More of the same, the second stint of Baki will please established fans without converting any new ones.
This Baki Season 1 Part 2 review is spoiler free. You can check out our thoughts on the first half of the season by clicking these words.
You might recall Netflix’s Original anime series Baki from last December when the 13-episode first season hit the platform with a squelchy thud. It was a gonzo good time, full of macho martial artists squaring off for the mantle of face-puncher extraordinaire, even if it did fall a bit flat when it came to storytelling, structure, and virtually everything else. There’s good news and bad news today then, depending on where you’re sitting, as it turns out those initial 13 episodes were only half of the first season. Baki Season 1 Part 2 dropped today with a similarly meaty impact, directly continuing the story from where it left off, for better and worse.
It’s good news because fans of the show will continue to enjoy it; it’s virtually unchanged. But it’s bad news because anyone who wasn’t won over by the thing in the first place certainly isn’t going to be now; it is, again, virtually unchanged. Anyone hopelessly waiting for a drastic improvement in regards to plotting and character development isn’t going to find that here, and it would be a shame if any of those things ever seemed to be on the show’s agenda in the first place, which I’m sure they weren’t.
In other words, Baki Season 1 Part 2 is all about the over-the-top fighting which defined the show’s first half, with the same overabundance of action and gamey dramatic loop, and the same not entirely consistent absurdist aesthetic. For many — or, perhaps more charitably, some — that’ll be more than enough; there’s plenty of validity in laidback, straightforward entertainment, and I enjoyed the roided-up fisticuffs about as much this time as I did before. But lowered expectations aren’t going to do anyone any harm, and they’re appropriate for a show that didn’t have much interest in broadening its appeal before and still doesn’t have any now.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.