Modern Visual Culture

Recommended Works

Baki the Grappler


Mangaka: Keisuke Itagaki 板垣恵介
Born: 4th of Apr, 1957 Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan
Original Publisher: Akita Shoten
English Language Publisher:
Published: January 1991 to January 1999
Status: Finished
Number of Volumes: 42
Serialized: Weekly Shonen Champion 週刊少年チャンピオン
Genre: Martial Arts, Action
Demographic: shonen

    Baki the Grapler ranks as one of the most over-the-top serious fighting mangas to ever be written; it is a no-holds-barred shonen fighting manga that in Japan led to a number of spin-offs. The series is almost a continuous succession of gruesome fights, starring Baki, a completely fearless and cheerful teen who is on a quest to become the strongest grappler in the world, thus taking the title from his father, Yujiro Hanma, and appeasing his obsessive mother, Emi Akezawa.

    Keisuke Itagaki depicts the human form using bold lines delineating each major muscle as well as their entire figure, a style that makes the action much easier to follow than many other fighting manga.
    Background & Impact
    The series has proven to be extremely popular, with over 60 million copies sold. Dozens of sequels and spin-offs have been made.

    A 45-minute OVA was released in 1994. It was also adapted into 24-episode anime series by the now defunct Group TAC. The series aired on TV Tokyo in 2001.