Baki, a new grappler on the no-holds barred fighting scene, is flying up the ranks. All that is left in his wake are the dead and the defeated. However, no one can tell whether he can keep this up against the previous champion, a fierce fighter who severs his opponents very nerves to win.
Let's review the 1994 OVA titled "Grappler Baki: The Ultimate Fighter".
Welcome to the random world of Baki the Grappler.. where and what is going on in terms of development? Your guess is as good as mine. This OVA throws you right into the action with no explanation. Having viewed the English dub of the OVA I can say.. DON'T. I think most people that wish to go back and watch this will enjoy it much more in Japanese. The 90's was a brilliant time for many things.. you name it: Music, Sports, and even Entertainment. Falling into the entertainment
category is anime. Along throughout the 90's we received the not so notorious OVA for Grappler Baki. I want to start and say I'm a huge fan of the TV Series for Grappler Baki. Having watched this after the TV series was a huge help. This OVA throws you right into the action like I said. It's setting is based around the Tournament arc. For fans of the franchise this is brilliant. I'm quite happy to see all characters in place and acting out as they should. Nothing seemed outta place with this OVA. THANKFULLY. Not much is explained about the story but the setting is right. Story: 5. The animation is old school of course and quite fluid (but don't take my animation review serious animators) I know not much about the ways of animating. I like what I see and in my eyes that is all that matters. Animation: 8. What would be any anime wouldn't the soundtrack? Sound is everything! Captivating ones emotion and deliver the correct feeling at the right time and truly make or break a show. Specially more serious toned shows. The soundtrack will probably differ in both English and Japanese versions. The English version: Suitable to say the least. Sound: 5. Moving on let's talk actual characters.. A LOT OF DEVELOPMENT GOING ON HERE. Let me say that is sarcasm.. be it this is text form I don't know how many of you could pick that up. In all seriousness Grappler Baki is a strict fighting show. It's known for it's gruesome yet intensifying fights. Be it characters like Shinogi, Kosho the cord cutter or protagonist Hanma, Baki. Each character is brutal and delivers that pump when fighting. The OVA set itself up nicely.. and even if you haven't seen the TV series or read Grappler Baki I believe you will find yourself enjoying the characters and design. Character: 6. Now boiling down to the final bits of this overly extended review due to me being completely bored one night. Come say hello on my page if you read this. Let's now talk enjoyment however.. This anime is FIGHTING. If you like fighting animes that focus on the fighting ONLY.. You will enjoy. I fell in love with Grappler Baki for it's style and unique approach. It truly does offer something unlike any other in the anime world. Enjoyment: 7.
That wraps in my review of Grappler Baki: The Ultimate Fighter. Thanks for reading and for the overall score I give this a: 6.
Some of the technics will make you cringe. Good OVA to the series. This was out long before the tv series so animation is a little older looking. Basically, it's a longer episode of the series. The characters are actually the same. I saw this first, and while watching the series, I realized they basically absorbed the OVA into the series. In other words, if you saw the series, you seen this OVA. Still, it's worth a watch, especially if your a Baki fan.
Oh boy, another seriously underrated OVA. Truly a shame how so many great OVA from the 90s don't get the praise they deserve on this site.
So after watching the first season of Baki I decided to check out the older OVA before continuing with Season Two. But let's review this beautiful piece of art step by step:
Story: 9/10 The OVA covers up the Karate tournament which was animated as well in season one of Baki the Grappler (TV). Nothing outstanding but a simple and great tournament setting which I love and in my opinion one of the best ways to present great fights and Baki
is a pure-blooded fighting series.
It doesn't show anything from the main overall plot of Baki (one day beating his dad) but it decided to focus solely on this Karate tournament. Good choice.
Art: 10/10 As a fan of old school anime I just loved it. It fits way better than the new school animation style. The animation was ON POINT, I was really shocked - in a positive way. Incredibly fluid movements, realistic facial expressions, even minor things like a woman cutting vegetables with a knife; the sharp knife mirrored the cut vegetables. The colors are also perfect, Baki has black hair like his mother in the OVA whereas his hair is red in the TV series like his father. I prefer black hair.
All those things I mentioned are things the TV series unfortunately lacked to some extent probably because of a low budget. Not to mention they cut off the blood in Baki for the most part which isn't the case with this OVA.
Sound: 10/10 Like the TV series this OVA also has very catchy old school fighting games OSTs which I really appreciate. They fit perfectly into the overall fighting theme. Sound effects were also great and gave out a nice martial arts fighting game vibe. Pure nostalgia for someone whose childhood consisted of playing Tekken and Street Fighter on PlayStation 1&2. What is also mentionable is that Baki screamed Bruce Lee style like in Fist of the North Star which was kinda funny, doesn't happen in the TV series.
Character: 10/10 In regards to this OVA alone the character have nothing I can complain about. This is a pure fighting show so there is no incredible plot-twisting character development but rather a beastly Baki who looks so happy when he's fighting. His final opponent is also a very interesting one. Baki doesn't shine in realistic fights but rather in creative over the top martial arts fights.
Certainly unnatural yet not supernatural.
Enjoyment: 10/10 Nothing more to add, it's just very fun to watch a martial arts tournament with beastly fighters in an underground arena with great animation and sound. Pure enjoyment.
Overall 10/10 If you love fighting, martial arts, old school animation style, catchy 90s sound then this is for you! You cannot miss this underrated OVA! I was surprised myself but this turned out a great experience. Rewatch-worthy!
After seeing the baki episodes i wanted to try out this movie. Its not as good as the series but it still makes up if you want a little "shot" of baki. This was made before the episodes and sadly the spisodes did not finish beacuase of finacial problems. But If you løiked baki the grappler episodes chances are you will this one too. Defintely a must for baki fans!