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Baki Hanma Season 2 Release Date, Cast, Trailer, Plot And More Details

"Baki the Grappler" is an action-oriented martial arts manga series created by Keisuke Itagaki and originally published in Weekly Shōnen Champion magazine starting in 1991. The manga follows the exploits of Baki Hanma, a talented teenage martial artist with the ultimate goal of defeating his father Yujiro, known as "the strongest creature on earth." Since the conclusion of its original manga series, "Baki the Grappler" has received several sequel series. The most recent of which, "Bakidou," began publication in 2018.

The series received its first anime adaptation with a 45-minute OVA released in 1994, followed by a 24-episode series in 2001. Fans went for years without any Baki, but then, in 2016, it was revealed that a new anime adaptation based on the "Most Evil Death Row Convicts" arc from the second manga was in the pipeline. Simply titled "Baki," it dropped on Netflix in 2018 to mixed reviews, but it was clearly streamed by plenty of people, because Netflix renewed it for another season the following year.

In 2020, news of a third season broke — well, kind of. While technically a sequel to "Baki," this new series was released on Netflix under the new title of "Baki Hanma," running for 12 action-packed episodes. The series begins when Baki's insanely strong father is linked with the bare-handed mauling of a prehistoric elephant. Determined to continue his training and become a match for his dad, Baki goes to a prison in the United States so he can fight Oliva Biscuit, the strongest man in America. It's a wild story, and it's set to continue in 2023. Here's everything you need to know about "Baki Hanma" Season 2.

When will Baki Hanma Season 2 be released?

"Baki Hanma" Season 2 will be released in two parts over the summer of 2023: The first part is scheduled to drop on Netflix on July 26, and the second one won't be far behind it, set for an August 24 release. The first part has been given the title "The Tale of Pickle & The Pickle War Saga" and the second part is going by the name "The Father VS Son Saga." Those who are familiar with the "Baki the Grappler" manga and the wider lore of the "Baki" world will already have a good idea of what to expect from Season 2 of "Baki Hanma" from those teasing subtitles. If you're not in the know, read on to find out what the plot of the upcoming second season of "Baki Hanma" is likely to entail — though be warned, there are minor manga spoilers ahead.

What is the plot of Baki Hanma Season 2?

The first part of "Baki Hanma" Season 2 is entitled "The Tale of Pickle & The Pickle War Saga," but who or what is Pickle, exactly? Pickle is the opponent who was teased in the final episode of "Baki Hanma" Season 1. He's a primitive man who lived sometime in the Jurassic or Cretaceous era, though he doesn't resemble Neanderthal or Cro-Magnons — he's way, way bigger. At over eight feet tall, he's even bigger than Oliva Biscuit, the strongest man in America. He crosses paths with Baki after he's discovered perfectly preserved (or pickled, if you will) in a saline rock formation, hence the name.

The Pickle War Saga is the third arc of the third manga series, stretching from Chapter 79 all the way up until Chapter 185. In it, Pickle is taken to Mitsunari Tokugawa – an elder from the Tokugawa clan who runs an underground fighting arena situated beneath Tokyo Dome — after he's discovered by scientists. The giant prehistoric man faces several formidable opponents in the arena, including Baki. Despite being thrilled about being able to face such a strong foe, Baki soon discovers that he's got his work cut out for him if he's going to emerge victorious — Pickle sends him flying across the arena with a single kick.

From the offset, Netflix promised that we would get to see Baki going toe-to-toe with his old man in "Baki Hanma," and this will be the focus of the second part of "Baki Hanma" Season 2. "The ultimate showdown between father and son finally comes to a head," the streamer has said of the upcoming sophomore season. We won't spoil how the fight plays out in the manga, but one thing's for sure — it's going to be epic on screen.

Who is starring in Baki Hanma Season 2?

Fans of the show will be thrilled to know that the main voice cast is returning for the second season of "Baki Hanma." Nobunaga Shimazaki is back as the titular character, adding another credit to his impressive resume. Shimazaki has plied his trade on a number of big anime shows and films over the years, including "Fruits Basket" (Yuki Soma), "Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Maju Sensen Babylonia" (Ritsuka Fujimaru), and "Your Name" (Tsukasa Fujii), which is undoubtedly one of the best anime movies ever made.

The role of Baki's fearsome father is played by Akio Otsuka, who is no stranger to playing hard-as-nails characters. The Tokyo native is known for supplying the voices of Bato in "Ghost in the Shell," Detective Kogawa Toshimi in "Paprika," and All For One in the hit shonen series "My Hero Academia." Other returning stars include Hochu Otsuka as Oliva Biscuit, Kenji Nojima as Jun Guevaru, Koichi Yamadera as Tongue, Lips and Teeth, Masashi Ebara as Bob McCarthy, Megumi Han as Rumina Ayukawa, Takaya Hashi as Gerry Strydum, Megumi Han as Rumina Ayukawa, and Mami Koyama as Maria.

There are also some new actors joining the voice cast for the second season. The role of Pickle has gone to Takeshi Kusao, a veteran of the industry who has worked on everything from "Akira" (he voiced Kai in Katsuhiro Otomo's seminal cyberpunk classic) to the "Dragon Ball" franchise (he's played Trunks dozens of times over the years). The character Dr. Albert Payne, one of the scientists responsible for unearthing Pickle, is played by Nobuo Tobita (Kamille Bidan in "Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam").

