Almost 17 years after Baki’s original television series run, Baki the Grappler, the series all about being the most powerful fighter returned in 2018 to focus on five death row inmates seeking out defeat at the hands of Baki himself. Baki borrows elements from a variety of combat sports and professional wrestling to tell the tale of a high school boy trying to become strong enough to defeat his father, the world’s strongest creature. In this new series, Baki is forced to compete in life and death fights that aren’t organized, at least not like they were in the underground arena or Maximum tournament he previously competed in.
Baki’s newest series starts off by showcasing five prisoners on death row escaping through unbelievable feats and heading to Japan to challenge Baki. These are experienced and vicious fighters that are unlike anything Baki has ever faced before, fighters so powerful they are desperate to experience defeat for the first time. Baki, along with allies and rivals from the previous tournaments he competed in, will face off against these death row inmates across Tokyo in fights where there are no rules. This has given us a chance to see who the deadliest fighters in the world of Baki are by combining lethality and survivability as demonstrations of their deadliness. Unsurprisingly, Honey’s Anime had to rank the Top 10 Deadliest Fighters from Baki after getting to see the characters we know and love at their most brutal in this season.
10. Katsumi Orochi
Katsumi Orochi is the adopted son of the legendary fighter Doppo Orochi and a prodigy of his fighting style Shinshinkai Karate. Katsumi is an example of how characters in Baki are willing to evolve and better their styles and mentalities so they can climb up the ladder of deadliest competitors. We’ve seen him be defeated by Retsu Kaiou with a single punch because he underestimated him, defeated by Dorian Kaiou because he lacked his lethality, and defeated by Hector Doyle after he infiltrated his dojo and triggered an explosion in the floor he was on.
Nevertheless, Katsumi is an unbelievably durable fighter who is always seeking to better himself mentally and physically. After losing to Retsu, he fights him to a draw in a rematch. Despite being nearly killed by Dorian, it doesn’t take long for him to seek a rematch with Dorian and return the favor of a near-death experience to the American. Lastly, he emerges from Hector’s explosion burnt but ready to fight him and knock him out. Every fight for Katsumi is another chance to improve. It would be necessary to take off Katsumi’s head to stop him from getting back at you.
9. Retsu Kaiou
Retsu is a practitioner of Chinese Kenpo, and initially, an elitist in that regard. He is the top apprentice of Ryu Kaiou, a master of a Chinese Kenpo temple. His skill is such that he was able to make it to the semi-finals of the Maximum tournament where he was defeated by Baki after the latter unlocked the Hanma spirit. It’s hard to tell what are Retsu’s limits exactly because most of the fights after his showdown with Baki end prematurely due to an interruption or an evasion.
His main rival among the five death row convicts is Dorian, but by the time he gets to have a true showdown with him, Dorian’s too hurt to show which of the two was the superior fighter. Nevertheless, Retsu is still the only man to have ever fully defeated Dorian. His victory over Dorian made it so that Dorian regressed mentally and will never be the same fighter he was in the past.
8. Doppo Orochi
One could easily argue that Doppo Orochi deserves to be higher up on this list, after all, he was able to face off with some of the higher-ups in our rankings. Unfortunately, Doppo’s fate this season has stained his legacy as a deadly fighter. Doppo’s a grandmaster of the Shinshinkai Karate and abnormal in his dedication to becoming a better fighter. His durability is also up there among the best fighters in Baki. We see him lose his hand to Dorian and easily curtail the blood loss and use his lack of a hand as an advantage in combat.
Unfortunately, Doppo’s kindness cost him in his fight against Dorian. He allows Dorian to be brought to a hospital without ever finishing the job which gives Dorian an opportunity at revenge. Dorian catches Doppo off-guard in his house and detonates an explosion in his face that removes most of his skin. This defeat highlights Doppo’s lack of lethality as a fighter, Dorian should’ve never gotten another opportunity at Doppo, especially after he showed in numerous other occasions that he was willing to feign defeat for another opportunity at revenge.
7. Kaoru Hanayama
The strongest yakuza in the world has seemingly never been thought martial arts. Kaoru Hanayama is a man of unbelievable durability and strength but is more of a street fighter than a martial arts practitioner in the ways of the other characters on this list. Despite that, he can still go toe to toe with almost anyone else we’ll mention here. Although Kaoru was defeated by Katsumi Orochi during the tournament, we see that it’s both because of the technicalities of their fight and because Katsumi has years of training under his belt.
Kaoru faces off against one of the death row inmates Spec and handily beats him numerous times. What places Kaoru over a grandmaster like Doppo is that while he showed similar mercy to Doppo, every time Spec made him regret it, he just beat Spec even more. Spec nearly blows up Kaoru’s face in the same way Doppo’s face was blown up but that doesn’t deter Kaoru. Spec shoots his knees, locks in an irreversible rear naked choke hold, smashes his face in, but nothing stops Kaoru from permanently defeating Spec and killing his will to live.
6. Gouki Shibukawa
The most unsuspecting man on this list is short, light, and has a calm personality. He’s a master of Jujutsu which makes his underwhelming stature an advantage because he uses his opponent’s strength and techniques against them. This ability has allowed him to go toe to toe with some of the most dominant characters in Baki like Doppo Orochi. Not only was he able to face off against Doppo, but he was able to defeat him during the Maximum tournament.
