[EP. REVIEW] Kyle Hebert Kicks His Own Ass in Baki the Grappler

Baki the Grappler • 6 of 48 • Spirit

*In my best Kyle Hebert voice*

On the last episode of Baki the Grappler — Baki kicks Hanayama’s desk out a fucking window. He also breaks Hanayama’s glasses when he kicks him in the face. Understandably, Hanayama is pissed. Will Baki and Hanayama finally throw down?

Actually…no. Not yet.

Fun Fact: Hanayama is played by Kyle Hebert. He also plays Tommy Carbine, the boxer that Hanayama fought in episode two. Which means that Kyle beat the shit out of himself. That must have been a weird day in the vocal booth.

*Am I still doing the voice? Uh…start talking normally again*

EPISODE SUMMARY

Unfortunately, Baki and Hanayama’s fight has to be postponed because a dozen cops burst in and break up the party. Baki goes home with Kuriyagawa. Hanayama goes outside and tears a car apart with his bare hands.

On the drive home, Kuriyagawa tells Baki to be careful who he’s fucking with. Hanayama is the real deal, and he could get himself killed. It’s an interesting change of heart considering he was offering Hanayama money to fight Baki just a few episodes ago.

Baki goes to see Yuri in the hospital to tell him about the fight boner he has for Hanayama. They talk about how Yuri will probably never box again, and laugh about how fucked up that is. Baki promises to show Hanayama the business.

Meanwhile, Hanayama visits his dying mom. He crushes a bunch of roses in his hand until they produce a perfume that he rubs it on her face. We also get a flashback of a younger Hanayama hanging out with his mom. It’s a very weird scene.

Then we’re treated to a montage of Baki returning to his daily routine of going to class and doing normal people training. It culminates in him going to a dance club at the top of what appears to be a 30-story building. This is where he fights Hanayama.

Most of the fight consists of Baki getting the shit kicked out of him while Hanayama’s gang stands by drinking juice boxes. I always found this detail funny because it shows that even the yakuza can’t get beer until they’re old enough.

The episode ends with Baki getting thrown out a window. Remember, we’re on the top floor. Somehow he grabs a speaker cable on his way down and climbs back up. He talks a bunch of junk about Hanayama and kicks him into a TV wall. As the episode ends, Hanayama strips down to his underwear; thus, revealing a bitchin’ back tattoo.

HANAYAMA'S MAMA

Hanayama’s mom looks like she’s 90-years-old. The first time I watched this I thought it was crazy because that would mean that she had him when she was in her 70s. That’s not physically possible. And even if it was, I doubt you could give birth to a monster like Hanayama.

It wasn’t until recently when I was reading Baki Gaiden: Scarface, a spinoff series about Hanayama, that I found out she’s 35! Hanayama is 19 in Scarface, which means that his mom is 31 in Baki the Grappler!

THE DJ AND THE MAGICAL CAMERA

I used to think that the commentary the DJ gave during the fight was added by Funimation. They’re no stranger to adding lines to shows, and he’s always offscreen, so it didn’t seem like a stretch. Its just crazy that someone would get that excited about someone fucking up the club. He also doesn’t have a microphone…

Turns out I was wrong, which makes it even crazier. When Baki is flies out the window, instead of expressing shock over the attempted murder he just witnessed, the DJ shouts, “Who’s going to pay for that?”

There’s also some magical camera angles that happen in the club. When Hanayama is thrown through the TV wall, the image changes from a woman in a bikini to Hanayama on the ground. Why would their be cameras hooked up to a TV wall in a nightclub? And where the fuck are they?

Things get even wilder when Hanayama takes off his clothes and the picture changes to show his back tattoo. This isn’t possible because his back is up against the TV! It looks cool, but it doesn’t make any goddamn sense.

CONCLUSION

This is one of the stranger fights in the series. Up to this point, Hanayama is presented as a big dumb monster only interested in violence. He rarely speaks, and his behavior is borderline sociopathic.

After the fight, Hanayama chills the fuck out. He becomes good friends with Baki, and his entire demeanor changes. It’s almost like Baki beats the dick out of him in the next episode.