Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Baki the Grappler, But In The Flesh

Illustration for article titled Baki the Grappler, But In The Flesh
Screenshot: YokokawaNaotaka
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Long-running manga Baki the Grappler recently got a new anime adaptation on Netflix. It follows the exploits of macho Baki Hanma in the underground fighting world. Imagine Baki for real, minus the brutal battles but with the muscles. Meet bodybuilder Naotaka Yokokawa.


The resemblance between Baki and Yokokawa has been pointed out on Twitter, and it’s something the weightlifter is well aware of—to the point that he’s uploaded a comparison photo with a life-sized statue of him and the grappler.


According to Yokokawa, Baki the Grappler “saved” him, and he’s long looked up to the character’s father Yujiro Hanma.

Even the anime’s official account has tweeted out its surprise at how Yokokawa looks like Baki in the flesh.

The pro bodybuilder has done promotional work for the anime—for good reason, he very much looks like real-life Baki!


If you are into weightlifting or muscles, do follow Yokokawa on Twitter!

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



While I reckon he can knock my VSD-addled arse out forever, isn’t it equally true that more muscles don’t always mean better in terms of striking?