Gouki has also lost many times in Baki but while he’s not as tough as guys like Katsumi, Doppo or Kaoru, he’s clever in finding ways to survive his tough opponents. Part of his survivability is that he’s usually able to tell how strong characters are and how in danger he currently is. This sense of self-awareness means he’s a hard man to kill if you are among the few capable of killing him.
5. Jack Hanma
Jack Hanma is the older half-brother of Baki and the son of Yujiro Hanma. Like Baki, he wants to defeat Yujiro, but he has allowed this desire to consume every aspect of his being. Jack is an incredible fighter from the start because he knew that he would have to go above and beyond in his training to ever be strong enough to defeat Yujiro. Unfortunately, that training pushed his body beyond its limitation and he ultimately lost to Baki in the finals of the Maximum tournament.
Nevertheless, Jack continued to find new ways to strengthen himself and thanks to limb-strengthening surgery, he was able to grow a whole 8 inches to become 7 foot and an absolute monster of a man. He was already able to defeat a character like Gouki before and go toe to toe with Baki, but having become monstrous in size since the tournament, he handily defeats Sikorsky, one of the inmates, in his return to the spotlight. The only thing stopping Jack from getting higher on this list would be a rematch with Baki.
4. Izou Motobe
You’ll be surprised to find Izou Motobe so high on this list and above many of the other fighters we’ve seen above. In the Maximum tournament, Izou had an underwhelming showing where he was defeated in the first round against a sumo wrestler. Izou came across as one of the weakest fighters in Baki, but it became clear in his fight against the death row convict Yanagi that he isn’t as weak as we first thought.
While Izou isn’t the greatest hand-to-hand fighter in the way that the Maximum tournament required, when you put Izou in a pure fight where there are no rules and anything and any weapon goes, Izou is incredibly deadly. Despite Yanagi knocking out and poisoning Baki as well as going toe to toe with Gouki, he was easily defeated and nearly killed by Izou. It would be interesting to see how Izou would fare against some of the other characters on this list in a similar unregulated fight.
3. Baki Hanma
The titular character of Baki belongs near the top of this list because he has won a tournament where nearly everyone else below him competed in. In some cases, Baki defeated some of the characters straight-up like Retsu, Kaoru, and Jack. Furthermore, Baki’s legend only continues to grow with the challenge of dealing with five convicts in the latest season of Baki. Although he spends the bulk of the season figuring out his relationship with Kozue, the daughter of his caretaker, this relationship strengthens his skills as a fighter.
We see Baki at his best when he squares off with two of the fugitives, Yanagi and Sikorsky, and defeats them in a 2-on-1 fight without ever looking in danger of defeat. It’s unsurprising that Baki is so high on this list considering his ultimate goal is to beat the person that is first on it. At the conclusion of the season, Baki is still suffering from the effects of one of Yanagi’s poisons but considering he’s still capable enough to compete in a once-in-a-century tournament, this has only highlighted how Baki remains an unbelievable fighter even when weakened.
2. Biscuit Oliva
Biscuit Oliva is a prisoner in the Arizona State prison, but you wouldn’t be able to tell with the freedom he has. Oliva is a man of unmatched physique; he’s able to resist assaults from weapons like a shotgun or a katana by the sheer density of his muscles. He’s so powerful that the Japanese police force decided to turn to him, a prisoner, to help them capture the remaining convicts that had invaded Japan.
When Oliva arrives in Japan, there are only three death row fugitives remaining for him to capture. He doesn’t stall in getting to work and easily locates and defeats Sikorsky without much effort. Baki’s anger gets the best of him and he ends up going head to head with Oliva as well, only to discover that none of his strikes are having much of an effect on him. Oliva also gets a chance to fight with Hector, one that ends with Hector running away despite having the element of surprise and having poisoned Oliva. As far as we can tell, there’s only one man who we have met that we could see Oliva having trouble with, and that’s the next man up on this list.
1. Yujiro Hanma
The strongest creature on earth is the man Baki is dedicated to one day defeating. Yujiro operates with a natural selection mentality. Much in the way that Baki’s life seems to center around defeating Yujiro, he has also made many attempts to try to help Baki catch up to his level of skills as a fighter. Describing how powerful Yujiro is isn’t hard because we only must point to all the people he’s defeated across the series: Doppo, Kaoru, Baki, Motobe, etc.
We never get to see Oliva face off against Yujiro but going off his title as the world’s strongest creature, and the fact that Oliva and Yujiro seem to have a mutual respect in their brief encounter in the latest season, we think its safe to keep Yujiro atop the pile until proven otherwise. At the end of the season, Yujiro is revealed to be one of the three guest fighters who will compete in the once-in-a-century Chinese fighting tournament, and we imagine that this will be another demonstration of why there is no greater fighter in the world than Yujiro.
Although Baki makes it clear from the start who belongs at the top of its list of deadliest fighters, every episode seems to hint at new truths about how the rest of the list should be filled out. Oliva doesn’t make his presence felt till halfway through the season, and Izou doesn’t show his deadly skillset till the second half either. Characters evolve and diminish throughout the season which means that we have no doubt this list will change with every new season of Baki that emerges. Even then, this list also has plenty of room for criticism with how flexible these fighters are in different situations, but that’s the fun part about trying to sort them out. Do you agree with this list of Top 10 Deadliest Fighters in Baki or do you think that some people are underrepresented (such as the death row fugitives) or too low or too high on the list? Let us know in the comments below.