So yeah, Baki the Grappler, a very underrated JoJo-based anime indeed. While I wasn't much interested in how a series like this can be so well-made and creativity through martial arts, wrestling, and boxing, not to mention some of the antagonists had unique possibilities in combat fighting, despite their own initiatives and perspectives.
This guy here seems to be a Muscular's inspiration or older brother in that statement, jokes aside, this guy is possibly the most evilest out of all the titular Most Evil Death Row Convicts.
Introducing to you so good people, is Spec. Also, credit to the TheAverageDimentio for allowing me this chance in honors of him and having the knowledge of this guy, even on our discussion regarding him.
What's the Work?
Baki is an 2018 action original anime streamed on Netflix, based on the 1991 original manga series, Baki the Grappler, illustrated by Keisuke Itagaki. This adaptation focuses on the second part after the first part of the titular manga's conclusion.
The story focuses on a young man at high school that has inherited his father's incredible and immense strength named Baki Hanma, whose primary motive is to defeat his father, Yuujiro Hanma, a legendary fighter back from his days, but has to overcome other stronger fighters and wrestlers around his path in doing so.
Who is He? What has He Done?
Spec is one of the main antagonists in the Most Evil Death Row Convicts Arc in the 2018 anime adaptation Baki. Spec stands out from one of the four remaining evilest convicts as the most evilest and deranged from them, killing people around him like it was nothing.
Not much of Spec’s background was known but he was stated to be very heinous and possibly committed a lot to murder in which led him to be imprisoned as his sentence under ten years just like the other convicts, he also happened to had murdered a counselor who tried to reason with Spec before taking his life in a one hit KO two years ago.
In the present, Spec was transformed to a submarine prison for his arrival at Florida as his permanent imprisonment, that is until he finds a way to break free from using the vent system, killing an interviewing professor that had a black belt as he used his golden tooth as a key to get out of the sub and escape, later on proceeds to murdering a few police guards in the surface nearby the coast as he makes his way to Tokyo, Japan.
Upon his arrival and destroying a police cruiser that had an officer in there (which he mutilates his right hand for a sadistic taunt later), he encounters Baki during his time defeating a bunch of local thugs, as the last thug holding a pistol then turns around seeing Spec behind him as he asked to hand over the gun, telling him that it won’t work on him as he then shoots himself with it, proving a point as he is not to be underestimate when the bullet didn’t went through his jaws and mouth multiple times.
He would then proclaim to Baki that he wants to experience defeat as he had him shook his fake right hand he mutilated from one of his victims and then has Baki pummeled by his signature kick techniques as he forcibly pulsed his face on the ground to the mutilated hand while beginning to sadistically knock his face on the ground more while laughing, only catching the attention of some civilians passing by before scaring them with his smile.
As then the police arrived to have Spec arrested before one of the officers confirmed the hand belonging to one of their forces, in which he breaks the cuffs as he heads towards Baki to let him know that is was only an introduction and let’s him shake hands for real, only to be a kick in the face as a taunt.
As he was seen in prison, he immediately breaks out of prison to get some food, killing a cashier in the process to have some Chinese Sio Pao he stole, in which later uses the bathroom where Captain Morio Sonoda was minding his own business before having to be shocked of seeing him there, proving he can’t be kept captive in any prison facilities. Spec would end up taunting him when he attacked him under defense, as Spec manages to catch it and make him accept his “kindness with gratitude” when he shoves one of the Sio Pao in his mouth. Once the police found his prison wall broken by him, they tried contacting back before Spec arrives to taunt the officers to not enter his cell with his permission.
Later on when he breaks free again while leaving a note. He arrives at a tournament stadium, meeting up with Sikorsky, Doyle, Dorian, and Yanagi unexpectedly from the blood that attracted them thanks to Tokugawa. Upon Tokugawa offering them “defeat”, Spec implies that he rather go on killing the four convicts before the latter thought they were gonna kill each other before it was made clear their desired opponents to kill or be defeated have arrived, in which were Baki, Doppo Orochi, Kaiou Retsu, Kaoru Hanayama, and Goki Shibukawa.
After all five arrived, all the convicts and fighters gathered up as Tokugawa compliments everyone here as a reminder of one of the most historical moments between all ten of them being the "strongest warriors" here, even to remembering Baki as the winner of said tournament. As then Spec alongside the other four would stare intimidatingly on the young fighter, as Tokugawa explains that Baki and the other four fighters would give them the defeat they desire, to which Baki doesn't seem all there before the other four would agree against fighting said convicts with rules regarding on which five against the five would become said match.
