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This is the full Baki the Grappler read order and all its spin-offs

Baki the Grappler 30th anniversary

The Baki the Grappler saga spans several manga series, and fans will want to make sure that they read these series in order. That’s easier said than done, though.

While series like One Piece can exist for over 1,000 chapters under the same branding, others receive new names when there’s a major turning point in the series. The Baki the Grappler series falls into the latter category, which is only made more confusing by the rebranding each one received for Western audiences.

Given the fact that the series has a linear story, fans will want to make sure they tackle each part in its proper order. Thankfully, it’s not that difficult to do so with a relatively limited number of series overall.

Baki manga series order

  1. Baki the Grappler (1991)
  2. Baki (2000)
  3. Baki Hanma: Son of Ogre (2006)
  4. Baki-Dou (2014)
  5. Baki-Dou (2018)
  6. Baki Rahen (2023)

There are six mainline Baki series as well as a long list of spin-offs that serve as both prequels and side stories. While the mainline series primarily follows Baki Hanma, others enjoy stints as the de facto main character. 

Meanwhile, the “Baki Gaiden” spin-offs generally focus on other side characters. These shine a light on some of the series’ secondary characters, including a deep dive into Doppo Orochi’s origin story or a look at the school life of Kaoru Hanayama. They can also spiral off into more radical territory, like the isekai manga “Baki Gaiden: Kaio Retsu Doesn’t Care if He is Reincarnated in Another World” which transplants Kaio Retsu into a generic high-fantasy setting.

How to read all the Baki manga in order

Shonen manga fans can tackle the Baki series by reading Baki the Grappler, Baki, Baki Hanma: Son of Ogre, Baki-Dou 2014, Baki-Dou 2018, and Baki Rahen in that order. The different Baki spin-off mangas are mostly separate from the main series and can be tackled separately.

Baki the Grappler

The series started with Grappler Baki, which was renamed Baki the Grappler for the Western anime and manga releases. The manga begins with the titular character Baki Hanma established as the Tokyo Dome Underground Arena champion, which is followed by an extended flashback. 

This flashback serves as something of a reboot for the series, with the bubbly protagonist being retconned to be more intense and serious after the reveal of his dark past. The anime will feel a bit different for those who read the manga, as the Baki the Grappler anime moves in chronological order and starts with the childhood arc.

Baki the Grappler concludes with the Maximum Tournament arc, which introduces many of the major characters and is regarded as the best story in series history by many fans.

Baki

The second manga series is New Grappler Baki: In Search of Our Strongest Hero, which was shortened to just “Baki” in the West. The series was made into an anime in 2018 that was picked up by Netflix, allowing audiences outside Japan to take in Keisuke Itagaki’s unique brand of action without any hassle. 

The series starts just days after the events of Baki the Grappler, with Baki and the major characters taking on a series of escaped convicts in battles across Tokyo. From there, Baki is forced into a once-in-a-century tournament held in China alongside former opponent Kaio Retsu. This introduces a new romantic rival to Baki, leading to a bitter showdown.

Baki Hanma

Baki Hanma: Son of Ogre picks up shortly after the conclusion of Baki, with the series once again honing in on its namesake character. Baki and Yujiro Hanma are set for an epic rematch, but they don’t immediately throw down. 

Baki spends some time tracking down opponents that can match Yujiro in different facets of fighting, starting with Biscuit Oliva. Those plans go awry when a terrifying caveman named Pickle attracts the attention of many of the world’s top fighters. Though fighting is inherently dangerous, Pickle shows that his fights have much higher stakes than those normally held in the Tokyo Dome.

Baki-Dou 2014

Baki Hanma concludes with the epic battle between Baki and Yujiro, but the story doesn’t end there. It turns out that Pickle isn’t the only fighter of old that comes into the present. 2014’s Baki-Dou series sees legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi resurrected and pitted against some of the top fighters of the series.

While Musashi is a romanticized name today, his legend was still built on his ability to kill other swordsmen. Baki and the other fighters receive an unfortunate reminder of this when fights involving Musashi start turning deadly.

Baki Dou Nomi No Sukune

Baki-Dou 2018

Baki-Dou was relaunched in 2018 after the conclusion of the Miyamoto Musashi story. Though its name looks identical when translated into English, it’s different in Japanese as the 2014 manga is written in kanji while the 2018 manga’s name is written in katakana.

The 2018 version of Baki-Dou sees another storied fighter from Japanese history make his way to the present day. Nomi No Sukune II is the second coming of the founder of sumo wrestling, which he proves by squeezing a piece of coal so hard that it turns into diamond. His goal is to return sumo wrestling to its roots, and he starts down that path by challenging Grand Sumo competitors to no-holds-barred fights.

Baki Rahen

While previous pivots from one Baki series to another took months or even years, Baki Rahen was rolled out just a few weeks after the conclusion of Baki-Dou. The “Baki Rahen” name references those around Baki and fittingly, the series initially stars his brother Jack.

Baki Rahen explores Jack’s childhood and reintroduces multiple minor characters from previous series. Names like Kosho Shinogi and Junichi Hanada wind up fighting for the right to face Jack.

Full list of Baki Gaiden spin-off mangas

For a long while now, the Baki series has fleshed out side characters with “Baki Gaiden” series. These spin-offs expand upon some of the popular characters in the series or introduce new ones that are only touched upon briefly in the mainline mangas. 

The first two Baki Gaiden mangas were written and drawn by series creator Keisuke Itagaki. Some Baki Gaiden spin-offs are definitively canonical, introducing characters or adding wrinkles to backstories that later get acknowledged in the main series. Others are more questionable,

Grappler Baki Gaiden

The original Baki Gaiden takes place immediately after the conclusion of the Maximum Tournament. Mount Toba and Kanji Igari are homages to real-life pro wrestlers Giant Baba and Antonio Inoki. Toba and Igari meet up to fight one another, hearkening to the real-life pro wrestling rivalry between the legendary performers.

The nine-chapter spin-off is essentially a eulogy for Giant Baba. The wrestler died in 1999 while the Maximum Tournament arc was ongoing, and his character rides into the sunset here never to be seen again.

Baki Gaiden: Scarface

Kaoru Hanayama takes center stage in Baki Gaiden: Scarface. Baki’s first proper rival winds up in the middle of a global turf war between covert government operatives and organized crime syndicates. This forces him to face off with both new enemies, as well as some familiar faces from New Grappler Baki.

Hanma Baki Volume 10.5: Pickle Special

A one-volume gaiden that takes place surrounding the introduction of Pickle in Baki Hanma: Son of Ogre. The Pickle Special delves into his history fighting dinosaurs and how he wound up frozen in a block of ice.

Baki Gaiden: Kizuzura

Another Baki Gaiden that centers around Kaoru Hanayama, Kizuzura is more dark comedy than fantastical action. The series follows a younger Hanayama before his introduction in Baki the Grappler, showing the wacky school life that comes with being a gargantuan crime boss.

Baki Gaiden: Kenjin

Baki Gaiden: Kenjin is a distant prequel to the Baki the Grappler series. It shows some fights involving a young Doppo Orochi, including the real story behind his “Tiger Slayer” nickname. Kenjin is also notable as it is boasts the second appearance of Yuichiro Hanma, the father of Yujiro and grandfather of Baki.

Baki Gaiden Revenge Tokyo

Baki: Revenge Tokyo

A direct sequel to Baki, this five-chapter spin-off shows what happened to the five death row inmates following the conclusion of their arc. The series launched in 2018, surrounding the release of 2018’s Baki anime. It was notably brought to life in the anime, with the final episode of the series adapting and expanding on the events of Revenge Tokyo.

