Baki vs Baki Hanma: What is the Difference?

Although Baki and Baki Hanma are technically the same anime show, Baki Hanma is different from Baki as it is a Netflix original anime that starts off from the Baki series. The Baki franchise was once a hidden gem in anime and manga, but the Baki Hanma series has thrust it into the limelight as it adapts more of the manga than the original Baki. 

Baki the Grappler manga has a 30-year history and has generated numerous sequels and spin-offs, making it one of the most popular martial arts manga in recent times. Due to its success, it was made into an anime, first as Baki the Grappler (referred to as Baki in the text), and most recently as Baki Hanma, which features both the contemporary Baki and Baki Hanma; a stand-alone sequel to the original anime.

Byliner’s analysis of the two shows will give you a better understanding of Baki and Baki Hanma.

Baki vs Baki Hanma: What is the Difference?
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Baki Overview

Between January 8, 2001, and June 25, 2001, TV Tokyo aired Baki the Grappler’s first animated series, which featured 24 episodes and was an adaptation of the first manga series. However, in the anime, which was produced by Free-Will Music Label, the arcs were rearranged, and the chapters that had been adapted in the previous OVA from 1994 were left out.

A second animated season with the same 24 episodes as the first, “Maximum Tournament Saga,” was released between July 23, 2001, and December 24, 2001. In 2006, Funimation Entertainment, which also aired the episodes on its television network, Funimation Channel, licensed both series to North American audiences. Additionally, the show was also licensed for European markets.

Baki Hanma Overview

An animated adaptation of the “Most Evil Death Row Convicts” arc from the second manga series was announced in December 2016. Its 26 episodes, titled Baki, were directed and helmed by Toshiki Hirano and produced by TMS Entertainment.

In Japan, the series premiered on Netflix on June 25, 2018, and for the rest of the world on December 18. It was also aired on Tokyo MX1 on July 1, 2018. Netflix renewed the show for a second season, titled The Great Raitai Tournament, on March 19, 2019, and by June 4, 2020, all 13 episodes were available exclusively on Netflix.

The adaptation of the third series titled Hanma Baki—Son of Ogre was announced in September 2021 following the second season on Netflix, with a release of 12 episodes on September 30, 2021.

Difference Between Baki and Baki Hanma

Baki Hanma is the direct sequel to the Baki Series, and despite the fact that Hanma is a stand-alone sequel, the two shows are connected.

Hanma begins after Baki’s victory over Mohammad Alai Jr. and centers on his training for a battle with Yujiro, which includes fights with Oliva and other characters. Compared to what fans first saw in Baki, Hanma’s plot is a major shift, with more focus on the titular character. However, both Baki and Baki Hanma are characterized by exaggerated fight scenes and characters with over-the-top musculature.

The style and concept of Hanma have mostly not changed from the original Baki series, with the notable exceptions of plot changes. While in the Baki series, new characters that were introduced along the way had a lot of screen time, with Mohammad Alai Jr. effectively taking on the role of the series’ main character in the second half, after the first half of the Baki series focused on the five escaped death row inmates, Baki Hanma puts the spotlight and focus back on the character Baki.

Baki Hanma also surpasses Baki in terms of visual aesthetics, but that is to be expected given that Hanma is a more recent anime series than the original Baki, which is about 20 years old. It makes sense that Baki Hanma would be significantly superior in visual aesthetics, given the numerous recent advancements in anime animation standards.

Overall, Baki Hanma is more entertaining than the original Baki because Hanma Baki develops the plot and gives fans more information about Itagaki’s world. Also, Baki Hanma’s animation is far better than that of Baki; not that Baki’s animation is poor, but Hanma Baki has made good use of modern animation standards. Finally, Baki Hanma is generally better in narration and character development.

How Tall is Baki Hanma?

Baki stands at about 5 feet 6 inches (167 cm) tall. At the start of Grappler Baki, at age 17, he had a somewhat childlike personality, short hair, and a height of 5 feet 6 inches. During the flashback, when he was 13, he was 157 cm / 5 feet 2 inches tall.

The third manga series’ depiction of Baki as an 18-year-old isn’t different from his earlier physique. The only changes are a curlier hairstyle.

Is Baki Hanma a Prequel, or Is It After Baki?

As previously mentioned, Baki Hanma is the sequel to Baki and not the prequel. Based on the manga of the same name by creator Keisuke Itagaki, Baki Hanma is a Netflix Original martial arts anime series. The protagonist of the story is Baki, a 17-year-old fighter who is regarded as the second-strongest fighter in the world, after his father Yujiro.

Baki fights death row convicts, martial arts gurus, and everyone in between on his quest to become the best fighter. The production company for the anime is still TMS Entertainment.

