|“||Why do I feel the sense of being hugged... whenever I strike him...?||”|
– Baki during his fight with Yuujiro.
Baki Hanma (範馬 刃牙, Hanma Baki) is the main character and protagonist of the Baki the Grappler franchise. At the age of thirteen, he decided to take his training into his own hands to perform more intense training in the footsteps of his father. He later aims to defeat him. Baki first fought in the no-rules arena at fifteen, and went on to become its champion. He is the son of Yuujiro Hanma and Emi Akezawa and the half-brother of Jack Hanma.
He is known as the "Champion" (チャンピオン, Chanpion) of the Underground Arena in Tokyo Dome. In the fourth manga series, he is often called "the World's Strongest Boy" (地上最強のガキ, Chijō Saikyō no Gaki).
- 1 Personality
- 2 Appearance
- 3 History
- 4 Abilities
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Trivia
Throughout most of the series, Baki is usually shown to be a carefree, laid-back, hard-training, and sometimes aggressive teenage boy. Baki strives to defeat his father, Yuujiro Hanma, who is indisputably considered the strongest man alive. However, Baki's dream is not to replace Yuujiro as the strongest man alive, but only to become strong enough to defeat him. This goal stems from a natural desire to surpass his father as well as a desire to avenge his mother, Emi Akezawa, whom Yuujiro murdered.
Baki trains on a near-constant basis, day and night, attempting to hone his skills as quickly as possible. As a fairly well-known martial artist (among those aware of the Underground Arena), Baki frequently tends to get into fights with various people quite often, sometimes being intentional, other times by circumstances of bad luck (usually the latter). Baki realizes that the fastest and only way for him to get stronger is to battle other people stronger than himself, so his body will get stronger and learn from the experience because this is an aspect of the Hanma bloodline. However, at one point Baki learned that his way of fighting is very different from that of Yuujiro. He said that building relationships with strong opponents gives him great strength, while his father believes that everyone should be brutally crushed to gain real power. Baki is also often too merciful to his opponents, which always makes Yuujiro angry.
Baki has a strong sense of love and respect for those close to him. He is known to be very protective of his girlfriend, Kozue Matsumoto, and can become aggressive if she is threatened, an example being when Sikorsky kidnapped her, and Baki hunted him down immediately to defeat him. At some point in the series, he was extremely attached to his girlfriend, who was giving him a lot of strength through her unique and caring kind of love. Later, however, it has changed in some way and they started to see each other less. At a certain point of the manga, Mohammad Alai Jr tried to gain Kozue's affection and started to make complications in the relationship between her and Baki. Possibly that's what caused this change. They probably even broke up with each other, but it was never literally said.
His intelligence is immensely high in terms of martial prowess, resourceful and tactful fighter who makes use of multiple styles of combat at once when facing his adversaries. Makes use of savvy and rather pragmatic tactics to gain the advantage over opponents, such as using his own blood to blind them. Knows how to effectively rattle someone's brain by a positioned punch to the chin. Capable of imagining and even outright interact to some degree with mental visualizations of creatures and individuals to develop new stances and techniques without the need of them physically being there. At the same time, a grand portion of his time primarily being focused on training or fighting much of his formal education is spent sleeping in class.
Usually Baki never actively looks for fights with anybody weaker than him and has no desire to hurt any of the thugs that constantly try to attack him. This version of his personality was shown a huge contrast later in Grappler Baki though, when Baki was 13. At this point in the story, Baki is a cocky hot-headed punk who is always looking for a fight with those he wants to prove himself to. Most likely he developed this attitude, because of his urge to be as strong and like his father. This aspect of his personality is short-lived though, as by the end of Baki the Grappler, Baki becomes his kind, laid-back self again, while still trying to surpass Yuujiro. By then, he goes to proclaim that he doesn't want anymore to be the strongest man alive, but he'd be happy to be even slightly stronger than his father, even claiming that if Yuujiro was the weakest man in the world, he'd be happy to be just the second weakest. However, when finally Yuujiro aknowledges him as the strongest boy in the world, Baki starts to feel bored and detached, accepting the challenges from Musashi Miyamoto and the second Nomi no Sukune as a way to relieve his boredom and feel himself again tethered to the world.
His relationship with his father is very ambiguous and sad. Baki almost always speaks about him with great reluctance and anger. At the same time, it can be seen that Baki is not indifferent about what Yuujiro thinks about him. Although they are even deadly enemies, Baki and Yuujiro can play as a team when needed (just like during Great Chinese Tournament). They both never say it to each other directly, but they feel a strange family connection between them, even if Baki sometimes calls his own father by his name. This can be seen when Baki invites him to dinner or when they suddenly start to play a scene in which they both pretend to eat an imaginary meal together during their battle. Baki and Yuujiro seem to have strong emotions for each other, although those feelings are not typically family. The deeper psychological aspect of their confusing relationship is best shown during their final fight in the third manga series.
He eventually develops the ogre/demon face on his back when fighting his brother, but only for a fleeting moment. Unlike Yuujiro, he chooses to control his killing intent and fight his battles fair and honorably no matter what the outcome. Many of Baki's unusual training methods often earn him the admiration of many of the fighters of the Underground Arena; for example, shadowboxing, or visualizing fighting an opponent, is a big part of Baki's regimen - sometimes, his visions take an almost corporeal form and given he can easily remember and replicate any technique he sees this gives him a huge edge over his opponents, as he can "fight" them and learn their weaknesses before actually fighting them.
Baki is a boy that stands approximately 5'6 (167 cm). Baki's appearance drastically changes throughout the series as he gets older. Baki's first initial appearance at the beginning of Grappler Baki when he is 17 years old is that of a somewhat child-like demeanor, with short hair that is long in the back. Baki throughout the entire series is shown to have a severely scarred body all around due to the diligent and uncompromising training he puts himself through, with the only exception being his face. Another noticeable feature of Baki's appearance is the mole he has just above his upper lip on the side (this is also a physical trait he shares with his mother, Emi Akezawa).
In the flashback when Baki was 13, his appearance had a minor change. His hair was shorter, with a spiky style, and had an orange color (most likely this was because he was trying to be more like his father).
