Baki the Grappler or Grappler Baki (グラップラー刃牙) is a manga and anime series by Keisuke Itagaki. It was originally serialized in the Weekly Shōnen Champion from 1991 to 1999, lasting 42 collected volumes. It was followed by two sequel series, New Grappler Baki (バキ Baki?) (serialized from 1999 to 2005) and Baki: Son of Ogre (範馬刃牙 Hanma Baki?) (which began in 2005 and currently in serialization).
The 24 episode anime aired in Japan between January 8, 2001 and June 25, 2001. A second 24 episode series called Grappler Baki Maximum Tournament was released on 22 July 2001. The story revolves around Baki Hanma and his quest to proclaim himself as the strongest grappler in the world, thus taking the title from his father. Baki also fights to gain the trust of his overly psychotic mother. The OVA was released by Manga Entertainment in Australia and the UK and previously released by Central Park Media in the U.S. Gutsoon! Entertainment released the first 46 chapters of the original manga in English in the pages of Raijin Comics, their anthology magazine.
Baki manga so far (chronologically):
- Grappler Baki (Real fighting action) - (First series Volume 1 to 42, complete, Deluxe version 1-24 complete) (The Champion Saga, the Kid Saga, and the Maximum Tournament saga).
Raijin Comics began work on this arc, and got through about 1-3 volumes of the Japanese version, give or take, before discontinuing manga publication altogether. The company only had the rights to the magazine edition of this series, and not the graphic novels, a rarity in the American manga publication industry.
- Grappler Baki Gaiden: Igari vs Mount Toba - (Complete) (immediately after the Maximum Tournament).
- Baki: In Search Of Our Strongest Hero (The Strongest is the Beautiful) - (2nd series Volume 1 to 31, Complete) (The Prisoners saga, the Chinese Challenge saga, the Ali. Jr saga). This series is also referred to as New Grappler Baki.
- Baki saga - (The Romantic Contact chapter) (Complete) (Side story that develops at the same time as volume 15).
- Grappler Baki: Scarface, the Legend of the Invincible Fist - (Volume 1 to 5, ongoing) (Hanayama Kaoru's yakuza adventures outside the world of Grappler Baki).
- Grappler Baki: Red Dragon side, Grappler side - (Complete) (compendium of the characters and events of the world of Grappler baki/Baki , covers until volume 23 of the 2nd saga).
- Grappler Baki: Blue Tiger side, Fighting side - (Complete) (Compendium of every battle fought and its results on the world of Grappler baki/Baki, also covers until volume 23 of the 2nd saga).
- Hanma Baki : Son of Ogre, The Boy Fascinating the Fighting God (3rd series finale Volume 1 to 25, ongoing, weekly published on SHONEN CHAMPION WEEKLY) (Training With the Strongest saga, Oliva's Fortress saga 9-10 , The Prehistoric Menace chapter (Pickle wars, the rise of Katsumi, Jack's ambition, Baki's confrontation) (Vol 21) (Tied to the manga Hanma Baki 10.5 Anecdote Pickle: The man from 65.000.000 years ago).
Airing outside Japan
Hawaii-based TV station KIKU aired the FUNimation Productions licensed version of the series during the August and October 2006 period. Dubbed in English, the episodes were edited for time but do not appear to have been edited for content.
The opening theme for the anime is a song titled Child Prey by popular Japanese rock band Dir En Grey. FUNimation is no longer airing their dub on the COLOURS channel on weekends at 10pm, as they have taken all anime off of their channel.
Grappler Baki: The Ultimate Fighter OVA
- Official japanese website (Japanese)
- Baki the Grappler (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Grappler Baki Maximum Tournament (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia