Grappler Baki “Season 3” was officially confirmed to be greenlit for production in the first quarter of 2019. The new anime (which is also known as Baki Part 3 or the Japanese Grappler Baki Season 2) will once again be a Netflix exclusive.
The new Baki anime will feature a Chinese tournament with 16 participants. What’s more, Baki’s father, Yujiro Hanma, and an American fighter will be competing! (See the spoilers below for more details.)
The first 26 episodes of the Baki anime were created by animation studio TMS Entertainment, which is known for other anime such as Detective Conan, Lupin III, ReLIFE, Megalo Box (see our article on Megalo Box Season 2), and the Fruits Basket reboot project.
It’s currently unknown whether the main staff at TMS Entertainment will return for Baki Season 3/Baki Part 3.
The first two parts were directed by Toshiki Hirano (Rayearth, Dangioh, and more). Fujio Suzuki (009-1, New Getter Robo) was the character designer.
Tatsuhiko Urahata (Tsuredure Children) wrote the scripts for the Baki anime. Kenji Fujisawa produced the music. Tetsu Kojima was the executive producer.
This article provides everything that is known about Grappler Baki Season 3 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
Japanese Baki Season 2 is Netflix’s Baki Part 3 and 4: Will the real season number please stand up
Anime purists are probably wondering why this article is referring to Grappler Baki Season 3 when only Baki Season 2 has been confirmed to be in production.
The reason is that the anime is being labeled as “parts” by Netflix when the anime is released internationally.
The first season of the Baki the Grappler anime was originally released on Netflix Japan as a two-cour season (a “cour” is a three-month unit of TV broadcasting usually composed of 11 to 13 episodes).
Netflix’s Baki was released in Japan on a weekly basis from June 25th through December 17, 2018. Therefore, since the first 26 episodes are considered a single season in Japan the upcoming anime will be known as Grappler Baki Season 2 in Japan.
When Netflix U.S. (and other versions for countries outside of Japan) release an anime internationally there is often a delay in release, which is sometimes due to the German, Spanish, French, and English dub.
Netflix U.S. also sets up American audiences for binge-watching where an entire season is released at once. Often times a multi-cour season will be split up into multiple parts for the international release.
In this case, the first season of Netflix’s Baki was released outside of Japan as two parts. Baki Part 1 was released December 18, 2018, while Baki Part 2 was released on April 30, 2019.
Some English-speaking anime fans refer interchangeably to Baki Part 3 and Baki Season 3.
The number of episodes for the Japanese Grappler Baki Season 2 has not yet been confirmed.
Assuming that the second season is two cours, if Netflix U.S. continues its practice of labeling each cour as a “Part” it’s likely that the new Baki episodes will be labeled as Baki Part 3 and Baki Part 4 (or Baki Season 3 and Baki Season 4).
Grappler Baki manga compared to the 2018 Baki anime
Technically, Baki Season 3 is already out even by Japanese season counting standards. Confused yet? That’s because the first two seasons came out way back in 2001.
The story for the new Baki anime is based on the second part of the Gurappura Baki (Grappler Baki) manga created by writer and artist Keisuke Itagaki. Started in 1991, the overall Baki manga series has five parts already.
The first part was simply called Grappler Baki and it ran until 1999 and ended with 42 book volumes.
The first manga sequel, New Grappler Baki: In Search of Our Strongest Hero, ended in 2005 with Volume 31.
Manga Baki Part 3 was called Baki Hanma (Baki: Son of Ogre) and it ended in 2012 with Volume 37. Manga Baki Part 4 was called Baki-Dou (Baki: The Way) and it ended in 2018 with Volume 22.
Manga Baki Part 5, now called Baki Dou, began in October 2018 and it’s still ongoing in Weekly Shonen Champion magazine.
The two seasons of the Baki 2001 anime adapted the first manga part whereas the 2018/2019 Baki anime adapted the “Most Evil Death Row Convicts” story arc of the New Grappler Baki manga.
