Baki Hanma – Season 2 Episode 19 Recap & Review

God of Boxing

Episode 19 of Baki Hanma Season 2 starts with the Doctor offering Mr.Tokugawa a final chance to either undergo the treatment or allow the illness to progress without resisting.

While walking on the street, Baki encounters Chiharu Shiba and is surprised to see him after a while. Chiharu insists on directly engaging in a fight. Baki is perplexed by the confrontation, but Chiharu instantly goes to strike Baki. Baki counters and sends Chiharu flying.

We see a flashback of Hanayama sending Chiharu to fight Baki without any reasons mentioned. Chiharu pulls himself back together and instigates Baki to fight harder. He takes one more leap to kick Baki, but Baki grabs him by the face in midair and hurls him away. Chiharu comes back with a follow-up punch, but Baki lands several direct hits to his face rendering him unconscious. Baki, still perplexed as to what is happening, walks away.

Back in Las Vegas, Retsu and Kaiser watch the match of Retsu’s next opponent, Smoking Joe Cruiser. He explains Joe’s fighting style as to the characteristics of smoke. He also tells Retsu about the astounding skills and career the man has built. He also instills in Retsu the thought that Joe lacks exactly what he has and urges him to tell the press that he will knock him out.

That night, Retsu and the Coach discuss Joe. Retsu claims that his only asset is his determination and he has no real talents. He is surprised by the indoctrination Kaiser put Retsu through and claims Joe is a formidable opponent. Just then, George enters the room. He advises Retsu to step down from the fight as he is friendly with the Hanma family.

He elaborates on the nickname of Smoking Joe Cruizer, claiming he is the only boxer who is more than his nickname. He explains metaphorically that the smoke attacks first until a person can’t see anymore and then strikes, knocking the person down to the canvas.

Retsu faces off with Joe and analyses his aura pre-fight. The two exchange punches right as the bell rings. Joe begins to throw a barrage of punches. Retsu realizes he is defending against the attacks, but feels a deep lingering damage in his organs. Both exchange a punch hitting each other in the face and causing Retsu to collapse.

Retsu wonders why his attack didn’t deal any damage despite the connection. He realizes the reason is the gloves. The extra weight of the gloves causes the brain to be damaged as if a giant hand shook the head. He compares the damage to that of Baki and Pickle’s fists, but this outweighed them. He realizes the originality and heritage of boxing.

Retsu gets up at the count of 8 and resumes to the box. He realizes a lot about the technicalities of boxing, but focusing back on the damage his vision is wavy.

Meanwhile, Baki faces off against Chiharu once again as he waits in front of his door. Chiharu paces in with another jab but is neutralized by Baki with a hook to his jaw, rendering him unconscious once again. Baki leaves him there and heads into the house. While inside the house Baki hears Chiharu warm up for the next battle and decides to finally teach him a good lesson.

Before Baki even opens the door, Chiharu punches straight through the glass hitting Baki in the face. He does this by listening to Baki as he puts on his sneakers with the back crushed under his foot. He puts Baki into a Chokehold and flings him out of the house. These are followed up by straight power punches to the face as Baki admires the fighting power of his spirit.

Back in the ring, Retsu is unable to gain control of his vision, however, he uses his senses to avoid punches from Joe. He recollects his Kung Fu lessons from years ago. His master presents Tofu placed in a bowl. Slamming it from the side causes an intense wobble causing it to break apart and splatter. On the other hand, if he slammed it and spun in the same direction it would maintain its form.

Retsu uses this technique in the boxing match to minimize the damage caused. Realizing this, Joe changes his strategy and begins to hit Retsu with a barrage of attacks, just as smoke surrounds.

The Episode Review

This episode captures two simultaneously occurring intense fight scenes. One between Baki and Chiharu and another between Retsu and Smoking Joe Cruizer. As far as the storyline goes, the two fights seem rather redundant, specifically the one Baki fights, however they are symbolic in the sense of the fighting spirit the opponents demonstrate.

The chapter reveals that Chiharu was sent by Hanayama. This could be Hanayama making a statement that Baki has to be more aggressive and determined if he wants to defeat Yujiro. We see Baki let Chiharu go several times without taking the fight seriously.

In Retsu’s fight, he uses a technique similar to the one Kaku used against Yujiro. This episode does way better justice to the laws of physics and biomechanics and Retsu uses it to minimize the damage.

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