Baki Celebrates 30th Anniversary by Crowdfunding Underground Fighting Arena

Fans of the long-running Baki series now have the chance to help make the anime and manga franchise a little more real by contributing to the construction of a real world, underground fighting arena.

The life-sized fighting arena will be part of an exhibition celebrating the 30-year history of Keisuke Itagaki's acclaimed fighting manga, Baki the Grappler. In the Baki manga series, no-holds-barred fighting tournaments are held in the secret sixth basement of the real-world Tokyo Dome baseball stadium, so fittingly, the series' anniversary exhibition will be hosted at the same venue. The exhibition is currently scheduled to run from Mar. 5 to April 22, 2022, and the event's organizers will seek donations to help fund a full-sized recreation of the series' fighting arena within the Tokyo Dome. The crowdfunding campaign will be held through the Campfire fundraising site and will run from Oct. 8 to Nov. 27. The campaign is asking for 2 million yen (roughly $20,000 USD) to build the replica of the arena.

In addition to the potential arena, the exhibition will also feature a life-sized statue of the series' hero, Baki Hanma, as well as a recreation of the character's home. Art from the original 1991 manga and its four sequel series will also be displayed.

The latest season of the Baki anime adaptation recently debuted on Netflix under the title Baki Hanma. The new season is named after the Baki Hanma manga, which was the third series in Itagaki's Baki the Grappler saga. The long-running manga has been praised for Itagaki's art and its over-the-top action, and has achieved over 85 million copies in circulation worldwide. The new season of the anime was directed by Toshiki Hirano, who previously directed the classic fantasy anime Magic Knight Rayearth and worked as an animator on many classic anime series and movies from the last 30 years, including Macross: Do You Remember Love? and Sonic X.

Itagaki is also known as the father of fellow manga author Paru Itagaki, who has her own extremely popular manga series,  BEASTARS. Just like her father, Paru Itagaki's hit manga series was adapted into a Netflix original anime series, which recently aired its second season and already has a third season in production. Following the conclusion of the BEASTARS manga, the younger Itagaki released a new series, Sanda, which tells the story of a society in which the birthrate has rapidly declined and most of humanity is now made up of senior citizens.

Source: Campfire, via Crunchyroll

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