In the second manga series, when Baki is 17, his appearance reverts back to its initial version at the beginning of Grappler Baki, with a more mature look. His childlike demeanor is replaced by a carefree, almost weary demeanor. His hair is now much longer, going below his ears. Baki's appearance as an 18-year-old in the third manga series is not much different than his previous look in New Grappler Baki. The only changes in his appearance are that his hair is now more curly, and he has grown to be 167 cm (5'6") tall.
Having gone intense physical training since childhood, Baki's body is very muscular, flexible and durable. His physique has been described as resulting from constant, rigorous combat training, and is far beyond that of a typical adolescent's. His bones and muscles are also described as being better than those of an Olympic sportsman.
Baki the Grappler
Since his birth, Baki has been training so that he may one day surpass his father Yuujiro and earn his love. Baki's mother, Emi Akezawa made sure that he had the most advanced training equipment around. She has provided him throughout his life with the best martial arts teachers, personal gym trainers, and sports equipment that money can buy. Also, his mother's employee, Hitoshi Kuriyagawa, is responsible for organizing the new duels for him. Baki eventually became famous in his home town as the most feared punk around as he beat up all the thugs he could find. This caused all the other thugs to graffiti all over his house, because they could not hurt him physically.
After a fight with Kitazawa and roughly one hundred other gang members, Baki is upset that he only managed to take down thirty-seven of them. The whole situation is watched by some friendly detective named Kido who has been observing Baki for a long time and follows his actions. He then decides that his current training program isn't cutting it and that he will try to increase his strength through his own means. Shortly afterward, Baki challenges five martial artists from his school. They are considered to be the elite among athletes. Baki's first opponent is a wrestler named Takemi Wakimoto. Baki beats him with one throw. The second opponent is a karateka, Tooru Nishida, who is defeated by Baki with only a few punches. Baki then provokes the other three, calling them weaklings. Judoka named Susumu Murakami attacks him and loses very fast. The same thing happens after a while with a sumo fighter, Katsutoshi Shibata. At the very end, a boxer named Fumihiko Hirao gives up the fight after a one punch. He's the one who tells Baki about his next target. These fights only took place in the manga.
His new target is the boxing welterweight champion Yuri Chakovsky. In the anime, he meets him for the first time while resting on a park bench and he sees a man jogging who he recognizes to be Yuri. In the manga, he found out about him from Fumihiko Hirao. Baki then goes into a gym where he see's Yuri fighting Dinoy Sensarak. The fight is one-sided and Yuri takes Dinoy out with ease. Baki then challenges Yuri to a match. Since it is the Jigil code to never back down from a fight he agrees to fight Baki besides the age difference. Baki puts up a fight but is easily defeated by Yuri. The next day Baki leaves town heading for a remote location to train so that he may become stronger.
After losing his fight with Yuri Chakovsky, Baki wanted to get stronger. So he decided to go to the mountain where he used to train with his father. So the night before he leaves he returns home to find the police chief there waiting. Then his mother arrives soon after to tell him she is proud of him and will help him any way she can. That night he packs his supplies he over packed but he knew that was a good thing because it will help him get stronger. He then travels to the mountains where he meets an old friend of his and his father's, named Reiichi Andou. When first meeting up Andou lifts Baki with one hand and centers him in the palm of said hand. He looks at Baki and says "I haven't seen a human in a year, maybe I should eat you" all while licking his lips, it is not yet certain if he was joking or not. Baki with a big smile tells Andou that it is him, Andou realizes it and gives Baki a giant hug. Then he places Baki back on his feet with a big smile because he so glad to see his old friend. But then Baki collapses from fatigue. Andou brings him inside.
Then the scene cuts to Baki in the water of a river refreshing himself. Baki looks up and sees an old tree and rushes through the forest to see it. When he gets there he meets with Andou again and Ando explains the history behind the tree. Later that night Andou and Baki sit down to eat dinner. After dinner Baki asks Andou for a favor, to let him camp on Yasha creek where the Yasha Ape has been seen to roam around. Andou is shocked he tells Baki that he shouldn't go there, it's suicide. Andou continues to explain that the Yasha Ape is no mere monkey, it's a monster that destroys all who oppose it, except for one man - Baki's father. He is the only man to have ever fought the beast and live and even then he still took major damage. All others who tried have never been heard from again. Baki tells he didn't care, he knew what he was in for and he is trembling with fear, but decides to go to fight the beast. Baki is there camping and while he's warming up, the Yasha Ape appears and destroys his bench press bar. Baki then attacked but his blow had no effect, and with one blow the Yasha Ape sent Baki flying through the air. Andou arrives with his axe and tosses it at the ape, it does no effect. Andou then charges with it and the Ape catches the axe with his teeth and eats the blade. Then Andou throws a punch at the ape, although it catches it in his mouth and bites down. Baki jumps in and kicks the ape, the ape sends him flying once more and while Baki tries to get up, the Yasha Ape grabs a hold of Andou's stomach and tears into it. Baki then lights the Ape on fire and it runs for its cave. Baki get Andou back to his house and tries to help him disinfect it before calling the emergency help who takes Andou to the hospital. Before they pick him up, Andou pleads with Baki to do nothing stupid while he's away.
Baki then prepares his training regime for a rematch. He eats as much as he can like Andou says so he can burn it into muscle. He then trains day and night for the near-death focus, which is increased when he jumps of a cliff and dodges all the obstacles. He also discovers how useful endorphins can be in his body. After that, he goes back to the cave and creates a ring of fire to fight the Yasha Ape in and trap both of them. He then begins to fight it out with the ape. When Andou returns he runs to Baki's side only to see Baki, a 13 years old boy, fight it out with and hold his on against the mighty monster, the Yasha Ape. After Baki wins the fight, he goes to the home of the Yasha Ape and returns the ape's wife's head that Baki's father killed. As thanks for the fight and the return of his wife's head, the Yasha Ape gives Baki one of its fangs.
