I’m going to prove that the term father truly means master.– Yuujirou Hanma
What is it like to be the son of the strongest fighter on the Earth? Baki’s dad Yuujirou Hanma is the strongest fighter in the world and has mastered all forms of unarmed combat skills. As Baki trains relentlessly to beat the strength and supremacy of his father, what physical and psychological challenges does he encounter?
The journey is beautifully laid down in the hit TV series ‘Baki’ which is based on the Japanese manga called Grappler Baki or Baki the Grappler written by Keisuke Itagaki. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion from the year 1991 to 1999.
This anime holds a special place in the hearts of the fans because it is one of the most inspiring animes that show the importance of hard work in life via both Baki and his dad Yuujirou. Fans appreciate the underlying as well as the overarching message that true happiness in life comes from dedication to a task and being able to accomplish it.
Baki Hanma is the protagonist of the series. Often referred to as the ‘Son of Ogre’ Baki started his intense training in combative sports at the young age of thirteen.
Later, he aims to surpass his father, the Ogre himself, Yuujirou Hanma in part to avenge his mother Emi Akezawa, whom Yujiru had murdered.
Baki realizes in the series that his way of combat varied from that of his father’s and even the underlying values behind it. While for him building associations with stronger rivals taught him new ways, his father Yuujirou believed to thrash anyone brutally who came between him and absolute victory and power. Due to this distinction, there was friction between the father-son duo whenever Baki was too gracious to his opponents for this is the opposite of what Yujiru believed in.
Even though he wants to surpass his dad, Baki is not driven by the lust for absolute power. He proclaims that he doesn’t want to be the strongest man alive; he’d be happy to be slightly more powerful than his father too.
Baki’s Dad: Yujiru Hanma
It’s not often that we get to see the father of the protagonist as the chief antagonist in a series. Yet this seems to be the case with Baki and his father, Yuujirou Hanma.
Also known as the strongest fighter alive or the Ogre, Yuujirou Hanma works as a mercenary and assassin for multifarious government and shady organizations. He is also highly paid for the work he does.
However, describing him as above would be oversimplifying his character. Baki’s dad, Yuujirou Hanma has a stoic and calmer side to him which is seen in his interaction with the children who admire him and while he has dinner with his adversaries. He has his own definition of honor, where he interacts with the rare few who prove their strengths and capabilities to him like Baki Hanma and Doppo Orochi.
1. Techniques Mastered by Baki’s dad Yuujirou Hanma
The strongest man alive believes in developing the strength of the body rather than relying on weapons. Here is a list of moves he is a master of:
- Axe Kick: One of Yuujirou’s most typical moves
- Backhand Blow: Used when he fought Kushu Shinogi and Ryuku Yanagi.
- Bite: Baki’s dad used this move against Jack Hanma, his son and Baki’s half-brother.
- Crotch Kick: He used it when he fought Richard Filth (ouch).
- Death concentration: He used this during his fight with Doppo Orochi.
- Defensive Shaorii: A rare one, when he fought Kaiou Kaku.
- Demon Face: He used it often during matches with stronger rivals
- Dress: A rare skill which Yuujirou learned from his father; used against his son Baki Hanma (Ironic?)
- Finger-Grab: When fought with Doppo Orochi.
- Front Neck Long: Thick-necked ogre used it when he fought Roland Istaz.
- Hand Pocket: Used against Baki
- Nukite: Used this on the battlefield.
- Pinch: Used once against Baki
- Roll Kick: Used against Baki
- Udonde: When fought with Doppo Orochi.
- Vietnam Whip: Used this on the battlefield
- Whip Strike: Used against Baki
2. Why did Baki’s Dad Kill His Mom?
It is Emi’s misfortune to have been related to Baki’s father, Yuujiro Hanma, who serves as the series’ primary antagonist. Yuujiro is also Baki’s father.
He is a sadist who takes pleasure in the anguish and distress of other people. He looks down on those who are helpless and maintains the attitude that they are not even deserving of being murdered.
Baki means absolutely nothing to Yuujiro other than the fact that he wants to battle him. As evidence that he is a disturbed psychopath, this individual is responsible for the death of Emi Akezawa. Because he cared about Baki’s strength, he decided to take her life so that he could improve his strength and give Baki a more challenging fight.
This is the sickest logic we have ever heard of. Good thing Baki did not take after his dad in temperament and character.
3. Relationship Between Baki and his Dad
As we have seen above, the core values of the father-son duo don’t match, despite the similar lines of interest. This forebodes a rocky relationship between the two.
Baki’s dad and he don’t share a loving relationship. There obviously is resentment in Baki’s heart about what Baki’s dad did to his mother. This makes them hateful of each other, so much so, that Baki can hardly say his father’s name without reluctance.
Despite this, he wants to prove his worth to his father with his father. In the spirit of true sportsmanship, he pairs up with his father when the need arises, like in the Great Chinese Tournament. He is also gracious enough to acknowledge the strength of his father.
Baki and Baki’s dad know they are a family even if they don’t speak it out verbally. A mixture of hate and belongingness, there is an undercurrent of the delicate balance of these emotions between the two which is masterfully explored in the series.
“Why do I feel the sense of being hugged… whenever I strike him…?”– Baki during his fight with Yuujirou.
(On a side note, this does seem to be a common trope in the world of anime. Among the newer anime, the relationship between Enji Todoroki and Shouto Todoroki in My Hero Academia is very similar. Do you recall more such examples in your favorite animes? Comment below!)
4. Does Baki’s dad love him?
He desires his son Baki to become powerful like him, so he can enjoy a challenging fight with him. That is all there is to his love. It is not unconditional, it is not emotional, rather the only care he bestows on Baki is to make him a strong person. In a way, he just sees his son as a toy or a commodity.
Baki’s Dad vs Old Man
|Baki’s dad||Old Man|
|Real name||Yuujirou Hanma||Kaku Kaiou|
|Height||190 cm (6’3″)||155 cm (5’1″)|
|Weight||About 120 kg (265 lbs)||About 40 kg (88 lbs)|
|Fighting Style||Various Martial Arts||Chinese Kenpo|
Here are some FAQs –
Is Baki’s dad a caveman?
No, Pickle is a caveman in the series.
Is Baki’s dad a demon?
Baki’s dad is a possessor of Demon back which makes him very strong.
Does Baki’s dad ever lose?
No, he has not lost yet, though he did acknowledge Baki.