Hanma Baki, officially romanized as "Baki: Son of Ogre"), which was serialized from 2005 to 2012 and collected into 37 volumes, and Baki-Dou (刃牙道, Baki Dō, lit. "Baki: The Way"), which was serialized from 2014 to 2018 and collected into 22 volumes. A fifth series will be created and feature Nomi no Sukune.[2] It will be named with the same title "Baki: The Way" as the 4th series was, but with Baki's name being written in katakana this time instead of kanji, i.e. as バキ道.

A 45-minute original video animation (OVA) was released in 1994. A 24-episode anime aired on TV Tokyo between January 8 and June 25, 2001. This was quickly followed by a second 24-episode series, from July 22 to December 24, 2001. The OVA was the first to be licensed and released in North America, in 1998 by Central Park Media, followed by the original manga series in 2002 by Gutsoon! Entertainment (incomplete), and finally both anime series in 2005 by Funimation Entertainment. Media Do International will begin releasing the second manga series digitally in August 2018. As of 2018, the first four Baki series have over 75 million copies in circulation.

Plot[edit]

Baki is raised by his wealthy and money-obsessive mother, Emi Akezawa, who also funds his training in the hopes that he can be a powerful warrior like his father. Around the start of the series, Baki outgrows traditional training and heads out to follow the path of his ruthless father's training and meets many powerful fighters along the way. Eventually, Baki fights his father and is beaten without a challenge.

After being beaten, Baki travels around the world continuing his training. Years down the road he finds an underground fighting arena where he fights some of the most powerful fighters of all styles of martial arts. It is here he truly begins to hone his martial arts skills.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Main series[edit]

  • Grappler Baki (グラップラー刃牙, Gurappurā Baki) ― Original series, serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion from 1991 to 1999. Collected into 42 volumes, that encompasses The Champion, the Kid, and the Maximum Tournament sagas. From 2007-2008 it was collected into 24 deluxe edition volumes.[3][4]
This series was licensed for a North American release by Gutsoon! Entertainment, who retitled it Baki the Grappler. They published the first 46 chapters in their English-language manga anthology magazine Raijin Comics.[5] The magazine's first issue was released on December 18, 2002, but in July 2004 it was discontinued. 4 collected volumes were planned but it is unknown if they were released.
  • Baki!! (バキ!!, officially romanized as New Grappler Baki: In Search of Our Strongest Hero) ― Second series, also serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion from 1999 to November 24, 2005.[6] Collected into 31 volumes, and encompasses The Prisoners, the Chinese Challenge, and the Ali. Jr sagas.
This series is licensed for English release by Media Do International, who will begin releasing it digitally in August 2018. The company stated a future print release is possible and that they are interested in the original manga as well.[7]
  • Baki Hanma (範馬刃牙, Hanma Baki, officially romanized as Baki: Son of Ogre) ― Third series, again serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion, began on December 1, 2005 and ended on August 16, 2012.[6][8] Collected into 37 volumes, and encompasses the Oliva's Fortress, The Prehistoric Menace, Retsu Kaiou's Boxing, and the final confrontation of Yujiro and Baki.
  • Baki-Dou (刃牙道, Baki Dō, lit. "Baki: The Way") ― Fourth series, serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion from March 20, 2014 to April 5, 2018.[9][2] Collected into 22 volumes.

Gaiden[edit]