Later, he returns home and learns that his rival, Yuri Chakovsky, was attacked and beaten by a yakuza named Kaoru Hanayama. Baki also learns that the gangster is a strong street fighter who wants to fight against him. He decides to take the matters into his own hands, and comes to Hanayama's office to attack him. However, during the fight, the yakuza's desk flies out of the window and the duel is interrupted by police intervention. Anyway, the gangster receives a strong kick that knocks him to the ground and brings him into a great rage. Since then, Baki's life is on the target of Hanayama. Soon afterward Baki meets him in the mall and they start fighting again. From the very beginning of the battle, the gangster throws Baki out of the window and almost kills him. Fortunately, he catches some cable and returns to the top. He manages to survive all the best techniques of Hanayama and in the end, Baki is declared the winner, but then suddenly his father, Yuujiro, appears in the place of their fight. Yuujiro provokes and brutally attacks Hanayama, knockouts his son, and then leaves. Shortly after these events, Baki visits Hanayama in the hospital and begins to establish a kind of fraternal relationship with him.
Yuujiro decides to visit Baki during one of his training sessions. After a while, it turns out that the purpose of this meeting is only to provoke and anger his own son. He brings him "as a gift" the head of dead Yasha Ape, and then announces that he want to fight Baki in a month. Baki flies into a rage and starts to despair because of what his father brought for him. Later on Baki meets a soldier, Gerry Strydum, who is his father's companion. Strydum tells him how to gain strength and experience. He comes up with the idea of sending him to Hokkaido, where some powerful five soldiers are located, telling him that he should experience the battlefield just like Yuujiro. Baki agrees to his proposal and decides to face those soldiers.
Together with Strydum, he flies to Hokkaido, and then with the help of a parachute he lands in the place where those strong soldiers are located. A moment after landing he is attacked by them and tied to a tree. The five soldiers tell him that since he has already seen their faces, he should be killed. Eventually, however, they decide to use his body as food. The soldiers want to leave him tied for a few days because this would get rid of all the feces and make his body taste better. However, in the night he manages to free himself from those ties and starts to fight with each of the them. At first, he fights with Sanada, a soldier whose specialty is wielding a knife and aiming for the opponent's vital points. However, Baki overcomes him after a short fight. As soon as Baki deals the last blow to Sanada, he is attacked from behind by the next enemy, which is the Kuraishi, a specialist in combat with unusual resilience and great strength. During the fight, Kuraishi decides to drown him in a nearby river. Baki pretends to be really drowned, but after a while he attacks him from behind and uses the Rear Naked Choke. Thanks to this fight, Baki learns that there's no fair-play on the battlefield. After this battle, Kuraishi tells Baki that among them is a really dangerous soldier named Gaia. He advises him to run away, but Baki is even more excited and ignores his words. A next opponent, Nomura, is found by Baki on his own. He is an average soldier with surprisingly miserable fighting skills. Baki defeats him in a blink of an eye. Later, Baki is attacked by the other two soldiers. These are Chiba twins, who are perfect in team fighting. Baki at first has small problems with them, but after a while, he starts to deal with them well. He's wondering if the two of them are "Gaia". However, when Chiba twins are defeated the real "Gaia" is revealed. That's when Nomura gets a strange panic attack and starts to behave strangely. After a while, his true personality is revealed. It turns out that Nomura has a split personality and Gaia is his alter ego.
Baki starts a fight with him. From the very beginning, he can't hit Gaia, who considers himself to be the god of the battlefield and shows him his ability to control the level of adrenaline. After a while, Baki starts to using his own endorphins, but it still not enough against Gaia, who begins to speak out his theories. He says that Baki's body is his own enemy because he tortured it with training for years and did not show him the shred of love. Baki eventually shows him that it's not true, and he finally starts hitting him with his attacks. However, eventually, Baki almost dies when Gaia uses his special techniques based on the use of the environment. He performs his Vine Art technique and tries to suffocate the young fighter who hangs from a tree, but Baki escapes. Gaia is angry because he's doing her best, and Baki is still alive. Eventually, the young martial artist knocks out his opponent with an unusual movement that stops the flow of blood to the brain, giving Gaia an attack filled with "love" and not hurting his body. When Gaia wakes up, the five soldiers invite Baki to join them for a meal. Once again, Baki establishes a friendly bond with his opponents, who have made him stronger and taught him a lot.
Baki goes home and meets some master of the swordsmanship named Kurokawa. The young fighter is a guest in Kurokawa's dojo and watches his incredible sword movements. Baki is delighted with his technique and speed, so he wants to challenge him. At first, Kurokawa refuses because he's afraid that Baki will die. But eventually, the young martial artist doesn't give up and forces Kurokawa to fight. Baki turns out to be faster and wins the fight by the Roll Kick to the face. After the battle, Kurokawa is invited to Baki's upcoming battle with Yujiro. A moment later, the young fighter meets Chinen, a master of the Kobayashi-ryuu Kenpo. Chinen claims that his martial arts is the best. Once again, Baki wins the duel in the same way. Later, it is shown that Baki is preparing for the battle and fights a few more nameless masters of martial arts.
Shortly before the great battle with Yuujiro, Baki meets his mother. Emi is in despair after a failed meeting with Yuujiro and starts acting aggressively against Baki. She is devastated that Yuujiro is unable to love her and begins to blame Baki for everything, stating that her son is just a mere weakling. At one point, even Emi's subordinate, Hitoshi Kuriyagawa, starts accusing her of behaving very badly towards her son. Baki tries to calm her down and hugs her. He asks her if she'll love him if he wins his fight against father. Then Emi bites his hand and runs away. After all this, Baki is devastated and meets Hanayama, who improves his mood. They spend time together in Baki's house and establish an even stronger relationship with each other. They both talk about their mothers, and at the very end Hanayama wishes him good luck in his upcoming fight.