Should I Watch Baki or Baki Hanma First?

To better understand the story, you should watch Baki The Grappler and the Baki series before Baki Hanma. Even though Baki and Baki Hanma can be enjoyed on their own, watching Baki the Grappler first adds some much-needed context to the proceedings. After watching Baki the Grappler, watch Baki, and then finish up with Baki Hanma on Netflix.

In addition to two OVAs, three Baki series have been released. The OVAs provide an interesting snapshot at the history of the series, but the OVAs can be skipped because the events they cover are largely covered in the three Baki series.

The three series that make up the Baki franchise are Baki The Grappler, Baki, and Baki Hanma. They are parts of the single and extensive story about Baki Hanma’s quest.

When Does Baki Hanma Take Place?

The Netflix Original Anime Baki Hanma, first aired on Netflix in June 2018, takes place after the main character (Baki) defeats Mohammad Alai Jr. The plot of this series follows Baki’s preparation to become the strongest fighter in the world as he trains to battle his father, Yujiro Hanma.

List of Baki Characters Compared to Baki Hanma Characters

Baki and Baki Hanma are characterized by numerous characters, although Baki Hanma has more characters than Baki. It is noteworthy that Baki and Yujiro Hanma are the true main characters of the series. New characters are routinely introduced in the Baki Franchise, and after they establish themselves, they disappear.

Here is a list of the important characters in Baki and Baki Hanma.

Baki Characters

Baki Hanma Characters

Baki Hanma

Yujiro Hanma

Atsushi Suedou

Kiyosumi Katou

Mitsunari Tokugawa

Koushou Shinogi

Kureha Shinogi

Gerry Strydum

Kaoru Hanayama

Doppo Orochi

Izou Motobe

Katsumi Orochi

Gouki Shibukawa

Kaiou Retsu

Jack Hanma

Kozue Matsumoto

Hector Doyle

Kaio Dorian

Gaia Nomura

Sikorsky

Spec

Ryuko Yanagi

Morio Sonoda

Michael Holes

Biscuit Oliva

Jeff Markson

Master Kunimatsu

Mohammed Alai, Jr.

Mohammed Alai

Kaiou Ryuu

Kaiou Kaku

Kaiou Jyaku

Kaiou Han

Kaiou Ri

Kaiou Samwan

Shunsei Kaku

Shobun Ron

Kaiou Mou

Kaiou Chin

Kaiou Son

Kaiou Jo

Kaiou You

Gouki Shibukawa

Kaio Retsu

Nomi No Sukune II

Miyamoto Musashi

Yuichiro Hanma

Baki Hanma

Yujiro Hanma

Atsushi Suedou

Kiyosumi Katou

Mitsunari Tokugawa

Koushou Shinogi

Kureha Shinogi

Gerry Strydum

Kaoru Hanayama

Doppo Orochi

Izou Motobe

Katsumi Orochi

Gouki Shibukawa

Kaiou Retsu

Jack Hanma

Kozue Matsumoto

Saman

Rumina Ayukawa

Jun Guevaru

Chamomile Lessen

Samuel

Mouth (Teeth, Lips and Tongue)

Maria

Pickle

Dr. Albert Payne

Barack Ozma

Julio

Rumina Ayukawa

Amon Shuu

Tsune Ogura

Kenichi Yamamoto

John F. Kennedy

George Bosch

Old Prisoner

Kent

Jun Guevaru

Self-Styled First

Sonny Liston

Jean Gilberto

Rich Cox

Edward Baccarat

Bob McCarthy

Aisawa

Tamotsu Ishizuka

Henry

Masuzoe

Takeshi Kenmochi

Sakimura

Gichin Funakoshi

Katsumi’s Mother

Tsutomu Sakiyama

Royce Gracie

Kimo

Muhammad Ali

George Foreman

Kenichirou Mogi

Yukio Hatoyama

Kim Sang-Jung

Masamichi Yoda

Takeshi Kitano

Jakuchou Setouchi

Mark

Kure

Toshio Kitazawa

Tatsumi Kawabata

Ichirou Oosawa

Genichi Fukamachi

Akio Mani

Shougo Kakizaki

Garry

Kaiser

Rei Funai

Tsutomu Miyashita

Andrei Valev

Joe Cruiser

Yuuki Mimura

Wilbur Bolt

Ryuuji Yashiro

Naoto Kanzaki

Takashi Kanemitsu

Mitsuo Nonaka

Akio Kamura

Tachibana

Kasuga

Kenichi Sawai

Rika Mizuhara

Yuujirou’s Mother

Prof. Chris

Yuuichirou Hanma

Major General James

John Hayes

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