Immaturity and Impunity: Performative Masculinity in Baki the Grappler

Despite its enthusiastic embrace of playful exaggeration and dramatic pageantry, Baki the Grappler shouldn’t be written off as mind-numbing entertainment for the masses. A critical analysis of Baki as contemporary anime, and a part of pop culture more broadly speaking, can help us all better understand how performative masculinity functions—and why it is so potentially dangerous.