The next day, Baki starts an intense warm-up before his battle with Yuujiro. Baki starts to warm-up at midday and the fight is to take place at midnight. Kitazawa shows up and brings him the best thugs to train. Later, Yuri Chakovsky and Kaoru Hanayama also come. They're both helping Baki with warming up. Shortly before the start of the fight, all of Baki's friends are arriving at the scene. Eventually, Yuujiro himself also arrives by helicopter. Gaia also arrives with him, who is beaten and kneels in front of the Ogre in act of respect to him. It turns out that shortly before Yuujiro arrived, Gaia decided to attack the Ogre and fight him. Baki and Yuujiro's battle starts with a sudden earthquake. Baki's father stops it by hitting the ground, and then everyone is extremely astonished. Baki does his best in the battle, but it turns out that he has no chance at all. His attacks do not make any effect against Yuujiro, even when he uses his Roll Kick trick. Nevertheless, the Ogre is very satisfied with his son's combat level. At some point, Baki's body is crushed into the ground and Yuujiro begins to bombard him with a series of blows to his face when the young fighter is lying unconscious. When he's almost killed by his own father, Emi enters the duel. For the first time, she defends her son and attacks Yuujiro with her fist, stopping him from further attacks towards their son. Her act of courage saves Baki's life, but unfortunately, Emi is murdered by her beloved, who embraces her and breaks her spine.
After the whole situation, dying Emi keeps her unconscious son on her knees and sings him the last lullaby. Later, a scene is shown in which Baki keeps his mother on her back and walks with her through the city. They talk to each other and joke like a loving family. However, after a while, it turns out that it all happens only in the imagination of a boy who, in fact, carries his dead mother on his back, and all the people around him are in shock. He's being held up by cops who want him to leave the dead woman. Baki doesn't agree, knocks out the cops, and runs off with his mother on his back. Later it turns out that he leaves her dead body on some meadow. In the anime, the whole scene is presented in a quite different way. Baki also imagines that he keeps his living mother on his back, but after a while, it turns out that he goes through the city alone. A police officer also stops him there, but then detective Kido comes in and tells him to leave Baki alone.
Later, Baki decides to go on a long journey to meet powerful opponents to fight. That's when he swears to himself seriously that someday he will defeat his father. Baki travels the world for two years and defeats various martial artist. Now he is 15 years old. Baki finally comes to Brazil and meets Dickson. The young fighter visits him with the intention of fighting, but it turns out that the Brazilian martial artist is heavily injured and is currently in a wheelchair. Dickson tells him about the Underground Arena in the Tokyo Dome and that this is where he was defeated, losing everything he had in life. Nevertheless, Baki does not seem to be discouraged and decides to find the arena.
Soon Baki arrives in Tokyo and visits the household of Mitsunari Tokugawa. There he meets Kanji Igari for the first time. Igari is just leaving Tokugawa's house when Baki arrives. They watch each other for a while, and Baki tells him that if he wants to stand in his way, he will treat him as his enemy. Igari decides that he doesn't want to have any match and goes away. After a while, Baki defeats all the bodyguards from Tokugawa's house and then fights a duel with Shuumei Kanou, the best bodyguard of the Tokugawa house. Kanou surprises Baki with his fighting style, which is based mainly on self-defense and imitating the movements of his opponents. However, he turns out to be too weak for Baki. The young fighter realizes that Kanou has a great defense, but his offense is very weak. Ultimately, Baki wins the fight, showing his offensive superiority over Kanou. After the battle, Baki meets Tokugawa for the first time and asks him for permission to join the arena. Tokugawa agrees to his request.
Underground Arena Saga
The saga starts with the Shinshinkai Karate tournament at the Tokyo Budokan arena. Baki is 17 years old now. He never practiced karate, so he has a white belt, but he easily reaches the finals, where his opponent is Atsushi Suedou. Before the start of the duel, Baki for the first time meets Doppo Orochi, the grandmaster of the Shinshinkai Karate. Eventually, the fight begins and Suedou, despite his great skills, has no chance about defeating Baki. At some point Baki tells him that the only chance to defeat him is to hit him in the face (which is against the rules). Angry Suedou agrees and strikes him in the face with all his might, destroying his hand. Baki then quickly defeats his opponent and wins the tournament. After the fight, Doppo tells Baki that he knows the truth about him and he realizes that this kind of strength is not gained from tournaments like this one. Later, Baki meets Kiyosumi Katou, who has watched his duel and wants to provoke him to battle. Eventually, they are interrupted by an old jujutsu master named Izou Motobe, who also wanted to meet Baki after the finals. Baki's had enough of all the fuss and he's getting out of there. He goes back to the house where he lives with his old dog Musashi. He rents a house from Kinuyo Matsumoto, who lives next door with her daughter named Kozue.
It turns out that Baki rarely comes to school, so Kozue asks him to change it a little. That's when he tells her for the first time that his goal is to become the strongest man in the world. At school, Baki is caught by Takayama, who is a school boxing star. He's persuading Baki to fight him. Eventually, Baki agrees, but in the end, Takayama doesn't stand a chance against him.
Baki then goes to the Underground Arena in the Tokyo Dome, where he fights every month. This time his opponent is Koushou Shinogi, also known as the "cord-cutter". During a battle, he manages to cut Baki's hand nerve. Koushou even uses his "steel" fingers and cuts his right eye nerve, but Baki shows him that it's not enough to win against him. When Koushou attacks Baki with various attacks and tries to cut his left eye nerve, the young champion grabs his hand and knocks him to the ground using his Armlock technique. Desperate karateka says he won't give up and wants him to break his arm. Baki gets angry and knocks him out with a powerful blow to the head from this position instead of breaking his arm. After the fight, they meet each other and Baki tells him that even if he broke his arm, Koushou would still fight using his legs. Koushou tells him to never lose. After leaving the arena, Baki meets Strydum, who tells him that he has seen the fight and that Baki still has no chance against Yuujiro.
Some time later, Mitsunari Tokugawa chooses the next opponent for Baki. It was supposed to be Junichi Hanada. Meanwhile, Baki meets Izou Motobe and trains under his supervision. The day before the fight, Baki and Motobe found a beaten Hanada at Motobe's house. It turns out that Tokugawa decided to put Hanada to some "test", which he does not pass. Eventually, during the day of the battle, Baki learns that his opponent is Mount Toba, the giant pro wrestler. At the beginning of their fight, Toba has a significant advantage. However, eventually, Baki decides to attack his limbs. Toba uses his best body drop technique, but that's not enough to beat Baki. The giant wrestler, despite his problems with his joints, decides to use this technique again. Then Baki turns the force of the impact against him and destroys his knee joint, winning a duel. After the battle, Yuujiro enters the arena. It turned out he watched the whole match. When he sees his father, Baki goes crazy and attacks him. But once again, he's easily knocked out by him. Then, unexpectedly, Doppo enters and Tokugawa organizes a fight between them.