  • Grappler Baki Gaiden: Igari vs Mount Toba - Set immediately after the Maximum Tournament.
  • Baki Saga: The Romantic Contact - Side story that develops at the same time as volume 15.
  • Baki Gaiden: Scarface (バキ外伝 -スカーフェイス-) (or Scarface, The Legend of the Invincible Fist) - Spinoff series, written and illustrated by Yukinao Yamauchi, depicting Kaoru Hanayama's yakuza adventures. Ran from March 2005 to December 2007 in Champion Red, then from July 2009 in Weekly Shōnen Champion, collected in 7 volumes.
  • Baki Gaiden: Scarface 2nd series (バキ外伝 創面) - Spinoff series, written and illustrated by Yukinao Yamauchi, based on Hanayama Kaoru adventures in High school. Began in Bessatsu Shōnen Champion in July 2012.[8]
  • Baki Gaiden: Kenjin (バキ外伝 拳刃) - Spinoff series, written and illustrated by Kengou Miyatani, representing and describing Doppo's adventures. Began in Champion Red in June 2013.[10]
  • Yuenchi: Baki Gaiden (Amusement Park: Baki's fighting stories) - A collection of tales that happen within the Baki world. It is the first time that the Baki series is presented in narrative prose. Written by celebrated author Yumemakura Baku (In which he bring a few of his own characters from Garouden and Shishi no Mon novels for cameos) and illustrated by Itagaki Keisuke. Published in Akita Shoten Shonen Champion immediately after Baki-Dou's final volume.

Supplements[edit]

  • Grappler Baki: Red Dragon Side, Grappler Side - Compendium of the characters and events in the world of Grappler Baki, covers until volume 23 of the second saga.
  • Grappler Baki: Blue Tiger Side, Fighting Side - Compendium of every battle fought and its results in the world of Grappler Baki, also covers until volume 23 of the second saga.

Original video animations[edit]

A 45-minutes original video animation (OVA) was released in 1994. The story is a close adaptation of the first few volumes of the original manga, in which Baki Hanma fights Shinogi Koushou. It was licensed and released on DVD, under the title Grappler Baki: The Ultimate Fighter, in North America by Central Park Media on December 1, 1998.[11] Manga Entertainment later released it in Australia and the United Kingdom.

A 15-minutes original animation DVD (OAD), referred to as Baki: Most Evil Death Row Convicts Special Anime (バキ 最凶死刑囚編SP(スペシャル)アニメ), was included with the limited edition of the 14 volume of Baki-Dou on December 6, 2016. However, it adapts the arc of the same name from the second manga series, which is titled simply Baki. Created by Telecom Animation Film, it was directed by Teiichi Takiguchi and focuses on five inmates who breakout of prison from around the world and travel to Japan.[12][1]

Anime series[edit]

A 24-episode anime series aired on TV Tokyo between January 8, 2001 and June 25, 2001. It faithfully follows the original manga series. Notably, the anime was produced by Free-Will, a music record label. A second 24-episode series, titled Grappler Baki: Maximum Tournament (グラップラー刃牙 最大トーナメント編) as it tells the story from that part of the manga, aired from July 23, 2001 to December 24, 2001. All of the series' music was written and composed by "Project Baki", and all the theme songs performed by Ryōko Aoyagi. The first anime's opening theme is "Ai Believe" (哀 believe), while its closing theme is "Reborn". For the second series, "All Alone" is used as the opening and "Loved..." as the closing. Baki the Grappler: Original Soundtrack was released on March 27, 2003.

Both series were licensed for a North American English release by Funimation Entertainment. They released both series as one on 12 DVDs, each with four episodes, beginning on June 14, 2005 with the last released on February 27, 2007.[13] Two box sets were released on January 23, 2007 and March 25, 2008, the first included volumes 1-6 (1st series), while the second included 7-12 (2nd series).[14][15] A set including every episode was released on September 2, 2008.

Funimation's English version was one of the launch-shows on their own television channel, Funimation Channel, which debuted on June 19, 2006. Baki was broadcast on weekends at 11:30pm,[16] switching to the 10:00pm slot on September 4, 2006.[17] Dubbed in English, the episodes were edited for time but do not appear to have been edited for content. The opening theme is the song "Child Prey" by Japanese metal band Dir en grey, who is signed to Free-Will.

