Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 11 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 12 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 13 – | Review Score – 3/5
What can be said about Baki that hasn’t been said before? Much like the previous parts, Baki is an action-packed anime that focuses on the absurdity of its own premise rather that delivering a deep and meaningful story. Those expecting more drama and characterisation may be left wanting as this third part doubles up on the action as the attention turns to the Great Raitai Tournament. With more fighting, a simplistic story that throws in as many skirmishes as possible, and an ending that leaves things wide open for the forthcoming fourth part, Baki delivers another decent season of action.
Following the events that transpired in part 2, Baki begins with our young fighter entered into the upcoming Great Raitai Tournament by Retsu despite being badly poisoned and in a rough way. As the fighting begins, the various Sea Kings of China go up against their toughest adversaries as all the familiar faces from the previous two parts show up here to test their might – including the legendary Yujiro. As the season progresses, the tournament consumes the first 8 episodes with lots of fighting, action and bone-crunching moves doing well to keep up the mood and tone that made the previous two parts so endearing.
From here, the series changes tactics slightly and instead focuses on the aftermath of this, feeling a little underwhelming while changing perspectives to Alai Jr instead and following him for the final set of episodes. All of this builds up to the finale, which acts as a prologue for what’s to come and gears things up for the inevitable fourth part and another set of episodes with the promise of more fighting on the horizon.
This action is ultimately what makes Baki such an appealing anime and although the over the top, exaggerated muscles and moves teeter on the verge of absurdity, there’s a consistent ebb and flow to each fight that feels very reminisce of those Dragon Ball Z skirmishes. This is, of course, not a carbon copy of that series though and the loose story revolving around Baki wanting to challenge his Father and become the top fighter is enough to drive the series forward.
The characters this time around are given a bit more depth, even if it is less than other animes of its kind. Baki and Yujiro are given some father/son time as their relationship grows and evolves, while Alai Jr and his Father mirror that same desire for respect late on in the game too. Despite that though, all the other supporting players lack the same attention given and some, like Biscuit Oliva, feature prominently early on and then aren’t shown again for the rest of the season which is a bit disappointing.
The animation sticks to the same hand-drawn scenes we’ve come to expect from this series and the bulging muscles and various slow-motion shots do well to really give a sense of power and destruction in the wake of these giants fighting each other. In that respect, Baki does a great job visually to depict this and the little stylish cues – including dutch tilts and extreme close-ups – do really well to reinforce this style.
Overall then, if you enjoyed the previous parts then you’re bound to enjoy this one. Baki is an over-the-top anime that knows its over-the-top and builds on that as much as it can. The opening episodes offer a non-stop barrage of fighting and action as the tournament gets underway, before rounding things out with a changed perspective and a look toward the future. While the season isn’t quite as consistent compared to the previous two parts, especially with the way these final three episodes change pace and tone, there’s enough here to enjoy nonetheless.
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Verdict - 7/10