Baki meets with Doppo and tries to persuade him to give up the fight. He says Doppo will die in this battle. Then the karate grandmaster decides to invite him to a "special day" of Shinshinkai, in which various karate fighters have the right to come and beat him in battle. Baki is impressed by Doppo's skills but still doubts about his chances of winning against Yuujiro. At some point, he decides to attack him himself, but after a while, the young fighter is completely pushed against the wall by Doppo. After their short fight, Baki changes his mind about Doppo's chances. Sometime later, Baki meets Takayama again, but this time in a completely different situation. He sees him assaulted by some thugs headed by Ogino. He decides to step in and save Takayama, who was beaten up, and eventually, Baki scares those thugs away. Sometime before the fight between Doppo and Yuujiro, Tokugawa tells Baki that he has found an opponent for him, which will be Kureha Shinogi, Koushou's brother, and a doctor with incredible fighting skills. Tokugawa wants their fight to take place right after the duel between Doppo and Yuujiro.
Finally, the day of the fight comes, and Baki is very concerned about the upcoming events. He's having a hard time focusing on his preparations for the fight in the locker room. Matsuo, his attendant in the Underground Arena, therefore gives him a small reprimand. After a great and hard battle, Doppo Orochi loses in a dramatic way. The karate grandmaster almost dies. Kureha, Baki's opponent, saves his life at the last minute. Baki is shaken up by the sight of the almost dead Doppo and is not even able to warm up before a fight. Then Kureha's ex-patients come to his locker room. They tell Baki that they gave themselves up to Kureha, who was supposed to save their lives, but he conducted his experiments on them. This message made Baki so angry that his attitude to the upcoming battle immediately changed. When he enters the ring, he is burning up and immediately attacks Kureha with a powerful bunch of blows. Kureha keeps trying to win by the strength of his muscles, but this turns out to be ineffective, so he starts to use his special techniques based on medical knowledge. Ultimately, he uses his special and powerful technique called Dashin. But eventually, Baki gets up and beats him with a Goutaijutsu punch. Kureha ends up with ruptured intestines. After the fight, Kureha suffers terribly and the arena doctor says he needs someone with the same blood type as Kureha to save him. Then Yasuko, one of Kureha's former patients, unexpectedly speaks and offers her help. At the end of the saga, Baki again goes into the mountains to meditate.
Maximum Tournament Saga
Baki learns that Tokugawa is organizing a great martial arts tournament. The winner of the tournament will get a precious belt, which people once awarded to the pankration champions. Baki invites Kozue to go with him to the Tokyo Dome and explore his secret world. Underground, Baki meets a lot of old friends who will also take part in the tournament. In the first battle, he fights with a huge wrestler named Andreas Regan. At first, Regan disregards Baki because of his height, but after a while, he realizes that the young champion is a serious fighter, thanks to whom the wrestler can do his best. Anyway, Baki directly challenges him to exchange punches, then repels the opponent's attacks without many problems and wins the duel. After the fight, he meets Kozue in the hallway and talks to her. He explains to her that every young man, at least once in his life, dreams of being the strongest in the world. Also, he tells her that some people do not grow out of this dream and that's why many people fight each other to death in places like the Underground Arena.
When it's time for Kiyosumi Katou to fight, it turns out that his opponent is Yasha-Zaru Jr, the son of Yasha-Zaru. Baki states that Yasha-Zaru Jr should not be used as a competitor in the tournament. In Baki opinion, the ape agreed to come to this place only to fight against Baki, because he defeated his father. That's why Baki enters the fight and interrupts Katou, who by the way has no chance against the ape. At some point even Baki is beaten up by Yasha and then Katsumi Orochi, the adopted son of Doppo, appears. Katsumi knocks out the ape and almost kills it, but Baki interrupts. That's when a somewhat hostile relationship arises between Baki and Katsumi. Then the knocked out ape is taken to the doctor. Later in the tournament, Baki meets Hanayama and wishes him luck in his fight, but the Yakuza rejects his politeness and says he treats the tournament as a war. Later, when Katsumi brutally defeats Roland Istaz, Baki meets him again and says he doesn't like the way he deals with things. They start a short fight, but after a while Hanayama interrupts them, hitting Baki in the face. Then Yuujiro suddenly appears in the underground of the Tokyo Dome and introduces his companion named Yuu Amanai, who will take part in the tournament.
At some point, Jack Hammer finds Kozue in the corridor, waiting for Baki. He starts a conversation with her and probably tried to flirt. Baki gets very mad when he sees the situation and takes a position to fight, but Jack just turns around and says he wants to see him in the tournament finals. Later after Jack's fight, Yuujiro has a conversation with him in the middle of the arena. The conversation almost leads to a fight, but Baki begins to feel jealous that someone takes away his chance to defeat his father, and interrupts by kicking Jack in the face. After a while, Jack whispers something to Yuujiro's ear and the Ogre bursts into a mad laugh and Baki wonders what such an important thing Jack could have said to him.
In the second round, Baki challenges Zulu, a Brazilian vale tudo fighter. Initially, Baki is attacked by surprise and knocked out by Zulu, resulting in Zulu being declared the official winner of the match. The audience starts protesting, claiming that it was unfair and that the real fight hasn't taken place yet, but Tokugawa enters the arena and says that a real fighter should always be prepared to battle and a surprise attack is no excuse. However, when Baki gets up and wants to get out of the arena, Zulu again attacks him. This way Tokugawa recognizes that the fight is not over yet since both fighters still want to fight. After a short fight Baki knocks out Zulu, but after a while, he comes up to him and gives him a hand. He's letting him know that since Zulu gave him a second chance by attacking him again, he'll do the same. Zulu gets up and the fighters start their "third round". Eventually, Baki's abilities far exceed those of his opponent and terrified Zulu surrenders. After the fight, Kanji Igari enters the arena, telling Baki that he intends to be his next opponent.
