The Master VS The Boxer
Episode 9 of Baki part 3 begins after the tournament as Alai Jr. sets to work convincing Baki to fight him. In order to do that, he invites Kozue out for dinner where he asks her to marry him. Kissing her on the cheek, he walks away and promises to see her again.
Determined to prove he’s the better fighter, Alai challenges the elderly champion Goki Shibukawa and as the two square off in the park, we cut back in time and see moments from a pivotal boxing fight in the past that formed part of his history. With one crunching blow however, Alai Jr knocks the old man down on the ground and turns his attention to Doppo Orochi, an eye-patch wearing thug who poses more of a challenge.
Adopting that familiar pocket-hand technique we’ve seen so much of this season, he turns the tables and hits Alai Jr hard, comparing their changed fortunes in this fight to sparring with kendo sticks and then battling with actual samurai swords. Realizing that something has changed, Alai Jr prepares for the real fight at hand.
Blocking the subsequent hits, Alai Jr manages to thwart this man and defeat another enemy. As night turns to day, Kozue and Baki sit together and look set to kiss until Alai Jr. arrives and tells them he’s going to marry Kozue as he’s a real man. Baki decides to hand the choice over to Kozue and tells her she’s free to choose who she wishes. As Alai Jr. walks away, Baki is left to watch him leave.
With the tone changing and slowing down somewhat after the tournament, this episode inevitably lacks some of the same excitement and drama the previous episodes have had in abundance. These tonal changes are hopefully only temporary though and with the final act still to play out, it certainly looks like we’re going to get a Baki VS Alai Jr. fight before this third part is over!