What is Baki Hanma and how does it fit in the Baki series?

By Steven Rondina


Feb 14, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

The Baki the Grappler franchise is one of the hidden gems of manga and anime, but the Baki Hanma series on Netflix is thrusting it into the limelight.

The first season of the new series, known in Japan as Baki Hanma: Son of Ogre, tracked the titular character’s journey through the Arizona State Prison. This put him at odds with America’s strongest fighter, Biscuit Oliva, ultimately leading to a dramatic showdown between the two.

But what does any of this mean? What’s the significance of the fight and how does it fit into the overall franchise?

Because the Baki franchise has popped in and out of western distribution on multiple occasions throughout its 30-year history, it’s been difficult to keep track of things. Here’s everything there is to know about the Baki Hanma series, where it’s headed, and what fans can expect moving forward.

What is Baki Hanma?

Baki Hanma is an anime series that follows an underground fighter of the same name on his quest to defeat his father, Yujiro Hanma. 

The series premiered on Netflix September 30, 2021 with a 12-episode season dropping on the streaming platform. The show was part of a crush of sequels and follow-ups to series that took off on Netflix, launching in late 2021 and early 2022 alongside the likes of DOTA: Dragon’s Blood and The Witcher.

It’s the third series in the Baki the Grappler franchise following “Baki” and “Baki the Grappler.” The series details Baki’s preparation for his fight with Yujiro. Following Baki’s victory over Mohammad Alai Jr., he challenges Yujiro to a fight. The series follows the titular character’s preparation for the fight and the eventual showdown.

Is Baki Hanma different from Baki?

Baki Hanma is a direct sequel to the Baki series. It starts following Baki’s victory over Mohammad Alai Jr. and focuses on his preparation for a fight with Yujiro, which includes fights with Oliva and other characters.

The series features the same over-the-top fight scenes and emphasis on every character having absurd musculature. Baki Hanma does have a major shift in focus relative to what fans saw in Baki.

The Baki series gave a great deal of screen time to new characters that were introduced along the way. The five escaped death row inmates were all developed and fully realized during the first half of the series, and the second half saw Mohammad Alai Jr. effectively become the main character of the show. Baki Hanma is very different as it puts the spotlight back on Baki.