In round three, Baki's opponent is Kanji Igari. Before the start of the fight, Igari begs him to let him win the fight. Baki is surprised and outraged by the wrestler's behavior, so he refuses. During the fight, it turns out that it was only Igari's acting. The wrestler knew from the beginning that in a normal fight there is no chance to win against the champion of the underground arena, so he decided to use dirty methods. When Baki uses a headlock against him, Igari quietly says he gives up, but after a while, he attacks Baki by surprise. Despite their difference in strength, Igari turns out to be capable of doing Baki quite serious damage in a further part of the battle. Later in the fight, he uses even more psychological tricks. At some point, a woman dressed up as Emi Akezawa, Baki's mother, appears in the audience. Igari is doing this to confuse his opponent. Eventually, Baki thanks him for seeing his mother again. Later, Baki provokes Igari and invites him to a typical pro wrestling match. Despite Igari's best efforts, Baki wins this duel using a variety of pro wrestling moves. After the fight, Igari meets Baki and has a short but very friendly conversation.
In the next round, Baki's opponent is Kaiou Retsu, a powerful Chinese Kempo practitioner. Before the start of the match, Baki trains by imagining the fight against Retsu and learning his movements from constant mock fights in his head, based on what has already seen. When the fight begins, Baki is able to survive Sunkei, the most powerful Retsu technique. The young fighter again uses his special ability to release the endorphins in his brain, but it turns out that he has developed that skill to such an extent that he is able to release endorphins by simply squeezing his ear. Baki takes considerable damage during the battle but is able to handle all of Retsu's best techniques. At the end of the duel, "Hanma's blood" wakes up in Baki and he almost breaks the neck of the Chinese fighter. Baki seems to be in a murderous mood and the smile on his face resembles that of Yuujiro. But after a while, he starts to control himself again. Ultimately, Retsu survives but loses the battle. Yuujiro meets with Baki after the battle and shows him his disappointment about Baki's merciful tenderness.
Ultimately, Baki gets to the tournament final where his last enemy is his Jack Hammer. Before the fight begins, Baki kisses Kozue for the first time. In the arena, Jack reveals his true identity and it turns out that he is the brother of Baki. Both fighters shake hands and promise to do their best during the battle. Both competitors use their best techniques against each other. At some point, Jack bites an artery in Baki's hand, and he starts to bleed out slowly but ties his hand with a bandage to reduce the blood leak. At some point Kozue gets up from the audience and asks Baki to give up, saying that both of them have already given each other enough pain. However, the underground arena champion does not decide to give up. A tough duel continues at its best when suddenly something very strange happens with Jack. He overdosed the drugs he takes in order to increase his strength, and now they begin to modify his body. Quite astonishingly, the situation doesn't end their fight at all. After his overdose attack, Jack is an even stronger monster for Baki. Eventually, Baki manages to survive all his brother's crazy attacks and defeats him with the Front Neck-Lock. At this time, Baki's back muscles take on the shape of a smiling demon for a moment, just like in the case of Yuujiro. In the end, Baki receives the winning belt from Tokugawa, and Jack grabs his brother's hand and raises it up, showing respect for the tournament winner. Afterward, all the tournament participants congratulate Baki on his victory. The last scene shows Baki standing in the middle of an empty arena, holding sand from the ground in his hand, and claiming that he still doesn't have enough of fighting.
Most Evil Death Row Convicts Saga
The whole series starts in Baki's school. Tokugawa arrives in the place and tells him that due to the synchronicity (a phenomenon that combines things that supposedly have nothing to do with each other) five dangerous criminals are coming to Tokyo. All five are powerful killers who seek defeat in their life. Later on, Baki becomes the target of a school gang that wants to finish him off and organizes a few thugs to fight against Baki. A young fighter defeats them all in a blink of an eye, but suddenly appears Spec, one of the five convicts who came to Tokyo. Then Baki has a short skirmish with him, after which the police arrive, and the Spec voluntarily surrenders into their hands, telling Baki that he had a lot of expectations about him.
Then it is shown that Baki must pass a fitness test at his school. He fails most of the tasks because he does them in the wrong way or uses too much force: he makes a hole in the track, throws the ball into the ground, jumps the whole jump away and destroys the chin-up bar. In the end, he tries to beat the 1,500-metre run record. Due to his tendency to make any training exercise as challenging as possible, for maximum growth, he subconsciously begins to alter his technique to tax his muscles greatly. This causes him to fail the test but is given a pass as the teacher was able to understand why Baki began to slow down.
Later, Baki meets all the convicts in the underground arena, as well as Doppo Orochi, Gouki Shibukawa, Kaoru Hanayama, and Kaiou Retsu. Everyone agrees that there is a war between the main characters and the criminals. The rules of the great battle are simply: everyone can track down their opponent from the opposite team in every daily life situation. Shortly afterward, Baki goes on a date with Kozue Matsumoto. But during their another kiss appears serial killer Spec, who wants to fight Baki. Baki notices him and gives Spec death glare that scares even monster like him. Spec still tries to attack, but yakuza boss named Kaoru Hanayama appears and drags Spec away without making a sound.
One day, Baki is attacked during a school lesson by Hector Doyle, a criminal from England. However, after a while, Baki runs away from the scene, because he doesn't want to endanger the students in the classroom. But literally a moment later, he's assaulted by another killer. This time it's Ryuukou Yanagi, the Japanese known as the "poisoner". At first, Yanagi attacks Baki with his sickles. Soon Shibukawa joins the duel and forms a duo against Yanagi, who pulls out the Indian claws. However, eventually, Yanagi starts to fight bare hand and defeats Baki with his Vacuum Palm. This is Baki's first defeat since he was a child. After the fight, Baki meets everyone at Tokugawa's house. The old man is very disappointed and desperate about Baki's loss. When their conversation ends, Kaiou Dorian suddenly enters the Tokugawa's house with a bucket of gasoline and a lighter in his hand. He wants to set in the fire all the guests, but that's when Katsumi Orochi comes in and stops him. Baki is a witness to their struggle.
