The second batch of the 26-episodes of the “Most Evil Death Row Convicts” arc continues as the martial artists of the first series face the remaining convicts, Doyle, Sikorsky and Yanagi. At the same time, the next arc is introduced, which includes the son of legendary boxer, Mohammed Alai (for God’s sake).

Once more, Baki does not get so much screen time, particularly regarding the various battles, but the title focuses on him growing up and the ways he changes after having had sex with his girlfriend for the first time. This aspect, of analyzing the characters through their battle techniques extends to all the protagonists, with Yanagi, in particular, coming forward as the most interesting of the villains. The title, however, does not focus on one character, as many former ones are analyzed more, particularly Oliva and Doyle, while a number of new characters emerge, and many previously featured on the franchise, reappear. Lastly, another, more sensitive side of Yujiro Hanma is revealed, although his almost demonic demeanor remains his most central feature.

Brutal, extreme action is the main element again, with the battles becoming even more bloody and extreme, as the clash between the dishonorable convicts and the noble martial artists takes another form, with the latter also using “tricks” occasionally. The concept of the tournament that takes place “wherever, whenever” works quite well for the narrative, particularly through the different locations the feuds take place (dojos, public restrooms, parks, streets, etc). However, battles in the arena are also included in this batch in the end, in some of the most impressive action scenes of the arc.

The drawing of the characters remains somewhat rough around the edges, and the constant flaunting of extreme muscles of the characters does not help in this aspect. The animation on the other hand, is quite good, realistic in the non-battle scenes, and extravagant during the fights, in an approach that fits the title’s aesthetics quite nicely.

Impression, hyperbole, and brutal action remain the main elements of the second batch, although some attempt in depth features here, particularly through Baki’s coming-of-age aspect. This one, however, will definitely satisfy fans of the series and of the genre, while the ending increases the appetite for the next arc, which once more, will revolve around a tournament.

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My name is Panos Kotzathanasis and I am Greek. Being a fan of Asian cinema and especially of Chinese kung fu and Japanese samurai movies since I was a little kid, I cultivated that love during my adolescence, to extend to the whole of SE Asia. Starting from my own blog in Greek, I then moved on to write for some of the major publications in Greece, and in a number of websites dealing with (Asian) cinema, such as Taste of Cinema, Hancinema, EasternKicks, Chinese Policy Institute, and of course, Asian Movie Pulse. in which I still continue to contribute. In the beginning of 2017, I launched my own website, Asian Film Vault, which I merged in 2018 with Asian Movie Pulse, creating the most complete website about the Asian movie industry, as it deals with almost every country from East and South Asia, and definitely all genres. You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.