Anime fans who found the new anime confusing should probably dust off the prequel and watch it for the backstory and the Maximum Tournament story arc.
For those wanting to read ahead of Netflix’s anime series, you can jump straight to New Grappler Baki Chapter 175 of Volume 20. While the first Baki manga series never received an official English translation the New Grappler Baki manga is now available on Amazon and Comixology in English.
For the other series, there are plenty of unofficial fan-made scanlation projects that are completed.
The good news is that there is plenty of source material for Netflix to continue making anime episodes for years to come.
Baki Season 3 and 4 (Baki Part 3 and Baki Part 4) will probably adapt the two final story arcs of New Grappler Baki manga.
Baki Season 5 (Baki Part 5 or the Japanese Baki Season 3) will start the story of the Baki Hanma (Baki: Son of Ogre) manga and put Baki on the road to his final confrontation with his father, Yujiro Hanma.
Baki Part 3 release date on Netflix U.S.: English-speaking fans likely to wait until at least 2020 or 2021?
As of the last update, neither Netflix, TMS Entertainment, nor any company related to the production of the anime has officially confirmed the Baki Season 3 release date.
The production of a sequel has been announced, but not a release time frame or even a year.
Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when the Baki Part 3 premiere date will occur in the future.
Considering that Netflix announced the start of production in early 2019, it’s possible TMS Entertainment could release the Japanese Baki Season 2 by late 2019.
International audiences will likely need to wait again for months so English-only anime fans are probably looking at a 2020 Baki release date.
However, if the Japanese release occurs in late 2020 then poor Americans will have to wait until 2021.
Grappler Baki Season 2 spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)
The last time we watched our favorite muscle-bound martial artist, the last two episodes of the current Baki anime finished off with a cliffhanger ending which teased the Chinese Challenge story arc (chapters 159 to 240) with Baki entering the Raitai Tournament.
After being poisoned, Baki rushed to China seeking a cure. His body is still weak from the poison slowly destroying him from within but he will still take on the best Chinese fighters.
Baki Episode 27 will pick up with Baki learning about how China holds this tournament only once every 100 years. The Centennial Tournament involves 16 competitors fighting over one day for the title of Sea Emperor.
Here are the names of the major characters in Baki Season 3.
- Baki Hanma
- Yujiro Hanma
- Mohammad Alai Jr.
- Sea Emperor Kaku
- Sea King Retsu
- Sea King Ryu
- Sea King Son
- Sea King Yoh
- Sea King Chin
- Sea King Jo
- Sea King Moh
- Sea King Samwan
- Sea King Li
- Sea King Han
- Sea King Dorian
- Sea King Jaku
Baki will represent Japan, but it turns out his father also will be in the tournament! The last time Baki fought his father Yujiro he suffered an overwhelming defeat.
By Volume 23 (which should be the early episodes of Baki Part 3), Baki is recovered from the poison and he is confident that dear old dad has a reason to be afraid of his son.
The Chinese fighters known as the Sea Kings suffer a series of defeats in the first round of the Centennial Tournament and they fear that the title of Sea Emperor may fall into the hands of a foreigner from Japan or America.
Desiring to prove the worth of Chinese martial arts, the Sea Kings resort to fighting dirty.
Mohammad Alai Jr. holds a grudge against Baki since he believes his martial arts style is superior. Alai Jr. relies on destructive punches but he also uses his feet to kick off the ground and boost his punch.
He even manages to defeat one opponent in the tournament without being hit.
After the tournament, the anime’s story will enter the Godlike Clash of the Kids story saga (chapters 241 to 276).
Alai Jr. begins to challenge Baki by harassing Baki’s friends and defeating several of them. But Alai Jr. also challenges Baki in the arena of romance since he falls in love with Kozue Matsumoto, Baki’s girlfriend!
Unfortunately, anime fans wanting to know how Baki handles himself in the tournament will need to wait until the Baki Season 3 release date. Stay tuned!