Later Kozue is kidnapped by Sikorsky and Baki goes after him. Baki later discovers his father Yuujiro was the one who had Sikorsky kidnap Kozue. He kicks Sikorsky out a window and appears to have killed him but Sikorsky survived thanks to his inhuman grip strength.
He tracks Sikorsky to his sewer lair and proceeds to brutalize him to get revenge for Kozue.
Great Chinese Challenge Saga
He battles Kaioh Lee, who accidentally cures the poisoning he received from Yanagi.
Wildman War - Pickle Wars Saga
The outcome of the match between Baki and Pickle could be considered to have gone either way: Pickle is the one who was left standing after the fight with Baki, but inadvertently used a "weapon", in the form of a martial arts technique, to beat him. As stated by the onlookers a "weapon" is a tool used by the "weak" against the "strong", which would make Baki the true winner of the fight for having cornered Pickle. Also, Baki is the first person to make Pickle feel fear and cower in a corner. This is most evident between the conclusion of Jack's fight and Baki's fight, whereas Pickle saw Jack as prey, he saw Baki as a friend/equal for the first time.
Above-Ground Great Quarrel of Father and Child Saga
When Baki asks why Yuujiro killed Emi they are starting to have their final fight. Baki awakens the demon face not on his back but on his brain. Although he is able to strike Yuujiro several times, and also manages to surprise him with a powerful technique once (Cockroach Dash), the fight still appears to be heavily in his father's favor, which Yuujiro pauses many times to give Baki time to recover and to offer him fighting advice - towards the end of their fight, Yuujiro is in good shape while Baki is severely injured and beaten, falling unconscious. He manages to land hits while down with his fighting spirit. Yuujiro recognizes him as his son and the only person who could give him a real fight. Thereafter he makes miso soup from "Shadow Cooking", Baki mentions it is salty and before Yuujiro lies that it isn't. Because he had to lie and couldn't make his lie into truth due to Baki spilling the soup for his father to save face, he declares Baki as the Strongest on Earth. Baki himself gives Yuujiro the victory because Yuujiro was able to withstand his attacks and could have beaten him confidently, evidenced by the fact that Baki was only barely holding himself together, while Yuujiro had sustained minimal injuries, and the match ends with Yuujiro essentially sharing the title of Worlds Strongest, as because although he had won the physical brawl, it didn't sit right with him to declare himself on another level above Baki anymore, as he had needed to try more than he ever had to in the past.
Baki's strength is constantly growing throughout the series. Baki's initial introduction at the very beginning of the series, 17-year-old Baki was already the champion of the Tokyo Underground Dome. In the beginning, Baki was shown to bench press over 320 lbs when training. At first, Baki was shown to be on the same level as Mount Toba, a wrestler who was shown to be strong enough to easily defeat Junichi Hanada and crush his bike in the process. 17-year-old Baki's strength grew more, until he was strong enough to face Kureha Shinogi, and defeat him. As Baki's never stops getting stronger throughout the series, it is difficult to set a definitive level to his strength. At the start of the anime, Baki at age 13, was able to defeat 37 of 100 thugs by himself. When he confronted Kaoru Hanayama, he was shown to effortlessly overpower several men trying to hold him back, and kick Hanayama's 250 lb desk out the window with ease. He was shown fast enough to catch a knife thrown at him from 15 feet away.
Baki's strength increased more during his fight with Gaia, when he learned to utilize his endorphins to boost his strength and speed. When he activates his endorphins, it also allows his body to react and move on its own, without his conscious effort. By the time 13-year-old Baki faced Yuujiro Hanma, Baki was shown strong enough to tank Hanayama's punches (which are powerful enough to split a fence open), without damage. He was able to push Hanayama's 350 lb body 30 meters away with a punch and proved to be faster than boxer named Yuri Chakovsky, by easily dodging all his punches. Baki had enough stamina to fight for 12 hours straight with Hanayama and Yuri without stopping, all while wearing a 45 lb training belt, proclaiming the 12-hour session as a warm-up.
In the second series of the manga, when Baki is 17, he has shown much improvement. While in gym class, Baki was shown to do 10 pull-ups in 2 seconds (breaking the pull-up bar in the process), jump 20 ft in the air over a 20 ft gap from a standing position, and broke his arm cast into pieces by simply flexing his arm. He was fast enough to effortlessly dodge a thug's chain weapon with a rock attached to it for blunt damage, while the thug was able to swing his chain at speeds of over 100 mph. He also took a knife out of another thug's hand without the thug even seeing him do so (the thug could swing his knife back and forth in his hands at imperceptible speeds to the human eye). Baki fought one of the escaped convicts, Sikorsky, and won easily by smashing his nuts. His fight was interrupted twice by Biscuit Oliva. Baki was shown to able to kick Oliva who has a weight of 180kg using a back kick. Baki also fought with two escaped convicts at once, Sikorsky and Ryuukou Yanagi, and was able to defeat them easily. When Baki was poisoned by Yanagi, he participated in the Chinese Tournament and cured his poison. His body was renewed and Baki remarked that his body feels light like a feather. Baki easily defeats Shunsei Kaku in 2 seconds without the opponent landing a hit. It should be noted that by this time in the story, Baki can be considered one of the strongest characters in the series, with his strength, speed, stamina, and an arsenal of techniques being superior to most everyone else (excluding Yuujiro Hanma, Biscuit Oliva, and Kaiou Kaku). Baki is not seen fighting much at all throughout the rest of the second series though. Baki's last fight with Mohammad Alai Jr was an easy victory and Baki effortlessly outclassed and almost killed him, until Alai Sr intervenes.
In Hanma Baki series, Baki decides that the only way for him to get stronger is to send himself to the same prison that Biscuit Oliva is contained in, and fight him. To do so, Baki kidnapped the US President under heavy security just to request to be sent to The Arizona Prison to fight Oliva. To get Oliva's attention, Baki escaped the most secure prison by dodging bullets and defeating the prison guards in a split second. Even when he was cornered by 5 guards holding M-16's, Baki was able to take the buttons off their uniform and crack the glasses of the Director. Hence, he was able to reverse the situation by taking them hostage even though they have guns. Baki was eventually able to fight Oliva and he kicked him so hard that Oliva was sent flying. Baki was also able to stand up and kick Oliva after being slammed into concrete walls and falling from the top floor of the prison. He was able to knock out Oliva by utilizing the 0.5 second when Oliva was getting ready to move. Baki manages to succeed over Oliva in a bout of pure strength, by a brawl of fists until Oliva loses.
