Baki the Grappler is an acclaimed martial arts manga written by Keisuke Itagaki. It follows the story of Baki Hanma, a high-school teenager training to become a powerful warrior capable of defeating his father, Yujiro Hanma, the strongest martial artist in the world.
If you thought the anime was difficult to follow, the manga is much more troublesome. Initially licensed by Gutsoon! Entertainment, the company became defunct soon afterward, having translated only 46 chapters before its closure. This left many fans of the manga unable to read it, and with few options, they had to translate the manga themselves.
With the unofficial translations being the only way to read the Baki manga, I have created a detailed list of the order of reading Baki the Grappler manga.
1. Baki the Grappler
Number of Volumes: 42
Date of Serialization: 1991 – 1999
Baki Hanma’s only goal is to become like his father, the world’s strongest warrior. The tale follows Baki as he evolves in a world full of some of the strongest contenders, and how he surpasses his limits in order to face his father one day in the fighting ring. From the jungles to the underground martial arts tournament, Baki Hanma’s skills are put to the test by fighters from all over the world.
2. New Grappler Baki: In Search of Our Strongest Hero
Number of Volumes: 31
Date of Serialization: 1999 – 2005
New Grappler Baki carries on from the last chapter of Baki the Grappler. Reveling in comfort as the current Tournament champion, Baki has been kicking back until he gets news of five pernicious, bloodthirsty convicts who have broken out from prison and are now headed to Japan to taste defeat. Baki and his fellow martial artists must combine their strength and fight them before they can cause destruction and death.
3. Baki Hanma
Number of Volumes: 37
Date of Serialization: 2005 – 2012
Also known as Baki: Son of Ogre or Baki: The Boy Fascinating the Fighting God, it focuses on Baki’s training in preparation for his face-off with his father.
The story commences with Baki developing a new style of image training where he can physically create an opponent to spar against. The second saga takes place in a prison, where Baki deliberately commits a crime and gets thrown in prison just so he can fight Oliva Biscuit. The third saga introduces Pickle, a caveman from the prehistoric era who is reanimated from a frozen state and fights several opponents in the modern age.
The fourth saga tells the story of Kaiou Retsu, a Chinese Kenpo fighter who loses his leg fighting Pickle and transforms to become a boxer. The final saga finally shows the much-awaited showdown between Baki Hanma and Yujirou Hanma.
Number of Volumes: 22
Date of Serialization: 2014 – 2018
Following the culmination of the monumental battle between Baki Hanma and Yujirou Hanma, Baki resumes his fights in the underground arena with relentless training, but nothing seems to spur the excitement of the fighting spirit he possessed before.
Meanwhile, a colossal cloning project is underway, with the purpose of trying to clone Musashi Miyamoto, the legendary samurai, and one of the forefathers of martial arts in Japan. With the Japanese Prime Minister involved in the project, a cracking battle of historical proportions awaits Baki.
Number of Volumes: 13 (Ongoing)
Date of Serialization: 2018
The fifth manga series of Baki focuses on sumo martial arts as the main characters face off against the best sumo fighters in the Underground Arena.
Nomi no Sukune was the strongest Sumo fighter in Japan for thousands of years. That is, until his successor Nomi no Sukune II is born 2,000 years later. Now, unlike the previous Sumo fighters that Baki has fought, this time he battles a true Sumo God.
Gaiden/ Side Story
1. Grappler Baki Gaiden
Number of Volumes: 1
Date of Serialization: 1999
Also known as Grappler Baki Gaiden: Antonio Igari vs Mount Toba, it serves as the first spin-off story to Baki the Grappler and takes place immediately after the Maximum Tournament Saga.
The spinoff story tells about a pro wrestling match between Mount Toba, a veteran massive experienced wrestler, and Kanji Igari, a cunning old pro wrestler. They begin their fight immediately after the Maximum Tournament Saga ends. After the match, it is implied that Toba dies.
The following arc is the Most Evil Death Row Convicts Saga.
2. Baki: Tokubetsu-hen: Saga
Number of Volumes: 1
Date of Serialization: 2002
The spinoff story is frequently referred to as the romantic connection volume. It narrates Baki Hanma’s experience of having his first sexual affair with Kozue Matsumoto. The story takes place during the Most Evil Death Row Convicts Saga.
3. Baki Gaiden: Scarface
Number of Volumes: 8
Date of Serialization: 2005 – 2009
Also known as Baki Gaiden: Kizumen – Scarface, it is a spinoff story that follows Kaoru Hanayama, the strongest Yakuza in Japan, the second-generation boss of the Hanayama group and one of the strongest characters in the series.
4. Baki Hanma 10.5 Gaiden: Pickle
Number of Volumes: 1
Date of Serialization: 2008
This spinoff story introduces Pickle, an eight-foot-tall primitive brutal warrior from the prehistoric era who was frozen while fighting a dinosaur and was found perfectly preserved in a saline rock formation, thus the reference to ‘pickled’. Not shown to have any sign of intelligence, Pickle does not seem to have any comprehension of right or wrong and believes he is the last of his people and needs to procreate to prevent the extinction of his people.
5. Baki Gaiden: Gaia
Number of Volumes: One-shot chapter
Date of Serialization: 2009
This spinoff story is about a man who tries to impersonate Gaia in a TV interview, but eventually, Gaia slaughters him barbarically in front of everyone. This spinoff also gives more details about the Tunnel, an incredibly savage and cruel technique where Gaia enters the target’s posterior, making his way up the body, and brutally comes out of their mouth, killing them in the process.
6. Baki Domoe
Number of Volumes: 3
Date of Serialization: 2010
Authored by manga artist Saitou Naoki, Baki Domoe is a satirical spinoff manga series about the adventures of the characters in the Baki series and life in the excessively flamboyant world they live in.
7. Baki Gaiden: Kizuzura
Number of Volumes: 3 (Ongoing)
Date of Serialization: 2011 – Ongoing
This spinoff story follows the adventures of the future second-generation boss of the Hanayama group as a 15-year-old, showing the school years of the Yakuza mobster.
8. Baki Gaiden: Kenjin
Number of Volumes: 1 (Ongoing)
Date of Serialization: 2013 – Ongoing
This spinoff follows the adventures of the 10th Dan karate grandmaster and head of the Shinshinkai Karate School, Doppo Orochi.
9. Yuenchi: Baki Gaiden
Number of Volumes: 5 (Ongoing)
Date of Serialization: 2018 – Ongoing
This spinoff follows a dark place inside the world of Baki in the Amusement Park with protagonist Mumon Katsuragi venturing into a dark place where money is everything and people’s lives are cheap, motivated to discover the killer of his mentor and master, Taizan Matsumoto.
10. Baki: Revenge Tokyo
Number of Volumes: 5 One-shot chapters
Date of Serialization: 2018
This spinoff series details the stories of the 5 Most Evil Death Row Convicts, with each character having a single chapter.
11. Baki Gaiden: Retsu Kaioh Isekai Tensei Shitemo Ikko Kamawan!
Number of Volumes: 4 (Ongoing)
Date of Serialization: 2020 – Ongoing
This spinoff story is structured as an isekai and follows Kaiou Retsu, a Chinese Kenpo fighter, reincarnated into another world.
1. Grappler Baki: Red Dragon Side, Grappler Side
This is a compendium of the characters and events in the Baki world.
2. Grappler Baki: Blue Tiger Side, Fighting Side
This is a compendium of every fight fought and its results in the Baki world.