In December 2016, it was announced that the "Most Evil Death Row Convicts" arc of the second manga series will be receiving an anime television adaptation.[12] The 26 episode series is directed by Toshiki Hirano at TMS Entertainment with character designs handled by Fujio Suzuki and scripts overseen by Tatsuhiko Urahata.[18] It began streaming on Netflix on June 25, 2018 in Japan, and Fall 2018 outside Japan.[19][20] The series will then air on several Japanese television channels beginning with Tokyo MX1 on July 1.[21] Its opening theme song is "Beastful" by Granrodeo and its ending theme is "Resolve" performed by Azusa Tadokoro with lyrics by Miho Karasawa.[22]

Video games[edit]

There have been a few video games based on the series. A fighting game developed by Tomy was released for the PlayStation 2 as Fighting Fury (グラップラー刃牙 バキ最強列伝, Gurappurā Baki - Baki Saikyō Retsuden) in Japan in 2000 and the United Kingdom during 2003.[23]

Reception[edit]

As of 2018, the first four Baki series have over 75 million collected volumes in circulation.[24] Allen Divers and Jason Thompson, both writing for Anime News Network, briefly described the series as "very compelling" and a "demented fighting manga", respectively.[25][26]

The 2012 comedy film Graffreeter Toki (lit. "Toki the Freelancing Grappler") is based on the March 2011 play of the same name, which in turn was inspired by Grappler Baki.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "New Baki Martial Arts Anime's Trailer Reveals Staff at Telecom Animation Film". Anime News Network. 2016-09-21. Retrieved 2016-11-28.
  2. ^ a b "New Baki Manga to Feature Japan's Legendary 1st Sumo Wrestler". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  3. ^ グラップラー刃牙 1 完全版 (少年チャンピオン・コミックス) コミック. Amazon.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-05-25.
  4. ^ グラップラー刃牙 24 完全版 (少年チャンピオン・コミックス) コミック. Amazon.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-05-25.
  5. ^ "Raijin Comics Details". Anime News Network. 2002-05-20. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  6. ^ a b "Baki Restarts". Anime News Network. 2005-12-05. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  7. ^ "Media Do International Licenses Keisuke Itagaki's Baki Manga". Anime News Network. 2018-07-20. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  8. ^ a b "Hanma Baki Manga to End in 10 Chapters or Less". Anime News Network. 2012-06-12. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  9. ^ "New Baki Manga Series Titled Baki-Dou". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
  10. ^ "Baki Manga Spawns New Spinoff in June". Anime News Network.
  11. ^ Grappler Baki. Amazon.com. ASIN 6305167273.
  12. ^ a b "Keisuke Itagaki's Baki Manga Gets TV Anime Adaptation". Anime News Network. 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2016-11-28.
  13. ^ "Baki The Grappler Site and Details". Anime News Network. 2005-05-06. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  14. ^ "Baki the Grappler: Season 1 Box Set". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  15. ^ "Baki the Grappler: Season 2 Box Set". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  16. ^ "Funimation Syndicated Block Starts June 19". Anime News Network. 2006-06-07. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  17. ^ "Funimation Doubles Syndicated TV Package". Anime News Network. 2006-08-24. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  18. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (March 14, 2018). "Baki Anime's Teaser Video Reveals Main Cast, Staff". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  19. ^ "Netflix to Stream New Baki Anime Series". Anime News Network. August 2, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  20. ^ "Netflix Premieres New Baki Anime Series in Summer 2018 in Japan, in Fall 2018 Outside of Japan". Anime News Network. August 26, 2017. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  21. ^ "Brawny Brawlers Trade Brutal Blows in "Baki" TV Anime Trailer". Crunchyroll. June 9, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  22. ^ "GRANRODEO Performs OP Theme for New "Baki" Anime". Crunchyroll. April 19, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  23. ^ "Fighting Fury for the PlayStation 2". MobyGames.
  24. ^ "新アニメーションシリーズ『バキ』2018年6月25日より、NETFLIXにて先行配信スタート! 2018年7月1日より、TOKYO MX1ほかにてTV放送開始" (PDF) (in Japanese). TMS Entertainment. p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-08-03. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  25. ^ Diver, Allen (December 31, 2002). "Ima, kore ga hoshiin da! - I Want It, Manga Style!". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  26. ^ Thompson, Jason (October 20, 2011). "Alien Nine - Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  27. ^ "Baki Manga-Inspired Graffreeter Toki Film Trailer Posted". Anime News Network. 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2012-04-20.

External links[edit]