Baki Gaiden: Retsu Kaioh Isekai Tensei Shitemo Ikko Kamawan

Retsu Kaioh Isekai Tensei Shitemo Ikko Kamawan translates to “Kaio Retsu doesn’t care if he’s reincarnated in another world” and this is shown to be true in the Baki Gaiden manga, The series begins during the course of Baki-Dou 2014 and sees the top Chinese fighter in Baki transported into a fantasy world full of knights and monsters. Kaio Retsu needs to use his 4,000 years of Chinese martial arts techniques to battle goblins, ogres, and other deadly enemies.

Baki Gaiden: Yuenchi

It has long been established that Katsumi Orochi was adopted by Doppo after the death of his biological father. Though fans eventually get introduced to Katsumi’s biological mother, she isn’t his only surviving family member.

Baki Gaiden: Yuenchi follows new character Mumon Katsuragi, the brother of Katsumi. Mumon learns how to fight under the tutelage of Taizan Matsumoto, the father of Baki’s girlfriend Kozue, but is compelled to avenge his death at the hands of the future escaped convict Ryuko Yanagi. Yanagi was initially introduced as a deranged serial killer and Yuenchi explores that history more deeply.

From left: Retsu Isekai, Yuenchi, Hana no Chiharo, Gaia x Sikorsky

Baki Gaiden: Gaia x Sikorsky

While the Baki series is known for its action, Baki Gaiden: Gaia x Sikorsky goes in a very different direction. The spin-off is a comedy slice-of-life manga that sees an escaped Sikorsky seeking revenge for his loss to Gaia during the events of Baki. His plot is foiled when he winds up living with Gaia in his cramped apartment, forcing him to get used to a normal life with normal people after years in an underground prison.

Baki Gaiden: Hana no Chiharu

Fan favorite character Chiharu Shiba will be in the spotlight in 2023 with Baki Gaiden: Hana no Chiharu. The biker gang leader and supporting character to Kaoru Hanayama has an adventure of his own, letting fans get to know the wily brawler in earnest.

The series starts by introducing new characters around him, but pivots to having him fight established characters he hasn’t ever crossed paths with. Shiba’s gritty fighting style and magnetic personality see him earn the respect and adoration of everyone around him.

How to read the Baki manga

The Baki manga can be purchased and read digitally through Amazon or can be read for free with Comikey. Baki was translated and released in its entirety by Media Do International in 2018, alongside the release of the anime. It has not received a print release in English. 

Unfortunately, Baki is the only series in the franchise that received a full, official translation. Baki the Grappler was only partly translated in 2005 after being licensed to Raijin Comics, which shut down after 46 issues. The portion of the series that did receive an official English release is effectively lost media at this point, with few copies of the magazine surviving to this day. There has not yet been an official translation or release for Baki Hanma, Baki-Dou, or any of the Baki Gaiden spin-offs yet.

In order to read the Baki manga, fans have turned to fan translations on manga reader sites. The quality of these fan translations vary, but options are quite limited for those who don’t speak Japanese.

Where can I read the Baki the Grappler manga in 2023?

There is no official way to read the Baki the Grappler manga series in its entirety in English in 2023. The series never received a full official translation and legitimately published chapters are scarce.

The original manga was licensed to Raijin Comics in 2002. Raijin Comics was a weekly manga anthology similar to Weekly Shonen Jump that carried series such as Slam Dunk and Fist of the Blue Sky. The magazine only published 46 issues before shuttering in 2004, releasing a total of 45 translated chapters of Baki the Grappler out of the 370 in the series.

Raijin Comics official Baki the Grappler translation

The only option Anglophones have for reading the Baki the Grappler manga is fan translations on manga reader sites. These translations may not be of high quality, making the anime the better way to get up to speed on what happened in the early days of the series.

Is the Baki manga completed?

The Baki series continues on in manga form to this day with Baki Rahen. Author and artist Keisuke Itagaki continues working on the series, keeping things fresh by introducing new characters and bringing back under-utilized characters from the past.

Though the series is over 30 years old at this point, there’s greater support for the IP now than ever before. A slew of spin-off mangas written and drawn by other mangaka are being created, offering everything from gritty fighting to pure comedy. There’s no sign that the series will be “completed” any time soon.

Author image

Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2.

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