Nov 28, 2015
-Anokata (All reviews)
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!