Baki Hanma – Season 2 Episode 18 Recap & Review

Turning the Table

Episode 18 of Baki Hanma Season 2 commences with Andrei Valev furious about Kaiser interrupting the fight night after his victory. Kaiser takes advantage of the moment to deflect and blame Retsu, claiming he wants to insult and humiliate the Champ and the entire boxing world. Valev shifts his attention and insults Retsu for his size and broken leg. Retsu counters using a Japanese saying, claiming he wouldn’t be able to grasp the concept of Kung Fu.

Kaiser instigates them to demonstrate their strength to the world by breaking blocks of concrete with their bare fists. The audience is intrigued by Retsu’s display of strength as he not only breaks the blocks but disintegrates them into powder with a single strike. Kaiser takes the opportunity to announce the match between Valev and Retsu as the audience cheers.

Later that night, the press interviews Retsu, but questions his credibility due to his non-existent fight record, unorthodox fight experience, and because he mentions losing his foot in a fight against a friend. Later that night, the coach also loses his cool and punches Retsu in the face, expressing how unfair it is to fight pros without having a real career. He mocks Retsu for not being able to dodge the punch but realizes his wrist has been dislocated. Retsu handles this situation calmly, empathizing with the coach’s frustration but also demanding the coach understand his feelings towards martial arts.

The next night, Retsu walks into the arena prepared to fight Valev. Valev displays untamed aggression as they prepare for the fight, but claims he is only showboating. However, everything happening mid-fight will be real. At the ring of the bell, Valev paces extraordinarily quickly towards Retsu as Retsu stands and analyzes his biomechanics. In an instant, Retsu backs off into the corner, taking support of the ropes. The referee objects to sitting during a match questioning his wish to fight.

Valev insists the referee stand by and let him finish Retsu off. As he charges, Retsu reaches out to block Valev’s vision with his arm extended. This confuses Valev and he repeats this once more, taking the opportunity to get out of Valev’s sight. He very stealthily approaches him from his side, placing his hand on Valev’s chin and using the infamous one-inch punch to knock him out cold.

The next day, Retsu learns of his appearance in the headlines of the newspaper as he visits Kaiser’s office. Kaiser slouches back with his foot on the table and tells Retsu to collect his 2 million dollars from the table. Disgusted by his attitude, Retsu unleashes a kick, flicking Kaiser’s goggles off his face, ordering him to get his foot away from his money and pack the money for him. Intimidated by this, Kaiser goes as far as to arrange for a Limousine to help him travel.

At Baki’s residence, Baki prepares two cups of coffee at home as he begins to sense the presence of his father in the vicinity. As the coffee gets prepared, he finds his father already seated at the coffee table and proceeds to greet him. Baki analyzes the situation as his father sips on the coffee.

Yujiro confronts Baki if this is his idea of a father-son relationship, trying to intimidate him. Baki confesses his fear, terror, admiration, adoration, and respect for his father. He ridicules the idea of staying away training, and hoping to fight someday. Instead, he proposes the idea of living together as father and son, eventually getting into an argument over something petty and having a fight over it.

Yujiro reads through the lines and goes on to insult the coffee Baki prepared. Baki is also quick to catch the fabricated criticism and instantly bows down to apologize. He drops the act just as quickly, pointing out the fact that Yujiro drank it up in two gulps and invalidates the criticism. Yujiro realizes this tactic won’t work.

Baki decides to turn up the heat and ask Yujiro to make some coffee, claiming it would be a lovely thing to do. This instantly infuriates Yujiro. He stands up furiously with the table in his arms and rips it apart like a piece of paper while passive-aggressively demanding Baki to force him to make it. Yujiro turns around and slams the door before leaving. Baki is astounded by the relief he feels but isn’t able to make peace with it. He heads out and musters the courage to insist Yujiro not to slam the door. This gets on Yujiro’s nerves once again but he decides to simply walk away. Trembling in fear, Baki realizes insisting once again would be going too far.

The Episode Review

This episode showcases Retsu’s debut match in the world of boxing, where he utilizes ancient Chinese skills to secure victory. Interestingly, this battle features a familiar real-world Kung Fu move: the One Inch Punch, popularized by Bruce Lee. It also highlights the showboating done by fighters and how it might appear absurd to a traditional Martial Arts practitioner.

A significant part of the chapter also focuses on the interaction between Yujiro Hanma and Baki Hanma, as Yujiro visits Baki for coffee. The entire confrontation concludes with no blows exchanged but manifests a cold war brewing between the two. Ironically, this situation fittingly aligns with the definition of a cold war, considering that the previous episodes actually depicted them as two nations clashing.

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You can look forward to a full season review when this show ends!


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