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Garouden review – This anime is just not the epic that Baki Hanma was

Garouden is strictly for those extremely passionate about mixed martial arts

Garouden review – This anime is just not the epic that Baki Hanma was

Last Updated: 05.58 PM, Jun 06, 2024



Juzo Fujimaki is a runaway criminal. He killed a man and fled the scene. However, being arrested wasn’t the reason for him going MIA. Watch his story (and a few others around him) get explored in Garouden: The Way of the Lone Wolf.


Garouden was a legend in Japan, which started in 1985. It is the story of a lone wolf and over the years, after changing many publications and the plot, the manga last released in 2018. There is now an anime based on the same manga. Although a legend, its only selling point is that it is a spin-off of another epic, Baki Hanma.

The anime commences nothing like the manga. It gets sweet and suddenly, it is too dark to handle, up until the very end. With the little tweak, the anime begins on an interesting note but continues following the same plotline, with too many character introductions and none of them having a proper end to their story. This gets super difficult to follow after a point.

It is our fighter and wanted criminal, Juzo Fujimaki (not his real name) vs the bear, like in the books. Given his introduction, the story progress was nothing like expected, and not always in a good way.

Garouden is the story of a lone wolf, who is one of the greatest martial arts fighter there is. The introduction theme to the series has all the vibe. It is enough to make you dizzy and yet convey the message, which is perfect to appeal the audiences of today.

Fujikama is someone who hates fighting people but will fight a bear when he attacks innocent people. This is what makes him different from most fighters, who aim to fight other humans. His interaction with Tanba is what builds the tempo of the show.

It is constantly Ichiro Shino vs Fujikima in the first episode, and that leads to the second too. Their characters are built almost well to leave you intrigued for what is to come, but not to the extent of wanting to binge-watch the series.

The series clearly is for someone who understands Judo and where training in that can lead to. The moves play an important part of the series. Unfortunately, that also means there is limited scope for the series to stay interesting.

Tamon, who is on Fujikama's case, has a secret too. He becomes an important part of the series since the start, and his secret is revealed a tiny bit as the season comes to an end.

The graphics in this series do not work too well. At times, you feel like images form the manga are stuck to compare the scene. The difference in visuals is that clear.

Joze gets introduced to the series as a foreigner who is likely a ghost. Of course, there's more to him. As Juzo's past gets revealed, things become clearer. His similarity with Joze also becomes clearer with that. Not just that, Juzo and Joze's fate intertwines more often than expected. This leads to some interesting moments between them.

Saeko plays an important role in the series. Interestingly, her father Soichiro Izumi ends up in the story too.

The series has a dark backdrop and is for people who love to watch others fight. That is all that happens in the series, with some drama in between.

It all leads to the most important moment in Fujikima's life - the Kodoku battle. It begins on a slower note but tends to get interesting when you learn the details of the fights. It takes five episodes to reach there. The final match most definitely, as it should, captures your attention. But that too is in slow-motion most of the times.

Mifune ends up being an intetesting element on the show but by this point, too many characters are introduced and they all have a story to tell. So, it does not make him as special as should have been.

The anime progresses in the same tone, till the climax sequence. That is something you did not really see coming. Nonetheless, there is still some hope for revival in the next chapter.


Although Garouden isn't anything like Baki Hanma, it is not too bad either. While the start and the story both are slow, it is the ending that could intrigue. However, the problem is, it takes too long to get to the end. Also, this anime is not made for everybody. Only those with a deep interest in mixed martial arts might be able to binge-watch it.


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