As the battle begins and with everyone dissolving their paths to who they target, Spec is seen back in prison, sleeping as a surprised Morio and his officers looked at him. During the time Baki was going out with his girlfriend, Kozue Matsumoto, behind them unaware is Spec, out of prison once more as then the police staff viewed a video of Spec overwhelming and killing some of their armed soldiers when he did so earlier as neither their specialized armor or iron ball bullet guns stopped him, just so he could have his way of fighting against him. However, while stalking them, especially when he was in front of them when kissing before gets noticed by Baki's glare, preparing to attack him alongside his girlfriend under being provoked, much to his anger, not until he is stopped by Kaoru Hanayama who intervened the latter's attempt, he then kicks Hanyama right in the face during their confrontation before he withstands Spec's strength, trying to provoke him for attacking him, as then Hanayama removes all his clothing, revealing the tattoo on his back and so he could fight freely against Spec himself, to which he compliments "beautiful" before attempting to tackle him as his first move with a uppercut and a kick, making him bleed as he pushed his palms to his face and forced him back into a light pole.
Spec then grabs a nearby bench to brutally attack him before Hanayama withstands it, as then he wondered if he enraged him, as then he demonstrates to him that his technique is similar to his, to which shows a flashback that he manages to destroy the Statue of Liberty, as he then boasts on he'll end him with one single punch. As they both waited, Spec marches in for the punch, throwing at least bullets of them in that method the more faster it gets to it, but upon Hanayama withstanding, Spec began laughing sadistically while doing so before he ends up getting overwhelmed by Hanayama's own strength by one punch. As then Spec begins to stretch himself after that hit, he begins to feel frighten from the immense strength Hanayama has carried, overwhelming him again with another blowing hit as he then picks him up, asking him if he wants more with Spec stating that he never felt this good his entire life of fighting and killing, as Hanayama continues to punch him and repeating the same question as he threw him near a garbage can, not until as Spec admits "defeat", he places six bullets into Hanayama's mouth, blowing his head drastically.
However, despite that, Hanayama surprises Spec as he is still alive despite most of his face areas is blown, as then Spec begins to effortlessly yet cowardly attempt to throw a punch at him before the latter gets grabbed and punched down to a pulp, then electrocuted by a light pole behind him, defeating the latter for good.
Hanayama would then take the unconscious and electrified Spec back to prison, surprising all the officers that someone like him defeated him. However, while Hanayama is given a ride back to his home as thanks from the Captain, Spec manages to wake up and brutally kills all the officers back at the lobby as he rushed to the vehicle Hanayama is in, flipping the car over as then Spec begins to take hold of the latter and hit him with a police baton into his face, taunting him to should've just killed him back at the park, as Hanayama was about to punch him, Spec uses a pistol to shoot him in both knees as he prepares to shoot him one more time in attempt to killing him with another gun, no longer wishing to fight in combat but fight to the death, aiming only at his head using his feet to smash him down brutally as he aims the gun to his mouth. Just before he could pull the trigger, Spec states "good luck" as he shoots, not before Hanayama aims the bullets right through his faceless cheeks, pushes down Spec as he begins to strike down multiple punches, far powerful enough to take him down but Spec manages to open up a flash grenade to blind him in the process.
But this immediately backfires when Hanayama withstands it, but can't manage his attacks now that he is blind, Spec takes his chances to attack from behind as he strangles the latter hard. However, Hanayama manages to use whatever he had in his strength to rip off Spec's left arm a bit, surprising Spec to his horror, as then he uses his middle to aim damage through Hanayama's ear before he grabbed and strangled his neck, causing him to blackout and faithed, finally having to defeat the murderous brute for good this time.
Later on, he was seen in the hospital after his brutal defeat, with all his muscular biceps reduced to a skinnier, weak body he had, he was revealed to be 97 as of now. As stated by the doctor who examined his body and age, reminding him of a certain treasure hunter who gotten what he wished only to be turned to a joke and died at his exact, real age of being eighty-eight, the doctor concludes that all of that is just a story. Even though Spec finally gets the defeat he desired, it only costed him his strength with no real honor by the end of his story arc. As of now, due to being in a coma as of now, Spec was never heard of again.
Then again, it was stated in Revenge Tokyo that his condition is still prioritized by the doctors but most of his body is moving slowly like he's swimming, in his mind he is swimming in a massive ocean endlessly, possibly recovering from the brutal match he had with Hanayama. Later on, Spec's next appearance remains unknown to this day.
In the series of Baki the Grappler, the standards is either low or high but can be defined as completely balanced in a mannered way, though that being said, murder as you name it, serial or mass in numbers isn’t common but does have a specific counting on how each of the antagonists committed their crimes their way using their own type of resources available and respectively given almost and some of the fights are combat experienced. But we also can’t forgot other villains as well.
But for now, let’s discuss the Most Evil Death Row Convicts one by one:
- Dorian Algardos Kaioh: He has greater reflexes to his arms and legs, not to mention endurance and has great technique on using tools such as lightweight wire and using a fire breathing technique when using flammable materialism, as he successfully hanged a dozen men at the same time at his previous execution, including his own hair and breathing for some reason. But nevertheless has killed over 16 people at his path, while rather genuinely polite and affable, it won't even detract how serious his actions were, though he seemed to fail to match how Spec's killcount compares to his. In this case makes him the second evilest of the convicts.
