Yujiro finally takes on Sea Emperor Kaku in “Kaioh”, as their very different styles make for a unique contest.
This recap of Baki season 3, episode 7, “Kaioh”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
At the start of Baki season 3, episode 7, with the score at 3-1, the Chinese Allied Powers are no longer capable of winning the tournament. Yujiro comes out to address the crowd and explains how Kaku promised a perfect win — a lie. He talks about the long and storied history of Chinese martial arts and explains how, if he loses to Kaku, none of his team’s previous wins will matter. Sea Emperor Kaku arrives to fight him, starting by throwing his wheelchair at him. Yujiro deftly catches it and sets it down for him, inviting him to sit. Yujiro pushes Kaku around the arena in the chair, asking him what he had to sacrifice to get where he is. He explains his lust for power, and losing himself in the accumulation of it. Eventually, he chose to abandon it.
In a flashback, we see a young Kaku in his prime. He was perhaps the strongest man in Asia and performed show-offy feats of strength. But he was soundly beaten by an old master whose logic was superior, and from then, he abandoned the muscles and sought to achieve that same logic. He got older, and thinner, and weaker, but achieved what he set out to.
Watching from the sidelines, Baki gets a bit annoyed at how Kaku is looking down on his father. Retsu arrives to watch the match with him. It’s power and violence versus logic. Kaku relaxes — and dislocates his own jaw — to absorb the impact of Yujiro’s blows, as Retsu explains the concept to Baki; a principle known as Shaori. Cutaways help to explain the idea — a baby falling and not breaking any bones, small shrubs not being uprooted by strong winds. Yujiro recognizes the technique. He gets around it by pulling out one of Kaku’s hair, causing his body to stiffen just enough to take the full force of a blow.
But Kaku has tricks of his own. One is to make Yujiro dodge and retreat, challenging his pride and reputation. He unleashes a punch drawing on his power of extreme relaxation that nearly crumbles one of the arena walls. The defensive Shaori has become the offensive Shaori. Kaku’s strikes send Yujiro flying through the air. But Yujiro is amused. He begins using Shaori too, absorbing Kaku’s huge blows. He has no intention of using it for long, though, only to poke fun at Kaku’s style. He exerts a massive amount of strength to prove his point, and Kaku admits he hasn’t felt this much tension in 100 years, which is where Kaioh ends.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.