[EP. REVIEW] Baki Hanma, the Incredible Glass Eating Boy

Baki the Grappler • 7 of 48 • Gripper

Something you’ll learn the more you watch this show is that Grappler Baki is all about ridiculous flashbacks to pad things out. Did a character make and obscure fighting reference? Don’t worry — they’ll go into great detail about it. It’s kind of like if Family Guy was about Peter training to be an underground fighting champion.


The last episode closed out with Hanayama taking his clothes off to reveal his back tattoo. What’s the meaning of Hanayama’s tattoo? Juice Box Guy — who we find out in a separate flashback is Hanayama’s uncle, Dezaki — spends half the episode telling Kuriyagawa who gave it to him, why, and what it means.

In 1616, some dumb naked guy was walking around carrying a giant bell on his back. A bunch of dickhole soldiers attack him for no reason, but he refuses to falter. They finally leave when they realize that he’s dead.

Turns out that there was a baby hiding in the bell he was carrying. That baby was the last surviving member of the Hanayama family. Every Hanayama man gets a tattoo of that guy on their back.

Back in the present time, Baki is not doing so hot against Hanayama. He falls victim to the exploding arm technique that ended Yuri’s boxing career. Baki, who’s had advanced training in not being a pussy, wraps it up with bandages and continues fighting.

These bandages appear out of nowhere. And Hanayama very graciously waits for him to finish his first aid before punching him again. Such honor. So yakuza.

Last time I said that Hanayama acts like a big dumb gorilla man during this fight. It’s because of how the fight ends. You know how in Dragon Ball Z two characters blast each other with energy and it meets in the middle? Baki and Hanayama do that with their fists.

Each time their fists collide, Baki breaks one of Hanayama’s fingers. Dezaki — who’s been talking mad shit this whole time — whines about it being unfair. Hanayama ignores his broken fingers and keeps punching.

Homeboy falls for the same trick until his entire hand is broken. Finally he manages to overpower Baki and knock him out. Hanayama collapses, as well. Dezaki is quick to say that even though they’re both down, Hanayama won because he’s only tired, and Baki is down cause he’s a bitch.

That’s when Baki regains consciousness. Hanayama is noticeably startled by this. Baki spits glass out of his mouth, saying that he purposely put it there to keep himself from passing out. Hanayama can’t take anymore, and verbally gives up. From this point on, Hanayama acts like a normal person.

As the episode closes, they cut to Yujiro in a helicopter flying towards the building. How does he know that Baki was fighting in that club? Maybe someone posted about it on Twitter. In the future. Because Twitter didn’t exist yet. What I’m saying is that Yujiro is a time wizard.


Remember the DJ from the last episode? They must have realized that they forgot to give him a microphone, because he has one now. Though he doesn’t say as much this time.

And where the fuck are the cops? When Baki broke into Hanayama’s office a dozen cops were there in minutes. This fight probably went on for an hour and no one called the police? You’d think the DJ would’ve tried calling them after Hanayama started destroying his gear.


What’s interesting about this fight is that the only reason Baki wins is because he doesn’t give up. It’s similar to that episode of The Simpsons where Homer becomes a boxer and wins by exhausting his opponents.

Later in the series, I do believe Baki could actually defeat Hanayama. However, I have trouble awarding him the victory to someone that was too stupid to stay down.