Baki was able to withstand Pickle's "Test of Strength" attack, while the latter charges at Baki with the force to rival a Triceratops. Baki was able to knock down Pickle in two moves, using a double leg kick and a high roundhouse kick to Pickle's face. Baki was able to endure the pain and survived a leap to death with Pickle from the top of the kourakuen arena. Baki demonstrated his genius prowess by knocking out Pickle by gently tapping his chin. Baki was able to avoid Pickle's attacks by barely dodging them at skin breath. Baki also demonstrated his mastery of the Five Animals martial art, combing all of the dinosaurs' style and making Pickle see the illusion that he is more dangerous than the dinosaurs. Close to the end of the fight, Baki was able to match Pickle's speed and pushed him back. Baki challenged Pickle to an all-out fight, with Baki losing due to Pickle using a jujutsu technique (Aiki). However, Baki was able to instill fear into Pickle, thus making him the victor.
By the end of the third series, before Baki's ultimate fight with his father, Baki is shown to be so strong, that he can completely vaporize a punching machine pad, with a casual punch. At this point, it can be safely assumed that Baki is possibly the second strongest character of the series (being equal to or greater than Kaku Kaiou). Baki was shown to still be vastly inferior to Yuujiro however until Baki's demon back had activated. When Baki's demon back appeared in his fight with Yuujiro, he was shown to be powerful enough to actually hurt Yuujiro (this being something that no other character had been shown to be able to do). Baki ends up losing to Yuujiro when they have a punch-out until one falls, although there is still enough of a difference between them that Yuujiro is able to stop and let Baki attack him, as Baki is no longer able to effectively fight due to injuries and exhaustion. However, Yuujiro admits in the end, that he can no longer be called the only strongest creature alive, as Baki is worthy of being considered Yuujiro's equal due to him forcing him to use more effort than he had in the past.
The hand-to-hand combat techniques used by Baki are also varied in nature. Which are developed and expanded throughout the series, his combat style is clearly mixed martial arts integrating movements of various doctrines this would be mainly karate and pro wrestling, and in his minority judo, kempo, jujutsu, this includes both original movements and movements of his previous rivals and opponents obtained through his training, creativity and experience. He is known for his unusual training methods which include shadow boxing while imagining that his next opponent is actually with him. This allows him to anticipate every move of his opponent in the actual fight and also helps him spot their weaknesses much before the combat. Despite not being able master any style of combat instantly like his father, Baki is able to learn them much faster that others and coupled with his imagining make him near equal to Yuujiro.
- Endorphin – used against Gaia for the first time.
- Death Concentration – used against Yasha-Zaru for the first time.
- Ippon Ken – used against Kaoru Hanayama.
- Rear Naked Choke – used against Kuraishi and Yuujiro Hanma, for example.
- Roll Kick – used against Kurokawa and Yuujiro Hanma.
- Bow and Arrow – used once against Atsushi Suedou.
- Seiken – basic karate's technique; used once against Koushou Shinogi.
- Armlock – one of Baki's signature moves from first series; used against Koushou Shinogi for the first time.
- Kinteki Geri – used against Doppo Orochi and Zulu.
- Suplex – used against Mount Toba, for example.
- Goutaijutsu – powerful fighting move based on the seiken from karate; used against Kureha Shinogi for the fist time, and later against Biscuit Oliva.
- Enzuigiri – used against Kanji Igari.
- New Cobra – Baki's original move; used against Kanji Igari.
- Single-Leg Figure-Four – also Baki's original move; used against Kanji Igari.
- New Swastika – another Baki's original technique; used against Kanji Igari.
- Backdrop – used against Kanji Igari, for example.
- Antonio Driver – Igari's original move; used once against Kanji Igari.
- Spinning Lotus – used against Kaiou Retsu and Jack Hanma.
- Soccer Ball Kick – used once against Jack Hanma.
- Shining Wizard – used once against Jack Hanma.
- Cord-Cut – involves cutting a nerve of an opponent; used once against Jack Hanma.
- Mach Punch – an extremely fast punch executed using progressive movement of the big toe, ankle, knee, hip, waist, shoulder, elbow and wrist; used once against Jack Hanma.
- Arm Breaker – Igari's original move; used once against Jack Hanma.
- Front Neck-Lock – used against Jack Hanma.
- Demon Face – used once against Jack Hanma.
- Backhand Blow – used once against Sikorsky.
- Axe Kick – used once against Sikorsky.
- Whip Strike – the user loosens up the whole body and treats it like a whip; used against Ryuukou Yanagi, Pickle and Yuujiro Hanma.
- Yawara – used once against Kaiou Ri.
- 0.5 Second Unconscious – Baki's special skill; used against Biscuit Oliva and Yuujiro Hanma.
- Slap – used once against Pickle.
- Triceratops Fist – used against Pickle and Yuujiro Hanma.
- Cockroach Dash – used against Chiharu Shiba and Yuujiro Hanma, for example.
- Hand Pocket – used once against Yuujiro Hanma.
- King Tiger – used against Shuumei Kanou for the first time, later used against Yuujiro Hanma.
- Aiki – used against Yuujiro Hanma.
- The name Baki means "blade, sword" (刃) (ba) and "fang, tusk" (牙) (ki). Baki's surname Hanma means "pattern, example, model" (範) (han) and "horse" (馬) (ma).
- The character was based on Taira Naoyuki.
- In the Funimation dub version of the first anime series, from seasons 1-2, Baki was voiced by Robert McCollum. By the start of the third season, however, he was then voiced by Troy Baker, who ironically voiced Kiyosumi Katou in the Funimation dub.
- The character Gai Tendou from the SNK multiverse is also based on Baki Hanma.