- Hector Doyle Carligos: He was known for using razors, especially sharp edged things like a box cutter and compass used for mathematics, with some razors around his body as his way of fighting and killing his opponents. His first onscreen kill was a warden whom failed to realize that he can't execute the latter and has murdered a famous wrestler in one go using said razors. Additionally, despite this, he was lenient to let Baki go and after not seen again, but in prison practicing his movements, thus he could be considered as the least and fifth evilest of the convicts.
- Sikorsky Evans: He has been know to use trickery in his technique of using materials when he killed Tateoka using butterknives and has managed to nearly murder Garland during his escape, even one of Igari's men in the process, then to Kenji Igari himself using different types of weights and his rings. But his main fighting style is how he cuts his opponents' faces using only his bare palms and in addition to his crimes, kidnapped Baki's girlfriend just to provoke a fight with him in attempt. He could be considered as the third evilest of the convicts.
- Ryuko Yanagi: He uses chemicals, gas, and pierces (same with scythes), even along how he uses his agility to fasten the acceleration to said weapons, to kill and fight his opponents in the process, to which he used his breathing when killing one of the guards during his escape. He can be concluded as the fourth evilest of the convicts.
Then again, we got Jeff Markson, who was once a former corrupt cop who extorted hippies for his own gain and due to being knock down by Biscuit Oliver, he kills people unrelated to this just to provoke a fight with him, to which dozens were dead when he placed a bomb on a building and took over another building, only this time held hostages there and killed some of them when they tried to run from him. These actions show that he is just as bad as most of the death row convicts themselves and with his own resources to begin with.
Now as for other antagonists, most of them are either nowhere near the standards, have too many redeeming qualities (if less for one of them being very honorable), or some did pass the standards but still have redeeming qualities at their side. Though I can't guarantee a promise to mention them since I just begun seeing Baki recently. Though then again, Yuujiro Hanma, the primary antagonist of the series (certainly somewhat), did murder his wife, who was also Baki's mom, which is highly personal for the latter himself on why he strives to defeat his father.
Now under the terms to Spec's case, he manages to stand out due to his own resources, while similar to some convicts, its his intimidating appearance, greater strength level, and powerful kicking techniques, not to mention being able to maintain his age at his ninety's, that makes him just as powerful and dangerous to the remaining four and having a much more arguably higher bodycount than all four of them, especially Dorian himself. Even though he wishes to taste defeat like the rest of them, he is rather too homicidal and does not seem lenient to let other innocent people live around him, I mean the guy literally killed a cashier at an food stop just to get some Sio Pao done, not to mention brutally murdered all officers at a police station once he woke up just to torture Hanayama in a rather dishonorable yet brutal way, so in conclusion, he definitely stands out.
So before we conclude how much of a bastard he seemed, it's about time we discussed his mitigations thoroughly to ensure if this is either true or not he does have a single redeeming quality.
First off, despite wanting to feel defeat for the first time, just like the rest of the convicts, which is indeed somewhat of an honorable goal, but just like Dorian who uses materials instead of fighting honorable. The same could go for Spec as at first he wanted to really taste defeat, but it was more likely for a self-serving purpose of having to brutalize others in his way regardless if capable of fighting or just innocent bystanders he is willing to kill. Another fact to know how his desire for "defeat" is dishonorable is that Spec brutally tortures his opponents physically, to which his fight with Hanayama sets that example, even as going as far to use guns and a flash grenade as a means to defeating him, declaring that the fight he wanted is now a death match, killed or be killed. With all these intact, Spec's desire for "defeat" is ultimately twisted and has a complete lack of honor in those senses. Even when bedridden when the doctor states he finally gotten the taste of "defeat", it only costed him much of his strength, meaning he only wanted "defeat" for his own homicidal and somewhat sadomasochistic purposes.
Also, his so-called "respect" for Baki turned out to be twisted as well, but more of provoking and taunting, as he greets him a hand shake only to mess with him using a mutilated hand and kicking him in the stomach just for sadism. Then offering a Sio Pao to Morio Sonado was just another way of taunting him, making him eat it while he was enraged at him.
Another fact to know is that for some reason, I kinda feel like he has Laughably Evil moments, such as him smiling at a few citizens that scared them off, his huge amount of urine in a peeing stall while greeting the police captain with Sio Pao he forcibly made him eat while shoving it to his mouth, it should somewhat demonstrate the fact. Then again, these moments where he felt somewhat "comedic" do not detract his crimes entirely as he is still taken seriously regardless.
So with all those out of the way, it's made clear that Spec is not truly an honorable person but more of a sadistic and homicidal brute whose willingly kill others for his own twisted desire of "tasting defeat", making him the most evilest compared to the other four convicts.
Well that answer is all up to you dear readers, though I would say this guy is an actual weak yes in my opinion due to trying to conclude his mitigations, then again it seemed promising at its slightest. I mean, I always thought "Hey, there's no such thing as another Muscular in other anime", but this guy here proved me wrong.