Is there a trailer for Baki Hanma Season 2?

The trailer for "Baki Hanma" Season 2 focuses on the first part of the season – "The Tale of Pickle & The Pickle War Saga." It opens with a bit of an explainer about how Pickle came to be frozen in the first place. "There was an asteroid impact," the narrator (possibly the scientist Dr. Albert Payne) reveals. "It froze everything on Earth, from dinosaurs to insects. It also froze this fight." That's right — Pickle was frozen mid-brawl, complete with an insane look on his face. When Pickle is unfrozen, we get to see just how big and muscular he is as he stands alongside the show's already big and muscular characters.

Later in the trailer, Baki excitedly tells Retsu that he can't wait to test himself against the giant prehistoric man. It's a moment that stood out for one fan. "I gotta give a round of applause to the Baki voice actor cuz that short lil clip right there, of Baki getting hype and excited," @banish_soulz6931 said in the comments section of the trailer on the Netflix Anime YouTube channel. "The voice acting was just so on damn point." They weren't the only user excited by what they were seeing, either. Lots of fans took to the comments section to rave about the fact that Pickle was entering the show. "Finally we can witness the Pickle arc in all of its glory without having to worry about bad scans or translations," said @baspreme114 in a comment that got thousands of likes.

Who is directing Baki Hanma Season 2?

Director Toshiki Hirano is back in the hot seat for Season 2 of "Baki Hanma," meaning the series remains in a safe pair of hands. Not only did Hirano helm the opening season of "Baki Hanma," but he was the director of both seasons of Netflix's "Baki," too, so there's nobody better placed to make sure the show stays on the right track. If you recognize his name, that's because he's an industry vet who has been around for years. He's married to animator and artist Narumi Kakinouchi and the pair have worked together on occasion, perhaps most famously on the manga series "Vampire Princess Miyu: New Moon." Hirano directed the anime version of the manga.

Other notable director credits for Hirano include "Blood Lad," "Detective Conan," "Magic Kaito," "Angel Heart," and "Strange Steel Fairy Rouran." However, fans of "Baki" will probably be interested to know that Hirano directed the 2007 film "Fist of the North Star: Legend of Raoh – Chapter of Fierce Fighting." Kenshiro, the main character in the "Fist of the North Star" series, is another muscular, super-strong guy capable of incredible feats. But is he stronger than Baki? It's a question that fans have debated time and time again. The vast majority of people side with Kenshiro — in fact, a lot of fans think that Kenshiro could even beat Baki's dad.

"There's a noticeable gap in power between someone like Yujiro and Kenshiro," Redditor u/fj668 said when another user raised the question on the r/whowouldwin subreddit. "As someone who is very well versed in both of these respective mangas I can tell you that Yujiro won't stand a chance against Kenshiro. Kenshiro is stronger. He is faster. He is more skilled. His techniques are more deadly." Not everyone was convinced, however. "Yujiro moved fast enough to catch an arrow from a 200kg draw bow before it even left the string," u/doomguy136 pointed out, adding that he also "stopped an earthquake by punching the ground."

Who performs the theme songs for Baki Hanma Season 2?

The opening theme for the first part of "Baki Hanma" Season 2 is called "The Beast" and it's performed by Wagakki Band, known for merging rock music with wagakki, traditional Japanese musical instruments. They have contributed songs to several anime series over the years, including "Samurai Warriors," "Twin Star Exorcists," "Holmes of Kyoto," and "Mars Red." Meanwhile, the ending theme for "Tale of Pickle & The Pickle War Saga" is a song called "WILDER." It's by UPSTART, and the accompanying visual focuses on how much has changed since Pickle was frozen in prehistoric times. "[It] actually had me feeling sorry for Pickle," Netflix Anime tweeted after the ED was released.

The second part of Season 2 will open with a song by rapper Mitsuhiro Hidaka, known professionally as SKY-HI. It's called "Sarracenia," and is just the latest song that he has provided for an anime series. His work has been used in shows like "Run with the Wind," "Sands of Destruction," and "World Trigger." The ending theme of "The Father VS Son Saga" — the second part of Season 2 — is called "Salvia." It's by BE:FIRST, a Japanese boy band signed to SKY-HI's label BMSG. The seven-piece act is still pretty new, but they have already made waves in the United States: Their song "Scream," the lead single from their debut album "BE:1," topped the Billboard Hot Trending Songs chart in July 2022.

Where can you watch Baki Hanma Season 1?

The first season of "Baki Hanma" is available to stream on Netflix, as are the first two seasons of "Baki," so if you want to get properly caught up before the new season arrives on the streamer, that's the place to go. Netflix has really upped its anime game in recent years, so subscribing isn't the worst idea if you're a fan of anime. Netflix currently offers four different membership plans: Standard with Ads, Basic, Standard, and Premium. The cheapest package will set you back $6.99 a month, while the most expensive package costs $19.99 a month. Just be aware that the ban on password sharing that Netflix has been threatening to enforce for some time has finally come into practice, so if you were thinking about splitting the cost of an account with a few of your friends, you can think again.