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An study about epic and martial arts
Some time ago, I found pretentious that the creator of Grendel thought of it as "an study of the nature of violence", but Baki The Grappler made me change my oppinion. It was possible to do such a concept, and also make it freaking fun. Grappler Baki is not a shonen series. You won't find any female martial artist there. No nakamas. These people devote their lifes to perfect themselves to the art of destroying another human being. Friends are good, but if they're strong enough, eventually you will fight them for the hell of it. Anyone must be a Combat Pragmatist, because if he's not, he's not ready. And also, they recognize their passion as something childish. Sensible people has matured learning that, sometimes, you must give up. That's our society. They won't learn this by sheer stubborness, and that's not useful nor worthy, but somehow it's enviable. They keep going on, training, learning, undoubtful of their success. The series dances between being realistic or Crazy Awesome. On the realistic side, people gets hurt badly. We're talking gouged eyes and ripped limbs here. On the Crazy Awesome, I won't dare to tell you something that you should read. Enjoy the series.
Lol, calling this series realistic. Because people get hurt badly. From getting their limbs ripped off in a martial arts fight.

comment #6693 150.212.50.94 3rd Mar 11
Of course, sports protect you from this happening. If martial artist fight without these boundaries, they will cripple their opponents for sure; that was my point.
comment #6705 79.158.131.159 5th Mar 11
Martial artists are capable of ripping your limbs off in real life?
comment #6712 150.212.50.94 6th Mar 11
It depends on the martial art. Most styles just can hurt your flesh and break your bones, so are able to kill and cripple, but it's possible to rip off an arm if you catch the wrist and then use your shoulder and back to broke it from the elbow, using your victim's joint to lever. A fictional example of this, but still believable, was shown in Kinnikuman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-25cG5Dh15U
comment #6799 80.26.186.94 12th Mar 11
Even if you were capable of ripping off someone's arms, it would never happen in a realistic fight.
comment #6823 130.49.71.195 15th Mar 11
Probably not. But it's technically possible. And we never ever see, in a sports anime, a regular foe. They all have special an over-the-top techniques, skills and strategies. Seeing this frequently is unrealistic, that's our usual Willing Suspension Of Disbelief; the techniques are just almost impossible. Anyhow, as I said, there are moments that just are the logical conclussion of extreme fighting; we see a lot of Eye Scream and lot of Groin Attack. And there are moments that are just driven by a Crazy Awesome Rule Of Cool. The Cretacic Man, the earthquake-stopping punch... but there's still a lot of realism.
comment #6919 79.145.138.152 19th Mar 11
Thanks a lot; I'm very happy to see a little debate. Most reviews have not so many comments!
comment #6920 Aralar 19th Mar 11
Somehow, I really doubt it's possible to rip someone's arm off with your bare hands. You can break someone's arm, but you're not going to be ripping it off.
comment #6922 150.212.26.145 20th Mar 11
If you think so, just put that on the Crazy Awesome side, and keep on as realistic just the face-stomping, the Eye Scream and the Groin Attack. I've got no problem with that. But devoting your life to destroying the human body could make able to. Could. Maybe. I may be wrong, I know it! But I like a bit or Rule Of Cool on Real Life.
comment #6928 Aralar 20th Mar 11
You know you've been watching way too much fiction and anime when you start believing that it's plausible to rip someone's arms off with your bare hands.
comment #6944 130.49.71.60 21st Mar 11
The story's shit. There, I said it.

The art is horrendous and an anatomical eyesore, practically making Keisuke Itagaki the Japanese equivalent of Rob Liefeld, both in terms of artistic and literary talent. The pacing of the story is also awful, with the grand goal in the plot being Baki defeating his father in a battle... which still could be like a billion years away at this rate. Seriously. It feels like every ridiculous arc that gets thought up is just a means of stretching it out because Itagaki wants to make Yujiro seem more "awesome" overpowered than ever. Seriously, the guy's worse than Aizen or Sasuke in that regard. Not to mention the length of time it takes for someone to engage in exposition about why some attack did or didn't fail; what could have been explained in one or two panels in a manga written by a competent author is stretched out for a whole chapter.

Yes, I know that Rule Of Cool can justify a lot of shit, but you have to draw a line somewhere. Bigger and more widespread does not make something inherently more awesome. That's why Ashita No Joe has such a legacy, even though compared to so many other fighting series it's much more mundane. And yet it's the one that's remembered even today, thirty years after it finished its comparatively short run, with an ending scene with such emotional depth that it's still homaged.

Not to mention the ridiculous misogyny (Pickle rapes a women and of course she likes it, and nobody even bothers trying to stop it. There are better ways to show a character is wild, Itagaki) and anatomical idiocy that he parades around like it's legit (regarding Baki pulling out a nerve in Jack's neck that somehow blinds him).

I've watched quite a bit of the anime. Years ago, in fact. My friend was in love with the show and he kept showing me links and asking if I'd started reading it yet. I was put off by the awful pacing of the fights (Orochi vs. Restu especially. Never before has a one-hit knockout been dragged out for so long) and the art, even though it'd been cleaned up compared to the manga, was still shit. The animation was nothing to write home about either. Eventually I told my friend that I thought it wasn't very good... and surprise surprise he's never said another word to me since. A shame too, he was one of the factors that got me into Gundam since his username on the forum we frequented was "Qubeley." He also got me into the Doom comic, which we were more united on regarding its quality.

tl; dr, Baki the Grappler is not a study of epic and martial arts. It is a study of padding and shit. You want to see a story that's a study of epic and martial arts, go watch G Gundam.
comment #6990 Steam 23rd Mar 11 (edited by: Steam)
Steam, most that you said falls under the YMMV. Still, I must point out that the raped woman doesn't seem to like it even a bit, and the soldiers tried to stop him, without effect, though. About the stretching, I personally like it very much. I asume most of the fans think the same.

The anime was really good on its first season. The second one was much worse, but still enjoyable. Also, the neck nerve that blinds thing... it's obviously unreal, but well, maybe it could be something like pressure points and accupunture, you know, a part of the body that affects another one... but it's cool so I don't worry about it. Thank you anyway for sharing your point of view, friend Troper.
comment #7062 Aralar 26th Mar 11 (edited by: Aralar)
Go learn human anatomy before you ever make another comment on what's realistic or not.
comment #7073 130.49.70.200 26th Mar 11
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