Baki Hanma – Season 2 Episode 16 Recap & Review

A New Horizon

Episode 16 of Baki Hanma Season 2 begins with Tokugawa regaining consciousness at the hospital while Kureha visits to check on him.

Back at the gym, Akio Mani, the Pacific super welterweight champion, deals with a swarm of media persons, boasting about his 14 first-round knockouts in every official fight he’s had. After the media leaves, he notices the punching bag that Retsu had destroyed. Mani is intrigued by the fact that it took just a single hit to cause that amount of damage.

Seeing Retsu at the gym, he decides to challenge him to a sparring match. Initially, Retsu declines, claiming he would have to hold back too much, but then accepts the challenge. Noticing Retsu missing a foot, Mani taunts the Kung Fu master, saying he is allowed to use kicks if he can.

The two fighters square up, ready to fight. Mani goes for a right hook but is knocked out by Retsu’s lightning-speed strike. The audience is awestruck by the attack’s speed. After a while, Mani regains consciousness, bewildered by the strike.

The coach jumps in to defend Mani and tells Retsu to stick to boxing training only. Retsu questions the orthodox boxing style as he counters the coach. Mani warns Retsu that it’s not just about the two of them anymore; all the boxers of the world have turned against him.

Back at the Shinshinkai headquarters, Baki waits in anticipation as Katsumi practices his Karate on a flimsy plastic bag, sending it in every direction like a bullet as he develops his one-armed style. His training is interrupted as Baki stops the bag in its path. Baki compliments Katsumi’s efforts in learning a new style, and Katsumi draws a parallel with sword fighting, where a single sword in battle isn’t inferior to the double sword style.

Baki shares the news of his fight with his father and justifies his decision, with Katsumi agreeing since they can relate. Baki also learns about Retsu’s decision to start boxing but is unable to make sense of it. Katsumi reveals that the master will still be the Sea King and will use his Kung Fu skills in the ring. He explains how the modern sport can test Retsu’s fighting style.

The next day, the coach approaches Retsu for another sparring session with a fighter. The coach introduces him to the fighter in the wing with astounding weight, technique, and career record. The two get ready for the fight as Retsu analyzes the opponent.

The spar begins with Retsu taking a direct hit to the glove from the opponent, sending him flying to the ropes. Retsu notices the weak grip of the boxer.

Deciding to take advantage of this, Retsu charges in for an attack and takes a hit directly on the boxer’s untrained, frail fingerbones, putting immense pressure on them and causing them to get crushed.

Yujiro meets with Strydum over lunch to receive a message from Baki. Upon hearing the message, Yujiro is infuriated and crushes the spoon and knife in his hands.

To prevent a counterpunch, Retsu goes for a direct strike to the humerus bone of the boxer’s blocking arm. The bone shatters from the full force of the punch, defeating the opponent.

At Yujiro’s demand, Strydum narrates how Baki asked him to pass the message of having lunch together as father and son. Strydum tried to convince Baki of how outrageous and unimaginable the idea of Baki Hanma and Yujiro Hanma sharing a table is, but Baki still insisted. Outraged by the request, Yujiro grinds his teeth together as he walks away.

The Episode Review

This episode delves deeper into the newly taken up path of Retsu as he joins boxing. The intentions still aren’t clear, but given his past actions and the situation, it’s probably his attempt at globalizing and preaching Kung Fu and continuing its legacy.

We also see another homage to the world of boxing by portraying the boxing prodigy Manny Pacquiao as Akio Mani. However, personality-wise, they seem to have missed the mark.

The chapter also introduces a new dynamic to the father-son relationship as Baki requests to share a meal table with his father. The episode doesn’t reveal the reasoning behind it, but given their complicated relationship, this builds anticipation for future episodes.

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