YMMV / Baki the Grappler

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Interestingly, the dub. Baki was originally portrayed as dreaming of being the strongest to take down his psychopathic father and for love of fighting. The dub portrays Baki as someone who was born into it, and while he likes fighting, he'd give it up for a nice, normal life.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Yujiro's constant Karma Houdini-ness after all of his cruelty, combined with the Esoteric Happy Ending, ended up turning quite a few fans off from the series.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: And how! Yujiro decides to give Baki the "World's Strongest Man" title after their fight and walk away content, and Baki is okay with that... but Baki didn't defeat Yujiro (even after all of his training, it's still impossible): Yujiro gave Baki the title because he's the only guy in the entire series that made Yujiro so much as actually break a sweat during a fight. By all means and purposes, he remains a Karma Houdini.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: There is such a difference between the way Yujiro is in the first series and how he is in the second series that you have to wonder if the author hadn't completely fleshed Yujiro out yet and simply used him as a plot device in the first series.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Yujiro's brutal and deadly maiming of Emi, while their son (and everybody else) is incapable of doing anything to stop him.
    • Yujiro is an interesting case as he sees himself as Beyond Good & Evil. In fact if you look at many of the things he does in contrast to how he generally handles himself in public his actions can be seen to go further straight into Blue and Orange Morality territory. While he can be sadistic and mocks others for their weakness, he never seems to relish the pain he inflicts on others in and of itself. Rather, Yujiro loves the ACT of inflicting pain and brutalizing others rather than the agony that follows. Further, he never goes out of his way to just destroy and kill. There are even times when Yujiro is shown to be capable of being honorable, noble, and even outright compassionate (though never call him out on this as he can and may destroy you for it). He is even capable of respecting others and making friends (albeit a small circle of friends). Hell, he can even be downright hospitable in not friendly with the people he has hurt (as seen when he went out for drinks with Doppo Orochi).
  • Nausea Fuel: Many things in the series, but most of the characters are drawn so muscular and with such little body fat that they look disgusting. It doesn't help that the art style makes them look realistic while simultaneously looking cartoony, making the characters look creepy as hell.
  • The Scrappy: Yujiro for being such an overblown Invincible Villain and Abusive Parent. Even more so when he ultimately invokes a complete Karma Houdini (see Esoteric Happy Ending).
    • However, Mushashi put a dent to Yujiro.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The Hand Pocket technique of Iai Kenpo is an obvious Shout-Out to the Hiten Mitsurugi-ryū. It would have been nice to see the hand to hand equivalent to its counter style Watōjutsu or even an expy of Yukishiro Enishi
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: The fighting manga genre on acid. At first the series is fairly realistic, albeit pushing your suspension of disbelief. After the Maximum Tournament though, all bets are off. By the time you reach Son Of Ogre you'll be wondering what the hell the author was on. Considering the author is a former amateur boxer and practices kempo, you wonder if he has brain damage.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Yujiro, after his Noble Demonic Character Development. Needless to say, his sheer Jerkassery and Invincible Villainy still make him such a Hate Sink in the eyes of many fans.