Lurkers' Retreat
Manga (Mean & Mercenary)
MANV 1160 dub

Cert  18

Grappler Baki

Talks up the main chara, Baki Hanma, and a lot of big talk about the glories and pitfalls of fighting. Gives a brief spoiler about some of Baki's opponents such as Kosho Shinogi, The Cord Cutter.

A group of fights strung together with incidental dialog. It starts at the Budokan in a Karate festival, followed by some throwaway scenes of Baki's home life which might constitute a story if it was actually developed, followed by a couple of fights from a private arena built under the Tokyo Dome. It's hard to make a comment about this without spoiling, so I won't tell you who wins.

Seems that this is the level of Manga right now (at time of writing), though I was more interested in the trailers than the anime in the end. Having said that, for a beat-em-up, it isn't too bad. Certainly had a better job done of the dub (which is the USMC version) than the previous Shadow Skill release, but overall I could see this sort of action on any combative martial arts programme, though maybe with less blood. If you like watching staged fights with unusual techniques such as Shinobi's then you might go for this, but I rate this at roughly the same level as Fist of the North Star. I think I'll stick to reading Ironfist Chinmi instead, which has more humour and a better (and more believable) story.

[2 stars]

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