If you want to know how to watch the Baki anime franchise in the right order, we can help.
Baki the Grappler is made up of three main anime series, plus a couple of OVAs.
Because there’s a huge gap between the 2001 series and the 2018 sequel, and because different production companies are involved, one might assume that the newer Baki seasons are unrelated, or reboots of the original.
However, while the OVAs overlap somewhat with the main series, the TV anime seasons are pretty straightforward.
Baki the Grappler Plot
Baki the Grappler tells the tale of a young man who wants to be a great fighter and warrior like his powerful and cruel father.
He undergoes a lot of strict training, and eventually confronts his father. Although Baki loses in his initial attempt, he continues to train to become stronger.
He fights numerous opponents who use various fighting styles, whether in underground tournament matches, or other situations. Baki’s own technique has been described as a type of mixed martial arts, or “Total Fighting.”
Through it all, Baki’s main goal remains to surpass his father — and ultimately, to defeat him in one final match.
Naturally, the series features a lot of bloody and violent fighting scenes, featuring guys with ridiculously huge muscles. However, the series also leaves room for the mental side of combat, as different fighters have different philosophical outlooks.
Baki’s continuing story is told in a couple of manga series. Although they can be read as individual stories, the newer story arcs are sequels to the older ones. These manga story arcs have been adapted into various different anime series.
The Baki the Grappler Release Date Order
Baki the Grappler started out as Grappler Baki, a 1991-1999 manga series. The manga was followed by several sequel series.
Every anime version of Baki is adapted from either the original Grappler Baki manga, or its many sequels.
Release Date Order
- Grappler Baki: The Ultimate Fighter, 1994 OVA
- Baki the Grappler, 2001 TV anime series
- Grappler Baki: Maximum Tournament, 2001 (season 2 of Baki the Grappler)
- Baki: Most Evil Death Row Convicts Special Anime, 2016 OVA (only available with a limited-edition manga)
- Baki, 2018 Netflix anime series, 2 seasons
- Baki Hanma, 2020 Netflix anime series
The Baki Chronological Watch Order
Note that many of these are hard to find. We will include them here for those of you who are fortunate enough to find them legally.
Anime adapted from Baki the Grappler, a.ka. Grappler Baki, the first (1991-1999) Baki manga series:
- The 1994 OVA Grappler Baki: The Ultimate Fighter adapted the manga’s first arc, the Karate Tournament Arc. This arc, which is part of the Underground Arena Saga, is not included anywhere else in the anime. Unfortunately, this OVA can be hard to find.
- The 2001 anime series covers the Kid Saga, a.ka. the Childhood Saga; and the Underground Arena Saga. The anime reverses the order of these two sagas — which makes sense, because Baki is younger in the Kid Saga. However, if you want to follow the manga’s order, you would have to watch episodes 17-24 first, and then 1-16.
- The second season of the 2001 series covers the Maximum Tournament Saga, the third saga in Baki the Grappler.
Anime adapted from the second manga, Baki, a.k.a. New Grappler Baki: In Search of Our Strongest Hero (1999-2005):
- The 2016 OVA covers the Most Evil Death Row Convicts Saga, which is the first New Grappler Baki manga saga, and the fourth overall. This OVA can also be hard to find. Fortunately, it can be skipped as the material is also covered in the 2018 Baki series.
- The 2018 Netflix Baki series features the Most Evil Death Row Convicts Saga, and the Great Chinese Challenge Saga.
- The Great Chinese Challenge Saga continues in season 2 (2020) of Baki. It also includes the Godlike Clash of the Kids Saga, the third (and final) New Grappler Baki manga saga.
Anime adapted from the Hanma Baki: Son of Ogre manga (2005-2012):
- The 2021-2023 Netflix Baki anime series, Baki Hanma, picks up where the 2018 Baki series left off. Season 1 adapted the Combat Shadow Fighting Saga; and the Great Prison Battle Saga.
- The first half of Season 2 of Baki Hanma covered the Pickle Wars Saga. The second cour of season 2 was released in August 2023. It covers the Warriors Struggle Saga, and the Father vs. Son Saga (a.k.a. the Strongest Father and Child Quarrel Saga).
If anybody wants to continue the Baki anime series, the next part would logically be Baki-Dou, or the Way of Baki, the fourth Baki manga series. It ran from 2014-2018.
Best Places to Watch Baki the Grappler
Price: Basic with ads, $6.99/ month. Basic: $9.99/ month. Standard: $15.49/ month. Premium: $19.99.
How to Watch Baki on Netflix Anywhere in the World
This method works on both desktop PCs and mobile phones or tablets.
- Purchase (or start a free trial) of a VPN. I can confirm that NordVPN works for this purpose.
- In the settings, choose United States as your location.
- Fire up the VPN and wait for it to do its magic
- Once you’re connected, navigate to Netflix (browser or app)
- Search “Baki” in the Netflix search bar and you should see the anime pop up.
Enjoy! Please note that if your Netflix library doesn’t update to reflect the country you selected in your VPN, you may have to clear the Netflix cache first and try again.
To do this on mobile, go to settings -> apps -> Netflix -> clear cache. To do this on PC, you have to clear the cache in your web browser.
I’ve had no trouble using this method and I still use NordVPN to watch anime from various Netflix country libraries daily.
2. Amazon Japan
You can also get episodes of the 2021 Baki Hanma anime series. The season 2 episodes from 2023 are not yet available (as of August 2023).
Interestingly, Amazon Japan also has a listing for the 2001 Baki the Grappler series, but none of the episodes are available.
Keep in mind that all of this is aimed at a Japanese audience, not an international one. The audio is in Japanese with no translation, prices are in yen, and you’ll need access to a Japanese form of payment.
Price: 2018 Baki: Rent episodes, 220 yen; buy episodes, 440 yen; rent the season, 3,850 yen; buy the season, 8,008 yen.
2020 Baki: Same as 2018, except the season rental price is 2002 yen; buy the season, 4004 yen.
2021 Baki Hanma: Same as above, except season rental is 1848 yen; buy the season, 3696 yen.
3. DVD and Blu-ray Options
If you can’t find what you want in online streaming, you may want to consider a DVD or Blu-ray discs.
In 2021, Sentai Filmworks obtained home video rights for the 2018 version of Baki. The Complete Collection Blu-ray box includes the first 12 episodes from season 1, dubbed in English. You can also get it from Amazon.
In 2005, Funimation Productions released DVD versions of the 2001 Baki the Grappler series. When I checked Amazon, many of the individual discs were listed as unavailable. However, you can still get Funimation’s Baki the Grappler: Season 1 and 2 DVD package from 2008. It’s expensive, but you do get 48 episodes on seven discs.
I hope this article helps you better understand the Baki franchise and the order in which you should watch it.